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Flow Assurance Master Class

Nihâl Güler-Quadir, PhD

Principal Consultant, EICE International Inc.
What is Flow Assurance?

Economic Justification

Maintain Environmental Footprint

production Operational Safety

reliably, Design Operations Optimization

Conceptual Surveillance Design

economically Detailed Monitoring Operations

and safely FEED Diagnostics Control

from sandface Appraisal Remediation Planning

to processing Fluid Flow Heat Transfer Fluid Properties Chemical Treatment Integrated Analysis

facilities Multiphase Flow

Pipeline Network
Heavy Oil
Radial Conduction
Free Convection
Forced Convection
Black Oil Modeling
Vapor-Liquid Equilibria
PVT Analysis
Hydrate Inhibition
Wax Suppression
Reservoir Inflow
Nodal Analysis
Artificial Lift
Steam Injection Annulus Radiation Hydrate Prediction Corrosion Pressure Maintenance
CO2 Sequestration Wellbore Heating Wax Deposition Drag Reduction Integrated Asset Model
LNG & NGL Lines Pipeline Cooldown Asphaltene Water Treatment Well Testing
Transient Analysis Transient Analysis Water Analysis Asphaltene Inhibition Well Completion

The Challenge of Flow Assurance

14000 Hydrate Wax Operational Goals

Ensure uninterrupted flow 24x7x365 at target rates
Avoid operating in hydrate region for extended periods
Control wax deposition in pipeline
Limit asphaltene precipitation in well
12000 Manage impact of slugs on processing facilities

Design Objectives
10000 Adequate throughput capacity for life of field production
Pressure (psi)

Ability to monitor entire system from sandface to platform

Infrastructure in place to respond operationally


4000 Heating
Bubble Point

0 50 100 150 200 250

Temperature (°F)
Course Outline

Day 2 – Applying Flow Assurance Day 3 - Integrated Workflows

Day 1 –Basics of Flow Assurance
D. Thermodynamics H. Integrated Flow Assurance Analysis
Introduction •Single phase properties – oil, gas and water •Combining fluid flow, heat transfer and
•Introductions •Black oil and empirical models thermodynamics
•What is Flow Assurance •Compositional PVT analysis •Deepwater/subsea systems
•The Challenge (Operations and Design) •Hydrates, wax and asphaltenes prediction •Heavy oil transport
•Course Overview •Scales •Drag reduction
•Monitoring and control
A. Fundamentals of Fluid Flow E. Transport Properties
•Single phase flow •Viscosity prediction methods I. Integrated Production Analysis
•One-dimensional momentum balance equation •Oil-water viscosity – emulsions •The economics of flow assurance
•The concept of friction factor •Other fluid properties •Reservoir decline – how it impacts production
•Pipeline transmission applications •Introduction to artificial lift methods
F. Heat Transfer Analysis •Integrated asset modeling – reservoir,
B. Multiphase Flow Fundamentals •conduction, convection and radiation production, process plant, economics
•Basic multiphase flow concepts •Heat transfer through composite layers
•Flow patterns, holdup and pressure drop •Wellbore heat transfer J. Flow Assurance Considerations in
•Horizontal and near-horizontal flow •Pipeline heat transfer Conceptual Design & Operations
•Vertical, inclined and downward flow •Wellbore and pipeline heating A hands-on session where participants will
learn to apply the concepts discussed in the
C. Multiphase Phenomena in Flow Assurance G. Transient Phenomena preceding sessions in a practical example
•Modeling multiphase flow behavior •Basic principles of single phase transient involving the creation of a field development
•Three-phase oil-gas-water flow flow plan for a hypothetical asset with particular
•Impact of multiphase flow on corrosion / erosion •Multiphase flow transients emphasis on the impact of flow assurance
•Hydrodynamic slugging •Pipeline startup, shut-in and blowdown issues on the overall design and operation.
•Terrain induced slugging

A. Fluid Flow Fundamentals

 Single phase flow

 One-dimensional momentum balance equation

 The concept of roughness and its influence on friction factor

 Pipeline transmission applications

Single Phase Flow

Type of Pipeline Primary Operating Consideration

Gas Gathering System Condensate, Water, Network
Gas Transmission Throughput, Compression
Gas Distribution Low Pressure Network
Refined Products Batch Movement
Heavy Oil Viscosity
Volatile Hydrocarbon PVT behavior

Key Flow Assurance Issues

• Hydraulics
analyze flow and predict pressure from fluid behavior
• Heat Transfer
analyze and predict temperature behavior
• Thermodynamics
how pressure and temperature impact fluid behavior

Momentum Balance
From the Law of Energy Conservation:

Potential Energy at A - Friction Loss in Potential Energy at B

+ Kinetic Energy at A Pipe = + Kinetic Energy at B

Total Pressure Gradient =

Pressure Gradient due to Friction (Frictional Loss)
+ Pressure Gradient due to Elevation (Potential Energy)
+ Pressure Gradient due to Velocity Change (Kinetic Energy)
where (with appropriate units):
frictional gradient = - f ρ v |v| / (2 gc D)
elevation gradient = - ρ g/ gc . Sin φ
kinetic energy gradient = - ρ v . dv/dL
is relatively small and generally ignored
(except for high velocity gradients, e.g. flare lines)

Example A1 – Pipeline Pressure Gradients
Determine the pressure at B, when the pressure at A is 1000 psi
D = 12 inch L = 10,000 ft
A v = 25 ft/sec
Φ = 5 deg
ρ = 5 lb/ft3
f = 0.01

1) friction gradient = - f ρ v |v| / (2 gc 12/12)

= - 0.01 * 5 * 252/ (2 * 32.2 * 1)
= - 0.49 (lbf/ft2) / ft
= - 0.49 / 144 (in^2/ft^2) = -3.37E-3 psi/ft
2) elevation gradient = - ρ g/ gc . Sin φ
= - 5 * sin(5) / 144 = -3.03 E-3 psi/ft
3) kinetic energy gradient = 0
4) Total pressure gradient = - 3.37E-3 - 3.03E-3 = -6.4E-3 psi/ft
5) Pressure at B = 1000 – 10000 * 6.4E-3 = 936 psi

Friction Factor

How to determine the friction factor term f in the frictional gradient:

frictional gradient = - f ρ v |v| / (2 gc D)

dimensionless Reynolds number:

Moody Chart: f = f(Re,Є/D) Re = v D ρ / (6.72E-4 * μ)
Note: multiplier is to convert viscosity from cp to lb/sec/ft

. Laminar Flow Region: 0 < Re < 2300

f = 64 / Re

• Turbulent Flow Region: Re > 4000

• Colebrook-White Equation:
f = 1 /(1.74 – 2 log (2 Є/D) + 18.7 / Re f0.5) 2
relative roughness = Є/D
• Jain’s eqn:
1/(f1/2) = 1.14-2 log(e/d+21.25/Re0.9)

Class Question: How do we handle the transition?

2300< Re < 4000

Example A2 – Friction Factor
Find the friction factor in a 12-inch gas transmission pipeline, given the following
data: v = 25 ft/sec, D = 12 inch, Є = 0.0018 inch, ρ = 5 lb/ft3, μ = 0.01 cp

1) Relative roughness Є/D = 0.0018 / 12 = 0.00015

2) Reynolds number Re = v (D/12) ρ / (6.72E-4 x μ)
= 25 x (12/12) x 5 / (6.72E-4 x 0.01) = 18,601,190
3) From Moody chart, friction factor f = 0.015 (estimate)

Alternate Numerical Method (Colebrook-White)

1) Set f’ = 0.015 as initial estimate for friction factor

2) Update f for next iteration from Colebrook-White equation:
f = 1 /(1.74 – 2 log (2 Є/D) + 18.7 / Re f0.5)2
= 1 / (1.74 – 2 log (2 x 0.00015) + 18.7 / 18601190 x √0.0185) 2
= 0.01302455
3) Repeat previous step with f’ = 0.01302455
4) Converge until error within tolerance (3 iterations, f=0.01302956)

Note: Colebrook-White generally converges within 2-3 iterations

Example A3 – Transition Zone Friction Factor

Determine the friction factor for a 12-inch heavy oil pipeline, given
the following :
v = 1 ft/sec, D = 12 inch, Є = 0.0018 inch, ρ = 60 lb/ft^3, μ = 30 cp

1) Relative roughness Є/D = 0.0018 / 12 = 0.00015

1) Reynolds number Re = v D ρ / (6.72E-4 x μ)

= 1 x (12/12) x 60 / (6.72E-4 x 30) = 2976 (transition)

2) From laminar flow model, friction factor f = 64 / Re = 0.021504

1) From Colebrook-White (or Moody chart), turbulent friction factor = 0.0438

2) From interpolation, weighted friction factor at transition = 0.03039

Note: Pipe roughness has minimal impact in transition zone

Symbol Definition

f Friction factor

ρ Density (lb/ft^3)

v Velocity (ft/sec)

gc Conversion factor (32.2 lbf-sec^2/lb-ft)

g Acceleration due to gravity (ft/sec^2)

D Pipe internal diameter (inch)

L Pipe length (ft)

dv/dL Velocity gradient (ft/sec^2)

P Pressure (psi)

dP/dL Pressure gradient (psi/ft)

μ Absolute viscosity (cp)

Є Absolute roughness (inch)

Re Reynolds number
B. Multiphase Flow Fundamentals

 Basic multiphase flow concepts

 Flow patterns, holdup and pressure drop

 Horizontal and near-horizontal flow

 Vertical, inclined and downward flow

Basic Concepts of Two-Phase Flow
Gas Phase (with Liquid Entrainment) AG
VG τi

VL τi
Liquid Phase (with Gas Bubbles) AL
Slippage = vG - vL Holdup HL = AL / (AL + AG)
Extending Single Phase Flow:
 New concept of holdup HL as the volumetric liquid phase fraction and HL ns as the no-slip

HL ns = qL / (qL + qG ) where qL and qG the phase volumetric flow rates at in situ conditions

 Significant slippage between phases (gas is faster, except for downhill flow)
HL > HL ns
 Frictional pressure gradient much higher (due to interfacial shear τi)
 Velocity of wave propagation is orders of magnitude slower
 Distribution of phases based on prevailing flow pattern (dependent on geometry, in situ rates,
fluid properties)
 Concept of superficial phase velocities:

vSL = qL / Area of Pipe = vL x HL

vSG = qG / Area of Pipe = vG x (1 - HL)

and Mixture Velocity, vm = vSL + vSG
Example B1: Multiphase Flow Parameters
Given an average holdup of 0.25, predict all relevant multiphase flow parameters
in a horizontal 3-inch ID flowline operating at a pressure of 147 psia and 100 deg
F producing 1000 BPD at a GOR of 1000 SCF/BBL. Use an average
compressibility factor of 0.9 and assume that none of the gas is in solution.
Area = π D2 / 4 = (3.14) x ( 3/12)2 /4= 0.049 ft2
QL = 1000 BPD x 5.615 (ft3/bbl) / 86400 (sec/day) = 0.065 ft3/sec @ Std conditions
Assuming incompressible liquid, qL= QL = 0.065 ft3/sec
QG = 1000 BPD x 1000 (SCF/bbl) / 86400 (sec/day) = 11.574 ft/sec @ Std conditions
qG = QG x Pstd / (P/z) x (T + 460) / (Tstd+ 460)
= 11.574 x (14.7 / (147/0.9)) x (460+100) / 520 = 1.122 ft3/sec
v SL = qL/ Area = 0.065 / 0.049 = 1.3 ft/sec
v SG = qG / Area = 1.122 / 0.049 = 17.3 ft/sec
HL ns = qL / (qL + qG ) = 0.065 / (0.065 + 1.122) = 0.055
vL = vSL / HL = 1.3 / 0.25 = 5.3 ft/sec
vG = vSG / (1 – HL) = 17.3 / 0.75 = 23 ft/sec

Slip = vG – vL = 17.7 ft/sec

Multiphase Flow Patterns
• Horizontal Flow
 Stratified (both Smooth and Wavy)
 Intermittent (Elongated Bubble and Slug)
 Dispersed Bubble
 Annular

 Vertical Flow
 Bubble (Bubbly and Dispersed Bubble)
 Intermittent (Slug & Churn)
 Annular

 Inclined Flow
 Upward Inclination (see Vertical Flow)
 Downward Inclination (see Horizontal Flow)

Flow pattern boundaries may vary significantly with even slight changes in inclination
angle. As such, empirical horizontal and vertical pattern maps are not suitable for
predicting flow patterns in a pipe or wellbore where the inclination deviates by even a few
degrees from vertical/horizontal. Computer-generated mechanistic models that rigorously
account for inclination (e.g. Barnea et al) are more appropriate for such predictions.

