How Oil is Transported Through a Pipeline

Oil is the most valuable raw material for the development of all sectors of the national economy. Several countries wholly depend on oil production. In conditions of extremely scattered oil consumers, oil pipeline transport is of particular importance. Oil and gas mining or exploration is a process that requires top professionalism.

The geography of oil production, processing, and consumption of oil products determines the direction of the main cargo flows. A modern main oil pipeline is a complex engineering structure designed to transport oil from production areas to refineries and loading points, from where oil is supplied to the consumer by rail or water.

The Composition of the Main Oil Pipeline Structures

The main oil pipeline consists of the linear part, the primary and intermediate pumping stations, and the endpoints. The linear part of the channel is usually welded from steel pipes with a diameter of 250 to 1220 mm. The pipeline’s diameter is chosen depending on the amount of the pumped product and the distance between the stations.

The depth of the pipeline is determined based on climatic and geographic conditions. It must be at least 0.8 m from the top of the pipe. The stop valves installed on the linear part serve to shut off the pipeline in case of accidents or repair it.

Operating Mode of the Oil Pipeline

Oil pumping through the main pipeline can be stationary or transit. With stationary pumping, oil enters the empty tank of the station until it is completely filled. Oil is pumped out from a filled reservoir. After the first tank is full and the second becomes empty, the tanks are switched over, and the cycle is repeated.

There are three ways of transit oil pumping. Pumping through the reservoir is characterized by sequential switching on of the reservoir at the inlet of the intermediate station in such a way that all oil entering the pump inlet passes through the reservoir. When pumping oil with a connected tank, the tank is connected to the pipeline through a branch in parallel with the station pump.

crude oil pipelineThe pumped oil enters the pump inlet. With different inflow amounts and pumping out, this difference is compensated by the oil from the reservoir. In the considered methods, there are losses of light oil fractions due to evaporation from reservoirs.

The most progressive pumping method that avoids oil losses is the pipeline’s operation in the pump-to-pump mode. Here oil from the previous station is fed to the pump inlet to the next station, bypassing the reservoir.