Gas Supply

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Gas Supply


the organized delivery and distribution of gas fuel to serve the needs of the national economy. The following gases are supplied: natural gas fuels, manufactured gases produced during the thermal reprocessing of solid and liquid fuels in gas generators and heat-treatment furnaces, and liquefied gases produced at natural-gasoline and oil refineries during the refining of petroleum and by-product gases.

Natural gas is a very complete and economical type of fuel and is a valuable raw material for the chemical industry. The importance of manufactured gases, which are less economical and more difficult to process, has been declining since the discovery of large natural gas resources in the USSR.

The largest users of natural gas are steam power plants and enterprises of various industrial sectors (such as machine building, ferrous and nonferrous metallurgy, and the building materials industry). In the municipal economy, gas is used for cooking food (in residential buildings and public catering establishments), for the technical needs of municipal-utility service enterprises, for the heating of water to be used for municipal-utility and sanitary-hygienic purposes, and for the heating, ventilating, and air conditioning of residential and public buildings. The total natural gas consumption in the municipal economy of the USSR in 1970 was 24.1 billion cu m, that is, an increase of 1.8 times over 1965; by 1975 it will total approximately 40 billion cu m.

Cities and industrial enterprises are supplied with natural and artificial gases by main gas pipelines, which transport the gas from the locations of its extraction or production to the consumers. The delivery of gas to a populated area or an industrial location takes place at a distribution control point, where the gas pressure is reduced to a level permitted by the appropriate standards, and the gas is then fed into the municipal gas distribution system or to an industrial enterprise. Gas supply systems may be either centralized or decentralized. In centralized systems, gas is distributed to consumers by a municipal gas distribution system; in decentralized systems, it is distributed from local gas-generating plants or through the use of vessels (tanks or cylinders) filled with liquefied gas. Local systems are commonly used to supply gas to residential buildings and municipal-utility enterprises in small towns and settlements, especially those located at considerable distances from main gas pipelines.

Liquefied gases are transported from natural-gasoline refineries to consumers by means of pipelines, railroad tank cars, tank trucks, and cylinders; special ships, called gas tankers, have been developed for transporting liquefied gases by sea. Liquefied gas is delivered over long distances mainly by railroad tank cars. Tank trucks with capacities of 12-15 cu m (4 cu m capacities for short distances) are used in the USSR for hauling liquefied gases from plants and from bases set up for groups of plants. Liquefied-gas cylinders are generally transported in specially equipped vehicles.

Underground gas storage reservoirs are created near large cities for dependable operation of the gas supply system.

Low-rise residential buildings and small municipal enterprises are usually supplied with gas from gas cylinder installations consisting of one or two liquefied-gas cylinders, a pressure regulator, and gas units and appliances (stove or water heater). Installations with one cylinder are placed in the same location as the gas device or appliance they serve; two-cylinder units are installed in a metal cabinet located on a wall on the outside of the building. Multistory buildings are supplied with gas from grouped gas-cylinder installations and installations consisting of underground tanks. Gas is delivered to the gas appliances in buildings by gas piping systems similar to those used for supplying natural gas.

The supply of gas to cities, rural populated areas, and industrial enterprises and the further expansion of natural gas utilization in other areas raise the level of industrial efficiency and improve the living conditions of the population. At the same time, the high efficiency of gas devices and appliances reduces fuel consumption for technological and municipal-utility needs, lowers the proportion of other types of fuel in the fuel balance, and relieves railroad and water transportation facilities. The conversion of heat and electric power plants and boiler rooms from dirty ashbearing fuels to gas and the use of liquefied gas as a fuel for motor transport help to provide cleaner air in cities.


Staskevich, N. L. Spravochnoe rukovodstvo po gazosnabzheniiu. Leningrad, 1960.
Demidov, G. V. Gorodskoe gazovoe khoziaistvo, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1964.
Staskevich, N. L., P. B. Maizel’s, and D. la. Vigdorchik. Spravochnik po szhizhennym uglevodorodnym gazam. Leningrad, 1964.
Kortunov, A. K. Gazovaia promyshlennost’ SSSR. Moscow, 1967.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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