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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


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
Aziz,Govier and Fogarasi1
Chierici, Ciucci and Sclocehi4
Beggs and Brill3


3.3 Flow Regimes

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.

3.4 Category a Correlations

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

n n m 3.3
dZ g c
2gc d

for any consistent set of units.

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.

1 g

dZ 144 g c
2.9652 x10 n d

= pressure gradient, psi/ft
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

Example Problem by Poettman-Carpenter Method

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

Calculate the flowing pressure gradient at these conditions.

1. Determine no-slip density


V sLVsg 2.65 4.09 6.74

g 1 L 0.607

n L L g g 56.6.393 2.840.607 23.97lbm / cu. ft

2. Determine friction factor

vd 23.976.74.249 40.23
From Fig. 3.3, f = 0.021

3. Determine total pressure gradient

0.0217.87 86400
fw 2


2.9652 x1011 d 5
2.9652 x101123.97 0.249

23.97 1.43 25.40 3 0.176 psi / 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

Liquid Velocity Number

N gv 1.938Vsg 4 L / L

Gas Velocity Number

N d 120.872d L / L

Pipe Diameter Number

N L 0.15726 L 4 1 / L L3 Liquid Viscosity Number

VsL = ft/sec
Vsg = ft/sec


= 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



, 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 3

The correlation for liquid holdup divided by a secondary correction factor is shown in
Fig. 3.6

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

L H L g 1 H L 3.5


Friction Factor
The pressure gradient component due to friction is given by


This equation can be written in terms of mass flow rate by multiplying and dividing by
the square of the pipe area. This gives

The expression given by Hagedorn and Brown was

w = mass flow rate, lbm/day

= density based on liquid holdup, lbm/ft3

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




Acceleration Term
The pressure gradient due to acceleration is given by


If we define Ek as

The total pressure gradient can be calculated from

Example Problem by Hagedorn- Brown Method


Neglecting acceleration, calculate the flowing pressure gradient at these conditions,

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

N 0.575 p a N d


, calculate

6.02 720 0.10 0.0055

9.290.575 14.7 41.34 1.67 1.4760.00013 0.00032

From Fig. 3.6, L = 0.520

To determine , calculate

N gv N L

From fig.3.8 = 1

or :










0.5201 0.520



H L 0.520

s L H L g (1 H L ) (56.5)(.520) 2.84(1 .520) 29.43 1.36

s 30.79lbm / cu ft
s 30.79lbf / cu ft



2. Determine frictional term.


1488 n v m d

( L v sL g v sg )
(56.6)(2.65) (2.84)(4.09)

n 23.98lbm / cu ft

3. Calculate the total pressure gradient

dp dp

3079 1.11 31.9 3 0.222
dZ dZ el dZ f

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:


Solution of Eq. 3.16 for liquid holdup yields

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


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 ).

4. Calculate the mixture density,

5. Calculate the pressure gradient due to elevation change,

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:

Where F3 and F4 are also obtained from Fig. 3.12

Friction Factor

f v v

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

function of the group f1 (v sg / v sL ) N d

. 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


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


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.

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

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,



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

/ d never becomes smaller

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


= gas-liquid interfacial tension, dynes/cm

= gas density, lbm/ft3,

v sg

= superficial gas velocity, ft/sec, and

d = pipe diameter, ft
Values of f for the mist flow regime may be found for

/ d > 0.05 from

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

. Duns and Ros

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

for vsg throughout the calculation of friction gradient. In this case

the determination of roughness,

, is iterative.