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Guidelines for the use of long chain polymers

These guidelines resume the tasks that must be taken into account when deciding injecting Drag Reducing Agents (DRA), because when an oil pipeline company decides to start using DRA, it must take into account several decisions.

First of all, it must do study of the pipeline network to determine in which segments it will be interesting to use this type of additive. In this sense, we will focus our attention to the segments that are close to saturation and the ones that will be of special interest at energy saving. Secondly, the company must apply this study to the fuel products into which DRA can be injected. Nowadays, for example, international aviation regulations do not permit the use of these additives in kerosene.

Finally before deciding on the segments in which the DRA is going to be used, it must highlighted that the restrictions in diameter or intermediate equipment that produce turbulence or acceleration fields in the flow, will shear the long chain polymer at these sites and the efficiency will be reduced.

Concerning the injection point has to be installed after each pumping stations because of the shearing effect of pumps: after a passage through a pumping station no effect of previously present DRA remains. In addition, having more injection points reduces the influence of length on the efficiency of the long-chain polymers, where this issue is relevant.

Concentration of drag reducer has to be optimised taking care of the line configuration and the active material of the drag reducer agent. Which means that the injection rate may depend on the considered section and the flowrate. Then the best way to ensure an optimal and constant concentration is to have a remote-controlled injection, that will corrected the additive concentration according to the pipeline flowrates.

At the exit of the pipeline, in order to reduce possible influence on metering system or risks of filter clogging, long-chain polymers have to be sheared before getting out of the pipeline. This easy to achieve by installing a plate orifice or any other equipment than can cause a pressure drop.

Regards to the additiveted oil transported through the pipeline do not need any special recommendation for storage, if long-chain polymers contained in the product have been sheared.

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