Co-Current and Countercurrent Migration of Gas Kicks in “Horizontal” Wells

[+] Author and Article Information
H. Baca, J. Smith, A. T. Bourgoyne

Petroleum Engineering Department

D. E. Nikitopoulos

Mechanical Engineering DepartmentLouisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803

J. Energy Resour. Technol 121(2), 96-101 (Jun 01, 1999) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2795075 History: Received October 24, 1998; Revised January 18, 1999; Online November 06, 2007


Results from experiments conducted in downward liquid-gas flows in inclined, eccentric annular pipes, with water and air as the working fluids, are presented. The gas was injected in the middle of the test section length. The operating window, in terms of liquid and gas superficial velocities, within which countercurrent gas flow occurs at two low-dip angles, has been determined experimentally. The countercurrent flow observed was in the slug regime, while the co-current one was stratified. Countercurrent flow fraction and void fraction measurements were carried out at various liquid superficial velocities and gas injection rates and correlated to visual observations through a full-scale transparent test section. Our results indicate that countercurrent flow can be easily generated at small downward dip angles, within the practical range of liquid superficial velocity for drilling operations. Such flow is also favored by low gas injection rates.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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