Slug flow is the most common flow pattern presented in multiphase flow gas-liquid pipelines for highly viscous liquids. In this sense, it is important to know how this flow pattern behaved when oil viscosity increases in order to improve the operation and design of surface facilities, such as: pipelines, separators, flow conditioners, risers and multiphase equipments as pumps and flow meters, and also to reduce the corrosion and erosion effect in the systems. This requires a rigorous study of slug flow characteristics, i.e.: slug holdup, slug length, translational velocity and slug frequency as well as pressure gradient and liquid holdup in the pipe. For these reasons, it is necessary to carry out experiments that allow a better understanding of slug flow pattern and improving mathematical models to predict slug characteristics.
In this work, an experimental study of three different gas/liquid systems is presented. This includes liquid viscosities of 1cP, 430cP, and 960cP and the liquid viscosity effect in slug flow characteristics such as: flow pattern transition, slug translational velocities, slug lengths, pressure drops, holdup, and slug frequency.