Operation control of fluids pumping in curved pipes during annular flow: a numerical evaluation

T Andrade, S Neto, A Lima, C Silva, W Lima


To generate projects which provide significant volume recovery from heavy oils reservoirs and improve existing projects, is important to develop new production and transport technologies, especially in the scenario of offshore fields. The core-flow technique is one of new technologies used in heavy oil transportation. This core-flow pattern is characterized by a water pellicle that is formed close or adjacent to the inner wall of the pipe, functioning as a lubricant. The oil flows in the center of the pipe causing a reduction in longitudinal pressure drop. In this sense, this work presents a numerical study of heavy oil annular flow (core-flow) assisted by computational tool ANSYS CFX® Release 12.0. It was used a three-dimensional, transient and isothermal mathematical model considered by the mixture and turbulence - models to address the water-heavy oil two-phase flow, assuming laminar flow for oil phase and turbulent flow for water phase. Results of the pressure, velocity and volume fraction distributions of the phases and the pressure drop for different operation conditions are presented and evaluated. It was observed that the oil core flowing eccentrically in the pipe and stops of the water flux considerably increases the pressure drop in the pipe after the restart of the pump.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1260/1750-9548.8.3.271

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