Experimental Investigation of Hydrodynamic Slug Flow in Pipeline-Riser Systems
Activities in oil and gas industry have shifted deep offshore. There is therefore the need to envisage and accurately provide for flow assurance challenges that might be encountered throughout the life of a field. Slug flow is one of the flow assurance concerns confronting the industry. The objective of the study was to gain insight into the behaviour of hydrodynamic slug flow in pipeline-riser system. This understanding is needed for the development of appropriate slug control strategy. Experimental studies were conducted in a 2” pipeline-riser system and a 2” horizontal two-phase flow facility. Slug envelopes were developed for the pipeline-riser system, the vertical and the horizontal pipes. The results revealed three distinct slug flow behaviours. The first type of slug was formed in the horizontal pipeline and transported through the riser pipe nearly unchanged, the second type of slugs were formed in the horizontal pipe but also experience growth in the riser pipe while the third are slugs formed in the vertical pipe without the influence of the upstream horizontal pipe. There is therefore the need to develop appropriate slug control strategies based on the observed behaviour of the identified regions.