Horizontal Flow Patterns

Dispersed Bubble Flow

• at high rates in liquid dominated systems
• the flow is a frothy mixture of liquid and entrained gas bubbles
• flow is steady with few oscillations.
• also called as froth or bubble flow.

Stratified Flow
• at low flow rates the liquid and gas separated due to gravity Mandhane Map
• at low gas velocities the liquid surface is smooth, (stratified (Empirical)
• at higher gas velocities, the liquid surface becomes wavy, Dispersed


(stratified wavy, or wavy flow) Bubble,
• some liquid droplets might form in the gas phase. Elongated

Slug Flow Annular,


• at moderate gas and liquid velocities Mist


• alternating slugs of liquid and gas bubbles flow through the

Stratified Flow
pipeline. Wav
• Possible vibration problems, increased corrosion, and e
downstream equipment problems due to its unsteady behavior. w


• at high rates in gas dominated systems

• part of the liquid flows as a film around the pipe circumference
• the gas and remainder of the liquid (entrained droplets) flow in the
• of the pipe.
• the liquid film thickness asymmetric due to gravity also called as
16 annular-mist or mist flow..
Vertical Flow Patterns

Well Flow
Taitel-Dukler-Barnea Model
Vertical Pipe Flow Patterns
Superficial Liquid Velocity (m/s2)






Superficial Liquid
Gas Velocity
Velocity (m/s22)) 2)

Example B2: Predicting Flow Pattern

Find the prevailing multiphase flow pattern in a horizontal 3-inch ID flowline

operating at a pressure of 147 psia and 100 deg F producing 1000 BPD at a GOR
of 1000 SCF/BBL. Use an average compressibility factor of 0.9 and assume that
none of the gas is in solution.

 From inclination angle, determine appropriate prediction map to use
 Estimate in situ rates from standard production rates
 Compute superficial phase velocities
 Predict flow pattern from map

Area = 3.14 x (3 /12) 2 /4 = 0.049 ft2

Assuming incompressible liquid
qL = 1000 BPD x 5.615 (ft3/bbl) / 86400 (sec/day) = 0.065 ft3/sec

qG = 1000 BPD x 1000 (SCF/bbl) / 86400 (sec/day) x

(14.7 / (147/0.9)) x (460+100) / 520 = 1.122 ft3/sec

v SL = qL / Area = 0.065 / 0.049 = 1.122 ft/sec

v SG = qG / Area = 1.122 / 0.049 = 17.261 ft/sec

From Mandhane map (horizontal), flow pattern = SLUG

Pressure Gradient in Two-Phase Flow

Total Pressure Gradient =

Pressure Gradient due to Friction (Frictional Loss)
+ Pressure Gradient due to Elevation (Potential Energy)
+ Pressure Gradient due to Velocity Change (Kinetic Energy)

frictional gradient = - f TP ρ TP vTP |vTP| / (2 gc D)
elevation gradient = - ρs g/ gc . Sin φ
kinetic energy gradient = - ρTP v TP . dv TP /dL

The new two-phase flow terms introduced are:

slip-weighted mixture density (based on holdup correlation):
ρs = ρL . HL + (1 – HL) ρG
two-phase density, friction factor and velocity:
ρTP , fTP , vTP which are all dependent on the pressure drop
calculation method (correlation)

Multiphase Flow Correlations
(from Chevron Pipeline Design Manual)

 Pressure Drop
 Near Horizontal General Modeling Guidelines
 Low GOR - Beggs & Brill
 Gas/Condensate
 High Velocity – Eaton-Oliemans  Liquid holdup accuracy requires detailed pipeline elevation profile
 Low Velocity – None
 Near Vertical  Flow pattern-dependent mechanistic analysis is required for
 Gas/Condensate – Gray, Hagedorn & Brown accurate holdup prediction
 Gas/Oil - Hagedorn & Brown
 Inclined Up - Beggs & Brill (fair)  Pressure profile is dependent on holdup accuracy (elevation
 Inclined/Vertical Down – None (Beggs & Brill with caution) gradient)

 Liquid Holdup  Kinetic energy losses generally negligible (except low

 Near Horizontal pressure/high velocity)
 Low GOR - Beggs and Brill
 Gas/Condensate – none (Eaton better than  Choice of correlation should be based on a range of factors
others) including geometry, fluid characteristics and field history
 Near Vertical
 Gas/Condensate – no slip  Mechanistic correlations (OLGAS, Tulsa) generally scale up better
 Gas/Oil - Hagedorn and Brown
 Inclined Up  Rigorous 3-phase analysis may be required for low velocity flow
 Low GOR - Beggs and Brill with significant water cut
 Gas/Condensate
 High Velocity – none (use no slip)
 Other – none (use Beggs & Brill with
 Inclined/Vertical Down – none (Beggs & Brill with caution)

 Flow Patterns
 Near Horizontal – Taitel-Dukler (except Dispersed-Bubble
boundary where a fixed VSL = 10 ft/sec is recommended)
 Near Vertical – Taitel-Dukler-Barnea

Symbol Definition
VL , VG Phase velocities (ft/sec)

VSL , VSG Superficial phase velocities (ft/sec)

HL Liquid Holdup

HL ns No slip holdup

qL, qG in situ volumetric flow rates (ft3/sec)

τi, τwL, τwG Shear at interface / pipe wall (psi/ft)

hL Height of liquid level

AL , AG Cross-sectional area for phase

Subscript Definition
L, G, O, W Liquid, Gas, Oil, Water
i, w Interface, wall
std Standard conditions (60 °F, 14.7 psia)
TP Two-phase

ns No slip

m mixture

C. Multiphase Phenomena in Flow Assurance

 Modeling multiphase flow behavior

 Three-phase oil-gas-water flow

 Impact of multiphase flow on corrosion / erosion

 Slugging phenomena

Modeling Multiphase Flow Behavior
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Inlet Data: Outlet Data:

Temperature, Fluid Characterization Pressure or Flow Rate Boundary
Pressure or Flow Rate Boundary

 All flow correlation employ a 3-step approach

 Establish Flow Pattern
 Determine Holdup
 Calculate Pressure Drop
 Empirical vs. Mechanistic correlations
 Empirical correlations are primarily regression-based
 Mechanistic models are based on physics + data
 To model flow behavior in a pipe (or well)
 Input Data
 pipe geometry (diameter, length, elevation profile)
 Fluid characteristics (oil, gas & water gravities)
 Phase ratios (water cut, GOR)
 Specified boundary conditions may be:
 Pressure at inlet and Flow Rate at Outlet
 Pressure at both ends
 Flow Rate at Inlet and Pressure at Outlet
 Calculation Procedure is Sequential and Iterative
 Pipe divided into Segments Distance Along Pipeline, X
 Temperature traverse calculations in parallel
 Fluid properties (e.g. density, viscosity at every segment)
 Results: pressure, holdup, flow pattern, temperature and phase properties at every
pipe segment
23 Network models (e.g. gathering system) are significantly more complex
Uncertainties in Multiphase Flow Modeling
Why will the computed pressure drop for Path 2 ALWAYS be greater?

Path 1

Path 2

Common Uncertainties:
 Flow pattern boundaries are not fully understood (and “blurry”)
 Holdup predictions do not scale up well for large diameter pipes
 Pressure drop error could be as high as 20 percent
 Errors greater for rough terrain, extreme velocities (high or low)

What Can be Done:

 Define elevation profile in as much detail as possible
 Define fluid accurately
 use measurements (where available), e.g. bubble point, viscosity
 Use correlations as appropriate for the situation (pipeline geometry, field
history, applicability)
 Validate, validate, validate
 leverage available data and past history to adjust model
Three-Phase Flow Analysis
Two-Phase Flow
Gas Phase (with Liquid Entrainment)
VG τi
VL τi
Combined Oil + Water Liquid Phase (with Gas Bubbles) hL
Slippage = VG - VL Holdup HL = AL / (AL + AG)
Rigorous Three-Phase Flow
Gas Phase (with Oil and Water Entrainment)
VG τi
VO τi
Oil Phase (with Gas Bubbles and Entrained Water Droplets)
Water Phase (with Gas Bubbles and Entrained Oil Droplets) τwL
Slippage (gas-oil) = VG – VO Holdup HL = AL / (AL +
Slippage (oil-water) = VO - VW AG)
Water Fraction HLW = AOW / AL
 Rigorous 3-phase flow analysis is an order of magnitude more complex
 Most analysis methods tend to lump oil and water into a common
homogeneous liquid phase with no slippage between oil and water
 When segregation does occur, water fraction in the liquid phase
Note: When segregation occurs, the water fraction in the liquid phase may
be several times higher than the water cut of the produced fluid. Why?
Example C1: Three-Phase Flow
Example B1: Given an average holdup of 0.25, predict all relevant multiphase
flow parameters in a horizontal 3-inch ID flowline operating at a pressure of 147
psia and 100 deg F producing 1000 BPD at a GOR of 1000 SCF/BBL. Use an
average compressibility factor of 0.9 and assume that none of the gas is in
Extend your original analysis (in Example B1) to the three-phase flow scenario where there is segregation
between oil and water, assuming a produced water cut of 10 percent and the volumetric fraction of the water
being 40 percent of the total liquid phase.
From Example B1 (two-phase)
HL = 0.25
Pipe Area = 0.049 ftt2
qL = 0.065 ft3/sec
qG = 1.122 ft3/sec
v SG = qG / Area = 1.122 / 0.049 = 17.3 ft/sec
HL ns = qL / (qL + qG ) = 0.065 / (0.065 + 1.122) = 0.055
VG = VSG / (1 – HL) = 17.3 / 0.75 = 23 ft/sec

With Oil-Water Segregation:

Water Cut, FW = 0.10
Water Fraction HLW = 0.40

v SO = qL * (1 - FW) / Area = 0.065 * 0.9 / 0.049 = 1.19 ft/sec

v SW = qL * FW / Area = 0.065 * 0.1 / 0.049 = 0.13 ft/sec
VO = VSO / HL / (1-HLW) = 1.19 / 0.25 / 0.6 = 7.95 ft/sec
VW = VSW / HL / HLW = 0.13 / 0.25 / 0.4 = 1.32 ft/sec

Slip G-O = VG – VO = 15.1 ft/sec

Slip O-W = VO – VW = 6.62 ft/sec

Factors Impacting Corrosion / Erosion

 Corrosion risk is higher when:

 Produced gas is sour (definition: partial pressure of H2S and CO2 > 0.05)
 > 0.5 percent mole fraction for 1000 psi system pressure
 Water volume is high
 Water velocity is low
 Low lying areas of water accumulation are at highest risk

 Flow regime dependency

 Stratified Flow – corrosion damage can occur at low water velocity
 Slug Flow – high shear increases corrosion rate and reduces inhibitor
 Annular Flow – high velocity combined with sand accelerates erosion/corrosion

 Separation of aqueous phase increases corrosion risk

 Higher water volume in line (e.g. 10% water cut has 40% volume)
 Lower water velocity (from 5.3 ft/sec to 1.3 ft/sec)

 Erosional (maximum) mixture velocity:

Vm,max = 100 / ρns(0.5)

