Timeline of pipeline transport

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This is a timeline of pipeline transport, attempting to describe the evolution of pipelines mainly for urban and industrial purposes.

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Time period Development summary
Ancient times Early pipeline systems are built for water supply and sanitation purposes. Notable exceptions include bamboo pipes for gas transportation in China. Pipes made of clay or stone are widely used in Egypt, Mesopotamia and Rome.[1]
18th Century Cast-iron pipes are introduced commercially, as cast iron becomes relatively cheap.[2] This leads to a significant improvement in pipeline technology.[3]
19th Century The oil industry escalates, and also the need to be transported at constant and accessible way. The Steel pipe, a major milestone, is introduced, greatly increasing the strength of pipes of all sizes. The development of high-strength steel pipes makes possible the transport of natural gas and oil over long distances.[3] Cast-iron pipes come into common use in the 1840s.[2] The first natural-gas and petroleum pipelines in the United States are built around this epoch.[2] In the 1870s, pipeline technology improves with the introduction of subsurface cast-iron pipes.[4] Pneumatic tube networks gained in the late 19th through early 20th centuries for offices that need to transport small, urgent packages over relatively short distances in meters.
20th Century Steel pipe is introduced early in the century.[2] In the 1920s, the application of welding to join pipes make it possible to construct leakproof, high-pressure, large-diameter pipelines. Since the 1950s, the introduction of ductile iron and large-diameter concrete pressure pipes for water and the use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) pipe for sewers, prove to be major innovations.[3] From late 1950s to early 1960s, the largest Trans-Siberian trunk pipelines are built.[5]
Present time Today, the most important pipeline networks are meant to supply oil and natural gas. As of 2014, data gives a total of slightly less than 3,500,000 km of pipeline in 120 countries.[6] The United States has 65%, Russia has 8%, and Canada has 3%, giving 75% of all pipelines in three countries.[6]

Full timeline

The category material centers in the historical use of the material for pipes. Pipeline refers to the construction, existence or commissioning of important pipelines in the world. Statistics provides quantitative details with the purpose of illustrating the infraestructure development at the time. Background refers to important events within the context of pipeline development. Policy may refer to standard settings for the construction of pipelines.

