An experimental study of liquid unloading in the curve section of horizontal gas wells
The Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, 100083 Beijing, PR China
2 College of Petroleum Engineering, China University of Petroleum, 102249 Beijing, PR China
3 Hebei Petroleum University of Technology, 071000 Hebei, PR China
4 CNOOC Research Institute, 100010 Beijing, PR China
Accepted: 9 September 2021
Liquid unloading is a very common and important issue in horizontal gas wells, and the presence of curve sections increases the complexity of the phenomenon and its study. Liquid loading in a gas well will sharply reduce production, therefore, the liquid-unloading onset of different curved pipes is essential to gas production. In this work, liquid-unloading onset experiments were conducted in curved pipes with different curvatures. Then, the critical gas velocity VsgCR can be determined according to the measured pressure gradients, liquid holdup, and liquid film reversal. This work analyzes the factors which will lead to the liquid unloading and explores the trend of the pipe curvature’s influence on the liquid unloading under laboratory conditions. The experimental results show that the critical gas velocity rises with the increase of pipe curvature, the increase is mainly due to the centrifugal force. The present work also compares the predicted results of the OLGA model and Beggs–Brill model with experimental data. The comparison results indicate that both models fit relatively well to the experimental data at the low superficial gas velocity, and both models have poor performance at high superficial gas velocity. The OLGA model fits the experimental data better than the Beggs–Brill model at high superficial gas velocity. The error analysis shows that most of the predicted data is not in good agreement with experimental data. Some errors between experimental data and calculation results are out of the range of 50%.
© S. Shi et al., published by IFP Energies nouvelles, 2021
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