27 ρns = ρL . HL + (1 – HL) ρG
Hydrodynamic Slugging
Hydrodynamic slugs are generated at moderate liquid and gas rates (see flow pattern
map) and are a common occurrence in most multiphase flowlines.
Slug Length Prediction
A. Prudhoe Bay Model (Brill et al)
Mean slug length (ft) is given by:

ln(Lm) = - 2.663 + 5.441 (ln(D) 0.5 + 0.059 ln(Vm) (16-in 1979)

ln(Lm) = - 3.579 + 7.075 (ln(D) 0.5 + 0.059 ln(Vm) – 0.7712 ln(D) (16+24-in 1981)

log normal distribution predicted

B. Hill & Wood (BP 1990)

1) Calculate Lockhart-Martinelli parameter
X = (VSL / VSG )0.9 x (ρL / ρ G ) 0.4 x (μL / μG )0.1
2) Estimate holdup from X using Taitel-Dukler stratified model (see Figure)

Liquid Holdup
3) Determine gas and liquid phase velocities from holdup

4) Determine slug frequency (slug/hr) from:

Fs = 2.74 HLst x (VG – VL) / (D/12) / (1 – HLst)

To calculate Slug Frequency from Slug Length (or vice versa):

1) Estimate liquid holdup in slug HL,slug using Gregory-Nicholson-Aziz equation n:

HL,slug = 1 / (1 =1/(1+ (Vm / 28.4) )) X
2) Assume liquid holdup in bubble HL,bubble to be approx 20 percent (Lockhart-Martinelli parameter)
3) From material balance, slug factor (ratio of slug length to total slug + bubble length):
SF = (HL - HL,bubble) / (HL,slug - HL,bubble)
4) Slug Length is given by: Ls = SF x Vm / (Fs / 3600)

28 Rule of Thumb: Longest slug (for facilities design) = 6 x Mean Slug

Example C2: Slug Size and Frequency
The following data are available for a 10 inch horizontal pipeline operating in the slug flow regime:
average holdup = 50 percent, vSL = 3 ft/sec, vSG = 6 ft/sec. Predict the mean slug length and slug
Fluid properties: liquid density = 55 lb/ft3, liquid viscosity = 6 cp
gas density = 2 lb/ft3 gas viscosity = .01 cp
Mixture Velocity, vm = 3 + 6 = 9 ft/sec

From Prudhoe Bay Model (1980), average slug length

Liquid Holdup
Lm = exp(- 3.579 + 7.075 (ln(D)) 0.5+ 0.059 ln(Vm) – 0.7712 ln(D)) = 247 ft

From Hill & Wood (BP) Model:

X = X = (VSL / VSG )0.9 (ρL / ρ G ) 0.4 (μL / μG ) 0.1 = 3.84

From chart in preceding slide, Taitel-Dukler stratified model holdup HLst@ X=3.84 is 0.68
Liquid velocity when stratified = vL / HLst = 3 / 0.68 = 4.41 ft/sec
Gas velocity when stratified = 6 / (1 – 0.68) = 18.75 ft/sec
Slug frequency, Fs = 2.74 HLst x (18.75 – 4.41) / (D/12) / (1 – HLst) = 100 slug/hr
Calculate Slug frequency/length: parameter)
HL,slug = 1/(1+ (Vm / 28.4)1.39)) = 1 / (1 + (9/ 28.4)1.39) = 0.83
HL,bubble = 0.2 (assumed liquid hold up in the bubble)

Slug Factor = (HL - HL,bubble) / (HL,slug - HL,bubble) = (0.5 – 0.2) / (0.83 – 0.2) = 0.47

Mean slug length (for Hill & Wood model) Ls = 0.47 x 9 / (100 / 3600) = 154 ft

Slug Frequency (for Brill et al Prudhoe Bay model) = 3600 * 0.47 * 9 / 247 = 62 slug/hr

Symbol Definition

HLW Volumetric water fraction in liquid phase

Lm Mean slug length

Vm,max Maximum mixture velocity (erosional velocity)

ρns No slip mixture density

X Lockhart Martinelli parameter

HLst Liquid holdup when flow is stratified

HL,slug Liquid holdup in slug

HL,bubble Liquid holdup in bubble (during slug flow)

Fs Slug frequency (slug/hr)

SF Slug Fraction = slug length / (slug length + bubble length)

D. Thermodynamics

 Single component properties

 Black oil and empirical models

 Compositional PVT analysis

 Hydrates, Wax and Asphaltenes prediction and mitigation

Single Component (Average) Properties for
Oil, Gas, and Water
To be able to solve the oil or gas problems, pressure-volume-
temperature (PVT) relationships and physical properties of gases, and
liquids are essential.
To get these properties, one can define a multi-component fluid system
compositionally, or just as Liquid, Gas, and Water mixture based on the
overall measurable data.

• Apparent molecular weight

• Specific gravity,
• Compressibility factor, z
• Density,
• Specific volume, v
• Isothermal gas compressibility coefficient, cg
• Vapor- Liquid Equilibrium
• Gas formation volume factor, Bg
• Gas expansion factor, Eg
• Oil Formation Volume Factor, Bo

The Gas Oil Ratio, and Water Cut are easy to measure in the field.

Ideal Gas Law
p = absolute pressure, psia
V = volume, ft3
T = absolute temperature, °R
n = number of moles of gas, lb-mole
R = the universal gas constant which, for the above units, has the
value 10.730 psia ft3/lb-mole °R

n = m/ MW
PV = ( m / MW ) R T
m = weight of Gas, lb
MW = Molecular Weight of the Gas
ρg = m / V = (P MW) / (R T)
ρg = Density of gas, lb/ft3

Volume of 1 mol Ideal Gas at Standard Conditions, ( Vsc )

at Psc = 14.7 psia, Tsc = 60 °F = 520 °R

Vsc = n R Tsc / Psc = (1) (10.73)(520)/ (14.7)

Vsc = 379.4 scf/lb-mol

Real Gas

• At a very low pressure, the ideal gas relationship gives reasonable

results – 2-3 %
• At higher pressures, the use of the ideal gas Lawte may lead to errors
as great as 500%

• Therefore to express the relationship between the variables P, V, and T,

more accurately, the z-factor, is introduced.


z = V / Videal = V / ( (n R Tact) / Pact )

Black Oil and Empirical Models

Black Oil Model is where the phase behavior of the mixture is based on
experimentally derived prediction methods of gas and liquid phases for
bubble point pressure, solution GOR, FVF, and viscosity.

• The relative gravity of the oil, gas, and water phase are required.
• All three phase gravities has to be known even if they are not expected to be
present in the mixture.

Empirical Models predict the fluid properties that will define the behavior of
the fluid mixture with changes in Pressure and Temperature.

• Gas Compressibility
• Solution Gas Oil Ratio
• Oil, Water Formation Volume Factor
• Gas, Oil densities
• Gas, Oil Viscosities

Gas Compressibility

Gas Compressibility z-factor = f(SG, T, P)

• Standing-Katz
Tpr= T/Tpc where Tpc = Σ (yi*Tci)
Ppr= P/Ppc where Ppc = Σ (yi*Pci)

• Hall-Yarborough (wet and dry gas)

z = [ 0.06125 Ppr t/ Y ] exp [ -1.2 (1 –t )2 ]

where Ppr = pseudo-reduces pressure

t = reciprocal of the pseudo-reduced temperature, i.e., Tpc / T
Y = the reduced density that can be obtained as the solution of
the following equation:

F(Y) = X1 +[( Y + Y2 + Y3 + Y4 ) / ( 1-Y)3 ] – (X2) Y2 + (X3) YX4 = 0

where X1 = - 0.06125 Pprt exp [ -1.2 (1-t)2 ]

X2 = ( 14.76 t – 9.76 t2 + 4.58 t3 )
X3 = ( 90.7 t – 242.2 t2 + 42.4 t3 )
X4 = ( 2.18 + 2.82 t )

• Contaminants such as CO2 or H2S may be

defined to modify the z-factor.
i.e. Witcher-Aziz Correction
T’pc = T pc – ε

P’pc = PpcT’pc / (T pc + B (1-B) ε)

ε = 120 [ A0.9 – A1.6 + 15 (B0.5 – B)4.0 ]

Example D1 – Gas Thermodynamic Properties
Determine the following properties for the natural gas with the given composition.
Mol Weight and critical Temperature and Pressure data is also supplied from Pure
Component Data tables.
Component y M Tc Pc
C1 0.790 16.04 343.34 667.00
C2 0.007 30.07 550.07 707.80
C3 0.004 44.10 665.93 615.00
N2 0.012 28.01 227.52 492.80
CO2 0.017 44.01 547.73 1070.00
H2s 0.170 34.08 672.40 1300.00
Total 1.000

1) Calculate the Specific Gravity of the gas.


2) Using the Standing-Katz Gas Compressibility Chart, find the

z-factor for the gas at 90 °F and 1200 psia. ( ignore
z-factor = 0.75
3) Update the z-factor for the contaminants
z-factor = 0.82
4) Calculate gas density at 90 °F and 1200 psia. Use the
Engineering EOS
ρg=5 lb/cuft

Procedure for Predicting Gas Compressibility
 Calculate the Apparent Molecular Weight of the gas Mg =Σ (yi*Mi) 19.93 lb/lb-mol
 Calculate the Specific Gravity of the gas SGg Mg / Mair 0.688
 Calculate the Pseudo Critical temperature Tpc = Σ (yi*Tci) 404 °F
 Calculate the Pseudo Critical Pressure Ppc = Σ (yi*Pci) 779 psia
 Calculate the Pseudo Reduced Temperature Tpr = T/Tpc
1.36 °F
 Calculate the Pseudo Reduced Temperature Ppr = P/Ppc 1.54 psia
 Read the corresponding Compressibility Factor from
the Standing and Katz Chart z-factor 0.75

 Check if the sour gas contains more than % 5 contaminants

 sum the mol fraction of H2Sand CO2
 If more than % 5, calculate the Adjustment Factor, ε,
for the contaminants ε= 120*(A0.9-A1.6)+15*(B0.5-B4.0 ) 40.9 °F

A=(yH2S+yco2) 0.187
= yH2S 0.17
 Calculate the Adjusted Pseudo Critical Temperature T’pc = Tpc- ε 363 °F
 Calculate the Adjusted Pseudo Critical Pressure P’pc = (Ppc* T’pc)/(Tpc+B(1-B)*ε 690.6 psia
 Recalculate the Pseudo Reduced Temperature and
the Pseudo Reduced Pressure using the adjusted Pseudo Critical T and P
T’pr 1.51 °F
P’pr 1.75 psia
 Read the Gas Compressibility Factor from
38 the Standing and Katz chart z-factor 0.82
Solution Gas Oil Ratio
• Solution Gas Oil Ratio (Rs )
The bubble point pressure equation is reversed to solve for the solution gas oil ratio.
When oil is reaches to surface conditions some natural gas to come out of solution due to the P
and T change. The gas/oil ratio (GOR) is defined as the ratio of the volume of gas that comes out of
solution, to the volume of oil at standard conditions.
A point to check is whether the volume of oil is measured before or after the gas comes out of
solution, since the oil volume will shrink when the gas comes out.
In fact gas coming out of solution and oil volume shrinkage will happen at many stages of the flow
while the hydrocarbon stream from reservoir through the wellbore and processing plant to export.

