How do Liquid Petroleum Pipelines Work?


There are two primary types of energy pipelines:

  • Liquid petroleum pipelines
  • Natural gas pipelines

Each of these types of pipelines play a fundamental part of society. They deliver much-needed energy to the world. Whether you run a business or not, you feel the direct impact of what goes on in the oil and gas industry. 

In this article, we will discuss how liquid petroleum pipelines work.

Liquid Petroleum Pipelines

Within the liquid petroleum network, there are a few different types of pipes that transport different fuels. Among these, you have crude oil lines, highly volatile liquids (HVL) lines, refined product lines, and carbon dioxide (CO2) lines.

Gathering Lines Vs Transmission Lines

Crude oil lines are divided further into gathering and transmission lines. Gathering lines are very small. They can be anywhere from 2 to 8 inches in diameter and are located where crude oil is located deep in the earth. 

Transmission lines or trunk lines bring the newly gathered crude oil from producing areas to refineries which can be many miles away. These pipes are larger: usually anywhere from 8 to 24 inches in diameter, but can get as large as 48 inches in diameter.

Refined Product Pipelines

Refined product pipelines carry the newly refined fuel such as gasoline, home heating oil, diesel fuel, and jet fuel. These pipelines are similar in size to transmission lines and take the fuel from the refinery to large fuel terminals with storage tanks. From here, the fuel is loaded into tanker trucks which will then deliver the fuel to places such as your local gas station.

Highly Volatile Liquid Pipelines

Highly volatile liquid pipelines carry fuels that turn to gas once exposed to the atmosphere. This includes butane, propane, and ethane.

How Liquid Petroleum Pipelines Affect You

Whether you believe it or not, our society largely depends on the proper functioning of oil and gas pipelines. Understanding the process and the benefit of these fuels and their transportation systems is important for each and every one of us. If you have a car that runs on gasoline, a propane stove, or a home heating system that runs on heating oil, you are directly affected by gas and oil pipelines.

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