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This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2000 SPE Annual Technical Conference and

Exhibition held in Dallas, Texas, 14 October 2000.

This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE Program Committee following review of

information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper, as

presented, have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to

correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any posi-

tion of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or members. Papers presented at SPE

meetings are subject to publication review by Editorial Committees of the Society of Petroleum

Engineers. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper for com-

mercial purposes without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohib-

ited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words;

illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of

where and by whom the paper was presented. Write Librarian, SPE, P.O. Box 833836,

Richardson, TX 75083-3836, U.S.A., fax 01-972-952-9435.

Abstract

The ability to monitoring bottomhole flowing pressure in

pumping oil wells provides important information regarding

both reservoir and artificial lift performance. Converting sur-

face pressure measurements to bottomhole is currently accom-

plished by locating the fluid level in the annulus using a sonic

device and then applying a correlation to estimate the density

of the gas-cut liquid column above the perforations. This gas-

cut liquid column exhibits Zero Net Liquid Flow (ZNLF) con-

ditions where the casing head gas flows through a nearly stag-

nant liquid. A review of literature reveals that the correlations

currently in use by the industry are based on low pressure and

low viscosity data. Increasingly, operators are encountering

high viscosity fluids and in some instances, casinghead gas

flows into gathering systems which are not the typical low

pressure systems. This paper presents recent experimental

measurements for ZNLF under high viscosity and pressure

conditions. The results indicate that viscosity and pressure

have a significant effect on the calculated bottomhole pres-

sures and that these effects are not accounted for in the cur-

rently applied methods. New methods are presented to calcu-

late multiphase density, i.e. gradient correction factor, under

high viscosity and high pressure conditions.

Introduction

The ability to monitor bottomhole pressures provides many

advantages for reservoir management. Pumping wells com-

pleted without a packer provide a special opportunity for this

low cost and reliable bottomhole pressure surveillance. For

these pumping wells, wellhead pressure data is converted to

bottomhole pressure by use of flow models and an acoustic

(sonic) device to locate the gas-liquid interface. Fig. 1 shows

the schematic of this type of pumping oil well. The well is

completed in a conventional fashion, without a packer. The

pump can be a sucker rod pump, PC pump or ESP. The pro-

duced fluids are pump from the well through the tubing string,

while produced and solution gas travels up the tubing/casing

annulus and is produced as casinghead gas at the surface.

Acoustic devises are used to determine the depth to the inter-

face, either from direct velocity measurement as discussed by

Thomas et al.

1

or through correlation of the casing collar re-

flection with the well pipe tally as discussed by McCoy et al.

2

.

Once the gas-liquid interface has been located, bottomhole

pressure is estimated through use of flow models to calculate

the pressure drop through the gas phase above the interface

and oil-water-gas mixture that exists below the interface. This

paper considers the prediction of pressure drop of this liquid-

gas mixture that existing below the interface. In particular,

what effect do fluid viscosity and pressure have on these pre-

dictions.

The flow of gas through a static liquid column creates a spe-

cial type of multiphase flow, termed Zero Net Liquid Flow

(ZNLF). In this case, liquid is present in the wellbore but does

not flow out the tubing/casing annulus with the gas phase.

The gas phase simply passes through the often-churning col-

umn of liquid. A number of methods have been developed to

predict the liquid holdup of this gas-cut liquid column. The

well-known Gilbert chart correlates a Liquid Correction Factor

(LCF), F

x

, with an F

y

term of Q

G

/AP

0.4

. The LCF corrects the

liquid density to account for the effect of the gas phase. In

modern terms, the LCF is related to liquid holdup, H

L

, by:

( )

L G L L m L

H H LCF + 1 ) (

..(1)

and the F

y

term is simply (v

SG

)

sc

/P

0.4

. Apparently the P

0.4

term

is used to approximately convert standard condition gas flow

rate to in-situ conditions, thereby approximating v

SG

. In

1977, Godbey & Dimon

3

presented a correlation of v

SG

with

the gas void faction, 1-H

L

. The most widely use methods was

proposed by Podio et al.

4

in 1980. They found the Gilbert

chart to be valid only at extremely low pressures (0 psig) and

that the Godbey & Dimon did not provide a good match of

their data. They examined pressures from 0 to 50 psig in their

SPE 63047

Estimation of Bottomhole Pressure in Pumping Oil Wells: Effect of High-Viscosity

Fluids and Casinghead Pressure

H. An, SPE, Louisiana State University; S.L.Scott, SPE, Texas A&M University, and J.P. Langlinais, SPE, Louisiana State

University

2 H. AN, S.L. SCOTT, J.P. LANGLINAIS SPE 63047

study and proposed a new modified S curve for ZNLF in

water-air system as shown below

+

8

1

0 0

n

n

n L

X C C H

, .(2)

where C

0

= 6.59329 E-01, C

1

= -4.22842 E-01, C

2

= -1.56392

E-01, C

3

= 4.62897 E-02, C

4

= 6.11411 E-02, C

5

= 1.54776 E-

02, C

6

= -6.51489 E-03, C

7

= -4.58866 E-03, C

8

= -7.12890 E-

04, and X = log

10

(v

SG

).

