On slug frequency in concurrent high viscosity liquid and gas flow

A. Archibong-Eso, Y. Baba, A. Aliyu, Y. Zhao, W. Yan, H. Yeung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Slug frequency is an important input parameter in most mechanistic and semi-mechanistic models used for estimating slug flow characteristics such as pressure gradient, slug length and slug holdup. It is also essential in the design and sizing of transport and/or production pipelines, process flow control, design and operation of process equipment, etc. This study experimentally investigates slug frequency in two horizontal pipelines with internal diameters (ID) of 0.0254 and 0.0764 m. Test liquids used in the study were mineral oil (with viscosity ranging from 1.0 to 4.0 Poise) and water while compressed air is the gas phase. Effects of liquid viscosity, gas superficial velocity, liquid superficial velocity, pipe internal diameter, pipe length and pressure gradient are discussed. Results indicate that slug frequency increased with increase in oil viscosity; decreased with increase in pipe diameter; and reduces along the length of the pipe. For gas Reynolds number, ReSG≤2500, slug frequency increased with increase in gas superficial velocity, when ReSG>2500, slug frequency decreased with increase in gas superficial velocity. A new slug frequency correlation that accounts for liquid viscosity and gas superficial velocity, hitherto not included in other correlations was proposed. A comparative analysis of the proposed models and existing slug frequency correlation on a high viscosity databank showed that the proposed correlation gave the best prediction with an average absolute percentage error (AAPE) of 19.91%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)600-610
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Early online date26 Dec 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


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