Liquid-liquid phase flow in pipes merits further investigation as a challenging issue that has very rich physics and is faced in everyday applications. It is the main problem challenging the fluid flow mechanism in the oil and gas industry. The pressure gradient of liquid flow and flow pattern are still the topics of numerous research projects. In this paper, the emphasis is on further investigation to research the flow pattern, water holdup (HW), and pressure decrease for vertical, horizontal, and inclined flow directions of oil and water flows. Test section lines of 4.19-in. (106.426 mm) inner diameter (ID) and 5-m horizontal, 5-m inclined, and 5-m vertical test sections were serially connected. The experiments were conducted at 40°C using 2-cp viscosity oil and tap water, and oil density of 850 kg/m3, at the standard conditions. Fifty experiments were executed at 250 kPa at the multiphase flow test facility, with horizontal, upward (0.6° and 4°), downward (-0.6° and -4°) hilly terrain and vertical pipes. The oil and water superficial velocities were changed between 0.03 and 2 m/s. This evidence was obtained using video recordings; the flow patterns were observed, and the selection of each flow pattern was depicted for each condition. For horizontal and inclined flow, new flow patterns were documented (e.g., oil transfer in a line forms at the top of the pipeline, typically at high water rate, and water transfer at the lower part of the pipe at a high oil rate). The data were taken at each flow condition, resulting in new holdup and pressure drop. The results show that the flow rate and the pipe inclination angle have major impacts on the holdup and pressure drop performances. In the vertical flow, a clear peak was demonstrated by experiments after the superficial oil velocity reached a certain value. This peak is known as phase inversion point, where after this peak, the pressure starts declining as the superficial oil velocity increases. Also, slippage has been observed after varying inlet oil flow rates between the two phases. The experiments showed that with minor alteration in the inclination angle, the slippage was significantly changed. This study presented new experimental results (measured mainly at horizontal, inclined, and vertical flow conditions) of HW, flow pattern, and pressure drop. These findings are key evidence of the evolving oil-water and flowline estimate models.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Fuel Technology
- Energy Engineering and Power Technology