We are the major natural gas distributor in Manitoba. Using a vast network of transmission and distribution pipelines, we deliver natural gas to 258,000 customers in nearly 100 communities across southern Manitoba.
In an average year, about 2.1 billion cubic metres of natural gas are delivered through our system. Nearly 100 per cent of that natural gas is brought in from Alberta by a main-line transmission pipeline owned by TransCanada Pipelines Limited (TCPL).
As a distribution company, we purchase natural gas from suppliers and deliver it to Manitoba consumers. In order to move the gas to where it is needed, we maintain 1,741 kilometres of transmission pipeline (measuring from 5 cm to over 40 cm in diameter) and 7,105 km of distribution pipeline (3 to 40 cm). Natural gas is propelled along transmission pipelines at pressures of 200 pounds per square inch (psi) to 1,000 psi. To keep it moving, the natural gas is compressed periodically as it flows through pipelines by compressor stations. These stations are located along the TCPL at intervals of approximately 160 km. When the gas is moved into distribution pipelines to be delivered to customers, the pressure is lowered to 60 psi at a regulating station. Before natural gas reaches the customer, the chemical mercaptan is added to give the odourless gas a readily detectable smell (like rotten eggs). This helps to reveal any possible leaks.
Natural gas, also known as methane, is a colourless, odourless fuel that burns cleaner than most other fossil fuels, such as coal or oil. It is produced by drilling into pockets of raw gas trapped in the earth by layers of impermeable rock. The raw gas is pumped to the surface and the impurities are removed. What remains is a reliable and versatile fuel that can be used for everything from heating homes to drying clothes.