Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
Displacement & Mixing in Subsea Jumpers - Experimental Data and CFD Simulations
The University of Tulsa
The objective of the project is to conduct an experimental and computational study of the mixing and displacement phenomena that take place during hydrate inhibition of jumper type configurations using MEG and methanol as well as how these findings help in preventing hydrate formation in jumper type configurations.
The experimental studies will allow visual observation of the flow and diffusion behavior inside the jumper test section upon restart as well as the concentration profile of inhibitors throughout the system. The results from the experimental runs will serve as input to set up the CFD simulation and to validate the model once constructed. In addition, findings from the experiments will help to define the range of inhibitors velocities that favor mixing and the interval of flowrates that could promote the displacement of water out of the system.
Computational fluid dynamics offers the possibility of improving the design process of subsea components by tackling issues early in the engineering project. Likewise, numerical analysis (CFD) enables one to study in depth the mixing and displacing mechanisms that occur during jumper flushing operations in order to optimize key factors such as the position of the injection port and the flowrate of a required chemical inhibitor. This reduces the risk of hydrate plugging, protects system integrity and offers a means to control the amount of chemicals to be used, while keeping the CAPEX and OPEX within acceptable project economic limits.
Three key deliverables will result from this project. The first is a CFD model / engineering tool to assist in the design process of future jumper installations. This model will be capable of evaluating different jumper configurations and dimensions and optimize inhibitor injection strate-gies. The second is a database with the water inhibition experiments using MEG and methanol. This database will be useful to benchmark other models. The third will be the validation of jumper guidelines with hydrate experiments.
This study will be performed by the Hydrates Flow Assurance Joint Industry Project at the University of Tulsa in collaboration with CD-Adapco, a CFD modeling company that has an office in Tulsa. Current members of this Joint Industry Project are Anadarko, BG, BP, BHP, Calsep, Champion Technologies, Chevron, ENI, StatoilHydro, Ondeo Nalco, Marathon, Petrobras, and Total. These members will be consulted and updated at semi-annual advisory board meetings. The University has over 50 member companies where over $2.5 million in research is being conduced in flow assurance research such as, erosion/corrosion, paraffins, and hydrates. Support will be pursued with these companies to advance and expand the project.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Michael Volk