The economy of the world may be denominated in dollars, but it functions in oil. And as America’s oil flows, it flows mostly to American businesses. 50 million barrels of crude oil flow through the pipelines of Oklahoma every day. It’s just a fraction of the billions of barrels that America must use to stay one of the world’s most vibrant and resilient economies. At every point where a pipeline branches into or out of a main pipeline, it uses a branch connection. Here’s how branch connections work.
What Is a Branch Connection?
A branch connection is any connection between two pipes of a main and secondary flow. The branch connection allows tapping the main flow from the main pipeline and letting it flow down into a run pipe. The purpose of this for an oil pipeline is to divert flow from the pipeline, usually into a refinery. From the refinery, the oil can be manufactured into useful oil products and shipped via truck, boat, and pipeline further downstream to consumers and other customers. The industry as we know it could not exist without branch connections.
Flanges and Interruptions in Flow
Piping requires different types of connections to avoid interruptions in flow. A branch connection that goes into a new pipeline needs to be chosen for the right amount of flow as well as the right kind. A stub connection can only take certain ranges of pressure, and further pressure beyond that range will tear the stub off. For this reason, most pipeline fittings are a type of seated pressure flange, an olet. Olets are the basis of oil pipeline fittings, preventing interruptions in flow caused by a stub pipe being pushed out of its seating.
The pipeline flanges and fittings that make branch connections work are some of the most important parts of America’s pipeline networks. Without the ability to branch off from a main pipeline, we would need entirely different infrastructure for moving oil from termini in the middle of the pipelines to the ultimate destinations of these products, to be delivered to the storage tanks and fuel tanks of America. Oil is not useful unless it’s being used, and the best and safest way to deliver it is through pipelines connected with branch connections. Contact Lynco Flange & Fitting today for more information on how our branch connections can help your business.