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01-06-2015 | Original Contribution | Issue 6/2015

Rheologica Acta 6/2015

A modified elasto-viscoplastic thixotropic model for two commercial gelled waxy crude oils

Journal:
Rheologica Acta > Issue 6/2015
Authors:
Charlie Van Der Geest, Vanessa C. Bizotto Guersoni, Daniel Merino-Garcia, Antonio C. Bannwart

Abstract

A severe problem to flow assurance occurs when subsea flowlines become blocked with gelled waxy crudes. To design proper surface pump facilities, it is essential to know the minimum pressure required to restart the flow. Simulating and predicting this minimum pressure require the understanding of several physical phenomena, including compressibility, shrinkage, and rheological behavior. This study aims to characterize and simulate the rheological behavior of two commercial waxy crude oils. Based on its survey of the literature, we select the de Souza Mendes and Thompson (2013) model to fit the oil’s behavior and then conduct, using a rheometer, a considerable number of experiments with the selected oils. To verify the solution of our algorithm, we compared our theoretical solutions with some results of the literature. When comparing the simulation with experiments, the model was unable to predict the data perfectly; hence, we propose a modified version without changing the physical meaning of the equations, to improve its predictions. Once any of the empirical parameters were able to influence the elastic behavior in such a way that the shear stress decreased with time, the structural elastic modulus function was modified, which means that the relation of the structure parameter and the storage modulus was modified. One of the interesting results of the analysis is when relating the storage modulus and a new parameter added in the modification, a value was found to be, regardless of the aging time or the oil used, constant.

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