Sand transport in multiphase flow has recently gained keen attention of the oil and gas industry owing to the negative effects associated with it. These include partial pipe blockage, pipe corrosion, excessive pressure drop and production decline. To date, no comprehensive literature review and models evaluation have been published, which compare the experimental data collected for the prediction of the critical sand deposition velocity under intermittent flow with the related model predictions. This study can be used by engineers and researchers to determine the conditions under which the developed models perform the best.

The intermittent flow critical sand deposition velocity data acquired by Najmi (2015) are presented in detail. Next, the effects of important parameters such as phase velocities, liquid viscosity as well as particle size and concentration on the critical velocity are investigated. The collected data are utilized to evaluate the performance of the models developed by Salama (1998), Hill (2011), Stevenson et al. (2001) and Danielson (2007), in order to determine the best model for the prediction of the sand critical velocity.

The experimental data of Najmi (2015) indicate that higher critical velocities are required with increasing the liquid viscosity, particle size and particle concentration. However, the predictions of the models of Salama (1998), Stevenson et al. (2001) and Danielson (2007) demonstrate that these models do not take into account the effect of particle concentration. Depending on the liquid viscosity, Stevenson et al. (2001) model significantly over-predicts or under-predicts the critical velocity over different ranges of the phase velocities, while Salama (1998) model under-predicts the critical velocity under all experimental conditions. An overall comparison of the data with the published model predictions confirms that the Hill (2011) model has the best performance capturing the physical phenomena, including the effects of phase velocities, particle size, particle concentration and liquid viscosity.

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