Pipeline transport refers to the transportation of goods through a system of pipes. Many types of goods will meet transfer requirements along big distances through pipes. Such goods may be beer, water, slurry or even solid capsules (transported through pneumatic tubes using compressed air). Therefore, the conclusion is that any liquid substance, stable substance, or even gas will find reliable transportation solutions through pipes.
However, the most important are those that transport oil and gas. The biggest and the best-known system is the worldwide pipeline map. It provides the necessary quantity of oil and gas anywhere in the world with minimum of money spent and without any hazards, the system of pipes being very safe.
The world's pipeline map experiences division into large pieces, which correspond to all the continents and large oceanic platforms from where or towards which oil and gas will have to begin or end their "trip": these are the smaller pipeline maps, which chart transportation of oil and natural gas within a single continent, or sometimes between larger continental pieces.
Pipeline maps indicate that pipes will meet construction requirements from the donor country, such as Russia, and spread towards the receiving countries, in the European example the receivers being all the central and western countries. Because of their great length and level of usage, these pipes have to undergo checking at a certain period to make sure that they are properly functioning. The engineers use for the inspection and cleaning pipeline inspection gauges, often known as "pigs".
There have been and still are debates about the first small pipeline map built, and these are between America and Russia. No matter who is right, the most important thing is that the pipeline maps are charting the most economical manner of transporting oil and gas in and over land. The biggest competitor of pipelines is the railroad, but the pipelines certainly win, as they are much more economical per unity and they also have higher capacities.
The oil and gas pipelines materials are steel and plastic tubes that sometimes have the interior diameter up to 120 centimeters, the minimum value being approximated around 30 centimeters. When built, these are set at the surface of the earth, but in many cases, these will go deep under the ground. We are talking about the urban locations, or the environmentally sensitive or dangerous areas.
What makes the oil continuously floating is a system of pumps that keep a constant speed of between one and 6 m/s. Sometimes this system of pipeline maps is useful for delineating the transport of not only one substance, but of more of them, usually without a physical separation.
A problem of oil transportation is that oil may come accompanied by many others substances, such as wax, which can create settlings on the pipes. The best solution for this is to send the "pigs" along the pipeline periodically.
Oil transport trough pipes, charted by the worldwide pipeline map or the smaller continental pipeline maps, is the best solution to the continuously higher demand for fuel. These are not only cheaper and easier to maintain, but they can also benefit from design and positioning far from urban areas and, of course, from the dangerous zones where the risk of accident is higher.