Experimental and Modeling Studies of Two-Phase Flow in Pipelines
- R. Manabe (Japan National Oil Corp.) | T. Tochikawa (Japan National Oil Corp.) | M. Tsukuda (Waseda Univ.) | N. Arihara (Waseda Univ.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Facilities
- Publication Date
- November 1997
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 212 - 217
- 1997. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 4.3.4 Scale, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment
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The objectives of this study are to develop and evaluate a mechanistic model for gas/liquid two-phase flow in pipelines.
A mechanistic model has been developed by combining currently available models and correlations. The approach of the modeling study was based on the work by Xiao et al.Modifications have been made on the annular flow model by implementing the currently developed film-thickness-distribution model.
An experimental database has been developed for model evaluation. Seventy-five runs of steady-state air/water flow tests in horizontal and slightly inclined pipes were conducted using a largescale experimental facility. The experimental program was set up in a wide range of experimental conditions to cover the intermittent, dispersed bubble, and annular flow patterns.
An evaluation of the model was carried out for each flow pattern, namely, intermittent, dispersed bubble, and annular flow. The comparisons between the measured and calculated pressure drops show good agreement for each flow pattern. Also, overall evaluation revealed that the proposed model provided the best performance among the commonly used empirical correlations, such as Beggs and Brill, Mukherjee and Brill, and Dukler et al.
Multiphase- flow technology has become increasingly important for economical field development, in particular for satellite, marginal, and deepwater fields. For economical and safe transportation of unprocessed reservoir fluids from a reservoir to downstream process facilities, it is necessary to accurately predict the multiphase-flow behavior in wellbores, flowlines, and pipelines.
Many prediction models have been developed for gas/liquid two-phase flow with both empirical and mechanistic approaches. However, to date, available models cover only a limited range of the operating conditions in terms of inclination angle, pipe diameter, fluid properties, pressure, and so on. Further improvements in this area have been identified in previous studies.
The trend in this area is toward the use of unified mechanistic modeling from empirical approaches. This is because the use of mechanistic models is expected to improve both its accuracy and extrapolation capability to any operating condition.
In the process of developing a model, validation against a large amount of data bank is required. To ensure the validity of the model, the evaluation should be carried out for each flow pattern, particularly when the model was developed by a flow-pattern-dependent approach. However, it is very difficult to collect (from the actual fields) meaningful data over a range wide enough to be used to verify the models. Therefore, there is a need for the validation of the models using large-scale experimental facilities under highly controlled operating conditions over a wide range.
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