less than a minute to read
Natural Gas Transport refers to the various methods of transportation used to move natural gas from one location to another. It is primarily transported by pipeline on land and ship on water.

Natural Gas Transport

Definition

Once natural gas is extracted, it must be transported to different places to be processed, stored, and then finally delivered to the end consumer[1]Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA). « Natural Gas Pipelines ». http://www.cepa.com/about-pipelines/types-of-pipelines/natural-gas-pipelines Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA). « Natural Gas Pipelines ». http://www.cepa.com/about-pipelines/types-of-pipelines/natural-gas-pipelines Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA). « Natural Gas Pipelines ». http://www.cepa.com/about-pipelines/types-of-pipelines/natural-gas-pipelines .  

Natural gas can be transported on land via pipeline or on water via ship.

Most of the world’s natural gas is delivered by pipeline. Large networks of pipelines quickly deliver natural gas on land to major processing facilities and end consumers[2]Mayorets, M., Simonov, K. (2013). Liquefued Natural Gas – future of global energy. Spectra Energy. “How Natural Gas is Transported”. http://www.spectraenergy.com/Natural-Gas-101/Transporting-Natural-Gas/ Mayorets, M., Simonov, K. (2013). Liquefued Natural Gas – future of global energy. Spectra Energy. “How Natural Gas is Transported”. http://www.spectraenergy.com/Natural-Gas-101/Transporting-Natural-Gas/ Mayorets, M., Simonov, K. (2013). Liquefued Natural Gas – future of global energy. Spectra Energy. “How Natural Gas is Transported”. http://www.spectraenergy.com/Natural-Gas-101/Transporting-Natural-Gas/ . This complex network includes three types of pipelines along the transportation route[3]Favennec, J-P. (2009). Geopolitics of EnergyInternational Energy Agency (IEA). « Natural Gas Information 2012 ». 2012. http://www.iea.org/media/training/presentations/statisticsmarch/NaturalGasInformation.pdf Favennec, J-P. (2009). Geopolitics of EnergyInternational Energy Agency (IEA). « Natural Gas Information 2012 ». 2012. http://www.iea.org/media/training/presentations/statisticsmarch/NaturalGasInformation.pdf Favennec, J-P. (2009). Geopolitics of EnergyInternational Energy Agency (IEA). « Natural Gas Information 2012 ». 2012. http://www.iea.org/media/training/presentations/statisticsmarch/NaturalGasInformation.pdf :

  1. Gathering pipeline system - the gathering system includes low pressure small pipelines that transport raw natural gas from the wellhead to the processing plant.
  2. Intrastate/interstate pipeline system - Pipelines can be classified as intrastate or interstate. Their technical and operational characteristics are substantially similar, and they both have the same goal: to transport natural gas from the processing plant to the centers of its consumption.
  3. Distribution pipeline system - the distribution pipeline system has the purpose of delivering gas to the end-consumers.

Natural gas must be highly pressurized to move it along the pipeline. To ensure that the natural gas remains pressurized, compressor stations are placed in intervals along the pipeline. The natural gas enters the compressor station, where it is compressed by either a turbine, motor, or engine. Metering stations are also installed throughout the pipeline network to monitor for pressure, flow and leaks.

Where natural gas cannot be delivered on land, it can be liquefied and delivered by ship. Compared to gas pipelines, liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping is preferred for international transport because, in a liquid form, natural gas takes up less volume, making it easier for shipment and storage.  LNG infrastructure includes a gas pipeline leading to the seaside, gas liquefaction plant, storage facilities and an LNG terminal for shipment. After being liquified and transported to the area of demand, LNG is returned to gas form at regasification plants at the terminal. 

Natural gas can also be stored for later use.

 
 

Context:

As natural gas is typically produced in remote regions away from areas of high gas demand, natural gas transport is a critical part of the natural gas industry[4]Le Fevre, C., Madden, M., White, N. « LNG in transportation 2015-2035 ». October 2014. http://www.cedigaz.org/products/LNG%20in%20Transportation/lng-transportation.aspxLe Fevre, C., Madden, M., White, N. « LNG in transportation 2015-2035 ». October 2014. http://www.cedigaz.org/products/LNG%20in%20Transportation/lng-transportation.aspxLe Fevre, C., Madden, M., White, N. « LNG in transportation 2015-2035 ». October 2014. http://www.cedigaz.org/products/LNG%20in%20Transportation/lng-transportation.aspx.

There are several concerns relating to natural gas transport. Leaks are a major issue. Methane is highly flammable; undetected leaks could lead to accidents and explosions. Additionally, natural gas is predominantly methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Undetected natural gas pipeline leaks could be a contributor to climate change. There are also concerns of pipelines crossing environmentally sensitive areas, for example in delicate natural habitats, near communities, and close to water aquifers. Finally, some environmentalists argue that investing in natural gas pipeline and LNG infrastructure supports dependency on fossil fuels, making natural gas less of a bridge fuel and more of a permanent source of energy.

References

  1. ^ Canadian Energy Pipeline Association (CEPA). « Natural Gas Pipelines ». http://www.cepa.com/about-pipelines/types-of-pipelines/natural-gas-pipelines 
  2. ^ Mayorets, M., Simonov, K. (2013). Liquefued Natural Gas – future of global energy. Spectra Energy. “How Natural Gas is Transported”. http://www.spectraenergy.com/Natural-Gas-101/Transporting-Natural-Gas/ 
  3. ^ Favennec, J-P. (2009). Geopolitics of EnergyInternational Energy Agency (IEA). « Natural Gas Information 2012 ». 2012. http://www.iea.org/media/training/presentations/statisticsmarch/NaturalGasInformation.pdf 
  4. ^ Le Fevre, C., Madden, M., White, N. « LNG in transportation 2015-2035 ». October 2014. http://www.cedigaz.org/products/LNG%20in%20Transportation/lng-transportation.aspx

Sorry, we do not yet have a video specifically for Natural Gas Transportation.  We are adding new  videos to StudentEnergy.org weekly, but in the meantime check out these videos on Natural Gas and Liquefied Natural Gas.

Take a Step Back

Natural Gas

Natural Gas is a flammable gas, consisting mainly of methane (CH4), occurring in underground reservoirs often with oil.

Keep Learning! Progress To

Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG)

Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is natural gas that has been converted liquefied for ease of storage or transport.

Natural Gas Storage

Natural Gas Storage occurs underground in depleted oil and gas fields, aquifer reservoirs, and salt caverns. Liquefied Natural Gas is stored above ground in tanks.