for any type of pipeline project often begins years in advance of
actual construction. Initial steps in the planning process include
determining the market need, pipeline design, specification of pipe
and components, route selection, environmental assessments, public
consultation, land acquisition and permitting.
The design and construction of a pipeline for the most part occurs
in three stages. During the pre-construction phase, highly trained
engineers work to design a system that meets the needs of producers
and shippers in moving their product to the marketplace. At the
same time, pipeline employees who specialize in planning work minimize
the impact of construction projects on the environment, in addition
to consulting with communities and landowners along the route about
the project. Every pipeline project planning team must meet federal
and state requirements, obtain necessary permits and respond to
local concerns. Land or Right-of-way agents, hired by the pipeline
operator, also work with potential landowners to secure easement
rights to place the pipeline along the selected route.
the actual construction phase of a project occurs in the shortest
amount of time. But the construction phase can only begin after
route selection, easement negotiations, environmental permitting,
and many other pre-construction actions have been accomplished.
Before the line pipe can be buried, the pipeline right-of-way must
be cleared and prepared for construction. Once ready, the pipeline
is carefully placed in the pre-dug trench or bored under waterways
or roads. If trenching is involved, the trench is filled and post-construction
The post-construction phase of any project addresses several aspects
including restoring the surface of the land affected by the trenching.
Work then begins to reconstruct the surface of the land. Before
the pipeline is placed into service, the pipe and components are
again tested in the field with a water pressure, weld x-rays and
a variety of other inspection tests. Each stage of this process
is overseen by qualified inspectors to ensure compliance with the
engineering plan, codes, permit conditions, landowner and easement
agreements, and regulatory requirements.
While this overview gives you a general idea about pipeline construction,
there are many important steps along the way. To get a better understanding
of the construction process, we invite you to take a closer look
at the process and the many people that make it all happen.
More information on
the liquid petroleum pipeline industry is continually being developed
and added to Pipeline 101. Please visit us often.