We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Compressor Station?

By J.M. Densing
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A compressor station is a large facility that is an important part of the process of transporting natural gas from one place to another. Natural gas travels long distances through a network of huge pipelines &mdahs; to travel through this pipeline, the gas must be under pressure. Compressor stations are located at intervals along pipelines where the natural gas is pressurized in order to keep it moving. They actually pump the gas through the pipeline by compressing it at certain distance intervals.

When a pipeline is built, compressor stations are also constructed along the route, usually every 40 to 100 miles (64 to 161 km). The action of the compressor station is actually what moves the gas. As the station compresses the gas, it pushes it into a small space. This gives it a very high pressure as it leaves the station, and the gas moves by expanding through the pipe and relieving the pressure. When it arrives at the next station, it is back to a much lower pressure, ready to be compressed again in order to continue its journey.

A compressor station usually operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year, to keep natural gas moving. The average station is able to move up to 830 million cubic feet (23.5 million cubic meters) of natural gas. These stations have skilled workers operating the machinery and need to be monitored constantly by highly trained personnel. Monitoring is extremely important in order to ensure the safety of the workers and of the surrounding area since natural gas can be dangerous and explosive if mishandled.

The natural gas enters the compressor station at the suction header under low pressure. It then undergoes a cleaning process in liquid separators. Scrubbers, filters and strainers remove any impurities from the natural gas such as dirt particles or liquid from condensation. The natural gas needs to be in a gaseous state, but sometimes liquid condenses out of it from temperature changes. The liquid is collected and stored for proper disposal or possible sale.

From this point, the gas travels through the compressor station to the compressors, also known as pumps. The compressors are driven by engines that are known as prime movers. Turbines or electric motors can be used to operate centrifugal compressors, which compress the gas by spinning it at high speeds using a device such as a giant fan blade and then pushing it through a small exit pipe.

Another option is a reciprocating engine paired with a reciprocating compressor, which operates much like an enormous car engine. The gas is compressed by giant pistons in cylinder cases on one side of the engine. Once compressed and pressurized the natural gas exits the compressor station and continues its journey.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.