Natural gas has a long history as one of America’s most valuable fuels. Initial discoveries of natural gas date back to the colonial era and the first official US natural gas company was established in New York, in 1821. However, uses for the gas were limited at the time, due to both a lack of devices capable of safely using it, as well as a lack of transportation options.
However, in the 1920s, a huge find of natural gas beneath the Great Plains combined with technological advances to create a sort of ‘gas rush’. In surprisingly short order, oil and gas pipeline construction companies got to work. Pipelines began to be constructed, crisscrossing the nation. Today, the US has more than 300,000 miles of natural gas pipelines – some of which we at Bobcat Contracting are proud to say we helped install!
How does natural gas get transported to your home? Oil and gas pipeline construction companies do it in three major stages.
Stage one: Gathering Pipelines
Gathering pipelines begin at the wellhead and usually transport raw gas to a processing plant. These are small-diameter pipelines carrying relatively small amounts of gas, which will then be processed and refined. The process involves separating the hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon gases, as well as water and any other impurities, before the final natural gas is ready for transport.
Stage two: Transmission Pipelines
These wide-diameter pipelines are the backbone of the nation’s gas transportation network, carrying large quantities of natural gas across hundreds – or thousands – of miles. The gas is kept flowing thanks to compression stations throughout the journey, increasing the pressure at critical waypoints to compensate for lost pressure along the way. This is necessary to make sure the gas can cover the vast distances required.
Stage Three: Distribution Pipelines
Finally, as the gas nears residential or industrial sectors, it begins to be split off down smaller distribution pipelines. Through the help of local distribution companies, the pressure and pipeline diameters are stepped down, until the gas is ready to flow into each individual home or business. The pressure of the final product is carefully monitored to ensure it’s always safe for use.
Bobcat Contracting Helps Heat the Nation
We are one of the top contractors that oil and gas pipeline construction companies call upon to assist in pipeline construction and maintenance, with a truly stellar safety record. Contact us to consult on your next construction project!