• Pb = f(Rs, γg, T, γo)

• Lasater
for Rs≤Rp Rs = [ (379.3*35*ϒo,,sc)/Mo]/[ϒg /(1-ϒg ] ( suggested for °API>15
• Standing
for P≥1000 Rs = ( ϒg*(P*X)1.20482/ (18)1.20482 ( suggested for °API<15
for P<1000 Rs = ϒg*[X(P/13.36)0.93023 ]1.24082
where X = 10(1.0125API-0.00091T)

• Vazquez-Beggs
for API≤30 Rs =SG*(P1.0937)1011.172A
for API>30 Rs =SG*(P1.187 )1010.393A

where A= API/(T+460)
Oil and Water Formation Volume Factor
 Oil Formation Volume Factor ( Bo)
 Standing
for P < Pb Bo = 0.972 + 0.000147 * F1.175 + C

where F= Rs*(γg0.5 / γo sc ) + 1.25* T

 Glaso

 Vazquez-Beggs
for P < Pb and API ≤30 Bo = 1+4.67x 10-4* 0.175 D*10-4 -1.8106RsD*10-8
for P > Pb and API >30 Bo = 1+4.67x 10-4* 0.175 D*10-4 -1.8106RsD*10-8

where D=(T-60)API / SG

 Water Formation Volume Factor ( Bw) Computed from water densities

Example D2 – Liquid Phase Density

Determine the liquid phase density for a 3 phase mixture given the
following data.

2200 psia and 190 °F.(Use Standing correlations)

Oil gravity= 30 ° API

Gas Gravity= .85 Water Cut = 10%

Assume oil formation volume factor is 1.2 and Rs is 100 scf/stb at insitu

SGoil= 0.876

ρLIQ = 48.11lb/cuft

Composional PVT Analysis
Not only the properties of oil, gas, and water, but also the phase behavior
changes with the changes in Pressure and Temperature. The phase behavior
will determine the condensation or the evaporation of the phases, hence
determine the vapor-liquid split and the thermodynamic properties of the

Compositional PVT analysis predicts the properties of the Hydrocarbon

Water mixture based on the equilibrium, enthalpy, and property correlations.
Flash calculations are based on the Equation of State to decide for the phase
separation., i.e.:
 Peng-Robinson
 Suave-Redlich-Kwong

Multiple Component Phase Diagram

Example D3 – Liquid Fraction

Determine the Liquid Fraction of the HC mixture from the given Phase
Diagram at the following conditions:

1) at 625 °F and 4000 0 mol %

10 mol %
2) At 425 °F and 2250
psia 20 mol %

3) At 175 °F and 1000 20 mol %


4) At 100° F and 500



 Gas Hydrates are formed by the C1, C2, CO2, H2S at ≈ P>166 psi

 Formation of Hydrates require three conditions:

 the right combination of P and T; favored by low T, above 32 °F and high P
 Hydrate forming components have to be present in the system
 Some water must be in the system, not too much, not too little

 Other phenomena that increases Hydrate formation:

 Turbulence Courtesy of Petrobras

 High velocity- through chokes, narrowing valves due to Joule Thompson effect
 Agitation, i.e. heat exchangers, separators
 Nucleation sites are the points where phase change is favored, such as:
 Imperfections in the pipeline
 A weld spot
 Fittings
 Scale
 Dirt
 Sand
 Presence of Free Water not necessary but the gas-water interface
creates a nucleation site for hydrate to form

Hydrate Prediction
The point at which hydrates form is dependent on the composition of the

This particular curve is only based on a correlation that

is valid for gases with similar compositions to those
shown in the table below. It is invalid in the presence
of H2S or CO2.

Hydrate Formation Prediction for Sweet Natural Gases

EXAMPLE: For a gas with a specific gravity of 0.7, and a pressure of 1000 psia, the temperature
below which hydrates would be expected to start forming would be 64ºF.

If the pressure is reduced to 200 psia, the temperature below which hydrates would
be expected to start forming reduces to 44ºF
Hydrate Formation Prevention

Hydrate formation prevention can be accomplished through

Water removal
• Separation
Separation will remove most of the free water from gas stream
• Higher System Temperatures
Pipe insulation and bundling, or steam or electrical heating
• Lower System Pressures
High temperature system pressure drops design through line
• Alcohol Inhibitors injection
Acting as antifreezes, alcohols will decrease hydrate formation
temperature below operating temperature
• Kinetic (Polymer dissolved in solvent) Inhibitors
Will bond on the hydrate surface to prevent crystal growth. shift the
hydrate equilibrium conditions towards lower temperatures and
higher pressures , or increase hydrate formation time.
• Antiagglomerants
These dispersants will cause water phase be suspended as
small droplets in oil or condensate
Comparison of Hydrate Formation Prevention

• Drying the natural gas

• MeOH
• TEG, TREG are too viscous , too soluble in HCs
• Drying is Preferred until not economical
• Used :
• upstream of chokes
• Short gathering lines
• Heating the flow line
Initial investment
Attention needed - minimum
Fuel - readly available
Cost - low
• Adding Ckemicals:
• Long flow lines

Methanol versus Glycol
Methanol Glycol
• Used at any Temperature • Not under 15 oF high viscosity
• Prevents hydrate formation better then • Difficult to separate from liquid HCs
DEG and EG on per lb basis • DEG has higher vaporization when <20 oF
• Injection technique not critical over EG
• Good fraction of Methanol • If not sprayed properly on the wet gas, as
evaporates into gas. fine droplets , then it may not work
• Not as economical • Diluted glycols
• Low recovery cost • Separate
• High vaporization loss • Reconcentrate
• Unless feeds into TEG unit, where • Reuse
easily recovered in the regen • Good for
• Good for • Continuous injection
• Low gas volumes • High gas volumes
• Temporary cases • Not in long lines
• Rarely needed • Do not dissolve hydrates that already
• Long flow lines formed
• Dissolves the hydrates already formed

Methanol Injection Problems in Facilities

• If gas feeds into a glycol plant for dehydration after methanol injection:

• Higher Glycol Regen heat (methanol co-absorbed with H2O vapor)

Any methanol released atmosphere with H2O vapor - hazardous

• Cause corrosion in glycol still and reboiler ( If high enough in the

concentration in H2O)

• Reduce the capacity of solid desiccant pellets competing with water

to be absorbed

Economics -
Comparison of Hydrate Prevention Methods

Methanol EG, DEG Line Heaters

• Low CAPEX • High CAPEX • High CAPEX

• High OPEX • Low OPEX • OPEX depends on the fuel

Rule of Thumb:

If Methanol Injection Rate required > 30 gal/hr use glycol units

If Hydrates already plugged the pipeline, reduce Pressure

both upstream and downstream of the hydrate

One sided P reduction might result in High velocity of the

hydrate plug - may damage bends and even lines - EXPLOSION

Cloud Point and Pour Point Definitions

Cloud point of a fluid is the temperature at which dissolved solids are no

longer completely soluble, precipitating as a second phase giving the fluid a
cloudy appearance.

In the petroleum industry, cloud point refers to the temperature below which wax
in liquid hydrocarbon form a cloudy appearance. The presence of solidified
waxes thickens the oil and clogs.

In crude or heavy oils, cloud point is synonymous with Wax Appearance

Temperature, (WAT) and Wax Precipitation Temperature (WPT).

Pour point of a liquid is the lowest temperature at which it will pour or flow
under prescribed conditions. It is a rough indication of the lowest temperature at
which oil is readily pumpable. In crude oil a high pour point is generally
associated with a high paraffin content.


Waxes are :
• The organic compounds of the crude
• Insoluble in the crude at the producing conditions
• High molecular weight C18-C60 alkanes
• C18 to C36 (paraffin waxes, macrocystalline waxes)
• C30 to C60 (microcrystalline waxes),
• They are:
• aliphatic hydrocarbons (both straight and branched chain),
• aromatic hydrocarbons,
• naphthenes
• resins and asphaltenes.
• Melting point, Boiling point, and Solubility of the HC mix is profoundly
effected by the presence of alicyclic, aromatic, and condensed rings.
• Deposits as solid when the temperature falls below the cloud point
• The cloud point determines the rheology of waxy crudes
• Above the cloud point, flow is Newtonian
• Below the cloud point flow is non-Newtonian due to wax/solid
Problems with Waxes

When wax forms:

• Reduced permeability around the well bore/formation damage
• Pumping cost increase because of:
• Increase in viscosity can be 10 folds
• Increased horse power requirement to transport the fluid through
• Area for flow decreases due to wax deposition on the inner pipe wall
Increases pressure drop, can eventually plug the production string
• Loss of production:
• Can eventually plug the production string and/or pipeline
• Can deposit in the surface facilities
• Decreased equipment volume, hence reduced volume/flow

Formation of Wax

Wax Formation

• Wax deposits usually happen in oil

flowlines with components C7+. Reservoir Fluid

 Wax deposits have potential to Bubble Point

accumulate onto cooled surface

when it gets down to the Cloud No Wax
Point, or Wax Appearing
 Wax formation Temperature can be Temperature/Pressure Relationship in Formation of Wax
determined within ± 5 °C.

 GOR, and Pressure effects can be

measured, but it is usually calculated
via thermodynamic prediction based
on Dead Oil values.

Wax Mitigation and Prevention:
Wax Deposition Removal Techniques:
• Mechanical
Pigging - Scraping wax from the pipe wall and mixing it with the crude
in front of the pig
• Thermal
Maintaining or increasing the temperature of the crude above the WAT
can prevent wax from settling on the pipe wall, or help to remove softened
• Chemical
Chemical Solvents and Dissolvers
• substituted aromatics blended with gas oil.
• Chlorinated solvents – environmental concerns.

Wax Prevention
Wax Inhibitors
• Crystal Modifiers
• Pour Point Depressants
• Dispersants
• Surfactants

Wax Deposition Rate Measurements

Wax Deposition Rate Measurement Techniques

Test Description Advantages Disadvantages

Static cold finger A cold surface is immersed in a reservoir of oil for set Quick Simple No flow effects.
duration then removed and inspected. The surface can Small volumes of sample. Risk of depletion of wax in small
simple cooled block or finger, cooled tube or Deposit formed. sample volume.
sophisticated probe. Deposit directly inspected.
Accurate control of temperatures.
Useful inhibitor screening tool. Adaptable for live oil.

Dynamic cold finger As above but shear can be applied to flow the oil over As above Risk of depletion of wax in small
the surface. This can be achieved with stirring or Addition of shear sample volume.
immersing the surface in a flowing stream. Accurate control of shear/stress or flow Difficult to simulate pipeflow and
For better control concentric cylinders are used. velocity. turbulence.
Difficult to monitor in-situ deposition
Useful inhibitor screening and deposition until end of test.
characterization tool.

Capillary/tube blocking Warm oil is displaced through a narrow bore tube until Quick Simple No direct measure of deposit.
pressure increase indicated restriction or blockage. Small vols of sample Laminar flow regimes only.
Often used in uncontrolled cooling but better results Qualitative measure of in-situ Uncertain temperature profiles and heat
achievable with set temperature regimes. deposition rates. transfer rates.
Live oils.

Recirculating flowloops Oil is pumped through a section of pipe in which Simulates pipeflow regimes. Complex equipment.
conditions of temperature and flow can be defined. Limited sample volumes No direct measure of deposit at specific
Deposition can be detected by increasing pressure and Control of temperature and flow rate. points.
recovering of deposit. Qualitative measure of in=situ Need to recondition recirculating oil.
Useful qualitative tool for assessing deposition deposition rates/ DP insensitive in Laminar flow.
characteristic. Potential waxing outside deposition

Cloud Point Methods
- Recommended Indirect Methods

These methods detect an effect caused by wax crystallization

Test Description Advantages Disadvantages

DSC When wax crystallizes from crude oil, small Small sample size. High cooling rates potential for
quantities of heat are generated(Much like heat Automated. subcooling.
given off when water freezes). The temperature at Quick. Sensitivity: low wax contents difficult.
which this “heat of fusion” first occurs can be Can estimate wax content. Subject to interpretation.
detected by a Differential Scanning Calorimeter,

Infrared Detection/ Light Infrared Detection/ Light Scattering Wax crystals Sensitive. Unrepresentative sample size.
Scattering will deflect and scatter light passing through the Small sample size. Subject to interpretation
oil. Infrared can be absorbed by waxes and will Suitable for live fluids. Little published validation.
penetrate black oils. Changes in light reflected or
absorbed as the oil cools will indicate wax

NMR Sensitive. Unrepresentative sample size.

