Transportation of heavy crude represents a competitive situation, as it is energy exhaustive and capital intensive. Due to low API gravity (20° to 10°) and high viscosity (200 to 10,000 CP), the flow of oil through pipelines is very difficult. According to Chevron – Phillips, the heaviness of crude oil is due to large proportion of high molecular weight non paraffinic compounds and less percentage of paraffin. Geological origin of heavy crude oil is at the shallower depths and is the result of improper degradation of kerogen via thermal gradient. The lighter parts of immature kerogen undergo biodegradation by bacterial activities. Poor sealing of reservoir further results in the contamination of heavy oil with organic life (bacteria, etc.) and inorganic substances (iron, vanadium, nickel, etc.). There are two main types of heavy crude oil
1. High sulphur crudes contains more than 1% sulphur along with aromatic, paraffinic and asphaltic compounds and is found mostly in Alberta, Saskatchewan, California, Mexico, Venezuela, Columbia, Ecuador, and Kuwait.
2. The composition of low sulphur crude is characterized by less than 1% sulphur with resin, aromatic, and naphthenic composition
According to the report submitted by U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) in 2011, 270 billion barrels of heavy crude is estimated in Orinoco Belt in Venezuela. It is the world’s largest heavy oil reserve having high viscosity range (1000 to 5000 CP) and 4.5% sulphur along with vanadium and nickel as the contaminants. In order to transport the oil from Orinoco belt through pipeline, some external driving force is required such as adding diluent at regular distances, heating, inverse emulsion injection, or dilution with gas at higher ...
... middle of paper ...
We are grateful to EAGE (European Association of Geoscientists & Engineers) for giving us the opportunity to present our skill through this technical paper.
Temple University (2011, June 8). Using magnets to help prevent heart attacks: Magnetic field can reduce blood viscosity, physicist discovers.ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 14, 2014, from http://www.sciencedaily.com¬/releases/2011/06/110607121523.htm
Tao, R., & Xu, X. (2006, September 20). Reducing the Viscosity of Crude Oil by Pulsed Electric or Magnetic Field. Energy & Fuels , 20 (5).
Sever, M. (2006, November). Easing Oil’s Flow. Retrieved from www.geotimes.org: http://www.geotimes.org/nov06/resources.html
Kleiner, K. (2006, August ). Zapped Crude Oil Flows Faster Through Pipes. Energy & Fuels. (Journal Reference : Energy Fuels (DOI: 10.1021/ef060072x))
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