When to Use Computational Fluid Dynamics in Flow Assurance Studies

In the oil and gas industry, many different approaches have attempted to provide accurate predictions of the hydrodynamics and flow-related characteristics of fluids. However, factors such as modeling the concentration of a dispersed phase, the determination of drag and lift forces and relative motion between phases, and the need to consider particles with ranges of shape, size and density means that the only viable option in many situations is the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to develop accurate solutions for challenging multiphase flow problems.

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Slugging Management

Topsides separators are designed to handle a relatively constant flow of liquid and gas, but may also have an allowance for slugs. Under certain operating conditions (low flow rate, over-sized flowline ID and unfavorable flowline profile), gas and liquid are not evenly distributed throughout the flowline, but consist of large plugs of liquid followed by large gas pockets. This is called slug flow.

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Pipeline Pigging Part 1: Cleaning Pigs & Pigging Strategy

Build-up of deposits can create conditions for accelerated localized corrosion, which may be caused by under-deposit corrosion, localized acidic conditions and/or bacterial attack (microbiologically induced corrosion - MIC). This may result in sections of the pipeline needing repair or replacement before the end of their anticipated design life. Deposits will also impact throughput due to the reduction in the effective pipe diameter, which may require up to 140% increase in pressure in the line to maintain flow (Titratsoo 1).

This paper is the first part of a two part series and presents an overview of pig selection criteria for cleaning and maintenance of the pipelines, and covers high level guidance on establishing a progressive pigging strategy.

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Hydrates: Prediction, Mitigation & Remediation Techniques

Hydrates and hydrate plugs can restrict flow, damage equipment, and potentially jeopardize the safety of personnel. Hydrates are formed as a result of the bond between gas and water molecules that occur at high-pressure, low-temperature environments. In deepwater, hydrates can form at temperatures higher than the ambient seabed temperature; hence, prevention and remediation of hydrates is a serious concern for deepwater operators.

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