Small sample size. Little published validation.
Estimate solid wax content. Subject to interpretation.
Suitable for live fluids.

Test Description Advantages Disadvantages

Thermodynamic Model uses compositional analysis of oil and Predicts cloud point and solid wax Very detailed input data.
prediction published properties of components to predict phase for range of pressures and oil Needs tuning to measured value.
solubility of wax components. compositions.

Cloud Point Methods- Not Recommended Methods

These methods are not recommended to evaluate cloud points

Test Description Advantages Disadvantages

Visual and turbidity test The term cloud point is taken from turbidity test Simple. Sensitivity( needs finite amount of
used to determine wax precipitation from fuels. Representative sample size. crystals)
(ASTM D2500) The wax crystals are detected by a change in Adaptable for live fluids. Operator dependent (Visual only)
turbidity as the wax crystallizes. Often this test is Wide range of cooling rates. Other solids may be detected
performed by eye but turbidity meters increase Not suitable for Black Oils.

Viscosity As solid wax crystallizes it will effect the oils Representative sample size. Sensitivity. May require presence of
rheology causing non-Newtonian behavior. The significant solid wax phase.
Newtonian viscosity / temperature relationship of Underestimating initial crystallization.
the oil is altered as the solid phase increases. May detect other solids formation.
Subject to interpretation.

Pyknometry Crystallization will change the temperature / Representative sample size. May detect other solids formation.
density relationship of the fluid as it cools. Suitable for live fluids. Sensitivity. May require presence of
(New techniques are improving significant solid wax phase.
sensitivity) Underestimating initial crystallization.
Subject to interpretation.
No published validation.


• The C:H ratio is approximately 1:1.2

• Soluble in toluene but insoluble in lower n- alkanes such as pentane and hexane.
• Asphaltenes are the heaviest and largest molecules in a typical hydrocarbon mixture
• Oils from which asphaltenes are likely to precipitate
• have low API gravity (are more dense), and have higher viscosities.
• Deposits can be in the form of shiny and black graphite like appearance, or brown
sticky soft deposits.
• Asphaltenes often co-precipitate with wax and even scale.


Treatment and Prevention of Asphaltenes:

• It is better to prevent formation of asphaltenes deposits, through design and

operating conditions
• If it cannot be prevented via design and the operating conditions, then treatment
is necessary to prevent flocculation of the asphaltenes particles.

Chemical treatments for removing asphaltenes:

• solvents
• dispersant/ solvents
• oil/dispersants/solvents
• The dispersant/solvent approach is used for removing asphaltenes from
formation minerals.

Continuous treating may be required to inhibit asphaltenes deposition in the tubing.

Batch treatments are common for dehydration equipment and tank bottoms. There
are also asphaltenes precipitation inhibitors that can be used by continuous
treatment or squeeze treatments



Asphaltenes Test Methods Summary

Scale and Mitigation Strategies:
There are different types of scales.
• Calcium Carbonate
• naturally exists in the resevoir (carbonate reservoirs)
• Scale forms:
• with co-mingling of produced fluids from different producing zones or
• normally with decrease in pressure, carbon dioxide is released, and pH
changes to form scale.
• Mitigation:
• dissolution by acidification or application of calcium carbonate scale

• Barium Sulphate
• In general barium sulphate scale results from water incompatibility,
• primarily from either seawater injection and / or seawater breakthrough,
• co-mingling with produced water rich in barium.
• highly insoluble and will deposit at temperature drops across the production
processing plant.
• Mitigation strategies::
• removal of sulphate ions from seawater for re-injection,
• application of barium sulphate scale inhibitors
• treatment with dissolvers.
Scale and Mitigation Strategies:
• Iron Sulphide
• Iron Sulphide scale is deposited where microbial enhanced corrosion has
become a serious problem.
• The scale is derived from the reaction of iron oxide from corrosion and
hydrogen sulphide,
• a by-product of sulphate reducing bacteria metabolism.
• Treatment for iron sulphide is application of a specialist chelating and
dissolution agent followed by microbial control with biocide application.

• Calcium Sulphate
• Calcium Sulphate scale is relatively soluble and only poses a real problem when
conditions are close to the solubility limit and super-saturation occurs.

• Sodium Chloride
• Sodium Chloride scale is caused by a saturation and evaporation process and is
readily removed by warm water in most cases.

E. Transport Properties

 Viscosity prediction methods

 Oil-water viscosity – emulsions

 Gas viscosity

 Compositional viscosity (LBC)

 Oil-water surface Tension

Viscosity Definitions

Oil viscosity μo = F( P,T, SGo,SGg, Rs) usually reported in PVT Analysis. If not
available, then the correlations are used.
 Dead Oil Viscosity Viscosity of the oil at atmospheric conditions with
no gas in solution and the system temperature.

 Saturated Oil Viscosity Viscosity of the oil at P= PB and Tres

 Unsaturated Oil Viscosity Viscosity of the oil at P>PB and Tres

Estimating Oil viscosity at P≤ PB and at Tres

1. Calculate the Dead Oil Viscosity μob at Tres
2. Adjust the dead oil viscosity for Gas Solubility effects at the desired

Estimating Oil viscosity at P> PB and at Tres

1. Calculate the Dead Oil Viscosity μob at Tres
2. Adjust the dead oil viscosity for Gas Solubility effects at the desired
3. Include the effects of compression and under saturation of the

• Viscosity Prediction Methods
Dead Oil Viscosity Correlations
• Beal

• Beggs-Robinson

• Glaso

Saturated Oil Viscosity Correlations

• Chew- Connaly

• Beggs-Robinson
μL = 10 X -1

X = 103.0324-0.02023 API / T1.163

Dead oil Viscosity at Reservoir Temperature

and Atmospheric pressure (after Beal)

• Oil-Water Viscosity – Emulsions

Emulsion Viscosity
• Woelflin Correlation
Good Bw< 40%
Bw> 40% too high

• Guth and Simha

Good Bw< 40%
Bw> 40% not high enough

μe/μo = 1 +2.5 Cw
Woelflin Viscosity Data
where Cw is the Water Fraction of the Water Phase When Brine in mixture is above 60-70%,
brine becomes the continuous phase.

• Smith and Arnold use when no other data available

μe/μo = 1 +2.5 Cw+ 14.1 Cw2

Example E1 –Emulsion Viscosity

The viscosity of a heavy crude oil sample has been

characterized from lab analysis by the following Oil Viscosity vs. Temperature

relationship: 600.0


μ(T) = μo e-c(T-To) Where c = 0.035 400.0

Viscosity, cp

Viscosity at the reference temperature of 50 ° F is 500 cp. 200.0

Plot the viscosity curve for a range of temperatures. 100.0

50.0 70.0 90.0 110.0

1)Determine the viscosity at 100 deg F Temperature, deg F

See Plot for viscosity curve.

Oil viscosity at 100 ° F = 87 cp

2) What is the emulsion viscosity if the water cut is 60


From Woelflin curve (medium), viscosity ratio = 15

Emulsion viscosity = Ratio * Oil Viscosity = 15 x 87 = 1305 cp

Will this flow?

Emulsion Mitigation
Causes of emulsions High WATER Content
• That is the way with some wells
• Poor Cementing
• Poor reservoir management
• Poor Operating practices
• Production of excess water
• Excess turbulence in flow created by
• Over pumping
• Poor maintenance of plunger
• Maintenance Valves in rod pumps
• More than needed gas lift gas
• Centrifugal pumps with a downstream throttling valve

Suggestions to prevent emulsions:

• Do not unnecessarily choke or have control valve before water separation.
• Maintain plungers, rod pumps, valves
• Centrifugal pumps without a downstream throttling valve
• Some operators prefer Cavity Pumps, Reciprocating Pups, or Gear pumps
• Optimize Gas Lift
• Optimize production at integrated asset level

Else use:
• Emulsifiers
• Other Fluid Properties

 Surface Tension σ = f (SGoil, SGwater, P, T)

 Plays an important role in calculating the flow pattern prediction in

multiphase flow.
 Plays role in Gas – Oil interface, as well as gas –water interface, and oil-
water interface.

Surface Tension Calculation Methods:

 Baker and Swerdloff
 Katz et. al.

 Specific Heat Capacity of the fluid - Very important parameter in heat transfer

F. Heat Transfer Analysis

 Basic principles of conduction, convection and radiation

 Heat transfer through composite layers

 Wellbore heat transfer

 Pipeline heat transfer

 Wellbore and pipeline heating

Heat Transfer Phenomena
T ambient
Buried Pipeline Area of Cross-Section
T inlet T fluid

The rate of heat transfer per unit length (Btu/hr/ft) is given by:
dH/dL = U A (T fluid – T ambient)
where U overall heat transfer coefficient, Btu/hr-ft2-degF
A cross-sectional area of pipe, ft2
T ambient temperature of surrounding, deg F
T fluid average temperature of fluid in pipe, deg F

From basic calorimetric calculations, the change in pipeline fluid temperature due to heat transfer
to the surroundings is given by:

(Toutlet – Tinlet) = - dH/dL x pipe length / Cp / mass flow rate

where Cp specific heat capacity of fluid mixture, Btu/lb/deg F

The heat transfer coefficient U is determined by analyzing the combined effect of the
three modes of heat transfer:

 Conduction - within a solid or between solid bodies (e.g. pipe wall and soil)
 Convection - achieved through the movement of fluid (e.g. submerged pipe)
 Radiation - energy emitted as electromagnetic waves from a hot body

Note that radiation heat transfer is generally not significant in flow assurance (with the
exception of steam injection)
Example F1 – Pipeline Heat Transfer
T ambient = 40 deg F
Buried Pipeline, U = 1.0 Btu/hr-ft^2-degF, Pipe Length = 10,000 ft Pipe Outer Diameter = 12 inch
T inlet =100 deg F
Q = 5000 BPD Oil Gravity = 0.8, Specific Heat Capacity = 0.5 Btu/lb/degF

Determine the outlet temperature for 12-inch x 10,000 ft buried crude oil (sp gravity =
0.8) pipeline flowing at 5000 BPD, given an overall heat transfer coefficient of 1.0 Btu/hr-
Temperature at the inlet of the pipeline is 100 deg F and the ambient temperature is 40 deg F.
Assume that the specific heat capacity of the oil is 0.5 Btu/lb/de gF.

1. Area of pipe cross-section = 3.14 / 4 * (12/12)2 = 0.785 ft2
2. Mass flow rate = 5000 BPD /24 hr/day * 5.615 ft33/bbl * (0.8 * 62.4) lb/ft3 = 58,396 lb/hr
3. Estimate outlet temperature = 60 deg F
4. Heat transfer gradient, dH/dL = U A (T fluid – T ambient) = 1.0 x 0.785 x (80-40) = 31.4 Btu/hr/ft
5. Change in temperature = dH / Cp / mass flow rate = 31.4 * 10,000 / 0.5 / 58396 = - 10.8 deg F
6. Revised outlet temp (iteration 1) = 100 – 10.8 = 89.2 deg F (error = - 29.2)
7. Repeat Steps 4-6 with new outlet temp
8. Revised outlet temp (iteration 2) = 85.3 deg F (error = 3.9)
9. Repeat iteration steps until convergence
10.Converged outlet temperature (after 4 iterations) = 85.8 deg F (error = 0.1)

Question – will segmentation of the pipe provide greater accuracy?

