Pipeline transport is the long-distance transportation of a liquid or gas through a system of pipes—a pipeline—typically to a market area for consumption. The latest data from 2014 gives a total of slightly less than 2,175,000 miles (3,500,000 km) of pipeline in 120 countries of the world. The United States had 65%, Russia had 8%, and Canada had 3%, thus 75% of all pipeline were in these three countries.
Pipeline and Gas Journal's worldwide survey figures indicate that 118,623 miles (190,905 km) of pipelines are planned and under construction. Of these, 88,976 miles (143,193 km) represent projects in the planning and design phase; 29,647 miles (47,712 km) reflect pipelines in various stages of construction. Liquids and gases are transported in pipelines and any chemically stable substance can be sent through a pipeline. Pipelines exist for the transport of crude and refined petroleum, fuels – such as oil, natural gas and biofuels – and other fluids including sewage, slurry, water, beer, hot water or steam for shorter distances. Pipelines are useful for transporting water for drinking or irrigation over long distances when it needs to move over hills, or where canals or channels are poor choices due to considerations of evaporation, pollution, or environmental impact.
Oil pipelines are made from steel or plastic tubes which are usually buried. The oil is moved through the pipelines by pump stations along the pipeline. Natural gas (and similar gaseous fuels) are lightly pressurised into liquids known as Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs). Natural gas pipelines are constructed of carbon steel. Hydrogen pipeline transport is the transportation of hydrogen through a pipe. Pipelines conveying flammable or explosive material, such as natural gas or oil, pose special safety concerns and there have been various accidents. Pipelines can be the target of theft, vandalism, sabotage, or even terrorist attacks. In war, pipelines are often the target of military attacks.
It is uncertain when the first crude oil pipeline was built. Credit for the development of pipeline transport is disputed, with competing claims for Vladimir Shukhov and the Branobel company in the late 19th century, and the Oil Transport Association, which first constructed a 2-inch (51 mm) wrought iron pipeline over a 6-mile (9.7 km) track from an oil field in Pennsylvania to a railroad station in Oil Creek, in the 1860s. Pipelines are generally the most economical way to transport large quantities of oil, refined oil products or natural gas over land. For example, in 2014, pipeline transport of crude oil cost about $5 per barrel, while rail transport cost about $10 to $15 per barrel. Trucking has even higher costs due to the additional labor required; employment on completed pipelines represents only "1% of that of the trucking industry."
In the United States, 70% of crude oil and petroleum products are shipped by pipeline. (23% are by ship, 4% by truck, and 3% by rail) In Canada for natural gas and petroleum products, 97% are shipped by pipeline.
Natural gas (and similar gaseous fuels) are lightly pressurized into liquids known as Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs). Small NGL processing facilities can be located in oil fields so the butane and propane liquid under light pressure of 125 pounds per square inch (860 kPa), can be shipped by rail, truck or pipeline. Propane can be used as a fuel in oil fields to heat various facilities used by the oil drillers or equipment and trucks used in the oil patch. EG: Propane will convert from a gas to a liquid under light pressure, 100 psi, give or take depending on temperature, and is pumped into cars and trucks at less than 125 psi (860 kPa) at retail stations. Pipelines and rail cars use about double that pressure to pump at 250 psi (1,700 kPa).
The distance to ship propane to markets is much shorter, as thousands of natural-gas processing plants are located in or near oil fields. Many Bakken Basin oil companies in North Dakota, Montana, Manitoba and Saskatchewan gas fields separate the NGLs in the field, allowing the drillers to sell propane directly to small wholesalers, eliminating the large refinery control of product and prices for propane or butane.
The most recent major pipeline to start operating in North America, is a TransCanada natural gas line going north across the Niagara region bridges with Marcellus shale gas from Pennsylvania and others tied in methane or natural gas sources, into the Canadian province of Ontario as of the fall of 2012, supplying 16 percent of all the natural gas used in Ontario.
This new US-supplied natural gas displaces the natural gas formerly shipped to Ontario from western Canada in Alberta and Manitoba, thus dropping the government regulated pipeline shipping charges because of the significantly shorter distance from gas source to consumer. To avoid delays and US government regulation, many small, medium and large oil producers in North Dakota have decided to run an oil pipeline north to Canada to meet up with a Canadian oil pipeline shipping oil from west to east. This allows the Bakken Basin and Three Forks oil producers to get higher negotiated prices for their oil because they will not be restricted to just one wholesale market in the US. The distance from the biggest oil patch in North Dakota, in Williston, North Dakota, is only about 85 miles or 137 kilometers to the Canada–US border and Manitoba. Mutual funds and joint ventures are big investors in new oil and gas pipelines. In the fall of 2012, the US began exporting propane to Europe, known as LPG, as wholesale prices there are much higher than in North America. Additionally, a pipeline is currently being constructed from North Dakota to Illinois, commonly known as the Dakota Access Pipeline.
