How Does the Natural Gas Delivery System Work?
The natural gas that moves into pipelines called distribution systems travels in different directions, ranging from two to twenty-four inches. As a result, different sections operate at different pressures, and these regulators control the pressure. These pipelines move the natural gas to the final destination, either a consumer’s home or business. When natural gas reaches a customer’s home via gas services Annapolis, it is transferred from a compression station to a distribution pipeline.
Compressor stations are key components of the natural gas delivery system. The compressor station design includes redundant controls and remote locations of critical equipment. These stations also feature automatic gas temperature control, which shuts down if the temperature exceeds the safe operating limit. Compressor stations are essential components of the overall dependability of the natural gas pipeline system.
The natural gas delivery system involves a network of small-diameter pipelines that gather natural gases near the wellhead and transport them to processing facilities. First, the gas is separated from other substances at processing facilities. Then, the gas enters a transmission pipeline.
The large transmission pipelines in the natural gas delivery system are analogous to the interstate highway system of cars. Each section of a pipeline carries a large amount of gas thousands of miles away. These pipelines’ pressure can range from 200 to 1,500 pounds per square inch, depending on the area and gas source. Although channels are designed to handle much higher pressures, they typically operate at about half of that level.
There are two types of pipelines: local and regional distribution pipelines. Local distribution pipelines carry natural gas to homes, businesses, and industrial facilities. Regional distribution pipelines have gas to power plants and industrial customers at a much lower pressure. These pipelines are often more than one mile long and are used for large gas volumes. They also help maintain a steady gas pressure level for the entire system.
During the past decade, commodity prices have gone down, but the cost of natural gas hasn’t. The delivered cost of natural gas has been relatively steady at $10 to 11 an MMBtu. While the current price is lower than it was a decade ago, it hasn’t reduced the costs to residential users. The commodity’s declining price has made it easier to pass on the cost of expansions and upgrades.
Safety of natural gas pipelines
The Oregon Public Utility Commission is responsible for overseeing the safety of natural gas pipelines in Oregon. The Pipeline Safety Program, a division of OPU, works in partnership with federal authorities under the Pipeline Safety Act, which applies to safety standards administered by the U.S. Department of Transportation. The Pipeline Safety Program works to ensure the design and construction of pipeline facilities in Oregon while ensuring that these facilities comply with federal safety standards. These programs include inspection, education, and enforcement. OPUCC’s Pipeline Safety Program is also responsible for investigating complaints related to pipeline safety.
Importance of infrastructure
In addition to the economic benefits of natural gas, the delivery system for this energy source is aging, and new technologies are not always feasible. State public utility commissioners are responsible for overseeing the integrity of gas infrastructure. They work with gas utilities and local gas distribution companies to ensure that revenues from customer services are spent to advance the public interest. That’s why many state legislatures are instituting policies to replace aging natural gas infrastructure.