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Vertical Flow

3.1 Introduction

The general pressure gradient equation was derived previously and given as

f v

dp g

v dv

s sin f m m m 3.1

dL gc

2 gc d

gc dL

2

Where

s L H L g H g

And the definition of f and the density term used in the acceleration component vary

with different investigators. For vertical flow, = 90o, sin =1, dL= dZ, and the equation

can be written as

dp dp dp dp

dL dL el dL f dL acc

The pressure drop caused by elevation change depends on the density of the two-phase

mixture and is usually calculated using a liquid holdup value. Except for the conditions of

high velocity, most of the pressure drop in the vertical flow is caused by this component.

The pressure drop caused by friction losses requires elevation of a two-phase friction

factor. The pressure drop caused by accelerating the fluids is sometimes considered

negligible and is usually calculated only for cases of high flow velocities.

Many correlations have been developed for predicting two-phase flowing pressure

gradients which differ in the manner used to calculate these three components of the total

pressure gradient. Some investigators chose to assume that gas and liquid phases travel at

the same velocity (no slip-page between phases) for evaluating the mixture density and

evaluate only a liquid holdup and friction factor and develop separate correlations for

each flow regime. The correlations discussed in this section are first classified according

to their complexity and the methods used to evaluate each of the three pressure gradient

components are given.

3.2 Classification of Correlations

The vertical flow correlations discussed in this section can be placed in one of the

essentially three categories. These categories are:

A. No slip, no flow regime consideration. In correlations which fit into this

category, the mixture density is calculated based on the input gas-liquid

ratio. That is, the gas and liquid are assumed to be traveling at the same

velocity in the pipe. The only correlation required is for two-phase friction

factor. No distinction is made for different flow regimes.

B. Slip considered no flow regime consideration. Methods in this category

require correlations for both liquid holdup and friction factor. Since it is

considered that the liquid and gas may travel at different velocities, a

method must be provided for predicting the portion of the pipe occupied

by liquid at any location. The same correlations for liquid holdup and

friction factor are used for all flow regimes.

C. Slip considered, flow regime considered. Not only are correlations

required to predict holdup and friction factor, but methods to predict

which defined flow regime exists are necessary. Once the correct flow

regime is established, the appropriate holdup and friction factor

correlations are determined, which are usually different for each flow

regime. The method for calculating the acceleration pressure gradient also

depends on flow regime.

The vertical flow correlations discussed and the category in which they belong are

listed below.

Vertical Flow Correlation

Poettmann and Carpenter11

Baxendell and Thomas2

Fancher and Brown6

Hagedorn and Brown8

Duns and Ros5

Orkiszewski10

Aziz,Govier and Fogarasi1

Chierici, Ciucci and Sclocehi4

Beggs and Brill3

Category

a.

a.

a.

b.

c.

c.

c.

c.

c.

Flow Patterns or regimes frequently encountered in vertical two-phase flow are

shown in Fig. 3.1. Most investigators who consider flow regimes define four

regimes which may occur in a vertical pipe. Although different names are given

these regimes, most of the methods discussed in this section use essentially the same

descriptions for these four flow regimes. The names and descriptions given by

Orkiszewski will be used in this discussion. A brief description of the manner in

which the fluids are distributed in the pipe for each flow regime is given.

Bubble Flow

The pipe is almost completely filled with liquid and the free gas phase is present

in small bubbles. The bubbles move at different velocities and except for their

density, have little effect on the pressure gradient. The wall of the pipe is always

contacted by the liquid phase.

Slug Flow

The gas phase is more pronounced. Although the liquid phase is still continuous,

the gas bubbles coalesce and form plugs or slugs which almost fill in the pipe cross

section. The gas bubble velocity is greater than that of the liquid. The liquid in the

film around the bubble may move downward at low velocities. Both the gas and

liquid have significant effects on the pressure gradient.

Transition Flow

The change from a continuous liquid phase to a continuous gas phase occurs. The

gas bubbles may join and liquid may be entrained in the bubbles. Although the

liquid effects are significant, the gas phase effects are predominant.

Mist Flow

The gas phase is continuous and the bulk of the liquid is entrained as droplets in

the gas phase. The pipe wall is coated with a liquid film, but the gas phase

predominantly controls the pressure gradient.

Boundaries for the various flow regimes may be defined differently for different

investigators. A typical vertical two-phase flow regime map is shown in Fig. 3.2.

