Texas has the largest pipeline infrastructure in the nation, with more than 425,939 miles of pipeline representing about 1/6 of the total pipeline mileage of the entire United States. Texas’ pipelines are divided into categories:
natural gas and LP-gas distribution lines (more than 146,966 miles)
hazardous liquid and natural gas transmission lines (more than 69,169 miles)
intrastate production and gathering lines leaving a lease lines (more than 163,543 miles)
interstate lines (46,097 miles).
The Railroad Commission of Texas has safety responsibility over the first three categories.
There are two general types of energy pipelines – liquid petroleum pipelines and natural gas pipelines. The petroleum pipelines feature a number of other “sub lines” based on what is going through a pipe. For example, there are crude oil lines, carbon dioxide lines, refined oil lines, and lines for highly volatile liquids.
Pipelines are made from steel or plastic tubes which are usually buried. The oil is moved through the pipelines by pump stations along the pipeline. Pumping stations are positioned throughout the length of the pipeline to adjust the pressure, pump the product along the line and monitor flow and other information about the transmittal of the product.