As more North American pipelines are built, even more exports of LNG, propane, butane, and other natural gas products occur on all three US coasts. To give insight, North Dakota Bakken region's oil production has grown by 600% from 2007 to 2015. North Dakota oil companies are shipping huge amounts of oil by tanker rail car as they can direct the oil to the market that gives the best price, and rail cars can be used to avoid a congested oil pipeline to get the oil to a different pipeline in order to get the oil to market faster or to a different less busy oil refinery. However, pipelines provide a cheaper means to transport by volume.
Enbridge in Canada is applying to reverse an oil pipeline going from east-to-west (Line 9) and expanding it and using it to ship western Canadian bitumen oil eastward. From a presently rated 250,000 barrels equivalent per day pipeline, it will be expanded to between one million to 1.3 million barrels per day. It will bring western oil to refineries in Ontario, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Quebec and New York by early 2014. New Brunswick will also refine some of this western Canadian crude and export some crude and refined oil to Europe from its deep water oil ULCC loading port.
Although pipelines can be built under the sea, that process is economically and technically demanding, so the majority of oil at sea is transported by tanker ships. Similarly, it is often more economically feasible to transport natural gas in the form of LNG, however the break-even point between LNG and pipelines would depend on the volume of natural gas and the distance it travels.
The Enbridge Sandpiper pipeline is proposed to transfer valuable oil from Western North Dakota through northwestern Minnesota. The pipeline will be 24-30 inches in diameter. It will carry over 300,000 barrels of oil a day with a volatility of 32.
The market size for oil and gas pipeline construction experienced tremendous growth prior to the economic downturn in 2008. After faltering in 2009, demand for pipeline expansion and updating increased the following year as energy production grew. By 2012, almost 32,000 miles of North American pipeline were being planned or under construction.. When pipelines are constrained, additional pipeline product transportation options may include the use of drag reducing agents, or by transporting product via truck or rail.
Oil pipelines are made from steel or plastic tubes with inner diameter typically from 4 to 48 inches (100 to 1,220 mm). Most pipelines are typically buried at a depth of about 3 to 6 feet (0.91 to 1.83 m). To protect pipes from impact, abrasion, and corrosion, a variety of methods are used. These can include wood lagging (wood slats), concrete coating, rockshield, high-density polyethylene, imported sand padding, and padding machines.
Crude oil contains varying amounts of paraffin wax and in colder climates wax buildup may occur within a pipeline. Often these pipelines are inspected and cleaned using pigging, the practice of using devices known as "pigs" to perform various maintenance operations on a pipeline. The devices are also known as "scrapers" or "Go-devils". "Smart pigs" (also known as "intelligent" or "intelligence" pigs) are used to detect anomalies in the pipe such as dents, metal loss caused by corrosion, cracking or other mechanical damage. These devices are launched from pig-launcher stations and travel through the pipeline to be received at any other station down-stream, either cleaning wax deposits and material that may have accumulated inside the line or inspecting and recording the condition of the line.
For natural gas, pipelines are constructed of carbon steel and vary in size from 2 to 60 inches (51 to 1,524 mm) in diameter, depending on the type of pipeline. The gas is pressurized by compressor stations and is odorless unless mixed with a mercaptan odorant where required by a regulating authority.
Highly toxic ammonia is theoretically the most dangerous substance to be transported through long-distance pipelines. However, incidents on ammonia-transporting lines are uncommon – unlike on industrial ammonia-processing equipment. A major ammonia pipeline is the Ukrainian Transammiak line connecting the TogliattiAzot facility in Russia to the exporting Black Sea-port of Odessa.
Pipelines have been used for transportation of ethanol in Brazil, and there are several ethanol pipeline projects in Brazil and the United States. The main problems related to the transport of ethanol by pipeline are its corrosive nature and tendency to absorb water and impurities in pipelines, which are not problems with oil and natural gas. Insufficient volumes and cost-effectiveness are other considerations limiting construction of ethanol pipelines. In the US minimal amounts of ethanol are transported by pipeline. Most ethanol is shipped by rail, the main alternatives being truck and barge. Delivering ethanol by pipeline is the most desirable option, but ethanol's affinity for water and solvent properties require the use of a dedicated pipeline, or significant cleanup of existing pipelines. Ethanol through the Central Florida Pipeline.
