Transportation of Crude Oil and Petroleum Products


NARRATOR: TRANSPORTATION OF
CRUDE AND PETROLEUM PRODUCTS VIA PIPELINES AND MARINE VESSELS
IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE OIL INDUSTRY. THE PRODUCTS ARE ALSO STORED
IN LARGE TANK FORMS. OVERLAND, PIPELINES HANDLE
MOST OF THIS LOAD, TRANSPORTING CRUDE OIL, DARK
PRODUCTS OR HEAVIER OILS THAT RESULT FROM REFINING, AND
CLEAN PRODUCTS, SUCH AS GASOLINE, JET FUEL,
AND DIESEL. OBVIOUSLY A PIPELINE LEAK, OR A
PIPELINE RUPTURE, IS A MAJOR CONCERN TO ANY PIPELINE
OPERATOR, FROM A PUBLIC HEALTH AND SAFETY STANDPOINT, AS
WELL AS AN ENVIRONMENTAL STANDPOINT. PIPELINE OPERATIONS ARE
CONTINUOUSLY MONITORED BY CONTROL CENTERS. THEY INVOLVE A NUMBER OF
MONITORING STATIONS THAT MONITOR FLOW, THEY MONITOR
PRESSURE, THEY MONITOR TEMPERATURE OF THE MATERIAL
MOVING THROUGH THE PIPELINE. CONTROL CENTERS CAN OPEN AND
CLOSE VALVES ON A PIPELINE THROUGH TELEMETRY,
REMOTE CONTROL ON VALVES OR CONTROL BOXES. THEY ALSO SUPERVISE AND
COMMUNICATE WITH PERSONNEL IN THE FIELD THAT ARE
OVERSEEING MANUAL OPERATION ON A PIPELINE. HELLO, RON. YES? YEAH, RON, WHY DON’T YOU GO
AHEAD AND BLEED DOWN 10 PUMP. AND SOON AS THEY’RE DONE WITH
THAT, WE’LL GET READY TO START PUMPING THAT MTBE TO
LAR ON THE 64 LINE. OK, I’LL GO AHEAD
AND LINE IT UP. OK, DISPATCHER’S STARTING
PUMP 65. DO YOU HAVE A GAUGE ON
206 ALREADY, DARREL? WE’LL RUN THAT FOR ABOUT
TWO TO THREE HOURS. OK, COPY THAT. NARRATOR: FEDERAL AND STATE
REGULATIONS GOVERN THE EMISSIONS OF VOLATILE ORGANIC
VAPORS FROM MARINE VESSELS AND TANK FARMS DURING THE
TRANSFER PROCESS. AS A LARGE CARGO HOLD IS FILLED,
VOLATILE ORGANIC COMPOUNDS FROM THE PREVIOUS LOAD
ARE DISPLACED, BUT CANNOT BE EMITTED INTO THE
ATMOSPHERE. THESE VAPORS ARE PIPED TO A
COLLECTION AREA, WHERE THEY’RE CONCENTRATED AND PUT INTO
A THERMAL OXIDIZER. THE THERMAL OXIDIZER, IN EFFECT,
IS A LARGE FLAME THAT BURNS THESE VAPORS AT
APPROXIMATELY 1,400 DEGREES, REDUCING THE HYDROCARBON VAPORS
BY 95% REDUCTION. NARRATOR: TANKS USED TO STORE
CRUDE OIL AND PETROLEUM PRODUCTS ARE TYPICALLY
SURROUNDED BY FIREWALLS AND SECONDARY CONTAINMENT BERMS. THEY’RE ALSO SUBJECT TO AIR
REGULATIONS, AND MANY HAVE FLOATING ROOFS. AS THE PRODUCT FILLS OR EMPTIES
FROM THE TANK, THE LID RISES AND FALLS, MAINTAINING
CONTACT WITH THE LIQUID. BY ELIMINATING THE HEAD SPACE
WHERE HYDROCARBONS COULD VOLATILIZE, FLAMMABILITY AND
ATMOSPHERIC RELEASES ARE GREATLY REDUCED. THE LIDS HAVE DOUBLE SEALS,
WHICH FUNCTION AS A WIPER, REMOVING HYDROCARBONS
FROM THE TANK WALLS. WASTE WATER TREATMENT PLAYS
AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN THE OPERATIONAL OF PETROLEUM
STORAGE AND PIPELINE FACILITIES. CONDENSATION THAT FORMS INSIDE
TANKS MUST BE REMOVED. WATER, USED FOR HIGH PRESSURE
TESTING OF PIPELINE INTEGRITY AND STORM WATER RUNOFF,
MUST ALL BE TREATED. TYPICAL WASTE WATER TREATMENT
AT A FACILITY MIGHT INCLUDE SEPARATION OF OIL AND ANY
FLOATING HYDROCARBON PRODUCT, FILTRATION OF THE WATER THROUGH
A SAND FILTER TYPE SYSTEM, AND THEN RUNNING THE
WATER THROUGH LARGE GRANULAR ACTIVATED CARBON VESSELS TO
REMOVE ANY DISSOLVED PHASE HYDROCARBONS FROM THE WATER. FOLLOWING THAT, THE WATER WOULD
BE TESTED FOR WATER QUALITY STANDARDS AND IF IT MET
THESE STANDARDS, WOULD BE DISCHARGED UNDER AN
NPDES PERMIT. NARRATOR: FROM THE MIDDLE EAST
TO JAPAN, FROM ALASKA TO THE LOWER 48, OIL IS TRANSPORTED
TO GLOBAL MARKETS. THE MOST ECONOMICAL WAY TO
MOVE LARGE QUANTITIES OF PETROLEUM PRODUCTS IS BY SHIP. MODERN SUPERTANKERS CARRY MORE
THAN TWO MILLION BARRELS OF OIL, A VOLUME EQUAL TO FIVE
AND A HALF MILLION AUTOMOBILE GAS TANKS.