Year Category Content supplied (when applicable) Event Country/location
5000 BC Material Water Bamboo pipes are used in China to carry water.[1][2] China
4000 BC Material Water, wastewater? The origin of the earliest known pipe in Babylonia is documented as one of the first places to mold clay into pipe (via potter’s wheel). Tees and angle joints are produced and then baked to make drainage pipe.[7]
3200 BC–2300 BC Material Water, wastewater In the Minoan civilization several types of stone and terracotta conduits and pipes are used to transfer water, and drain stormwater and wastewater.[7] Clay pipes transport water and drainage system develops, working with the natural gradations of the terrain, to manage sewage and water overflow.[8][9] Greece
3000 BC Material The first metal pipes of copper are made in Egypt.[2] Egypt
2500 BC Material Water, wastewater? In Egypt, copper pipes are used to build elaborate bathrooms inside the pyramids and intricate irrigation and sewages systems.[7] Egypt
525 BC Material Water A long distance pipeline made out of ox–hides sewn together is laid across the desert to supply water to the Persian forces during the invasion of Egypt by Cambyses II.[1]
480 BC–67 BC Material Water The Hellenes use pipes of lead and bronze to distribute water.[7] Greece
400 BC Material Natural gas Bamboo pipes are used to transmit natural gas to light Beijing.[3] China
1830s Material Iron pipes for other uses other than oil transportation already operate in the United States.[10] United States
1840s Material Cast-iron pipes come into common use, providing resistance to corrosion better than steel pipes, and being therefore frequently used underground.[2]
1859 Background Oil The first commercial oil well in the United States is drilled by “Colonel” Edwin Drake in Titusville, Pennsylvania. Soon after, the use of pipe for oil transportation starts in the country.[10] United States
1860s Policy Quality control of pipe manufacturing develops as the pipeline business grows. Also, the type of metal for pipes improves from wrought iron to steel.[10] United States
1861 Material Oil The first crude oil pipeline is constructed of wood in the United States.[1] United States
1862–1863 Pipeline Oil Pennsylvania oilman J.L. Hutchinson attempts to build a pipeline, running over a hill, to a refinery, and working on the principle of a siphon: as long as the outlet is lower than the inlet, liquid flows. The pipe wouldn't work for not being airtight. Over the next year Hutchinson tries again, building a 2-mile line. Although leaking, the combination of pumps and pipes manage to work well enough to be considered a success.[11] United States
1863 Russian chemist Dmitri Mendeleev proposes the idea of using a pipeline to transfer oil and products of oil refining.[5] Russia
1865 Pipeline Oil An early modern oil pipeline is built in Pennsylvania by S. F. Karns to counteract the high transport cost imposed by teamsters who haul oil over a five–mile route for US$3 a barrel.[1] United States
1872 Statistics Oil 1,200 wells in the Pennsylvania region produce 6 million barrels of oil a year, all of it gathered through pipelines.[11] United States
1878 Pipeline Oil The first pipeline is put into operation in Russia, for carrying oil.[5] Russia
1880 Pipeline Oil The Cleveland line pipeline is completed by American company Standard Oil, reducing shipping costs by more than half. At this time Standard Oil is building its own pipelines towards its refineries in the United States.[4] United States
1882 Statistics American magnate John D. Rockefeller controlls 3,000 miles of pipelines.[4] United States
1905 Oil Crude oil pipelines start carrying oil from the fields in Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas to the refineries in the East.[12] United States
1906 Pipeline Kerosene, crude oil The w:Baku–Batumi pipeline:Baku–Batumi fuel line is the first trunk pipeline built in the Russian Empire. At the time, it is the world’s largest system with 882 km length, 204 mm diameter and a capacity of 900 thousand tons per year.[5] Azerbaijan, Georgia
1906 Policy The Hepburn Act in the United States makes interstate pipelines common carriers that are required to offer their services at equal cost to all shippers.[12] United States
1912 Pipeline Natural gas A 275 Km natural gas pipeline is built by the Canadian Western Natural Gas from Bow Island, Alberta, to Calgary.[13] Canada
1914 Statistics Oil Three trunk pipelines operate in Russia: MaykopKrasnodar, KaluzhskayaAfipskaya and MakhachkalaGroznyi.[5] Russia
1917 Statistics The total extent of pipes in Russia equals to 1100 kilometers, with no further extension for over a decade.[5] Russia
1920s Statistics The total pipeline mileage in the United States grows to over 115,000 miles, driven by the growth of the automobile industry.[12] United States
1923 Pipeline Natural gas A 124 kilometres natural gas pipeline and 129 kilometres of distribution pipeline are built by Northwestern Utilities Company Limited from Viking, Alberta to Edmonton.[13] Canada
1928 Pipeline Construction of large pipeline system in the USSR is resumed, when the GroznyiTuapse pipeline (250 mm in diameter, 618 km long) is put into operation.[5] Russia
1936 Pipeline Crude oil The IshimbayUfa pipeline (166 km long, 300 mm in diameter) is put in operation, ensuring a non-stop crude oil supply to the Ufa oil refinery.[5] Russia
1954 Indiana Standard pipeline company Stanolind, becomes the largest liquid pipeline carrier in North America, a position it would hold until the Enbridge expansion.[14] United States
1955 Material Ductile cast-iron pipe becomes the industry standard, being used in water distribution systems. It becomes the industry standard for metal due to its superior strength, durability, and reliability over cast iron. The pipe is used to transport potable water, sewage, and fuel, and is also used in fire-fighting systems.[15]
1957 Pipeline Natural gas TransCanada pipeline begins construction on a natural gas pipeline across Canada. Natural gas transportation begins from northeastern British Columbia to the BC/US border. The TransCanada Pipeline’s Alberta system also begins operations."[13][16] Canada
1956 Pipeline Milk Pipelines are successfully used to transport milk in parts of Switzerland.[1][17] Switzerland
1970 Pipeline Coal slurry The Black Mesa pipeline is built in the United States. The 18-inch pipeline transports 4.8 million tons of coal per year from Black Mesa, Arizona, to southern Nevada, over a distance of 273 miles. It is the longest coal-slurry pipeline in the world.[3] United States
1973 Pipeline Oil The construction of the AleksandrovskoyeAnzhero-Sudzhensk oil pipeline, with the diameter of 1220 mm and with the extent of 817 km, is completed. Western Siberia becomes the leader in the USSR in oil production.[5] Russia
1977 Pipeline The Trans-Alaska Pipeline is completed.[14] United States
1983 Pipeline Natural gas The 2475 km long Trans–Mediterranean natural gas pipeline is built to transport natural gas from Algeria to Italy via Tunisia. It has the capacity to deliver 30.2 bcm/y of natural gas.[16] Algeria, Italy, Tunisia
1991 A Capsule Pipeline Research Center is established at the University of Missouri in Columbia, jointly funded by industry and the government.[3] United States
1992 Policy Oil The United States Congress passes the Energy Policy Act (EPAct), requiring Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to establish a "simplified and generally applicable" ratemaking methodology for oil pipelines. In response, the FERC would issue a rulemaking in which it adopts the industrywide oil pipeline rate indexing methodology, which is the most frequently used approach to set oil pipeline rates.[14] United states
1993 Organization The Canadian Energy Pipeline Association is founded.[13] Canada
1997 Pipeline Natural gas The 463 km long GasAndes Pipeline is commissioned. With a diameter of 610 mm and an annual capacity of 3.3 bcm, it is supplied mainly from the Neuquén gas fields.[18] Argentina, Chile
2000 Pipeline Natural gas The 3150 km long Bolivia–Brazil pipeline (GASBOL) is completed. It is the longest natural gas pipeline in South America, having a total cost of US$ 2.15 billion, of which US$ 1.72 billion is spent on the Brazilian section and US$ 435 million on the Bolivian section.[16] Bolivia. Brazil
2001 Pipeline Oil The Baltic Pipeline System (BPS) is created for oil transportation. The BPS transports oil from the Timan-Pechora region, West Siberia and Urals-Volga regions to Primorsk oil terminal at the eastern part of the Gulf of Finland.[5]
2005 Pipeline Natural gas The 4196 km long Yamal–Europe pipeline reaches full capacity. It connects the natural gas fields in Western Siberia with Germany. The pipeline has a capacity of 33 bcm of natural gas per annum. The diameter of the pipeline is 1420 mm.[16] Russia, Poland, Germany, Belarus
2005 Pipeline Natural gas The 935 km long Parallel Shaan-Jing Pipeline is completed and put into operation. The pipeline is supplied from the Sulige Gas Field and it starts from the gas processing plant Yulin, Shaanxi. The pipeline runs via Shijiazhuang to Beijing.[19] China
2005 Pipeline Natural gas The The 886 km long Ji–Ning branch of the West–East Gas Pipeline becomes fully operational.[16] China
2010 Pipeline Natural gas The construction of the first 1,360 km section of the Sichuan–Shanghai gas pipeline from Yichang in Hubei Province to Shanghai is completed.[20] China

