How do we fulfill the world’s future energy needs?
Not all countries were born equal in terms of energy resources. Not all countries around the world have the oil of Saudi Arabia, or the natural gas fields of Russia. This imbalance of resource spread, and the similar imbalance in economic needs, leads to a need for energy imports and exports.
As a general rule, the only type of energy that is currently importable (efficiently), would be non-renewable energy. This would involve mainly oil and gas (with coal usage dropping, due to resource depletion and excessive Chinese use).
Transportation of such energy resources requires the existence of stable delivery systems, which are easily manageable, and do not cost much money.The most efficient transportation forms known today, would be pipelines.
Pipelines, being the best known transportation form out there, have 2 primary advantages. Those would be stability in location (you can’t change or move a pipeline once established), and sturdiness (where a well-made pipeline can sustain effort for decades after construction).
Regardless of the advantages, this doesn’t mean that pipelines don’t have their downfalls.
The need for proper pipelines management.
Pipelines aren’t simply structures for energy transportation. Generally, a pipeline will extend for 10s, if not 100s of miles. When foreign countries sign contracts for energy trades, the go-to method is usually a pipeline system, exceeding hundreds of miles in construction length.
And because of the long-distance they cover, pipe maintenance can be an extreme chore. It is inefficient, and extremely costly, to have personnel managing and securing each mile of the pipeline system. This mean that technical recording methods, are required to check for proper pipeline functioning.
You then have to take into consideration the terrain where the pipe passes through. Certain areas may not be suitable to build a pipeline system, and for a variety of reasons. It could be due to natural disaster in the area (earthquakes), natural resource mining in the location, or even environmentalist reasons.
Speaking of environmentalism…
Yes, environmental activists can affect pipelines construction.
The best example of this, would be the cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline Project Stage 4, amid protests on the pipeline’s effects. If you didn’t know, the Keystone Pipeline is supposed to be a major energy transportation system, connecting the USA and Canada.
The primary reason for cancelling the project, would be the routing of the pipeline over Nebraskan Sand Hills, which are a conserved area in the United States. The fear is justifiable, considering the possibilities of pipe installation errors which may lead to malfunctions, such as pipe bursts, or improper oil flow requiring a pipeline dismantle.
Regardless, the main point emphasized here isn’t the environment. Instead, it is the need for proper pipeline surveillance and control systems. Insuring that the pipeline is installed correctly, in the correct areas, with proper measuring and maintenance techniques,is necessary for proper functioning.
The millions of tons of resources passing through pipelines…
Pipelines transport mainly oil, naturally extracted from oil fields, or shipped to loading sites through barrels. When millions of tons of oil are being injected into a piping system, it is necessary to optimize the piping system, to ensure that the oil can pass through.
This is called flow measurement, and it ensures that problems do not occur that obstruct or backtrack oil’s movement through the system. This includes diagnosing system chokes, optimizing the system with necessary flow conditioners and nozzles, and ensuring that the pipeline works similar to the lab conditions at the time of testing.
Securing a pipeline as such, can prove to be a difficult task, requiring experience by expert technicians in the field, with an understanding of the loads imposed on such systems.
Is there a company to help out with the optimization process?
Absolutely! Canada Pipeline Accessories is a company that provides flow conditioner technology,ensuring that piping systems for energy delivery, are in optimal shape for effective flow!
The service is perfect if you need a professional service that provides flow nozzle and flow conditioner technology, in addition to computational fluid dynamics technology, monitoring the efficiency of any piping system, whether local or international!