Pipe line transport has been developed recently in India.
It is the most convenient mode of transport for mineral oil, petroleum products and natural gas.
Pipe lines connect oil and natural gas fields with refineries and the main market centres.
Now solids are also being transported through pipe lines after converting them into slurry.
There are certain advantages of pipe lines over other modes of transport
(1) Pipe line can be laid through difficult terrain as well as under water.
(2) Initial cost of laying pipeline is high but subsequent cost for maintenance and operation is low.
(3) It ensures steady supply and minimizes transshipment losses and delays.
(4) Pipe line operation involves very low consumption of energy.
There are some limitations of pipe line transport such as the capacity of pipeline cannot be increased once it is laid.
The security of pipe lines in certain areas and the detection of leakage are difficult.
Petroleum pipe lines in Assam connect oil fields with the oil refineries of Assam and Bihar.
Pipe line between Kandla and Mathura is the longest oil pipe line (1220 km).
There are several pipe lines in the Gujarat and Maharashtra connecting the oil fields, refineries and marketing centres.
The longest gas pipe line has been laid from Hazira (Gujarat) to Jagdishpur (UP) via Bijaipur (MP).
This HBJ pipe line is 1730 km in length and supplies natural gas to six fertiliser plants and two thermal power plants.
Pipe line transport has reduced the burden of railways significantly.
Owing to their advantages, more pipe lines have been proposed for smooth supply of oil and natural gas.
Gas fired thermal power stations are being set up in the distant and remote parts due to facilities of pipeline transport.