Operational Challenges in Gas-To-Liquid (GTL) Transportation Through Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS)

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Oil production from Alaskan North Slope oil fields has steadily declined. In the near future, ANS crude oil production will decline to such a level (200,000 to 400,000 bbl/day) that maintaining economic operation of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) will require pumping alternative products through the system. Heavy oil deposits in the West Sak and Ugnu formations are a potential resource, although transporting these products involves addressing important sedimentation issues. One possibility is the use of Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) technology. Estimated recoverable gas reserves of 38 trillion cubic feet (TCF) on the North Slope of Alaska can be converted to liquid ... continued below

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Chukwu, Godwin A.; Khataniar, Santanu; Patil, Shirish & Dandekar, Abhijit June 30, 2006.

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Oil production from Alaskan North Slope oil fields has steadily declined. In the near future, ANS crude oil production will decline to such a level (200,000 to 400,000 bbl/day) that maintaining economic operation of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) will require pumping alternative products through the system. Heavy oil deposits in the West Sak and Ugnu formations are a potential resource, although transporting these products involves addressing important sedimentation issues. One possibility is the use of Gas-to-Liquid (GTL) technology. Estimated recoverable gas reserves of 38 trillion cubic feet (TCF) on the North Slope of Alaska can be converted to liquid with GTL technology and combined with the heavy oils for a product suitable for pipeline transport. Issues that could affect transport of this such products through TAPS include pumpability of GTL and crude oil blends, cold restart of the pipeline following a prolonged winter shutdown, and solids deposition inside the pipeline. This study examined several key fluid properties of GTL, crude oil and four selected blends under TAPS operating conditions. Key measurements included Reid Vapor Pressure, density and viscosity, PVT properties, and solids deposition. Results showed that gel strength is not a significant factor for the ratios of GTL-crude oil blend mixtures (1:1; 1:2; 1:3; 1:4) tested under TAPS cold re-start conditions at temperatures above - 20 F, although Bingham fluid flow characteristics exhibited by the blends at low temperatures indicate high pumping power requirements following prolonged shutdown. Solids deposition is a major concern for all studied blends. For the commingled flow profile studied, decreased throughput can result in increased and more rapid solid deposition along the pipe wall, resulting in more frequent pigging of the pipeline or, if left unchecked, pipeline corrosion.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FC26-01NT41228
  • DOI: 10.2172/919007 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 919007
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc887153

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • June 30, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Dec. 28, 2017, 12:15 a.m.

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Chukwu, Godwin A.; Khataniar, Santanu; Patil, Shirish & Dandekar, Abhijit. Operational Challenges in Gas-To-Liquid (GTL) Transportation Through Trans Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS), report, June 30, 2006; Alaska. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc887153/: accessed April 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.