Gathering, Transmission and Distribution

Canada has one of the world’s largest pipeline networks delivering natural gas from producing areas in western and eastern Canada to markets across North America. Canada is a part of an integrated North American network for natural gas. Gas storage is part of the overall system. Storage helps protect against supply disruption, price changes, and demand spikes caused by weather.

Major Natural Gas Transmission Pipelines

Gathering & Processing

Pipeline gathering systems move raw gas to processing facilities in producing areas. Gas processing plants range from small portable facilities to large plants that remove impurities, hydrocarbon byproducts, sulphur, and carbon dioxide. Purified natural gas is compressed before being put into pipelines for transmission.

Transmission

Gas is moved through the transmission system from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure using compressors. Natural gas transmission pipelines may be as large as several metres in diameter. Natural gas moves at up to 40 kilometres per hour through these large pipelines. Compressors are used along the pipelines at regular intervals to keep the pressure high and the gas flowing. Transmission pipelines deliver natural gas to local distribution utilities at city gate stations for delivery to the end users.

Distribution

Distribution utilities deliver gas to customers through local distribution networks made up of control and measurement stations, mains, service lines, and customer meters. Pipes in local distribution networks range from 15 to 508 millimetres in diameter. Distribution utilities are regulated companies that deliver natural gas to customers at a rate based on the cost of service. The cost of the natural-gas commodity is passed through to the customers with no additional charge.