The following are the longest natural gas pipelines in the world:
West-East Gas Pipeline: 8,707km
The West-East Gas Pipeline is operated by PetroChina, which has a 72.26% interest in PetroChina Pipelines. Upon full completion, it will top the list of the world’s longest pipelines. It comprises a main trunkline (phase I) and eight branches. Phase I connects the Tarim Basin gas fields in Xianjing to China’s biggest city, Shanghai, stretching 4,000km. The pipeline passes through no fewer than 66 cities in ten provinces, and the gas is used for electricity production in the Yangtze River Delta.
Originally having the capacity to hold 12 billion cubic metres of natural gas per year, the pipeline was expanded to 17 billion cubic metres in 2007. Ten new gas compressor stations were built to support the extra gas. The total cost of the project was estimated to be $5.7bn.
Phases II and III of the pipeline both stem from the main pipeline, spreading from Xianjing in a number of different directions. The capacity of the second phase pipeline is 30 billion cubic metres of gas per year and cost the company $20bn, while phase III can hold another 30 billion cubic metres annually.
Still under construction, the National Unification Gas Pipeline (GASUN) will connect the Gasbol pipeline in Bolivia with the northern Amazon and northeast Brazilian states. With a total length of almost 5,000km, the first stage of the pipeline stretches 2,260km from Mato Grosso do Sul in central Brazil to the state of Maranhão, passing through the capital Brasilia. Construction began in 2006 and was scheduled to be completed in 2007.
The Gasbol pipeline connects Bolivia’s reserves in the Rio Grande region to Porto Alegre on Brazil’s southeast coast, stretching 3,150km across two pipelines, with a maximum capacity of 11 billion cubic metres of natural gas. The entire project is expected to be completed in 2026 at a cost of $2.48bn.
Yamal-Europe Pipeline: 4,196km
The Yamal-Europe pipeline connects the natural gas reserves of Western Siberia in Russia to Austria, stretching 4,196km across Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Slovakia. Yamal II redirects from Belarus through Poland to Austria.
With a diameter of 142cm, Yamal-Europe is considered the world’s widest pipeline, able to carry 33 billion cubic metres of natural gas through 14 compressor stations. The majority of the pipeline, which runs through Russia, is owned by national energy giant Gazprom.
Trans-Saharan Pipeline: 4,127km
Still in the development stages, the Trans-Saharan pipeline is planned to stretch 4,127km from the gas-rich lands offshore and onshore Nigeria to the Hassi R’Mel gas fields in Northern Algeria. From there, it splits into the three separate pipelines destined for the European market.
If completed, the pipeline will transport 30 billion cubic metres of gas across the Sahara desert. It is estimated to cost around $13bn in total for pipeline construction and gas gathering stations.