Pipeline controllers works with liquid delivery systems at factories, refineries and power plants. They help monitor and control the in- and outflow of liquids such as water, oil and various other fuels (typically delivered by pipeline networks). The controller monitors and ensures the proper flow of such liquid materials into the plant for processing or out of a refinery for delivery to suppliers and customers. He or she helps monitor the safety of pipeline and storage operations within these facilities.
The most important aspect of the pipeline controller's job is to ensure that required amounts of product are delivered into or out of their facility efficiently and safely. In a refinery, for instance, a controller carefully monitors refining capacity to ensure that the proper amounts of crude oil are provided without overflowing or backing up operations. When the oil is processed for use, the controller ensures that flow through pipeline networks to commercial suppliers is handled safely and within designated parameters. Throughout all processes related to controlling intake and outflow, the controller carefully monitors a variety of gauges and indicators, as well as computer readout screens; these provide him or her with necessary information regarding product flow efficiency, as well as warnings on costly leaks, ruptures or malfunctioning equipment. Many employers require controllers to perform daily, hands-on inspections of pipelines throughout the plant as well.
Most refineries and chemical corporations with pipelines now require at least an associate's or bachelor's degree in mechanical systems to work as a pipeline controller. On-the-job training and practical experience in a pipeline-intensive work environment are also common requirements. Many pipeline controllers are assigned shifts, so it is possible that work in this position requires daytime, evening or even overnight work depending upon the employer.
Pipeline Controller Tasks
Communicate daily with field operations.
Monitor pressure, temperature and volume using company computer system to ensure safe receipt and delivery of volumes.
Monitor system performance and capacity, making proper notification of equipment needing repair or calibration.
Monitor and analyze gathering systems and pipeline operations.
Coordinate scheduled maintenance and unscheduled outages with field operations.