Summary

The objective of the present work is to propose a methodology to predict pressure rise due to the thermal expansion of trapped liquids using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The present study also provides a comparison between the various methods used for pressure buildup calculations that are widely used in oil and gas industries. A comparison of standard thermodynamic calculations with transient 3D CFD analysis reveals that transient CFD analyses can provide deeper insights on the temperature and velocity fields in trapped volumes. The application of the proposed method is not just restricted to a single component/equipment in the subsea field but can be applied to any trapped volume in subsea equipment. In the present study, the pressure buildup in a downhole (DH) port of a subsea Christmas tree (XT) is presented for demonstration purposes; the same methodology can be extended to other equipment or regions of interest. Because of a lack of literature on the topic of pressure rise due to thermal expansion of trapped fluids, engineers are forced to make several assumptions without knowing the effect of each term or parameter on the final pressure calculated. In this study, the percentage change/variation of the final pressure using the various forms of a standard analytical pressure rise equation is also discussed in detail.

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