Transportation and Storage
Nearly 3.25 million kilometers (2.0 million miles) of oil and gas pipelines crisscross the Earth’s land and seas gathering hydrocarbons from wellfields, moving them to gas plants and refineries and, finally, distributing finished products to customers. And although they may look the same and be installed in the same way, pipelines differ dramatically according to the product they transfer. Each type requires special design considerations and specifically engineered liquid and gas handling flow control equipment to operate efficiently and reliably. In addition, provision must be made for oil and gas storage in tank farms and geological formations. LNG requires its own special considerations at production plants, for storage and transportation and for regasification and distribution.
Flowserve offers innovative and proven solutions for every conceivable pipeline application including crude oil and refined products, natural gas, dense phase CO2, LNG, NGL and LPG. Its expertise extends to products for cavern well storage transfer terminals and loading terminals. And Flowserve has significant experience in tar sands and heavy oil applications, including bitumen, diluent and synthetic crude pipeline.
Crude oil is transported from the wellfields by gathering lines to a gathering station where a pump station injects it into a mainline for delivery to a refinery or terminal. At a gathering station and along the mainline, crude may be placed into temporary storage. Once refined, the finished products are transported to petroleum products terminals where fuels, heating oils and LPGs are distributed to customers.
Crude oil transported from oil fields may contain salt, water, scale and other erosive agents. These harsh conditions along with temperature, pressure, elevation and multiple other variables require engineering expertise to achieve best pipeline performance. Modern finished products pipeline operation requires batch type transport of various refined products often at varying pressures. This, too, requires application know-how and experience to obtain peak performance efficiency.
Flowserve has the know-how, experience and innovative pumping solutions to ensure outstanding performance for oil and gas pipeline services. With more than 200 years of industrial pump experience and over a century of pipeline pumping experience, Flowserve has earned a pre-eminent position in the global pipeline pumping industry through advanced design, engineered solutions, equipment re-rates and customer service excellence.
The reliability of Flowserve single-stage and multistage pumps has made them the preferred choice for unattended mainline operation in some of the world’s most inhospitable environments. Low NPSH pumps, in both horizontal and vertical configurations, provide unequaled booster-station service. And no other pump manufacturer offers the breadth of pumping systems for transportation, transfer, storage and cargo shipping.
Natural gas pipelines are composed of gathering lines, transmission lines and local distribution lines. Before entering the transmission line, the well gas is sent to a gas plant where hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide acid gases are removed along with NGLs – propane, butane and ethane. A compressor station then injects the dry, clean gas into the transmission line and eventually into local distribution lines.
From the wellhead to the end user, Flowserve has a full complement of valves and automation for every facet of pipeline operation. Valve types include: control valves; trunion ball and floating ball; lubricated plug; and slab/expanding gate. Compressor station trains are protected by anti-surge valves. Electric, pneumatic and direct gas actuation is available.
Flowserve pioneered the design and supply of pumping equipment for the transportation and injection of dense phase CO2. This capability is the result of prior work on other near and supercritical fluids plus the successful application of pumping systems for several CO2 enhanced oil recovery projects.
Pumps typically used in this application include specially designed high-pressure single-stage pumps and axially split multistage types. Design considerations for a CO2 pipeline are unique. Adequate operating pressures are necessary to maintain the CO2 as a liquid. Adequate pump suction pressure is required to prevent cavitation.
Storage facilities for crude, natural gas and light hydrocarbon products are an important element in all pipeline and tanker transportation systems. Storage allows flexibility in pipeline and refinery operations and minimizes unwanted fluctuations in pipeline throughput and product delivery.
The capacity of individual storage tanks or facilities varies widely. Small crude storage tanks are common on producing leases, while export tanker loading terminals can have several million barrels of crude storage capacity in just a few giant tanks.
Both aboveground and belowground storage are used for both natural gas and hydrocarbon liquids. Natural gas can be stored under pressure in depleted natural gas or oil reservoirs, in aquifers, salt domes or mined caverns. Aboveground steel storage tanks are partly pressurized and refrigerated to contain the gas. Oil is normally stored in aboveground fabricated steel storage tanks, but may also be stored in salt domes and caverns.
The leading supplier of products for the transportation and storage needs of the oil and gas industry, Flowserve offers pump and valve systems to handle virtually all flow and control applications. Its products are the choice for crude oil and natural gas gathering station and mainline transportation and tank farm storage applications.
Flowserve also provides pump and valve systems for: products cavern and well storage transfer terminals; crude and products tank farms; storage fields; pipeline transfer terminals; and ship, tank car and truck loading terminals.
Over the last few decades, LNG has become an increasingly important part of the world’s energy supply. Significant volumes of cooled and compressed natural gas are transported in its liquid phase at 1/600th of its gaseous volume. These shipments are made by specially designed ocean tankers rather than by long-distance pipeline. Short pipelines, however, are in operation in association with gas liquefaction or vaporization plants and at terminals for loading and unloading LNG tankers.
LNG storage is required at base-load plants or complete plants which include processing and treatment, liquefaction, storage and regasification operations. Storage is also required at terminal plants where LNG is received from tankers and regasified as needed; and at peak-shaving plants which store natural gas as a liquid to meet peak demands. From storage, LNG is pumped to a vaporizer that regasifies the natural gas for delivery to customers.
Flowserve makes an extensive line of pumps, valves and mechanical seals to handle LNG transportation and storage application needs. Regardless of the process used to produce LNG, Flowserve has the right products to accomplish the transportation or storage task.
Flowserve products are ideal for LNG applications such as: charge and process, cryogenic, desulfurization and safety and utility services. These capabilities enhance the expertise of Flowserve in gas plant and gas handling operations.