Baker Institute examines alternatives to Strait of Hormuz

Improvements to the pipelines crossing the Arabian Peninsula would allow more of the oil produced in the Persian Gulf to avoid the Strait of Hormuz, according to a paper from Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy.

The paper, “Revisiting Alternatives to the Strait of Hormuz,” focused on introducing drag-reducing agents (DRA) to two existing pipelines between the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea (crossing Saudi Arabia) in an effort to mitigate the displacement caused by ongoing Iranian threats to close the strait.

Brito said a relatively low investment of this sort would allow shipment of as much as 11-million b/d of Middle East crude oil through the Red Sea. An injection of about 30 ppm DRA into a crude line would reduce the friction factor by roughly 35%, according to Brito, with a 70 ppm injection boosting this to about 50%. He described the effect as equivalent to that of doubling the available horsepower, but noted that DRAs degrade during passage through pump stations and therefore would need to be injected after each.

The author cited a study he conducted with the Center for Naval Analysis in 2000 that detailed a variety of options for augmenting current Saudi pipeline capacity at costs of $115-598 million to yield additional capacity of 6.8-11 million b/d. He cautioned that costs might have increased since then, but also noted the improvements in DRA over the past 12 years.

The two pipelines addressed in the study were the 52-in. and 48-in. OD East-West Pipeline (Petroline) running across Saudi Arabia to the Red Sea port of Yanbu at a designed capacity of 5.1 million b/d and the 48-in. OD, 1.65-million b/d Iraqi-Saudi Arabia (IPSA) pipeline from the Iraqi border to the port of al-Mu’ajjiz on the Saudi Red Sea coast. The latter has been out of commission since the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait.

Brito described the lead time for the pumps, impellers, and turbines needed to make suitable modifications to these lines as 18 months, plus installation. He also noted that IPSA would require 2-3 months of maintenance before returning to service.

The paper concluded threats posed to the Strait of Hormuz are significant enough to warrant revisiting existing studies and investigating the feasibility of augmenting the trans-Arabian pipelines.

Related Articles

OGJ Newsletter

01/26/2015

International news for oil and gas professionals

OGJ Newsletter

01/19/2015

International news for oil and gas professionals

API forms midstream department to address transportation system issues

01/13/2015 The American Petroleum Institute has formed a midstream department to address issues related to energy systems and the transportation of crude oil ...

Second ExxonMobil crude tanker nears service

01/12/2015 The second of two new US-flagged crude oil tankers belonging to SeaRiver Maritime Inc., the marine affiliate of ExxonMobil Corp., has been built an...

Security takes center stage

12/15/2014

Thwarting terrorists, repelling pirates, and routing organized crime: sounds like themes of familiar, big-budget Hollywood movies.

Linn exits Anadarko basin in deal worth $1.95 billion

12/12/2014 Linn Energy LLC has agreed to sell all of its oil and gas properties and related midstream assets in the western Anadarko basin for $1.95 billion t...

Barton introduces bill to remove US crude export limits

12/11/2014

US Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.) introduced legislation that would remove US crude oil export limits that have been in place for nearly 40 years.

Study improves subsea pipeline preheating

12/01/2014 A higher flow rate at lower temperatures can more effectively preheat subsea crude oil pipelines than currently used techniques. This article found...

Legislative vote delays St. Croix refinery sale

12/01/2014 The Senate of the 30th Legislature of the US Virgin Islands has voted unanimously to send back a proposed agreement that would provide for the rest...
White Papers

Pipeline Integrity: Best Practices to Prevent, Detect, and Mitigate Commodity Releases

Commodity releases can have catastrophic consequences, so ensuring pipeline integrity is crucial for p...
Sponsored by

AVEVA’s Digital Asset Approach - Defining a new era of collaboration in capital projects and asset operations

There is constant, intensive change in the capital projects and asset life cycle management. New chall...
Sponsored by

Transforming the Oil and Gas Industry with EPPM

With budgets in the billions, timelines spanning years, and life cycles extending over decades, oil an...
Sponsored by

Asset Decommissioning in Oil & Gas: Transforming Business

Asset intensive organizations like Oil and Gas have their own industry specific challenges when it com...
Sponsored by

Squeezing the Green: How to Cut Petroleum Downstream Costs and Optimize Processing Efficiencies with Enterprise Project Portfolio Management Solutions

As the downstream petroleum industry grapples with change in every sector and at every level, includin...
Sponsored by

7 Steps to Improve Oil & Gas Asset Decommissioning

Global competition and volatile markets are creating a challenging business climate for project based ...
Sponsored by

The impact of aging infrastructure in process manufacturing industries

Process manufacturing companies in the oil and gas, utilities, chemicals and natural resource industri...
Sponsored by

What is System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis?

This paper will explain some of the fundamentals of System Level Thermo-Fluid Analysis and demonstrate...
Available Webcasts


The Alternative Fuel Movement: Four Need-to-Know Excise Tax Complexities

When Thu, Jun 4, 2015

Discussion on how to approach, and ultimately embrace, the alternative fuel market by pulling back the veil on excise tax complexities. Taxes may be an aggravating part of daily operations, but their accuracy is crucial in your path towards business success.

register:WEBCAST



On Demand

Prevention, Detection and Mitigation of pipeline leaks in the modern world

Thu, Apr 30, 2015

Preventing, detecting and mitigating leaks or commodity releases from pipelines are a top priority for all pipeline companies. This presentation will look at various aspects related to preventing, detecting and mitigating pipeline commodity releases from a generic and conceptual point of view, while at the same time look at the variety of offerings available from Schneider Electric to meet some of the requirements associated with pipeline integrity management. 

register:WEBCAST


Global LNG: Adjusting to New Realities

Fri, Mar 20, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s March 20, 2015, webcast will look at how global LNG trade will be affected over the next 12-24 months by falling crude oil prices and changing patterns and pressures of demand. Will US LNG production play a role in balancing markets? Or will it add to a growing global oversupply of LNG for markets remote from easier natural gas supply? Will new buyers with marginal credit, smaller requirements, or great need for flexibility begin to look attractive to suppliers? How will high-cost, mega-projects in Australia respond to new construction cost trends?

register:WEBCAST


US Midstream at a Crossroads

Fri, Mar 6, 2015

Oil & Gas Journal’s Mar. 6, 2015, webcast will focus on US midstream companies at an inflection point in their development in response to more than 6 years shale oil and gas production growth. Major infrastructure—gas plants, gathering systems, and takeaway pipelines—have been built. Major fractionation hubs have expanded. Given the radically changed pricing environment since mid-2014, where do processors go from here? What is the fate of large projects caught in mid-development? How to producers and processors cooperate to ensure a sustainable and profitable future? This event will serve to set the discussion table for the annual GPA Convention in San Antonio, Apr. 13-16, 2015.

This event is sponsored by Leidos Engineering.

register:WEBCAST


Emerson Micro Motion Videos

Careers at TOTAL

Careers at TOTAL - Videos

More than 600 job openings are now online, watch videos and learn more!

 

Click Here to Watch

Other Oil & Gas Industry Jobs

Search More Job Listings >>
Stay Connected