ABSTRACT

A key requirement to reliable pipeline capacity forecasting for operations is to have a well tuned hydraulic model. Challenges with effectively tuning can be vast and range from reliability of the input data to understanding the pipelines operation and its key sensitivity parameters and locations. Scope for tuning needs to be agreed upon up front to keep the scale of the problem focused and time bound. This paper will present a methodology for tuning a batched crude oil pipeline, using a successive steady state (SSST) hydraulic model with temperature transients, and the challenges that arise. The pipelines effective viscosity profile has been selected as the parameter to tune the model against SCADA data. The viscosity is selected as it is a key sensitivity parameter to crude oil capacity. Effective viscosity is defined in this paper as the resultant viscosity of the fluid between two stations. It captures the multiple batches of oil that may be present in a segment, and the varying temperature profile along the pipeline. The methods and challenges for tuning a SSST hydraulic model are presented. These fall into two main buckets. First being the inherent variation in the pipeline operations compared to the base model data, such as batch fluid property variation and variation in injection conditions. Second being the pipeline systems ground properties and ground heat transfer model assumptions. Overall the effectiveness of this approach is demonstrated and future enhancements are discussed.

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