Technical Paper: Simulation of Multiphase Fluid-Hammer Effects During Well StartUp and Shut-In

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 160049
Presentation Date: 2012
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In this study, a transient multiphase simulator has been used to characterize the fluid-hammer effects of well shut-in and start-up on the coupled subsurface and surface systems. The original work was performed by applying sensitivity analysis on a typical production system that includes well completion, wellbore, downhole equipment like packer etc., and the associated surface equipment like flowline, riser and valves. The data used in the study was taken from the published literature to summarize the general course of key factors that worsen the fluid-hammer effects. Fluid-hammer is also known as water hammer, a shock wave produced by the sudden stoppage or reduction in fluid flow. 

Field operations such as pressure transient analysis, facility maintenance and workover require well shut-in process. For a typical production system, the resulted sudden rises in pressure can be critical because it has direct impact on equipment including unsetting of packer and may also cause possible damages to instrumentations. This paper provides estimates of the typical ratio of transient shock in pressure and flowrate over pre-condition values, and the duration of such pressure shocks. It also proposes the best location of the shut-in valve and the length of flowline to reduce the fluid-hammer effects. 

This is a pioneering approach to integrated multiphase flow modeling of transient fluid-hammer effects, targeting flow assurance issues. This approach also can be applied to surface facility design and served as a guidance in field operation to avoid hydrocarbon leaks.

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