Ready For A Revamp

2035 is only 16 years away, and if projections are accurate, we will see a country that looks much different than today. According to the American Petroleum Institute (API), by 2035 natural gas production will nearly double to over 130 Bcfd (3.6 x 109 m3/d), requiring US$12.3 to US$19 billion in annual capital investment for oil, gas, and natural gas liquids (NGLs) infrastructure development. Even more optimistically, the Interstate Natural Gas Association of America estimates that North American midstream operators will spend an estimated US$27.5 billion annually on oil, gas, and NGL infrastructure over the next 20 years. Both estimates signal added growth for the nation that has already increased petroleum and natural gas production by nearly 60% since 2008.

Industry investments will be allocated to 218,000 to 240,000 miles (350,000 to 386,000 km) of gathering lines with 23 to 29 million hp (17.1 to 21.6 million kW) of compression. After moving hydrocarbon products to processing plants, between 27,000 and 45,000 miles (43,000 and 73,000 km) of transmission and distribution pipelines with 10 to 12 million hp (7.4 to 8.9 million kW) of compression will be replaced or added throughout the period.2 Currently, transmission lines total hundreds of thousands of miles to connect upstream production with downstream refining, processing, and distribution facilities.

For many applications, the industrial world will be increasingly powered by natural gas and renewable energy sources. This bodes well for the gas compression industry, which will be responsible for engineering lower-emission and higher-power engines as well as improving gas turbine compressors and adopting reciprocating compressors. From coast to coast, this will be a nation largely powered by natural gas. The burden of increased compression falls on the compressor stations themselves. There are more than 1360 compressor stations operating on over …

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 This article appears in the August 2019 issue of Gas Compression Magazine. You can read the entire article right now by clicking the link above.

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