Detailed Analysis of Pressure Drop in a Large Diameter Vertical Pipe

Nwachukwu, Kizito Chibuike (2014-12-15)


With the ever increasing need to optimize production, the accurate understanding of the mechanics of multi-phase flow and its effect on the pressure drop along the oil-well flow string is becoming more pertinent. The efficient design of gas-lift pump, electric submersible pumps, separators, flow strings and other production equipment depends on the accurate prediction of the pressure drop along the flow pipe. Pressure is the energy of the reservoir/well and it is crucial to understand how a change in fluid properties, flow conditions and pipe geometric properties affect this important parameter in the oil and gas industry. Extensive work on this subject has been done by numerous investigators albeit in small diameter pipes. Reliance on the empirical correlations from this investigators has been somewhat misleading in modelling pressure drop in large diameter pipes (usually >100 mm) because of the limitations imposed by the diameter at which they were developed and the range of data and conditions used in deriving them. In this work, experimental data from the experimental study by Dr. Mukhtar Abdulkadir was used as the data source. The gas velocities, liquid velocities, film fraction, gas and liquid properties and the pipe geometric properties from the above mentioned experiment were used to model the frictional and total pressure drop from six correlations. Results were analyzed and compared with the experimental results.