Sunoco Pipeline monitors more than 7,500 miles of refined products and crude pipelines via a computerized Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system on an around-the-clock basis, 365 days of the year from our control centers. Our centers are staffed by highly trained pipeline controllers who have qualified as operators as required by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
Additionally, all of our pipeline controllers are given continuous and extensive in-house training as established by the management of Sunoco Pipeline. The SCADA system tracks pressure, flow, temperature and other operating data via a series of field instruments in order to ensure that all operations are normal. Our pipeline controllers maintain communications with field and terminal operations so that all involved employees are kept abreast of current and future pipeline operations.
In addition to our vast network of pipeline infrastructure, we operate and maintain other facilities that play integral roles in our operations, including pump stations and above-ground valve sites.
Pump stations adjust pressure, pump the product along the line, monitor the flow of the product, and keep track of other vital information. Typically, stations are positioned 40 miles apart throughout the length of the line; however, their exact location is determined by a variety of factors, including engineering design, terrain, and power availability.
Above-ground valve sites are installed along our pipeline system to provide an additional way of controlling flow. The valves normally are open, but when a section of pipeline requires maintenance, operational engineers close the valves to isolate that section of the pipeline.