1. Terms. Here are some of the terms and definitions you will encounter during this lesson.
a. Darcy-Weisbach Equation -- Used to calculate friction head loss in a pipeline.
b. Design Fuel - Fuel type for which a pipeline system is designed; military pipelines will most
likely transport kerosene-based diesel and jet fuels.
c. Friction Loss - Loss of pressure, in terms of feet of head per unit of pipe length, from internal
resistance to flow in the product itself (viscosity) and from resistance offered by pipe walls, pipe fittings,
and reductions in pipe diameter.
d. Reynold's Number - An equation used to determine the friction factor required in the Darcy-
e. Specific Gravity - A physical property of liquids; the ratio of the weight of a volume of liquid to
the weight of an equal volume of water.
f. API Gravity - Scale developed by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and used by the
2. Basic Petroleum Mathematics.
Now that you are familiar with the terms related to petroleum hydraulics and pipeline design, we will
begin with an introduction to mathematics. As a student in the petroleum officer course and, more
importantly, as a petroleum officer, you will often encounter problems requiring more than just basic
mathematical abilities. These problems will require an officer able to not only solve a given problem,
but determine multiple unknowns along the way, each of which can greatly affect the final solution.
This mathematical evaluation is designed to test not only your mathematical skills but also your
analytical thinking abilities. To be successful, you must learn and understand flow rates and velocities.
You must learn to perform basic calculation related to flow rates and velocities, determine mathematical
hierarchies using rules of mathematics, and solve for an unknown variable given all other variables in an
a. Flow Rates. Throughout the Petroleum Officer Course, you will encounter flow rates and their
applicability in solving petroleum-related problems. It is very important to understand what flow rates
are, how they are measured, and their significance to solve these problems.
(1) A flow rate can be defined as that which measures a specific volume of liquid delivered
over a specified period of time. Note that the two most significant elements of this meaning are volume
and time. Flow rates can be distinguished from velocities, which we will discuss later, by these units of
(2) If you know the amount of volume in a liquid and the amount of time it was measured in,
you can determine the specific flow rate of that liquid. Flow rates are generally denoted by the
(3) Volumes can be measured by many different units of measurement. The most common
ones we use in the petroleum industry are cubic feet, gallons, and barrels. The most common time
measurements we use when dealing with flow rates are seconds, minutes, hours and days.