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Pipeline An introduction
PAB 2073

Learning outcome
At the end of this chapter, students should be able to:
Differentiate between a pipeline and a tanker and their application for transportation of hydrocarbons. Describe different types of pipelines and the respective application.

Pipelines Definition
A pipeline system is defined as a pipeline section extending from an inlet point (may be an offshore platform or onshore compressor station) to an outlet point (may be another platform or an onshore receiving station).

Pipeline Classification
Pipelines can be classified as:
Onshore Offshore

The onshore and/or offshore pipelines have THREE (3) types:

Trunk or gathering Transmission or transportation Distribution

Types of Pipeline: Gathering Line

These lines are used to transport oil from field pressure and storage to large tank where it is accumulated for pumping into the long distance called trunk line. Gathering pipelines typically consist of lines ranging from 4-8 inside diameter.

Types of Pipeline: Trunk Line

From large central storage, oil is moved through large diameter, long distance pipeline called trunk line to refineries. Pump are required at the beginning of the trunk line and pumping stations must also be spaced a long the pipeline to maintain pipeline pressure at the level required to overcome friction, change in the elevation and other losses.

Types of Pipeline: Trunk Line

Crude trunk lines operate at higher pressure than gathering systems. These lines are made of steel and individual sections are joined by welding. These lines are almost buried below ground surface are coated externally to protect against corrosion.

Types of Pipeline:
Transmission/Transportation Transportation Pipelines - Mainly long pipes with large diameters, moving products (oil, gas, refined products) between cities, countries and even continents.

Types of Pipeline:
Transmission/Transportation These transportation networks include several compressor stations in gas lines or pump stations for crude and multi-products pipelines. The large diameter may range from 24 to 60 inches Example Trans ASEAN line

Types of Pipeline: Distribution Line

Distribution Pipelines - Composed of several interconnected pipelines with small diameters, used to take the products to the final consumer. Feeder lines to distribute gas to homes and businesses downstream. Pipelines at terminals for distributing products to tanks and storage facilities are included in this group.

Types of Pipeline: Distribution Line

Oil and Natural Gas Pipeline

The general principles governing oil and natural gas pipelines are the same, except that gas is many times more compressible. This is an important factor in understanding the differences between oil and natural gas pipelines

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

Oil Pipelines
Crude oil is collected from field gathering systems consisting of pipelines that move oil from the wellhead to storage tanks and treatment facilities where the oil is measured and tested. Oil pipelines are made from steel or plastic tubes with inner diameter typically from 10 to 120 cm (about 4 to 48 inches). Most pipelines are buried at a typical depth of about 1 - 2 meters (about 3 to 6 feet). From the gathering system the crude oil is sent to a pump station where the oil delivered to the pipeline.

Oil Pipelines
The pipeline may have many collection and delivery points along route. Booster pumps are located along the pipeline to maintain the pressure and keep the oil flowing usually flows at speed of about 1 to 6 m/s. The delivery points may be refineries, where the oil is processed into products, or shipping terminals, where the oil is loaded onto tankers.

Oil Pipelines
A pipeline may handle several types of crude oil. The pipeline will schedule its operation to ensure that the right crude oil is sent to the correct destination. The pipeline operator sets the date and place when and where the oil is received and when the oil will arrive at its destination. Crude oil may also move over more than one pipeline system as it journeys from the oil field to the refinery or shipping port. Storage is located along the pipeline to ensure smooth continuous pipeline operation.

Natural Gas Pipelines

Natural gas pipelines are used to move gas from the field to consumers. Gas produced from onshore and offshore facilities is transported via gathering systems and interand intra-state pipelines to residential, commercial, industrial, and utility companies. For natural gas, pipelines are constructed of carbon steel and varying in size from 2 inches (51 mm) to 56 inches (1,400 mm) in diameter, depending on the type of pipeline.

Natural Gas Pipelines

The gas is pressurized by compressor stations and is odorless unless mixed with an odorant where required by the proper regulating body. Most natural gas pipelines operate using a complex have become so automated that they are capable of operating under command of a computer system that coordinates the operation of valves, prime movers, and conditioning equipment.

Natural gas pipelines

Also has gathering lines and main lines Send off to gas processing plant Gas gathering lines collect raw gas - associated or nonassociated Raw gas mixture of smaller HC molecules, predominantly methane
Dry gas methane with very little heavier HC

Vapors in raw gas stream condense into liquids as they cool off, reach dew point and form hydrates
Wet gas contain liquid/component heavier than ethane

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

Pipelines Components
Pipeline networks are composed of several pieces of equipment that operate together to move products from location to location. The main elements of a pipeline system are shown in the figure on the next slide.