The three correlations considered in this category are based on the same

approach and differ only in the correlation presented for friction factor. The basic

equation for calculating a pressure gradient at given conditions of pressure and

temperature is

f v

dp

g

n n m 3.3

dZ g c

2gc d

2

Poettmann and Carpenter preferred to base the equation on a total mass flow

rate. The equation and units given below are identical to their original equation

except for the constant in the denominator, which has been modified to a DarcyWeisbach or Moody equation rather than a Fanning equation for friction loss.

dp

1 g

fw2

n

..3.4

11

5

dZ 144 g c

2.9652 x10 n d

Where

dp

= pressure gradient, psi/ft

dZ

n = no-slip density, lbm/ft3

w = total mass flow rate, lbm/ day

d = I.D. of tubing, ft

f = two-phase friction factor, dimensionless

In each method the friction factor was correlated empirically with the

numerator of the Reynolds number. The friction factor correlations for the methods of

Poettmann and Carpenter, Baxendall and Thomas and Fancher and Brown are show in

Figures 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5. Since the numerator of the Reynolds number is not

dimensionless, units must be specified for the abscissa in the graphs. For the graphs

presented in Figures 3.3, 3.4 and 3.5, the units for abscissa are lbm/ft-sec.

In the Fancher and Brown correlation the three curves for gas-liquid ratio can

be considered to represent gas-liquid ratios for 1500, 2250 and 3000 for interpolation

purposes.

Given

Vsg = 4.09 ft/sec

VsL = 2.65 ft/sec

d = 0.249 ft

P = 720 psia

L 56.6 lbm/cu ft

g 2.84 lbm/cu ft

wm = 7.87 lbm/sec

1. Determine no-slip density

VsL

2.56

2.65

0.393

V sLVsg 2.65 4.09 6.74

g 1 L 0.607

vd 23.976.74.249 40.23

From Fig. 3.3, f = 0.021

0.0217.87 86400

dp

fw 2

n

23

.

97

5

dZ

2.9652 x1011 d 5

2.9652 x101123.97 0.249

2

dp

lbf

23.97 1.43 25.40 3 0.176 psi / ft

dZ

ft

Category b Correlation

The only correlation discussed in this category is that the Hagedorn and

Brown. This correlation was developed from data obtained from a 1500-ft

experimental well. The liquid holdup was not measured but was calculated to

satisfy the measured pressure gradient after the pressure gradients due to friction

and acceleration were accounted for. The liquid holdup is not a true measure of

the portion of the pipe occupied by liquid but is merely a correlating parameter.

Two-Phase Density

In order to calculate the pressure gradient component due to elevation change

a value of liquid holdup must be determined. Calculation of holdup involves three

correlations, two of which are correction factors for liquid viscosity. Several

dimensionless correlating parameters which must be used are given below. These

equations include constants which make them dimensionally consistent when

common oil field units are used.

N Lv 1.938VsL 4 L / L

N gv 1.938Vsg 4 L / L

N d 120.872d L / L

Where

VsL = ft/sec

Vsg = ft/sec

L

L

= lbm/ft3

= dynes/ cm

= cp

d = ft

When the liquid stream includes both oil and water, the liquid properties are

weighted in the following manner.

L o f o w f w

.. Eqn. 1.25

L o f o w f w . Eqn. 1.40

L o f o w f w

. Eqn. 1.37

Where:

fo

qo

qw

, fw

1 f o . Eqn. 1.26

qo q w

qo q w

These dimensionless numbers for any set of consistent units were defined by Ros

as :

N LV VsL 4

N gV Vsg 4

Nd d

N L L 4

L

g

L

g

L g

L 3

The correlation for liquid holdup divided by a secondary correction factor is shown in

Fig. 3.6

H

H L L . The correlating function requires a value of CNL which is

correlated with NL in Fig 3.7. The secondary correction factor correlation is shown in

Fig. 3.8. Once a value for liquid holdup has been determined from Figures 3.6, 3.7 and

3.8., the pressure gradient caused by elevation change is calculated from

g

dp

L H L g 1 H L 3.5

dZ

gc

el

Friction Factor

The pressure gradient component due to friction is given by

Where

This equation can be written in terms of mass flow rate by multiplying and dividing by

the square of the pipe area. This gives

Where

w = mass flow rate, lbm/day

d = pipe inside diameter, ft, and

f = two-phase friction factor

The two-phase friction factor is correlated with a two-phase Reynolds number using a

standard Moody diagram, Fig. 3.9. The Reynolds number is calculated from

Or

Where

And

Acceleration Term

The pressure gradient due to acceleration is given by

Where

If we define Ek as

Given

1. Determine liquid holdup and two-phase density.

Determine CNL from Fig. 3.7 for NL = 0.08 to be 0.0055 to determine

N LV p 0.10 CN

L

N 0.575 p a N d

gV

HL

, calculate

H

From Fig. 3.6, L = 0.520

To determine , calculate

N gv N L

From fig.3.8 = 1

HL

or :

