Gas storage and petroleum Companies invest every year large sums of money to prevent the formation of gas hydrates plugs in flow lines as the safety requirements and the costs related to the blocking of pipelines suggest to invest in research studies to avoid the hydrate formation or to detect its presence.  Gas hydrates are aggregates where hydrocarbons gas such as methane are embedded in a crystalline cage of water molecules: they can develop abruptly and block pipelines. The nucleation of hydrates and their growth occurs when methane comes in contact with water under suitable thermodynamic conditions, such as high pressures and low temperatures. Methane hydrates induce the most relevant troubles as they form with no warning and can produce partial or even full obstructions in a pipeline thus reducing flow, increasing both back- and differential pressures. If a line section is obstructed the differential pressure across the hydrate can set the plug in motion and accelerate it quickly up to a speed approaching that of sound. In that case, the moving mass can cause serious mechanical damages at locations where the plug meets such constrictions or obstacles as valves, elbows or tees.  In this paper a gas pipeline failure case due to the presence of a moving hydrate plug has been investigated by using appropriate analytical and numerical models to analyse the motion of a hydrate plug as well as its impact against the pipe wall.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jngse.2015.07.050 under the license https://www.elsevier.com/tdm/userlicense/1.0/
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Published on 01/01/2015

Volume 2015, 2015
DOI: 10.1016/j.jngse.2015.07.050
Licence: Other

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