Natural gas is used in homes all over the world for cooking and heating, it is also used in some industrial processes and as an ingredient in the production of many different chemicals. This gas needs to get to people's homes and to businesses in the most efficient way possible. There are two main ways that natural gas is transported, let's take a look at the two methods and how each method works.


Pipelines are the most common way that natural gas is transported from the location where the gas is extracted from the ground, cleaned and processed to individual homes and businesses. There are pipes buried under the ground which connect the majority of households and businesses to the gas grid network. These pipes vary in size and diameter, when they first start out they are very large but as the gas splits into different locations the pipes get smaller. Pipelines first connect to your household or business gas meter which measures the amount of gas used by each location. The pipe then carries on to connect to your boiler, cooker or your business production process. This is the easiest and most effective way for every household to be connected up with gas.

Pipe material

Gas pipes are made from steel or specialized plastic material, they must be strong and durable to ensure that they stand the test of time. In addition to the material used, natural gas pipelines are also coated in a material which prevents corrosion. Replacing a gas pipe is a very difficult process so it is vital when any new pipes are installed that the time is taken to make sure the pipe is correct.

Compression stations

In addition to the complexity of laying the pipe the gas inside must also be pressurized. To keep it in this state it must be compressed. Along the gas pipeline network there are several large compression stations that are spaced out along the gas pipe network. Each of these compression stations takes the gas and first removes any contaminants from the gas. They then use computers to determine how much the gas needs to be pressurized. Once the gas has reached the right pressure it is added back into the pipe network to continue its journey.

Safety measures

When natural gas is transported underground through pipes it must be carefully monitored so that any leaks are immediately picked up and rectified. Markers are placed on the surface to show where gas pipes are running. These markers help to prevent any construction work accidentally damaging the gas pipes. In addition to the markers, planes and drones are used to check that no construction work is taking place where the gas pipes are placed. Regular sampling of natural gas is conducted to ensure that there are no contaminants and the quality is high, this can be done at specific stations that are placed around the gas grid network.

Liquified natural gas

If pipelines aren’t possible then the other way which gas can be transported is in its liquid form. To make gas easier to transport it is cooled down to -162 degrees celsius. At this temperature the gas becomes a liquid and is known as liquified natural gas or (LNG). In this state the gas is much easier to transport using tankers that can keep the gas at a regulated temperature. Once the liquified natural gas reaches its destination the temperature can be restored so the liquified natural gas changes back to its gas state. This gas can then be used for industrial processes, fueling vehicles, cooking, heating and much more.

Gas detectors and gas analyzers

At QED we provide a number of fixed and portable gas detectors and gas analyzers. If you are in an industry that works with gas you can use our solutions to quickly and easily identify leaks and analyze the quality of the natural gas to make sure it meets set standards. Our natural gas leak detection systems help to reduce the economic loss of a gas leak and also reduce the hazards of flammable natural gas escaping into the atmosphere. You can also find out more about natural gas leak detection methods.

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