Nelson Bustamante: 16 Types of Pipelines and their Construction Method

πŸ•‘ Reading time: 1 minute

A pipeline represents a complex network of pipes meticulously designed to transport fluids such as oil, natural gas, or other petroleum-based products over extensive distances, primarily underground. This vital infrastructure, which traces its roots back millennia to the movement of water, constitutes a cornerstone of modern civilization. While pipelines typically entail higher costs compared to roads or open channels, their construction demands meticulous planning spanning years, incorporating extensive surveys, studies, and assessments to address diverse societal, developmental, environmental, and safety considerations.

Types of Pipelines

Pipelines are diversified based on various factors, including the materials used in manufacturing, substances transported, and their functional roles within the network.

Based on Pipe Manufacturing Material

The choice of materials for pipeline construction hinges upon factors such as pipeline design, internal and external forces, jointing and laying techniques, durability, impermeability, and maintenance frequency.

1. Steel PipelineΒ 

Steel pipelines, commonly utilized for water transportation, boast the advantage of manufacturing large-diameter pipes capable of spanning considerable distances.

Steel Pipeline
Fig. 1: Steel Pipeline

2. Cast Iron Pipeline

Historically prevalent, cast iron pipes, predominantly composed of gray cast iron, have seen extensive use, albeit modern applications favor superior ductile iron pipes, which offer enhanced corrosion resistance. These pipelines serve the transmission needs of water, gas, and sewage.

Cast Iron Pipes
Fig. 2: Cast Iron Pipes

3. Plastic Pipeline

Plastic pipelines, favored for long-distance water transmission, exhibit remarkable resistance to abrasion and chemical corrosion, coupled with ease of handling owing to their lightweight nature. However, they manifest lower tensile strength and diminished performance in response to temperature fluctuations.

Plastic Pipeline
Fig. 3: Plastic Pipeline

4. Concrete Pipeline

Fabricated from welded sheet steel with concrete components, concrete pipelines excel in facilitating large-diameter, long-distance transmission of water.

Concrete Pipeline
Fig. 4: Concrete Pipeline

Based on Substance Transported

Pipelines are categorized by the substances they convey, ranging from water to petroleum products and slurry.

5. Water Pipeline

Essential for delivering water from treatment facilities to urban centers, underground water pipelines, fabricated from steel, ductile iron, or concrete, ensure reliable distribution while safeguarding against accidental damage.

Water Pipeline
Fig. 5: Water Pipeline

6. Waste Water Pipeline

Dedicated to transporting wastewater characterized by a high water-to-solid waste ratio, these pipelines employ materials such as concrete, PVC, cast iron, or clay, tailored to withstand varying pressures and environmental conditions.

7. Petroleum oil Pipeline

Crafted from steel and fortified with external coatings and cathodic protection to mitigate corrosion risks, petroleum oil pipelines facilitate the transportation of crude oil to refineries and refined products to markets.

Oil Pipeline
Fig. 6: Oil Pipeline

8. Gas Pipeline

The exclusive conduit for overland natural gas transportation, gas pipelines utilize steel for transmission lines and flexible plastic for distribution networks, ensuring cost-effective, corrosion-resistant solutions.

9. Slurry pipeline

Indispensable in the mining and dredging sectors, slurry pipelines transport mixtures of solid particles and liquids, predominantly water, from offshore wells to onshore pipelines via barges or ships.

Slurry Pipeline
Fig. 7: Slurry Pipeline

Based on Pipe Function

Pipelines fulfill diverse functions within the transportation network, including transmission, distribution, and collection.

10. Transmission Pipeline

Designed for long-distance transportation of crude oil, natural gas, and refined products across regions and continents, transmission pipelines feature diameters exceeding 25.4 cm (10 inches), encountering challenges such as corrosion and material defects.

Gas Transmission Pipeline
Fig. 8: Gas Transmission Pipeline

11. Distribution Pipeline

Primarily tasked with delivering natural gas to residential and commercial consumers, distribution pipelines encompass a range of sizes, from 12.7 mm to 152.4 mm, optimizing local supply networks.

12. Collection Pipeline

Integral to the oil and gas industry, collection pipelines convey products from extraction sites to processing facilities, accommodating varying diameters to streamline production logistics.

Based on Method of Construction

Pipelines are distinguished by their construction methodologies, encompassing underground, above-ground, elevated, offshore, and underwater configurations.

Underground Pipeline
Fig. 9: Underground Pipeline

Pipeline Construction Phases

The construction of pipelines follows a meticulously orchestrated series of steps, ensuring efficiency and safety throughout the process:

  1. Route survey.
  2. Clearing the construction area.
  3. Excavation or trenching.
  4. Transportation of materials to the site.
  5. Stringing pipes along the trench.
  6. Field bending of steel pipes to conform to topographical features.
  7. Application of coatings and wraps to steel pipes.
  8. Joining pipes, either prior to or after trench placement.
  9. Inspection for welding defects and joint leakage.
  10. Backfilling trenches and restoring the terrain to its original state.

For extended pipeline projects, construction proceeds incrementally to minimize disruptions, with each segment completed before advancing to the next phase.

Clear the Area along pipeline route
Fig. 10: Clear the Area along pipeline route
Excavate the Trench for the Pipeline
Fig. 11: Excavate the Trench for the Pipeline
Place Pipes along the Route
Fig. 12. Place Pipes along the Route
Jointing Pipes
Fig. 13: Jointing Pipes
Restoration After Testing
Fig. 14: Restoration After Testing

From material selection to construction methodology, pipelines epitomize intricate engineering feats, indispensable to global infrastructure and economic vitality.

Ver fuente