Proposed US Ethanol and Butanol pipelines
Slurry pipelines are sometimes used to transport coal or ore from mines. The material to be transported is closely mixed with water before being introduced to the pipeline; at the far end, the material must be dried. One example is a 525-kilometre (326 mi) slurry pipeline which is planned to transport iron ore from the Minas-Rio mine (producing 26.5 million tonnes per year) to the Port of Açu in Brazil. An existing example is the 85-kilometre (53 mi) Savage River Slurry pipeline in Tasmania, Australia, possibly the world's first when it was built in 1967. It includes a 366-metre (1,201 ft) bridge span at 167 metres (548 ft) above the Savage River.
Hydrogen pipeline transport is a transportation of hydrogen through a pipe as part of the hydrogen infrastructure. Hydrogen pipeline transport is used to connect the point of hydrogen production or delivery of hydrogen with the point of demand, with transport costs similar to CNG, the technology is proven. Most hydrogen is produced at the place of demand with every 50 to 100 miles (160 km) an industrial production facility. The 1938 Rhine-Ruhr 240-kilometre (150 mi) hydrogen pipeline is still in operation. As of 2004, there are 900 miles (1,400 km) of low pressure hydrogen pipelines in the US and 930 miles (1,500 km) in Europe.
Two millennia ago, the ancient Romans made use of large aqueducts to transport water from higher elevations by building the aqueducts in graduated segments that allowed gravity to push the water along until it reached its destination. Hundreds of these were built throughout Europe and elsewhere, and along with flour mills were considered the lifeline of the Roman Empire. The ancient Chinese also made use of channels and pipe systems for public works. The famous Han Dynasty court eunuch Zhang Rang (d. 189 AD) once ordered the engineer Bi Lan to construct a series of square-pallet chain pumps outside the capital city of Luoyang. These chain pumps serviced the imperial palaces and living quarters of the capital city as the water lifted by the chain pumps was brought in by a stoneware pipe system.
Pipelines are useful for transporting water for drinking or irrigation over long distances when it needs to move over hills, or where canals or channels are poor choices due to considerations of evaporation, pollution, or environmental impact.
Examples of significant water pipelines in South Australia are the Morgan-Whyalla pipeline (completed 1944) and Mannum-Adelaide pipeline (completed 1955) pipelines, both part of the larger Snowy Mountains scheme.
The Great Manmade River of Libya supplies 3,680,000 cubic metres (4,810,000 cu yd) of water each day to Tripoli, Benghazi, Sirte, and several other cities in Libya. The pipeline is over 2,800 kilometres (1,700 mi) long, and is connected to wells tapping an aquifer over 500 metres (1,600 ft) underground.
District heating or teleheating systems consist of a network of insulated feed and return pipes which transport heated water, pressurized hot water, or sometimes steam to the customer. While steam is hottest and may be used in industrial processes due to its higher temperature, it is less efficient to produce and transport due to greater heat losses. Heat transfer oils are generally not used for economic and ecological reasons. The typical annual loss of thermal energy through distribution is around 10%, as seen in Norway's district heating network.
District heating pipelines are normally installed underground, with some exceptions. Within the system, heat storage may be installed to even out peak load demands. Heat is transferred into the central heating of the dwellings through heat exchangers at heat substations, without mixing of the fluids in either system.
Bars in the Veltins-Arena, a major football ground in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, are interconnected by a 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) long beer pipeline. In Randers city in Denmark, the so-called Thor Beer pipeline was operated. Originally, copper pipes ran directly from the brewery, but when the brewery moved out of the city in the 1990s, Thor Beer replaced it with a giant tank.
The village of Hallstatt in Austria, which is known for its long history of salt mining, claims to contain "the oldest industrial pipeline in the world", dating back to 1595. It was constructed from 13,000 hollowed-out tree trunks to transport brine 40 kilometres (25 mi) from Hallstatt to Ebensee.
Between 1978 and 1994, a 15 km milk pipeline ran between the Dutch island of Ameland and Holwerd on the mainland, of which 8 km beneath the Wadden Sea. Every day, 30,000 litres of milk produced on the island were transported to be processed on the mainland. In 1994, the milk transport was abandoned.
In places, a pipeline may have to cross water expanses, such as small seas, straits and rivers. In many instances, they lie entirely on the seabed. These pipelines are referred to as "marine" pipelines (also, "submarine" or "offshore" pipelines). They are used primarily to carry oil or gas, but transportation of water is also important. In offshore projects, a distinction is made between a "flowline" and a pipeline. The former is an intrafield pipeline, in the sense that it is used to connect subsea wellheads, manifolds and the platform within a particular development field. The latter, sometimes referred to as an "export pipeline", is used to bring the resource to shore. The construction and maintenance of marine pipelines imply logistical challenges that are different from those onland, mainly because of wave and current dynamics, along with other geohazards.
