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Slug Flow Characteristics in Inclined and Vertical Channels

Zhihui Wang1,2,3, Wei Luo1,2,3,*, Ruiquan Liao1,2,3, Xiangwei Xie4, Fuwei Han5, Hongying Wang6

1 Petroleum Engineering Institute of Yangtze University, Wuhan, China.
2 Laboratory of Multiphase Pipe Flow, Gas Lift Innovation Center, China National Petroleum Corp, Wuhan, China.
3 The Branch of Key Laboratory of CNPC for Oil and Gas Production, Yangtze University, Jingzhou, China.
4 Exploration Department of Petro China Tarim Oilfield Company, Korla, China.
5 The Third Drilling Company of Bohai Drilling Engineering Co., Ltd. of CNPC, Tianjin, China.
6 Research and Development Center, Tuha Oilfield Company, CNPC, Tulufan, China.

* Corresponding Author: Wei Luo. Email: email.

Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing 2019, 15(5), 583-595.


Horizontal well production technology gradually occupies a dominant position in the petroleum field. With the rise in water production in the later stage of exploitation, slug flow phenomena will exist in horizontal, inclined and even vertical sections of gas wells. To grasp the flow law of slug flow and guide engineering practice, the flow law of slug flow at various inclination angles (30°~90°) is studied by means of the combination of laboratory experiments (including high frequency pressure data acquisition system) and finite element numerical simulation. The results reveal that because of the delay of pressure variation at the corresponding position of pipeline resulting from gas expansion, the highest point of pressure change curve corresponds not to the highest point of liquid holdup curve (pressure change lags behind 0.125 s of liquid holdup change). Thus, the delay of pressure should be highlighted in predicting slug flow using pressure parameter change; otherwise the accuracy of prediction will be affected when slug flow occurs. It is generally known that liquid holdup and pressure drop are the major factors affecting the pressure variation and stable operation of pipelines. Accordingly, the results of finite element numerical simulation and Beggs-Brill model calculation are compared with those of laboratory experiments. The numerical simulation method is applicable to predicting the pressure drop of the pipeline, while the Beggs-Brill model is more suitable for predicting the liquid holdup variation of the pipeline. The research conclusion helps reveal the slug flow law, and it is of a scientific guiding implication to the prediction method of flow parameters under slug flow pattern in the process of gas well exploitation.


Cite This Article

Wang, Z., Luo, W., Liao, R., Xie, X., Han, F. et al. (2019). Slug Flow Characteristics in Inclined and Vertical Channels. FDMP-Fluid Dynamics & Materials Processing, 15(5), 583–595.

cc This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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