Multiphase flow in pipe has been intensively investigated since the oneset of oil and gas transportation by pipelines. As flow assurance problems keep arising in recent years, pipeline design solutions are desired for multi-phase flow system. The algorithms have widely guided the design of stream transportation from offshore well head to onshore terminal or platform. Operators would always seek cutting platform number or shut-in producing marginal field whose reserves cannot justify the construction cost. An accurate design of multiphase flow pipeline system is by all means demanded.

Traditional studies focus on gas-oil two-phase flow by deriving empirical or semi-empirical correlations that fit the experimental data. This study investigates a gas–oil–water three-phase pipe flow system. Starting from the momentum and mass conservation equations, force balance, and interaction relationships between different phases, we developed analytical solutions to estimate the pressure drop for stratified flow regime. This general approach can be applied to any gas-oil-water flowing systems. It provides a solid base for nodal analysis, pressure drop calculation for multiphase flow, artificial lift evaluation, etc. to help design and optimize production system. This work can be particularly useful for steady-state distance transportation.

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