Pipelines in the Niobrara Shale
Oil and natural gas drilling in the Niobrara Shale can fuel a bright economic future for Wyoming and surrounding states. Producing wells can yield valuable benefits in royalties, tax dollars and local revenue streams that will help keep the Wyoming economy strong. Yet before all the economic benefits of the Niobrara Shale can be realized, pipelines and gas compressor or oil pumping stations must be in place to move the oil and gas to market — and eventually to power America’s energy needs.
With several decades of technology standing behind construction and installation methods, pipelines are the safest and most cost-effective means to transport natural gas. More than 2 million miles of natural gas pipelines currently crisscross our country. Just as you encounter electrical power lines in your daily travels, you pass by or over pipelines everyday. Unlike overhead power lines, pipelines are buried and, for the most part, unseen.
Planning and constructing pipelines is significantly more involved than simply connecting point A to point B, particularly in environmentally sensitive areas.
From route development to site restoration, many factors are taken into account when laying pipelines. Factors considered both above and below the ground include pipeline constructability, effects on the environment, impacts on community life and existing infrastructure. As a result, communication and understanding between all parties is necessary for the successful construction of pipelines, compressors and oil gathering facilities that will transport oil and natural gas to market.
1 U.S. Department of Transportation
2 U.S. Department of Transportation, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration