Flow Testing Methods to Detect and Characterize Partial Blockages in Looped Subsea Flowlines

[+] Author and Article Information
S. L. Scott, J. Yi

Petroleum Engineering Department, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA 70803

J. Energy Resour. Technol 121(3), 154-160 (Sep 01, 1999) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2795975 History: Received September 09, 1998; Revised June 10, 1999; Online November 06, 2007


Looping subsea flowlines is one method being utilized for flow assurance. Looping allows the possibility of circulating chemicals and/or tools to remediate partial flowline blockages due to wax, paraffins, asphaltenes, hydrates, sand, and scale. This study considers if flow testing can provide an a priori knowledge of the presence and/or size of the partial blockage before remedial action is taken. The techniques developed are for single-phase liquid flow and can be applied during circulation operations in looped flowlines or in single-phase oil transportation lines. Using these models, a blockage map is created to indicate what size of blockage can be detected and what size of blockage can be characterized as to length and diameter of the restriction. Field-scale verification was obtained by placing fixed length and diameter partial blockages in the 9460-ft LSU flowloop (3.64-in. i.d.). Tests were conducted with liquid rates to 11 bpm (15,840 bbl/day) and pressures to 4000 psia.

Copyright © 1999 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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