Attenuating Severe Slug Flow at Large Valve Opening for Increased Oil Production Without Feedback Control Signal
In the co-current flow of gas-liquid mixtures through pipeline-riser system, severe slugging is frequently encountered and manifests in significant fluctuation of flow and pressure. This can pose serious threat to production facilities. The most common method for its mitigation is by choking which unfortunately could negatively affect production. The objective of this study therefore is to develop a technique that can help stabilise the system and maximise production simultaneously. In this paper, a new general method for multiphase flow system stability analysis was proposed based on a new passive attenuation method – the intermittent absorber. A series of experiments were carried out in a 4″ pipeline-riser system which is 55 m long with horizontal pipe inclined at 2° connected to 10.5 m high catenary riser followed by 3 m horizontal topside section. Air and water were used as experimental fluids. Numerical studies were also conducted on a 4″ pipeline-riser system to proof the concept. The results showed that the intermittent absorber possess potential for stabilising severe slug flow at larger valve opening and lower pressure. For the case studied, up to 9% reduction in the riser base pressure was reported which practically implies increased oil production.