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. District heating or teleheating systems use a network of insulated pipes which transport heated water, pressurized hot water or sometimes steam to the customer.
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 vandalism, sabotage, or even terrorist attacks. In war, pipelines are often the target of military attacks.
API 5L/ISO 3183 Gr. A, B, X42, X46, X52, X56, X60, X65, X70, X80
ASTM A134 and ASTM A135
CSA Z245.1 Gr. 241, 290, 359, 386, 414, 448, 483, 550
Types of Oil and Gas Pipelines
There are two main categories of pipelines used to transport energy products: petroleum pipelines and natural gas pipelines.
Petroleum pipelines transport crude oil or natural gas liquids, and there are three main types of petroleum pipelines involved in this process: gathering systems, crude oil pipeline systems, and refined products pipelines systems. The gathering pipeline systems gather the crude oil or natural gas liquid from the production wells. It is then transported with the crude oil pipeline system to a refinery. Once the petroleum is refined into products such as gasoline or kerosene, it is transported via the refined products pipeline systems to storage or distribution stations.
Natural gas pipelines transport natural gas from stationary facilities such as gas wells or import/export facilities, and deliver to a variety of locations, such as homes or directly to other export facilities. This process also involves three different types of pipelines: gathering systems, transmission systems, and distribution systems. Similar to the petroleum gathering systems, the natural gas gathering pipeline system gathers the raw material from production wells. It is then transported with large lines of transmission pipelines that move natural gas from facilities to ports, refiners, and cities across the country. Lastly, the distribution systems consist of a network that distributes the product to homes and businesses. The two types of distribution systems are the main distribution line, which are larger lines that move products close to cities, and the service distribution lines, which are smaller lines that connect main lines into homes and businesses.