What is Pipeline Capacity? - Natural Gas Intelligence (2023)

Pipeline capacity is the amount of natural gas that can be transported through a pipeline at any given time. That seems simple enough, but capacity can take on several different variations. There is designed capacity, which is the originally stated capacity of the pipeline and a measure of what the pipeline should be able to handle at any one time, and there is operational capacity, which measures how much gas actually can flow at any given time. Operational capacity is oftentimes less than design capacity because of things like pipeline maintenance and backhauling that could impact available flow. Pipeline capacity is also measured in different units. In the United States, the standard measure is dekatherms, but operators also express capacity in terms of cubic feet. In order to convert dekatherms to cubic feet, one must know the average heating (btu) value of the gas. Finally, EBBs also list point vs. segment capacity, which as their names suggest, is simply capacity at a specific location versus an overall portion of the pipeline. Generally speaking, pipeline capacity tends to diminish the farther the pipeline extends downstream, everything else being equal.

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What is natural gas pipeline capacity? ›

The natural gas system receives high-pressure unprocessed wellhead natural gas into an 83-mile pipeline system with capacity of up to 150 million cubic feet per day (MMcf/d).

How is pipeline capacity calculated? ›

volume = π (pi) × radius squared × length. volume = 3.14159 × (. 5 x . 5) × 600.

What is natural gas capacity? ›

In the natural gas industry, capacity measures the capability of a well, processing plant, pipeline, storage facility, or LNG facility to provide service. Capacity is typically defined in units of volume per day, although in some cases energy value per day is used.

What is pipeline va? ›

Atlantic Coast Pipeline is a proposed 564.1-mile (907.8km) long, interstate natural gas transmission pipeline system that will fulfil the growing energy needs in Virginia (VA) and North Carolina, US.

What does pipeline capacity mean? ›

Pipeline capacity is the amount of natural gas that can be transported through a pipeline at any given time. That seems simple enough, but capacity can take on several different variations.

How do you calculate gas pipeline capacity? ›

To obtain the cubic feet per hour of gas required, divide the input of the appliances by the average Btu (kW. h) heating value per cubic foot of the gas. The average Btu per cubic foot is 1,100.

How is capacity calculated? ›

Capacity = working hours specified in the Workload Plan - non-working days (in other words, how much of total work can a resource do in a period. If Kate works eight hours a day, her standard workday capacity is eight hours. If Monday is a national holiday and she has a day off, her Monday capacity is 0h).

How do you calculate capacity rate? ›

Capacity utilization is calculated using a formula: the rate of capacity utilization is equal to the ratio of the actual level of output over the maximum level of output multiplied by a hundred percent. That is, capacity utilization rate = actual output/optimal output.

How is flow capacity calculated? ›

Flow rate (L/min) = [Bucket Size (L)] ÷ [Fill time (sec)] × 60 × 0.8
  1. 60 is to convert the unit to minutes.
  2. 0.8 refers to a 20% reduction in flow rate to allow for pressure loss in your system. If the bucket test is taken off the main water feed at the correct pressure then this 20% allowance is not necessary.

How is natural gas capacity measured? ›

Quantities of natural gas are usually measured in cubic feet. CRMU lists how much gas residential customers use each month in 100 cubic feet increments or (100 cubic feet – 1 hcf).

How is gas capacity measured? ›

Gas is sometimes measured in cubic feet at a temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit and an atmospheric pressure of 14.7 pounds per square inch. Gas production from wells is discussed in terms of thousands or millions of cubic feet (Mcf and MMcf). Resources and reserves are calculated in trillions of cubic feet (Tcf).

What is the largest natural gas pipeline in the US? ›

The Colonial Pipeline is the largest pipeline system for refined oil products in the U.S. The pipeline – consisting of three tubes – is 5,500 miles (8,850 km) long and can carry 3 million barrels of fuel per day between Texas and New York.

What are the three types of pipelines? ›

There are essentially three major types of pipelines along the transportation route: gathering systems, transmission systems, and distribution systems.

What are the two types of pipelines? ›

Within the energy sector, there are two major types of pipelines, liquids pipelines and natural gas pipelines. Liquid pipelines transport crude oil or natural gas in liquid form to refineries where they undergo distillation and other production processes.

What does pipeline easement mean? ›

What is a Pipeline Easement? Generally, an easement is a legal interest that allows someone the right to use another's property for a certain purpose. A pipeline easement specifically gives the easement holder the right to build and maintain a pipeline on a landowner's property.

How many gallons of oil would the Keystone pipeline carry? ›

The proposed 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline would transport up to 35 million gallons of oil every day from Canada's tar sands1 — one of the dirtiest energy sources in the world — to refineries in Texas. Much of it then would be exported to other countries.

What does release of capacity mean? ›

Capacity release (also called capacity brokering) is the act of reselling firm pipeline rights to a new entity. The market where capacity is released is sometimes called the secondary market (as opposed to the primary market of contracting directly with the pipeline company).

