Hydraulic simulators represent the multiphase flow workhorse of upstream production. Because these tools are not a panacea for every flow assurance challenge, application programming interfaces (APIs) provide users the ability to add fit for purpose analyses while leveraging the hydraulic simulator backbone. ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company (EMURC) has developed a number of custom tools that fully integrate with in-house and commercial flow simulators through these APIs. Demonstrated here, EMURC's proprietary Sand Transport Model has been used to manage decisions for pipelines, completions, and facilities. In addition to highlighting successes, we also share our learnings how multiphase flow model uncertainty ranges propagate to these models and the importance of versatile API capabilities as the industry continues toward its digital transformation.
In oil and gas production, multiphase flow (MPF) represents the fundamental basis of transport from the reservoir to the point of sale. Along the way, thermodynamic and physical processes can lead to deposits of hydrates, wax, asphaltenes, sand, and inorganic scales. While most rely on commercial tools for multiphase flow, many rely on internal proprietary tools for other flow assurance analyses. This workflow typically involves an inefficient back and forth between platforms and may not capture the representative physics in either the fluid mechanics or the thermodynamics.