The flow regime transitions for flow of oil-water-carbon dioxide mixtures in horizontal pipelines are presented. The experiments were carried out in a IDem diameter plexiglass pipe. The flow regime transitions differ greatly from those for gas-liquid and oil-water two phase flow systems. Flow regime maps for oil-water-carbon dioxide are presented for various oil-water ratios and compared with the flow regime maps for water-carbon dioxide and oil-carbon dioxide two phase flows and the Taitel and Dukler model. The results confirm that the liquid compositions have a large effect on flow regime transitions and these are not predicted by most commonly used models.


The simultaneous flow of oil-water-gas mixtures flow in pipes is a common occurrence in the petroleum industry. This type of flow is frequently found in oil producing wells and associated pipelines. Most well fluids are composed of oil and gas but during the life of the well, the water content can increase greatly. In accessible places ego subsea or Alaska, the fluids are often transported together in a single pipeline to a platform or central gathering station where the oil, water and gas are separated. For oil-water two phase flows, Russell et al (1959) observed the flow patterns in a oil-water mixture in horizontal pipes. The input oilwater volume ratio was examined in their study. Three flow regimes were reported as shown in Figure 1: bubble flow, stratified and mixed flow. Bubble flow is characterized by oil droplets flowing in a continuous water phase. Stratified flow consists of the more dense fluid (water) flowing along the bottom of the pipe and the less dense fluid (oil) traveling above with a interface between the two phases. Mixed flow is defined as having no phase separation, where water and oil mixture flow flows as a emulsified liquid phase.

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