In general, pipelines can be classified in three categories depending on purpose:
When a pipeline is built, the construction project not only covers the civil engineering work to lay the pipeline and build the pump/compressor stations, it also has to cover all the work related to the installation of the field devices that will support remote operation.
The pipeline is routed along what is known as a "right of way". Pipelines are generally developed and built using the following stages:
Field devices are instrumentation, data gathering units and communication systems. The field instrumentation includes flow, pressure, and temperature gauges/transmitters, and other devices to measure the relevant data required. These instruments are installed along the pipeline on some specific locations, such as injection or delivery stations, pump stations (liquid pipelines) or compressor stations (gas pipelines), and block valve stations.
The information measured by these field instruments is then gathered in local remote terminal units (RTU) that transfer the field data to a central location in real time using communication systems, such as satellite channels, microwave links, or cellular phone connections.
Pipelines are controlled and operated remotely, from what is usually known as the "Main Control Room". In this center, all the data related to field measurement is consolidated in one central database. The data is received from multiple RTUs along the pipeline. It is common to find RTUs installed at every station along the pipeline.
The SCADA system at the Main Control Room receives all the field data and presents it to the pipeline operator through a set of screens or Human Machine Interface, showing the operational conditions of the pipeline. The operator can monitor the hydraulic conditions of the line, as well as send operational commands (open/close valves, turn on/off compressors or pumps, change setpoints, etc.) through the SCADA system to the field.
To optimize and secure the operation of these assets, some pipeline companies are using what is called "Advanced Pipeline Applications", which are software tools installed on top of the SCADA system, that provide extended functionality to perform leak detection, leak location, batch tracking (liquid lines), pig tracking, composition tracking, predictive modeling, look ahead modeling, and operator training.
Pipeline networks are composed of several pieces of equipment that operate together to move products from location to location. The main elements of a pipeline system are:
Since oil and gas pipelines are an important asset of the economic development of almost any country, it has been required either by government regulations or internal policies to ensure the safety of the assets, and the population and environment where these pipelines run.
Pipeline companies face government regulation, environmental constraints and social situations. Government regulations may define minimum staff to run the operation, operator training requirements, pipeline facilities, technology and applications required to ensure operational safety. For example, in the State of Washington it is mandatory for pipeline operators to be able to detect and locate leaks of 8 percent of maximum flow within fifteen minutes or less. Social factors also affect the operation of pipelines. Product theft is sometimes also a problem for pipeline companies. In this case, the detection levels should be under two percent of maximum flow, with a high expectation for location accuracy.
Various technologies and strategies have been implemented for monitoring pipelines, from physically walking the lines to satellite surveillance. The most common technology to protect pipelines from occasional leaks is Computational Pipeline Monitoring or CPM. CPM takes information from the field related to pressures, flows, and temperatures to estimate the hydraulic behavior of the product being transported. Once the estimation is completed, the results are compared to other field references to detect the presence of an anomaly or unexpected situation, which may be related to a leak.
The American Petroleum Institute has published several articles related to the performance of CPM in liquids pipelines. The API Publications are:
Where a pipeline containing passes under a road or railway, it is usually enclosed in a protective casing. This casing is vented to the atmosphere to prevent the build-up of flammable gases or corrosive substances, and to allow the air inside the casing to be sampled to detect leaks. The casing vent, a pipe protruding from the ground, often doubles as a warning marker called a casing vent marker.
Pipelines are generally laid underground because temperature is less variable. Because pipelines are usually metal, this helps to reduce the expansion and shrinkage that can occur with weather changes. However, in some cases it is necessary to cross a valley or a river on a pipeline bridge. Pipelines for centralized heating systems are often laid on the ground or overhead. Pipelines for petroleum running through permafrost areas as Trans-Alaska-Pipeline are often run overhead in order to avoid melting the frozen ground by hot petroleum which would result in sinking the pipeline in the ground.
Maintenance of pipelines includes checking cathodic protection levels for the proper range, surveillance for construction, erosion, or leaks by foot, land vehicle, boat, or air, and running cleaning pigs, when there is anything carried in the pipeline that is corrosive.
US pipeline maintenance rules are covered in Code of Federal Regulations(CFR) sections, 49 CFR 192 for natural gas pipelines, and 49 CFR 195 for petroleum liquid pipelines.
