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Published Online:pp 347-362

Petroleum pipelines are the nervous system of the oil industry, as this transports crude oil from sources to refineries and petroleum products from refineries to demand points. Therefore, the efficient operation of these pipelines determines the effectiveness of the entire business. Pipeline route selection plays a major role when designing an effective pipeline system, as the health of the pipeline depends on its terrain. The present practice of route selection for petroleum pipelines is governed by factors such as the shortest distance, constructability, minimal effects on the environment, and approachability. Although this reduces capital expenditure, it often proves to be uneconomical when life cycle costing is considered. This study presents a route selection model with the application of an Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), a multiple attribute decision making technique. AHP considers all the above factors along with the operability and maintainability factors interactively. This system has been demonstrated here through a case study of pipeline route selection, from an Indian perspective. A cost-benefit comparison of the shortest route (conventionally selected) and optimal route establishes the effectiveness of the model.


pipeline, India, decision support system, analytical hierarchy process, cost-benefit analysis, optimal route