Transports of crude to refineries and petroleum products from refineries to consumer markets need meticulous planning. While giant tanker ships are used for international transport of crude oil pipe lines are considered a cheap, quick and safe means of intra-national / or intra-regional transport of crude, gas and petroleum products.
In India also a net-work of pipe line has been laid down to link oilfields with inland refineries and markets. These pipe lines have not only relieved the pressure on surface transport system (especially on railways and roads) but have been proved to be more dependable, safe and cost effective. Some important pipelines are as follows:
1. Nahorkatiya-Noonmati-Barauni Pipeline (1152 km)-this is die first pipeline of the country constructed by OIL for transporting crude oil from Nahorkatiya oilfield in Assam to Barauni via Noonmati oil refineries. In the first phase (1962), the pipeline was laid down between Nahorkatiya and Moran and then to Noonmati. In the second phase (1964) the pipe line was extended from Noonmati to Barauni refinery (Bihar). It has potentiality of transporting about 40 lakh tones of oil annually. The pipeline passes over 78 small/large rivers. It has 9 pumping stations and a number of subsidiary pipe lines:
(a) Noonmati-Siliguri Pipeline to transport petroleum products from Noonmati to Siliguri.
(b) Lakwa-Rudrasagar-Barauni pipeline completed in 1968 to transport crude oil from Lakwa and Rudrasagar to Barauni oil refinery.
(c) Barauni-Haldiapipeline laid down in 1966 to carry refined petroleum products to Haldia port and bring back crude oil to Barauni refinery.
(d) Barauni-Kanpur pipeline completed in 1966 to transport refined petroleum products to Kanpur city.
(e) Noonmati-Bongaigaon to transport raw materials for Bongaigaon petro-chemical complex.
(f) Haldia-Maurigram-Rajbandh pipeline has been completed recently.
2. Bombay High-Mumbai-Ankleshwar-Koyali Pipeline-this line connects the oil fields of Bombay High and Gujarat with Koyali refinery. Mumbai city has been connected with 210 km long double pipeline to Bombay High to transport crude oil and natural gas. Ankleshwar-Koyali pipeline was completed in 1965 to transport crude oil to the refinery.
3. Salaya-Koyali-Mathura Pipeline-this 1,075 km long pipeline has been laid down from Salaya (in the Gulf of Kachchh) to Koyali and Mathura via Viramgram to supply crude oil to the extended Koyali refinery and Mathura refinery. It has an offshore terminal for imported crude oil. The terminal and the Salaya-Koyali sector of the pipeline was completed in 1978 and the Viramgram-Mathura sector in 1981. Oil and Gas Pipelines line, and the Koyali-Ahmadabad Products Pipeline (completed in 1966).
6. Mumbai is a distribution centre for petrw leum products. Two important pipelines join Mumbai to Pune and Manmad.
7. Haldia-Kolkata pipeline is an important | means of transporting refined petroleum products Kolkata and neighbouring areas.
8. Hajira-Bijaipur-Jagdishpur(HBJ) Gas Pipeline-This 1,750 km long gas pipeline has been laid
4. Mathura-Delhi-Ambala-Jalandhar Pipeline with a total distance of 513 km has been constructed to transport refined products of Mathura refinery to market centers of north-western India.
5. Gujarat state has a number of small pipe lines which transport crude oil, natural gas and refined products to refineries and markets.
These include Kalol-Sabarmati Crude Kalol-Koyali Crude Pipeline, the Cambay-Dhuvaran Gas Pipeline, the Ankaleshwar-Uttaran Gas Pipeline, the Ankleshwar-Vadodara Associated Gas Pipe down by the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL) with estimated cost of 1,700.17 crore rupees to transport natural gas from the Western Coast oilfields to the interior parts of the country.
This gas will be utilised in running three power houses at Kawas (Gujarat), Anta (Rajasthan), and Auraiya (U.P.); starting 6 fertiliser plants at Bijaipur, Sawai Madhopur, Jagdishpur, Shahjahanpur. Aonla and Babrala, and establishing two LPG plants. Each fertiliser plant will have capacity of producing 1,350 tons of ammonia per day. The pipeline passes through 343.7 km long rocky area, 56.3 km long forest area besides crossing 29 railway crossings and 75 big (7) and small rivers. This is the largest underground pipeline of the world which will help in the economic development of Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh. Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.
9. Kandla-Bathinda Pipeline-a 1331 km long pipeline is proposed to be laid down by the IOC with estimated cost of Rs. 690 crores to transport imported crude to Bathinda oil refinery.
10. Chennai-Trichy-Madurai Pipeline-A 683 km. long pipeline with estimated cost of Rs. 400 crores is being laid down by 90C to transport petroleum products in South India.
Crude oil extracted from oil-fields has many impurities which are removed through refining process. This yields various petroleum products like light distillates, kerosene, diesel, lubricants, bitumen, petrol and aviation fuel Refining is a complex process involving huge investment. The total refining capacity of crude oil was 2 lakh tones per annum in 1901 which increased to 4 lakh tones in 1950-51. With the establishment of three more refineries (2 at Trombay and 1 at Vishakhapatnam) this capacity increased to 16.5 million tons in 1960-61. Five new refineries were set upatNoonmati, Barauni, Koyali, Kochi and Chennai as a result of which total refining capacity increased to 40 million tons in 1970-7 I. With the commissioning of Haldia, Bongaigaon and Mahura refineries the refining capacity increased to 52.8 million tonnes. The refing capacity at the beginning of Ninth Plan (1997-98) was 61.55 million tones which is expected to reach 130 million tons by the end of the Ninth Plan (India, 1998, p.408). After the commissioning of Mathura refinery (1982) no new refinery was set up to augment refining capacity for a long time, except to upgrade the capacity of certain existing refineries. Of the 12 existing refineries 11 lie in public sector and I (at Digboi) in private sector.