Currently, one of the biggest headlines in the United States is about the Keystone XL pipeline. This pipeline will run from the tar sands in Canada, where oil is pulled from the sand and pressurized to concentrate it, all the way through the United States to the Gulf of Mexico. From this point, the oil can then be shipped all around the world. The proponents of the pipeline believe that it will create a great number of jobs and boost the economy. The people who are against it believe that it will cause more problems environmentally than it will solve and that the boost in economics won’t go to the United States but rather to Canada and other countries around the world. Despite where you stand on this particular issue, it should drive home the fact that pipes and piping are incredibly important to the oil industry. You may not think about that fact very often, but they really are. The crude oil industry depends greatly on pipe fabrication.
First and foremost, it is through pipes that oil travels when companies drill for it across the planet. In order to get the oil from underneath the soil into barrels, it has to be pumped out of the ground. All of the oil that comes out of the ground is pumped through pipes. Once the oil is out of the ground, it is often moved from one location to another via pipes, much like the Keystone XL. There are numerous pipelines across the world that transport oil from one location to another.
In addition to both of these aspect of the crude oil industry, pipe fabrication is also incredibly important to the process of refining oil. If you are not familiar with pipe fabrication, it is essentially the practice of manufacturing pipes that are used in industrial industries. At a crude oil refinery, there can be tens of thousands of different fabricated pipes throughout the site. All of them carry different liquids that are used in the process of refining crude oil, from chemicals to water at different temperatures to crude oil itself. The piping inside an oil refinery is one of the most impressive things a person can see. It is truly incredible to look at all of the thousands of pipes and think about how they are all working together to create crude oil.
To drive home the point of how important pipe fabrication is to the crude oil industry, it is beneficial to look at an example. A great example is a project that Turner Industries, one of the better known pipe fabricators in the country, undertook recently. For the BP Whiting Modernization Project, they fabricated over 52,000 pipe spools. This allowed the company to increase the amount of oil they are producing each day by 260,000 barrels. Without the complex and custom made pipes from companies like Turner Industries, the crude oil industry simply wouldn’t be able to perform their service. They rely on these pipes to transport their oil out of the ground, to move it around the world, and to process it at crude oil facilities.