Pipelines Components

Pipelines Components
Initial Injection Station - Known also as Supply or Inlet station, is the beginning of the system, where the product is injected into the line. Storage facilities, pumps or compressors are usually located at these locations.

Pipelines Components
Compressor/Pump Stations - Pumps for liquid pipelines and Compressors for gas pipelines, are located along the line to move the product through the pipeline. The location of these stations is defined by the topography of the terrain, the type of product being transported, or operational conditions of the network.

Pipelines Components
Partial Delivery Station - Known also as Intermediate Stations, these facilities allow the pipeline operator to deliver part of the product being transported. Block Valve Station - These are the first line of protection for pipelines. With these valves the operator can isolate any segment of the line for maintenance work or isolate a rupture or leak.

Pipelines Components
Block valve stations are usually located every 20 to 30 miles (48 km), depending on the type of pipeline. Even though it is not a design rule, it is a very usual practice in liquid pipelines. The location of these stations depends exclusively on the nature of the product being transported, the trajectory of the pipeline and/or the operational conditions of the line.

Pipelines Components
Regulator Station - This is a special type of valve station, where the operator can release some of the pressure from the line. Regulators are usually located at the downhill side of a peak.

Pipelines Components
Final Delivery Station - Known also as Outlet stations or Terminals, this is where the product will be distributed to the consumer. It could be a tank terminal for liquid pipelines or a connection to a distribution network for gas pipelines.

For pipeline companies, maintenance is about understanding the condition of the asset. They perform necessary inspections, correct potentially unsafe conditions before they cause failures, and repair failures after they occur

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

Pipelines Inspection
Crude oil contains varying amounts of wax, or paraffin, and in colder climates wax buildup may occur within a pipeline. Often these pipelines are inspected and cleaned using pipeline inspection gauges pigs, also known as, scrapers or Go-devils.

How Pipelines Work

The operation of pipeline seems simple enough: pump fluid in one end and take it out the other. While the principles dictating the behaviour of fluids are rather intuitive, the calculations involved are fairly complex

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

The Physics of Fluid Flow

Pressure makes fluid move Pressure is a reflection of energy added to pipelines by pumps, compressors or gravity The pressure in a non-flowing pipeline along a level route is the same along its entire length But in a route with elevation changes, pressure is higher in valleys and lower in hilltops Once the line start flowing, the pressure is almost always lower as the fluid moves

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler



Compressor station Direction of flow

Level pipeline

Pressure at any point = Pressure at origin - Pressure loss due to friction +/- Pressure due to elevation changes

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

Friction losses, pipe lengths and flow rates

Friction causes resistance to flow Faster flow rates produce more friction than slower rates Changing one variable, pressure or flow rate, can change the other, and changing the length changes both

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

Hydraulic Properties of Hydrocarbon Fluids

Important properties of fluid concerning pipeline operators: Density Viscosity Pour Point Vapor pressure (evaporation) Pressure Compressibility

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

Hydraulic properties of hydrocarbon fluids

Temperature and pressure both affect density API gravity measure of density for fluids

Higher viscosity, more energy to move fluid

Pour Point
Temperature can drop until reach pour point and cease to flow

Absolute pressure (psia) = Gauge pressure (psig) + Atmospheric pressure

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

Hydraulic properties of hydrocarbon fluids

Vapor pressure
Temperature and pressure determines if fluid stays as liquid or evaporate to gas Higher vapor pressure means more volatility Important consideration for oil and natural gas pipelines
When combination of gas pipeline operating P&T exceeds vapor pressure of the heavier molecules, they turn to liquid When line pressure of oil pipeline drops below vapor pressure, bubbles form

Important for gas pipeline How much work to force a given mass into smaller space

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

Basic Flow principles and Equations

First Law of Thermodynamics
Law of conservation of energy Fundamental to pipeline hydraulics

Bernoullis Principle
Static pressure + Dynamic pressure + hydrostatic pressure = Constant

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

Basic Flow principles and Equations

Flow characteristics
Laminar, transitional turbulent, fully turbulent

Friction loss
Major factor why pumps and compressors are required Factors of viscosity, density, velocity, pipe length, roughness of inside pipe

