Pipelines carrying oil have been the norm in this country, moving across the land from Alaska to Canada to Texas. Underground pipelines carrying oil are fairly common too with the amount of offshore oil that’s been found across the world.
But what about a steel pipeline, spanning across a sea, carrying water?
The pipeline, which costs around $550 million according to the New York Times, will be much different than a typical underwater oil pipeline.
Turkish engineering firm Alsim Alarko is spearheading the design, while Malaysian and Turkish companies will do the construction. The Times articles states that engineers are intrigued by the project, including firm H.P. Van Rossen that works with subsea oil and gas, but not water.
The firm told the Times that most offshore pipelines are made of steel and are placed at depths up to 3,000 meters, resting on the bottom of the ocean because of the pressure, weight of the pipe, and density of the oil and gas.
Water is a different story. Seawater is denser than freshwater, so it essentially floats on the salt, the article said. Van Rossen said that the line will be “neutrally buoyant.”
Essentially, the steel pipeline will float.
How will it hold up to earthquakes or possible tsunamis that occur in the Mediterranean? Only time will tell. But for now a floating steel pipeline seems pretty neat.