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SPE-193478-MS

SPE-193478-MS Slugging in Multiphase Pipeline Systems and Capacity Evaluation of Downstream Reception Facilities Adetokunbo Akeju and

Slugging in Multiphase Pipeline Systems and Capacity Evaluation of Downstream Reception Facilities

Adetokunbo Akeju and Felix Agunu

Copyright 2018, Society of Petroleum Engineers

This paper was prepared for presentation at the Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition held in Lagos, Nigeria, 6–8 August 2018.

This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright.

SPE-193478-MS Slugging in Multiphase Pipeline Systems and Capacity Evaluation of Downstream Reception Facilities Adetokunbo Akeju and

Abstract

Slugging is a transient phenomenon associated with flow instabilities usually in pipeline systems; and can occur principally in one of two ways or a combination of both: (1) hydrodynamic slugs and (2) terrain induced slugs. A case study is the Ewa field development which involves the drilling and production of up to 5 wells and multiphase export to existing Idu flow station via a 12-inch × 16.5 km pipeline. The pipeline right of way includes road and river crossings, as wells as passage through local farmlands. The river crossing poses a peculiar challenge as the pipeline will potentially be buried up to a depth of about 60m from the surface (at the cliffy end of the river); introducing the potential for terrain induced slugs in the pipeline system. It is important to confirm that the downstream reception facilities at Idu, i.e. production separators; have sufficient residual capacity to accommodate incoming slugs to prevent high level trips and process shutdowns; leading to production deferment and revenue loss. The objective of this paper is to perform dynamic analysis using OLGA software to evaluate the severity of slugging and magnitude of slugs; as well as slug frequencies in pipeline arriving at Idu during normal and pigging operations. The capacity of downstream reception facility in handing incoming slugs is also evaluated. The results of the assessment are validated with similar analysis performed for existing 10-inch × 4.5 km Davy pipeline to Idu flow station versus field experience.

Introduction

Bolex Petroleum operates an oil block concession located onshore West Africa. The concession currently has Idu and Davy fields producing into Idu Flow Station (IFS). Production from these fields have declined over time and the Opco is considering bringing in new production from Ewa field. Ewa has 5 producing wells with expected peak production of circa 6,250 blpd and 520 scf/bbl GOR (excluding gas lift).

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Production from Ewa will be conveyed as 3-phase bulk fluid via a 12" NB × 18km pipeline to Idu for processing. Idu Flow station have existing production separators V-100 / V-200 which have a combined processing capacity of 31,000 blpd and 35 MMscfd gas. With current production from Idu and Davy fields at about 24,000 blpd (3,000 bopd; 21,000 bwpd); this leaves a residual processing of 7,000 blpd for incoming Ewa production. The objective of this paper is to determine from OLGA transient analysis, the expected slug volumes and frequencies from Ewa during normal and pigging operations; assess the adequacy of inlet Production Separators at Idu and provide possible solutions for excessive slug handling to minimise production interruptions and improve flow assurance from Ewa field.

2 SPE-193478-MS Production from Ewa will be conveyed as 3-phase bulk fluid via a 12" NB

Figure 1—Field Pipeline Network

Theory of Two-Phase Horizontal Flow

Flow regimes in horizontal flow are illustrated in Figure 2.

As illustrated, in stratified flow, gravity acts normally to flow direction and separation of the flow occurs. In this case, the gravitational separation is complete. Stratified-wavy flow; Bubble Flow occurs where the bubbles are dispersed in the liquid continuum (though there is some separation due to gravity as illustrated Annular dispersed flow, occurs where there is asymmetry in the film thickness due to the action of gravity. Wavy Flow occurs where very large waves are present on the stratified layer; and

Slug Flow occurs where these waves touch the top of the tube and form a liquid slug which passes rapidly along the channel.

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SPE-193478-MS 3 Figure 2—Two-Phase Horizontal Flow Regimes (Ref 1) Flow regimes can be predicted using the

Figure 2—Two-Phase Horizontal Flow Regimes (Ref 1)

Flow regimes can be predicted using the flow regime map with knowledge of superficial velocity of the phases or mass flux and quantity.

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4 SPE-193478-MS Figure 3—Horizontal Flow Regime Map (Ref 1) The intermittent nature of slug flow, presents

Figure 3—Horizontal Flow Regime Map (Ref 1)

The intermittent nature of slug flow, presents a peculiar challenge in horizontal two-phase flow with respect to periodically increased liquid volumes arriving at Idu downstream facilities above the normal expected rates.

