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Pipeline Construction

Pipeline companies constantly assess the growth and demand for energy to project when and where new capacity for transporting energy products is needed. Following is a general discussion of the steps involved in the placement of new energy transmission pipelines to serve growing population centers as well as commercial and industrial needs.

Overview

constructionPlanning for new capacity must begin far in advance of transporting the first barrel of oil or refined petroleum product, or the first cubic foot of natural gas. Pipeline companies must determine possible routes for the new pipelines; acquire the rights-of-way (ROW) to build, operate and maintain the lines; engineer the actual system designs; and, construct the lines. All of these steps are subject to rigorous regulatory reviews and approvals. Construction can only begin after the route selection receives regulatory approval, ROW is obtained, and the system design is completed.

Regardless of the length of the pipeline, the construction process must be carefully planned to ensure the safety and integrity of the new pipeline, and then executed to meet construction schedules and seasonal weather conditions. In some ways, installing a pipeline is much like an assembly-line process, with sections of the pipeline being completed in a sequence of repetitive steps.

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