Minnesota Natural Gas Process

  1. How is natural gas delivered to my home?
  2. At what point in the process does the odorant get added? Why?
  3. Where does the natural gas come from?
  4. What materials are used to make transmission and distribution pipes?
  5. Do we have an adequate supply of natural gas in the U.S.?
  6. What percentage of my gas bill pays for the cost of natural gas?
  7. How many miles of pipe are there in Minnesota?
  8. For more information about natural gas go to:
  9. Investor-Owned Natural Gas Utilities Serving Minnesota

1. How is natural gas delivered to my home?

Natural gas comes to Minnesota through high-pressure transmission pipelines.  Local distribution companies (“LDCs”) connect with these transmission lines and pipe the natural gas to a community through their distribution systems.  Natural gas is delivered directly to customers from the distribution (“mains”) lines through service lines.  

2. At what point in the process does the odorant get added? Why?

Natural gas has no odor, so as a safety measure the LDC adds mercaptan to the natural gas at the LDC’s connection to the transmission line.  It acutally is the mercaptan one smells and associates as natural gas odor.  

3. Where does the natural gas come from?

Minnesota has no natural gas reserves of its own.  Therefore, Minnesota imports all of its natural gas, mostly from other places in the U.S. and Canada.  85 percent of natural gas consumed in the U.S. is produced in the U.S.

4. What materials are used to make transmission and distribution pipes?

Transmission pipelines are made of steel and are typically coated to ensure the pipe does not corrode.  Distribution and service lines are typically made from steel, iron, or plastic.  

5. Do we have an adequate supply of natural gas in the U.S.?

In the U.S. alone, there is an estimated 2,214 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas.[2]  At the current rate of consumption, this is enough natural gas to last for 85 years.

 

[2] U.S. Energy Information Administration, Frequently Asked Questions:  How Much Natural Gas Does the U.S. Have and How Long Will It Last?, http://www.eia.gov/tools/faqs/faq.cfm?id=58&t=8.  

6. What percentage of my gas bill pays for the cost of natural gas?

The wholesale cost of natural gas is passed on to customers – without markup – and is generally 60-70 percent of a customer’s gas bill.

7. How many miles of pipe are there in Minnesota?

There are 31,249 miles of natural gas pipeline in Minnesota.[1] 

 

[1] Am. Gas Ass’n, Natural Gas State Profiles: Minnesota Industry Facts, https://www.aga.org/knowledgecenter/facts-and-data/state-profiles-natural-gas?state=MN.

8. For more information about natural gas go to:

American Gas Association:                                         www.aga.org

US Energy Information Administration:                     www.eia.gov

US Dept. of Energy:                                                     www.energy.gov

9. Investor-Owned Natural Gas Utilities Serving Minnesota

CenterPoint Energy:                            http://www.CenterPointEnergy.com/home

Greater Minnesota Gas                      http://www.greatermngas.com/

Great Plains Natural Gas Co.             http://www.gpng.com/

Minnesota Energy Resources Co.     http://www.minnesotaenergyresources.com/

Xcel Energy                                         http://www.xcelenergy.com/