Energy & Infrastructure

What is recompression?

Susan Simpson

Keeping our natural gas in the pipeline is of upmost importance for safety, reliability and environmental concerns.

One way we are doing that is through a process called recompression.

When we need to take a miles-long section of pipeline out of service for planned maintenance or repair, instead of venting (also called a blowdown) or flaring the gas, in certain situations, we employ a mobile recompression unit that uses flexible hosing to transfer the gas to an adjacent pipeline or across a shutoff valve to send it safely down the line.

“Recompression is a great way for us to reduce methane emissions in our day-to-day operations,” said Glenn Koch, VP of Project Execution for Transmission.

Williams has a pipeline maintenance emissions reduction work group that creates blowdown optimization tools, develops work practices and onboards new mobile compression and flaring vendors.

In 2022, Williams reported 48 separate events in which natural gas was rerouted or captured and recompressed instead of being vented. In doing so, Williams saved 0.9 billion cubic feet of gas, the equivalent of heating more than 21,692 homes for a year.

Maintaining strong customer relationships is essential to reducing emissions from maintenance events. Therefore, we work alongside our customers to determine mutually beneficial solutions to minimize emissions, enhance reliability and strengthen collaboration.

We’ve had a lot of success in our work to reduce emissions and maintain pipeline integrity. To read more, check out our latest Sustainability Report.