Operation and Maintenance of Pipelines

From the day the oil starts to flow, pipelines become a vital artery for various energy needs. The oil needs to flow safely and securely through these pipes to its destination.

Today we look at the operation and maintenance of pipelines with the aim of getting oil to the destination without any issues at all.

The Source

In the typical oil field, there are a large number of lines that come from each well and lead to a central gathering facility. These oil batteries hold the oil ready for delivery to different terminals via larger feeder pipelines that are operated by oil producers. These terminals are bigger than the batteries, and the whole setup works like a network, taking oil from one small holding area to the next.

In this entire network, the largest lines called transmission pipelines transport the crude oil to the locations across the country. Planning takes time, you can see it here in action.

The Terminals

The terminals serve as storage areas before it is transported through the transmission lines. The terminals are monitored and handled all day long by oil experts. The experts know the fields of oil handling safety and shipping.

How Do Pipeline Companies Keep the Oil Transmission safe?

Technology plays a crucial role in the operation of pipelines. The role of technology is to detect and report corrosion, prevention, leak detection and damage prevention.

Corrosion is rife in many pipelines and has been the cause of many disasters across the country. The pipes corrode because of a chemical reaction between the metallic design of the pipeline and the environment that the pipe is laid into, such as moisture or oxygen. Corrosion also promotes the development of rust, which weakens the pipeline.

To prevent the corrosion, the oil company coats the pipes in a special material to prevent water from reaching the metallic substance.

Sensing of Potential Issues

Monitoring of the pipeline is not always physical – one method that the industry uses to detect leaks is through the use of control rooms. These rooms are active the whole day each week and have systems that control flow rate, temperature and pressure of the oil in the pipeline. In case something happens, alarms tend to go off, telling the maintenance crew where the problem is located. When the problem is detected, the sensor instantly shuts off the valves.


Since pipelines deliver oil to different parts of the country, they need to be well maintained to prevent catastrophes.

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