Their experimental results showed that the increase in liquid

viscosity had an effect on ZNLF holdup, when viscosity was

increased from 1 to 50 cp. The experimental data fitted the

modified S curve, Eq. 2 by defining a corrected v

SG

:

06 . 0

/ '

SG SG

v v

, .(3)

where

cp 50 1

Hasan et al.

5

presented a model for prediction of the LCF

which allows a variety of fluid propoerties to be considered.

In 1994, Kabir & Hasan

6

present a comprehensive review of

the current methods and discuss the accuracy of the various

available methods.

Current Models of Vertical ZNLF

Most models of ZNLF are slip modesl, based on calculating

holdup from the differing velocities of the gas and liquid

phases. The velocity of the gas phase is based on modeling

the movement of a Taylor Bubble:

T m G

v v C v

+

0

.....(4)

This would be expected to valid in the bubble and slug flow

regimes, but also appears to extend into the churn flow region

as well. Using the definition of slip and the fact that the net

liquid velocity is zero, yields:

T SG

SG

S

SG

L

v v C

v

v

v

H

+

0

0

1 1

, ..(5)

where C

0

is the flow distribution coefficient (the ratio of the

centerline velocity to the average velocity of the flux), and v

T

is the Taylor Bubble rise velocity in a stagnant liquid column.

White & Beardmore

7

investigated the effect of viscosity,

density, and surface tension on the Taylor Bubble rise velocity

in a stagnant liquid column. Dimensionless analysis led to the

identification of several key dimensionless numbers such as

Eo (Eotvos number), M (Molton number), and Fr (Froude

number). Froude number, u

2

/(gD), represents the ratio of in-

ertial to gravitational forces. The Molton number, g

4

/(

3

),

does not include either u or D, but contains only the properties

of the fluid. Eotvos number, gd

2

/, has the effect of surface

tension, not viscosity nor velocity, and is needed to describe

the phenomena of Taylor Bubble rise velocity. For viscosities

less than 1000 cp and normal oil field tubulars and fluids, their

results showed little change in drift velocity. If only viscosity

increases, and surface tension, density, Eo, diameter of pipe,

C

0

, and v

SG

are constant, the Froude number decreases. There-

fore, calculated ZNLF holdup, Eq. 5, at constant v

SG

would

tend to decrease slightly with increasing viscosity.

Aziz et al.

8

stated that Taylor bubble rise velocity in a stag-

nant column is

L

G L

T

gD

C v

) (

, ..(6)

where C was given by Wallis

9

as

( )

[ ]

]

]

]

]

,

,

,

(

(

,

\

,

,

(

j

m

N

N

E

v

e e Fr C

37 . 3

029 . 0 5 . 0

1 1 345 . 0

,

( )

L

g L

E

gD

N

2

, ( )

L

g L L

v

g D

N

3

,

and m is determined from

N

v

m

250 10

250>N

v

>18 69N

v

-0.35

18 25

The ZNLF fluid column can be either full pipe flow or flow

in the annular space between the tubing and the casing. Cae-

tano investigated the effect of a concentric and eccentric an-

nulus. He found that large Taylor bubbles did move slighly

faster in an annular geometry than for full pipe flow. Even

though it resulting in overprediction of the Taylor bubble rise

velocity for all his data, Caetano

10

recommended the approach

of Sadatomi et al.

11

whereby the diameter in the bubble drift

equation is replace by the equi-periphery diameter which is the

sum of the casing and tubing diameters. Clearances for fish-

ing operations limit the range of tubing to casing diameters

that occur in oil field completions. In this range, there would

appear to be no difference between flow in an annulus and

pipe flow for the fully eccentric geometry. For concentric

geometry, Caetanos data lie between the pipeflow values and

those predicted using the Sadatomi et al. diameter correction.

Recently, Arpandi et al.

12

presented a model for ZNLF

holdup within a comapct gas-liquid separator:

]

]

]

]

,

,

,

(

(

,

\

,

,

(

j

(

(

,

\

,

,

(

j

P

d

G

SG

L

L

L

v

v

H 1 1

0

0

, (7)

The first term in this equation uses the equation for ZNLF

holdup as shown in Eq. 5. A constant value for C

0

is assumed

as 1.15 for slug/churn flow. The second term is a correction to

account for that liquid holdup will exist only in that portion of

ESTIMATION OF BOTTOMHOLE PRESSURE IN PUMPING OIL WELLS:

SPE 63047 EFFECT OF HIGH-VISCOSITY FLUIDS AND CASINGHEAD PRESSURE 3

pipe that is slug-churn flow. L

P

stands for the length of pipe,

and L

d

does for the length of pipe in annular flow, or the

length of the droplet region. This portion of the pipe will not

be included in the calculation of liquid holdup, since very little

liquid exists in the upper portion of vertical ZNLF. The equa-

tion for the length of the droplet region was derived from a

droplet ballistic analysis using C

d

= 0.44 suggested by Turner

et al.

