Heavy oil production and transport remains a challenge due to the lack of understanding of the flow behavior of gas and high viscosity oil two-phase flow in pipes. For example, existing two-phase flow in pipes mechanistic models shows significant discrepancy in predicting high-liquid-viscosity two-phase flow pattern transitions in horizontal and slightly inclined pipes. The objective of this study is to improve the modeling of stratified-smooth/ stratified-wavy flow pattern transition in horizontal and slightly inclined pipes for high-liquid-viscosity two-phase flow application. This objective is achieved by proposing a liquid viscosity-dependent sheltering coefficient model into the Taitel and Dukler (1976) stratified-smooth/stratified-wavy transition model. Further objective is to propose a new slug/annular transition criterion in horizontal and slightly inclined two-phase flow applicable for high-liquid-viscosity two-phase flow. A validation study of the proposed transition models is carried out against experimental high-liquid-viscosity two-phase flow pattern data sets. The validation result revealed that the proposed stratified-smooth/ stratified-wavy, and the slug/annular transition models predict the high viscosity horizontal flow pattern data more accurate than that of the original Taitel and Dukler (1976) model.

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.