Elevation loss or gain

How much decline or gain depends on weight of fluid and height of hill

Flow rates and capacities

Mass = density x area x velocity x time

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

Almost all oil and natural gas lines are steel Steel corrode if not protected Pipeline can leak or rupture if too much metal is removed Few different types of corrosion most common is galvanic corrosion Corrosion outside pipe external corrosion Corrosion inside pipe internal corrosion Both can be influenced by bacteria, fungus and algae living on the surface of the pipes!
Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

To prevent external corrosion:
External corrosion is caused by current flow so stop flow of electrons stop corrosion Insulating coatings e.g. coal tar enamel, fusion-bonded epoxy applied to outside pipe wall Reverse flow of electrons - cathodic protection Sacrificial anode bury metal with higher electrochemical potential than iron (anodes) in selected locations along the lines

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

To prevent internal corrosion:
Internal corrosion occurs in low spots where contaminants like water tend to collect Regular pig runs Inject corrosion inhibitors
It works by coating the internal of the pipe to prevent current flow Interact with pipe materials to lower the pipes electrochemical potential React with oxygen etc before they corrode the pipe

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

Major Components
When most people think of pipelines, they think of pipe. But there are many other essential components needed to build and operate pipelines. These include pumps, compressors, meters, valves, fittings and many more including hundreds of instruments, sensors and so on. Nevertheless, the bulk of a pipeline is pipe.

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

Today, steel is the material of choice for highpressure pipelines Low-pressure pipelines use various types of plastics and fiberglass Pipelines produced in standard sizes and strength ratings Pipes selected based on their chemical and physical properties

Chemical properties of metal carbon affect strength, ductility Physical pipes stress must be below specified minimum yield strength (SMYS) and return to original size when pressure is relieved
Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

Properly protected pipe can last virtually forever Most important is that coatings insulate line electrically so protect from current flow and thus corrosion Many types, for e.g. Fusion bond epoxy, Coal tar Enamel, Plastics, Tape, Shrink sleeves, Concrete coating

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

Fittings and Flanges

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

Valves are critical they control flow Variety of valves classified by types or functions E.g. block valve (a function) has few types gate valve/ball valve Main valves
Gate valve main use to block flow completely Ball valve block flow, or control flow rate (specifically designed) Plug valve double block and bleed ensure no fluid leaking across valve. Use in metering or multiproduct system Check valve allows flow in one direction only Globe valves most common control valve start, stop flow flow smooth, uniform Pressure Relief valve protect pipeline from excessive pressure
Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

Pumps, compressors, Prime Movers and VSD

Pumps oil service Compressors natural gas service Positive Displacement (PD) and Centrifugal designs are for both oil and gas pipelines PD pumps/compressors add pressure (potential energy) by forcing more fluid in pipeline Centrifugal pumps/comps spins -create kinetic energy, and then slow down convert to potential energy Pumps and compressors get power from prime movers
Engines Electric motors Turbines

Variable Speed Devices (VSD) control pumps and compressors Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner
and Leffler

Meters and Provers

Function of metering
Ensure pipeline customers receive the amount of oil/gas they put in
Ensure pipeline operates environmentally safe, no hazard

Direct volume meter measure volume directly Inference meter use flow properties to calculate flow rate

Main types
PD meters flow separate in chambers, count chambers as they go Turbine meters measure speed of bladed rotor to calc. flow rate Orifice meter measure gas flow! Coriolis meter works for both oil and gas

Provers used to ensure accurate metering measurements. E.g. Master meters and Pipe provers
Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

Engineering and Design

The pipeline planners have developed a plan with preliminary routes and volumes. The preliminary design document is then handed off to the design group for detailed engineering. The document includes the lines intended use, approximate route, intended volumes, primary receipt and delivery points, as well as suggested operating pressures, diameters and wall thickness. They may also include pumping and compression needs, storage needs, metering, instrumentation and control

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

DESIGN of pipeline system

Safety considerations Route selection Complex! Line size, Wall thickness, Looping Systems curves Pressure vs. flow rate Fittings, flanges, valves Pumps, compressors, prime movers Flow and pressure control Stations numbers, locations, design and layout

Source: Oil and Gas Pipelines Miesner and Leffler

In a group of 5 people, prepare a 10 minutes presentation on FLOW ASSURANCE problems in pipelines. State the problem and how to mitigate the problem. Find out the new technology used in the industry to overcome the problem. A week to complete Presentation date: 28 and 29th March