Local natural gas utilities represent the final step in the natural gas delivery process — distribution to local customers.
Local natural gas utilities receive their natural gas supply through delivery points known as “utility transfer stations,” which are positioned along large gas-carrying interstate and intrastate transmission pipelines. Transfer stations are owned, operated and maintained by the local natural gas utility and mark the point at which it assumes official control of the gas.
After the natural gas passes through the transfer station and then to “city gates,” the local natural gas utility moves the gas through an extensive network of small-diameter distribution pipes and services, which carry the natural gas directly into homes, offices, schools, hospitals, and other buildings. There are 2.4 million miles of distribution and service pipeline in the United States. The distribution network also includes measurement and pressure regulators, corrosion control equipment, and valves and meters, all of which must be operated, maintained and upgraded by the local natural gas utility.