Pipelines provide an efficient means to transport crude oil, hydrocarbon products, natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas and other raw materials and products quickly, efficiently and safely. However this vital element of Oil and Gas infrastructure needs to be permanently and efficiently monitored in order to ensure safe transportation, prevent damages from intrusion, achieve minimum downtime and life cycle costs, and to maintain environmental and quality standards. Despite the current global downturn securing energy supply has been an important task at hand for both the developed and developing nations around the world. Pipelines play an important role in securing energy supplies and ensure a more uniform distribution of energy not only within countries, but also continents.
The Pipeline industry is in the midst of change. These changes are largely driven by political and geographical factors, regulations, technology including advancements in Information technology and concerns on infrastructure security. While political / geographical, regulatory and infrastructure security issues place greater demand on pipeline operators, technological issues for example advancements in infrastructure, automation and communication technology on the other hand provide a thrust in productivity and help to solve those very issues created by the aforesaid factors. The paper being presented discusses the challenges faced by pipeline operators and managers including trends and innovations in the field of integrated solutions for pipelines and its role in ensuring higher productivity, lower life cycle costs and securing return of investment.