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ACCURATE multiphase flow predictions for long tiebacks and subsea developments

ACCURATE multiphase flow predictions for long tiebacks and subsea developments

This project aims to close the most critical knowledge gaps associated with accurate modeling of multiphase flow. An important basis for this work is the utilization of new data for three-phase flow generated in the multiphase laboratories at SINTEF and at the Department of Energy Technology (IFE).

Illustration: Kongsberg Oil & Gas Technologies

To reduce costs and minimize the environmental impact associated with the development of new oil and gas fields offshore, gas, oil and water are transported as a multiphase flow from the reservoir in one and the same pipe. Ofte, the wellheads are laid from the wellhead up to the nearest onshore facility. Alternatively, they can be connected to existing pipes on the seabed, so-called "tiebacks". This means that gas, oil and water must be transported together over very large distances; in many cases 50-100 km and in some cases considerably longer.

To avoid operational problems related to long-distance multiphase transport, and to maximize profitability, good design decisions must be made. A good decision basis assumes that the flow in these long pipes is accurately predicted by the models. Today's multiphase models have some shortcomings that limit the overall precision of the forecasts. This new project aims to close the most critical knowledge gaps associated with accurate modeling of multiphase flow. An important basis for this work is the utilization of new data for three-phase flow generated in the multiphase laboratories at SINTEF and at the Department of Energy Technology (IFE). Key issues related to multiphase modeling to be addressed in the project are:

  • Wall wetting in three-phase gas-dominated flow, where the liquid film covering the wall leads to increased pressure drop
  • Oil-water interaction, especially with regard to the mixing of water droplets in the oil and vice versa.
  • Dynamic flow, where the assumption of fully developed flow is incorrect.

After thorough testing and validation, the new models will be included in commercial versions of the multi-phase simulation software LedaFlow.

The innovation project is led by LedaFlow Technologies DA, and will be carried out in close collaboration with SINTEF and Kongsberg Digital."

The project is funded by the Research Council of Norway

Published 20 February 2019
Senior Research Scientist

Project duration

2017 - 2020