In the US, onshore and offshore pipelines used to transport oil and gas are regulated by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). Certain offshore pipelines used to produce oil and gas are regulated by the Minerals Management Service (MMS). In Canada, pipelines are regulated by either the provincial regulators or, if they cross provincial boundaries or the Canada–US border, by the National Energy Board (NEB). Government regulations in Canada and the United States require that buried fuel pipelines must be protected from corrosion. Often, the most economical method of corrosion control is by use of pipeline coating in conjunction with cathodic protection and technology to monitor the pipeline. Above ground, cathodic protection is not an option. The coating is the only external protection.
Pipelines for major energy resources (petroleum and natural gas) are not merely an element of trade. They connect to issues of geopolitics and international security as well, and the construction, placement, and control of oil and gas pipelines often figure prominently in state interests and actions. A notable example of pipeline politics occurred at the beginning of the year 2009, wherein a dispute between Russia and Ukraine ostensibly over pricing led to a major political crisis. Russian state-owned gas company Gazprom cut off natural gas supplies to Ukraine after talks between it and the Ukrainian government fell through. In addition to cutting off supplies to Ukraine, Russian gas flowing through Ukraine—which included nearly all supplies to Southeastern Europe and some supplies to Central and Western Europe—was cut off, creating a major crisis in several countries heavily dependent on Russian gas as fuel. Russia was accused of using the dispute as leverage in its attempt to keep other powers, and particularly the European Union, from interfering in its "near abroad".
Because the solvent fraction of dilbit typically comprises volatile aromatics like naptha and benzene, reasonably rapid carrier vaporization can be expected to follow an above-ground spill—ostensibly enabling timely intervention by leaving only a viscous residue that is slow to migrate. Effective protocols to minimize exposure to petrochemical vapours are well-established, and oil spilled from the pipeline would be unlikely to reach the aquifer unless incomplete remediation were followed by the introduction of another carrier (e.g. a series of torrential downpours).
The introduction of benzene and other volatile organic compounds (collectively BTEX) to the subterranean environment compounds the threat posed by a pipeline leak. Particularly if followed by rain, a pipeline breach would result in BTEX dissolution and equilibration of benzene in water, followed by percolation of the admixture into the aquifer. Benzene can cause many health problems and is carcinogenic with EPA Maximum Contaminant Level (MCL) set at 5 μg/L for potable water. Although it is not well studied, single benzene exposure events have been linked to acute carcinogenesis. Additionally, the exposure of livestock, mainly cattle, to benzene has been shown to cause many health issues, such as neurotoxicity, fetal damage and fatal poisoning.
The entire surface of an above-ground pipeline can be directly examined for material breach. Pooled petroleum is unambiguous, readily spotted, and indicates the location of required repairs. Because the effectiveness of remote inspection is limited by the cost of monitoring equipment, gaps between sensors, and data that requires interpretation, small leaks in buried pipe can sometimes go undetected
Pipeline developers do not always prioritize effective surveillance against leaks. Buried pipes draw fewer complaints. They are insulated from extremes in ambient temperature, they are shielded from ultraviolet rays, and they are less exposed to photodegradation. Buried pipes are isolated from airborne debris, electrical storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, hail, and acid rain. They are protected from nesting birds, rutting mammals, and stray buckshot. Buried pipe is less vulnerable to accident damage (e.g. automobile collisions) and less accessible to vandals, saboteurs, and terrorists.
Previous work has shown that a 'worst-case exposure scenario' can be limited to a specific set of conditions. Based on the advanced detection methods and pipeline shut-off SOP developed by TransCanada, the risk of a substantive or large release over a short period of time contaminating groundwater with benzene is unlikely. Detection, shutoff, and remediation procedures would limit the dissolution and transport of benzene. Therefore, the exposure of benzene would be limited to leaks that are below the limit of detection and go unnoticed for extended periods of time. Leak detection is monitored through a SCADA system that assesses pressure and volume flow every 5 seconds. A pinhole leak that releases small quantities that cannot be detected by the SCADA system (<1.5% flow) could accumulate into a substantive spill. Detection of pinhole leaks would come from a visual or olfactory inspection, aerial surveying, or mass-balance inconsistencies. It is assumed that pinhole leaks are discovered within the 14-day inspection interval, however snow cover and location (e.g. remote, deep) could delay detection. Benzene typically makes up 0.1 – 1.0% of oil and will have varying degrees of volatility and dissolution based on environmental factors.
Even with pipeline leak volumes within SCADA detection limits, sometimes pipeline leaks are misinterpreted by pipeline operators to be pump malfunctions, or other problems. The Enbridge Line 6B crude oil pipeline failure in Marshall, Michigan on July 25, 2010 was thought by operators in Edmonton to be from column separation of the dilbit in that pipeline. The leak in wetlands along the Kalamazoo River was only confirmed 17 hours after it happened by a local gas company employee in Michigan.
