Thermal Regime Effect on Gas-Transport Lines in the Persian Gulf
Sea lines transporting gas toward the north (Iran) and south (Qatar and Saudi Arabia) and originating from fields located in the central parts of the Persian Gulf exhibit different thermal regimes. The lowest reported arrival temperatures of the gas were 18°C and 11°C for the sea lines transporting gas to the northern and southern shores, respectively. The difference between the two is significant and could radically alter the hydrate-mitigation strategy and the associated economics. Metocean data reported in this study and from previous studies (Appendix A in the paper) show that the northern part of the Persian Gulf, which is also deeper, attains a well-mixed state during winter months. During this phase, the arrival temperature of the gas for South Pars sea lines decreases steadily and goes through a minimum at approximately the middle of February every year. In the southern region, the sea is shallow and water is more saline. Sinking of saline water when exposed to cool and dry ambient winter conditions is probably responsible for the reported abrupt decrease in arrival temperatures in the case of the Karan gas line. The immediate recovery of the same may be caused by the local wind/tide conditions. The likely origins of the observed lowest temperatures in the north and south regions are Arctic winds of short duration and desert winds of fairly long duration, respectively. This study summarizes hydrate-inhibition practices for these sea lines, and indicates a possibility of using the sea lines as “indirect thermometers” to provide important physical oceanographic data for long terms in a limited but economical way with fewer interruptions.
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