The hydraulic characteristics, and system response to demands and supplies, of natural gas pipelines are substantially different from the flow characteristics of electric transmission systems. Pipelines must incorporate consideration of packing and drafting phenomena into their analyses. This is especially true for gas consumed in conjunction with electrical generation requirements, which typically exhibit sudden and substantial demands. These demands can cause pressure problems in the gas pipeline.

The pipeline controller must take this demand nature into account when planning pipeline operations, and should perform careful hydraulic analysis to determine the adequacy of his or her system to meet demands, the impact these demands have on both short- and long-term operations, and the environmental and safety issues involved.

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