Gas pipelines: Strategic Infrastructure

The yellow pipes of a gas pipeline against the snowy backdrop of the Andes

Gas pipelines are the most widely used means of transporting natural gas from producing regions to demand centers. Total deploys these major networks both onshore and subsea, consistently enforcing the highest standard of safety.

Natural gas is a diffuse form of energy with a volume about 1,000 times that of oil for an equivalent heating power. Its transmission therefore requires appropriate technical solutions, such as gas pipelines. This infrastructure is highly engineered and challenging to build, maintain and monitor. It entails massive investments.

Total: a Key Pipeline Operator in Europe and Latin America

We seek every opportunity to leverage the synergies resulting from the integration of our exploration & production and midstream gas operations (i.e., transport, storage and marketing).

  • In Western Europe, we contributed to the development of the subsea pipeline systems that transport our North Sea gas production from the United Kingdom, Norway and the Netherlands. We currently have interests in more than 12,000 kilometers of high-pressure gas pipelines in Europe.
  • In South America, we are shareholders in several transmission companies in Argentina, Chile and Brazil. These companies together operate some 9,000 kilometers of pipelines supplying gas from Bolivian and Argentine reserves to these three national markets.

Gas Highways, Linking Fields to Markets

Historically, the natural gas market has been structured regionally, based on production, to serve three major consumer hubs: North America, Europe and Asia.

Once the extracted gas has been processed to meet commercial specifications, it is transported by high-pressure pipelines. These are generally made of steel pipe ranging from 40 to 120 cm in diameter. As it flows along these "highways," at a rate of 30 km/h, the gas is recompressed at stations spaced every 200 km. Pressure is maintained at 45 to 80 bar. A gas pipeline one meter in diameter transports about twenty billion cubic meters of gas per year — equivalent to the amount of energy generated by twenty 1,300-MW power plants.

High-pressure gas pipelines supply storage facilities, major industrial gas consumers and electric power plants. The low-pressure gas pipelines of the distribution grid supply gas to other customers such as businesses, local utilities and homes.

A gas pipeline one meter in diameter transports about twenty billion cubic meters of gas per year — equivalent to the amount of energy generated by twenty 1,300-MW power plants.
  • Trading & Shipping

    Trading-Shipping

    Total’s Trading & Shipping business is responsible for buying, selling and shipping oil and gas.

    Secure, Flexible Supply
  • LNG, an Alternative to Gas Pipelines

    Challenges

    Liquefied natural gas combines the cleanness and energy efficiency of natural gas with the flexibility of liquid hydrocarbon shipping.

    A Thriving Sector