Pipeline Explosion Injury Lawyers in Dallas
Pipeline transport is the means by which the oil and gas industry gets their crude product from the drilling site to the refinery. Once the crude reaches the refinery, it can then be made into a variety of different petrochemical products such as oil, fuel and biofuels. Gas pipelines arrived on the scene in the late 19th century. Since that time, they have been largely considered as the most economical way to transport crude product. These pipelines can either run above the ground or below the ground, depending on what type of land the pipeline must pass through. For example, pipelines that run through residential areas will likely be situated under the ground and out of the way.
The major alternatives to transporting gas by pipeline are freight trucks and trains, but these methods are much more costly, and do not allow for as much product to be transported at one time. Oil that is drilled at offshore sites is typically transported by way of oil tanker ships, rather than underwater pipelines, although underwater pipelines exist. In 2008, the United States economy took a nosedive into what is now being called "The Great Recession." When our nation's financial troubles began, the market for oil and gas pipeline construction rose. Why? Simply put, oil can be translated into profits and jobs.
What are oil pipelines made of?
Oil and gas pipelines can be made either of steel or plastic. These tubes come ranging in sizes as small as four inches in diameter to four feet in diameter. These pipelines are incredibly sensitive, and should be manufactured with caution because they carry an incredibly flammable and explosive substance. Since pipelines carry hazardous materials, they need to be manufactured, placed and maintained properly. Most pipelines will be situated under the ground's surface to protect them from the elements. Pipelines that are above ground can corrode more easily than those below ground. To protect pipelines from becoming damaged, there are a variety of methods that can be employed. One method is wood lagging.
Wood lagging is a simple procedure that can have a great impact on the safety of natural gas pipelines. Basically, wooden slats are secured around the outside of a pipeline in order to protect them from being impacted by a force and broken. This procedure may also decrease the chances of pipe corrosion. When pipes corrode, they are at a greater risk of breaking and causing both spills and explosions. Pipelines can even be enveloped in concrete coating, polyethylene and sand.
Gas Transport & Dangers of Pipelines
What keeps the oil and gas moving through the pipes? Situated along the pipeline at various places are pump stations. Natural gas pipelines will also have compressor stations, which is required by environmental and industry regulators for safety. Despite regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) among other organizations, pipeline accidents still occur in large number. Pipeline accidents can be even more tragic when the pipelines that exploded were situated underneath residential homes, such as was the case in the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion that killed eight people and destroyed many homes.
Those who work in the oil and gas industry are also at risk for becoming injured in pipeline accidents and may need a Personal Injury Lawyer. One preventative measure that can be taken in order to ensure pipeline safety is frequent maintenance. If maintenance and inspection is not conducted regularly, then dangerous corrosion and other damage can be left unchecked. When oil and gas companies fail to adhere to industry regulations, they are considered liable in the event that anyone is injured or killed.