Oil is one of our most valuable resources. In order for oil to be used, however, it must first be transported to refineries. There are several different methods of transportation. Each one has its different advantages.


Crude oil is often moved from wellheads to refineries and processing plants through pipelines. This is a popular method of oil transportation. There are almost 500,000 miles of oil pipelines in the United States alone!

One of the biggest draws of using a pipeline is safety. This method has a very low rate of accidents and is comparatively environmentally friendly. Pipeline transportation is also more energy efficient than other methods such as shipping the oil via trains. This helps reduce an oil company’s carbon footprint.  


Another popular method of moving oil is to use railways. At first this technique was only supposed to be a temporary method until pipelines were established. However, it expanded into a common method still often used today due to its multiple benefits.

Railways are relatively easy to set up. They are not too expensive, meaning companies can recover costs quickly. Building railways is also a quick process. Most only take between a year and a year and a half to complete.

Not only are the systems quick to install, but they can also get crude oil from one place to another in a short period of time. Railways also allow shippers to respond quickly to any fluctuations in the market.


Crude oil is not just shipped across land but may also be shipped via waterway. Barges carry the oil from one location to another. They may move oil along rivers or the coast. Transporting oil by ship has several advantages.

One of them is that the process is inexpensive. Moving oil along waterways is one of the most cost-effective methods of transporting it. Barges are also equipped to carry massive quantities of oil at once. An average barge can hold 30,000 barrels of oil. This helps oil producers cut costs.

Barges also have flexible routes. They can move oil through both inland and coastal waterways. These could be either rivers or oceans.

Transporting oil from one place to another is an important process. There is no single set method. Instead, pipelines, railways, or barges may be used.