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Software for oil pipeline simulation

The Pipeline Studio Software has been developed in order to simulate the fluid hydraulics within Oil Pipelines incorporating Long Chain Polymers or Drag Reduction Additives, injected into the pipeline. This software is required so as to be able to validate the derived AESOP DRA effectiveness and degradation formula against the results obtained from the field trials, performed by other partners within the AESOP project.

By performing off-line hydraulic simulations, modelling the various pipelines used during the field trials, varying concentrations of DRA injection have been simulated. The results obtained from these multiple simulation runs have confirmed that for the products tested, under the conditions specified during the field trials, the formulas that have been derived compare favourably with the results obtained from the live field tests. This validation of the formula provides a high level of confidence in the ability of the AESOP DRA formula to hydraulically describe the characteristics of the supplied DRA within the AESOP tested pipelines.

This verification should allow potential users of Pipeline Studio to be confident in the results generated by the off-line tool in terms of hydraulic modelling encompassing the AESOP DRA formulas, for use on their individual pipeline design. Users will be able to experiment with different DRA injection rates in order to establish what benefits can be achieved in terms of reduction in pumping power / energy savings or increased product throughput.

The key innovative feature confirmed by results of the AESOP project is the fact that the formula generated and validated are not only empirical, they are actually tried and tested against live field conditions. This should enable a high degree of certainty for users of pipeline Studio such that the simulations produced will provide an accurate representation of field pipeline conditions.

At the time of writing this report, the current status of the software is that it is undergoing beta testing. The incorporation of the AESOP DRA formula within Pipeline Studio is taking place along side a major release of the Pipeline Studio software product. The results generated during the validation of the AESOP formula can be used as a comparison benchmark against future product testing. As part of the AESOP field trials two products were field-tested. From these two products, the variables required to be input into the AESOP DRA formula were determined so as to ensure as close a correlation as possible between simulation and field results. If the software is to be used to model pipelines carrying other products than that which has been tested and verified under the AESOP project, the variables within the DRA formula will require to be amended. The determination of these variables is likely to be performed via a trial and error process - Inputting different variables into Pipeline Studio and comparison of the results. Once the results of the simulations fall within the same range as that tested during the AESOP project, the variables should be deemed to be as accurate as those that were produced for the project.

The anticipated benefits from the use of Pipeline Studio incorporating the AESOP DRA formula are as follows:
- An accurate representation of product transfer throughout the entire length of the pipeline.

- Determination of the pressure drop along the pipeline.

- Determination of increased throughput along the pipeline.

- Potential energy savings as a result of reduced pressure drop and therefore reduced pumping costs.

- Representation of DRA effectiveness and degradation as it travels along the pipeline.

Informations connexes

Reported by

Energy Solutions International
Hastings House, Falcon Court, Preston Farm Business Park
TS18 3TS Stockton-on-Tees
United Kingdom