Pipeline Construction: Step by Step Guide

The current natural gas pipeline boom gives many homeowners a first row seat to the process of pipeline construction. The rush to move natural gas to markets places pipelines too close to homes, with construction taking place in backyards, farms, pastures, and right at the mailboxes of residents throughout the country. This page walks you through the process of a natural gas pipeline currently being constructed.

Getting started: After all federal and state level permits are approved and easement agreements or eminent domain condemnations completed, the process of pipeline construction can begin. Crews flag the boundaries of all locations where construction activities will take place. The flags mark the extent of the temporary construction zone surrounding the pipeline right-of-way (ROW), as well as the staging and storage areas. The width of the right-of-way is determined based on the diameter of the pipe (8 – 42 inches), with widths ranging from 80 – 125. While existing roads are used when possible, temporary access roads are also constructed to create direct paths from staging areas to the pipeline ROW.

Pipeline under construction in Maryland – Photo by Sierra Shamer, 2016

Pipeline build out - Photo by Sierra Shamer - Oil and gas pipeline