Meta information on the timeline

How the timeline was built

The initial version of the timeline was written by User:Sebastian.

Funding information for this timeline is available.

What the timeline is still missing

Visual data illustrating the pipeline network evolution at a worldwide level. Also more mention on important pipelines is needed.

Timeline update strategy

See also

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Historical Development of the Pipeline as a Mode of Transportation" (PDF). gammathetaupsilon.org. Retrieved 18 August 2017. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 "pipe". factmonster.com. Retrieved 18 August 2017. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 "Pipeline technology". britannica.com. Retrieved 18 August 2017. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Zrinski, Tara M. "Pipelines By". philadelphiaencyclopedia.org. Retrieved 19 August 2017. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 5.6 5.7 5.8 5.9 "Pipelines History". transneft.ru. Retrieved 18 August 2017. 
  6. 6.0 6.1 "Pipelines CIA". cia.gov. Retrieved 18 August 2017. 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 De Feo, Giovanni; Antoniou, George; Fardin, Hilal Franz; El-Gohary, Fatma; Zheng, Xiao Yun; Reklaityte, Ieva; Butler, David; Yannopoulos, Stavros; Angelakis, Andreas N. "The Historical Development of Sewers Worldwide". doi:10.3390/su6063936. Retrieved 22 August 2017. 
  8. "History of Plumbing Systems". homeadvisor.com. Retrieved 6 August 2017. 
  9. Angelakis, Andreas N.; Snyder, Shane A. (9 September 2015). "Wastewater Treatment and Reuse: Past, Present, and Future". Water. 7 (9): 4887–4895. doi:10.3390/w7094887. 
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 "The History of Pipelines". pipeline101.org. Retrieved 17 August 2017. 
  11. 11.0 11.1 Waldman, Jonathan. "How the Oil Pipeline Began". nautil.us. Retrieved 18 August 2017. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 "The History of Pipelines". pipeline101.org. Retrieved 17 August 2017. 
  13. 13.0 13.1 13.2 13.3 "How long has the pipeline industry been around?". aboutpipelines.com. Retrieved 18 August 2017. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 "The History of Pipelines". pipeline101.org. Retrieved 17 August 2017. 
  15. "Water Supply and Distribution Timeline". greatachievements.org. Retrieved 8 August 2017. 
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 Menon, Shashi. Transmission Pipeline Calculations and Simulations Manual. Retrieved 25 August 2017. 
  17. "Swiss use hose to transport milk down mountainside in 1956". gettyimages.co.uk. Retrieved 27 August 2017. 
  18. Menon, Shashi. Transmission Pipeline Calculations and Simulations Manual. Retrieved 26 August 2017. 
  19. "CASES". petrobest.com. Retrieved 27 August 2017. 
  20. "Sinopec starts up Sichuan-East China gas project". Reuters. Retrieved 27 August 2017.