Pipelines - PetroWiki

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The pipeline system that conveys the individual-well production or that of a group of wells from a central facility to a central system or terminal location is a gathering pipeline. Generally, the gathering pipeline system is a series of pipelines that flow from the well production facilities in a producing field to a gathering "trunk" pipeline. Gathering systems typically require small-diameter pipe that runs over relatively short distances. The branch lateral lines commonly are 2 to 8 in. Gathering systems should be designed to minimize pressure drop without having to use large-diameter pipe or require mechanical pressure-elevation equipment (pumps for liquid and compressors for gas) to move the fluid volume. For natural-gas gathering lines, the Weymouth equation can be used to size the pipe. "Cross-country" transmission pipelines will collect the product from many "supply" sources and "deliver" to one or more end users. Transmission pipelines will generally require much larger pipe than gathering systems. Transmission systems normally are designed for long distances and will require pressure-boosting equipment along the route. Many factors must be considered when designing, building, and operating a pipeline system. Once the basic pipe ID is determined using the applicable flow formula, the other significant design parameters must be addressed. For U.S. applications, gathering, transmission and distribution pipelines are governed by regulations and laws that are nationally administered by the U.S. Dept. of Transportation (DOT).