The oil and gas industry is not only highly profitable, but it is also a necessity to meet the nations energy needs. Meeting those needs means getting the oil and gas to the places that it’s needed which includes transporting them by pipeline. There are a number of different things that go into laying pipe for transport. Let’s take a look at a few.
Preparing The Trench
Before the pipe can be laid, trenches must be created to house the piping. The process of excavating trenches can be a tricky and dangerous endeavor, especially when the area where the trench is being dug is steep such as on a hillside. Diggers are secured and lowered to do the work in these situations. If ledges of rocks are found during the digging, then jackhammers are typically used to create the trench.
Assembling The Pipe
Once the trenches are dug, it’s time to lay and assemble the piping. Pipe sections are usually placed above ground along the length of the trench for easy access. Sandbags are placed within the trench to both add support for the piping and to restrict water from running down the trench. Some of the pipe sections may need to be bent depending on the path of the trench. At this point, the sections of pipe are welded together, sandblasted and weatherized to prevent corrosion. After placing the connected lengths into the trench, trench breakers are placed at predetermined intervals along the length of the pipeline to control corrosion over time.
There may be obstacles to overcome along the way. These can come in the form of roadways and bodies of water such as rivers and streams. Each situation is unique and requires an individualized solution. Sometimes this means running the pipeline above ground, but in most instances, the solution includes boring deeper and running the pipeline under such obstacles.
There are a few other things that go into the process of constructing a pipeline for oil and gas. As is the case with most successful enterprises, a comprehensive plan should always be the starting point.