Multiphase-Flow Modeling Based on Experimental Testing: An Overview of Research Facilities Worldwide and the Need for Future Developments
- Gioia Falcone (Texas A&M University) | Catalin Teodoriu (Texas A&M University) | Kurt M. Reinicke (Tech. U. Clausthal) | Oladele Olalekan Bello (Tech. U. Clausthal)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Projects, Facilities & Construction
- Publication Date
- September 2008
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1 - 10
- 2008. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.3.4 Scale, 4.4.3 Mutiphase Measurement, 4.3.1 Hydrates, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 4.2.4 Risers, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.8.5 Oil Sand, Oil Shale, Bitumen, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 2.2.2 Perforating, 4.3 Flow Assurance, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 5.3.3 Particle Transportation, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.6 Natural Gas, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.9.2 Geothermal Resources, 5.3.1 Flow in Porous Media, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 5.6.5 Tracers
- 5 in the last 30 days
- 1,391 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 10.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 30.00|
Multiphase-flow models for the oil and gas industry are required to investigate and understand the cocurrent or countercurrent flow of different fluid phases under a wide range of pressure and temperature conditions and in several different flow configurations in wellbores, pipelines, and risers and through the surface facilities. Experimental measurements are required to develop and validate the multiphase-flow models under controlled conditions and assess their range of applicability. This is why a large number of multiphase-flow loops exist around the world. However, there are numerous varieties of multiphase-flow occurrences because of differences in pressure and temperature; fluid types; flow regimes; pipe geometry, inclination, and diameter; and whether the flow is steady-state or transient.
Building a flow loop that reproduces real hydrocarbon wells, including the reservoir inertia and the complex heat transfer process taking place between the wellbore and the reservoir, is not feasible. Thus, downscaling typical field parameters is necessary to study multiphase flows at laboratory conditions.
This paper presents a critical review of multiphase-flow loops around the world, highlighting the pros and cons of each facility with regard to reproducing and monitoring different multiphase-flow situations.
The authors suggest a way forward for new developments in this area.
Multiphase flows consist of the simultaneous passage through a system of a stream composed of two or more phases. They are common natural phenomena; the flow of blood in our body, the rising gas bubbles in a glass of beer, and the steam condensation on windows are all examples of naturally occurring multiphase flows.
However, large-scale multiphase flows, such as those that occur in the petroleum industry, are difficult to visualize. For example, in a typical oil-and-gas development, multiphase flow is encountered in the wells, in the flowlines and risers transporting the fluids from the wells to the platform, and in the multiphase-flow lines that carry the produced fluids to the treatment facilities at shore.
Typical parameters for an oil well in the northern basins of the North Sea are as follows (BERR 2008): production rate of 800-1600 m3/d, tubing diameter of 0.102-0.130 m, reservoir depth of 3000-3500 m, oil density of 825-930 kg/m3, gas/oil ratio of 100 std m3/std m3, and water cut up to 90%. For a gas well in the southern gas basin, the typical parameters become (BERR 2008): initial production rate of 0.7 to more than 2.8 million std m3/d, tubing diameter of 0.114-0.140 m, reservoir depth of 2500-3500 m, and initial liquid/gas ratio of less than 1 to more than 30 std m3/million std m3. The operational pressure at the wellhead may reach up to 10 MPa, and reservoir pressures can be as great as 30 MPa.
However, well-performance values not only vary considerably across the world, but also vary with time for the same field.
Multiphase-flow systems can be complex because of the simultaneous presence of different phases and, usually, different compounds in the same stream. Thus, the development of adequate models presents a formidable challenge. The combination of empirical observations and numerical modeling has proved to enhance the understanding of multiphase flow.
Models to represent flows in pipes traditionally were based on empirical correlations for holdup and pressure gradient. It is more usual now to use codes based on the multifluid model, in which averaged and separate continuity and momentum equations are written for the individual phases. For these models, closure relationships are required for interface and pipe-wall friction.
To complement the theoretical effort, experimental measurements under controlled conditions are required to verify multiphase-flow models and assess their range of applicability. This is why a large number of multiphase-flow loops exist around the world, each with specific capabilities and limitations.
