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Title: The inland distribution of refined oil products by pipeline
Category: Pipeline Industries Guild technical library
Downloadable: Yes 
Project No.:
Research Agency:
Catalog No.: PIG0037
Date of Publication: February 3, 1982
Price: $25.00 US
Authors: I C Chester-Browne
Abstract: Refineries are generally seafed and remote from areas of consumption. There is therefore, a need for the movement of large quantities of refined products. During 1979 one thousand six hundred million gallons were moved by Esso operated pipelines equivalent to 1/2 million road tanker journeys. Capital costs of building a pipeline are generally high and increase linearly with distance. Pipe is only approximately 33% of cost.

Capacity increases approximately with square of pipe diameter, as a result there is a tendency for joint venture pipelines to be built. Operating costs are generally low compared with alternative means of transportation and are independant of volume or capacity except for power which is approximately 30% of operating costs.

Pipelines do not have the flexibility of other means of transportation in that once laid they can only deliver to that point and unlike ships or railcars have a finite capacity. The volumes of the products locked up in a pipeline are large and represent significant inventory costs. Interfaces are generated between products.

Environmentally they are out of sight and silent in operation with a good safety and spill record. In West Europe for 1978 1.2 pints of oil was lost per million gallons moved by pipelines.

In summary pipelines are a safe, cost- effective and energy-conserving means of moving large volumes of oil over long distances.

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