Transportation to Market
Delivering natural gas reliably to consumers requires an integrated system of major interstate pipelines, storage facilities and local distribution companies.
Fortunately, the United States has extensive existing natural gas infrastructure to support the country's commitment to developing our domestic sources of natural gas and to help meet our complex energy demands.
Over the past 60 years, billions of dollars have been invested to build nearly 1.5 million miles of long-distance and local distribution natural gas pipelines made of high-strength carbon steel. Together, they service nearly every corner of the lower 48 states.
During the past decade alone, more than 16,000 miles of high-volume interstate natural gas pipelines have been added to the existing system. These have linked the nation's domestic natural gas supplies to key markets and expanded capacity to receive imported liquefied natural gas (LNG) from around the globe.
These enhancements help meet service demands during peak periods, equipment outages or weather-related disruptions.
Natural gas storage is another critical component of our nation's infrastructure and is instrumental in helping to meet the fluctuating demands of the energy market. The United States currently has approximately 400 natural gas storage facilities with total working storage capacity of around 4.3 TCF – roughly 20 percent of U.S. annual gas demand.
Between 2006 and 2010, gas storage capacity increased 22 percent to handle increased seasonal heating and cooling demands for a growing customer base. Also, the additional storage supports natural gas in its role to provide reliable peaking power needs and to back up intermittent wind and solar generation.