Case History in Optimization of Crude Oil Pumping Through an Accessed Point on a Strategic Pipeline
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Crude oil is pumped through the Strategic Pipeline (SP); [406.4 mm outside diameter (O.D) & 387.35 mm inside diameter (I.D)] x 166 km. SP was operated by two pumping stations; one at First Point (FP) and the other station is located at SP mid, 83 km far from FP. Crude oil produced from Aghar Field (AF) was pumped at the rate of 6,300 barrels during 17 hours daily, through a pipeline; (254 mm O.D & 238.76 mm I.D) x 46 km, to an Access Point (AP), 111 km from FP at 800 psi initial pumping pressure. There was necessity for upgrading SP transportation capacity by 80 % to reach 180 thousand bbl/d which of course was accomplished by increase in operating pressure so that pressure at AP was increased and reflected in the form of back pressure on the pump at AF which created a problem for the crude oil coming from it to AP. This was requiring an optimized solution, either by replacing the existing pumping system at AF with another one of higher pumping pressure (which was excluded due to high cost) or reducing pressure at the AP, which was achieved by using Drag Reducing Agent (DRA) to reduce hydraulic friction losses through SP. This paper contributes for a practical case history for using DRA as an optimized solution, by which could make pumping from AF to AP at the same initial pumping pressure without need for changing pumping system. Also, all such stated events are presented in addition to the economic analysis for calculation of the realized gains with using DRA.
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