Computational Fluid Dynamics CFD Evaluation of Laminar Flow of Bitumen-in-Water Emulsion Stabilized by Poly Vinyl Alcohol PVA: Effects of Salinity and Water Cut
- Olalekan Alade (KFUPM) | Dhafer Al Shehri (KFUPM) | Mohamed Mahmoud (KFUPM) | Kyuro Sasaki (Kyushu University) | Yuichi Sugai (Kyushu University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Middle East Oil and Gas Show and Conference, 18-21 March, Manama, Bahrain
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2019. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers
- Salinity, Water cut, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Bitumen, Viscosity
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 58 since 2007
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Applications of oil-in-water emulsion (O/W) emulsification technology in enhanced recovery and pipeline transportation of heavy oil can be limited by several factors including salinity of the reservoir or process water, process temperature, and water cut. In this investigation, laminar flow of O/W was simulated in a pipeline to investigate the effect of salinity of aqueous phase (NaCl) and water cut on flow characteristics of the fluid. The case was simplified by considering the O/W as a stable, pseudo-homogeneous, single-phase fluid within the conditions operated. Pertinent to the objective of the study, at flow reference temperature, Tref = 30oC, the pressure drop at 30% water cut was 931Pa compared to 84.6 Pa at water cut of 50% (reference working fluid without NaCl). In contrast, the pressure drop was 239Pa, 142Pa, 124Pa, and 82.9Pa at 70000ppm, 40000ppm, 20000ppm, and 10000ppm salinity in the aqueous phase, respectively. In addition, the maximum dynamic viscosity imposed by the fluid, was ≈81000cP at 30% water cut compared to ≈14000cP from the reference fluid. The dynamic viscosity obtained from 70000ppm salinity content was ≈34000cP. Moreover, the results confirm facile application of emulsification technology for pipeline transportation of bitumen from large reduction in pressure drop (99%) regardless of the water cut and salinity.
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