Understanding Midstream Oil and Gas Pipelines
The oil industry is most commonly divided into three separate energy markets known as Upstream, Midstream, and Downstream. The first of these phases (upstream) involves the location and discovery of oil fields, while the final phase (downstream) serves a wide variety of high quality, fully finished and processed products to consumers all over the world. During this discovery to consumer process there are quite a few critical steps. These steps include the handling and shipping of midstream oil and gas pipelines in the midstream sector.
In order to remain clear, it is critical to note that some oil systems of classification only utilize the first and final sectors in their model (upstream and downstream). In classifications such as this, the areas that would traditionally belong to the midstream sector are categorized within the downstream sector. Today, we will focus solely on the midstream oil and gas sector of the three systems model.
North American Energy Renaissance
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) forecasts that the United States will achieve complete energy independence during the next three decades as it continues to boost its production and transportation of natural gas, natural gas liquids, crude oil, and renewable energy. At this point, our energy produced will exceed the energy consumed. This doesn’t imply energy self-sufficiency, but rather that the U.S. will have a more prevalent presence in the global energy trade as it continues important commodities of our local market and export those that we have domestically over supplied, such as propane, butane, and natural gas. The midstream infrastructure is what makes these types of multi-beneficial relationships possible.
The midstream oil and gas pipeline is all about retrieving crude oil from the upstream pipeline sector and transporting it to the processing facilities located in the downstream network to be transformed into the variety of finished products, that are readily available in our daily lives. Midstream energy companies are responsible for the gathering, processing, and transportation of crude oil, natural gas, and other energy related commodities. The U.S. transportation network as a whole, which transports natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas liquids (NGLs), is the largest pipeline network in the entire world, consisting of 2.4 million miles. While this may sound simple enough, there are actually a plethora of logistical hurdles the midstream oil and gas sector must adhere to in order to navigate successfully. Let’s take a look at how it’s possible to transport oil to facilities all over the country.
Midstream Oil and Gas Pipelines
The pipeline, or piping, represents the most prevalent way that our oil industry starts the process of transportation and distribution for widespread use. In order to accomplish this, a large network of pipelines not only needs to be constructed, but also maintained with components that meet robust safety standards. When it comes to piping, there are a variety of challenges and obstacles to transport oil across long distances. Here’s just some of the obstacles involved in the midstream oil and gas pipes:
1. Pump/Compressor Station
Getting gas and oil to travel the long distance to downstream processing facility locations requires extreme levels of compression. Even with higher amounts of pressure, the pipeline routes need pump/compressor stations at regular intervals to keep everything moving. These stations require top of the line valves and components to ensure safety and efficiency.
The midstream oil and gas pipeline network not only crisscrosses our entire nature, but it stretches across borders as well. This means that constructing and maintaining pipelines require the successful navigation of multiple countries and political waters. It also requires the right paperwork and permits, tax negotiating, and equipment compliance with local regulations.
Not only do pipelines need to travel across borders, they need to be able to navigate certain terrains. A pipelines journey may begin on flatlands. However, it will need to travel through deserts, mountains, frozen land, and even through the ocean. These varieties of terrain types require unique considerations in regards to the pipeline’s components, construction, and maintenance.
One of the most critical aspects of piping is its maintenance. The pipeline holds the high responsibility of transporting our nations oil. Because of this, it is crucial that we take measures to prevent the pipes from bursting or cracking. This would have results that are devastating to the environment and would be extremely expensive to fix. It would also cause significant issues in terms of supply and demand. Terrain conditions and the nature of geopolitical affairs make proper measures of maintenance even more complicated.
Midstream Safety and Equipment
The safety and efficiency of the midstream oil and gas sector comes down to the manufacturing of quality pipeline components. The pipelines itself are generally crafted from steel, and are incorporated with a set of valves and compressors at various pump stations to ensure the successful transition of natural gas and oil products to the correct regions and facilities. This process can stretch for thousands of miles and even cross international borders. The equipment used to employ this highly important and complex transportation process is essential to so many different nation’s economies and societal quality of life.
This process begins with employing quality manufacturers who understand the importance of the oil system and the equipment they provide. Quality piping, valves, and compressors are the key to maintaining this efficient network. However, pipeline spills aren’t as common as you would think. Heightened safety measures and manufacturing protocols mean that the number of accidents that occur are actually less than a fraction of a percent.
Upstream and Downstream Conduit
The midstream oil and gas sector has a leading economic impact on a wide array of individuals, organizations, and countries. This critical sector of the oil industrial is huge. It successfully handles one of the largest and most complex logistical challenges in the whole world. Besides the economic contribution of the oil industry itself, it is important to keep in mind just what the midstream sector is accomplishing.
The midstream oil and gas sector gives the intrinsic link between both the upstream and downstream sectors. In turn, this makes it possible for end consumers to utilize services and goods in their everyday life. The oil industry is far reaching, contributing to a large number or products and services. With the help of the midstream sector, it is obvious why the oil industry has continued its growth and why individual consumption is at an all-time high.
Peripheral Valve Internals
Complete Valve Repair Kits
P.E.T. Compressor Parts