Midstream Oil and Gas: How A Gas Compressor Station Works

Compressor Station in the Powder River Basin

Compressor Station in the Powder River Basin, Photo by Jeremy Buckingham

What is a Natural Gas Compressor Station?

Natural gas compressor stations play a vital role in the midstream oil and gas sector. Companies construct these stations along natural gas pipelines and use them to compress gas so it can continue flowing downstream to its final destination, which may be a processing facility, a storage tank, or a retail or utility companies.

There are a few key components that comprise a typical station:

  • Compressor. A compressor is a large engine that uses positive displacement to compress gas. A compressor station may have one or multiple compressors on site. Of course, this depends on pipeline needs.
  • Scrubbers and filters. Compressor stations also use scrubbers and filters to knock out water, impurities, and hydrocarbons such as natural gas liquids (NGLs) from the gas. These elements are processed out and disposed of (impurities) or piped to sales lines (NGLs).
  • Gas cooling systems. Compressing natural gas causes its temperature to rise. Midstream companies often run the gas through gas cooling systems that lower the gas temperature in order to prevent pipeline damage.

Compressor stations are typically located every 40-100 miles along a natural gas pipelines. However, the frequency of the stations depends on the makeup of the gas and the topography of the region.

Kimray Products for a Natural Gas Compressor

Kimray’s line of midstream solutions—including ball valves, linear and rotary control valves, and actuators—provide accurate regulation of a natural gas compressor station.

The Kimray Balanced Regulator is also an ideal solution for holding a tight suction control on a compressor inlet. This regulator is designed to keep your inlet pressure steady even when the upstream pressure is more volatile.  

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