Application Using Olga Software

Simulation Cases

The following simulation cases were performed to evaluate slugging phenomenon in the 12-inch Ewa to Idu pipeline under normal and pigging operation.

  • 1. Simulation for Normal Operations with ‘Slug Tracking’ module

  • 2. Simulation for Pigging Operations

Basis & Assumptions

Software. The analysis was carried out using OLGA 2016.1.0 transient simulator, while PVTsim 20.0 was used for fluid characterisation and creation of fluid PVT tables. The PVT files created in PVTsim have been interfaced with OLGA via .tab (tabular) files and all simulations are then completed by the OLGA engine. The following are the basis of simulations for PVTsim and OLGA:

PVTsim:

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SRK Peneloux (T) equation of state (EOS) Three phase water option

OLGA:

Three Phase option Flash Mode - WATER Flow Model – OLGAHD Fluid Tab file – Ewa Well stream 1.tab

System Parameters.

The following systems parameters / assumptions were applied for the analysis:

Peak Production rate – 6,250 BLPD Average water cut – 40% Max Associated GOR – 520 scf/bbl Gas Lift – 2.5 MMscfd (0.5 MMscfd × 5wells) – coincident with peak production Max GOR (including gas lift) – 1186 scf/bbl IFS Process Inlet Pressure – 125 psig IFS Process Inlet Temperature – 35 degC

The maximum allowable IFS Production Separators drain rate = 31,000 BLPD (21,000 for Davy + Idu production; residual drain rate for Ewa = 10,000 BLPD)

Current Davy + Idu production = 24,000 blpd; planned shut-in of Idu high water cut wells creating additional 3,000 blpd in available processing capacity for Ewa production. Therefore, for this analysis, the combined base production from Davy and Idu is taken to be 21,000 blpd. Pipeline inlet Temperature at Ewa: 45 degC

Ambient Temperature: 25degC

Pipeline Properties.

Table 1 below gives the pipeline properties and Figure 2 shows the pipeline profile.

Table 1—Pipeline Properties

Property

Value

Remarks

Pipeline OD

12.75"

Nominal Bore

Pipeline ID

11.87"

Nominal Bore

Roughness

0.0018"

Commercial steel

Pipeline Length

18km

Including design margin

Pipeline Profile.

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6 SPE-193478-MS Figure 4—Pipeline Profile Fluid Model and Characterisation The fluid tab was created using reservoir

Figure 4—Pipeline Profile

Fluid Model and Characterisation

The fluid tab was created using reservoir fluid composition at 1591 bara and 122 degF.

Table 2—Reservoir Fluid Composition

Component

Mol %

N2

0.09

CO2

0.36

C1

33.93

C2

2.68

C3

0.27

iC4

0.09

nC4

0.24

iC5

0.33

nC5

0.24

C6

0.78

C7

0.61

C8

0.31

C9

0.25

C10

0.58

C11

2.00

C12+

57.24

The C12+ MW and boiling point data were unavailable for pseudo component characterisation. Therefore, the No Plus characterisation option was used in PVTSim.

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The reservoir composition was flashed using PVTSim to atmospheric conditions and GOR of 520 scf/ bbl was established. Also, the fluid was saturated and required moles of water added to establish 40% water cut ..

Simulation Methodology. An initial conditions simulation was run to establish the initial conditions for the above main simulations. The restart file (.rsw file) of the initial condition simulation was used as starting point for subsequent simulations. Dynamic steady state conditions are applied and the system is run for at least 24 hours (86,400 seconds), after which the following parameters were plotted and evaluated.

  • 1. The liquid rate arriving at IFS; QLT / bpd

  • 2. Departing pipeline pressure at Ewa; PT / psig

  • 3. Length of Slugs; LSLEXP / m

  • 4. Liquid Hold-up in pipe (liquid fraction in pipe cross section) arriving at IFS; HOLEXP

  • 5. Accumulated liquid in downstream facility; ACCLIQ / m3

  • 6. Liquid Surge Volume in downstream equipment; SURGELIQ / m3

Simulation & Results for Normal Operation

Analysis with OLGA slug tracking provided details of potential slugs e.g. slug volumes, slug lengths, Number of slugs etc. in the pipeline and arriving at Idu, as detailed below.