13

as shown below

( )

(

(

,

\

,

,

(

j

C L

SG G

d

SG

d

g

v

C

v

g

L

32

3

2

2

1

2

2

, .(8)

Experimental Results

Recently, experimental studies have been conducted to exam-

ine the role of high pressure, viscosity and density on liquid

holdup for ZNLF. Duncan

14,15

constructed a 25 ft tall, 4.897-

inch ID high pressure test apparatus and conducted tests with

high pressure methane and water. To investigate effects of

density and viscosity in vertical ZNLF, An

16,17

constructed a

14-ft, 3-in ID vertical transparent pipe apparatus and con-

ducted tests with air and a wide variety of fluids. Liu &

Scott

18

also looked at the effects of viscosity using a 3-inch,

30-ft tall clear acrylic apparatus. This apparatus was also used

to examine the effect of fluid improvement chemicals, such as

drag reducing agents and foamers, on ZNLF

19

. The details of

these experiments and the results obtained are given in Refs.

14-19. In summary, pressure, viscosity and chemicals were all

found to have dramatic effects on liquid holdup for ZNLF.

The water-air experimental data of An

16

at 25 psig was

compared with Podio et al.

4

and Arpandi et al.

12

. The experi-

mental data show an excellent match with the correlation of

Podio et al.

4

(Fig. 2). However, the experimental data exhibit

a discrepancy with the correlation of Podio et al.

4

as the flow

regime reaches annular flow.

Fig. 3 illustrates the effect of density in ZNLF holdup. As

density increases from 6.8 ppg (LVT 200 Oil) to 11.5 ppg

(Calcium Chloride Solution), the ZNLF holdup is observed to

increase. As viscosity increases from 1cp to 100cp (water

through the Glycerin Solution), the ZNLF holdup is signifi-

cantly increased as shown in Fig. 4. Pressure makes a signifi-

cant difference on ZNLF holdup as shown in Fig. 5. The

modified S curve was compared with experimental data as

shown in Figs. 6-7.

From White and Beardmore

7

, the rise velocity of the Taylor

bubble in a stagnant liquid column is unaffected by viscosity if

2

gD

3

/

2

>3*10

5

and surface tension if Eo >70. All the New-

tonian fluids used by An

16

were found to have essentially

identical v

T

.

Modeling and Correlation of ZNLF

The ZNLF slug flow equation, Eq. 5, is used to analyze the

ZNLF phenomena. From the assumption of the identical v

T

from the vertical ZNLF slug to the churn flow, the flow distri-

bution coefficient, C

0

, changes as a function of v

SG

as shown

in Fig. 8. The transition from slug to churn is indicated by

where C

0

has a value of 1.2. Similarly, the transition from

churn to annular is indicated where C

0

takes a value of 1. The

correlation of C

0

vs. v

SG

was made for effects of liquid viscos-

ity, liquid density and pressure. From experimental data, poly-

nomial lines were put into data points. Then, by using Aziz et

al.

8

correlation for Fr

0.5

and changing C

0

, Eq. 5 was put into

polynomial lines. The correlation of C

0

was found as,

) exp(

0

d cv b av C

SG SG

+ + +

, ...(9)

On the graph (Fig. 8) of C

0

vs. v

SG

from LVT 200 oil to cal-

cium chloride (6.8ppg to 11.5ppg), by assuming viscosity ef-

fect is neglected, the correlation of C

0

vs. density was

founded. First of all, from the four straight-line parts from

6.8ppg to 11.5ppg in vertical ZNLF churn flow regime, which

C

0

is less than 1.2, the average slope, a, was calculated. By

trial and error, it was founded that a logarithmic function de-

scribed the relation between C

0

and liquid density well. There-

fore, intersection, b, was put as logarithmic relation between

C

0

and liquid density. However, in vertical ZNLF slug flow

regime, which C

0

is greater than 1.2, different constants had to

be plugged into the exponent of the correlation because verti-

cal ZNLF slug flow regime had a greater density effect on C

0

than vertical ZNLF churn flow regime. In the same manner,

on the graph of C

0

vs. v

SG

from 20cp glycerin (9.7ppg) to

100cp glycerin (11.5ppg), the correlation of C

0

vs. viscosity

was found. Since the density of 50cp glycerin is 10ppg, the

10ppg calcium chloride was the base line for the correlation.

The same method was applied to the 100cp glycerin (11.5ppg)

comparing with 11.5ppg calcium chloride. There were four

points to construct the correlation of C

0

vs. viscosity, which

were 8.33ppg, 9.7ppg, 10ppg, and 11.5ppg. The 9.7ppg line

was from the correlation. It was founded that a linear function

described the relation between C

0

and viscosity well. Intersec-

tion, b, was put as linear relation between C

0

and viscosity.

Like density effect, exponent parts of the correlation had more

viscosity effect on C

0

than the straight-lines. Different slope,

c, and intersection, d, were put into the correlation. From this

regression analysis method, the corrected C

0

for effects of liq-

uid viscosity, liquid density, and pressure was found.

