A novel algorithm is developed for analyzing and designing gas pipeline networks. The step-forward algorithm is very simple in that it does not require the use of matrix algebra as most existing algorithms do. The simplicity of the method is evidenced by the fact that smaller-sized pipeline networks can be analyzed with a programmable calculator. At the same time, the algorithm provides the means for analysis of any type of steady state gas network. The required input data structure is also quite simple in that no flow direction pre-assignment is necessary. In this work, guidelines are developed to enable the user to determine the minimum data required for analyzing a particular system and to help the user define a well-posed problem.

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