Crude Oil Pipelines
oil, also referred to as petroleum, is a resource that is drilled
for throughout the world.
When refined and processed, crude oil provides the energy resources
we have come to depend on in modern society. Crude oil provides
the foundation for many products including plastics and petrochemicals
in addition to the fuel for our cars and heating oil for our homes.
Each day, the United States uses billions of gallons of crude oil
to support our daily lives. While many forms of transportation are
used to move this product to marketplaces, pipelines remain the
safest, most efficient and economical way to move this natural resource.
This is especially important because often times crude is produced
in areas far away from major marketplaces where population and manufacturing
centers are located. Pipelines permit the movement of large quantities
of crude oil and product to these areas with little or no disruption
to communities everywhere.
Many people are familiar with the Trans Alaska Pipeline System
(TAPS). It is the most photographed pipeline as it, unlike most
pipelines, has significant portions of the system above ground.
Crude oil is produced in Alaska, moves south on TAPS and then moves
by tank ship to the West Coast. From the tank ship, the crude again
moves by pipeline to refineries along the west coast of the U.S.
The network of crude oil pipelines in the U.S. is extensive. There
are approximately 55,000 miles of crude oil trunk lines (usually
8 - 24 inches in diameter) in the U.S. that connect regional markets.
The map below shows some of the major crude oil trunk lines in the
The U.S. also has an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 miles of small
gathering lines (usually 2 to 6 inches in diameter) located primarily
in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Wyoming with small systems in
a number of other oil producing states. These small lines gather
the oil from many wells, both onshore and offshore, and connect
to larger trunk lines measuring from 8 to 24 inches in diameter.
to learn more and view the complete report, How Pipelines
Make the Oil Market Work, Allegro Energy Group, December
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