The Environmental Benefits of Transporting Oil Through Pipelines
Why pipelines are considered cleaner than other methods
Oil is big business, because civilization requires fuel in order to survive. That being said, one of the ways in which environmental activists within gas companies are calling for environmental stewardship pertains to the transportation of oil. Experts find pipeline oil transportation to be immensely more environmentally friendly than other methods of transportation.
According to the World Factbook retrieved by the Central Intelligence Agency in September 2016, oil pipeline transportation occupies about 2,175,000 miles in 120 countries across the globe.
Pipeline transport of oil is not the only way companies move oil around the world. Two other leading methods include transportation by train and by truck. Roma Energy Holdings executive, Alexandro Rovirosa, explains the environmental benefits of transporting oil through pipelines over other transportation methods.
Pipeline Versus Rail Versus Truck
While moving oil through pipelines is among the more prevalent means of transporting oil, there are several other methods that oil companies use. Overall, pipeline transfer is the cheapest and safest for the environment. Here are a few reasons why.
Diesel and Gas Emissions
Trucks and trains emit high volumes of fumes into the atmosphere for the entire length of the journey — which can be thousands of miles. In contrast, Alexandro Rovirosa states that pipelines emit no fumes of any kind. This is because the pipes are typically buried deep in the ground.
Likelihood of Accidents
There has been a great deal of concern over the last few years about pipeline bursts or explosions. While any oil transportation method does include risk of accident, it is far more likely that truck transport of oil leads to accidents, spills, and explosions than with pipeline transport. Additionally, trains run the risk of derailing, creating significant hazards of their own.
The cost of maintaining train and truck equipment, combined with the staffing (operators) and fuel consumption, makes truck and rail transport significantly more expensive than pipeline oil transport in the long run. Alexandro Rovirosa explains that although pipelines have a larger initial cost for construction, they can save money for the company down the road.
Even though the energy sector (gas and oil in particular) are heavily regulated on the state and federal level, pipeline transport must meet far more federal regulations than does truck or rail transport. While this can pose an annoyance for private sector businesses and shareholders, the additional regulation creates more accountability with regards to public health and environmental sustainability which the population likes to see.
Understanding Greenhouse Gas Effects on the Environment
When regulating bodies and global warming experts speak about greenhouse gases, they are referring to gases emitted into the atmosphere and impacting global climate change. The most common greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide and methane. These gases are released in massive amounts when humans burn fossil fuels, cut down forests, create waste, and more.
While the current gas and oil consumption around the world does create concern for environmental experts, it is far less dangerous than some of the previously common energy methods (such as burning coal in the late 19th to mid 20th Century). That being said, civilization must generate energy to survive. Therefore, energy companies and governing bodies are working together to continue finding ways to lower the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere from the oil and gas sector.
Alexandro Rovirosa is not only the CEO of Roma Energy, but a longtime veteran of the industry. His background in downstream operations (sales and marketing) as well as law merges with his skills in business development to make notable adjustments in fuel exploration and production. Learn more about Roma Energy online or connect with him on LinkedIn.