NewPHYMOIL: New methodology for the prediction of the hydrodynamics of multiphase flow in high depth scenarios: application to oil industry  

Funding detail

Total Budget: 230.4 k€
CEFT funding: 230.4 k€
Program: P2020|COMPETE - Projetos em Todos os Domínios Científicos
Funded by: FCT - Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia
Coordination: José Daniel Pacheco Araújo

Short Description

Multiphase flow is a very broad phenomenon in systems ranging from micro to macro-scale dimensions. One of the most relevant multiphase flow patterns is slug flow, as it can be frequently found in several distinct scenarios such as oil industry, metallurgy, volcanic eruptions, wastewater treatment, food industries and biochemical processes. Slug flow is an intermittent flow pattern since it mainly consists on a sequence of elongated bubbles that occupy almost all the available cross section of a channel with portions of liquid phase separating them. Besides gas bubbles, in the presence of immiscible liquids, the continuous liquid phase can also incorporate elongated drops. From the scenarios pointed out, oil industries will be the main focus of this proposal. Nowadays, the reality of oil extraction is a depletion of stocks in conventional reservoirs, and so, companies’ attention is shifting to the exploitation of high depth wells. To deal with this reality, solid knowledge and improved prediction tools are the keystone to overcome the enormous technological issues that are associated with this operation under very harsh conditions.

The project presented in this proposal is dedicated to developing enhanced computational tools for detailed prediction of multiphase flows at high pressure conditions: CFD solvers applied to short domains and a 1D slug flow tracking simulator proper for very long conducts. The assessment of these tools will be based on experimental measurements made with non-intrusive techniques, a novel approach supported on dimensionless groups similarity and data collected in real high depth oil wells.

At the end of the project, the improved CFD solvers will be made available for free access and the final version of the slug flow tracking simulator will be commercialized. Although the current end-users of this computational product are oil companies, it has the potential to be applied in a wide range of industrial sectors where complex multiphase flows are a reality. A free and user-friendly version of the referred simulator will also be developed for educational purposes