Experimental Investigation Of The Shear Effect On Oil-Water Emulsion Flow In Pipelines

by Natan Augusto Vieira Bulgarelli, , Jorge Luiz Biazussi, William Monte Verde, Antonio Carlos
Bannwart, Marcelo Souza de Castro, presented at HTFF 2022, August 2022.



Emulsion flows have been a severe flow assurance issue, mainly in mature oil fields. Its formation occurs due to shear on oil-water flows caused by artificial lift methods, such as Electrical Submersible Pumps (ESP), and/or valves. The shear rate has an important role in emulsion flow behavior related to its relative viscosity and phase inversion. Therefore, this work presented an experimental investigation of the shear effect on three emulsion systems flowing in a pipeline. The shear element used was a combination of an 8-stage ESP and a glob valve. The emulsion systems analyzed were unstable emulsion and stable emulsion with and without a demulsifier. The experimental investigation was carried out for two ESP rotational speeds, 2400 and 3500 rpm, and one total volumetric flow rate, varying the water cut. From this study, it was observed that phase inversion occurred with increasing shear. Moreover, the effective viscosity was the same regardless of the surfactant presence for the three emulsion systems tested.

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