The developments of oil and gas fields in deep waters (5000 ft and more) will become more common in the future. It is inevitable that production systems will operate under multiphase flow conditions (simultaneous flow of gas, oil and water possibly along with sand, hydrates, and waxes). Multiphase flow prediction tools are essential for every phase of hydrocarbon recovery from design to operation. Recovery from deep-waters poses special challenges and requires accurate multiphase flow predictive tools for several applications, including the design and diagnostics of the production systems, separation of phases in horizontal wells, and multiphase separation (topside, seabed or bottom-hole). It is crucial for any multiphase separation technique, either at topside, seabed or bottom-hole, to know inlet conditions such as flow rates, flow patterns, and volume fractions of gas, oil and water coming into the separation devices. Therefore, the development of a new generation of multiphase flow predictive tools is needed. The overall objective of the proposed study is to develop a unified model for gas-oil-water three-phase flow in wells, flow lines, and pipelines to predict flow characteristics such as flow patterns, phase distributions, and pressure gradient encountered during petroleum production at different flow conditions (pipe diameter and inclination, more » fluid properties and flow rates). In the current multiphase modeling approach, flow pattern and flow behavior (pressure gradient and phase fractions) prediction modeling are separated. Thus, different models based on different physics are employed, causing inaccuracies and discontinuities. Moreover, oil and water are treated as a pseudo single phase, ignoring the distinct characteristics of both oil and water, and often resulting in inaccurate design that leads to operational problems. In this study, a new model is being developed through a theoretical and experimental study employing a revolutionary approach. The basic continuity and momentum equations is established for each phase, and used for both flow pattern and flow behavior predictions. The required closure relationships are being developed, and will be verified with experimental results. Gas-oil-water experimental studies are currently underway for the horizontal pipes. Industry-driven consortia provide a cost-efficient vehicle for developing, transferring, and deploying new technologies into the private sector. The Tulsa University Fluid Flow Projects (TUFFP) is one of the earliest cooperative industry-university research consortia. TUFFP's mission is to conduct basic and applied multiphase flow research addressing the current and future needs of hydrocarbon production and transportation. TUFFP participants and The University of Tulsa are supporting this study through 55% cost sharing. « le

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DOIS: 10.2172/940760 10.2172/890704 10.2172/898057

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Published on 01/01/2006

Volume 1976, 2006
DOI: 10.2172/940760
Licence: CC BY-NC-SA license

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