Overall Heat Transfer Coefficient
Classical Shell Balance

Overall Heat Transfer Coefficient U = 1 / Total Resistance

Total Resistance = sum of resistances from convection / Convection due to boundary layer - film
conduction layers
Conduction at inner wall, coating, Insulation

Conduction layer resistance = diameter * loge(diaouter/diainner) / 2k Convection (or conduction) in annulus

Conduction at outer wall, coating, Insulation

where: κ - thermal conductivity, Btu/day-ft-degF
Outer surface: submerged (convection), buried
0.8) (conduction) or exposed (free convection)
Resistance due to film (convection) = diainner / (0.0225 * k * Re

where Re - Reynolds number

Outer Surface (buried / submerged / exposed)

Resistance due to conduction (buried pipe) = diameter * loge((2Z+ (4Z2 – dout2220.5)/dout) / 2ksoil
where Z is the distance from the surface to the centerline of the pipe

Resistance due to convection (submerged in water/exposed to wind)

= diameter / (10 k *(0.26694 * log10(Re,surrounding)1.3681))

Re,surrounding= 1.47 x Reynolds number calculated from pipe outer diameter and surrounding fluid properties

Overall Heat Transfer Coefficient, OHTC

OHTC based on the flowline internal surface Area Ai is:

OHTC based on the flowline external surface Area Ao is:

Subsea Flowline Insulation Methods

• External Coatings
• Flowline Burial
• Pipe-in-Pipe (PIP)
• Electrical Heating
• Hot WaterAnnulus

U Values for Different Subsea Insulation Methods, (Loch, 2000)

Thermal Conductivities of Soil
Kersten(1949) Κsoil = [ 0.9 log(ω) -0.2]*100.01*ρ
Κsoil soil thermal conductivity, [BTU-in/(ft2-hr-°F)]

ω moisture content in percent of dry soil weight

ρ dry density , lb/ft3

Thermal Conductivities of Typical Soil Surrounding Pipeline (Gregory,1991)

Flowline Burial Depth
Loch (2000)

• When the ratio between the burial

depth and the Outside Diameter is
greater than 4, the decrease in the
U value is insignificant.

• Available burial techniques may set

the limit on Minimum and Maximum
Burial Depths.

• Potential seafloor scouring and

flowline disturbance buckling need
to be considered .

Example F2 – Overall Heat Transfer Coefficient
Calculate the overall heat transfer coefficient for the pipeline in Example F1
given the following data:
pipe diameter (inner) 12 inch
pipe wall thickness 0.25 inch
Determine the relative contribution
insulation 0.5 inch of insulation and burial on the
Burial depth (center line to surface) 24 inch
Pipe Thermal Conductivity 600 Btu/day/ft/F
overall resistance to heat transfer.
Insulation Thermal Conductivity 0.96 Btu/day/ft/F
Soil Thermal Conductivity 24 Btu/day/ft/F Change the heat transfer coefficient
Oil Flow Rate 5000 BPD
Oil Specific Gravity 0.8 water = 1 in Ex F1 to the calculated value and
Oil Specific Heat Capacity 0.5 Btu/lb/degF evaluate the impact.
Oil Thermal Conductivity 1.6 Btu/day/ft/F
Oil Viscosity 3.5 cp
1. Area of cross-section = 3.14 / 4 * (12/12)2 = 0.785 ft2
2. Fluid velocity = 5000 BPD x 5.615 ft3/bbl / 86400 sec/day / 0.785 = 0.41 ft/sec
3. Reynolds number = 1488 * 0.41 * (12/12) * (0.8 * 62.4) / 3.5 = 8785
4. Film resistance (convection) = (12/12) / (0.0225 * 1.6 * 87850.8) = 1.944 E-2
5. Pipe wall resistance (conduction) = (12/12) x 1/(2*600) loge (12.5/12) = 3.4 E-5
6. Insulation resistance (conduction) = (12.5/12) x 1/(2*0.96) loge (13.5/12.5) = 4.175 E-2
7. Soil resistance (conduction) = log( (4*242– 13.52)0.5/13.5)/(2 x 24) = 2.877E-2
8. Total resistance = 1.044E-2 + 3.4E-5 + 4.175E-2 + 2.877E-2 = 9.00 E-02
9. Overall heat transfer coefficient U = 1/(9E-2 x 24) = 0.46 Btu/fr/ft2/degF

Overall contribution of insulation = 4.175 / 9 = 46.4 %

Overall contribution of burial = 2.877 / 9 = 32.0 %
Updating Ex F1 with U=0.46 changes the calculated outlet temperature from 85.8 deg F to 93 deg F
Heat Transfer In Wellbores

Aditional Heat Transfer in Wellbores:

Classic Shell Balance
• Infinite Conduction
For a vertical well, the surrounding formation extends
outwards infinitely – the finite depth burial model for Convection due to boundary layer - film
conduction described earlier needs to be modified.
Conduction at inner wall, coating, Insulation

• Transient Considerations Convection (or conduction) in annulus

Conduction at outer wall, coating, Insulation

In steam injection wells, there may a significant time-
dependent effect as the surrounding formation heats Outer surface: submerged (convection), buried
(conduction) or exposed (free convection)
up and heat transfer rates change as a consequence
(heat transfer rate during the early time period will be
higher). The Ramey function is used to analyze this
time dependent effect.

Heating the surrounding formation may also cause the

thermal conductivity to change around the wellbore
due to the evaporation of water.

• Annulus Heat Transfer

Heat transfer in the annulus due to convection of the
static annulus fluid (water/oil/gas/vacuum) needs to be
taken into account. Additionally, radiation effects are
sometimes important (e.g. in some steam injection
systems, a reflecting coating is painted on the inside
wall of the casing to reduce radiation effects).
Symbol Definition

dH Heat transfer rate, Btu/hr

dH/dL Heat transfer gradient, Btu/hr/ft

U Overall heat transfer coefficient, Btu/hr-ft2-degF

A Area of pipe cross-section, ft2

T ambient Temperature of surroundings, deg F

T fluid Temperature of fluid, deg F

Cp Specific heat capacity, Btu/lb/deg F

k Thermal conductivity, Btu/day/ft/deg F

G. Transient Phenomena

 Basic principles of single phase transient flow

 Multiphase flow transients

 Pipeline startup, shut-in and blowdown

 Terrain induced slugging

Common Transient Operations
Transient Condition Operation Impact
Ramp Up / Down Rate change Rate surge
Startup Rate change from zero Pressure surge
Rate surge
Shutdown Compressor / Pump Pressure surge
Blowdown Pressure reduction
Terrain Slugging Caused by topography Slug formation, growth and
Sphering Periodic operation Rate surge
Pipeline leak / rupture Unplanned Product loss
Environmental damage
Pressure surge

Flow Rate Ramp Up


How Big is the Surge?

Marlin Pipeline 67 mile x 20 inch (Cunliffe’s approximation procedure)

Predicted Liquid Inventory Rate ramped up from155 MMscfd to 258 MMscfd

Outlet Liquid Rate, bph

8000 1000
Inventory, bbl

69 bbl/MMscf liquid loading

6000 800
2000 200
0 0
0.0 100.0 200.0 300.0 0 20 40 60
Rate, MMscfd Time, hr

 Determine equilibrium inventory (holdup) at initial and final rates

 Difference give the amount of liquid to be swept out
 Estimate transition time as residence time for final inventory
Transition Time = Final Inventory / Final Rate
 Estimate Transition Rate
Transition Rate = Final Rate + Inventory Change / Transition Time
Example G1 - Marlin Pipeline Transient
From the pipeline inventory prediction provided for Marlin, use Cunliffe’s method to
approximate the surge rate at the downstream slug catcher when the gas rate at the inlet
is ramped up from 155 MMscfd to 258 MMscfd over a period of one hour. Compare the
predicted surge rate to the actual data and recommend additional steps to improve the

Outlet Liquid Rate, bph

30000 1200
25000 1000
69 bbl/MMscf liquid loading 800

15000 600
10000 400

5000 200
0 0
0.0 100.0 200.0 300.0 0 10 20 30 40 50

Rate, MMscfd Time, hr

Initial inventory at 155 MMscfd = 19200 bbl (estimated from plot)

Final inventory at 258 MMscfd = 17600 bbl
Liquid to be swept out = 19200 – 17600 = 1600 bbl
Liquid Rate (Final) = Liq Loading x Gas Rate = 69 x 258/ 24 = 742 bph
Transition Time = Final Inventory / Final Rate = 17600 / 742 = 23.7 hr
Transition Rate = Final Rate + Inventory Change / Transition Time = 742 + 1600 / 23.7 = 809 bph
From data:
Actual surge rate > 1000 bph – the discrepancy is caused by the high transition time
Lowering the effective transition time estimate would improve prediction(see spreadsheet)
Pipeline Blowdown (depressurization)
Blowdown is the controlled depressurization of a gas (or gas-dominated) pipeline
generally achieved over a period of time. Blowdown is generally a safety procedure
used to reduce the risk of pipeline rupture and fire in an emergency.
The key concerns during blowdown are:
1) How long will it take to depressurize the pipeline (to near atmospheric conditions)
2) What is the cooldown temperature profile given that the temperature will drop
below ambient due to Joule-Thompson cooling (potential for hydrate formation)

The discharge rate is generally controlled through an orifice (or valve) to ensure that
these operational issued are addressed.

Assuming critical flow,

the mass flow rate (lb/sec) through an orifice is given by the relationship:

W = Cd K A P (MW / zT)0.5

where Cd is the coefficient of discharge

K is the specific heat capacity ratio for the gas
A is the area of cross-section
MW is the molecular weight
P is the upstream (pipeline) pressure

Example G2 - Pipeline Blowdown
Determine the pressure profile for the blowdown of a 5 mile x 6 inch (ID) gas pipeline
operating at 800 psi when the gas (gravity=0.8) is released through a 3-inch orifice (Cd
= 1.0). Average compressibility is 0.9, k = 1.4, and assume that the pipeline
temperature does not change from its initial value of 39 deg F.
1. From geometry, orifice area = 3.14/4 * (3/12)2 = 0.049 ft2
2. Pipeline volume = 3.14/4 * (6/12)2 * (5 x 5280) = 5181 ft3
3. Gas Molecular Weight = 28.97 x 0.8 = 23.18
4. Initial density of gas = 800 * 23.18 / (0.9 * 10.73 * (460+39) = 3.85 lb/ft 3
5. Initial mass of fluid (gas) in pipeline = 3.85 * 5181 = 19934 lb
6. Initial rate of gas flowing through the orifice = 1 x 1.4 x 0.049 x 800 * (23.18/0.9/(460+39)) 0.5 = 12.48 lb/sec
7. Starting from time =0, calculate the following at 100 second intervals
1. Mass rate of gas through the orifice (from the orifice equation)
2. Remaining mass of gas in the pipeline (previous mass – mass rate * time increment)
3. Gas density = remaining mass / pipeline volume
4. Average pipeline pressure = density * z * 10.73 * (460+39) / 23.18
5. Determine the gas discharge rate at standard conditions from the mass rate
6. Plot the pressure and gas flow rate profiles as a function of time

Pressure Profile (psi vs. time)

Flow Rate Profile (MMcfd vs. time)
1000 20.00
400 10.00

200 5.00
0 0.00
0 1000 2000 3000 4000 0 1000 2000 3000 4000
Pipeline Cooldown
When pipeline is shut-in, the fluid temperature drops over an extended
period of time until ambient conditions are achieved. A significant
parameter for cooldown analysis is the “no-touch” period which is the time
available before the pipeline must be started up again.

For a pipeline transporting waxy crude, the no-touch period is the time
before pour point (plus safety margin) is reached

From the Lumped Capacitance Cooldown Model, the temperature T is given

by :

T(t) – To = (Ti - To) x exp (- C x t)

where t = period after shut-in

C = U * Area of Contact / (mass of fluid * specific heat capacity)

Example G3 - Pipeline Cooldown
Given a 10,000 ft x 12 inch subsea pipe with a heat transfer coefficient of 1
Btu/hr/ft2/F and an average fluid temperature of 100 deg F, estimate the no-touch time
when the surrounding temperature is 40 deg F.

