Energy & Infrastructure

Midstream 101: Compression

Staff Reports

If pipelines provide the roadway for natural gas, compressors provide the drivers. Putting gas in the pipeline is part of the equation but moving it through pipeline is equally important.

Two main reasons compressors are essential in the transportation of natural gas:

#1 Compression helps wells produce

Darcy’s Law is an equation that describes the….blah, blah, blah. Bottom line, if the pressure of the well is lower than the pressure of the take away pipeline a compressor is needed to support producing hydrocarbons.

#2   Gas naturally flows from higher to lower pressure

Think about it, if you are in a high-pressure situation don’t you get out of it ASAP?

It’s the same principle here, for gas to be transported over long distances it must be continually recompressed.

Compressor stations are built in intervals along the pipeline route to keep the gas moving toward its ultimate destination.

We could spend an entire month talking about the importance of compression to the midstream business.

Let’s face it, a blog post on the Ideal Gas Law or the definition of Absolute Pressure would be considered a high-pressure situation and we would bail after the first sentence.

So just know this, compression is vital to the midstream segment of the natural gas industry. Compression ensures maximum production from a well and provides the driving force to keep the gas moving down the line.

Up next: Control Rooms


Compressors, as shown here, keep gas moving in the pipeline.