Hydrate management has become a key topic in flow assurance due to the oil & gas production in cold environments (deep waters) and due to the high flow rates of water, especially in brownfields. Considering this, a hydrates formation and transport model is formulated and coupled with a one-dimensional multiphase flow simulator. The hydrate formation and particles size are handled with a Population Balance framework and a more classic framework. For simulations of hydrate-forming oil-dominated flows in an experimental flow loop, the hydrate cut, subcooling, slurry viscosity and water holdup results of each framework were validated, compared and discussed.
With the increase of the number of offshore oil & gas fields and exploratory activities in cold environments and deep waters, clathrate natural gas hydrates management has become a significant topic in flow assurance (23). Since the path between the reservoir to the surface facilities is long and with a broad range of pressures and temperatures, it is almost certain that the fluids (gas, crude oil and water) will be within a hydrate formation region during the field lifetime (23). It can be in a normal producing condition, which is avoided most of the time using insulation or injection of inhibitors, or during a well shutdown/restart, which would require other techniques, such as fluid replacement and heating (25). In any case, hydrate prevention and management methods can add significant CAPEX or OPEX costs to the project and minimizing them can be of utmost importance to a safe and profitable operation.