How to Determine the Best Pipeline for Your Business

Installing a piping system for your business begins by understanding the different pipelines and what they’re used for. According to Earthworks, the diameter of pipelines ranges from a few inches to 40 inches. The pipeline you use for your business depends on factors such as the delivery stage, the product being transported, and whether it’s part of the downstream, midstream, or upstream sector. Let’s look at the main pipeline types and their primary purposes.

1. Gathering Pipelines

Gathering pipelines transport oil and gas from the source to refineries or storage facilities. These are frequently supplied by “Flowlines,” which are connected to individual wells. This group also includes sub-sea pipelines that gather products from deep-water production platforms.

Gathering pipelines are primarily used to transport natural gas, crude oil (or a combination of these two products), and natural gas liquids like propane, butane, and propane. The raw gas is typically transported in a gathering pipeline at pressures of around 715 psi. They are typically under 18″.

2. Transmission Pipelines

Transmission pipelines are primarily used for long-distance transportation of natural gas, NGLs, crude oil, and refined products across states, nations, and continents. These piping systems are used to transport products from the location of production to distribution centers. Transmission pipelines run at high pressures of between 200 to 1,200 psi, and each transmission line has pump stations (for liquid products and crude oil) and compressor stations (for gas lines).

3. Distribution Pipelines

Distribution pipelines comprise a network of “mains” and “service” lines and are primarily employed by distribution companies. The ‘mains’ are the transition between high-pressure transmission lines to low-pressure service lines. These pipes are typically comprised of copper, plastic, cast iron, and steel. Pressures vary and reach up to 200psi. ‘Service’ pipelines are connected to a meter. Distributors use them for delivering natural gas to customers. They’re typically made of plastic, steel, or copper. Service pipelines have low pressures of around 6psi.

4. Flowlines

Flowlines are connected to a single wellhead in an active oil field. They are used to transport the raw material from the wellhead to gathering lines. They typically have a diameter of only 12 inches and transport a combination of sand, water, gas, and oil.

5. Feeder Pipelines

Feeder pipelines transport products from processing facilities to long-distance transmission pipelines. Products may be natural gas liquids, natural gas, or crude oil. Feeder lines typically have a diameter of 6 to 12 inches.

Installing a piping system is a major financial investment. Ensure you are familiar with the different types and their uses to determine the best pipeline for your business. For more information or help to install a piping system, give call Lynco Flange & Fitting today.

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