With the fast development of the offshore oilfield in china, field engineers are now facing with a new challenge, which is the flow assurance of crude oil-water two phases flow in the submarine pipeline. Since the existence of natural surfactants in the crude oil, as resin, asphaltene and etc, crude oil and water two phases tend to form stable water-in-oil (w/o) emulsion and therefore greatly influence their flowing characteristics, as flow patterns and transition characters and especially the pressure drop character.

These have shown obvious differences from the flow of mineral oil-water two phases, which are commonly and widely used for indoor experiments, even when the density and viscosity properties of the mineral oil and crude oil phase are approximately the same. For the guidance of the design and operation of the offshore crude oil-water pipeline, high viscosity mineral oil / crude oil-water two phase flow through horizontal pipe were conducted in a steel laboratory pipe loop (1 inch inner diameter, 52m length). Major similarities and differences are compared between their flow patterns and transition characters.

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