Energy is the major operating expense in a pipeline company. There is considerable incentive to optimize energy utilization to reduce losses as much as possible. This article presents a study of the process and economic effects of substituting traditional pressure control valves by medium voltage frequency variable drives in the ORBEL II oil pipeline. Three drive configurations were chosen and their implementation costs were investigated. Pipeline flow simulation software was used to study the process effects of the drive configuration applications and to calculate the amount of energy spent using control valves and using velocity variable control systems. The differences in energy savings were quantified in financial terms using energy supply contract data and operational data. Finally, an investment analysis was carried out in respect of the energy savings and an estimation of overall implantation costs of the drives.

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