Research Papers: Petroleum Transport/Pipelines/Multiphase Flow

Prediction of Slug Liquid Holdup in Horizontal Pipes

[+] Author and Article Information
Eissa Al-Safran

Department of Petroleum Engineering,  Kuwait University, P.O. Box 5969, Safat 13060, Kuwaiteisa@kuniv.edu.kw

J. Energy Resour. Technol 131(2), 023001 (May 19, 2009) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3120305 History: Received August 09, 2006; Revised December 29, 2008; Published May 19, 2009

Slug liquid holdup is a critical parameter of slug flow, which influences the average liquid holdup and pressure drop along pipelines. The objective of this study is to develop a new correlation to predict slug liquid holdup in horizontal pipes. A large data set with wide ranges of operational, geometrical, and physical property parameters was used to develop the new correlation. The new correlation is a function of one independent mechanistic dimensionless variable, namely, the momentum transfer rate between the slug body and the liquid film. Physical modeling and statistical analyses suggested the appropriateness of the dimensionless momentum transfer rate as an independent parameter, which accounts for a large part of the variation in slug liquid holdup. A correlation validation and comparison study showed the accuracy of the new correlation. The statistical evaluation of the correlation resulted in an average percent relative error and percent standard deviation of 4.1% and 2.4%, respectively. Furthermore, the developed correlation was compared with other correlations and showed superior performance among all correlations, with the lowest relative performance factor of 0.01.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Schematic diagram of a slug unit

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Figure 2

Nonlinear relationship of slug liquid holdup and dimensionless momentum transfer rate

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Figure 3

Nonlinear regression fit to data

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Figure 4

Cross plot of calculated and measured slug liquid holdups



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