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TagsPump Pressure Fluid Dynamics Pipeline Transport Steady State
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Chapter 5

PiPeline OPeratiOn and
Batching

5.1 PIPELINE OPERATION

The scope of pipeline operations is very large. It includes both business and physical
operations of a pipeline system. The scope of the physical operations covers not only
the product movements by means of daily operations of equipment such as pumps and
meter stations but also other operations such as pipe cleaning or pigging and integ-
rity management. The process of transportation service is further discussed in Control
Valve Handbook [1]. This section discusses only the daily operations directly related
to hydraulics.

5.1.1 Pipeline System Operation
Petroleum products, including crude oil and refined products, are gathered to cen-
tral points. The gathered products are then scheduled and dispatched to various des-
tinations. The scheduling activity begins with the preparation of a product pumping
schedule based on pipeline capacity and shippers’ requirements, while the dispatching
activity involves organizing various operations of the pipeline facilities to conform to
the schedule. In scheduling and dispatching, the pipeline system needs to be operated
in a safe and efficient manner. This section briefly discusses three operational issues;
pipeline system operation, batch operation, and station operation.

Broadly, pipeline operations involve transporting products from the lifting points
to the delivery points; lifting products into the pipeline and delivering the received
products to the designated delivery points. The receiving and delivery points may be
tank farms, refineries or another pipeline. For transporting products, the pipeline op-
erator monitors product movements and pipeline states to ensure that products are
adequately supplied from the lifting points and delivered to the designated points,
while controlling flow and pressure at pump and regulator stations for safe and reliable
transportation.

The control of pipeline pressure is crucial to ensure safe, reliable, and economi-
cal operations because all pipelines are subject to minimum and maximum operating
limits. Maintaining these limits is essential to preserve the integrity of the pipeline and
pumping equipment, and at the same time to operate the system economically. The
operating limits include:

Maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) for safety ·
Maximum discharge pressure at pump stations to protect station piping and ·
equipment
Minimum suction pressure at pump stations to avoid cavitation ·
Minimum or maximum pressure at a control point ·
Minimum and maximum delivery pressures to satisfy the contractual obliga- ·
tions and protect equipment

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