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Numerical simulation of two-phase flow regime in horizontal pipeline and its validation

Sam Ban (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Seri Iskandar, Malaysia)
William Pao (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Seri Iskandar, Malaysia)
Mohammad Shakir Nasif (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Petronas, Seri Iskandar, Malaysia)

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow

ISSN: 0961-5539

Article publication date: 6 July 2018

Issue publication date: 8 August 2018

3681

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate oil-gas slug formation in horizontal straight pipe and its associated pressure gradient, slug liquid holdup and slug frequency.

Design/methodology/approach

The abrupt change in gas/liquid velocities, which causes transition of flow patterns, was analyzed using incompressible volume of fluid method to capture the dynamic gas-liquid interface. The validity of present model and its methodology was validated using Baker’s flow regime chart for 3.15 inches diameter horizontal pipe and with existing experimental data to ensure its correctness.

Findings

The present paper proposes simplified correlations for liquid holdup and slug frequency by comparison with numerous existing models. The paper also identified correlations that can be used in operational oil and gas industry and several outlier models that may not be applicable.

Research limitations/implications

The correlation may be limited to the range of material properties used in this paper.

Practical implications

Numerically derived liquid holdup and holdup frequency agreed reasonably with the experimentally derived correlations.

Social implications

The models could be used to design pipeline and piping systems for oil and gas production.

Originality/value

The paper simulated all the seven flow regimes with superior results compared to existing methodology. New correlations derived numerically are compared to published experimental correlations to understand the difference between models.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors appreciate the financial and administrative support from the Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS (UTP) through the Graduate Assistantship Program to Cambodian national (first author), Ministry of Education Malaysia through the FRGS 0153AB-L03 and PETRONAS Foundation through YUTP Fundamental Research Grant 0153AA-E03. The authors would also like to acknowledge the UTP Gas Separation Research Centre for the office space, software licenses and high-end computing facilities to perform the simulation.

Citation

Ban, S., Pao, W. and Nasif, M.S. (2018), "Numerical simulation of two-phase flow regime in horizontal pipeline and its validation", International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, Vol. 28 No. 6, pp. 1279-1314. https://doi.org/10.1108/HFF-05-2017-0195

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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