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How does natural gas get to CT?

map of US transmission lines

      US Natural Gas Transmission Lines

From the well, the natural gas goes into "gathering" lines, which, like the branches of a tree, get larger as they get closer to a central collection point.

Gas then moves into the transmission system --the "interstate highway" system for natural gas. About 150,000 miles of high-strength steel pipe, ranging from 20 inches to 42 inches in diameter, move huge amounts of natural gas thousands of miles from producing regions to local natural gas utilities.

large transmission pipe welders working on pipes pipe being lowered into trench
Large diameter transmission pipeline in pipe yard prior to construction Welders join lengths of pipe during construction Transmission pipe being lowered into trench 


Compressor stations are located about every 70 miles along each pipeline to boost the pressure that is lost through the friction of natural gas moving at about 15 miles per hour through the pipes.

compressor station turbine compressor reciprocating compressor
Compressor Station Turbine Compressor Reciprocating Compressor

In summer months when the demand for natural gas is lower, natural gas companies can store their excess supply. The most common method is to deliver the natural gas into depleted oil or natural gas reservoirs where it can be stored indefinitely and withdrawn as needed. Underground storage is used to meet peak winter demand when the capacity of the pipelines cannot deliver what is needed.

When transmission pipelines bring gas to utilities, the fuel normally passes through a "gate station." Gate stations reduce the pressure in the line from transmission levels, which usually are from 200 to 1,500 pounds per square inch, to distribution levels that generally range from 1 pound to 200 pounds per square inch. This also is where meters measure how much gas is being received by the utility, and where additional odorant is added to help customers smell even small quantities of natural gas.

Gas Pipeline Safety

Content last updated May 2021