Natural Gas Basics
How is it transported?
Once a natural gas deposit is found, how do we get it to our homes? Can you run to the store and buy a big package of it? Actually, it comes right to our homes and businesses through underground pipes. Hundreds of years ago the Chinese used bamboo to pipe natural gas directly from their wells to their cooking pots. The same idea is used to transport natural gas today, just greatly expanded and improved. As this network of pipelines was developed, it opened up new possibilities and uses for natural gas. Originally, you had to be very close to the source to be able to use the natural gas efficiently. One of the first lengthy pipelines constructed in 1891 went from Central Indiana to Chicago.
There are larger high-pressure pipelines which transport natural gas long distances and smaller pipes which deliver natural gas to the homes and businesses where it will be used. Together these make up a network of nearly 2.4 million miles of underground pipelines across the U.S., delivering natural gas to 177 million Americans every day. This system of underground pipelines is a very reliable delivery system. We’ve all been through power outages due to major storms, weather conditions or some accident that disrupts power lines. Underground pipelines are unaffected by these things, making natural gas safe and reliable.