Multiphase flow correlations

The primary purpose of a multiphase flow correlations is to predict the liquid holdup (and hence the flowing mixture density) and the frictional pressure gradient.  This article details the most widely used correlations for the prediction of the Vertical Lift Performance.

The oil and water are lumped together as one equivalent fluid. Thus flow correlations in common use consider liquid/gas interactions.  They are therefore more correctly termed two-phase flow correlations.  Depending on the particular correlation, flow regimes are identified and specialized holdup and friction gradient calculations are applied for each flow regime.

There is no universal rule for selecting the best flow correlation for a given application. When an outflow performance simulator is used, it is recommended that a Correlation Comparison always be carried out. By inspecting the predicted flow regimes and pressure results, the User can select the correlation that best models the physical situation.

Multiphase flow correlations:

Fancher & Brown:

  • Fancher and Brown is a no-slip correlation, with no flow regime map. Therefore, this correlation cannot be recommended for general use and it is provided for use as a quality control (should not be used for quantitative work).
  • It gives the lowest possible value of Vertical lift Performance (VLP). Therefore, Measured data falling to the left of Fancher Brown on the correlation comparison plot indicates a problem with fluid density (i.e PVT) or field pressure data.
  • According to Brown, it is only suitable for 2-3/8 – 2-7/8 inch tubing.
  • It is for GLR less than 5000 scf/bbl and flow rates less than 400 bpd.
  • It has its own friction factor model, which is independent of pipe roughness.

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ESP Nine Step Design Procedure

Centrilift has established a nine-step procedure to design the appropriate electrical submersible pump in order to have an efficient and cost-effective performance. This article gives an overview of the ESP nine step design procedure and outlines the procedure as a manual process to illustrate the design steps. Each of the nine steps will be explained in detail in the next articles.

Specific examples will be worked through in each step of the ESP design.

This nine step procedure is a basic hand-design of simple water and light crude oil. For more complicated well conditions, such as high GOR, viscous oil, high-temperature wells, there are many of available ESP design software (e.g. Prosper software – Product of Petroleum Expert; Pipesim software – Product of Schlumberger; Autograph PC software – Product of Baker Hughes; Solution Sizing Software – Product of General Electric; DesignRite Software – Product of Schlumberger). The fashion of use of each of these ESP design software will be presented and explained in detail in upcoming articles in our website.