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About U.S. Natural Gas Pipelines - Transporting Natural Gas           
 based on data through 2007/2008 with selected updates

Natural Gas Import/Export Pipelines

As of the close of 2008 the United States has 58 locations where natural gas can be exported or imported. 

  • 24 locations are for imports only
  • 18 locations are for exports only
  • 13 locations are for both imports and exports
  • 8 locations are liquefied natural gas (LNG) import facilities
Imported natural gas in 2007 represented almost 16 percent of the gas consumed in the United States annually, compared with 11 percent just 12 years ago. 

Forty-eight natural gas pipelines, representing approximately 28 billion cubic feet (Bcf) per day of capacity, import and export natural gas between the United States and Canada or Mexico. 

Between 1990 and 2008, import pipeline capacity from Canada increased by 181 percent (to 18.1 Bcf per day) and from Mexico by 147 percent (to 0.9 Bcf per day). During the same period, export capacity to Canada more than tripled (to 4.3 Bcf per day) while export capacity to Mexico quadrupled (to 3.6 Bcf per day).

In 2007, the United States received 99.8 percent of its pipeline- imported natural gas from Canada with the remainder from Mexico. Canada also accounted for 60 percent of pipeline natural gas exports, and Mexico, 40 percent.

In 2007, the top five import points accounted for about 70 percent of all natural gas brought into the United States via pipeline. They are:

  • Port of Morgan, Montana  (Northern Border Pipeline)
  • Eastport, Idaho  (Gas Transmission Northwest)
  • Sherwood, North Dakota (Alliance Pipeline Company)
  • Noyes, Minnesota  (Great Lakes Gas Transmission Company)
  • Noyes, Minnesota (Viking Gas Transmission Company)
Five relatively small border crossing points (four in Montana and one in North Dakota) were also installed during the past decade, primarily to facilitate the movement of local production gas to processing plants or to pipeline receipt points located on the opposite side of the border.  The relatively small level of natural gas flowing through these points is not counted as imports to the respective receiving country.

U.S. natural gas import and export activities are regulated under Section 3 of the Natural Gas Act of 1938 by the U.S. Department of Energy and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).   While FERC is responsible for review and approval of the actual siting, construction, and operation of natural gas import and export facilities, DOE is responsible for authorization of the contracts governing the importing and exporting of natural gas. 

U.S. Natural Gas Import & Export Locations Small Map of Import and Export Locations
                  click to enlarge

More information related to imports and exports…

U.S./Canada/Mexico Natural Gas Import/Export Points List - table

         Other Natural Gas Transportation Topics:

  Interstate - Pipeline systems that cross one or more States
- Pipeline systems that operate only within State boundaries
  Network Design - Basic concepts and parameters
  Pipeline Capacity & Usage
  Regulatory Authorities
  Transportation, Processing, & Gathering
  Transportation Corridors - Major interstate routes
  Underground Natural Gas Storage - Includes regional discussion
  Pipeline Development & Expansion