4

'

3 2 1

'

0

ln A A A v A C

G

L

SG

+ +

(

(

,

\

,

,

(

j

+

]

]

]

,

,

+ +

(

(

,

\

,

,

(

j

+ +

8

'

7 6 5

ln A A A v A EXP

G

L

SG

..(10)

where

osity water visc

viscosity liquid

viscosity liquid ess dimensionl

'

,

A

1

= -0.0246, A

2

= 0.1654, A

3

= 0.001, A

4

= 0.399, A

5

= -

0.6757,A

6

= 1.6407, A

7

= 0.0036, and A

8

= -9.4357

4 H. AN, S.L. SCOTT, J.P. LANGLINAIS SPE 63047

By using ZNLF slug flow equation and Aziz et al.s Correla-

tion

8

for Fr

0.5

, vertical ZNLF holdup can be calculated in dif-

ferent liquid density, liquid viscosity, and pressure conditions.

T SG

SG

L

v v C

v

H

+

'

0

0

1

, ..(11)

Figs. 9-11 show that this proposed correlation matches very

well with experimental data.

New Approach for ZNLF Flow Pattern Transitions

Various kinds of mechanistic models exist to predict multi-

phase flow pattern transitions. The slug-churn transition and

churn-annular transition from this experimental data do not fit

any of the existing models. Therefore, a new approach is

needed to describe the phenomena of vertical ZNLF.

In bubble-slug transition, using equation in An et al.

17

, the

transition of air-water system at 25 psig is,

sec / 2026 . 0

) (

3825 . 0

4 / 1

2

ft

g

v

L

G L

SG

]

]

]

,

, .(12)

However, drift flux mechanistic approach in An et al.

2

yields

sec / 2583 . 0

) (

4829 . 0

4 / 1

2

ft

g

v

L

G L

SG

]

]

]

,

, ...(13)

From the correlation of Podio et al.

4

, ZNLF holdup of water-

air at 25psig as 0.75 exists at 0.58 ft/sec. Also, the proposed

correlation, Eq. 9 yields that ZNLF holdup, 0.75 exists at

0.525 ft/sec.

In slug flow regime, there are two parts, which are the Tay-

lor bubble and liquid slug having small bubbles, which chases

the tail of the Taylor bubble. The Taylor bubble moves up-

ward, taking almost the entire pipe area. In another words,

there is a tiny falling film between the Taylor bubble and the

pipe wall. This falling film has an effect on the chasing liquid

slug. Besides, the friction on the pipe also effects this flow

regime. The non-viscous flow regime of the liquid slug is not

affected by this tiny falling film. In ZNLF conditions, liquid is

moving up by gas flow and down by gravity force. The liquid

in one unit slug can be considered as the liquid holdup. How-

ever, the bottom of the pipe has more liquid slugs in vertical

ZNLF than the upper part of the pipe because of gravity force.

But, in a viewpoint of the liquid holdup in the entire pipe

length, we can consider each unit slug contains the same

amount of liquid.

Taitel et al.

20

modeled the slug-churn transition. They as-

sumed that immediately behind the Taylor bubble, liquid

moves up at the same velocity as the Taylor bubble. But, just

before the next Taylor bubble, liquid in the centerline moves

up at the centerline mixture velocity, C

0

v

M

. However, in

ZNLF conditions, since superficial liquid velocity is zero,

C

0

v

SG

can be accepted as the centerline velocity. By assuming

the exponential variation between two liquid velocities, the

slug-churn transition in water-air system was established. The

v

SG

in which churn flow can be observed in the entire length

of the test apparatus (14ft) is,

(

(

,

\

,

,

(

j

+ 292 . 0 6 . 42

gD

v

D

L

SG E

,

sec / 9 . 2 ft v

SG

, ..(14)

The slug-churn transition approach from Taitel et al.

20

dis-

agreed with the transition from the experimental data. The

experimental ZNLF slug-churn transition was set by using C

0

as 1.2 because C

0

is changed by the superficial gas velocity in

vertical ZNLF condition. This transition has 0.261 as liquid

holdup and 6.5 ft/sec as v

SG

in the water-air system under ver-

tical ZNLF conditions. The experimental transition exists at

the much higher v

SG

in water-air systems comparing with

Taitel et al.

20

model. Viscosity and density make the differ-

ence on this transition zone as well as the value of ZNLF

holdup from results of this experiment. For example, in 100cp-

glycerin solution (11.5ppg), the transition exists at 11.9 ft/sec

and ZNLF holdup is 0.221. Another slug-churn transition was

founded by Jayanti and Hewitt

21

at 0.22 as liquid holdup.

Similarly, the experimental ZNLF churn-annular transition

was set at the point, where C

0

becomes to 1. This transition has

0.064 as liquid holdup at 14.5 ft/sec in water-air system in

vertical ZNLF condition. However, for the 100cp-glycerin

solution (11.5ppg), the transition is at above 15 ft/sec from

experimental data as well as the different liquid holdup.

Why Does More Liquid Exist in High Density and

Viscosity Liquids and Less Liquid Exist in High

Pressure in Vertical ZNLF?

