Hydrate-associated issues are of great significance to the oil and gas sector when advancing the development of offshore reservoir. Gas hydrate is easy to form under the condition featuring depressed temperature and elevated pressure within deep-water gas pipeline. Once hydrate deposition is formed within the pipelines, the energy transmission efficiency will be greatly reduced.

An accurate prediction of hydrate-obstruction-development behavior will assist flow-assurance engineers to cultivate resource-conserving and environment-friendly strategies for managing hydrate. Based on the long-distance transportation characteristics of deep-water gas pipeline, a quantitative prediction method is expected to explain the hydrate-obstruction-formation behavior in deep-water gas pipeline throughout the production of deep-water gas well. Through a deep analysis of the features of hydrate shaping and precipitation at various locations inside the system, the advised method can quantitatively foresee the dangerous position and intensity of hydrate obstruction. The time from the start of production to the dramatic change of pressure drop brought about by the deposition of hydrate attached to the pipe wall is defined as the Hydrate Plugging Alarm Window (HPAW), which provides guidance for the subsequent hydrate treatment.

Case study of deep-water gas pipeline constructed in the South China Sea is performed with the advised method. The simulation outcomes show that hydrates shape and deposit along pipe wall, constructing an endlessly and inconsistently developing hydrate layer, which restricts the pipe, raises the pressure drop, and ultimately leads to obstruction. At the area of 700m-3200m away from the pipeline inlet, the hydrate layer develops all the more swiftly, which points to the region of high risk of obstruction. As the gas-flow rate increases, the period needed for the system to shape hydrate obstruction becomes less. The narrower the internal diameter of the pipeline is, the more severe risk of hydrate obstruction will occur. The HPAW is 100 days under the case conditions. As the concentration of hydrate inhibitor rises, the region inside the system that tallies with the hydrate phase equilibrium conditions progressively reduces and the hydrate deposition rate slows down.

The advised method will support operators to define the location of hydrate inhibitor injection within a shorter period in comparison to the conventional method. This work will deliver key instructions for locating the hydrate plugging position in a fast way in addition to solving the problem of hydrate flow assurance in deep-water gas pipelines at a reduced cost.

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