This paper attempts to review the major worldwide facilities that allow a wide range of two- and three-phase-flow experiments, but the authors accept that their review may not be exhaustive. Flow loops may be operated by academic organizations, independent research centers, or individual companies, and there is a special category for oil and gas applications, where real hydrocarbon fluids and field operating conditions are used.
The review is based on information available in the public domain and focuses on large-scale facilities. This choice reflects the specific need for multiphase flow loops for studies related to hydrology, petroleum, and environmental engineering; geothermal energy plants; underground gas storage; and carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration. For studies on nanotechnology, life science, and medical systems, different flow loops are necessary to reproduce reality in a laboratory. Finally, there are ad-hoc facilities for the investigation of boiling and condensation processes and for nuclear-engineering applications.
No flow loop can be representative of all possible situations. Even when experiments in a given flow loop are believed to be sufficiently exhaustive for a specific study area, the conditions that will be encountered in a real application can be different from those recreated in the research facility.
The objective of this paper is therefore to review some of the major worldwide flow-loop facilities for two- and three-phase-flow investigation that are reported in the public domain to point out unresolved problems in reproducing real processes in a laboratory environment.
|File Size||2 MB||Number of Pages||10|
Bello, O.O., Reinicke, K.M., and Teodoriu, C. 2006. Experimental study onparticle behavior in simulated oil-gas-sand multiphase production and transferoperations. Proc., ASME Joint US-European Fluids Engineering DivisionSummer Meeting and Exhibition, Miami, Florida, 17-20 July, FEDSM2006-98353.
BERR Energy Group. 2008. UK Production Data Release (June 2008). https://www.og.berr.gov.uk/pprs/pprsindex.htm.
British Hydromechanics Research Association (BHRA). 2007. http://www.bhrgroup.co.uk.
Brown, K.E. 1977. The Technology of Artificial Lift Methods Vol. 1.Tulsa: PennWell Publishing.
Corneliussen, S., Couput, J.-P., Dahl, E., et al. 2005. Handbook ofMultiphase Flow Metering, Revision 2. Oslo, Norway: NFOGM/Tekna. http://www.nfogm.no/docup/dokumentfiler/MPFM_Handbook_Revision2_2005_(ISBN-82-91341-89-3).pdf.
Costantini, A. 2005. Dynamic interaction between the reservoir and the wellduring well testing. Dip-Ing. thesis, University of Rome "La Sapienza,"Rome/Imperial College, London.
Cranfield University. 2007. School of Engineering, multiphase flow facility.http://www.cranfield.ac.uk/soe/facilities/page5276.jsp.
Dhulesia, H. and Lopez, D. 1996. Critical Evaluation of MechanisticTwo-Phase Flow Pipeline and Well Simulation Models. Paper SPE 36611presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Denver, 6-9October. DOI: 10.2118/36611-MS.
Falcone, G. 2006. Modeling of flows in vertical pipes and its application tomultiphase flow metering at high gas content and to the prediction of wellperformance. PhD thesis, Imperial College, London.
Falcone, G., Hewitt, G.F., Alimonti, C., and Harrison, B. 2002. Multiphase Flowmetering: CurrentTrends and Future Developments. JPT 54 (4): 77-84.SPE-74689-MS. DOI: 10.2118/74689-MS.
Falcone, G., Hewitt, G.F., Lao, L., and Richardson, S.M. 2003. ANUMET: A Novel Wet GasFlowmeter. Paper SPE 84504 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conferenceand Exhibition, Denver, 5-8 October. DOI: 10.2118/84504-MS.
Falcone, G.. 2006. JIP on "Liquid Loading in the Operation of GasFields: Mechanisms, Prediction and Reservoir Response." Prospectus(September 2006).
FEESA Flow Assurance and Optimization. 2008. What is Flow Assurance? http://www.feesa.net/Services/flowassurance.htm.
Henry, M., Tombs, M., Duta, M. et al. 2006. Two-Phase (Gas/Liquid) FlowMetering of Viscous Oil Using a Coriolis Mass Flow Meter: A Case Study. Papersubmitted for presentation at the 24th International North Sea Flow MeasurementWorkshop, St. Andrews, Scotland, UK, 24-27 October.
Hewitt, G.F. and Reeks, M.W. 2005. Computational modelling of multi-phaseflows. In Prediction of Turbulent Flows, ed. G.F. Hewitt and J.C.Vassilicos, Chap. 7, 236-290. New York: Cambridge University Press.
