Real Time Transient Modeling for Pipeline Safety and Integrity Management
Managing pipeline safety and integrity requires reliable data sources placed at the right time at every management level. The data flow in the management process involves design, inspection and real-time data availability that must comply with specific reliability levels. In large scale operations, transporting a wide variety of hydrocarbons through a sizeable pipeline network across a harsh environment, reliability in data sources, data processing tools and supporting infrastructure becomes a must. This implies carefully designed requirements for field, data acquisition devices and data processing tools at early design stages of a pipeline project. In this scenario, an effective management model for pipeline safety and integrity translates into having available means to process data from multiple sources, including real-time pipeline operating conditions, which range from steady-state to batch or transient operations. At this operation level, the demand for real-time transient pipeline modeling tools is high. Safety functions, such as pipeline shutdown, downgrade, decoupling and leak detection at large scale flow rates exceeding millions of barrels a day require properly sized real-time pipeline modeling tools. Ensuring pipeline integrity at all operating conditions, including line scrapping, requires knowing limitations in the pipeline design as well as the pipeline hydraulics at real-time operating conditions. Real Time Transient Modeling (RTTM) pipeline modeling tools, although sophisticated, must be built to perform. At the end, the RTTM performance level becomes the result of product, infrastructure and design performance. This presentation describes the underlying data flow model involved in the management of pipeline safety and integrity and its relation to real-time transient modeling tools. It provides an overview of the facilities and equipment resources involved taken from practical experience. Further, this presentation discusses the engineering and implementation challenges for RTTM tools with a goal to assist various pipeline operations and performing safety functions. Finally, based on experience, this presentation highlights accomplishments in engineering and best practices achieved in pipelines’ RTTM for safety and integrity applications while describing an end-user perspective on current industry standards and development of RTTM products.