The management of oil-product pipelines represents a critical task in the daily operation of petroleum supply chains. Efficient computational tools are needed to perform this activity in a reliable and cost-effective manner. This work presents a novel discrete event simulation system developed on Arena® for the detailed scheduling of a multiproduct pipeline consisting of a sequence of pipes that connect a single input station to several receiving terminals. The pipeline is modeled as a non-traditional multi-server queuing system involving a number of servers at every pipe-end that perform their tasks in a synchronized manner. Based on priority rules, the model decides which server should dispatch the entity waiting for service to the associated depot. Each priority rule can lead to a different delivery schedule, which is evaluated by using several criteria. Combined with optimization tools, the proposed simulation technique permits to easily manage real-world pipelines operations with low computational effort.
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