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Research Papers: Petroleum Transport/Pipelines/Multiphase Flow

Sensitivity of Slug Flow Mechanistic Models on Slug Length

[+] Author and Article Information
Cem Sarica

Petroleum Engineering Department,  The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OKsarica@utulsa.edu

Hong-Quan Zhang

Petroleum Engineering Department,  The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OKHong-quan-zhang@utulsa.edu

Robert J. Wilkens

Chemical and Materials Engineering Department,  University of Dayton, Dayton, OHwilkens@udayton.edu

J. Energy Resour. Technol 133(4), 043001 (Nov 10, 2011) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005242 History: Received April 02, 2010; Revised September 22, 2011; Accepted September 26, 2011; Published November 10, 2011; Online November 10, 2011

Slug flow is one of the common flow patterns in gas and oil production and transportation. One of the closure relationships required by the multiphase flow mechanistic models is slug length correlation. There are several closure relationships proposed in the literature as function of pipe geometry, pipe diameter, and inclination angle, and to a lesser extent to the flow rates and fluid properties. In this paper, we show that most of the frequently used mechanistic models are insensitive to slug length information. The only exception to this is identified as the Zhang (2003, “Unified Model for Gas-Liquid Pipe Flow via Slug Dynamics—Part 1: Model Development,” ASME J. Energy Resour. Technol., 125 , pp. 266–272). The unified model shows sensitivity at high gas flow rates, while displaying a negligible sensitivity at low gas flow rates. In conclusion, the slug length closure relationship is not crucial for pressure loss and holdup calculations. It can be speculated that the success of the unit cell slug flow modeling approach could be attributed to insensitivity of the models to slug length considering the highly probabilistic nature of the slug length.

Copyright © 2011 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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References

Figures

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Figure 1

Schematic of slug flow—vertical upward

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Figure 2

Schematic of slug flow—inclined

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Figure 3

Pressure gradient versus dimensionless slug length for developed slug flow

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Figure 4

Average holdup versus dimensionless slug length for developed slug flow

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Figure 5

Pressure gradient versus dimensionless slug length for developing slug flow

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Figure 6

Average holdup versus dimensionless slug length for developing slug flow

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Figure 7

Pressure gradient versus dimensionless slug length for horizontal slug flow

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Figure 8

Slug unit holdup versus dimensionless slug length for horizontal slug flow

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Figure 9

Pressure gradient versus dimensionless slug length for 5 deg upward inclined slug flow

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Figure 10

Slug unit holdup versus dimensionless slug length for 5 deg upward inclined slug flow

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Figure 11

Pressure gradient versus dimensionless slug length for 2 deg downward inclined slug flow

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Figure 12

Slug unit holdup versus dimensionless slug length for 2 deg downward inclined slug flow

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Figure 13

Pressure gradient versus dimensionless slug length for vertical upward slug flow

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Figure 14

Slug unit holdup versus dimensionless slug length for vertical upward slug flow

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Figure 15

Pressure gradient versus dimensionless slug length for horizontal slug flow

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Figure 16

Slug unit holdup versus dimensionless slug length for horizontal slug flow

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Figure 17

Pressure gradient versus dimensionless slug length for 5 deg upward inclined slug flow

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Figure 18

Slug unit holdup versus dimensionless slug length for 5 deg upward inclined slug flow

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Figure 19

Pressure gradient versus dimensionless slug length for 2 deg downward inclined slug flow

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Figure 20

Slug unit holdup versus dimensionless slug length for 2 deg downward inclined slug flow

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