The increasing demand for hydrocarbon made it a challenge to maintain the oil production and maximize recoverable reserves in mature fields. Interconnected flowline surface network, of oil producing wells, varying in reservoir pressure, connected to a single processing facility, resulted in network bottlenecks and other flow assurance issues. This study objective is to predict the temperature changing effect on hydraulic flow behavior and optimize the most precise multiphase flow correlation for the selected fields.
The severity of bottlenecks can be profoundly affected by seasonal temperature changes, which require studying and pre-planning to reduce or avoid production losses. A flowline network model had been built and analyzed in-house using a commercial steady-state multiphase flow simulator for one of company's Gathering Centres (GC). GC-XY problematic, high pressure, headers were considered, which are receiving production from several fields in Kuwait. For representative results; comparisons were done for the prediction of multiphase flow correlations in horizontal and inclined pipelines.
The predictions of the Beggs & Brill (1975), the Baker & Gabb (1988), the Dukler et al. (1969), the Mukherjee and Brill (1983), and the Oliemans (1976) correlations and the Xiao (1990) mechanistic model were evaluated in this study. The comparison was limited to a temperature range from −5 to 55 Celsius degrees, light oil with API above or equal 30 degrees, and 6 inches flowline inner diameter. The study displays statistical error comparison between the predictions of each multiphase flow model used and suggests a correlation for the applied conditions in the selected field. Bottlenecks had been found in the network model, and a variety of solutions were proposed and simulated to overcome the bottleneck severity due to temperature changes. The results findings show a significate potential is reducing the bottlenecks severity up to 40 percent in the designed network and production enhancement of 18,000 barrels daily.
Detailed criteria and calculations were stated to compare and select the most accurate multiphase flow correlations for the chosen fields. Also, the project explains a procedure to model the suggested solutions and find the expected enhancement of production. Temperature overestimation can lead to severe bottlenecks, which require dedicated and reliable studies to minimize the losses due to heat transfer effect on oil viscosity and flow behavior.