May 23, 2024

Crude Transportation Market Is Estimated to Witness High Growth Owing to Advancements in Pipeline Infrastructure

The crude transportation market involves the transportation of unrefined crude oil from production facilities and oil fields to refineries and export terminals. Pipelines are considered one of the safest and most efficient means of transporting crude oil over long distances. Advancements in pipeline technology such as high-density polyethene (HDPE) coating are making pipelines more durable and able to transport heavier crude grades. The crude transportation market comprises pipelines, rail tank cars, marine tankers, and oil tank trucks. Pipelines account for the majority of crude oil movements globally due to their low costs.

The Global Crude Transportation Market is estimated to be valued at US$ 21.58 Bn in 2024 and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 6.0% over the forecast period 2023 to 2030.

Key Takeaways

Key players operating in the crude transportation market are ExxonMobil Corporation, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron Corporation, BP plc, TotalEnergies SE, ConocoPhillips, China National Petroleum Corporation, Saudi Aramco, Rosneft Oil Company, Valero Energy Corporation, Phillips 66, Marathon Petroleum Corporation, PetroChina Company Limited, Kinder Morgan Inc., and Enbridge Inc. The major players are focusing on expanding their pipeline network capacities and investing in pipeline coating technologies to address the transportation of heavier crude grades.

The growing crude oil production from shale reserves and offshore fields such as the US Gulf of Mexico, along with rising seaborne trade of crude oil between countries, is creating opportunities for transportation providers. Advancements in pipeline integrity management systems through technologies such as ultrasonic testing, close interval surveys and geometric inspections are helping operators address risks from factors such as corrosion.

HDPE-coating technology allows pipelines to maintain pressure over long distances while resisting corrosion, enabling transportation of raw bitumen and heavy crude grades that were not typically moved through pipelines earlier. The development of specialized crude oil railroad tank cars is helping address the logistical challenges in North Dakota Bakken region. Technological upgrades in marine tankers are supporting the transportation of condensates from oil fields in places like Texas Eagle Ford to refineries.

Market Drivers

The increasing global demand for energy is one of the key drivers for investments in pipeline, marine and railroad logistics infrastructure for crude oil transportation. Geopolitical risks and supply disruptions in key oil producing regions also necessitate alternative crude sourcing and transportation routes. Rising production from Canadian oil sands and tight oil reserves in US is contributing to the growth of cross-border pipelines. Export focus of oil producing nations additionally supports investments in inland pipelines as well as very large crude carrier (VLCC) tankers.

Current challenges in Crude Transportation Market:

Crude transportation is a highly regulated industry across geographies. stricter environmental regulations for curbing emissions is one of the major challenges for industry players. Additionally, volatile crude oil prices affects the overall demand and investments in this industry. Rising geopolitical tensions also pose serious threats in terms of supply chain disruptions. Ageing infrastructure is another area of concern calling for significant capital investments in pipeline networks and marine tankers.

SWOT Analysis
Strength: Well established pipeline and logistics network of major players ensures seamless supply chain. Strong demand outlook backed by rising energy needs globally.

Weakness: High dependence on fossil fuels raise sustainability concerns. Vulnerable to demand fluctuations due to economic cycles.

Opportunity: Shift towards renewable and cleaner sources of energy may open up new growth verticals. Investments in advanced tankers and digital technologies can improve efficiencies.

Threats: Strict regulatory norms may increase compliance costs substantially. Geopolitics can disrupt supplies significantly.

In terms of value, North America accounts for the largest share in crude transportation market currently. This is mainly attributed to extensive pipeline infrastructure and steady production growth from shale reserves. The Asia Pacific region is poised to witness fastest growth during the forecast period supported by robust energy demands from emerging economies like China and India.

Europe remains another major regional market owing to dependence on crude imports. However, Middle East and Africa also represent attractive opportunities for stakeholders given their role as major exporters. South America is gradually emerging as new hotspot with initiatives like offshore exploration gaining momentum.


  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
  2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it