How Do We Transport Natural Gas?

By: Bob Jent

We use natural gas in numerous ways. Our dependence on natural gas is growing and growing. Oil companies have developed many ways to transport natural gas to our homes. Moving natural gas from its source to our homes involves transporting it through elaborate pipeline systems. Many regulations on transporting natural gas are in place to ensure that it is moved in the safest most effective manner possible. From the ground, to processing plants and ultimately to our homes, natural gas is transported by our oil companies in a very precise way.

The first step in transporting natural gas is to get it from the ground. Pipes known as the gathering system are used to collect the gas from the source. The gas needs to be obtained, then cleaned and processed so that we can use it. There are a few different processes utilized to get the natural gas into usable form.

When the gas gets to the processing plant, we add Thiols to it. This is purely a step towards safety. Natural gas has no smell that we can detect. By adding Thiols, we give it an odor that we can easily detect if there is a leak. Once it is processed, we send it through our intrastate and interstate pipeline networks. Intrastate pipelines carry natural gas around inside of one state. Interstate pipelines are networks that actually cross state lines. All of these pipes are made in the same way. They are constructed from carbon steel. The carbon steel pipes need to be able to withstand enormous pressure to ensure the safety of transport. Therefore, each pipe section is sent through rigorous testing before it can be considered for use.

The pipeline must be able to withstand tremendous pressure because natural gas must be transported in liquid form. Pressurizing natural gas forces it to transform from a gaseous to a liquid state. This reduces the amount of space that it takes up as well. In fact, the volume is reduced by about six hundred times. Pressurizing natural gas into a liquid state also acts as a propulsion mechanism. This greatly reduces the amount of time that it takes for the gas to move through the pipeline network.

The pipeline industry puts safety first when transporting natural gas. Relocating natural gas takes a lot of manual labor and can be very dangerous. Many steps are painstakingly executed to ensure the safety of the transportation process. Although the process is amazingly complex, the pipeline industry and oil companies, such as Triple Diamond Energy, have stellar reputations when it comes to ensuring the safety of the pipeline workers, the public and the environment.

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