Slug frequency is defined as the number of slugs passing at a specific point along a pipeline over a certain period of time. Most experimental studies related to slug frequency in the literature were conducted using air and water. Data with a viscous liquid phase are scarce. Knowledge of the effect of liquid viscosity on slug flow is crucial to size pipelines and design pre-process equipment. In this study, the effects of high oil viscosity on slug frequency for horizontal pipes are experimentally investigated. The experiments are performed at oil viscosities between 0.181 and 0.589 Pa·s in a horizontal pipe. Experimental results are compared with the existing slug frequency correlations. Experimental observations reveal that slug frequency appears to be a strong function of liquid viscosity. However, existing slug frequency closure models do not show any explicit dependency on liquid viscosity. A closure model taking into account viscosity effects for horizontal pipes on slug frequency is proposed. The proposed slug frequency model is compared against published data. The comparison of proposed closure model against limited published data shows that it is a better alternative than existing correlations for high viscosity oils. The proposed slug frequency closure model can improve the performance of the existing mechanistic models for high viscosity oil applications.

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