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A non-inertial two-phase model of wax transport in a pipeline during pigging operations

A non-inertial two-phase model of wax transport in a pipeline during pigging operations
A non-inertial two-phase model of wax transport in a pipeline during pigging operations

The removal of wax deposit from pipelines is commonly accomplished using pigs. In order to avoid the formation of wax plugs in pipes, bypass pigs, which create a liquid jet to disperse the scraped deposit, are employed. Despite many One-Dimensional (1D) models have been developed to predict the dynamics of bypass pigs, the details of the interaction between the liquid jet and the debris have not been investigated numerically yet. In this work the fluid dynamics of a wax-in-oil slurry in front of a moving bypass pig is studied by means of three-dimensional (3D) numerical simulations. A mathematical model which couples the pig and the wax-in-oil slurry dynamics, solved in the pig frame of reference, has been developed. The results show that the pig quickly reaches an equilibrium velocity, and the pig acceleration is proportional to the square of the mixture relative velocity. Comparing the present with previous sealing-pig results it appears that the bypass flow is more effective in deterring plug formation. Moreover, the 3D fields have the advantage of showing the wax distribution in each pipe section whereas the 1D model cannot distinguish between deposited and suspended wax.

Bypass pigging, Non-inertial frame of reference, Pipe flow, Waxy oil
0920-4105
664-672
Boghi, Andrea
54a72da6-c8a2-468c-9773-897efac0638f
Brown, Lloyd
5c209177-e0d6-4bce-a2a2-77e22fbde3ac
Sawko, Robert
19466064-96ea-498f-97b8-a934fe427ddb
Thompson, Christopher P.
9ff9edd5-8056-424c-bf21-81715af0842a
Boghi, Andrea
54a72da6-c8a2-468c-9773-897efac0638f
Brown, Lloyd
5c209177-e0d6-4bce-a2a2-77e22fbde3ac
Sawko, Robert
19466064-96ea-498f-97b8-a934fe427ddb
Thompson, Christopher P.
9ff9edd5-8056-424c-bf21-81715af0842a

Boghi, Andrea, Brown, Lloyd, Sawko, Robert and Thompson, Christopher P. (2018) A non-inertial two-phase model of wax transport in a pipeline during pigging operations. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, 165, 664-672. (doi:10.1016/j.petrol.2018.02.071).

Record type: Article

Abstract

The removal of wax deposit from pipelines is commonly accomplished using pigs. In order to avoid the formation of wax plugs in pipes, bypass pigs, which create a liquid jet to disperse the scraped deposit, are employed. Despite many One-Dimensional (1D) models have been developed to predict the dynamics of bypass pigs, the details of the interaction between the liquid jet and the debris have not been investigated numerically yet. In this work the fluid dynamics of a wax-in-oil slurry in front of a moving bypass pig is studied by means of three-dimensional (3D) numerical simulations. A mathematical model which couples the pig and the wax-in-oil slurry dynamics, solved in the pig frame of reference, has been developed. The results show that the pig quickly reaches an equilibrium velocity, and the pig acceleration is proportional to the square of the mixture relative velocity. Comparing the present with previous sealing-pig results it appears that the bypass flow is more effective in deterring plug formation. Moreover, the 3D fields have the advantage of showing the wax distribution in each pipe section whereas the 1D model cannot distinguish between deposited and suspended wax.

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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 28 February 2018
e-pub ahead of print date: 6 March 2018
Published date: 1 June 2018
Keywords: Bypass pigging, Non-inertial frame of reference, Pipe flow, Waxy oil

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 421761
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/421761
ISSN: 0920-4105
PURE UUID: 19a0f257-500c-4934-b98e-5d90a10a4ed5
ORCID for Andrea Boghi: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-9387-326X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 26 Jun 2018 16:30
Last modified: 14 Mar 2019 02:00

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Contributors

Author: Andrea Boghi ORCID iD
Author: Lloyd Brown
Author: Robert Sawko
Author: Christopher P. Thompson

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