|Fuel Pipelines||en español|
What are fuel pipelines?
Fuel pipelines are large pipes used to transport natural gas, oil, gasoline, propane, or other liquid fuels. Pipelines transport fuel from production wells to refineries and then to storage and distribution terminals. Many fuel pipelines are underground. Above-ground pipelines are often used to transport fuel to and from marine terminals and to transport oil in places such as Alaska, where it is too cold to place pipelines underground.
Marine terminals use fuel pipelines to load or unload tankers and ships that transport crude oil, petroleum products, or liquefied natural gas. At marine terminals, pipelines transport fuel to storage tanks and then onto ships for transport to processing and refining facilities. Fuel is unloaded through pipelines from the tankers to storage tanks and loaded onto small vessels such as barges for further transport.
Though fuel pipelines have a good safety record, they can fail, causing leaks, spills, or explosions. Pipelines can fail because of corrosion, damage from excavation, damage from weather or other outside sources, or materials failure. Pipeline failures can cause human injuries and even death, expose people and wildlife to harmful pollutants, and cause environmental and property damage. If an oil pipeline fails, it can release gallons of oil into the environment, contaminate soil and water, harm wildlife, and create strong odors.
This description is based on the information found in the Web links listed with this topic.
Pipeline Basics (Dept. of Transportation)
Last Updated: January 30, 2017