This lesson begins with a review of the hydraulic tools explained in Oil Pipeline Hydraulics and Hydraulic Tools.  From there students review line operations by following 3 batches of crude oil down an actual line and discuss where each crude oil is, how they can tell, and potential operating problems and solutions.  The lesson concludes with a line optimization case study.

Learning Objectives

  • Combine the systems resistance curve and pump curve graphs and explain how and why they show the operating point of the line.

  • Describe how control valves and variable speed drives are used to control flow.

  • Combine the systems profile and hydraulic gradient and explain:

  • What the distance between the profile and gradient shows

  • What happens when the hydraulic gradient falls below the system profile

  • Explain how to convert from psi to feet of head.

  • Explain why controlling pressure is the key to controlling rate.

  • Describe how the hydraulic gradient changes when the viscosity changes.

  • Describe how the hydraulic gradient changes when the rate changes.

  • Explain how to identify gravity changes in hydraulic profiles.

  • Describe column separation, what cause it and why it can be dangerous.

  • Discuss your key learnings from this lesson.

Lesson Outline

  • Learning objectives

  • Review of hydraulic tools

  • Hydraulic gradients and profiles

  • Line hydraulics with batching

  • Line optimization

  • Learning objectives


  • Oil pipeline controllers
  • Other oil pipeline control room personnel
  • Field operations personnel
  • Others who work with controllers
  • Others who want to understand more about oil pipeline hydraulics.

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