1
$\begingroup$

I know major oil pipelines do exists either underground or under the seabed. However, these usually move crude/unrefined oil from refinery to refinery. Yet we don't have refined petroleum or gas directly piped from refinery to the gas station? I mean we have done it with electricity, water, sewage, stormwater and piped LPG gas (for cooking), why do we still see petrol takers plying the roads to top up gas stations that you go to top up your car?

NOTE: I understand this is easier to achieve in big cities and Urban areas rather than laying pipework for rural areas. But I so not yet have concrete info this is implemented in long term gas stations located in the cities.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ It's not strictly true that all those other fluids are piped. Rural areas get Propane trucked in; many houses are on wells as well as having individual septic systems. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Jul 18 '17 at 14:13
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Maybe the USA has fuel stations that only sell "gasoline", but in the UK the average station sell at least 3 and often more types of fuel, (e.g. two grades of gasoline + one or two grades of auto diesel + "red diesel" for farm machinery + LPG autogas + etc, etc ....) each of which would require a separate pipe. Apart from the safety aspects the cost would be prohibitive. $\endgroup$ – alephzero Jul 18 '17 at 14:35
  • $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft Im mostly referring to gas stations in Urban and/or Metropolis areas. Note. I've updated my question to reflect that. $\endgroup$ – Nederealm Jul 20 '17 at 6:47
  • $\begingroup$ Actually, in the real world various products are shipped through a single pipeline ( not at the same time). There is very little mixing between cargoes. And there are procedures to divert the tiny amount of mixed material . For example , switching from "regular" to" High octane" will require any possible mixed material to go into the regular tank. I am still surprised how much "fake" information is on the internet. $\endgroup$ – blacksmith37 Jul 21 '17 at 18:00
1
$\begingroup$

To begin with, gas/petrol filling stations may or may not be located at one site for a long period of time. Dealing with a disused pipeline for a closed station will be a problem. Continually extending the pipeline network will cause disruptions.

One of the main issues, is like water distribution pipelines, pipelines for oil/petroleum products can burst, rust out and leak. Water leaks can be disruptive but are environmentally benign. Leaks from oil/petroleum pipelines can be environmentally catastrophic. No-one wants to have ground or ground water contaminated by oil/petroleum products.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Your last point, while valid in theory, is ignored in practice -- look at all the crude pipelines in place and under construction. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Jul 18 '17 at 14:12
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft a pipeline network not relevant ... $\endgroup$ – Solar Mike Jul 18 '17 at 14:14
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft Crude pipelines are only built on land that is owned by the pipeline operator, and not used for any other purpose (at least, that is the case in the UK - I can't speak for the USA). A gasoline pipe network connected to every fuel station would have to be routed similarly to water, LPG gas, underground electricity and phones cables, etc , and would be at risk of damage from every klutz contractor who digs a trench somewhere without checking what's already underground! That is a completely different risk scenario from a large oil pipeline. $\endgroup$ – alephzero Jul 18 '17 at 14:29
  • $\begingroup$ @alephzero You might want to look at the news stories from the last 18 months concerning a crude pipeline under construction thru land supposedly belonging to Native American tribes. $\endgroup$ – Carl Witthoft Jul 18 '17 at 17:49
  • $\begingroup$ @CarlWitthoft Why should I care about new stories from foreign country about what a bunch of former immigrants are doing to the indigenous people who where there before them ? Not my problem - except that almost everything the USA does is the rest of the world's problem as well, unfortunately ;) $\endgroup$ – alephzero Jul 18 '17 at 18:40
0
$\begingroup$

The statement part of you questions is mostly incorrect. There are a great number of product pipelines ( At least in the US) . There are a few stations that have pipelines to refineries or bulk plants but that is unusual. Some of the problems have been mentioned ; certainly the biggest problem would be getting the plethora of permits for each line. Another tremendous problem is the ignorant public ; For existing pipelines the most common cause of significant leaks is "third party" damage. Where a contractor for a city, state, etc, puts a hole in an 18" pipe because he didn't see it or all the warning signs. Can you imagine if there were a million 1" diameter pipes running all over? Corrosion caused by interference in cathodic protection is already a problem with pipelines in urban areas. However , there are many more local supply lines than you can imagine, for example I expect about every major airport is supplied by pipe ( jet and av gas). Most interstate truck stops have pipelines,etc.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Any public sources of reference in technical publications of such network you mentioned that I can access? $\endgroup$ – Nederealm Jul 20 '17 at 6:50
  • $\begingroup$ API has publications about some of it. Individual oil and pipeline companies have some in company info. I don't think they like to be to specific about pipelines to avoid problems from environmentalists ; For example , the Aleska pipeline has had several bullets bounced off of it but I don't know where that might be public . NACE technical papers will have some info but you would need to be a member or pay for them. $\endgroup$ – blacksmith37 Jul 21 '17 at 16:03

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.