OIL PIPELINE SYSTEMS
Charles L. Arnold
Principal Pipeline Consultant,
Lucy A. Gebhart
This chapter on oil pipeline systems has been prepared as a basic guide to the
design of cross-country pipelines for liquid petroleum and related products. It
focuses on the fundamentals of pipeline design, emphasizing practical guidelines
for real systems. It provides a general overview of the system approach to design,
which integrates the hydraulic, mechanical, and operations and maintenance aspects
in the design of a system, along with project economic analysis, in determining the
preferred pipeline system.
This chapter also includes discussion of design topics for related pipeline-system
components such as pump station and location and sizing, material selection for
pipe, metering, leak detection, and system control. Aspects of petroleum-system
design related to the special characteristics of some petroleum commodities are also
addressed, in particular topics related to high-vapor pressure systems, multiproduct
systems, and systems requiring consideration of variable thermal properties of the
fluid, i.e., hot oil systems. Finally, design considerations for seismic and underwater
design of pipeline systems are outlined.
There are three basic codes developed by the American Society of Mechanical
Engineers (ASME) which govern the design of piping systems in chemical, petro-
leum liquid, and gas usage.
Piping inside the boundaries of a chemical plant, refinery, or gas processing plant
falls under the scope of ASME B31.3 and is covered separately in this handbook (see
Chap. C7). Likewise, ASME B31.8, covering gas transmission and distribution
piping systems, is specifically addressed in Chap. C6 of this handbook.
This chapter specifically addresses oil transportation systems as covered by the
ASME B31.4 Code—Pipeline Transportation Systems for Liquid Hydrocarbons
and Other Liquids.1 In this chapter, references to sp