Thursday, November 8, 2007

Transporting Natural Gas

Ever since natural gas has been discovered and extracted from the earth for consumer use, there has existed the opportunity to transport the gas from areas of production to the areas where it is needed for use. Large increases in volume of natural gas discovered in the southwestern United States in the 1920s motivated the need for advancements in transportation of this gas to the far away urban markets on the eastern seaboard. Fortunately, new advancements in welding techniques, namely electric arc welding advancements, were used to weld thin-walled, large diameter pipes together to make long distance compressed gas transport possible. Long distance pipelines were being installed across the United States throughout the 1920s.

This installation of new pipelines did not come too soon. The discovery of the abundant southwestern natural gas fields came at an opportune time as natural gas production in the Appalachians, the mainstay for supply in the northeastern United States, was diminishing. The mid 1920s and the mid 1930s were times of abundant flow of natural gas from the southwestern fields to points all over the country thanks to the improved pipeline technology and the increased demand for natural gas nationwide. Lines erected during this era of surplus included the Natural Gas Pipeline Company, the Northern Natural Gas Company, and the Panhandle Eastern Pipeline Company.

Three types of pipelines make up the majority of the transportation of natural gas in the United States. These include the gathering system, the interstate pipeline, and the distribution system. The gathering system is a network of smaller diameter pipes that carry the raw natural gas from the wells to processing plants. At processing plants, like those owned by companies such as Triple Diamond Energy Corp, scientists and technicians sweeten any sort of sour (overly sulfuric) gas, treating and processing it before it is transported to the consumer.

Transportation to consumers is achieved through two different kinds of pipelines. As in trucking, the intrastate pipelines take care of distribution within a particular state, while interstate pipelines shuttle the gas across state lines and across far greater distances. As stated earlier, many of the pipeline construction in the United States took place in the 1920s and 1930s, however, gas companies are constantly monitoring the supply and demand in the nation. Whenever certain areas can be observed to be in heavy need and overwhelmingly underserved, natural gas companies are ready and willing to build new pipelines so that every area can have the natural gas its population requires.

About the Author: Bob Jent is the president of Triple Diamond Energy Corp. Triple Diamond Energy specializes in acquiring the highest quality prime oil and gas properties. For more information, visit

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