Pipelines are large pipes, typically housed underground that transport and aid in the distribution process of different liquids. Pipelines cover a large amount of land over the United States and Canada and transport many substances safely and efficiently throughout the countries. They are essential to the infrastructure people enjoy every day. Learn more about the many different uses for pipelines.
Liquid transportation is one of the two main uses of pipelines. Liquid pipelines transport different liquids to refineries and distribution centers. The main two products liquid transporting pipelines work with is crude oil or natural gas in its liquid form. These are typically run through pipelines to quickly and safely transport them to refineries so they can become refined and start their own production processes. These types of pipelines typically start smaller in diameter and run into large diameters after production. After production processes are complete, the products travel via a pipeline for long distances to their designated locations. Liquid transportation by way of pipeline allows for the energy usage demands of society to continue at an uninterrupted rate while minimizing the number of transport trucks on the roads.
Natural gas distribution
The process for natural gas distribution pipelines is very similar to that of pipelines used for liquid transportation. Natural gas, in its liquid form, is sent through pipelines after being extracted from the ground. It moves through pipelines to arrive at storage tanks where it is then transported to facilities where it’s refined and turned into products consumers use every day. Once this process is complete, the gas is sent through large pipelines to distribution plants, companies, and places such as gas stations. This process, made possible by pipeline transportation, makes natural gasses more accessible and available to the average consumer.
For both of these common uses for pipelines, there are safety measures put into place to avoid any negative environmental impacts. All pipelines must go through inspections and maintain their structural integrity. The liquid materials flow through the pipeline with the help of pressure created by compressors that also must be checked regularly.