Efficient management of the natural gas business chain - based on pipeline transmission networks and taking into consideration the interaction among the main players (e.g., shippers, suppliers, transmission companies and local distribution companies) - requires the use of decision-making support systems. These support systems maximise resources and mitigate contingencies due to gas supply shortfalls, operational contingencies from scheduled and non-scheduled equipment outages and market demand shortfalls. This study presents a practical use for technologies, such as a thermohydraulic simulation of gas flow through pipelines, a Monte Carlo simulation for compressor station availability studies, an economic risk evaluation related to potential revenue losses and contractual penalties and linear programming for the maximisation of income and the minimisation of contractual penalties. The proposed system allows the optimum availability level to be defined and maintained by the Transporter (by installing reserve capacity) to mitigate losses related to revenue and contractual penalties. It also economically identifies, quantifies and justifies the installation of stand-by compressor units that can mitigate the Transporter’s exposure to losses caused by capacity shortfalls as a consequence of scheduled and non-scheduled outages. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd.