Conpet is a Romanian company with 115 years of experience. It is responsible for the transportation of crude oil, liquid ethane, gasoline and condensate. Conpet has numerous shareholders. The main ones are the Romanian government (Ministry of energy) and UTILCO, which is a Canadian investment company. Conpet transports the oil by two ways: pipeline and railway. Conpet’s pipeline spans about 3800 Km of the Romanian lands, by length. These pipelines have a maximum capacity of 27.5 million tones per year. However, Conpet only exploits 50 to 60 % of the total capacity, due to the weakening of the oil industry in Romania. Nevertheless, before Conpet can transport any batch of oil, this oil must be vigorously tested and evaluated. For this reason, Conpet has dedicated specialized laboratories with a highly trained team of chemists, to complete this mission. Some of these tests include the analysis of crude oil density, water and sediment content. Such parameters can be determined using simple physical techniques, such as distillation and centrifugation.
Even though underground pipes are considered the safest approach to transport oil, this procedure is still accompanied by a certain risk percentage. The main risks of such techniques are the following:
Oil leaks: They can be very dangerous to the local community, humans, the environment and the economy. Not only oils can leak out of the pipes, but trapped gases too. Such gases can emerge at high pressures and even lead to explosions. Leaks are usually caused by the corrosion or waring of the pipes (due to extreme weather conditions) or the formation of cracks (due to defective welding or accidental damage).
Human errors: They occur due to inefficient monitoring or faulty pipeline design.