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What Compression Does and Where It’s Used


Jan. 16 2017, Updated 9:07 a.m. ET

What is compression?

USA Compression Partners (USAC) defined compression in its investor presentation as “a mechanical process where natural gas from a lower pressure is ‘smashed down’ (compressed) to a smaller volume, which results in a higher pressure.”

The description added that “in a nutshell, compression is used to boost the pressure of a volume of gas from a lower suction pressure to a resulting higher discharge pressure, shrinking the volume.”

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Where is compression used?

Compression services are utilized all along the natural gas production cycle to the transport of gas to the end user. Archrock Partners (APLP) utilizes 80% of its compression fleet in natural gas production, gathering, and processing processes.

As the above graph shows, the remaining 20% of APLP’s fleet is utilized in gas lift processes in crude oil wells.

Now let’s next analyze factors that could drive demand for compression services in the US.


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