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Natural gas is considered by many to be the most important energy source for the future. The objectives of energy commodities strategic problems can be mainly related to natural gas and deal with the definition of the "optimal" gas pipelines design which includes a number of related sub problems such as: Gas stations (compression) location and Gas storage locations. Needless to say these problems involve amount of money of the order of magnitude of the tens of billions € and often these problems can be a multi-countries problem. On From the other handeconomic side, the natural gas consumption is expected to continue to grow linearly to approximately 153 trillion cubic feet in 2030, which is an average growth rate of about 1.6 percent per year. Because of the properties of natural gas, pipelines were the only way to transport it from the production sites to the demanding places, before the concept of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG). The transportation of natural gas via pipelines remains still very economical.

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Typically, the mathematical programming formulations of these optimization problems contain a lot of nonlinear/nonconvex /and even nonsmooth constraints and objective functions because of the underlying physic of the gas flows that needs to be considered. The classic constraints are the so-called Weymouth panhandle equations, which are a potential-type set of constraints and relate the pressure and flow rate through an arc (m,n) of the pipeline.

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