Patriot Freight Group

A Guide To the Required Transportation for the Oil and Gas Industry

The transportation of resources in the oil and gas industry is not an easy task with high demand. Because of this, there are several different methods of transportation utilized to move oil and gas. Without its use, many industries you know of that rely on oil and gas wouldn’t be able to function.

Within the United States, there are millions of miles of oil and gas pipelines and thousands of rail cars that frequently move natural gases. The United States also imports a large amount of oil, refined products, and natural gases from other countries. All of this keeps the flow of oil and gas coming and going to important locations.

Want to learn why the transportation of oil and gas is no easy feat? Continue reading to see what methods of transportation the oil and gas industries use to move vital resources from place to place.

The Modes of Transportation for the Oil and Gas Industry

In order to import and move valuable oil and natural gas to key locations around the country, the oil and gas industry utilizes a number of methods. This includes transporting oil and gas by pipelines, barges, railroads, and trucks. This allows the efficient movement of resources by land and overseas.

Different advancements in travel and the extraction of natural resources have made their transportation of them all the more important. Oil is being found in locations far away that need various methods of extraction, as well as storage for transportation. As the demand for oil and gas continues to increase, obtaining new supplies from far places makes its safe transportation even more important.


A tank vessel is a large boat that is designed to carry large amounts of oil or other hazardous material. They are commonly used to transport oil to refineries worldwide from places like the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America.

Tankers with refined products are referred to as product tankers and can vary in size. Larger tankers usually move crude oil between locations and can hold a large amount of cargo. Large tankers are also sometimes referred to as barges.

Another use for tankers is in the movement of liquefied natural gases. These are known as LNG tankers and transport the gases to locations that other methods wouldn’t be able to do so as easily. LNG tankers are designed with double hulls to provide extra support for the movement of liquefied natural gases.

Pipelines for Oil and Gas

Pipelines are very important to the transportation of both oil and gas. In the United States, there are pipelines placed all over the country that move the majority of natural gas to different locations. There are an estimated 300,000 miles of pipelines in the country for natural gas transmission.

Pipelines can transport oil directly to a refinery or another carrier once crude oil is separated from natural gas. They are placed underground and have a wide range of diameters. A network of pipelines can be extensive and move a large number of resources between areas.

A lot of planning goes into the placement of pipelines, with the shortest and most economic route being a high priority. This takes into account the number of stations and storage facilities along the way, letting oil and gas to nearly any refinery where there is a demand.

Railroad Transport

Oil and gas can also be transported by railroad on trains built with special tanker cars. They can only move a certain amount of oil with multiple cars, unlike tankers that can hold significantly more. Rail transport is used within places where there are no pipelines placed underground, so oil and gas can still move as needed.

Oil and gas is loaded onto tanker cars and taken to refineries using special pre-existing tracks laid out. It is a very cost-effective way that companies can move oil to distribution locations. Rail transport is also a good alternative way of moving oil when pipelines are at full capacity or inoperable for any reason.

In the past, railroads were the primary means of oil transportation. When pipelines were eventually built, the two methods were used simultaneously.

Oil and Gas Trucks

Tanker trucks are another common method of transportation for oil and gas you will frequently see. They operate in the same way as railroad transportation but with varying capacities of resources.

Trucks are generally chosen for smaller quantities of oil and shorter distances of travel. Trucks are also not used to transport crude oil as much, but instead, they move gasoline to distribution locations like gas stations.

Often trucks can move around more freely than other modes of transportation since they only need roads to move from place to place. Trucks are also commonly used for bringing heating oil to houses.

Transportation in the Oil and Gas Industry

By reading our guide on how the oil and gas industry transports resources, you’ll understand how important transportation is to it. With the high demand for oil and gas in many locations, there need to be efficient ways of fulfilling it. By using a combination of ways of travel, people can get the oil and gas they need for their daily lives.

Want to find out more about transporting cargo around? Visit the Patriot Freight Group website to find trucking options and other supply chain solutions. Contact them to discuss your needs and make the transportation and logistics less stressful and complicated.