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16th August 2012

Outlines: of Oil Cross Country Movement

Modes of Product Transportation Road, Railway, Coastal Pipelines : An Introduction Advantages of Pipeline Transportation Beginning of Pipeline in Oil Transportation Development of pipelines in India Pipeline Network in India References

Cross Country Movement of Oil

(Vital source of energy, essential for domestic, industry, agriculture and transport sectors)

Crude Oil From Wells to Gathering Stations Finished Product From Refineries to Consumption Centres

From Gathering Stations to Refineries

From ports to Consumption Centres

Modes of Product Transportation

Road Railway Coastal Pipeline

Modes of Product Transportation

Most of the major consumption centers in India are land-locked.

This makes only Road, Rail and Pipeline as the feasible means of transportation of petroleum.
Tankers are used for movement between coastal locations.

Plays a crucial role in countrys transport sector for goods and passengers. For movement of petroleum products over long distances, road transportation is not very cost effective and efficient. Feasible only for short distances and secondary movement of petroleum products. Though movement by road results in excessive consumption of diesel and is a potential safety and environmental hazard, it still enjoys a large share in the modal mix due to unavoidable short distance movement from bulk depots to retails outlets.

Traditionally, the largest transporter of POL; developed since earlier days and cover substantial parts of the country. Besides petroleum products, railways also transport goods and passengers. Capacity of railways has already been over-stretched. With continuing growth on all spheres, railways transportation capacity would fall short of the transportation requirements. Due to cross-subsidisation, the freight for petroleum products is high. Rail transportation also leads to high energy consumption, environmental pollution and transit losses.

Railway have been Railways

Since the major consumption centers of the country are located in the hinterland, the movement of petroleum products through tankers is somewhat limited. Tankers are used for movement between coastal locations. This mode also suffers from capacity constraints in terms of draft availability, navigational facilities, jetties etc.

and The Most Important


The term pipeline in broader sense means a facility used to transport commodities from point of receipt to the point of delivery. Many commodities are transported through pipelines. Crude oil, petroleum products and gas are perhaps the most common commodities transported by pipelines.

Advantages of Pipeline Transportation

Lower cost of transportation Lower transit losses Lower energy intensiveness Economies of scale Safety and Reliability -minimum disruptions Environment friendliness

Multi-product handling Stationary carrier Augmentation at low cost Minimal land costs Decongestion of surface transport systems
Pipelines are the best suited mode for transportation of large volumes of petroleum over long leads.


Beginning of Pipelines in Oil Transportation

The first cross country oil pipeline was laid in Pensylvaniain 1879 from Bradford to Allen town, about 109 miles long and 6in diameter. The long distance pipeline transportation got a boost during World War II when coastal tanker traffic was disrupted. Discoveries of giant oil fields in remote parts of the world led to planning and execution of correspondingly large pipeline networks. Pipeline industry has grown in parallel with the development of world oil industry over the last one century.

Development of Pipelines in India

Most of the earlier Refineries in India were installed at coastal locations, thus depending on coastal movement of crude oil. Further, the refining capacities being low, the products were either consumed locally or transported to the consumption centers by rail or road. After 1960, most of the Refineries were installed in land-locked locations necessitating laying of crude & product pipelines.

During 1960-63, Oil India Limited laid the first trunk crude oil pipeline, 1156 km long from Naharkatiyaand Moran oil fields to the Refineries at Guwahatiand Barauni. The first cross country product pipeline was laid by IOCL during 1962-64 to transport products from Guwahati Refinery to Siliguri. Subsequently, a number of product and crude oil pipelines were laid in the 60s, 70s and 80s, including sub-sea crude oil pipelines.

Development of Pipelines in India

The pipelines laid during the 60s were designed, engineered and constructed by foreign companies. However, the exposure to this technology enabled Indian engineers to gain confidence, and the pipelines which came up later, were designed and constructed with indigenous expertise. The country today has about 20,000 km of major crude oil and product pipelines.

References: Indian Oil Corporation Ltd. Pipeline Division

Thanks a lot..!!!