More than 95,000 miles of refined product pipelines traverse the United States. Pipeline operators seek to minimize environmental impact by carefully selecting routes, maintaining their equipment for safe, reliable operation, and restoring the landscape over the completed pipeline.
Pipeline operators use mobile mechanical devices called "pigs" to maintain and monitor pipelines from within.
Computers collect data from across an entire pipeline network, allowing operators to monitor pipeline pressure and make necessary adjustments to any valve or pump in the system in order to keep petroleum products in the pipeline moving. Should there be a breach in a pipeline due to accident or structural failure, the control center operator can immediately shut down and isolate the affected portion of the pipe, limiting the amount of petroleum products that might be released into the environment.