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:
Compression helps wells produce.
If the pressure of the well is lower than the pressure of the take-away pipeline a compressor is needed to support producing hydrocarbons.
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.
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.