Most pipeline codes, do not stipulate any requirement for block valve spacing nor for remote pipeline valve operations along transmission pipelines carrying low vapor pressure petroleum products. This requirement is generally industry driven for their desire to proactively control hazards and mitigation of environmental impacts in the event of pipeline ruptures or failures causing hydrocarbon spills. This paper will highlight a summary of pipeline codes for valve spacing requirements and spill limitation in high consequence areas along with a criteria for an acceptable spill volume that could be caused by pipeline leak/full rupture. A technique for deciding economically and technically effective pipeline block valve automation for remote operation to reduce oil spill and thus control of hazards is also provided. The criteria for maximum permissible oil spill volume, is based on industry’s best practice. The application of the technique for deciding valve automation as applied to three initially selected pipelines (ORSUB, OSPAR and ORBEL) is discussed. These pipeline represent about 14% of the total (6,800 kilometers, varying between 6” to 42”) liquid petroleum transmission lines operated by Petobras Transporte S.A. (Transpetro) in Brazil. Results of the application of the technique is provided for two of the pipelines: OSPAR (117 Km, 30” line) and ORBEL II (358 Km 24” line), both carrying large volumes of crude oil.

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