Is the Keystone pipeline running at capacity? ›

TransCanada Keystone Pipeline GP Ltd, abbreviated here as Keystone, operates four phases of the project. In 2013, the first two phases had the capacity to deliver up to 590,000 barrels (94,000 m3) per day of oil into the Midwest refineries.
Keystone Pipeline.
Cushing Marketlink Project (Phase 3a)
Diameter36 in (914 mm)
12 more rows

How many BTU can a 3 4 natural gas line carry? ›

Capacity of Pipe (BTU x 1000) at ½ psi Copper
Nominal Pipe Size COPPER (in)Pipe Length (ft.)
1/2 (5/8)15070
5/8 (3/4)265125
3/4 (7/8)380180
5 more rows
Jul 28, 2015

What size gas line do I need for 200 000 BTU? ›

In all cases, a near 200,000 BTU gas appliance will require a minimum of a ¾-inch gas supply line. In specific conditions a ½-inch gas line may be used.

What size pipe do I need for 400000 BTU? ›

Natural Gas Example: A machine with a burner that requires 440,000 BTU would need a 1 -1/4" pipe for a 20' long run.

What are the different types of capacity? ›

Capacity is defined under 3 categories; design capacity, effective capacity and actual capacity.

What are examples of capacity? ›

The capacity of a tablespoon is nearly half a fluid oz. The capacity of 25 teaspoons is nearly equal to half a cup. The capacity of a car's fuel tank is about 15 gallons. A fish tank can hold 6 gallons.

How does the capacity work? ›

Capacity is the maximum output level a company can sustain to provide its products or services. Depending on the business type, capacity can refer to a production process, human resources allocation, technical thresholds, or several other related concepts.

What does capacity rate mean? ›

Capacity utilization rate measures the percentage of an organization's potential output that is actually being realized. The capacity utilization rate of a company or a national economy may be measured in order to provide insight into how well it is reaching its potential.

What is the difference between flow rate and capacity? ›

Summary. Flow is the actual amount of water being treated, moved or reused. Flow frequently is expressed in MGD. Capacity represents the ability to treat, move or reuse water.

What are capacity rates? ›

Capacity charges are the rates customers pay to ensure a sufficient supply of energy is available on a power grid during “peak” hours of electricity usage. Essentially, you are paying a fee to ensure that the electricity you might eventually use is there for you when you need to use it.

What is the maximum flow capacity? ›

It is defined as the maximum amount of flow that the network would allow to flow from source to sink. Multiple algorithms exist in solving the maximum flow problem. Two major algorithms to solve these kind of problems are Ford-Fulkerson algorithm and Dinic's Algorithm.

What is relation between flow and capacity? ›

Capacity design is the total flow carrying capacity of the pipe for given diameter and flow is actual flow through the pipe at given circumstances. Since your pipe is not flowing, flow actual is less than flow capacity design.

How many appliances can a 3 4 gas line supply? ›

3/4" pipe is usually enough to handle two appliances like your furnace and heater, so you can split downstream.

What is gas storage capacity? ›

Total gas storage capacity: It is the maximum volume of natural gas that can be stored at the storage facility. It is determined by several physical factors such as the reservoir volume, and also on the operating procedures and engineering methods used.

What does MMBtu mean in natural gas? ›

MMBtu is acronym for Metric Million British Thermal Unit, and it is a unit traditionally used to measure heat content or energy value. It is widely associated with measurement of natural gas in the energy terms globally.

What is gas meter capacity? ›

Later on, the gas meter's capacity can be checked by looking at its label. It's expressed in cubic feet per hour (cf/h). Typically installed gas meter sizes range from 175 cf/h to 275 cf/h.

Does the U.S. have enough pipelines? ›

A new report confirms what we've known for a while: the U.S. has more than enough pipelines.

Who has the largest supply of natural gas in the world? ›

Russia has the largest proved natural gas reserves in the world. As of 2020, it had 37.4 trillion cubic meters worth of the fossil fuel, three trillion cubic meters more than ten years prior.

Where is the largest natural gas field in America? ›

Natural gas production
1Marcellus ShalePennsylvania and West Virginia
2Newark East Barnett ShaleTexas
3Haynesville ShaleLouisiana and Texas
4Eagle Ford FormationTexas
6 more rows

How fast does natural gas flow in a pipeline? ›

Q: What is the typical natural gas pipe velocity, and what is the maximum gas pipe velocity? A: For underground installations, 20 m/s is normal. Maximum velocity in a pipeline, on the other hand, is defined by available pressure, but in control and safety valves, it can be allowed up to 100 m/s.

What pipe is used for natural gas pipeline? ›

Types of Gas Piping. The most common materials used to make gas piping are steel, black iron, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and copper.

Are natural gas pipelines liquid or gas? ›

Natural gas pipelines transport natural gas. Liquid petroleum (oil) pipelines transport liquid petroleum and some liquefied gases, including carbon dioxide.

