CFD investigation of the erosion severity in 3D flow elbow during crude Oil contaminated sand transportation
Engineering and Technology Journal,
2017, Volume 35, Issue 9, Pages 930-935
AbstractDuring upstream petroleum production operations, crude oil and sand eroded from formation zones are often transported as a mixture through pipes up to the well heads and between well heads and flow stations. The sand particles are carried by the flow momentum in streamlines that impinge the pipe walls, in particular at the elbows, resulting in seriously erosive damages. This can lead to a disastrous and costly failure in the system. Therefore, computing of erosion rate during the system operation is indispensable for predicting any potential failure in advance, and hence avoid it. Among all the fittings employed in piping systems, elbows are the most likely subjected to erosion resulting from sand particles carried with oil, where those particles deviate from the mainstream and impact the walls while passing through the bended section of elbows. To reduce the erosive damage produced by the solid particles, a numerical simulation based erosion prediction model has been employed to compute the relative erosion severity. In this study ,the potentials required to simulate the current problem comprehensively, various physical aspects have been combined together including flow turbulence, particle tracking, and erosion simulation. In addition to the comprehensive insights offered by the computational simulation of crude oil flow, high costs along with tedious efforts required for traditional experimentations can be avoided. The current analysis offers priceless physical insight towards serve this model as an alternative sand management tool, and can be used to quantify oil recovery. Furthermore, it can identify limiting steps and components; form a computer-aided tool for designing and optimizing the future pipe systems in order to enhance their lifetime through improving their erosion resistance, which is definitely will save considerable amount of time and cost.
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