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Experimental investigation of the use of drag reducing agents in conjunction with twin-screw multiphase pumps
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Application of multiphase technology has accelerated over the past decade. The development of this technology has been driven by the challenges to economically produce from deepwater and other remote objectives. Both multiphase pumping and the use of drag reducing agents (DRA's) are being proposed to improve recovery and economics from multiphase development. This study considers the combination of these two technologies. A review was conducted to determine how DRA's could be combined with innovative pumping technology. The greatest potential for drag reducing agents would appear to be with surface applications where frictional pressure losses represent a substantial component of the overall pressure loss. A new test facility was designed and constructed, suitable for acquiring data on the relationship between the pressure drop along the pipe and concentration of DRA's. A full-size twin-screw pump was utilized in these tests. This pump was equipped with a variable frequency drive to allow investigate of the effect of pump speed on DRA degradation. Two flow loops were utilized. The first consisted of 98 ft. of 3-inch diameter pipe and 112 ft. of 2-inch pipe. The second loop called blow-down was used to by pass the multiphase pump. Liquid and gas flow rates were measured with Coriolis meters. The focus of this work was to investigate shear degradation by a multiphase twin-screw pump. Several different DRA concentrations and pump speeds were applied to determine if the DRA can be injected upstream of the pump. The results indicate that a polyacrylamide DRA was partially shear degraded when passed through the pump. Approximately 45-70% of DRA effectiveness was lost for a 77ppm solution. However, it required many passes through the pump to completely degrade the DRA. Degradation was found to be a strong function of pump speed and increasing DRA concentration had the effect of partially mitigating the DRA losses in the pump . Injection of a partially hydrated DRA immediately upstream of the pump also improved DRA survivability. Multiphase tests with DRA failed to show flow improvement of a measurable quantity.
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Includes bibliographical references (leaves 94-97).
Issued also on microfiche from Lange Micrographics.
Carrillo Plazas, Gabriel D (2000). Experimental investigation of the use of drag reducing agents in conjunction with twin-screw multiphase pumps. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from
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