How does gas get to your house

It’s so easy to take for granted that when we flick a switch, gas ignites and helps us to keep warm, take a hot shower or cook our dinner.

But where does that gas come from and how does it arrive in your home? Let’s take a look at just exactly how gas gets to your house. There are three major processes required to get gas from underground to your home – Production, Transportation and Consumption.

Production

In the upstream sector, gas producers:

  1. Search for gas on land or under the ocean bed.
  2. Once gas has been discovered, drill wells to bring that gas to the surface.
  3. The gas in processed in natural gas plants to make sure it is suitable for use by the end customers.

The processed gas has no smell – that comes later.

Transportation

Once the gas has been processed, a gas transporter transports the gas through giant pipelines to cities and other industries e.g. to gas-fired power plants.

In Australia, these pipelines are mostly buried underground, so you won’t ordinarily come across them in everyday life. 

Along the way, odorant is injected into the gas so that we can smell it. This makes it easier for us to detect when the gas has been turned on, or when there may be a leak.

Consumption

Finally, gas distributors receive the gas at gas metering stations, which are generally located on city outskirts. The gas distributors transport the gas through smaller pipelines under city streets to homes and businesses. Each state may have a number of different gas distributors.

At your property, the gas first enters your gas meter, which records exactly how much gas you use in any given period. The pipes on your property then carry the gas to your appliances or gas points throughout your home, whether it’s your oven, cooktop, hot water system, gas heater, or straight to your outdoor gas BBQ.