Heavy oil accounts for a major portion of the world’s total oil reserves. Its production and transportation through pipelines is beset with great challenges due to its highly viscous nature. This paper studies the effects of high viscosity on heavy oil two-phase flow characteristics such as pressure gradient, liquid holdup, slug liquid holdup, slug frequency and slug liquid holdup using an advanced instrumentation (i.e. Electrical Capacitance Tomography). Experiments were conducted in a horizontal flow loop with a pipe internal diameter (ID) of 0.0762 m; larger than most reported in the open literature for heavy oil flow. Mineral oil of 1.0–5.0 Pa.s viscosity range and compressed air were used as the liquid and gas phases respectively. Pressure gradient (measured by means differential pressure transducers) and mean liquid holdup was observed to increase as viscosity of oil is increased. Obtained results also revealed that increase in liquid viscosity has significant effects on flow pattern and slug flow features.
|Number of pages
|Heat and Mass Transfer/Waerme- und Stoffuebertragung
|Early online date
|21 Sep 2017
|Published - 1 Mar 2018