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Flow Regime Affects Erosion Prediction in Multiphase Flow

Topics: Flow assurance

Erosion caused by fine solid particles presents one of the greatest threats to oil and gas flow assurance, consequently affecting material selection and wall-thickness design. The authors of this paper conclude that the erosional effect caused by microsized particles is dependent on the flow patterns in the pipe, determined by superficial velocities of each phase. The results of the proposed modeling using multiphase computational fluid dynamics (MCFD) are expected to benefit erosion-impact assessment in multiphase hydrocarbon-production and -piping systems.

Introduction

Understanding the effect of key parameters that regulate erosion mechanisms is essential. Studies addressing these issues have concluded that particles rebound and that the erosion profile is dependent on particle motion inside oilfield conduits. Researchers also have found that the direct-impingement (semiempirical) model agreed with results achieved with the discrete-phase model implemented in CFD, while the pure empirical model severely underpredicted the erosion, thus emphasizing the importance of flow-behavior modeling. Furthermore, the majority of available erosion-prediction models involve single-phase systems, not taking into account multiphase flow patterns that address the characteristics of individual flow behaviors.

In other studies, the erosional effect caused by microsized particles in single-phase carrier fluid also has been reported. One hypothesis is that the presence of these microsized particles acts as an enabler, which produces homogeneous pits on the surface of metal, increasing significantly the contact surface area upon which chemical and mechanical interactions can take place.

The effect of multiphase flow and its interaction with sand particles, specifically fine solids, is often neglected. Hence, integrating both the erosion and fluid-flow models is essential in enhancing the accuracy of erosion evaluation.

This article, written by JPT Technology Editor Chris Carpenter, contains highlights of paper OTC 28360, “Investigation of Erosion Caused by Fine Particles in Multiphase Flow,” by Tran Nguyet Ngo, SPE, and Deng-Jr Peng, Intecsea, and William Pao, Hamdan Ya, and Rohaizad M. Norpiah, SPE, Petronas, prepared for the 2018 Offshore Technology Conference Asia, Kuala Lumpur, 20–23 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed. Copyright 2018 Offshore Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission.
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Flow Regime Affects Erosion Prediction in Multiphase Flow

01 November 2018

Volume: 70 | Issue: 11

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