In several viscous fluids, transitions indicate different values

where liquid holdups are less than 0.261 because the amount

of liquid slug is getting smaller at high superficial gas veloci-

ties. Since a viscous liquid is hard to break up and sticks to the

pipe side, higher v

SG

is needed to achieve slug and churn flow

regimes. In a vertical viscous Zero Net slug flow, the Taylor

bubble moves up in a more narrow flow area. The smaller

diameter of the Taylor bubble makes more falling film and

moves up much faster. Since more liquid is falling down to the

liquid slug, a thick film develops in the pipe side, and the

centerline velocity (slip velocity) becomes much faster than

the average velocity of the product of flux. It effects C

0

, the

flow distribution coefficient. Therefore, C

0

must increase due

to the thick film falling as viscosity increases. Also, in high-

density fluids, the heavy falling film falls faster to the liquid

slug, which makes C

0

increase. Fig. 12 shows the schematic of

slug flow regimes, which shows the falling liquid film near the

Taylor bubble increases as viscosity increases.

By considering that lengths of a unit slug are the same for

non-viscous and viscous fluids, and diameters of bubbles in

viscous fluids are smaller than in non-viscous fluids and move

faster, higher holdup in high density and viscosity liquid in

vertical ZNLF can be explained. Also, under high pressure

conditions, gas density approaches the liquid density. By

mixing heavier gas with liquid, C

0

is getting flattened, ex-

plaining why holdup decreases under high pressure conditions.

ESTIMATION OF BOTTOMHOLE PRESSURE IN PUMPING OIL WELLS:

SPE 63047 EFFECT OF HIGH-VISCOSITY FLUIDS AND CASINGHEAD PRESSURE 5

Proposed Technique of Estimating Flowing Bottom-

hole Pressure in Pumping Oil Wells

Using the following data, calculate the flowing bottomhole

pressure in the pumping oil well

Casing - 4 in. ID

Tubing - 2 in. OD

Depth to perforation zone - 10000 ft

Producing annulus fluid level - 3000 ft

Producing casing head pressure - 200 psig

Producing casing head temperature - 60 F

Casing head gas rate - 200 Mscfd

Gas specific gravity - 0.8

Annular liquid - oil,

o

= 0.952

Surface tension at standard condition - 60 dynes/cm

Geothermal gradient - 0.010625 F/ft

Total produced GOR - 700 scf/STB

Solution

PVT calculation was from Kartoatmodjo and Schmidt Corre-

lation

22

and Dranchuk and Abou-Kassem Equation

23

of State.

The moody friction equation with equi-periphery diameter was

used in gas column. Using Cullendar and Smith method

24

, the

flowing pressure at the annulus fluid level can be calculated.

For liquid column, pressure traverse calculation and Eq. 9

were used to estimate mixture pressure gradient. Mixture pres-

sure gradient in liquid columns is p/d (psi/ft) = 0.052

M

=

[ ] ) 1 ( 052 . 0

L G L L

H H +

.

The computer program has been made to calculate flowing

bottomhole pressure in pumping oil well by using Visual Ba-

sic in Microsoft Excel. By putting more increments of two

methods, more accurate flowing bottomhole pressure can be

estimated in various densities and viscosites of gas and liquid.

Input data, output data, pressure profile, and data sheet from

this computer program are shown in Figs. 13-16.

Conclusions

1. ZNLF Slug flow equation was used to analyze the vertical

ZNLF phenomena with good results. The correlation of cor-

rected flow distribution coefficient (C

0

) was made to estimate

ZNLF holdup in different liquid densities, viscosites, and

pressures.

2. As density increased from 6.8 ppg (LVT 200 Oil) to 11.5

ppg (Calcium Chloride Solution), the ZNLF holdup increased.

It was founded that a logarithmic function described the rela-

tion between C

0

and liquid density well.

3. As viscosity increases from 1 cp to 100 cp, the ZNLF

holdup is increased significantly. By comparing identical den-

sities of calcium chloride and glycerin solutions, viscosity was

found to have an effect on the vertical ZNLF holdup. It was

founded that a linear function described the relation between

C

0

and liquid viscosity well.

4. As pressure increases from 100 psig to 1000 psig, the

ZNLF holdup is decreased. It was founded that a logarithmic

function described the relation between C

0

and 1/gas density

well.

5. By using this computer program, flowing bottomhole pres-

sure in pumping oil wells can be estimated more accurately in

various liquid densities, viscosites, and pressure conditions.

Nomenclature

a,b,c,d,C = constant

C

0

= flow distribution coefficient

C

d

= drag coefficient

D = pipe diameter

d = depth, ft

g = gravity acceleration

H = holdup

L = length

m = mass

p = pressure, psi

v = velocity, ft/sec

V = volume

X = Constant

= density, pound per gal

= surface tension, dynes/cm

= viscosity, cp

Subscripts and Superscripts

0 = zero net liquid flow conditions

BS = bubble swarm

C = centerline of pipe or gas core in an-

nular flow

d = droplet region

E = entrance

G = gas or gravity

GLS = gas in liquid slug

GTB = gas in Taylor bubble

L = liquid

LCF = liquid correcton factor

LLF = liquid in rising annular film

LLS = liquid in liquid slug

LS = liquid slug

Lo = liquid in falling film

M = mixture of gas and liquid

P = pipe

S = slip

Sc = standard conditions

SG = superficial gas

SL = superficial liquid

SLS = stable liquid slug

SU = slug unit

ULS = unstable liquid slug

T = Taylor bubble in a stagnant liquid

column

Acknowledgement

Hyoung-Jin An wishes to express appreciation to the LSU

Petroleum Engineering Research and Technology Transfer

Laboratory (PERTTL) for their assistance. Also, Mr. An

wishes to express his gratitude to the financial support from

the Louisiana Energy Enhancement Program (LEEP) and the

6 H. AN, S.L. SCOTT, J.P. LANGLINAIS SPE 63047

LSU Petroleum Engineering Department. The authors are

grateful for the efforts of Richard Duncan, Bazil Elzein and

Emily Baie who assisted with this study.

