Unified Modeling of Gas/Oil/Water Pipe Flow - Basic Approaches and Preliminary Validation
- Hong-Quan Zhang (U. of Tulsa) | Cem Sarica (U. of Tulsa)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Projects, Facilities & Construction
- Publication Date
- June 2006
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1 - 7
- 2006. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 4.3 Flow Assurance, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 4.3.1 Hydrates, 4.6 Natural Gas
- 3 in the last 30 days
- 969 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 10.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 30.00|
A unified model is proposed for the prediction of flow behavior during production and transportation of gas, oil, and water through wellbores and pipelines. In gas/oil/water three-phase-pipe flow, the phase distributions and hydrodynamics are described on the basis of two criteria: gas/liquid flow pattern and oil/water mixing status. The three-phase flow is treated as gas/liquid two-phase flow if the two liquids are fully mixed or as a three-layer stratified flow at low flow rates in horizontal or slightly inclined pipes. Most three-phase flows fall between these two extremes: partially mixed with slippage between the two liquid phases. Closure relationships describing the distribution between the liquid phases, namely mixing and inversion, are proposed. The model predictions are compared with experimental data of gas/oil/water pipe flows. Significant improvements are observed over the predictions by the two-phase unified model of Zhang et al. (2003a), which assumes a fully mixed liquid phase.
Three-phase gas/oil/water flow is a common occurrence in the petroleum industry during the production and transportation of produced fluids. Three-phase flow behavior, such as liquid holdups and pressure gradient, may be very different from those of two-phase flow. These can have significant impact on design and many flow-assurance issues including hydrate formation, emulsion, wax deposition, and corrosion. Therefore, a reliable and general model needs to be developed for prediction of gas/oil/water-pipe flow behaviors under different flow conditions.
Experimental observations have shown that the flow structures of three-phase-pipe flow are much more complicated than that of two-phase-pipe flow. Açikgöz et al. (1992) classified flow patterns of horizontal three-phase flow into 10 categories. Pan et al. (1995) identified seven flow patterns for horizontal air/oil/water flow. For vertical air/oil/water flow, Woods et al. (1998) identified eight flow patterns. Multiphase-flow hydrodynamic modeling is based on flow-pattern definitions. More flow patterns imply more discontinuities and greater complexity in the hydrodynamic models. A successful model should unify the predictions of both flow-pattern transitions and hydrodynamic behavior and minimize these discontinuities at the same time.
A unified gas/liquid two-phase flow model has been developed by Zhang et al. (2003a) for predictions of flow-pattern transitions, pressure gradient, liquid holdup, and slug characteristics for all inclination angles from -90° to 90° from horizontal. The model is based on the dynamics of slug flow, which shares transition boundaries with all the other flow patterns. The equations of slug flow are used, not only to calculate the slug characteristics, but also to predict transitions from slug flow to other flow patterns.
Similar methodology also can be used for gas/oil/water three-phase flow. In three-phase pipe flow, the gas-vs.-liquid-phase distribution and structures may be of primary importance compared with the distribution between liquid phases because of the differences among the physical properties of the three phases. Therefore, gas/liquid two-phase flow patterns may be adapted to describe gas/oil/water three-phase flow, and additional closure relationships could be used to describe the distribution between the liquid phases, namely mixing and inversion.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||7|
Açikgöz, M., França, F., and Laher, R.T. Jr. 1992. An Experimental Study ofThree-Phase Flow Regimes. Intl. J. of Multiphase Flow 18 (3): 327.
Brauner, N. 2001. The Prediction ofDispersed Flows Boundaries in Liquid-Liquid and Gas/Liquid Systems. Intl.J. of Multiphase Flow 27: 885.
Brauner, N. and Ullmann, A. 2002. Modeling of PhaseInversion Phenomenon in Two-Phase Pipe Flows. Intl. J. of Multiphase Flow28: 1177.
Brinkman, H.C. 1952. TheViscosity of Concentrated Suspensions and Solutions. J. of Chemical Physics20 (4): 571.
Churchill, S.W. 1977. Frictional Equation Spans All Fluid Flow Regions.Chem. Eng. 84 (24): 91.
Grolman, E. 1994. Gas/Liquid Flow with Low Liquid Loading in SlightlyInclined Pipes. PhD dissertation, U. of Amsterdam, Amsterdam.
Hall, A.R.W. 1992. Multiphase Flow of Oil, Water and Gas in HorizontalPipes. PhD dissertation, Imperial College, London
Khor, S.H. 1998. Three-Phase Liquid-Liquid-Gas Stratified Flow in Pipelines.PhD dissertation, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, U. ofLondon, London
Khor, S.H., Mendes-Tatsis, M.A., and Hewitt, G.F. 1997. One-DimensionalModeling of Phase Holdups in Three-Phase Stratified Flow. Intl. J. ofMultiphase Flow 23 (5): 885.
Laflin, G.C. and Oglesby, K.D. 1976. An Experimental Study on the Effects ofFlow Rate, Water Fraction and Gas/Liquid Ratio on Air-Oil/Water Flow inHorizontal Pipes. BS thesis, U. of Tulsa, Tulsa.
Oliemans, R.V., Pots, B.F.M., and Trompe, N. 1986. Modeling of AnnularDispersed Two-Phase Flow in Vertical Pipes. Intl. J. of Multiphase Flow 12(5): 711.
Pan, L., Jayanti, S., and Hewitt, G.F. 1995. Flow Patterns, Phase Inversionand Pressure Gradient in Air-Oil/Water Flow in a Horizontal Pipe. Proc. of the2nd Intl. Conference on Multiphase Flow '95-Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan, 3-7 April.
Taitel, Y., Barnea, D., and Brill, J.P. 1995. Stratified Three PhaseFlow in Pipes. Intl. J. of Multiphase Flow 21 (1): 53.
Trallero, J.L. 1995. Oil/Water Flow Patterns in Horizontal Pipes. PhDdissertation, U. of Tulsa, Tulsa.
Woods, G.S., Spedding, P.L., Watterson, J.K., and Raghunathan, R.S. 1998. Three-Phase Oil/Water/AirVertical Flow. Trans IChemE 76 (A): 571.
Zhang, H.-Q., Wang, Q., Sarica, C., and Brill, J.P. 2003a. Unified Model for Gas/liquid PipeFlow via Slug Dynamics--Part 1: Model Development. ASME J. of Energy Res.Tech. 125 (4): 266.
Zhang, H.-Q., Wang, Q., Sarica, C., and Brill, J.P. 2003b. A Unified MechanisticModel for Slug Liquid Holdup and Transition between Slug and Dispersed BubbleFlows. Intl. J. of Multiphase Flow 29: 97.