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Pipeline standards are especially important in the oil and gas industry, where standards have been put in place since the 19th century to reduce the risk of disaster. This is because transporting hazardous substances can be dangerous due to leaks, cracks, or other failures.
The pipeline network is a vital component of North America’s infrastructure, delivering trillions of cubic feet of natural gas and hundreds of billions of tons of liquid petroleum products each year. Without it, daily life as we know it would cease to exist.
The industry has been around for decades but recent news highlights the threat that pipelines can pose when they are subject to leaks or ruptures which could have devastating effects on both people and the environment alike.
Types of Gas and Oil Pipelines
There are two kinds of pipelines we will address: gas and oil ones. Here are some useful definitions.
An oil pipeline is a system of transporting crude oil or natural gas liquids through various pipelines.
There are three main types of oil pipelines:
- Gathering pipelines: The gathering pipeline systems, which are often referred to as “pigs” for their shape and function, take the crude oil or natural gas liquid from the production wells.
- Crude-oil pipeline: Crude oil is delivered to refineries via an intricate pipeline system. These pipelines carry the crude across vast distances.
- Refined products pipeline: Refined products pipelines are the networks that transport refined petroleum to storage or distribution stations. They have a variety of uses; for example, they provide fuel and gas from refineries where crude oil is made into gasoline, kerosene (jet engine), diesel fuels, and heating oils.
Natural gas pipelines are the arteries and veins of natural gas. They transport it from stationary facilities such as wells or export plants and deliver it to homes across America for cooking food on winter nights when temperatures drop below 0°F.
There are three main types of gas pipelines:
- Gathering pipelines: They transport the raw material from production wells all over and make it ready for refinement at a processing plant.
- Transmission pipeline: Through them, gas is transported across vast distances in America. These long lines have been specially made to hold natural gas from facilities to the refineries or ports.
- Distribution pipeline: Distribution systems vary between two types, the main distribution line, and the service one. While both are vital to delivering products throughout towns and cities, they serve different functions. Main lines connect large networks that move items close to metropolitan areas while smaller ones supply homes.
Why are Pipelines Important?
Pipelines are a form of transportation that is mostly used for transporting crude and refined petroleum products such as oil and natural gas. While not always the case, pipelines can also be utilized to transport other fluids like water or sewage slurry by utilizing capsule pipelining using pneumatic tubes in some cases.
Pipeline transportation has many advantages:
- flexibility (they come with valves at every mile)
- complete automation of loading/unloading from one side while materials flow through it on their own
- perfect to use in all weather conditions
- reduced environmental impact compared with other modes of fuel distribution including trucking which emits greenhouse gases
How do Pipeline Standards Work?
Pipelines are a valuable resource in the oil and gas industry that needs to be well designed, constructed, managed. Pipels should have integrity from design through abandonment so they can transport resources safely and efficiently throughout their lifetime.
The pipeline industry is one of the most regulated industries and for good reason. There are many established standards that cover design, operations, and maintenance to ensure risks from major accidents are minimized.
We must focus on the integrity of oil and gas pipelines throughout their entire life-cycle, which means addressing considerations from design to abandonment. This approach supports creating a holistic pipeline management program that bridges these phases without compartmentalizing them into separate data silos.
What is PHMSA?
The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) is a government agency that works to ensure the safe transportation of energy, hazardous materials, etc. PHMSA does this by:
- establishing national policy for pipelines and other items
- setting standards by these policies
- educating people on how they can help prepare if an incident occurs—such as practicing emergency drills at home or knowing evacuation routes from their workplace/home address
- preparing first responders about what to do during emergencies so they are prepared before one happens
- and more!
The Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration’s mission is protecting people through education while enforcing safety regulations when it comes to transporting essential goods such as oil and gas via pipeline systems across America.
The Pipeline Safety Act 2011
Like pipelines, the state of pipeline safety regulation in America has been going on for a long time now. With the Pipeline Safety Act, we can strengthen enforcement while also improving existing laws to ensure that our transportation system is safe for all involved.
It’s an act that balances regulatory approaches – one where cost-benefit principles are applied so that industry leaders have the clarity they need to plan infrastructure investments or create jobs without sacrificing public health and environmental quality.
Public Awareness Programs
Pipeline operators are required to provide pipeline safety information for stakeholders, including the public, emergency officials, and local government leaders, to recognize potential risks before they happen. These programs also help inform excavators of how best to protect themselves while digging.
This is a huge issue for many states and municipalities because there are so many pipelines running through them. The federal government implemented this in order to help regulate these issues, but we still need people on the ground level communicating with their neighbors about it as well.
The National Pipeline Mapping System
The National Pipeline Mapping System is a dataset full of information on hazardous pipelines. It contains everything from the pipeline’s location to any potential hazards surrounding it or even if there are other ones nearby, and you can use this data for emergencies like gas leaks, inspections by PHMSA officials, and more!
Pipelines Environmental and Health Hazards
Unfortunately, there is no foolproof system that can protect against disasters like pipeline failures or human error. These incidents have shown us time after time just how devastating they can be, for both people and our environment.
Pipelines may seem safer and cheaper when you compare them with ground transportation methods of transporting oil, but what many people don’t know is just how dangerous spills from ruptured pipes will really cause if left unchecked.
As a conclusion for this article, we can say pipelines standards are essential for the oil and gas industries. standards help to ensure a safe environment and protect people from harm. Without standards, we would be in deep trouble!
As standards are an important part of the pipeline industry, it is especially necessary to understand how they work before you can effectively advocate or protest them. Standards allow for regulations on materials safety while also ensuring public health and environmental quality as well as providing authorities such as first responders with knowledge about what to do during emergencies like spills or ruptures!