MODELLING AND SIMULATION OF LEAKAGE-INDUCED PRESSURE DROPS ALONG OIL AND GAS PIPELINES

MODELLING AND SIMULATION OF LEAKAGE-INDUCED PRESSURE DROPS ALONG OIL AND GAS PIPELINES

ABSTRACT

This research work on “Modelling and Simulation  of Leakage-Induced Pressure drops along oil and gas pipelines tends to develop  flow equations that can detect and localize leakages in oil and gas pipelines by modifying the Darcy-weisbach equation for liquid/oil flow, and the Panhandle B equation for natural gas flow in pipelines. These modified equations were simulated  using matlab to show how flow rate values for the oil and gas pipelines vary  when; the pipeline is working at full capacity,  ie no leak, when the pipe is opened, ie with leak, at different leak diameters,  and when a host is inserted into the pipeline  for oil/gas bunkering. The natural gas used is methane while the oil  is gasoline. This research work was necessitated by the reports that the United States of America lost approximately $6.75B  to pipeline incidences between 1986-2012. Nigeria also lost $10.9bn  to oil theft(bunkering) and vandalism between 1999 to 2011. Thus, owing to the fact that there is increasing demands for oil and gas products, and their  bye products all over the world cum the climatic changes, distortion of aquatic recosystems, the environmental degradation, property damages and the billions of dollars spent in cleaning up these spill, there is great need for  all hands to be on deck to checkmate this ugly trend. Hence, the need for leakage detection and localization cannot be over-emphasized. The materials used in this work were obtained from the databases of oil companies in Nigeria, oil spill intelligence report, shell, oil and gas journals, U.S institute of standards and safety, etc.   The simulation results for oil and gas follow similar trend and shows that; the flow rate is inversely proportional to pipeline lengths, the flow rate decreases as leak diameter increases. Above all, this project discovered from the simulation result that if a long and wide host is inserted into a pipeline for oil bunkering, the difference in flow rates is infinitesimal that control room engineers term it “small leak” when  huge quantities of oil or gas is being taken away from the pipeline. It is recommended that pipeline engineers should treat small variations in flow parameters with all urgency and alacrity instead of terming it small leak.