The Network of Natural Gas

Authors: Jessica Wright*, Boston University
Topics: Coupled Human and Natural Systems
Keywords: Networks, Natural Gas, ArcGIS
Session Type: Poster
Day: 4/4/2019
Start / End Time: 9:55 AM / 11:35 AM
Room: Lincoln 2, Marriott, Exhibition Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Natural gas infrastructure around the world is a complex display of pipelines buried underneath roads and streets. The map of natural gas pipelines is a complex, interwoven, and sometimes redundant network that does not necessarily run in the most efficient manner. Recent events across the country have highlighted the devastation felt by gas customers when one part of the network is damaged. Downstream effects from a single disruptive point-source can lead to thousands of customers being without gas and/or heat in their homes. To address this problem, our team has completed a network analysis of the gas pipeline map to study issues of efficiency, resiliency, and vulnerability across the municipality of Brookline, Massachusetts. Using the pipeline map reported by the utility company, we have analyzed the network in an effort to prescribed a managed transition off of natural gas as a source of heat and power for homes in Brookline, MA. Through this managed transition off of gas, we have highlighted areas of the gas grid where redundancies in the network exist, identified areas where vulnerabilities persist that could leave thousands of homes without gas, and isolated the pipelines that could be taken off the network while still maintaining network functioning.

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