Pipeline simulation engineers have modeled multiphase flow for many decades. Initial simulations comprised the use of basic empirical correlations which eventually progressed to more mechanistic-based techniques wherein a fundamental fluid mechanics approach was adopted in describing the interrelationship between the flowing fluids. Until relatively recently, the calculations and the relative confidence in the results that they delivered was constrained to flows in steady state.

Research progress at the end of the last millennium delivered tools that allowed pipeline simulation to graduate to the modeling of multiphase pipelines in a dynamic frame of reference. While considered to be the “holy grail” of pipeline simulation, the inherent complexity in the physics of dynamic multiphase flow renders such modeling not for the faint of heart and certainly not run of the mill.

This paper will take the audience through a rigorous sequence of how to model dynamic multiphase pipelines from the start to finish. This will include such aspects as the correct data to be gathered, how the data should be prepared, the understanding and pre-analysis of fluid composition, the appreciation of pipeline topography and how it will affect the flow physics, the choice of simulation scenarios and, last but not least, the manner in which the results are interpreted so that the appropriate decisions can be made.

While the paper will present results from commercially available simulators, the results from real-life applications will also be presented.

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