Which gas is used in gas pipeline? ›

Piped Natural gas (PNG) - Natural Gas distributed through a pipeline network that has safety valves to maintain the pressure, assuring safe, uninterrupted supply to the domestic sector for cooking and heating / cooling applications. It is used as PNG and CPNG for cooking and fuel respectively.

How many pipelines does the US have? ›

As of December 2020, there were 160 operational oil pipelines in the country and a further 22 under development.

How many natural gas pipelines are there? ›

Across the country, there are more than 210 pipeline systems that total more than 305,000 miles of interstate and intrastate pipelines.

Does a gas pipeline affect property value? ›

While these concerns are understandable, they are largely unsupported by factual evidence. Recent and historical studies have almost universally concluded that pipeline infrastructure has no impact on property values.

How close to a pipeline can you build a house? ›

API recommends setbacks of 50 feet from petroleum and hazardous liquids lines for new homes, businesses, and places of public assembly (API 2003). It also recommends 25 feet for garden sheds, septic tanks, and water wells and 10 feet for mailboxes and yard lights.

What is the typical pipeline easement width? ›

The pipeline easement width may range from 50 to 100 feet or more, depending on the type and size of pipeline, the nature of the landscape and construction and maintenance needs.

What is the current capacity of the Keystone pipeline? ›

Keystone XL Pipeline operations

Keystone XL will have an initial capacity of 700,000bpd with a further capacity to transport 830,000bpd.

What is U.S. LNG capacity? ›

Three LNG projects reached final investment decision last year, totaling 25.3 million tons of capacity.

What is the capacity of the Alaska pipeline? ›

The pipeline has a maximum capacity of 2.14 million barrels per day (340,000 m3/d). At the end of the pipeline is the Valdez Marine Terminal, which can store 9.18 million barrels (1,460,000 m3) of oil.

How much oil could the Keystone XL pipeline carry? ›

It was expected to transport 830,000 barrels of Alberta tar sands oil per day to refineries on the Gulf Coast of Texas. From the refineries, the oil would be sent chiefly overseas—not to gasoline pumps in the United States.

How many gallons of oil would the Keystone pipeline produce? ›


The proposed 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline would transport up to 35 million gallons of oil every day from Canada's tar sands1 — one of the dirtiest energy sources in the world — to refineries in Texas.

How much oil can the Keystone pipeline carry? ›

TransCanada Keystone Pipeline GP Ltd, abbreviated here as Keystone, operates four phases of the project. In 2013, the first two phases had the capacity to deliver up to 590,000 barrels (94,000 m3) per day of oil into the Midwest refineries.
Keystone Pipeline.
Keystone XL Pipeline (Phase 4)
12 more rows

Who is the biggest LNG producer in USA? ›

Here are three top options for investors to consider: Cheniere Energy: It's the leader in producing and exporting LNG in the U.S. Shell: It's a world leader in LNG. Its integrated business includes gas supply, LNG export and import infrastructure, and a leading marketing operation.

What is the new LNG capacity 2022? ›

Energy Intelligence calculates that from September 2022 to October 2023, FSRUs will provide Europe with an extra 36.44 million tons per year, or the equivalent of 49.55 billion cubic meters per year, of new LNG import capacity.

What is the US LNG capacity for 2022? ›

U.S. LNG exports are on course to average close to 10 million cubic meters a month in 2022, according to Kpler, compared to an average of 4.6 million in 2021.

Who has the biggest pipeline in the world? ›

The Longest Oil Pipelines till date (2022)
  • Colonial Pipeline 5,500 mi (8,850 KM) Colonial Pipeline. ...
  • Druzhba Pipeline: 3,417 mi (5,500KM) ...
  • Eastern Siberia-Pacific Ocean Oil Pipeline: 3017 mi (4,857KM) ...
  • The Keystone Oil Pipeline: 2,151 mi (3,462 KM) ...
  • 5 .

What did Biden do to the Alaska pipeline? ›

President Joe Biden's administration on Wednesday recommended a scaled-down version of a major oil drilling project in the North Slope of Alaska, taking a step toward approving the $8 billion Willow plan that climate groups have long condemned.

Why can't we get oil from Alaska? ›

Alaska is at a structural disadvantage compared to the Lower 48,” Tsafos said, noting that oil extraction projects in the state tend to be bigger and take longer to develop, compared to projects in states like Texas.


1. Williams CEO: Lack of Gas Pipelines Will Hurt US Consumers
(Bloomberg Television)
2. Pipelines vs Powerlines: The Economics of Energy Distribution
(Edmonton Region Hydrogen HUB)
3. Russia resumes gas flows through Nord Stream 1 pipeline
(CNBC Television)
4. Gas pipeline from Russia to Europe restarts after shutting down for maintenance
(CBS News)
5. Nord Stream 2 Pipeline: European gas and Russia’s economic weapon
(Intelligence Fusion)
6. Gazprom says it can’t guarantee functioning of Nord Stream gas pipeline
(EU Debates | eudebates.tv)


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