Optimization Problems in Natural Gas Transportation Systems: A State-of-the-Art Review

This paper provides a review on the most relevant research works conducted to solve natural gas transportation problems via pipeline systems. The literature reveals three major groups of gas pipeline systems, namely gathering, transmission, and distribution systems. In this work, we aim at presenting a detailed discussion of the efforts made in optimizing natural gas transmission lines. There is certainly a vast amount of research done over the past few years on many decision-making problems in the natural gas industry and, specifically, in pipeline network optimization. In this work, we present a state-of-the-art survey focusing on specific categories that include short-term basis storage (line-packing problems), gas quality satisfaction (pooling problems), and compressor station modeling (fuel cost minimization problems). We discuss both steady-state and transient optimization models highlighting the modeling aspects and the most relevant solution approaches known to date. Although the literature on natural gas transmission system problems is quite extensive, this is, to the best of our knowledge, the first comprehensive review or survey covering this specific research area on natural gas transmission from an operations research perspective. The paper includes a discussion of the most important and promising research areas in this field. Hence, this paper can serve as a useful tool to gain insight into the evolution of the many real-life applications and most recent advances in solution methodologies arising from this exciting and challenging research area of decision-making problems.


Applied Energy, 147:536-555, 2015 (doi: 10.1016/j.apenergy.2015.03.017)