a method of transportation in which liquid, gaseous, or solid products are moved over long distances through pipelines. It is used mainly for conveying natural gas, petroleum, and solid materials.
Pipelines are classified in terms of their purpose and territorial layout as trunk, or main, and industrial pipelines. Trunk lines include natural-gas and petroleum pipelines, which usually carry the product from the place of its extraction to the sites of processing and consumption, to industrial plants, or to seaports for transshipment to tankers and continued transportation. Trunk lines also carry finished petroleum products from refineries to areas of consumption. Pipeline transportation is also used within industrial plants, where other products suitable for this mode of conveyance are transported in order to continue the production process. Pipelines in tank farms, industrial pipelines for petroleum, natural gas, and mixed products on oil fields, and municipal pipeline networks for natural-gas distribution, water supply, and sewerage are also part of pipeline transportation.
Pipeline transportation is a progressive and economically advantageous mode of transportation. It is characterized by flexibility, the absence of freight losses in transit, complete mechanization and automation of labor-intensive loading and unloading operations, and recovery of packaging. As a consequence, transportation costs are lowered—for liquid goods, for example, the costs of pipeline transportation are one-third of those for railroad transport.
Further development of trunk pipelines is linked to an increase in pipe diameter and the pressure of natural gas or petroleum conveyed through the pipeline and to the provision of compressor units for higher pressures. The transport of liquefied natural gas is another possible way of reducing transportation costs.
REFERENCESPopov, S. S. Transport nefti, nefteproduktov i gaza, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1960.
Smoldyrev, A. E. Gidro - i pnevmotransport, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1975.
N. I. SHINKAREV