Although the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has standard baseline incident frequencies to estimate the number of spills, TransCanada altered these assumptions based on improved pipeline design, operation, and safety. Whether these adjustments are justified is debatable as these assumptions resulted in a nearly 10-fold decrease in spill estimates. Given that the pipeline crosses 247 miles of the Ogallala Aquifer, or 14.5% of the entire pipeline length, and the 50-year life of the entire pipeline is expected to have between 11 – 91 spills, approximately 1.6 – 13.2 spills can be expected to occur over the aquifer. An estimate of 13.2 spills over the aquifer, each lasting 14 days, results in 184 days of potential exposure over the 50 year lifetime of the pipeline. In the reduced-scope worst-case exposure scenario, the volume of a pinhole leak at 1.5% of max flow-rate for 14 days has been estimated at 189,000 barrels or 7.9 million gallons of oil. According to PHMSA's incident database, only 0.5% of all spills in the last 10 years were >10,000 barrels.
Benzene is considered a light aromatic hydrocarbon with high solubility and high volatility. It is unclear how temperature and depth would impact the volatility of benzene, so assumptions have been made that benzene in oil (1% weight by volume) would not volatilize before equilibrating with water. Using the octanol-water partition coefficient and a 100-year precipitation event for the area, a worst-case estimate of 75 mg/L of benzene is anticipated to flow toward the aquifer. The actual movement of the plume through groundwater systems is not well described, although one estimate is that up to 4.9 billion gallons of water in the Ogallala Aquifer could become contaminated with benzene at concentrations above the MCL. The Final Environmental Impact Statement from the State Department does not include a quantitative analysis because it assumed that most benzene will volatilize.
One of the major concerns about dilbit is the difficulty in cleaning it up. Enbridge's Line 6B, a 30-inch crude oil pipeline, ruptured in Marshall, Michigan on July 25, 2010, mentioned above, spilled at least 843,000 gallons of dilbit. After detection of the leak, booms and vacuum trucks were deployed. Heavy rains caused the river to overtop existing dams, and carried dilbit 30 miles downstream before the spill was contained. Remediation work collected over 1.1 million gallons of oil and almost 200,000 cubic yards of oil-contaminated sediment and debris from the Kalamazoo River system. However, oil was still being found in affected waters in October 2012.
Fossil fuels can be transported by pipeline, rail, truck, or ship, though natural gas requires compression or liquification to make vehicle transport economical. For transport of crude oil via these four modes, various reports rank pipelines as proportionately causing less human death and property damage than rail and truck, spilling less oil than truck, and having more environmental impact than truck or rail (mostly due to impact on habitat; ship transport impacts marine habitat to a large degree).
Pipelines conveying flammable or explosive material, such as natural gas or oil, pose special safety concerns.
Pipelines can be the target of vandalism, sabotage, or even terrorist attacks. For example, between early 2011 and July 2012, a natural gas pipeline connecting Egpyt to Israel and Jordan was attacked 15 times. In war, pipelines are often the target of military attacks, as destruction of pipelines can seriously disrupt enemy logistics.
CISBOT (cast-iron sealing robot) is a cast iron pipe-repair robot that seals the joints in natural gas pipelines from the inside, thus extending their use for up to fifty years without unearthing the joints.EQT
EQT Corporation is a petroleum and natural gas exploration and pipeline transport company headquartered in EQT Plaza in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.Energy Transfer Partners
Energy Transfer Partners (now officially Energy Transfer LP) is a U.S. Fortune 500 natural gas and propane pipeline transport company headquartered in Dallas, Texas. It was founded in 1995 by Ray Davis and Kelcy Warren, who remains Chairman and CEO. It is the parent company of Dakota Access, LLC, the company responsible for developing the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.Energy Transfer is a master limited partnership; it owns the general partner and 100% of the IDRs of Regency Energy Partners LP and about 26.3 million RGP limited partner units. Energy Transfer also owns a non-controlling interest in a corporation that owns Southern Union Company and Sunoco, Inc. The Energy Transfer family of companies owns approximately 71,000 miles of natural gas, natural gas liquids, refined products, and crude pipelines.
