Alternating Current: An electric current that reverses its direction at regularly recurring intervals.
Account classification: The way in which suppliers of electricity, natural gas, or fuel oil classify and bill their customers. Commonly used account classifications are "Residential," "Commercial," "Industrial," and "Other." Suppliers' definitions of these terms vary from supplier to supplier. In addition, the same customer may be classified differently by each of its energy suppliers.
Account of others (natural gas): Natural gas deliveries for the account of others are deliveries to customers by transporters that do not own the natural gas but deliver it for others for a fee. Included are quantities covered by long-term contracts and quantities involved in short-term or spot market sales.
Acid rain: Also called acid precipitation or acid deposition, acid rain is precipitation containing harmful amounts of nitric and sulfuric acids formed primarily by sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides released into the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burned. It can be wet precipitation (rain, snow, or fog) or dry precipitation (absorbed gaseous and particulate matter, aerosol particles or dust). Acid rain has a pH below 5.6. Normal rain has a pH of about 5.6, which is slightly acidic. The term pH is a measure of acidity or alkalinity and ranges from 0 to 14. A pH measurement of 7 is regarded as neutral. Measurements below 7 indicate increased acidity, while those above indicate increased alkalinity.
Acquisition (foreign crude oil): All transfers of ownership of foreign crude oil to a firm, irrespective of the terms of that transfer. Acquisitions thus include all purchases and exchange receipts as well as any and all foreign crude acquired under reciprocal buy-sell agreements or acquired as a result of a buy-back or other preferential agreement with a host government.
Acquisition (minerals): The procurement of the legal right to explore for and produce discovered minerals, if any, within a specific area; that legal right may be obtained by mineral lease, concession, or purchase of land and mineral rights or of mineral rights alone.
Acquisition costs, mineral rights: Direct and indirect costs incurred to acquire legal rights to extract natural resources. Direct costs include costs incurred to obtain options to lease or purchase mineral rights and costs incurred for the actual leasing (e.g., lease bonuses) or purchasing of the rights. Indirect costs include such costs as brokers' commissions and expenses; abstract and recording fees; filing and patenting fees; and costs for legal examination of title and documents.
Acre-foot: The volume of water that will cover an area of 1 acre to a depth of 1 foot.