Subsea Engineering

Course — SUBS 6310: Flow Assurance

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Term: 

Offered only in the Fall Semester.

Description: 

The course provides an overview of flow assurance and the fundamentals of flow management for subsea production systems. Following this introduction, the engineering tools and strategies associated with real world production will be developed. The materials of this course emphasize the understanding of basic sciences, engineering and flow assurance principles, as well as their application in the assessment, prevention and remediation of flow assurance problems.

The materials and topics tailored for this course will help subsea students engineering students:

  • Know the potential hazards and operational problems in subsea/deepwater production.
  • Deal with the problems and challenges in subsea operations.
  • Learn fundamental concepts of multi-phase flow and flow assurance challenges including formation and deposition of asphaltene, gas hydrate, wax, scales, erosion, corrosion and sand.
  • Take necessary and immediate actions to handle operational problems while production.

Topics Covered: 

Introduction to Flow Assurance and Fluid Flow: This part of the course introduces about subsea systems, subsea building blocks, flow assurance overview as well as fluid flow systems. Gives an overview to factors considered in total field development solution and typical project inputs and drivers. Covers different types of phase diagrams, fluid behavior, hydrocarbon reservoirs and fluids, reservoir fluid compositions, fluid properties and fluid property calculations. Also emphasizes on flow regimes in horizontal and vertical flows, slugging, pipe friction, single phase and multiphase flow characteristics including flow regime and pressure drop correlations using Beggs & Brill and other correlations along with Moody diagram, while stressing the application of Bernoulli’s equation, Stokes law and other empirical equations in subsea production problems. Problem solving on fluid flow will also be exercised in the class room.

Flow Assurance Issues: This part of the course covers detailed analysis of flow assurance and production chemistry issues like paraffin deposition; hydrate formation and blockage; asphaltenes precipitation. Hydrate control methods, remediation and plug removal methods; Wax deposition challenges and control strategies; Operational issues due to asphaletenes and asphaltene strategy and control; Also includes liquid slugging causes and mitigation options; erosion and corrosion in offshore pipelines; experimental methods, flow assurance assessment methods; prevention, mitigation and remediation tools for flow assurance issues; thermal management and insulation materials.

Simulation Software Tools: 

Develop and improve the ability to solve engineering problems using multiphase simulation software. Use of simulation tools to predict and provide remediation solutions for flow assurance issues; Overview of different multiphase steady state and transient simulation software products like Pipesim, OLGA, FlowManager, etc. Use of software for erosion analysis and fluid characterization. Class problems and course project using Pipesim.

Course Grading: 

The course grade will be based on homework, project, quizzes and final exam.

Project: 

Each student will be completing a project in this course. Since flow assurance spans a broad range of engineering topics, the projects could be defined in a variety of fields such as thermal analysis, line sizing and design, sensitivity analysis, and multiphase flow modeling. These projects will be presented at the end of the semester and to be of archival publication quality. Experienced engineers might come to evaluate and comment the group project presentations.