Case Studies

Brief Analysis of the Energy-saving, Consumption Reducing, and Transportation Increasing Benefits of Drag Reducing Agents in the Operation of Oil Pipelines

Crude oil itself is a fluid with high viscosity, and its flow state in oil pipelines is affected by frictional resistance, resulting in increased energy consumption and reduced pipeline throughput. In this case, using a small amount of chemical additives to effectively reduce the friction of the pipeline system plays an extremely important role and significance in accelerating the development and utilization of crude oil, safe transportation, saving investment, reducing energy consumption, and increasing transportation volume.

Drag reducing agents are widely used in the transportation of crude oil and finished oil pipelines, and are an important means to improve pipeline flow capacity and reduce energy consumption. The drag reduction mechanism of drag reducing agents is a pure physical action that does not affect the chemical properties of the oil, but is closely related to its flow characteristics. After the drag reducing agent is added to the pipeline, its micro elements directly affect the movement of the fluid micro elements based on its own viscoelasticity, transforming some radial forces into axial forces in the clockwise direction, thereby reducing reactive power consumption and reducing friction loss at the macro level.

Adding drag reducing agents during pipeline oil transportation can have two effects: one is to reduce the frictional resistance of the oil flow and reduce the loss of pressure head along the pipeline, thereby reducing the power consumption of the pump and saving power energy, under the condition that the original transportation volume remains unchanged. Secondly, under the condition of unchanged original pressure, due to the reduction of oil flow friction, the use of drag reducing agents increased the pipeline throughput, achieving the goal of increasing transportation.

Taking the use of drag reducing agents in the original and double line pipelines of Dingjing as an example for analysis. Under the same frequency conditions, the transportation capacity of the Dingjing original line without adding drag reducing agent is about 80-100t/h. After adding drag reducing agent, the transportation capacity can increase to 130-180t/h, effectively solving the problems of long service life, severe wax deposition, and reduced transportation capacity of the Dingjing original line. The transportation volume of the Dingjing double line without adding drag reducing agent is 100-190t/h, and after adding drag reducing agent, the transportation volume can increase to 220-290t/h, alleviating the inherent problems of uneven oil supply and small storage capacity in the upstream of the Dingjing double line.

Drag reducing agents belong to mixed chemical agents, and they are prone to precipitate and condense into viscous colloids in the bucket. During the filling process, the sediment at the bottom of the bucket can easily cause blockage in the drag reducing agent device pipeline, affecting the filling effect. So the entire filling process needs to be continuously inspected. If any blockage or leakage of the drag reducing agent is found, it is necessary to promptly investigate the operation of the drag reducing agent filling process, independently inspect, disassemble, and repair the drag reducing agent device, clean up the residual impurities that are blocked in the device system, and check whether the sealing ring performance is intact. Before and during the filling process of drag reducing agent, the drag reducing agent in the bucket should be stirred in a timely manner to ensure that all components in the drag reducing agent bucket are evenly mixed, truly achieving the effect of reducing drag and increasing transportation. At the same time, the drag reducing agent that cannot be added and deposited at the bottom of the bucket should be promptly recycled and re stirred to reuse the residual material at the bottom of the bucket, which can reduce the waste of drag reducing agent. At the same time, the drag reducing agent deposited at the bottom of the barrel that cannot be filled should be promptly recycled and utilized. Re stir it to reuse the residue at the bottom of the barrel, thereby reducing the waste of drag reducing agents.


With the increasing maturity of drag reducing agent products, there is no significant degradation during storage, transportation, and use, and there is no adverse impact on oil processing and oil quality. Objective economic benefits have been achieved in pipeline production and operation. Mainly reflected in:

1. Significantly save investment in new pipeline construction. Due to various uncertain factors such as inaccurate estimation of upstream oilfield storage and changes in pipeline throughput required by downstream market sales conditions, consideration should be given to reserving some design allowances in pipeline design. Measures such as balancing the allowances through drag reducing agent technology, reducing pipe diameters, and compressing the scale of pump station construction can greatly save investment in new pipeline construction.

2. Adding drag reducing agents to existing pipelines without changing existing equipment conditions to increase throughput and achieve multi transmission and fast transmission effects. The Dingjing original line and Dingjing double line are facing an imbalance in oil supply from upstream oil production plants. The use of drag reducing agent injection technology effectively solves the contradiction of a significant temporary increase in transportation volume in a short period of time, which is technically feasible and economically reasonable.

3. The use of drag reducing agent technology can perform station reduction and over station operations on long-distance pipeline systems. The Dingjing original line has implemented the temperature overshoot process at the Haotan intermediate station, reducing transportation energy consumption and operating costs.

With the extension of the service life of the Dingjing original pipeline, the integrity management of the pipeline in the early stage is not in place, and the pressure bearing capacity of special pipeline parts is greatly reduced. While maintaining the same transportation volume, using the technology of adding drag reducing agents can reduce the pressure of the pipeline system and improve the safety and reliability of the system, which is particularly important.

The use of drag reducing agents as a short-term emergency measure has unparalleled advantages. However, for pipelines that require long-term injection, the economic benefits are not significant due to the large demand for drag reducing agents. Therefore, the technology of drag reducing agents should be given priority and should not be blindly applied. Anyway, we can foresee that the technology of adding drag reducing agents will be an emerging process for oil transportation, which will inevitably create greater economic and social benefits for pipeline development.

Our company ZORANOC,  has developed and produced a series of pipeline drag reducing agent (DRA) products. Product list is as below. The specific information of each product can be searched on our website for the product details page:
(1). ZODR-E400(alcohol ether base)DRA
(2). ZODR-E400H(alcohol ether base)High Efficiency DRA
(3). ZODR-E500(alcohol ether base)DRA
(4). ZODR-G350(alcohol ether base)DRA
(5). ZODR-ZY01(alcohol ether base)Heavy oil DRA
(6). ZODR-025B(alcohol ether base)DRA
(7). ZODR-G350H(alcohol ether base)DRA
(8). ZODR-H500(water base)DRA
(9). ZODR-H350(water base)DRA
(10). ZODR-EH200(water base)DRA
(11). ZODR-Y500(vegetable oil base)DRA
(12). ZODR-S310 Solid DRA