Crude oil characteristics: specific gravity = 0.8, heat capacity = 0.5 Btu/lb/F, pour point = 50 deg F
From the Lumped Capacitance Cooldown Model, the temperature
T is given by : 120.0

T(t) – To = (Ti - To) x exp (- C x t) 100.0

where Ti is the inside fluid Temperature

Fluid Temp, F
T(t) is the inside fluid Temperature at time t 60.0
To is the ambient temperature
t = period after shut-in 40.0
C = U * Area of Contact / (mass of fluid * specific heat capacity)
Fluid mass = 3.14/4 * (12/12) 2 * 10,000 * (62.4 * 0.8) = 391,872 lb 0.00 10.00 20.00 30.00

C = 1 x (3.14 x (12/12) x 10000) / (391872 * 0.5) = 0.16 Time, hr

For a range of time periods (e.g. 0-24 hrs in 1 hr increment) calculate and plot T(t)
From the plot (see right), no-touch time = 11 hr (actual time will be lower)

H. Integrated Flow Assurance

 Combining fluid flow, heat transfer and thermodynamics

 Deepwater/subsea systems

 Heavy oil transport

 Monitoring and control

Fluid Flow, Heat Transfer & Thermodynamics

Hydrate Management
Thermodynamics establishes hydrate limits
Temperature and pressure determine hydrate performance
Heat transfer controls temperature profile
Fluid Flow influences Heat Transfer Fluid Flow Analysis
Predicts Flow & Pressure Behavior

Thermodynamic Analysis
Predicts Fluid PVT Properties Flow Assurance
Integrated Analysis
of Flow Behavior,
Pressure and
Temperature Production Performance
Performance, and Flow rates establish production
Fluid Properties performance
Heavy Oil Transport Pressure determines flow rates
Heat Transfer determines temperature profile PVT properties impact pressure and
Temperature controls viscosity behavior temperature profile
Fluid viscosity establishes fluid flow Temperature and pressure influence
Fluid Flow influences Heat Transfer PVT properties

Heat Transfer Analysis

Predicts Temperature Behavior
Flow Assurance in Deepwater / Subsea


14000 Wax
Fewer wells, minimal intervention
Premium on reliability 12000

Commingling of Limited monitoring of 8000
incompatible fluids wells, pipeline & riser
6000 Asphaltene

Bubble Point

2000 Facilities
High back-pressure Deeper, colder
Need for boosting plugging & deposition 0
0 50 100 150 200 250

Flow assurance in deepwater is about designing and operating systems that handle
the many unique challenges of subsea production while mitigating unnecessary risk to
ensure the continuous flow of oil and gas from capital-intensive projects

Example H1 – Heavy Oil Throughput Capacity
T ambient = 40 deg F
Buried Pipeline, U = 1.0 Btu/hr-ft^2-degF, Pipe Length = 20 miles Pipe Outer Diameter = 12 inch
T inlet =100 deg F
Q = 5000 BPD Oil Gravity = 0.8, Specific Heat Capacity = 0.5 Btu/lb/degF

Determine the throughput (BPD capacity) for a 12-inch x 20 mile heavy oil pipeline with
an inlet conditions of 250 psi and 100 deg F. The minimum outlet pressure is 100 psi.
The viscosity of the crude is characterized as a function of temperature (deg F) by the
following exponential fit of lab data:
viscosity, cp = 500 x exp (-0.035 (temp in deg F – 50))
Solution Procedure
1.Set the initial estimate of the throughput to be 30,000 - 50,000 BPD
2. Use the iterative procedure described in Example F1 (Pipeline Heat Transfer) for calculation of outlet
temperature for the given inlet temperature of 100 deg F. With a reasonable outlet temperature estimate,
the solution should converge in 4 iterations (or less).
3. Compute the velocity from the estimated flow rate.
4. Compute the viscosity at the average fluid temperature (mean of fixed and calculated outlet temp)
5. Update Reynolds number with the new velocity and viscosity
6. Update friction factor using the laminar flow equation (validate that Reynolds number is within range)
7. Calculate the frictional pressure gradient from the friction factor
8. Compute the outlet pressure for the estimated flow rate.
9. Update the estimated flow rate and repeat Steps 2-8 until the outlet pressure is approx 100 psi. This is the
calculated throughput for the pipeline.

Calculated throughput = 42,000 BPD (outlet temperature = 83 deg F)

Drag Reduction
• Drag Reduction Additives (DRA) are long-chain,
ultra-high molecular weight (1-10 million)
polymers that are injected into liquid pipelines
(both crude and refined products) to increase
throughput capacity.
• DRA does not alter the fluid properties or coat
the pipe wall, but rather drag reduction occurs
due to the suppression of energy dissipation by
eddy currents in the transition zone between
the laminar sub-layer near the pipe wall and the
turbulent core at the center of the pipe.
• Turbulent flow in the pipe is therefore a
prerequisite for DRA to be effective.
• In crude oil pipelines, DRA injection rates vary in the range of 10-50 ppm, with the
corresponding drag reduction effectiveness, the fractional reduction in frictional
pressure drop in the treated line, typically about 30-70 percent, and generally more
effective in lighter crudes.
• Modeling the effect of DRA injection in a pipeline is relatively straightforward.
• Vendor supplied Performance Curves the effective drag reduction as a function
of flow rate for a range of concentrations.
• These curves are pipeline specific and are generated from flowline
95 tests conducted by the vendor.
I. Integrated Production Analysis

•The economics of flow assurance

•Reservoir performance
– how it impacts production

•Introduction to artificial lift methods

•Integrated asset modeling (IAM)

– reservoir, production, process plant, economics

• Economics of Flow Assurance

• At a high level, the economics of flow assurance involves a balance between

Cap Ex and annual Op Ex Costs based on the projected revenue stream.

• Higher investments in Cap Ex are justified when the field is expected to produce
economically for a longer period (the projected life of a typical offshore field
varies from 10-30+ years).

• Several factors effect the Revenue projections, including:

• pricing forecasts for oil and gas

• the availability of future markets through nearby pipeline connections

(especially for gas)

• fiscal regimes (taxation, royalty, production sharing)

• the time value of money (relating to deferred production)

• Economics of Flow Assurance
Some of the key components of Cap Ex and Op Costs that need to be
included in any economic analysis for evaluating flow assurance alternatives:

• Capital Expenditure
• Drilling and completion of wells
• Pipelines and gathering system installation
• Installation of prime movers (compressors / pumps / multiphase pumps)
• Facilities (platform, slug catcher, separator, heaters, recovery and reinjection,
other topsides)
• Artificial lift installations including related facilities such as compression, power
lines etc.
• Operating Costs
• Facilities maintenance
• Inhibitors/chemicals for hydrates (methanol/glycol), wax, asphaltenes, corrosion,
surfactants, etc.
• Power costs for compressors, pumps, heaters, topsides, etc.
• Personnel (platform, onshore, central support)

• Reservoir performance–how it impacts

Reservoir Decline
Reservoir Pressure (current) = Reservoir Pressure (previous) * Decline Rate * Cum Production

Note: for gas fields p/z is sometimes used instead of pressure (p) in the above equation

Maximum Drawdown
Drawdown is generally limited to avoid problems such as sand production

99 Bottom Hole Pressure > Reservoir Pressure – Max Drawdown Limit

• Introduction to Artificial Lift Methods

• Most oil production reservoirs have sufficient

potential to naturally produce- during the early
phases of production.
• As reservoir pressure decrease, water
encroachment will naturally cause all wells to slow
down in production.
• At some point, an artificial lift will be used to
continue or increase production.
• On the other hand most water producing wells will
need some kind of artificial lift due to the high
hydrostatic pressure it creates on the oil, gas, or

Pressure (Psi)
• A well with high water rate will be usually put on
an artificial lift from the beginning.
• Available technologies add energy to the system
to lift the fluids to the surface. There are times an
oil well may need:
• ESP • Hydraulic Pumps
• Gas Lift • PCP
• Rod Pump • Plungers
• Integrated Asset Modeling, IAM –
Reservoir, Production, Process Plant, Economics
IAM help to determine :
• impacts of new drilling
• best locations to set compression
• to influence the order and location of the new drilling
• evaluating the impact of third party activity
• investigating gathering system improvement opportunities
• for tubing sizes and evaluation of options versus performance
• identifying wellwork candidates and other production enhancement

and to analyze:
• upsets and production losses
• requests from Infill Team on lateral capacity
• uplift for future
• pressure changes for future pipeline projects,
• pressure changes for future compressor projects
• for debottlenecking

In summary, the reservoir decline, added wellhead compressor, the new wells
feeding into the same line, the increased compressor suction pressures, and
the availability of processing facilities, along with the economics can be
coordinated to give the optimized production scenerios.
Flow Assurance Monitoring & Control

Subsea monitoring
& control data

wellbore data seabed data multiphase


ESP flowline

IAM Visualization
Near Real-Time Field Data and Model Results Monitoring
Business value of these new operating tools achieved
through improved operations efficiency, integrity
management, and organizational performance, by
integrating activities around reservoir, wells,
pipelines, facilities, and commercial decision-making

103 103
Map-based Visualization

Near Real-Time Field Data and Model Results Monitoring

IAM Online Model Calculations

• Differential Line Pressure (actual versus model


• Pipeline resistance (DP/Q)

• Mixture Velocity

• Erosion Rate (Salama)

• Corrosion Rate (de Waard)

• Liquid Hold-up

Model Error Tracking

105 105
Reservoir Inflow

Inflow Performance Relationship (IPR):

Production rate as a function of flowing wellbore pressure, (Pwf). Productivity Index
in Under-Saturated Reservoirs

Productivity Index under-saturated oil reservoir

Flowing Bottom Hole Pressure

PI = Qo / (PR - Pwf) Linear
Slope = 1 / PI

Vogel’s equation below the bubble point pressure

Qo = Qomax (1 – 0.2 Pwf /PR – 0.8 (Pwf /PR)2)
where Qomax is a hypothetical maximum rate at Pwf = 0

The following equation can be used when Pwf < PB < PR
Qo = PI (PR - PB) + 0.5 PI / PB(PB 2 – Pwf2)
Oil Production Rate

For Gas Wells (back pressure equation):

QG = Cp [ (PR) 2 – (Pwf) 2]n for 0.5 < n < 1.0

Example I1 - Oil Well IPR
From a well test, the bottom-hole pressure was measured as 1234 psi at a rate of 2345
bpd. The static pressure in the reservoir after the well was shut-in for 48 hours was
measured as 3636 psi. Lab tests show that the bubble point pressure at the reservoir
temperature of 200 deg F was 2222 psi. Determine the productivity index and
absolute open flow potential and use these values to plot the IPR curve for the well.

