The importance of performance monitoring is growing as the number of high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) wells continues to increase in deepwater and ultra-deepwater fields. Accurate prediction of HPHT well performance is essential for enhancing deepwater oil and gas production operations. Applying computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modeling to three- phase gas-oil-water flow in HPHT well conditions is an emerging concept. Multiphase flow in HPHT wells is extremely complex and depends on a multitude of effects including the properties of gas/oil/water, well geometries and configurations, operating pressures and temperatures, and multiphase flow patterns.

In this work, simulations have been performed for three-phase flow in HPHT wells using CFD modeling techniques. The calculated results for phase velocity, pressure and temperature distribution are discussed in detail. The CFD simulation results are compared with measured field data and a finite difference-based mechanistic model. Reasonable agreements are achieved.

Extensive parametric analysis of the three-phase flow system is performed to validate the viability of the CFD model as a predictive tool. The CFD model is demonstratively capable of predicting pressure drop and multiphase flow profiles in the HPHT well throughout various simulated production conditions. The experience gained from the CFD model studies can potentially improve the operations of HPHT wells in terms of increased productivity and enhanced reservoir management. In addition, results demonstrate the capability of the CFD model to predict various multiphase phenomena associated with HPHT well operations.

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