The view from downstream.

From Ben Kirkman

The Downstream Industry has proven an area of significant growth for Kelton, Measurement Consultant and UK Country Manager, Ben Kirkman, shares his insight…

What is the Downstream Gas Industry?

The National Transmission System (NTS) is the main artery of the UK downstream natural gas grid owned and operated by National Grid Gas Plc.

It is the hidden grid that runs alongside the very visible electricity grid. Extending out from this are many smaller pipelines forming Local Distribution Zones (LDZs) operated by Distribution Networks (DNs) to transport gas to UK consumers.

The NTS consists of around 25 compressor stations, 70 supply points to large gas users (such as power stations) and 124 LDZ Offtakes.

The operation of these downstream networks is closely regulated by Ofgem (Office for Gas and Electricity Markets) to drive value for consumers. This creates a stable market that is not affected by the fluctuations in the wholesale gas price.

What do Kelton Offer?

Kelton undertake routine metering audits at LDZ offtakes on behalf of all the DNs. This provides the business with in-depth knowledge of the systems and the needs of the clients.

Kelton offer metering consultancy services to the downstream industry at all custody-transfer metering points, including design and uncertainty calculations, FEED studies, technical assurance of metering projects and reviews of engineering procedures.

To ensure regular contact with the downstream industry, Kelton organise a quarterly Metering Technical Forum to promote collaboration and help to resolve industry-wide problems.

Future Markets

Ofgem also provides a significant budget for R&D projects which can be accessed by anyone involved in the downstream industry.

There are many ongoing innovative projects under this scheme that provide opportunities for UK businesses (such as Alderley) to become world-leaders in areas such as Carbon Capture & Storage (CCS) and Hydrogen (more information at

These projects form part of the Gas Goes Green Pathway to Net Zero bringing together all five of Britain’s gas network companies (Cadent, National Grid, Northern Gas Networks, SGN & Wales & West Utilities) to turn Britain’s hydrogen ambitions into reality, as set out in the Prime Minister’s November 2020 ’10 Point Plan for A Green Industrial Revolution’Driving the growth of low carbon hydrogen and Investing in carbon capture, usage and storage. 

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