Jayanti, S. and Hewitt, G.F. 1992. Prediction of theslug-to-churn flow transition in vertical two-phase flow. Int. J.Multiphase Flow 18 (6): 847-860.DOI:10.1016/0301-9322(92)90063-M.
King, M.J.S., Hale, C.P., Lawrence, C.J., and Hewitt, G.F. 1998. Characteristics offlowrate transients in slug flow. Int. J. Multiphase Flow 24(5): 825-854. DOI:10.1016/S0301-9322(97)00088-8.
Langsholt, M. 2007. Well flow loop. IFE. http://www.ife.no/laboratories/well_flow_loop/index_html-en/view?searchterm=Well%20Flow%20Loop.
Marruaz, K.S., Gonçalvez, M.A.L., França, F.A., Gaspari, E., Rosa, E.S., andRibeiro, G.S. 2001. Horizontal Slug Flowin a Large-Size Pipeline: Experimentation and Modeling. J. Braz. Soc.Mech. Sci. 23 (4): 481-490. DOI:10.1590/S0100-73862001000400009.
Mazzoni, A., Halvorsen, M, and Aspelund, A. 2001. Field Qualification of theFlowSys TopFlow Meter, Agip Test Facility, Trecate, Italy. Field QualificationReport, Eni, Milano, Italy/Bergen, Norway (April 2001).
McQuillan, K.W. and Whalley, P.B. 1985. Flow patterns in verticaltwo-phase flow. Int. J. Multiphase Flow 11 (2): 161-175.DOI:10.1016/0301-9322(85)90043-6.
Memorial University of Newfoundland. 2008. http://www.mun.ca.
Omurlu, C. and Ozbayoglu, E.M. 2006. Friction Factors for Two-PhaseFluids for Eccentric Annuli in CT Applications. Paper SPE 100145 presentedat the SPE/ICoTA Coiled Tubing Conference and Exhibition, The Woodlands, Texas,USA, 4-5 April. DOI: 10.2118/100145-MS.
Sarshar, M.M., Loh, W.L., Beg, N.A., and Villa, M. 1997. Field Testing andApplications of Wellcom System Using Jet Pump Technology. Paper presented atInternational Conference Multiphase, Cannes, France, 18-20 June.
Savidge, J. 2006. Flow data for natural gas with water and hydrates. Papersubmitted for presentation at the 24th International North Sea Flow MeasurementWorkshop, St. Andrews, Scotland, UK, 24-27 October.
Scott, S. 2006. Introduction to the Goals of the Event and Texas A&MResearch. Sixth annual Multiphase Measurement Roundtable, Houston, 3-4 May.
Shell. 2008. http://www.shell.com.
SINTEF. 2007. http://www.sintef.no.
Southwest Research Institute (SRI). 2008. http://www.swri.org.
StatoilHydro. 2008. K-lab (Kårstø). http://www.statoilhydro.com/en/TechnologyInnovation/TechnologyManagement/ResearchCentres/Porsgrunn/Pages/Porsgrunn.aspx.
Steven, R. 2006. A Discussion on Horizontally Installed DifferentialPressure Meter Wet Gas Flow Performances. Paper submitted for presentation atthe 24th International North Sea Flow Measurement Workshop, St. Andrews,Scotland, UK, 24-27 October.
Sutton, R.P., Skinner, T.K., Christiansen, R.L., and Wilson, B.L. 2006. Investigations of Gas Carryover Witha Downward Liquid Flow. Paper SPE 103151 presented at the SPE AnnualTechnical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas, 24-27 September. DOI:10.2118/103151-MS.
University of Tulsa. 2007. http://www.utulsa.edu.
Valle, A. 1998. Multiphase pipeline flows in hydrocarbon recovery.Multiphase Science and Technology 10 (1).
Vilagines, R. and Hall, A.R.W. 2003. Comparative behaviour ofmultiphase flowmeter test facilities. Oil & Gas Science andTechnology—Rev. IFP 58 (6): 647-657. DOI: 10.2516/ogst:2003045.
Watson, M.J. and Hewitt, G.F. 1999. Pressure effects on theslug to churn transition. Int. J. Multiphase Flow 25 (6-7):1225-1241. DOI:10.1016/S0301-9322(99)00060-9.