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How Companies Monitor Oil Pipelines

Oil companies use a variety of methods to monitor the pipeline channels. These methods range from highly advanced technology to manual patrolling of the pipeline after a certain period. Visual inspections are also performed regularly, either through flying, walking or the use of unmanned flying aircrafts such as drones.

All these are controlled from high tech control rooms that are located within the pipeline.

Most of the companies set aside millions of dollars as part of the budget to monitor these pipelines, because any mess and it turns ugly. Go here to see how this can turn out.

The Control Room

Just like any mission control out there, the pipeline employees use a control room from which the operations of the pipeline are easily monitored. The systems in the control room are connected to every pumping station, sensor and every maintenance operation that is being performed. They are also in touch with every patrol that happens in the air as well on the ground.

The aim is to detect any change in the regular operation of the pipeline and any associated systems.


The pipelines are carefully monitored every time using remote sensors that track any changes in the flow rate, pressure and the temperature. When something is detected, a maintenance crew is dispatched immediately to the pipeline to conduct repairs and make sure the pipeline is operating the right way.

Another way to monitor the pipelines is through the use of specialized video surveillance cameras that have hydrocarbon sensors to detect any leaks in the pipes. Aircrafts also check out the pipelines from the air to make sure there are no visible leaks or damages to the pipes.

Keeping the Pipelines Clean

Another way that these companies use to make sure the pipelines are working properly is to keep the insides clean. This makes sure the oil in the pipelines flows smoothly and prevents any corrosion. Cleaning makes use of large oil brushes that are attached to a tool that moves through the pipeline. During the process, corrosion inhibitors are applied to prevent further corrosion of the pipes.

Monitoring Natural Hazards

Natural hazards are a threat to the pipelines, including river erosion, earthquakes and landslides. These have the potential of damaging the pipelines. Members make use of imagery detection to monitor the occurrence of biohazards in real time.

In Closing

The pipelines can be monitored in different ways to make sure they are working smoothly. Failure to monitor the pipes can lead to incidences that cause leakages.