Since test pressure (1234 psi) < BPP (2222 psi)

PI = Qo / [(PR - PB) + 0.5 / PB(PB 2– Pwf2)] Pressure vs. Rate

= 1.07 bpd/psi 4000
Qomax = Qo / (1 – 0.2 Pwf /PR – 0.8 (Pwf /PR) 2) 3000

Pressure (psi)
= 2792 bpd 2500
Calculate Qo for a range of Pwf using the equation: 1500
Qo = PI (PR - PB) + 0.5 PI / PB(PB2- Pwf2)
Where: PR = 3636 psi 0.0 1000.0 2000.0 3000.0
PB = 2222 psi Rate (bpd)
PI = 1,07 bpd/psi

The maximum rate is 2713 bpd (at Pwf = 0)

Example I2 - Integrated Production System
An integrated gas production system extends from the reservoir through the wellbore,
pipeline and compressor flowing into the separation facilities. Estimate the delivery
capacity to a downstream trunk line operating at a fixed pressure of 1000 psia. The
following data applies:
Pressure = 5000 psia, Temperature = 200 deg F, Gravity = 0.75
Deliverability: Cp = 7.8E-6, n = 0.9
Depth = 10,000 ft, Diameter = 4 inch
Average friction factor = 0.015, Average Z = 0.8
Surface Pipeline
Length = 20 miles, Diameter = 6 inch
Surface Temperature = 80 deg F
Average friction factor = 0.01, Average Z = 0.9

1. Estimate gas deliverability Qg (range: 25 – 35 MMscfd)

2. From the reservoir pressure, calculate the flowing BHP using the gas deliverability equation
3. Estimate the average wellbore temperature to be the average of the reservoir and surface temp (140 F)
4. Approximating the average wellbore pressure to the FBHP, calculate the estimated velocity and density
5. Calculate the frictional pressure gradient from the friction factor, density and velocity
6. Calculate the elevation gradient from the density
7. Determine the wellhead pressure for the estimated rate from the two pressure gradient terms
8. Estimate the surface velocity and density using the same approach as that for the wellbore
9. Calculate the surface frictional gradient and use this to calculate the delivery pressure from the wellhead
pressure for the estimated rate.
10.Compare the delivery pressure with the 1000 psia delivery requirement, adjust the estimated rate,
and repeat steps 2-9 until convergence is achieved.
11.The final converged estimate of throughput is approximately 31 MMscfd
Flow Assurance Issues

Symbol Definition
Pwf Flowing bottom hole pressure (psi)
PI Productivity Index (bpd/psi)
PR Reservoir pressure (psi)
Qo,max Absolute open flow (bpd)
Cp Gas deliverability constant
N Gas deliverability exponent
PB Bubble point pressure (psi)

Unit Conversions

Unit of Measure US Oilfield Units Other Units Conversion

Pressure (abs) psia kPa kPa = psia x 6.8948

bar bar = psia x
Temperature deg F deg C deg C = (deg F – 32)
*/ 1.8
Oil Gravity deg API specific gravity SG = 141.5 / (131.5
+ API)

Pipe Diameter inch mm mm = 25.4 x inch

Pipe Length ft meter meter = ft x 0.3048
Liquid Volume bbl ft3 ft3 = bbl x 5.615
meter3 meter3 = ft3 x 0.0283
meter3 = bbl x 0.159
Gas Volume scf (ft3) sm3 (meter3) meter3 = ft3 x 0.0283

Liquid Rate bpd m3/d m3/d = bpd x 0.159

Gas Rate MMscfd km3/d km3/d = 28.3 x
MMsm3/d MMscfd
MMsm3/d = .0283 x

Standard Conditions: 14.7 psia, 60 deg F (1.02 bar, 15.5 deg C)

Absolute Zero: -460 deg F (-273 deg C)
J. Flow Assurance Considerations in
Conceptual Design & Operations

Two participative classroom exercises, J1 and J2, where the

concepts discussed in the preceding sessions will be applied to two
practical example involving the creation of:

• J1 a field development plan with particular emphasis on the

impact of flow assurance issues on the overall design.

• J2 a Pipeline throughput increase without significant capital


Workshop J1- Conceptual Design Problem

Riser Depth = 5000 ft Surface Ambient Temp = 60 deg F

Diameter = 10 inch Minimum Delivery Pressure to Trunk Line = 1750 psia
U = 6 Btu/hr/ft2/degF Compressor Power / Stage = 150 HP
After Year 5 Subsea MAOP = 1250 psia Overall Compressor Efficiency = 80%
Manifold Roughness = .0012 inch Initial Number of Stages (Year 1-5) = 3
Final Number of Stages (Year 6 +) = ?
Contractual Rate = 20 MMscfd Pipeline Length = 10 mile Riser Base
Est. Inlet Temp at Manifold = 68 deg F Diameter = 8 inch
Roughness = .0012 inch
U = 3.3 Btu/hr/ft2/degF
Ambient Subsea Temp = 39 deg F
MAOP = 1550 psia

Well Depth = 14000 ft Gas Gravity = 0.75

Diameter = 6 inch Average Compressibility = 0.9
U = 6.5 Btu/hr/ft2/degF Specific Heat Capacity = 0.7
Geothermal grad = 1.2 deg F / 100 ft Cp / Cv Ratio = 1.31
Roughness = .0012 inch
Bottom Initial Reservoir Pressure = 5000 psia
Hole Decline Rate = 0.01 psi/MMscf
Reservoir Temperature = 120 deg F
Max Drawdown (avoid sand production) = 3000 psi
Deliverability Constant Cp = 8 E-6 MMscf/psi2
Reservoir Deliverability Exponent n = 0.90

Maximize production within the constraints of the operating envelope through

the first five years of operation.

After five years, a satellite field is being brought on-stream at the subsea
manifold with a contractual rate of 20 MMscfd. What is the impact on existing
production and how much additional compression is needed to produce both
Workshop J1 - Engineering Design Concepts
Basic Engineering Concepts Applied:
 Reservoir Reservoir Decline
 Gas deliverability equation (see Reservoir Pressure (current)
Reservoir Deliverability) = Reservoir Pressure (previous) * Decline Rate * Cumulative
 Reservoir decline Production
 Drawdown limit Note: for gas fields p/z is sometimes used instead of pressure
 Wellbore (p) in the above equation
 Pressure gradient (see Momentum Maximum Drawdown
Balance) Drawdown is generally limited to avoid problems such as sand
 Heat transfer (see Heat Transfer) production
 Manifold
Bottom Hole Pressure > Reservoir Pressure – Max Drawdown Limit
 Fluid mixing – temperature
Fluid Mixing at Junction (Subsea Manifold)
 Subsea Pipeline
 Pressure gradient Mixture Temperature (downstream)
 Heat transfer = (Stream1 Temp*Stream1 Rate + Stream2 Temp*Stream 2 Rate)
/ (Stream 1 Rate + stream 2 Rate)
 Hydrate prediction temperature
Note: for multiple streams, the downstream temp is the mass-
 Riser weighted temperature of all incoming streams
 Pressure gradient Simplified Hydrate Prediction
 Heat transfer The following empirical model (Hammerschmidt) is used:
 Platform Hydrate formation temp (deg F) =8.9 x psia0.85
 Compression Compressor Power
HP = 550 * Mass Rate (lb/s) * Head (ft) / Efficiency / g
Head = n / (n – 1) * Pinlet * (Ratio ((n-1)/n) – 1))
Workshop J1- Summary of Operating Constraints

Location Minimum Temp Min Pressure Max Pressure

Reservoir NA NA NA

Bottom Hole NA Drawdown limit NA

Manifold Hydrate limit NA Pipeline MAOP

Riser Base Hydrate limit NA Riser MAOP

Platform Inlet Hydrate limit NA NA

Delivery NA Trunk line NA


Solution cannot violate any of the above constraints for the projected 10-year operating scenario

Workshop J1- (Excel File)

Spread Sheet 1 of the Excel file Workshop J1 defines the full problem to be
Lines 5-10 summarizes the results for a simulation scenario in terms of the
pressure & temp at the key points along the system.
The bright yellow fields in Column D represent the variable to be changed (well
rate, satellite rate, cumulative production, compressor stages).

Solution to Workshop J1- (Excel File)
Spread Sheet 2 of the Excel file Workshop J1 is the worksheet used to determine the
cumulative production volume from the production profile.
1. In Spreadsheet 1, set satellite production = 0; number of compressor stages = 3 to start the analysis
2. For year 1, set cumulative production = 0 (new field) and adjust Well Production (range: 25-35 MMscfd) until none of the
constraints are violated. Enter this value in Sheet 2 for year 1 and determine the cumulative volume produced by the well
at the end of the year.
3. Enter the cumulative volume in Sheet 1 and repeat Step 2 for Year 2
4. Repeat Steps 2-3 for the first five years.
5. At Year 6, set satellite production = 20 MMscfD and determine the flow rate at which the minimum delivery pressure is
6. Note that the hydrate temperature limit is violated because of the cooler satellite production stream. Add another stage of
compression (stages = 4) so that production from the Well increases and the pipeline temperature no longer falls below the
hydrate limit.
7. Repeat Steps 2-3 for the remaining years in the scenario
8. Note that the pipeline temperature falls as well production drops dues to reservoir decline. If temperature drops below the
hydrate limit, add more compression in Year 6 and repeat the steps through the end.
9. The plot on the right shows the predicted production profile for the ten year scenario.
Well Production Profile
Well Production, MMscfd

0 5 10 15
117 Years of Production
Workshop J2
-Pipeline Operations Problem
88.8 km x16 inch branch line flowing from mainline to refinery (10 ¾ inch pipe for final 8 km)
Inlet Pump Station SP1 – 3x500 kW (1 spare), Intermediate Pump Station SP2 – 2x500kW
units (1 spare).
Pipeline Profile Distance Elevation OD 1500

Elevation, m
KM m inch 1000
Inlet Pump Station (SP1) 0 416 16
Intermediate Pump Station (SP2) 44.6 740 16 500
Highest Point 69.4 1263 16
16/10 Switch 80.8 1100 10.75 0
Refinery 88.8 431 10.75 0 20 40 60 80 100

Current Operations: Pipeline pressure profile (bar) from SCADA at 650 m3/hr:
Crude oil gravity = 0.83 avg. viscosity = 3 SP1 Outlet SP2 Inlet SP2 Outlet High Point Refinery
Operational service = 170day/yr 74.3 27.3 53 2.2 39.7
Average sand = 390 ppm
How much can pipeline throughput be increased without significant capital
investment (through a combination of existing pump capacity utilization and DRA
injection)? Assume DRA performance is for medium crude per chart on right.

Analyze the operational economics given:

a) Utility rates of euro 0.10/kWh
b) DRA injection cost of euro 10/gallon

Solution to Workshop J2 - (Excel File)
Spread Sheet 1 (Baseline) is the worksheet used to determine the baseline pipeline
operation from current operations data (SCADA pressure profile).
• Key Assumptions:
• Line fill compaction = 1.5% (change in volume at in situ pressure and
• Wall thickness = 0.375 inch for 16 inch pipe, 0.365 for 10 inch pipe (Schedule 40)
• Adjust pipe roughness and pump efficiency until predicted profile matches SCADA
• Use adjusted values and calculated pipeline inlet pressure for all subsequent

Spread Sheet 2(Analysis) is the worksheet used to analyze various operating


• Key Constraints:
• Pressure at Highest Point > 0 bar (else slack line conditions)
• Pipeline velocity < erosional limit (const in API RP14E = 135 for solid (sand)<1

Spread Sheet 3 (Costing): is the worksheet used to estimate the DRA and power
costs for the various scenarios.

Workshop J2 - Results Summary

The table above summarizes the results for the pipeline throughput analysis.

Flow Rate PS1 PS2 Drag Reduction Injection Rate Injection Injection DRA Cost Add. Power Cost Total
m3/hr units units US gal/day SP1 SP2 euro/day euro/day euro/day

650 2 1 0% 0 No No 0 0 0

750 2 1 46% 145 Yes Yes 2891 0 2891

750 2 1 70% 254 Yes No 2541 0 2541

750 3 1 0% 0 Yes No 0 1200 1200

800 2 1 62% 232 Yes No 2321 0 2321

800 3 1 20% 28 Yes No 276 1200 1476

850 3 1 35% 107 Yes Yes 2138 1200 3338

900 3 1 50% 195 Yes Yes 3908 1200 5108

950 3 1 60% 264 Yes Yes 5282 1200 6482

1000 3 1 70% 339 Yes Yes 6777 1200 7977

Key Observations:
1) Pipeline is operating close to capacity under current conditions (spare pumps not
used, no DRA injection)
2) Throughput cannot be increased beyond 1000 m3/hr without additional capex (new
pump units, pipeline resizing, or looping)
3) Erosional velocity in the 10-inch line will not be a factor if sand is controlled
4) Pump operation (spare) is a more cost effective option than DRA injection

1. Flow Assurance Design Guideline, Deepstar IV Project CTR 4203b-1, 2001

2. Brill, J.P. and Beggs, D.H.: Two-Phase Flow in Pipes (any edition)
3. Golan, M. and Whitson, C.H.: Well Performance, Second Edition, 1995
4. Offshore Multiphase Production Operations, SPE Reprint Series No. 58
5. Schlumberger Oilfield Glossary (

Contact Information

For additional information please contact:

Dr. Nihal Guler-Quadir,

Dr. Kunal Dutta-Roy

EICE International Inc.

16350 Park Ten Place
Houston, Texas 77084
United States of America

phone: +1 (281) 646-8669

cell: +1 (713) 459-9422