Overview of Pipeline Systems: Overview of Liquid Petroleum Pipeline Systems

Terminals are a critical component of our nation’s energy infrastructure. The purpose of terminals is to store vital products needed to support our energy demands. Terminals receive products from ship, rail and pipeline, and store them until they are ready to be sent via tanker truck, rail, barge or pipelines to end-use customers.

All terminals are equipped with a variety of containers that accept different products. The type of product being stored, dictates the shape of the container. Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), and other cryogenic liquids are stored in insulated tanks built to withstand temperatures in excess of minus two hundred and fifty degrees Fahrenheit. Flammable liquids are commonly stored in aboveground, low pressure type tanks with either cone-shaped, covered, or floating top lids. Liquefied Petroleum Gases (LPG), such as propane, are stored in bullet-style tanks that are constructed to accommodate the high pressures required to keep the product in liquid state.

Terminals include equipment, such as scrubbers and filters needed to receive materials by pipeline. Filters and scrubbers assist with removing any contaminants that may have been picked up during the transportation process. Valves are also commonly used in terminals to direct product flow. After leaving the tank, the product is loaded onto racks that can accommodate trucks or rail cars to move the product to its end-stage consumer. Products can also be moved to ships and barges to be transported to various ports throughout the United States. If the product is to be moved by pipeline, compressors or pumps are used to raise the pressure of the product to a level suitable for re-introduction to the pipeline.

Sophisticated leak detection and emergency alert systems are utilized in terminal facilities to provide early notification of any possible product spill or release. In areas where there is an ignition risk, advanced fire detection and suppression systems are installed. In addition to these safety measures, terminal operators have very detailed facility emergency response plans, and their personnel are highly trained on all of the products found within the facility.

Emergency responders are encouraged to reach out to terminal operators to discuss their emergency response plans and to conduct joint tabletop or full-scale exercises. Facility tours may also be offered by the operator, providing emergency responders the opportunity to become familiar with these unique facilities, and its personnel, prior to any potential incident. If you would like to request a facility tour or information conducting a drill with Kinder Morgan, please fill out the form found here http://PA-Inforequest.KinderMorgan.com

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