Effects of High Oil Viscosity on Oil/Gas Flow Behavior in Horizontal Pipes
- Bahadir Gokcal (University of Tulsa) | Qian Wang (U. of Tulsa) | Hong-Quan Zhang (University of Tulsa) | Cem Sarica (U. of Tulsa)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Projects, Facilities & Construction
- Publication Date
- June 2008
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1 - 11
- 2008. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.1.9 Tanks and storage systems, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 7.4.3 Market analysis /supply and demand forecasting/pricing, 5.9.2 Geothermal Resources, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 4.3 Flow Assurance, 4.6 Natural Gas, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
- 2 in the last 30 days
- 999 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 12.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 35.00|
Oil/gas pipe flows are expected to exhibit significantly different behavior at high oil viscosities. Effects of high-viscosity oil on flow pattern, pressure gradient, and liquid holdup are experimentally observed, and differences in flow behavior of high- and low-viscosity oils are identified. The experiments are performed on a flow loop with a test section of 50.8-mm ID and 18.9-m-long horizontal pipe. Superficial liquid and gas velocities vary from 0.01 to 1.75 m/s and from 0.1 to 20 m/s, respectively. Oil viscosities from 0.181 to 0.587 Pa·s are investigated. The experimental results are used to evaluate the performances of existing models for flow pattern and hydrodynamics predictions. Comparisons of the data with the existing models show significant discrepancies at high oil viscosities. Possible reasons for these discrepancies are carefully examined. Some modifications are identified and implemented to the closure relationships employed in the Zhang et al. (2003) model. After these modifications, the model predictions provide better agreement with experimental results for flow pattern transition, pressure gradient, and liquid holdup.
Gas/liquid two-phase flow in pipes is a common occurrence in the petroleum, chemical, nuclear, and geothermal industries. In the petroleum industry, it is encountered in the production and transportation of oil and gas. Accurate prediction of the flow pattern, pressure drop, and liquid holdup is imperative for the design of production and transport systems.
High-viscosity oils are discovered and produced all around the world. High-viscosity or "heavy oil" has become one of the most important future hydrocarbon resources, with ever-increasing world energy demand and depletion of conventional oils.
Almost all flow models have viscosity as an intrinsic variable. Two-phase flows are expected to exhibit significantly different behavior for higher viscosity oils. Many flow behaviors will be affected by the liquid viscosity, including droplet formation, surface waves, bubble entrainment, slug mixing zones, and even three-phase stratified flow. Furthermore, the impact of low-Reynolds-number oil flows in combination with high-Reynolds-number gas and water flows may yield new flow patterns and concomitant pressure-drop behaviors.
The literature is awash with two-phase studies addressing mainly the flow behavior for low-viscosity liquids and gases. However, very few studies in the literature have addressed high-viscosity multiphase flow behavior. In this literature review, the state-of-the-art of two-phase flow is first summarized. Then, the studies addressing the effects of liquid viscosity on two-phase oil/gas flow behavior are reviewed.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||11|
Andritsos, N., Williams, L., and Hanratty, J. 1989. Effect of liquidviscosity on the stratified-slug transition in horizontal pipe flow.International Journal of Multiphase Flow 15 (6): 877-892.DOI:10.1016/0301-9322(89)90017-7.
Barnea, D. and Taitel, Y. 1993. Kelvin-Helmholtzstability criteria for stratified flow: viscous versus non-viscous (inviscid)approaches. International Journal of Multiphase Flow 19 (4):639-649. DOI:10.1016/0301-9322(93)90092-9.
Barnea, D. 1987. Aunified model for predicting flow-pattern transitions for the whole range ofpipe inclinations. International Journal of Multiphase Flow13 (1): 1-12. DOI:10.1016/0301-9322(87)90002-4.
Barnea, D. 1991. Onthe effect of viscosity on stability of stratified gas—liquid flow—applicationto flow pattern transition at various pipe inclinations. ChemicalEngineering Science 46 (8): 2123-2131.DOI:10.1016/0009-2509(91)80170-4.
Colmenares, J., Ortega, P., Padrino, J., and Trallero, J.L. 2001. Slug Flow Model for the Prediction ofPressure Drop for High Viscosity Oils in a Horizontal Pipeline. Paper SPE71111 presented at SPE International Thermal Operations and Heavy OilSymposium, Porlamar, Margarita Island, Venezuela, 12-14 March. DOI:10.2118/71111-MS.
Furukawa, T. and Fukano, T. 2001. Effects of liquidsviscosity on flow pattern in vertical upward gas-liquid two-phase flow.International Journal of Multiphase Flow 27 (6): 1109-1126.DOI:10.1016/S0301-9322(00)00066-5.
Gokcal, B. 2005. Effects of High Oil Viscosity on Two-Phase Oil-Gas FlowBehavior in Horizontal Pipes. MS thesis, University of Tulsa, Tulsa,Oklahoma.
McNeil, D.A. and Stuart, A.D. 2003. The effects of a highlyviscous liquid phase on vertically upward two-phase flow in a pipe.International Journal of Multiphase Flow 29 (9): 1523-1549.DOI:10.1016/S0301-9322(03)00122-8.
Nädler, M. and Mewes, D. 1995. Effects of the liquidviscosity on the phase distributions in horizontal gas-liquid slug flow.International Journal of Multiphase Flow 21 (2): 253-266.DOI:10.1016/0301-9322(94)00067-T.
Newton, C.H., Behnia, M., and Reizes, J.A. 1999. The effect of liquidviscosity on gas wall and interfacial shear stress in horizontal two-phase pipeflow. Chemical Engineering Science 54 (8): 1071-1079.DOI:10.1016/S0009-2509(98)00423-0.
Rosa, E.S. and Netto, J.R.F. 2004. Viscosity Effect and Flow Development inHorizontal Slug Flows. Paper 306 presented at the International Conference onMultiphase Flow, Yokohama, Japan, 30 May-4 June.
Taitel, Y. and Barnea, D. 1990. Two Phase Slug Flow. In Advances in HeatTransfer, Volume 20, ed. J.P. Hartnett and T.F. Irvine, 83-132. London:Academic Press.
Taitel, Y. and Dukler, A.E. 1976. A model for predicting flowregime transitions in horizontal and near-horizontal gas-liquid flow.AIChE Journal 22 (1): 47-55.DOI: 10.1002/aic.690220105.
Taitel, Y. and Dukler, A.E. 1987. Effect of pipe length onthe transition boundaries for high-viscosity liquids. InternationalJournal of Multiphase Flow 13 (4): 577-581.DOI:10.1016/0301-9322(87)90023-1.
Weisman, J., Duncan, D., Gibson, J., and Crawford, T. 1979. Effects of FluidProperties and Pipe Diameter on Two-Phase Flow Patterns in HorizontalLines. International Journal of Multiphase Flow 5 (6):437-462. DOI:10.1016/0301-9322(79)90031-4.
Xiao, J.J., Shonham, O., and Brill, J.P. 1990. A Comprehensive Mechanistic Model forTwo-phase Flow in Pipelines. Paper SPE 20631 presented at the SPE AnnualTechnical Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans, 23-26 September. DOI:10.2118/20631-MS.
Zhang, H.-Q., Wang, Q., Sarica, C., and Brill, J.P. 2003. Unified model for gas-liquid pipeflow via slug dynamics--Part 1: model development. ASME Journal ofEnergy Resources Technology 125 (4): 266-273.DOI:10.1115/1.1615618.