Reference

1. Thomas, L.K., R.W. Hankinson and K.A. Phillips: Determina-

tion of Acoustic Velocities for Natural Gas, SPE J. of Petro-

leum Technology, 889-895 (July 1970).

2. McCoy, J.N., A.L. Podio, K.L. Huddleston and B. Drake:

Acoustic Static Bottomhole Pressures, SPE paper 13810 pre-

sented at the Production Operations Symposium, Oklahoma City

(March 10-12, 1985).

3. Godbey, J.K. and C.A. Dimon: The Automatic Liquid Level

Monitor for Pumping Wells, SPE J. of Petroleum Tech., pp

1019-1024 (August 1977).

4. Podio, A.L., Tarrillion, M. J., and Roberts, E.T.: Laboratory

work improves calculations, Oil & Gas J. (Aug 1980) 137.

5. Hasan, A.R., C.S. Kabir and R. Rahman: Predicting Liquid

Gradient in a Pumping-Well Annulus, SPE Production Engi-

neering, pp 113-120 (Feb. 1988).

6. Kabir, C.S. and A.R. Hasan: Two-Phase Flow Correlations as

Applied to Pumping Well Testing, ASME J. of Energy Re-

sources Tech., Vol. 116, 121-127 (June 1994). October.

7. White, E.T., and Beardmore, R.H.: The Velocity of Rise of

Single Cylindrical Air Bubbles Through Liquids Contained in

Vertical Tubes, Chemical Engineering Science (1961), Vol.17,

351.

8. Aziz, K., Govier, G.W., and Fogarasi, M.: Pressure Drop in

Wells Producing Oil and Gas, J. Cdn. Pet. Tech. (July-

September 1972).

9. Wallis, G.B.: One-Dimensional Two-Phase Flow, McGraw Hill,

New York, NY (1969).

10. Caetano, E.F.: "Upward Vertical Two-Phase Flow Through an

Annulus," Ph.D. Dissertation, The University of Tulsa (1986).

11. Sadatomi, M., Y. Sato and S. Saruwatari: Two-Phase Flow in

Vertical Noncircular Channels, Int. J. Multiphase Flow, Vol. 8,

pp 641-655 (1982).

12. Arpandi, I., Joshi, A.R., Shoham, O., Shirazi, S., and Kouba,

G.E.: Hydrodynamics of Two-Phase Flow in Gas-Liquid Cy-

lindrical Cyclone Separators, paper SPE 30683 Presentated at

the 1998 SPE Annual Technical Conference & Exhibition, Dal-

las, TX, 22-25.

13. Turner, R.G., Hubbard, M.G., and Dukler, A.E.: "Analysis and

Prediction of Minimum Flow Rate for the Continuos Removal

of Liquid from Gas Wells," JPT. (1969), Vol.21, 1475.

14. Duncan, R.W.: Effects of High Pressure on Liquid Holdup for

Vertical Zero Net Liquid Flow, M.S thesis, Louisiana State

University, Baton Rouge, LA (1998).

15. Duncan, R.W., and Scott, S.L.: Vertical Zero-Net Liquid Flow:

Effects of High Pressure on Holdup, paper presented at the

1998 BHRG Multiphase Conference, Banff, Canada, Vol. 31,

43.

16. An, H.: Effects of Density and Viscosity in Vertical Zero Net

Liquid Flow, M.S thesis, Louisiana State University, Baton

Rouge, LA (2000).

17. An, H., Langlinais, J.P., and Scott, S.L.: Effects of Density and

Viscosity in Vertical Zero Net Liquid Flow, paper presented at

the ASME-ETCE Production Technology Symposium, New

Orleans (Feb. 14-17): ASME J. of Energy Resources Tech. (June

2000).

18. Liu, L. and S.L. Scott: A Model for Vertical Zero Net-Liquid

Flow, paper presented at the ASME-ETCE 2000 Production

Technology Symposium, New Orleans (Feb. 14-17, 2000).

19. Lui, L. and S.L. Scott: Effect of Flow Improvement Chemicals

on Vertical Zero Net-Liquid Flow, proceedings of the BHRG

2nd North American Conference on Multiphase Technology,

Banff, Canada (June 21-23, 2000).

20. Taitel, Y., Barnea, D., and Duckler, A.E.: "Modeling Flow Pat-

tern Transitions for Steady State Upward Gas-Liquid Flow in

Vertical Tubes," AIChE J. (1980), Vol.26, 345.

21. Jayanti, S., and Hewitt, G.F.: Prediction of the Slug-To-Churn

Flow Transition in Vertical Two-Phase Flow, Intl. J. Multi-

phase Flow (1992), 6, 847.

