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SPE 148925

The Role of Crude Oil Shrinkage in Heavy Mix Light Crude in Main Oil
Pipeline: Case Study Oman
Ardian Nengkoda, Petroleum Development Oman

Copyright 2011, Society of Petroleum Engineers

This paper was prepared for presentation at the SPE Heavy Oil Conference and Exhibition held in Kuwait City, Kuwait, 1214 December 2011.

This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been
reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its
officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohibited. Permission to
reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright.

Abstract
With the increasing trend of heavy oil production in Sultanate of Oman, it will be very interesting to see the impact on crude
oil volumetric quality in the main oil pipeline. Pipeline oil management mass balance and custody transfer accuracy will be
the focus. The volumetric measurement equipment show some time a discrepancies. Temperature, pressure and meter factor
corrections were not enough to explain these discrepancies. The shrinkage factor of crude oil can be seen from upstream to
main oil pipeline where the mixing already stabilize, such from separator conditions varies, dependant upon the pressure and
temperature of the separator and the individual fluid properties. The more volatile the separator liquid phase, the more impact
separator conditions and shrinkage will be. Shrinkage value will be very dependant upon the separator pressure and
temperature and will change as these values vary. However, good shrinkage measurement is best approached by
collecting the primary separator liquid and performing a separator test on it. A calculation based on API MPMS 12.3 (1996)
have some limitationof mixing only at absolute P (100-700 KPa, 15-115 lb/in2) and T (15oC or 60oF). The study explaining
a step by step of crude oil shrinkage by well testing approach, separator testing approach and equation-of-state (EOS) tuned
in to measuring accurate shrinkage and as a result, the data shows less than 4% error band.

Introduction
Petroleum Development Oman (PDO) is the foremost exploration and production company in the Sultanate. It
accounts for more than 70% of the country's crude-oil production and nearly all of its natural-gas supply. The first economic
find of oil was made in 1962, and the first consignment of oil was exported in 1967. PDO finds oil fields and develops them
into productive assets by drilling wells and constructing and operating various hydrocarbon treatment and transport facilities.
The crude oil that is produced from the fields delivered to a storage facility at Mina al Fahal, where it is loaded onto sea-
going tankers. The history of production is explaining by Figure 1. With the increasing trend of heavy oil production in
Sultanate of Oman, it will be very interesting to see the impact on crude oil volumetric quality in the main oil pipeline.
Pipeline oil management Mass balance and custody transfer accuracy will be the focus for company deliveribility. This paper
will cover the study on crude oil shrinkage phenomena.
In total, PDO maintain more than 4,500 kilometres of pipeline and flowline to keep Oman's oil flowing. The
character of Oman's oil physical and chemistry changes between the North and South Field, posing different production
problems. In the North, majority the crude is light and normally recovered with gas and light condensate. Some wells produce
simply using the natural reservoir pressure to push the oil to the surface. Others need additional help from the artificial lift
such pump, injection of water and gas (gas lift).
Meanwhile, in the South Field, there is little gas associated with oil which is heavy and viscous and will not flow
readily and continuously. Pumps are needed to recover the oil and a familiar sight in the southern fields is the wagging heads
of beam pumps, often called 'nodding donkeys'and also recently submersible pumps (ESP). The heavy Southern oils are more
expensive to produce and have limited reserves under primary production methods. But potentially, there are other methods
of increasing the yield and recovery rate and several Enhanced Oil Recovery techniques are being conducted by PDO.
PDOs MOL is often referred to as the backbone of Omans economy. It comprises a network of 1,800 km of
pipelines, into which flows every drop of oil the company produces from more than 125 fields across its concession areas, as
well as all the production of all other Oil and Gas Companies in Oman. The MOL starts in the south of Oman at Harweel
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then makes its way north, through key fields such as Qarn Alam, Fahud and Yibal as describe in Figure 2. The oil is then
pumped up and over the Oman Mountains, before dropping down to the tank farm on the coast at Mina al Fahal near Muscat,
where it is stored prior to loading for export by sea. As a shorth sumaary, this pipeline have made from steel, diameters
typically range from 10cm to 120cm, most pipelines are buried at a depth of 1 metre, but when PDOs MOL crosses a wadi it
is buried deeper at least 2.5m and the pump stations along the pipeline keep the oil moving at rate of, 1m-2m per second.
In short, pipeline oil management mass balance and custody transfer accuracy are important, unfortunately, the
volumetric measurement equipment metering show some time a discrepancies. Temperature, pressure and meter factor
corrections were not enough to explain these discrepancies. The shrinkage factor of crude oil can be seen from upstream to
main oil pipeline where the mixing already stabilize, such from separator conditions varies, dependant upon the pressure and
temperature of the separator and the individual fluid properties. The more volatile the separator liquid phase, the more impact
separator conditions and shrinkage will be.

