America’s pipelines provide the safest and most efficient means of getting our energy resources where they need to go. Unseen and unheard, oil and natural gas moves thousands of miles without notice through a vast network of pipelines. Each day, they carry the lifeblood of the nation’s economic engine essential to our way of life. And the volume of products they move far exceed the capacity of other forms of transportation.
“It would take a constant line of tanker trucks (about 750 per day) loading up and moving out every two minutes, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to move the volume of even a modest pipeline. The railroad equivalent of this single pipeline would be a train of 78 2,000-barrel tank rail cars every day.”
—Source: U.S. Department of Transportation
BUILT LIKE THE ENVIRONMENT DEPENDS ON IT.
Modern pipelines are built to last many decades without incident. They are constructed with the toughest materials available to meet the most stringent state and federal safety standards. Here are just a few of the precautions taken during the construction phase:
- Epoxy coated, high-grade steel for optimum safety and integrity.
- Specialized protective coatings applied to prevent corrosion and minimize leaks.
- X-rays of pipeline connector welds are taken on-site to ensure structural integrity.
- Hydrostatic testing (high water pressure) is used to verify that each section of pipeline is defect free.
INSPECTED WITH ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES:
INSIDE AND OUT.
Every inch of the nation’s oil and natural gas pipelines are inspected according to strict protocols as mandated by state and federal regulations. There are two technological advancements that enable continuous remote safety inspections that far exceed human senses and abilities – the Pipeline Intervention Gadget “PIG” and drones.
PIPELINE INTERVENTION GADGET (PIG)
Smart “pigs” travel internally through pipelines performing a variety of diagnostic tests as they go. Terabytes of data measuring wall thickness, geometric shape, structural integrity and more, are collected and reported to ensure the energy the nation needs is safely transported and that the environment remains protected at all costs.
SMART DRONES: THE AIR FORCE OF ENERGY TRANSPORT
It seems everywhere you look, new uses for drones are being found. And America’s pipelines are no exception. Smart drones equipped with high-resolution digital, infrared and thermal imaging cameras and sensors can detect the smallest problems with amazing precision.
In the future, new advancements will promote even higher levels of safety for pipeline transport. And America’s oil and natural gas industry will be the first to harness new technologies to protect the environment for the next generation.