Working on an Oil or Gas Pipeline
The idea of a pipeline might sound outdated to you because of all the advancements that have been made in transportation, but for natural gases it's still the least expensive, safest, most convenient and most popular method of transportation used globally. Although most all pipelines today are used on land or underground, there are some short distance pipelines that run under the sea. In fact, the largest pipeline stretches more than 200,000 miles and is located in the U.S. There isn't another country that comes close to the amount of pipeline that exists in the U.S. What's more, pipeline sections are constantly being added to make existing ones even longer, and new pipelines are being built every day to transport even more gas.
The main function of these pipelines is to transport crude oil to the refineries. This is known as midstream processing and for a very good reason - the pipelines are the middlemen between upstream and downstream. Most of the pipelines that exist are being used to their maximum potential, so as our need for and production of natural gas increases, we must build more pipelines to transport it. This not only creates new jobs but boosts our economy, as well.
All across America there is a complex network of pipelines that are transporting oil and gas at any time of the day or night. These pipelines work very similar to a subway as they often run underground and across large areas of land. And just like a subway, there are sections in the pipeline for pick-ups, drop-offs and transfers. Their ultimate job is to take oil, gas or refined products to their destination. These types of products are used every day of our lives to fuel our cars and heat our homes, and it's the pipelines that make this possible.
As you can imagine, building and maintaining an entire pipeline is no easy task and involves thousands and thousands of people. Workers of the pipeline enjoy the outdoors, physical challenges and must have the ability to think fast and handle problems as they occur. Pipelines job opportunities include workers who help in transportation and general labor, as well as highly skilled workers like welders and engineers. From simple entry-level positions to the experts with decades of experience, the complexity of the jobs is as diverse as the pipelines themselves.
Did You Know? A total of 160 pipeline companies in the U. S. operate 300,000 miles of pipe. 180,000 miles of that consists of interstate pipelines. This pipeline capacity is capable of transporting over 148 billion cubic feet of gas per day.
There are many different types of jobs that are involved in the various aspects of building and maintaining a pipeline. The pipeline is the beginning of what is known as midstream processing and plays a crucial role in processing.
Pipeline jobs in general can be quite physical and are often spent working out the field embracing all types of weather conditions. Jobs on the pipeline involve simple maintenance and routine labor activities such as painting, construction work, reclamation, construction and more. With as little as a high school diploma and a passed physical exam you can get hired and start training for a job.
Field workers are classified in one of the following categories: drilling, pipeline transportation, well services and seismic. The most popular, and often largest sector, is pipeline transportation. Some of the most common pipeline transportation jobs include station helpers, maintenance utility workers, painters, rehabilitation workers and terminal helpers. Many of these positions are entry-level and are perfect for people who want to try a new career path, as well as those just entering the job market. These opportunities can provide the perfect training an individual needs to be able to move into different positions which have more responsibility and higher pay.
There is no limit to the jobs that can be attained with hard work, dedication and experience.
Did You Know? There are approximately 1,200 natural gas distribution companies in the United States.
Pipeline Past and Future
When most Americans hear the word pipeline they automatically think of the trans-Alaska pipeline system known as TAPS. This pipeline was built back in the 1970s and cost roughly $8 billion dollars.
It took 25,000 laborers and even more contractors to piece together the approximately 100,000 pipeline pieces. In America today many things have changed since TAPS.
Unlike the older pipeline of Alaska, today we build most of our pipelines underground and even under the sea in some cases. The U.S. is known to have some of the largest gas reservoirs in the world and as we establish additional projects to tap into these giant resources, new pipeline projects will be the result. As you can see from how many people it took to build the TAPS, many jobs will be created when we start drilling into more of our reservoirs. There are many new pipelines that need to be built in the immediate future - in fact, of the major proposed projects, there are more than 3,700 miles of pipeline needing to be built.
With a greater understanding of how pipelines transport natural gases and the jobs that can be involved in this process, let's move on to the next page where we'll talk about an overview of refinery jobs.
Oil & Gas Pipeline Jobs Overview Summary
- Pipelines are the safest, cheapest and most convenient way to transport natural gas.
- Most pipelines transport crude oil to refineries for processing.
- The U.S. has the longest pipeline in the world and they build more every day.
- As our need for natural gas increases, so does our need for more pipelines.
- From the NW to the NE, there are more than 3,700 miles of pipeline that will soon be built. More pipelines mean more people are needed to build and maintain them.