Dakota Access, LLC, a subsidiary of the company, is developing the controversial Dakota Access Pipeline.Energy Transfer holds a 100% interest in Lone Star NGL, a joint venture that owns and operates natural gas liquids storage, fractionation and transportation assets in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi. Energy Transfer Holdco Corporation also owns Southern Union Company.Firm service
Firm services, also called uninterruptible services, are services, such as electricity and natural gas supplies, that are intended to be available at all times during a period covered by an agreement. Also, the service is not subject to a prior claim from another customer and receives the same priority as any other firm service. Conditional firm service is similar to firm service in that it is reserved and has priority over interruptible service. However, it can have restrictions, such as times when it would be curtailed before firm service but after interruptible service. The cost per unit with this service is called a firm rate or uninterruptible rate. The opposite of firm service is non-firm service, also called interruptible service or as-available service. The cost per unit for this service is called a non-firm rate or interruptible rate. The interruptible load is the portion of a utility's load that comes from customers with interruptible service.
Firm service cannot be interrupted during adverse conditions, such as periods of high demand. However, firm service may also refer to service that is covered by a long-term contract, such as a year or more. There are extreme cases when firm services may be interrupted, such as emergencies and when system reliability is threatened. Services to homes and small businesses are usually firm. Some businesses that cannot afford interruptions also have firm service. Businesses that can afford to have services interrupted or that can significantly reduce their consumption when notified by the provider can get better rates by having non-firm service. Customers that have non-firm service may have a low level or baseline firm service that is guaranteed so that they do not have to shut down completely. Firm and non-firm service is also available for companies that rent or lease pipeline or electrical transmission capacity.
Firm service for natural gas pipelines and electrical transmission lines often include two charges. The first is a reservation charge related to how much capacity the customer reserves. This charge is paid regardless of how much capacity is actually used. The second charge is based on how much capacity is used. Interruptible rates are volumetric, being based only on the volume of gas or electricity delivered.Hydrogen infrastructure
A hydrogen infrastructure is the infrastructure of hydrogen pipeline transport, points of hydrogen production and hydrogen stations (sometimes clustered as a hydrogen highway) for distribution as well as the sale of hydrogen fuel, and thus a crucial pre-requisite before a successful commercialization of automotive fuel cell technology.Hydrogen pipeline transport
Hydrogen pipeline transport is a transportation of hydrogen through a pipe as part of the hydrogen infrastructure.London Pneumatic Despatch Company
The London Pneumatic Despatch Company (also known as the London Pneumatic Dispatch Company) was formed on 30 June 1859, to design, build and operate an underground railway system for the carrying of mail, parcels and light freight between locations in London. The system was used between 1863 and 1874.Outline of transport
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to transport:
Transport or transportation – movement of people and goods from one place to another.Pigging
Pigging in the context of pipelines refers to the practice of using devices known as "pigs" to perform various maintenance operations. This is done without stopping the flow of the product in the pipeline.
These operations include but are not limited to cleaning and inspecting the pipeline. This is accomplished by inserting the pig into a "pig launcher" (or "launching station") — an oversized section in the pipeline, reducing to the normal diameter. The launching station is then closed and the pressure-driven flow of the product in the pipeline is used to push the pig along down the pipe until it reaches the receiving trap — the "pig catcher" (or "receiving station").Pipeline Open Data Standard
The Pipeline Open Data Standard (PODS) database is a reporting tool for pipeline projects. It functions by creating a populated database information relevant to the life-cycle of a project.Pipeline bridge
A pipeline bridge is a bridge for running a pipeline over a river or another obstacle. Pipeline bridges for liquids and gases are, as a rule, only built when it is not possible to run the pipeline on a conventional bridge or under the river. However, as it is more common to run pipelines for centralized heating systems overhead, for this application even small pipeline bridges are common.Pipeline pre-commissioning
Pipeline pre-commissioning is the process of proving the ability of a pipeline and piping systems to contain product without leaking. This product may be liquid, gaseous or multiphase hydrocarbons, water, steam, CO2, N2, petrol, aviation fuel etc.
Pre-commissioning is the series of processes carried out on the pipeline before the final product is introduced. The process during which the pipeline is made "live" i.e. the product is put in the pipeline, is called pipeline commissioning or start-up.
Despite being seen as an offshoot, or minor part of the business for the larger oil service companies, the pipeline pre-commissioning industry possesses quite a large portfolio of services including, but not limited to the following services:
Pipeline Cleaning – this is carried out by pushing pigs or gel pigs through the pipeline to remove any debris buildup or corrosion.
Pipeline Gauging – this is carried out to prove the dimensional quality of the internal diameter of the pipeline.
Pipeline Filling (Flooding) – which can be carried out by propelling pigs through the pipeline with water or free flooding with water (normally for smaller or unpiggable pipelines).
Hydrotesting – this is a process by which the pipeline in question is pressure tested to a predefined pressure above the operating design pressure of the pipeline.
Dewatering – this involves pushing pigs through the pipeline propelled by a gas to remove the water prior to start-up.
