Pipeline companies are viewed by Wall Street as engines of growth, especially as the oil boom in the U.S. continues.
While the industry will probably still use rail and barge for smaller markets, pipelines are often seen as the most reliable way to move large volumes of crude.
Analysts and the International Energy Agency estimate that the U.S. is on track to surpass Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world's largest producer of crude oil by 2035. But to achieve that target, the industry must overcome challenges like effectively accessing domestic oil supply and building out transportation networks for distribution.
To solve the transportation issues, a debate is raging over how to best transport the rising volume of domestic crude. Rail, barge and pipe are all viable options, but each comes with its own set of risks.
A series of rail accidents involving highly flammable Bakken crude prompted the U.S. Department of Transportation to propose new safety standards for shippers. And barge transport is being scrutinized after an accident in March spilled nearly 170,000 gallons of tar-like oil into the Houston Ship Channel.