Five Decades of Progress in Pipelining

by David R. Williams, Jr., (F.ASCE), Chmn. of the Board; Resource Sciences Corp., Tulsa, Oklahoma,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 4, Pg. 751-767

Document Type: Journal Paper


The pipeline industry has grown in 50 yr from its infancy in the Appalachians to a trillion ton-mile (1.5 quadrillion kg-km) annual carrier in North America. Pipelining is one of the higher technology content exports that will help industrial nations balance their payments for imported energy. Pipelining has had boom periods in the 1920's and again in the 1950's, and may be on the verge of another. The energy crisis will be with us for the rest of our lifetimes, and demands unusual solutions and substitutions for rapidly depleting petroleum. New roles for pipelines to more remote energy sources and to transport other bulk commodities are looming. The dimensions of the problem are so great that only a mobilization of our entire economy will suffice.

Subject Headings: Pipes | Pipelines | Industries | Payment | Petroleum | Freight transportation | Appalachian | North America

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