Other services include vacuum drying, degassing, pneumatic testing, barrier testing, leak testing, decommissioning to mention but a few.
On the pipeline process pre-commissioning side, there are various services such as chemical cleaning, helium leak detection, bolting, hot oil flushing, pipe freezing, foam inerting etc...
Other services include valve testing, umbilical testing, hot tapping, leak metering, riser annulus testing.
Some of the main service companies in the business are given below.
Trans Asia Pipeline& Specialty Services
Greene's Energy Group
PSI Pipeline Services International
Solid Industrial Solutions Ltd.
ACTION International Services - Middle East Pipeline Services
Pneumatic tubes (or capsule pipelines; also known as pneumatic tube transport or PTT) are systems that propel cylindrical containers through networks of tubes by compressed air or by partial vacuum. They are used for transporting solid objects, as opposed to conventional pipelines, which transport fluids. Pneumatic tube networks gained acceptance in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for offices that needed to transport small, urgent packages (such as mail, paperwork, or money) over relatively short distances (within a building, or at most, within a city). Some installations grew to great complexity, but were mostly superseded. In some settings, such as hospitals, they remain widespread and have been further extended and developed in the 21st century.A small number of pneumatic transportation systems were also built for larger cargo, to compete with more standard train and subway systems. However, these never gained popularity.Reducer
A reducer is the component in a pipeline that reduces the pipe size from a larger to a smaller bore (inner diameter).
The length of the reduction is usually equal to the average of the larger and smaller pipe diameters. There are two main types of reducer: concentric and eccentric reducers.
A reducer can be used either as nozzle or as diffuser depending on the mach number of the flow.
A reducer allows for a change in pipe size to meet hydraulic flow requirements of the system, or to adapt to existing piping of a different size. Reducers are usually concentric but eccentric reducers are used when required to maintain the same top-or bottom-of-pipe level.
These fittings are manufactured in inch and metric size.Reinforced thermoplastic pipe
Reinforced thermoplastic pipe (RTP) is a generic term referring to a reliable high strength synthetic fibre (such as glass, aramid or carbon), initially developed in the early 1990s by Wavin Repox, Akzo Nobel and by Tubes d'Aquitaine from France, who developed the first pipes reinforced with synthetic fibre to replace medium pressure steel pipes in response to growing demand for non-corrosive conduits for application in the onshore oil and gas industry, particularly in the Middle East. Typically, the materials used in the construction of the pipe might be Polyethylene (PE), Polyamide-11 or PVDF and may be reinforced with Aramid or Polyester fibre although other combinations are used.More recently the technology of producing such pipe, including the marketing, rests with a few key companies, where it is available in coils up to 400 m (1,312 ft) length. These pipes are available in pressure ratings from 30 to 90 bar (3 to 9 MPa; 435 to 1,305 psi). Over the last few years this type of pipe has been acknowledged as a standard alternative solution to steel for oilfield flowline applications by certain oil companies and operators. An advantage of this pipe is also its very fast installation time compared to steel pipe when considering the welding time as average speeds up to 1,000 m (3,281 ft)/day have been reached installing RTP in ground surface.Primarily, the pipe provides benefit to applications where steel may rupture due to corrosion and installation time is an issue.Slugcatcher
Slug Catcher is the name of a unit in the gas refinery or petroleum industry in which slugs at the outlet of pipelines are collected or caught. A slug is a large quantity of gas or liquid that exits in the pipeline.Slurry pipeline
A slurry pipeline is a specially engineered pipeline used to move ores, such as coal or iron, or mining waste, called tailings, over long distances. A mixture of the ore concentrate and water, called slurry, is pumped to its destination and the water is filtered out. Due to the abrasive properties of slurry, the pipelines can be lined with high-density polyethylene (HDPE), or manufactured completely from HDPE Pipe, although this requires a very thick pipe wall . Slurry pipelines are used as an alternative to railroad transportation when mines are located in remote, inaccessible areas.Soluforce
Soluforce is a type of Reinforced Thermoplastic Pipe (RTP).Transport in Tanzania
Transport in Tanzania includes road, rail, air and maritime networks. The road network is 86,472 kilometres (53,731 mi) long, of which 12,786 kilometres (7,945 mi) is classified as trunk road and 21,105 kilometres (13,114 mi) as regional road. The rail network consists of 3,682 kilometres (2,288 mi) of track. Commuter rail service is in Dar es Salaam only. There are 28 airports, with Julius Nyerere International being the largest and the busiest. Ferries connect Mainland Tanzania with the islands of Zanzibar. Several other ferries are active on the countries' rivers and lakes.