May 17, 2016

PIPELINES 101: The Liquids System

More than 200,000 miles of liquids pipelines safely transport propane, crude oil, gasoline, jet fuel, ethanol and other energy products across the United States every day. The products flowing through liquids pipelines are used to manufacture medicines, plastics and foods and to fuel cars, trucks and airplanes.

Crude oil products originate in the United States from one of three places: wells on land, offshore wells and foreign wells. Pipelines transport crude products from the origination source to storage tanks or to refineries and chemical plants that process them to create refined liquids products, including gasoline, heating fuel, diesel fuel, jet fuel and oil feed stocks.

Depending on the product and its final use, it is transported by pipeline from the refinery or chemical plant to manufacturing facilities, storage facilities or distribution terminals. Some products, such as heating oil and gasoline, are then transported from a distribution terminal to homes and gas stations in tanker trucks.

Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC operates approximately 12,000 miles and 50 storage terminals in the United States. Each day we safely transport crude oil, gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, highly volatile liquids and other refined liquids products. Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC has pipeline assets in: California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Because pipelines run horizontally, they need an occasional boost to keep the product moving. This job is done by a series of aboveground facilities called pumping, or booster, stations that push products through the line. Pumping stations are typically located at regular intervals every 20 to 100 miles along the pipeline, depending on the size and pressure of the line.

In addition to pumping stations, valves are located along the pipeline system. Valves are used to restrict the flow of product or to provide access to a section of the line for cleaning or maintenance. If a pipeline emergency occurs, a local pipeline representative will be responsible for operating valves as needed. Emergency responders should not try to operate a valve.

Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC lines are monitored around-the-clock with sensors that transmit valuable data to our centralized Control Center, located in Bartlesville, Okla. This data is monitored and analyzed continuously to ensure safe operations.

Multiple products can flow through a common liquids transmission pipeline. Therefore, it is important that emergency officials understand the hazards associated with products flowing through lines in their jurisdiction.

For more information about the Phillips 66 Pipeline LLC’s liquid pipelines in your jurisdiction, contact us. Download our brochure for emergency responders, which contains pipeline product-specific hazard information.