22. Kartoatmodjo, T. and Schmidt, Z.: New Correlations for Crude

Oil Physical Properties, paper SPE 23556 available from SPE,

Richardson, TX.

23. Dranchuk, P.M. and Abu-Kassem, J.H.: Calculation of Z-factor

for Natural Gases Using Equations-of-State, J. Cdn. Pet. Tech.

(July-September 1975).

24. Cullender, M.H., and Smith, R.V.: Practical Solution of Gas-

Flow Equations or Wells and Pipelines with Large Temperature

Gradients, Trans., AIME (1956), 207.

SI Metric Conversion Factores

cp x 1.0* E - 03 = Pas

dyne x 1.0* E - 02 = mN

ft x 3.048* E - 01 = m

F (F - 32)/1.8= C

gal x 3.785 412 E - 03 = m

3

in. x 2.54* E + 00 = cm

lbm x 4.535 924 E - 01 = kg

psi x 6.894 757 E + 00 = kPa

ZNLF

Pump

Perforation

Zone

Liquid

Gas

Fig.1. Schematic of Pumping Oil Well

ESTIMATION OF BOTTOMHOLE PRESSURE IN PUMPING OIL WELLS:

SPE 63047 EFFECT OF HIGH-VISCOSITY FLUIDS AND CASINGHEAD PRESSURE 7

0.0

0.7

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16

VSG(ft/sec)

Experimental Data of water

Correlation of Podio et al.

Arpandi's Model

Excellent Match

Fig.2. Comparison of Water-Air System in ZNLF condition

0.0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18

VSG (ft/sec)

Z

N

L

F

H

o

l

d

u

p

Oil (6.8ppg)

Water (8.33ppg)

Calcium Chloride (10ppg)

Calcium Chloride (11.5ppg)

C

o

=1

Slug-Churn Transition,C

0

=1.2

Churn-Annular Transition,C

0

=1

Fig.3. Effect of Density on ZNLF Holdup (from An et al.

17

)

0.0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

VSG (ft/sec)

Z

N

L

F

H

o

l

d

u

p

20cp Glycerine (9.7ppg)

50cp Glycerine (10ppg)

Calcium Chloride (10ppg)

100cp Glycerine (11.5ppg)

Calcium Chloride (11.5ppg)

Slug-Churn Transition,C

0

=1.2

Fig.4. Effect of Viscosity on ZNLF Holdup (from An et al.

17

)

0.0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18

vSG (ft/sec)

100 psig 200 psig

300 psig 400 psig

500 psig 1000 psig

Fig.5. Effect of Pressure on ZNLF Holdup

0.01

0.10

1.00

10.00

100.00

0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0

ZNLF Holdup

Oil (6.8ppg)

Water

20 cp Glycerin (9.8ppg)

50 cp Glycerin (10 ppg)

100 cp Glycerin (11.5ppg)

Modifed "S" Curve - Podio et al.

Fig.6. Comparsion with Modified S Curve (Density and Viscosity

Effect)

0.01

0.10

1.00

10.00

100.00

0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0

ZNLF Holdup

100 psig

200 psig

300 psig

400 psig

500 psig

1000 psig

Modifed "S" Curve - Podio et al.

Fig.7. Comparsion with Modified S Curve (Pressure Effect)

8 H. AN, S.L. SCOTT, J.P. LANGLINAIS SPE 63047

C

0

= 1.6081V

sg

-0.1942

C

0

= 1.3087e

-0.0208Vsg

C

0

= 1.8839V

sg

-0.2464

C

0

= 1.3897e

-0.0227Vsg

C

0

= 1.9578V

sg

-0.2471

C

0

= 1.4264e

-0.0228Vsg

C

0

= 2.0079V

sg

-0.2517

C

0

= 1.4501e

-0.0233Vsg

0.9

1.1

1.3

1.5

1.7

1.9

2.1

2.3

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20

Vsg(ft/sec)

C

o

Oil (slug)

Oil (churn)

Water (slug)

Water (churn)

Calcium Chloride 10ppg (slug)

Calcium Chloride 10ppg (churn)

Calcium Chloride 11.5ppg (slug)

Calcium Chloride 11.5ppg (churn)

Fig.8. C0 vs. vSG in ZNLF Holdup (from An et al.

2

)

0.0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

1.0

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16

V

SG

(ft/sec)

H

L

0

Oil (6.8 ppg)

Water

Calcium Chloride (10 ppg)

Calcium Chloride (11.5 ppg)

Fig.9. Proposed Correlation of ZNLF Holdup (Density Effect)

0.0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

1.0

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16

V

SG

(ft/sec)

H

L

0

20 cp Glycerin (9.7 ppg)

50 cp Glycerin (10 ppg)

100 cp Glycerin (11.5 ppg)

Fig.10. Proposed Correlation of ZNLF Holdup (Viscosity Effect)

0.0

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.4

0.5

0.6

0.7

0.8

0.9

1.0

0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18

V

SG

(ft/sec)

H

L

0

100 psig 200 psig

300 psig 400 psig

500 psig 1000 psig

Fig.11. Proposed Correlation of ZNLF Holdup (Pressure Effect)