Crude Oil Shrinkage


Crude oils in a natural oil reservoir under pressure contain dissolved natural gases which vaporize as the pressure is
released and journey from pore reservoir trough tubing, and surface facilities. So, vaporization phenomena within the
reservoir and production zone causes a shrinkage in the volume of the remaining oil. Far back to year 1942, D.L. Katz have
been identifieid the crude oil shrinkage phenomena by presenting methods of predicting the shrinkage from measurements
made on a well of gas gravity, oil gravity, gas-oil ratio, reservoir temperature, and reservoir pressure. These data, along with
the correlations developed from shrinkage measurements on 117 crude oils, permit calculations of shrinkage with an accuracy
approaching that of experimental determinations. D.L Katz pointing a consistent methods of predicting shrinkage when
limited field data were available. Shrinkage predictions will assist in converting reservoir petroleum reserves into stock-tank
quantities. The shrinkage factor of crude oil from separator conditions varies, dependant upon the pressure and temperature of
the separator and the individual fluid properties. The more volatile the separator liquid phase, the more impact separator
conditions and shrinkage will be. Shrinkage value will be very dependant upon the separator pressure and temperature and
will change as these values vary.
The crude oil mixing also will create shrinkage phenomena too, the explanation occurred when light crude having
small molecular size and heavy oil having big molecular, hence geometrically there will be shrinkage. Empirical testing by a
number of major oil companies has produced vast amounts of blending data. One good consistent of various crude oil mixing
and blending research have been done by Sutton and Bergman (SPE 117711). Evaluation of this data has allowed
development of formulas and tables which can be used to predict, within a reasonable degree of accuracy, the amount of
shrinkage that will occur when crude oils are blended with lighter crude or other dilluent.
A History API Measurement Committee correlated blending and shrinkage data collected in the 1950s. In 1962,
API released publication 2509C containing the following formula and tables which served as the accepted industry standard
for over thirty years, and finally superseded by API MPMS 12.3. Through the 1980s increased blending of crude oils with
diluent concentrations outside the range of the 2509C data revealed losses that 2509C did not adequately account for. This
created a strong incentive to improve the accuracy of shrinkage equations and tables. Through the determined efforts of the
API Committee on Petroleum Measurement, additional data was evaluated from studies conducted by D.R. Booker, K.
Schuchardt, H.M. Childress and P.R. Scott. The result of numerous reviews and a lot of cooperation resulted in the equations
published in API the Manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards (MPMS), Chapter 12 section 3 released in 1996.The
ilustration are explaining by Figure 3. The API MPMS 12.3 have a complete fitures of improvement, especially on the sets of
data base and range to quantify the Volume Shrinkage lighter HC (580-890 Kg/m3, 112-27 API) with heavy HC (644-979
Kg/m3, 88-13 API), shrinkage factor related to inverse density or gravity differential for blend 0 to 100% light with heavy
crude and strict border on condition data absolute P (100-700 KPa, 15-115 lb/in2) and T (15oC or 60oF).