Results

Liquid Rates at IFS. Figure 5 below shows the volumetric flow arriving at IFS reception facilities i.e. Production separators. The chart shows momentary liquid surges of up to 47,000 blpd arriving at IFS which can potentially cause process upsets if downstream facilities are not adequate. However, the liquid surges or slugs occur over very short duration thereby reducing the potential of any process impact.

SPE-193478-MS 7 The reservoir composition was flashed using PVTSim to atmospheric conditions and GOR of 520

Figure 5—Liquid Rate at IFS

Slug Lengths in pipeline.

From Figure 6, slug lengths in pipeline range from about 13m to 68m long.

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8 SPE-193478-MS Figure 6—Slug Lengths in Pipeline Liquid Hold Up at IFS. Liquid hold up plot

Figure 6—Slug Lengths in Pipeline

Liquid Hold Up at IFS.

Liquid hold up plot in Figure 7 indicates an average of 18 slugs arriving at IFS

over a 24 hour period. This gives an average slug arrival frequency of one every 1.5 hours.

8 SPE-193478-MS Figure 6—Slug Lengths in Pipeline Liquid Hold Up at IFS. Liquid hold up plot

Figure 7—Liquid Hold Up at IFS

Accumulated Volume and Surge Volume.

Figure 8 below shows the potential accumulated liquid

(ACCLIQ) in IFS Production Separators assuming there is no drainage or outflow from downstream

Separators.

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SPE-193478-MS 9 Figure 8—Accumulated Liquid Volume at IFS However, Production Separators V-100 / 200 have an

Figure 8—Accumulated Liquid Volume at IFS

However, Production Separators V-100 / 200 have an outflow capacity of 31,000 blpd, but with 21,000 blpd taken by Davy and Idu production, 10,000 residual outflow / drainage capacity remains for Ewa production. The surge liquid (SURGELIQ) is the liquid volume build up above the normal operating volume in the downstream vessel with provision of liquid outflow, i.e. V-100 / V-200 liquid outlet.

SPE-193478-MS 9 Figure 8—Accumulated Liquid Volume at IFS However, Production Separators V-100 / 200 have an

Figure 9—Surge Liquid Volume at IFS

Figure 9 above shows that a maximum of about 6 m3 surge volume is required to contain incoming slugs in downstream facilities.

IFS Production Separators Capacity Evaluation

Surge flow occurs under slugging conditions, resulting in liquid surges which can potentially cause process upsets if downstream facilities are not adequate to handle incoming liquid volumes. Figure 5 above shows the volumetric production rates and flow patterns arriving at IFS. Maximum rate is circa 47,000 blpd, though high slug volumes are momentary in nature, occurring over very short time periods.

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Production Separators Volume

The two Production Separators at IFS; V-100 and V-200 each with dimensions – 1.524m ID × 6.096m S/ S, have a volume of 12.05 m3 each (24.1 m3 total). The vessels have a combined processing capacity of 31,000 blpd (15,500 bopd and 15,500 bwpd) and 35 MMscfd gas. Presently, the separators receive production from Idu and Davy fields at a combined rate of 24,000 blpd (3,000 bopd and 21,000 bwpd); leaving 7,000 blpd processing residual processing capacity for Ewa fluids. However, with the planned curtailment of some high water cut Idu and Davy wells, an additional 3,000 barrels capacity can be made available in the Separators. Therefore, a total of circa 10,000 blpd residual processing capacity will be available in the Production Separators for processing of Ewa fluids.

10 SPE-193478-MS Production Separators Volume The two Production Separators at IFS; V-100 and V-200 each with

Figure 10—IFS Separators Volumes

From calculations, the available volume for Ewa production in the separators between the NLL of 700 mm and LSHH of 1143 mm is about 4.34 m3, i.e. a total of 8.68 m3 volume is available in the Production Separators for Ewa production processing. Therefore, under normal production of 6,250 blpd, it can be concluded that there is sufficient residual volume in the Production Separators to handle in coming slugs from Ewa.

