The world has 2,175, 000 miles of pipeline constructed by 120 nations. The US boasts a 65% share of the total pipeline length in the world followed by Russia at 8% and Canada at 3%. The three countries make up 75% of the total pipeline length.Pipelines transport fluids, majorly crude and refined petroleum, water, beer, fuels, slurry, and sewage. Pipelines typically link the source of a particular material to the point of demand or manufacture.
Construction And Operation Of Pipelines
The materials used to build pipelines can either be plastic or steel depending on the product being transported. The plastic or steel tubes used have an inner diameter ranging from 4 to 48 inches. The pipelines are typically buried 3 to 6 feet to the ground. A number of methods are employed to shield the tubes from corrosion, impact, and abrasion including concrete coating, padding machines, wood lagging, and rock shield. The pipelines are regularly checked to detect anomalies using “smart pigs." Pipelines such as those carrying crude oil are prone to buildup of wax and are constantly cleaned.
Materials Used To Manufacture Durable Pipelines
Pipelines transport liquids as well as compressed gasses. Pipelines emerged as an economical way to transport crude oil in the 19th century. Natural gas, as well as other gaseous fuels is lightly pressurized and transported as Natural Gas Liquids (NGLs). Ammonia, a highly toxic gas, is transported via pipelines and accidents are uncommon. Alcohol fuels, mainly ethanol, have been transported via pipelines. Ethanol is characteristically corrosive, however, limiting the effectiveness of pipelines in its transportation. Other substances also transported using pipelines is coal and ore after being mixed with water. Pipelines become invaluable for the transportation of water in hilly regions or where channels or canals are inferior alternatives when criteria such as environmental impact, evaporation, and pollution are observed. Heated water, steam, and pressurized hot water can also be transported through pipeline systems. Other materials transported via pipelines are beer, milk, and brine.
Pipelines can either be transportation, gathering, or distribution. Transportation pipelines cover long distances and have large diameters to move bulk quantities. Such pipelines can connect cities, countries, and even continents. Gathering pipelines are intricate networks of short pipelines linking wells to processing plants or treatment facilities. These pipelines have small diameters and primarily move natural gas and crude oil. Distribution pipelines contain several linked pipelines with small diameters connected to the final consumer including businesses and homes. Also included in this category are pipelines connected to storage facilities and tanks.
Top 20 Countries By Length Of Pipeline
The US is home to 2,225,032 km length of pipeline, most of which transport oil and natural gas. Russia comes in second with the highest length of pipeline in Eurasia at 259,913 km. Pipelines are an essential element in Canada’s energy infrastructure, and they cover 100,000 km. The country with the highest length of pipeline in Asia is China at 86,921 km. Ukraine is ranked as the fifth country by pipeline length at 45,597 km. Argentina leads South America by pipeline length at 39,850 km. Other countries by length of pipeline are UK (39,778 km); Iran (38,906 km); Mexico (37,008 km); India (35,676 km); Australia (34,612 km); Germany (34,335 km); Algeria (29,642 km); Brazil (27,468 km); Kazakhstan (26,963 km); France (23,345 km); Italy (23,190 km); Indonesia (21,704 km); Hungary (20,877 km); Poland (16,349 km).