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Pipeline Project

Math - 1210
Fall 2016

Dear Mr. CEO,
My team and I have completed the cost analysis regarding the pipeline that will be connecting
the natural gas wells near Vernal, Utah to the nearby refinery. This report will include the
findings for the original four routes along with a route my team and I calculated.

Route #1 BLM Land w/o Mountain Drilling

Starting at the wells the pipe would be laid 8 miles west, 16 miles south and 40 miles east. With
this route the entire length of pipe would be constructed on BLM land, priced at $480,000 per
mile. The cost of this route can be displayed as:

C = 64(480, 000)

Total cost of $30,720,000

Route #2 Heading east through the mountain then south to the refinery.

Similar to route #1, the entirety of the pipe for route #2 will be constructed on BLM owned land.
However, this route is obstructed by the mountain range directly east of the wells and drilling 32
miles through the mountain would be necessary to complete this route. This would incur
additional expenses in the form of:
- A one time fee of $4,500,000
- The BLM required environmental impact study costing $600,000 and a 8 month delay
- The company would also lose an additional $800,000 from the 8 month delay
As all of the pipeline would still be on BLM land the cost per mile would be the same at
$480,000. The route itself would need to placed 32 miles east and then 16 miles south. The cost
for all of this can be displayed as:

C = 4, 500, 000 + 600, 000 + 800, 000 + 480, 000(48)

Total cost of $28,940,000

Route #3 The shortest distance across the private ground to the refinery.

Route #3 will have the shortest length of pipe of all the options but would need to be constructed
entirely on the private ground in between the wells and the refinery. Using pythagorean theorem
the approximate length of pipe needed to connect the wells to the refinery would be 35.778
miles (exact figures were used for final cost). In order to have the pipeline placed on the
property an additional $360,000 per mile would need to be paid for right-of-way fees. This would
bring the total cost per mile for private property to $840,000 and can be displayed as:

z = 16√5 miles
C (z) = 840, 000z

Total cost of $30,052,753.62

Route #4 South across the private ground, then straight east to the refinery.

For route #4 the pipeline would need to be constructed 16 miles directly south of the wells
across private land until hitting BLM land and from there placing 32 miles east to connect to the
refinery. This routes’ cost can be displayed as:

C = 16(840, 000) + 32(480, 000)

Total cost of $28,800,000

Route #5 Running at an angle across private land then running east on BLM land.

In order to construct the pipeline at the lowest possible cost with the given resources a
combination of BLM and private land would need to utilized. My team and I calculated a cost
function for this, displayed as:

C (x) = 840, 000y + 480, 000(32 − x)
Let (y) be equal to the unknown length of pipe that will need to be constructed on private
ground. Using pythagorean Theorem:

y = √162 + x2
The cost function now becomes:

C (x) = 840, 000√162 + x2 + 480, 000(32 − x)
Now, to find the (x) that produces the lowest possible outcome, the minimum of the function, we
start by taking the derivative of C (x) .

Now that we have our x-value we can obtain the angle that the pipe needs to leave from the
wells in order for the pipeline to be constructed properly.
Here we’ll represent this angle as θ.

Taking arctan of the answer yields θ = 34.85°
So, to follow the final path the pipeline must leave the well at an angle of 34.85° east of the line
due south for 19.5 miles then continue along BLM land east for 20.86 miles before reaching the
refinery.

Total Cost of $26,389,560.28

​Graph

of cost function.

In conclusion, the most cost effective path is route #5, running diagonally across private land at
a determined angle and then continuing on BLM land.

Reflection
In this calculus class I have learned many pieces of useful information that can be used in the
real world. By using first and second derivatives of equations for moving objects, we receive
equations that relate their velocity and acceleration which can be used in many fields, including
what I want to do, automotive engineering. This information could be used to analyze stress and
movement of a moving vehicle. I also found the ability to find the area under a curve particularly
interesting as this leads to being able to find the volume and area of irregular objects which is

useful in both engineering as well as art. In both cases, you can use the math to find out how
much space will be in the irregular object without having to physically keep testing it. I think
calculus is an extremely useful tool as it helps to analyze irregular and changing scenarios,
since things are hardly ever static, calculus is a must in many areas, not just for
mathematicians.