How does piping natural gas underground work?


Quick Answer

Natural gas is stored under pressure and becomes liquid before being transported underground through a vast network of underground pipes running between gas storage facilities. The pipe system compresses the gas at regular intervals along the route to ensure fast and even flow.

Continue Reading

Full Answer

Pumps first collect the gas at the wellhead and begin transportation to the gas plant through small low-pressure piping. Once at the plant, pumps lightly pressurize the gas until it becomes natural gas liquids. The liquid state allows it to flow faster through the pipes, which are made of carbon steel and range in size from 2 to 48 inches in diameter, depending on the type of pipeline.

During transport between pressure stations, the stations increase and maintain a high level of pressure, allowing the natural gas to move quickly through the pipes. Metering stations on the route check that the gas is flowing at the appropriate rate. If gas begins flowing too quickly, the stations trigger valves placed along the pipeline that close and block gas flow, preventing the high pressure of the gas from causing a breakage in the pipes. Throughout the process, intermediate plants continuously clean the gas. The final plant transmits the gas to consumers after adding an odor-causing agent for safety.

Learn more about Industries

Related Questions