Simulation & Results for Pigging Operations

For pigging analysis, the following parameters formed the basis of simulations:

Table 3—Pig Parameters

Description

Value

Static Force

1200

lbf

Wall Friction

1000

Ns/m

Linear Friction

10 Ns/m

Quadratic Friction

0 Ns2/m2

Mass

140 kg

Leakage factor

0.015

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The following sequence of steps was followed in pigging simulations:

  • 1. Allow the system to run and reach steady state in 1 hour

  • 2. Turn down production from 6,250 blpd to 2,500 blpd over 30 minutes

  • 3. Insert the pig at Ewa launcher at time = 1.5 hour

  • 4. Continue to run the simulation long enough so that the pig travels along the pipeline until it arrives at IFS

  • 5. Production ramped back up to 6,250 blpd after pig arrival and retrieval at IFS

  • 6. Once the pig has arrived at IFS, allow the simulation to continue and reach steady state conditions

  • 7. Residual drain rate for Ewa in IFS Production Separators– 10,000 blpd

  • 8. Maximum drain rate of Separators – 31,000 blpd

The pigging simulation time series applied in OLGA model is as shown in Table 4 below.

Table 4—Pigging Simulation Time Series

TIME SERIES FOR PIGGING

 

Time / s

0

3600

5400

56980

58780

86400

Activity

Start

Production

Pig Launched

Pig arrival at

Production

End

turn-down

from Ewa

IFS

ramp-up

Flow rate / blpd

6250

6250

2,500

2500

6,250

6,250

Liquid rate at IFS – ‘QLT’

SPE-193478-MS 11 The following sequence of steps was followed in pigging simulations: 1. Allow the system

Figure 11—Liquid Rate at IFS

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Surge Liquid Volume at IFS

12 SPE-193478-MS Surge Liquid Volume at IFS Figure 12—Pigging Surge Liquid Volume Max Surge Volume of

Figure 12—Pigging Surge Liquid Volume

Max Surge Volume of 100 m3 at (10,000 blpd drain rate). This is higher than available Separators residual capacity of 8.68 m3.

Davy Comparison

Simulation was also carried out for existing 10" × 4.5 km Davy – IFS pipeline during pigging, to validate the 12-inch Ewa pipeline model and confirm field experience during pigging. Simulation was based on parameters below:

Simulation Parameters

Ensured steady state established Pig introduced after 90 minutes of steady operation Production turned down from 10,000 blpd to 5,000 blpd

Pig parameters

Static Force – 1200 N Wall friction – 100 Ns/m Linear friction – 10 Ns/m Quadratic Friction – 0 Ns2/m2 Mass – 140 kg

The following are the results:

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SPE-193478-MS 13 Figure 13—Liquid Flowrate at IFS Surge Liquid volume Figure 14—Surge Liquid Volume Conclusions &

Figure 13—Liquid Flowrate at IFS

Surge Liquid volume

SPE-193478-MS 13 Figure 13—Liquid Flowrate at IFS Surge Liquid volume Figure 14—Surge Liquid Volume Conclusions &

Figure 14—Surge Liquid Volume

Conclusions & Recommendations

In conclusion, under normal operating conditions, IFS Production Separators V-100 and V-200 have sufficient residual capacity to handle incoming slugs from Ewa. However, for pigging operations, the residual capacity in the Separators is insufficient for incoming slug volumes, though the impact can be mitigated due to the planned and manned nature of pigging operations by:

  • i. reducing pigging fluid volume to as low as practically possible to the minimum required pigging velocity Use of by-pass pigs to reduce fluid velocity and impact on downstream Separators and process

ii.

iii. Install a slug control valve or restriction orifice on the incoming pipeline connected to the Production

separators level controllers to choke back on high separator levels

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Results for Davy 10-inch pipeline confirms field experience of no slugging related issues during the pipeline pigging operations.

Nomenclature

API

American Petroleum Institue

BLPD

Barrels of Liquid per Day

BOPD

Barrels of Oil per Day

BWPD

Barrel of Water per Day

cP

Centi Poise

EOS

Equation of State

GOR

Gas to Oil Ratio

ID

Inner Diameter

IFS

Idu Flow Station

OD

Outer Diameter

SRK

Soave Redlich Kwong

QLT

Liquid flow rates

LSLEXP

Length of slugs

HOLEXP

Liquid Hold-up in pipe

ACCLIQ

Accumulated liquid volume

SURGELIQ

Surge liquid volume

PT

Pipeline Pressure

RO

Restriction Orifice

WAT

Wax Appearance Temperature

References

  • 1. GPSA Engineering Data Book 11th Edition, Section 17