Prediction of Pressure Gradients for Multiphase Flow in Pipes

Owing to the varying flow rates of the different phases, pressure traverse in multiphase flow varies from single phase flow. The majority of multiphase flow pressure traverse correlations are designed for vertical wells, but the Beggs and Brill model is one of the few that is used for inclined pipes. The aim of the project is to demonstrate how the model can be improved. This project is focused on research into multiphase fluid flow in pipes of any inclination, with an emphasis on the Beggs and Brill flow model. The Beggs and Brill and Beggs and Brill Traverse models were compared in two cases: liquid holdup correction and differences in the Gas Liquid Ratio (GLR). Pressure gradient forecasts are far from reliable as compared to measured data in the field due to the observational existence of the Beggs and Brill model. The aim of this project is to reduce the error margin between expected and measured pressure gradient values. The Beggs and Brill Traverse Model was found to be a better prediction method than the Beggs and Brill model for the same reservoir, fluid, and pipe properties. For GLR above 400 scf/stb, prediction errors increased with pipe length, whereas they were more reliable for pipes between 12,000 and 17,000 ft and pressures between 3,000 and 4,500 psi. The Beggs and Brill Traverse Model, on the other hand, is constrained by the correlations used to compute fluid properties. In order to effectively design tubing and optimal production strategies, it is important to predict pressure drop in vertical multiphase flow.

Author (s) Details

Sarah A. Akintola
Department of Petroleum Engineering, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria

Julius U. Akpabio
Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Uyo, Uyo, Nigeria

Mary-Ann Onuegbu
Accenture Strategy, London, UK

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