Falling Film

L

TB

, Length of

Taylor Bubble

L

SU

, Length of

a slug unit

SG C

v C v

0

gD Fr v C v

SG C

5 . 0

0

+

ZNLF: H

GTB

=H

GLS

Non-Zero Net

Stable Slug Flow

L

LS

, Length of

Liquid Slug

L

H

GLS

V

GLS

V

LLS

H

GTB

Viscous Zero Net

Unstable Slug Flow

Non-viscous Zero Net

Unstable Slug Flow

Fig.12. Schematic of ZNLF Regimes in Comparison with Non-

ZNLF

INPUT DATA

Casing I.D 4 in

Tubing O.D 2 in

Depth to perforation zone 10000 ft

Cullender-Smith Depth to annulus fluid level 3000 ft

Method Producing casing head pressure 200 psig

Producing casing head temperature 60 F

Casing head gas rate 200 Mscfd

Gas specific gravity 0.8

Pressure Traverse Liquid specific gravity at 60 F 0.952

Calculation Surface tension at standard condition 60 dynes/cm

Geothermal gradient 0.010625 F/ft

Total Produced GOR 700 scf/STB

Number of Cullender-Smith Increments 200

Number of Pressure Traverse Increments 300

ZNLF

Perforation Zone

Liquid

Gas

?

OUTPUT R U N MAIN

Fig.13. Input Slide

ESTIMATION OF BOTTOMHOLE PRESSURE IN PUMPING OIL WELLS:

SPE 63047 EFFECT OF HIGH-VISCOSITY FLUIDS AND CASINGHEAD PRESSURE 9

OUTPUT DATA

200 psig BHFP at 10000 ft 1911.01 psig

200 Mscfd Flowing pressure at 3000 ft 218.66 psig

Temperature at 10000 ft 186.25 F

Temperature at 3000 ft 111.88 F

Viscosity at 10000 ft 11.15 cp

Viscosity at 3000 ft 76.06 cp

218.6631 psig Dead-Oil Viscosity at 60 F 463.14 cp

3000 ft Bubble-point Pressure at 10000 ft 5993 psig

1911.0138 psig

10000 ft

INPUT MAIN GRAPH DATA

by Hyoung - Jin An

hantiger@hotmail.com

Fig.14. Output Slide

3000

4000

5000

6000

7000

8000

9000

10000

0 500 1000 1500 2000

Pressure, Psig Pressure, Psig Pressure, Psig Pressure, Psig

D

e

p

t

h

,

f

t

D

e

p

t

h

,

f

t

D

e

p

t

h

,

f

t

D

e

p

t

h

,

f

t

Fig.15. Pressure Profile

Liquid Gas Gradient Mixture

Depth, Pressure, Temp, Viscosity, Density, Density, Rs, BO, Bt, CO, VSG, correction gradient, z-Factor

ft psig F cp lb/ft

3

lb/ft

3

scf/STB res bbl/STB res bbl/STB psi

-1

ft/sec factor psi/ft

3000.00 218.66

112.00 75.77 57.65 0.90 30.34 1.036 10.035 1.7663E-05 2.388 0.3719 0.1530 0.9832

3023.33 222.23

112.25 75.20 57.64 0.92 30.79 1.036 9.893 1.7557E-05 2.353 0.3738 0.1537 0.983

3046.67 225.82

112.49 74.64 57.63 0.93 31.24 1.037 9.755 1.7452E-05 2.318 0.3756 0.1545 0.9827

3070.00 229.43

112.74 74.08 57.61 0.94 31.70 1.037 9.620 1.7349E-05 2.284 0.3775 0.1553 0.9825

3093.33 233.05

112.99 73.53 57.60 0.96 32.15 1.037 9.488 1.7249E-05 2.252 0.3794 0.1560 0.9822

3116.67 236.69

113.24 72.98 57.59 0.97 32.61 1.038 9.360 1.7149E-05 2.220 0.3812 0.1568 0.982

3140.00 240.35

113.49 72.44 57.58 0.99 33.07 1.038 9.234 1.7052E-05 2.188 0.3831 0.1576 0.9818

3163.33 244.02

113.73 71.90 57.56 1.00 33.53 1.038 9.112 1.6956E-05 2.158 0.3850 0.1583 0.9815

3186.67 247.72

113.98 71.37 57.55 1.01 34.00 1.039 8.992 1.6862E-05 2.128 0.3869 0.1591 0.9813

3210.00 251.43

114.23 70.84 57.54 1.03 34.46 1.039 8.875 1.6769E-05 2.099 0.3887 0.1598 0.981

3233.33 255.16

114.48 70.31 57.52 1.04 34.93 1.039 8.761 1.6678E-05 2.070 0.3906 0.1606 0.9808

3256.67 258.91

114.73 69.79 57.51 1.06 35.40 1.040 8.650 1.6589E-05 2.042 0.3925 0.1614 0.9805

3280.00 262.67

114.97 69.27 57.50 1.07 35.87 1.040 8.541 1.6500E-05 2.015 0.3944 0.1621 0.9803

3303.33 266.46

Fig.16. Data Sheet

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