HL

HL

Nd

0.38

2.14

0.38

9.290.08

41.342.14

0.00124

0.5201 0.520

0.520

HL

0.520

1

H L 0.520

s 30.79lbm / cu ft

g

dp

s 30.79lbf / cu ft

dZ

g

el

c

N RE

1488 n v m d

1

1

( L v sL g v sg )

(56.6)(2.65) (2.84)(4.09)

vm

6.74

n 23.98lbm / cu ft

dp dp

lbf

psi

dp

3079 1.11 31.9 3 0.222

dZ dZ el dZ f

ft

ft

Category c Correlations

All of the methods in this category essentially used the three flow regimes discussed

in section 3.3, except for the Beggs and Brill method. Some of the studies involved only a

change in calculation procedure in one or more flow regimes from previously published

methods. For example the Orkiszewski method presents new correlations for the slug

flow regime only. The correlations used in the other flow regimes were taken from

previously published work. Each method is discussed separately and the correlations for

liquid holdup or mixture density, friction factor and acceleration term are given for each

flow regime. The limits for determining which flow regime exists are given also.

Duns and Ros

The Duns and Ros correlation is a result of an extensive laboratory study in which

liquid holdup and pressure gradients were measured. Correlations were developed slip

velocity (from which holdup can be calculated) and friction factor for each of three flow

regimes (Fig 3.1). The flow regimes are defined as functions of the dimensionless

quantities Ngv, NLv, L1, L2, Ls, Lm and Nd where

L1 and L2 are functions of Nd as shown if Fig 3.11. Duns and Ros presented correlations

for a dimensionless slip velocity from which actual slip velocity and liquid holdup can be

calculated using the following equations:

Where

v s vm [(vm v s ) 2 4v s v sL ]1 / 2

HL

2v s

..3.17

The procedure for calculating the pressure gradient due to elevation is:

1. Calculate the dimensionless slip velocity S, using the appropriate correlation.

The correlation for S is different for each flow regime.

2. Solve Eq. 3.15 for slip velocity, vs.

3. Calculate the liquid holdup, HL using Eq. 3.17.

H (1 H L ).

s

L

L

g

5. Calculate the pressure gradient due to elevation change,

g

dp

s 3.18

dZ el g c

Bubble Flow

Two-Phase Density

F1 and F2 are given in Fig. 3.12. They are functions of the liquid viscosity number

NL. F3 can be obtained from:

Friction Factor

f v v

dp

m L SL m

2g c d

dZ f

. 3.21

From experimental data Duns and Ros arrived at the following equation for fm :

f1 is obtained from a Moody diagram (Fig. 3.9) as function of the Reynolds number of

the liquid:

The factor f2 is a correction for the in-situ gas liquid ratio, and is given in the Fig. 3.13 as

2/3

. The factor f3 is considered by Duns and Ros

as additional correction factor for both liquid viscosity and in-situ gas gas-liquid ratio and

becomes important for viscosities greater than approximately 50 centistokes. It is

calculated from

Acceleration Term

The acceleration term was considered to be negligible in the bubble flow regime.

Slug Flow

Two-Phase Density

3.25

F5, F6 and F7 are found in Fig. 3.14 as a function of the liquid viscosity number, NL, and

3.26

Friction Factor

The pressure gradient due to friction in this flow regime is calculated using the procedure

given for bubble flow.

Acceleration Term

The acceleration term was considered to be negligible in the slug flow regime.

MIST FLOW

Two-Phase Density

Duns and Ros assumed that with the high gas flow rates in the mist flow region the slip

velocity was zero. Therefore, the mixture density is the no-slip density and is calculated

from

Friction Factor

In the region, the friction term is based on the gas phase only. The

Since there is no slip, the friction factor is that given in a Moody diagram, but as a

function of Reynolds number of the gas

Duns and Ros noted that the wall roughness of the mist flow affecting by the film

of liquid on the wall of the pipe. The ripples of the wall film cause a drag on the gas. This

process is governed by a form of the Weber number:

and is also affected by the liquid viscosity. This influence was accounted for making Nwe

a function of a dimensionless number containing liquid viscosity,

L2

N

L L

3.31

The function relationship is shown Fig. 3.15 where the coordinates are Nwe vs. Nwe

N .

The value of roughness may be very small but the

than the value for the pipe itself. At the transition zone to slug flow, / d may

approach 0.5. Between these limits, / d can be obtained from the following equations

which were developed from Fig 3.15

Where

= gas density, lbm/ft3,

v sg

d = pipe diameter, ft

Values of f for the mist flow regime may be found for

As the wave height on the pipe walls increase, the actual area through which the

suggested that the prediction of friction loss could be refined by substitution of d- for

gas can flow is decreased, since the diameter open to flow of gas is d-

v sg d 2

d and

(d ) 2

, is iterative.

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