The translational velocity, velocity of slug units, is one of the key closure relationships in two-phase flow mechanistic modeling. It is described as the summation of the maximum mixture velocity in the slug body and the drift velocity. The existing equation for the drift velocity is developed by using potential flow theory. Surface tension and viscosity are neglected. However, the drift velocity is expected to be affected with high oil viscosity. In this study, the effects of high oil viscosity on drift velocity for horizontal and upward inclined pipes are experimentally observed. The experiments are performed on a flow loop with a test section 50.8 mm ID for inclination angles of 0° to 90°. Water and viscous oil are used as test fluids. Liquid viscosities vary from 0.001 to 1.237 Pa·s. A new drift velocity model is proposed for high oil viscosity for horizontal and upward inclined pipes. The experimental results are used to evaluate the performances of proposed model for drift velocity. The calculated drift velocities are compared very well with the experimental results. The proposed model could be easily implemented into translational velocity equation. It improves the existing two-phase flow models in the development and maintenance of heavy oil fields

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.