New Century and Integrity Plus Blog

Top 5 Pipeline Routing Tips

Posted by Jennifer on Dec 15, 2014 8:07:22 AM

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When it comes to pipeline construction, routing is the fundamental starting point and key opportunity to kick off the project on the right foot. The planned pipeline route will ultimately define the size of the pipeline, what kind of environment and terrain the pipeline will have to sustain, and engineering analysis requirements. This requires “interactive coordination between the owner, the engineer, the regulator, the landowners, the construction contractor and a multitude of other project stakeholders and interested parties” (Evans, 2013). That’s a lot to consider before construction of the pipeline even begins.

In an effort to make this process go a little smoother, we’ve compiled a list of the top 5 routing tips you should consider.

1. Determine the most direct and efficient route

  • Minimize product time/distance
  • Minimize environmental impact
  • Minimize costs
  • Improve incident response time

2. Consider topography and crossings

  • Slope of terrain
  • Streams, roads, and railroad crossings
  • Minimize environmental impact
  • Increase directness of a route
  • Minimize need to re-route or abandon pipe

3. Know laws and regulations

  • Minimize costs associated with right of way
  • Maximize efficiency
  • Minimize incidents

4. Consider future geological hazards

  • Minimize risk
  • Maximize pipeline integrity
  • Improve incident response time
  • Minimize need to re-route or abandon pipe

5. Consider the current land use and urban areas

  • Minimize risk
  • Improve incident response time
  • Maximize pipeline integrity
  • Minimize population and landowner impact


Routing is about doing the research ahead of time and learning from past route placements to avoid costly mistakes and damages. Remember, “the potential for catastrophe is always lurking close at hand to catch the naïve or complacent investor and contractor off-guard” (Evans, 2013). A route plan sets up how the rest of the pipeline process will go; therefore it deserves a lot of attention to detail. Follow these 5 tips to set your company up for success.

Topics: Integrity Management, Pipeline, GIS, Routing

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