Drag Reducing Agent (DRA) was first commercialized by LSPI (then part of Conoco, Inc.) in 1979 for use on the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System (TAPS) and had developed other applications in the US, Australia, South America, and the North Sea. One of LSPI’s DRA customers is Maersk Oil’s Danish business.
The Early Years
The produced oil from the Maersk Oil operated fields in the Danish North Sea are exported to the coast of Denmark via a single 330 km long, 20" diameter pipeline, with no intermediate pump stations. As production increased from the fields over the years, a pipeline solution had to be found so it could handle the increased capacity.
The Drag Reduction Solution
Around this time, Maersk Oil learned about Drag Reducing Agents emerging as a remedy for constrained pipelines. Maersk Oil believed that DRA could facilitate additional throughput on their export line, and, in 1986, initiated the use of gel-based CDR201 drag reducer. Lars Hvejsel Hansen, Head of Chemistry and Environment at Maersk Oil, remarked, “With CDR, we were able to increase our pipeline flow rates significantly to match with the production of the field.”
Over the years, Maersk Oil has been able to increase their production with various technologies, including a combination of pump upgrades and the use of DRA technology. Hansen explained, “In 1997, we switched over from Gel to LiquidPower™ Flow Improver. The improved performance of LP™100 enabled greater throughput increases than we could achieve with Gel.”
Production peaked in 2005 with 310,000 barrels of oil per day. “The export was supported with injection of drag reducer chemical. Injection of drag reducer helped decrease frictional pressure significantly,” said Hansen.
Reliability is Critical
Reliability is not just a function of equipment performance. Product quality, supply chain infrastructure and logistics execution all contribute to ensuring continuous flow improver performance. “Over the years LSPI has delivered an easy to handle product to the expected quality and time”, commented Lars Hvejsel Hansen.
LSPI has worked diligently to ensure that DRA supplied to Maersk Oil conforms to the Danish North Sea environmental regulations.
In 2012, LSPI gave Maersk Oil an award at a get-together hosted by Maersk Oil to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the collaboration between the two companies. Desire Murenzi, Wim Verbeke and Ineke Vandenbussche represented LSPI at the event. Upon reflection of this event, Desire Murenzi remarked, “We appreciate the collaboration we have developed. It’s been great to work and grow with them as their oil production increased over the years, and we are happy that we have been able to support this.”
Maersk Oil is an international oil and gas company with operated production of about 557,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day from Denmark, the UK, Qatar, Kazakhstan, Brazil and Algeria. Exploration activities are on-going in Angola, Norway, the US Gulf of Mexico, Greenland, Iraqi Kurdistan and in the producing countries. More information about Maersk Oil, is available at www.maerskoil.com.