OIL PIPE LINES, a system of con nected pipes used for the purpose of transporting oil—usually petroleum— from the fields to the refinery or selling point.
The first successful pipe line was laid in 1865 by Samuel von Syckle, of Titus ville, Pennsylvania, who placed in suc cessful operation a line four miles in length. Although General S. D. Karns suggested a gravity line from Burning Springs to the Ohio River at Parkers burg, West Virginia, in 1860, it was never constructed, and in 1862 a line of about three miles was laid by J. S. Hutchinson, but was unsuccessful be cause of the excessive leakage.
The success of this early line soon led to the construction of many others, in the face of much opposition, and actual inter ference, on the part of those people who made their livelihood by the transporta tion of oil in wagons.
The tendency to locate the refineries at the seaboard soon developed, and these refineries were soon connected with their oil fields by pipe lines. A pipe line from
Mean, New York to Bayonne, New Jer sey, was constructed in 1897. Standard Oil subsidiaries soon built a net work of lines reaching from the wells to the coast or to Great Lake cities.
It is estimated that there are now about one hundred thousand miles of pipe lines and feeders in the United States, as the western fields also have extensive pipe line systems. Pipe lines have also been constructed in Russia and Mexico, in Burma, Roumania, and in the Dutch East Indies.
The oil is kept in motion either by gravity or, as is more frequently the case, by high pressure compound pumps. In some parts of the country where the viscosity of the oil is very high, refilling is used to facilitate the forcing of the oil through the pipe.