Back Pressure Regulator vs Pressure Reducing Regulator: What’s the Difference?

In oil and gas production applications, it can be hard to tell the difference between a back pressure regulator and a pressure reducing regulator.

Gas Back Pressure Regulator

Gas Back Pressure Regulator

Gas Pressure Reducing Regulator

Gas Pressure Reducing Regulator

High Pressure Back Pressure Regulator

High Pressure Back Pressure Regulator

High Pressure Pressure Reducing Regulator

High Pressure Pressure Reducing Regulator

So, What’s the Difference?

Back Pressure Regulator is a type of control valve designed to hold pressure on production vessels and release pressure downstream when a set point is reached.

This pressurizes the vessels so that the opening of a control valve or dump valve creates a pressure differential, causing the fluid to leave the vessel and go on the next destination in the process.

Applications for Back Pressure Regulators include:

  • Gas sales lines
  • Production vessels (e.g., Separators, heater treaters or free water knockouts)
  • Vent or flare lines
  • Any application where you need to hold back pressure

While a Back Pressure Regulator holds pressure on a vessel, a Pressure Reducing Regulator is designed to precisely regulate the flow of gas. It creates and holds a downstream set point.

As the name implies, the Pressure Reducing Regulator reduces upstream pressure, but allows it to flow through at a consistent, pre-determined rate.

Applications for Pressure Reducing Regulators include:

To learn more about these two products, check out the links below:


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Nathan Legrand serves as an Applications Technician at Kimray. He provides Kimray product training and works with producers to identify project solutions.

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