Study Work Flow


The best technique to measuring the crude oil shrinkage factor is by collecting the primary separator liquid and
performing a separator test on it, and the second phase covering the MOL mixing or blending within South or North Field .
This involves simulating shrinkage in the laboratory at each stage of separation (pressure and temperature) from primary
separator to stock tank conditions and pipeline. So, ideally, from different liquid streams and with different compositions and
physics should require laboratory analysis for each stream. The only problem with this approach is if separator conditions
change so will the shrinkage.
Below are the Mass Balance study work flow from Wells to MOL as explaining by Figure 4.:
1. Gathering data base history of MOL mixing and measurement (P/T, API gravity, composition, physics and
volumetric measurement)
2. Upstreams: Collecting separator liquid sample at the maximum pressure at separator and at a lowest temperature to
allow the maximum amount of gas in solution. Inside the laboratory, the sample is compositionally analyzed and
subjected to a separator test, duplicating standard separator conditions from primary separator through various
multiple changing in P or T and stock tank conditions.
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3. Downstream: measuring composition and mixing scenario at stock tank and as MOL mixing schematic
4. Using the composition and the results from the separator test, an equation-of-state (EOS) computer model is "tuned"
to the measured shrinkage data. The tuned in model will be used to predict shrinkage values at different change
pressure or temperature conditions with the resulting data.
5. The API MPMS 12.3 equations are build as comparation for the blending/ mixing scenario of South and North Field
in MOL of PDO.
6. The Figure 6 describe the laboratory apparatus to assess and observe crude oil shrinkage during heavy oil mixing
with light crude

Summary
From the MOL PDO study, it was found that the best technique to measuring the crude oil shrinkage factor is by
collecting the primary separator liquid and performing a separator test on it, and the second phase covering the MOL mixing
or blending within South or North Field. This involves simulating shrinkage in the laboratory at each stage of separation
(pressure and temperature) from primary separator to stock tank conditions and pipeline. There will be less shrinkage with
more stages of separation as the oil pressure is reduced to atmospheric pressure. The API MPMS 12.3 are using for the
references.
Shrinkage value will be very dependant upon the operating pressure and temperature, it is clearly that good
shrinkage measurement is best approached by collecting the primary separator liquid and performing a separator test on it. A
calculation based on API MPMS 12.3 (1996) have some limitation of mixing only at absolute P (100-700 KPa, 15-115
lb/in2) and T (15oC or 60oF). The study explaining a step by step of crude oil shrinkage by well testing approach, separator
testing approach and equation-of-state (EOS) tuned in to measuring accurate shrinkage and as a result, the data shows less
than 4% error band.

Acknowledgement
We would like to thank the Ministry of Oil and Gas Sultanate of Oman and Petroleum Development Oman for the support for
the project and for permission to publish this paper.

References
1. American Petroleum Institute Manual of Petroleum Measurement Standards (MPMS), Chapter 12 section 3, 1996
2. Bergman, D.F. and Sutton, R.P.: A Consistent and Accurate Dead Oil Viscosity Method, SPE 110194, 2007
3. Bergman, D.F. and Sutton, R.P.: Application of the Bergman-Sutton Method for determining Blen Viscosity, SPE
117711, 2008
4. Katz, D.L., Prediction of the Shrinkage of Crude Oils, University of Mischigan, API 23 Annual Meeting, 1942
5. Nengkoda, A.: Scaling Mitigation and Strategy for First Full Field Steam Injection X Field Sultanate of Oman:
History Matching and Modelling, SPE 113392, 2008
6. Petroleum Development Oman, open website, www.pdo.co.om
7. Woelfin, W, The Viscosity of Crude oil Emulsion, 1942
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Appendix

Figure 1. PDO Oman Oil, Condensate and Gas Production

Figure 2. PDO and other Pipeline Network Across Sultanate of Oman


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Figure 3. Ilustration of Shrinkage from Heavy and Light Crude Mixing

Figure 4. Work Flow of Crude Oil Shrinkage Study


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Figure 5. Shrinkage Calculator and EOS Prediction

Figure 6. Laboratory Apparatus for Shrinkage Assesment