Maximizing Transportation Capacity of an Aged Crude Oil Pipeline
Since November 1984 The 406.4 mm x 166 km has run from Meleiha field at Egypt's Western Desert to El-Hamra terminal on the coast of the Mediterranean Sea (Figure 1). Its original capacity was 100,000 barrels oil per day (BOPD) using two pumping stations. Planned pumped flow rate increased to 177,000 BOPD when Maximum Allowable Working Pressure (MAWP) reduced from 1463 psi to 950 psi. This paper shows how to increase flow rates without reaching MAWP, two methods are recommended: 1) loop the existing pipeline using a 406.4 mm x 56 km pipe. 2) Use a drag reducing agent (DRA) to reduce hydraulic friction losses and total dynamic pressure (TDP) thereby pumping more with reduced initial pumping pressure at Meleiha. Mathematical models are designed to simulate pumping operation through the whole system, with TDP predicted for three pipeline cases: 1) Normal case without both looping and DRA. 2) Oil pumping without DRA and with looping. 3) Oil pumping with both looping and DRA.