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Put the pressurized oil-carrying pipe inside a “catch pipe”. Don’t bury it. The catch pipe can have sensors, cameras can travel in it to monitor. If, your serious about having that pipe. You would go to these extremes to protect your investment. Praise God for forward thinking that cares for all creation!
Hi Belinda, pipelines are buried to protect them from vandalism, mechanical damage, natural disasters, etc. Buried pipelines are externally coated and cathodically protected to control de corrosion rates when the coating degrades, breaks, disbond. Inside the pipeline, corrosion inhibitors are added to the crude mix to also inhibit corrosion. A “catch pipe” is triky, depending on the design a catch pipe could lead to condensation and temperature changes making a corrosion-friendly environment. Every so often a sensor aka a “pig” travels along the pipeline and measures mechanical and electrochemical flaws. However, the pipeline sensor technology nowadays is still limited but it is envisioned that in the future sensors will be placed along the whole pipeline and predict failure. My intend of this reply is to share some of my expertise with you not to criticize your reply. Many engineers and scientist are working on making our pipelines safer! I dont have a stand on the N. Dakota pipeline issue, I am educating myself about it.
With the pipeline dozens of feet below layers of sand, clay, and rock, the earth would act to slow the movement of oil should a leak occur, giving responders time to detect and address the problem. “If you’re 92 feet below a river and we’re talking about maybe a barrel of oil a day, that’s not going to transport anywhere quickly,” Horn said. “It’s not as though you’ll have a leak and see a giant oil slick on the river right away.”
Other possibilities of increased risk buried deeper, and the length of the pipe:
The above statements mostly say the pipeline planned to go under Lake Oahe has increased safety due to the depth below the lake that the pipeline is planned for. The statement by Horn suggests that the monitoring system would definitely detect a leak before enough oil spilled to contaminate the lake. This assumes the monitoring system works correctly and works at all. The system is made by people, therefore it could fail. If it does fail, there is a lot more oil that will be contained in the increased depth of soil, than would be in a shallow tunnel, also the increased depth increases pressure on the pipe, as well as the pressure from the body of water, the lake resting on the soil above the pipe. If the monitor does not work, by the time the oil percolates to the top of the soil, which is the bottom of the lake, and then the oil rises to the top of the lake where it can be seen, after a possibly significant amount of time that a person happens to be there to observe the oil, the quantity of oil will be so large, the clean-up will be extremely difficult, in addition to the logistics of removing oil from soil underneath a lake. In addition the logistics of assembling and installing a pipeline that deep, for a length of 7,800 feet without any mistakes is extremely difficult; adding to the risk there will be mistakes which could cause a leak. Also the wider the body of water that is being crossed also increases the risk that there will be an oil leak into that body of water, so a 20 foot wide tributary would be safer to cross than a mile wide lake. If there is a one in a million chance of any one inch of pipe developing a leak, than two sequential inches has a 2 in a million chance, 2000 inches has a 2000/1000000 or 0.2 percent chance, and any one of the inches in 7,800 feet has a 9.36 percent of a leak, almost 10 percent, that is way too high of a risk for contaminating a major water source. Any one of those 93,600 inches that develops a leak will contaminate the lake equally.