Oil pipelines
Photo of pipe laying
This pipe is as tall as a person. It is being towed out to the Osprey field to link it to the Shetland Islands.

Crude oil is brought from the North Sea to the Scottish coast by pipelines.

There are many pipelines on the bed of the North Sea. Some of them bring crude oil to the UK mainland - for example, to Peterhead (North of Aberdeen) and to the Orkney and Shetland Islands.

Some of them link an oil platform to a loading rig or to the main shore pipeline.

There are also underground pipelines that carry petroleum products from refineries to airports and inland terminals. For example, there is a pipeline from Fawley refinery to the Purfleet terminal near London.

There are thousands of kilometres of oil pipelines in all parts of the world. One of the largest oil pipelines in the world is the Trans-Alaska Pipeline system. It is 1,300 kilometres long, 122 centimetres across and can carry 350 million litres of crude oil each day. The pipeline crosses three mountain ranges and 800 rivers or streams.

Photo of pipe laying on land
A pipeline being laid in the 1970s. It is now invisible in the landscape.