Advantages of Different Methods of Crude Oil Transportation

Posted: December 31, 2012 in Uncategorized

Like it or not, our modern world is heavily dependent on oil. It’s no surprise then that oil transportation is a major industry in and of itself, with a number of means of transport available depending on the situation at hand. These methods include pipelines, tankers, barges, trains, and trucks. Each of these methods has its own advantages and is desirable in certain situations, and a single bit of oil might see several of these transportation methods during its transit time.


Oil pipelines are the most efficient means of transporting oil. They can handle enormous amounts of oil day in and day out with very little human interaction, and they can cover enormous distances. The longest oil pipeline in the world is the Druzhba pipeline, which is primarily in Russia. Oil pipelines are most often used on land, due to the much higher cost of constructing a pipeline under water. Many pipeline construction companies build a variety of different pipeline types, not just oil pipelines. For example, companies like Niels Fugal also handle natural gas pipelines.

Tankers and Barges

Oil tankers are used for oil transport overseas or from sea to shore. Tankers can carry huge amounts of oil, and they have the flexibility of being able to transport to a variety of locations, whereas pipelines have fixed networks and limited ranges. As the name implies, tankers store large quantities of oil in enormous tanks on the ship.

Unlike oil tankers, barges are used to transport oil in barrels. This allows for easy loading and unloading of measured units of oil.

Trains and Trucks

Trains are useful for transporting large amounts of oil over land and can generally reach a wider network of locations than oil pipelines can.

Trucks are the most limited oil transportation method in terms of storage capacity, but they have the greatest flexibility in potential destinations. This means trucks are often the last step in the transport process, delivering oil and refined petroleum products to their intended storage destinations.

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