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Research Papers: Petroleum Engineering

Effect of Shear and Water Cut on Phase Inversion and Droplet Size Distribution in Oil–Water Flow

[+] Author and Article Information
Mo Zhang

Petroleum Engineering,
The University of Tulsa,
800 South Tucker Drive,
Tulsa, OK 74104-3189
e-mail: mo-zhang@utulsa.edu

Ramin Dabirian

Petroleum Engineering,
The University of Tulsa,
800 South Tucker Drive,
Tulsa, OK 74104-3189
e-mail: ramin-dabirian@utulsa.edu

Ram S. Mohan

Professor
Fellow ASME
Mechanical Engineering,
The University of Tulsa,
800 South Tucker Drive,
Tulsa, OK 74104-3189
e-mail: ram-mohan@utulsa.edu

Ovadia Shoham

Professor
Petroleum Engineering,
The University of Tulsa,
800 South Tucker Drive,
Tulsa, OK 74104-3189
e-mail: ovadia-shoham@utulsa.edu

Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received December 18, 2017; final manuscript received September 29, 2018; published online October 24, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Ray (Zhenhua) Rui.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 141(3), 032905 (Oct 24, 2018) (9 pages) Paper No: JERT-17-1720; doi: 10.1115/1.4041661 History: Received December 18, 2017; Revised September 29, 2018

Oil–water dispersed flow occurs commonly in the petroleum industry during the production and transportation of crudes. Phase inversion occurs when the dispersed phase grows into the continuous phase and the continuous phase becomes the dispersed phase caused by changes in the composition, interfacial properties, and other factors. Production equipment, such as pumps and chokes, generates shear in oil–water mixture flow, which has a strong effect on phase inversion phenomena. The objective of this paper is to investigate the effects of shear intensity and water cut (WC) on the phase inversion region and also the droplet size distribution. A state-of-the-art closed-loop two phase (oil–water) flow facility including a multipass gear pump and a differential dielectric sensor (DDS) is used to identify the phase inversion region. Also, the facility utilizes an in-line droplet size analyzer (a high speed camera), to record real-time videos of oil–water emulsion to determine the droplet size distribution. The experimental data for phase inversion confirm that as shear intensity increases, the phase inversion occurs at relatively higher dispersed phase fractions. Also the data show that oil-in-water emulsion requires larger dispersed phase volumetric fraction for phase inversion as compared with that of water-in-oil emulsion under the same shear intensity conditions. Experiments for droplet size distribution confirm that larger droplets are obtained for the water continuous phase, and increasing the dispersed phase volume fraction leads to the creation of larger droplets.

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References

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Experimental setup schematic

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Fig. 2

Differential dielectric sensor

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Fig. 3

In-line droplet size analyzer

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Fig. 4

Differential attenuation and the frictional pressure drop versus WC [25]

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Fig. 5

(a) Differential attenuation and (b) differential phase for 280 rpm pump speed (starting from 100% water)

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Fig. 6

(a) Differential attenuation and (b) differential phase for 400 rpm pump speed (starting from 100% water)

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Fig. 7

(a) Differential attenuation and (b) differential phase for 400 rpm pump speed (starting from 100% oil)

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Fig. 8

Comparison between model predictions for static mixer and data of Tidhar et al. [28,29]

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Fig. 9

Organic phase volume fraction versus mixture velocity for multipass gear pump

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Fig. 10

Photograph of multiple emulsions from a multipass gear pump

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Fig. 11

Droplet size distribution for pump speed: 300 rpm, and water cuts: 5%, 15%, 85%, and 95%

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Fig. 12

Droplet size distribution for pump speeds: 600 rpm, and water cuts: 5%, 15%, 85%, and 95%

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Fig. 13

(a) Differential attenuation and (b) differential phase for 280 rpm pump speed (starting from 100% oil)

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Fig. 14

(a) Differential attenuation and (b) differential phase for 720 rpm pump speed (starting from 100% water)

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Fig. 15

(a) Differential attenuation and (b) differential phase for 720 rpm pump speed (starting from 100% oil)

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