Most people realize the importance of pipelines, and they understand that they are used to transport oil and gas. However, they don’t really understand how they work. There are some working in certain tangential areas of the field that don’t know how they work either, so it’s no surprise that it is a mystery for most of the public. First, understand that there are two different general styles of pipeline. There are pipes specifically for liquid petroleum, and pipelines specifically for natural gas.
The petroleum pipelines feature a number of other “sub lines” based on exactly what is going through the pipe. For example, there are crude oil lines, carbon dioxide lines, refined oil lines, and lines for highly volatile liquids. You can actually break this down even further, as there are two different types of lines for crude oil – gathering and transmission.
The gathering lines are generally quite small. Most of the time, they are no larger than about 8” in diameter. These lines are mostly going to be in the areas where there are large amounts of oil. In the United States, that means they will be in places such as Texas, California, and Wyoming, for example. The transmission lines are naturally larger, and there are more than 55,000 miles of these lines around the country. These pipes are not as large as most people think either. In fact, the largest is only 48” in diameter.
The refined product pipelines are the ones that actually carry the gasoline, diesel, heating oil, and other finished products. These range in size quite a bit – 8” to 42”. There are nearly 100,000 miles of these pipes in the country, and they are in most states. These pipes bring the product to terminals. The product will then go on to tanker trucks, and finally arrive at the end destination, such as your local gas station.
Natural Gas Lines
Natural gas lines are a bit different since they are able to deliver the gas directly to businesses and homes. Currently, there are more than 200 natural gas pipe systems in the country, and there are 305,000 miles of these pipes.
While this is a very simplified look at the pipelines, it should give you a better idea of just how important they are, how they work, and what’s involved with them. They need to be cared for and maintained with the right equipment, just as rigs and drills do.
About Oil Works Inc.
Oil Works, Inc. is a complete drilling rig equipment manufacturer and service provider based in the Permian Basin for over 20 years. OWI’s product and service offerings include Masts, Substructures, Drawworks, Mud Systems, Rig Walking Systems, Power Generation, Control Systems, Iron Roughneck Service, Quincy Air Compressors. We are a complete Drilling Equipment Manufacturer and build to API and ISO standards. OWI is also proud to offer 24/7 Service and Support.