Volume averaging of multiphase flows with hydrate formation in subsea pipelines

Zeinali Torbati, Reza (2015) Volume averaging of multiphase flows with hydrate formation in subsea pipelines. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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In oil and gas pipeline operations, the gas, oil, and water phases simultaneously move through pipe systems. The mixture cools as it flows through subsea pipelines, and forms a hydrate formation region, where the hydrate crystals start to grow and may eventually block the pipeline. The potential of pipe blockage due to hydrate formation is one of the most significant flow-assurance problems in deep-water subsea operations. Due to the catastrophic safety and economic implications of hydrate blockage, it is important to accurately predict the simultaneous flow of gas, water, and hydrate particles in flowlines. Currently, there are few or no studies that account for the simultaneous effects of hydrate growth and heat transfer on flow characteristics within pipelines. This thesis presents new and more accurate predictive models of multiphase flows in undersea pipelines to describe the simultaneous flow of gas, water, and hydrate particles through a pipeline. A growth rate model for the hydrate phase is presented and then used in the development of a new three-phase model. The conservation equations of mass, momentum, and energy are formulated to describe the physical phenomena of momentum and heat transfer between the fluid and the wall. The governing equations are solved based on an analytical-numerical approach using a Newton-Raphson method for the nonlinear equations. An algorithm was developed in Matlab software to solve the equations from the inlet to the outlet of the pipeline. The developed models are validated against a single-phase model with mixture properties, and the results of comparative studies show close agreement. The new model predicts the volume fraction and velocity of each phase, as well as the mixture pressure and temperature profiles along the length of the pipeline. The results from the hydrate growth model reveal the growth rate and location where the initial hydrates start to form. Finally, to assess the impact of certain parameters on the flow characteristics, parametric studies have been conducted. The results show the effect of a variation in the pipe diameter, mass flow rate, inlet pressure, and inlet temperature on the flow characteristics and hydrate growth rates.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/11950
Item ID: 11950
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 79-84).
Keywords: Hydrate particles, multiphase flow, pipeline, natural gas
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: December 2015
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Underwater pipelines--Fluid dynamics; Petroleum pipelines--Fluid dynamics; Hydrates; Multiphase flow

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