A crucial point still to be established in the prediction of oil-gas-sand multiphase production and transfer system performance is the identification of relevant mechanisms describing sand particle transport. To resolve this issue, experimental investigations are made on the behaviour of suspended sand particles in simulated oil-gas-sand multiphase pipe flows paying attention to the time-averaged local and global sand velocity and holdup. Simultaneous measurements of the time-averaged local and global sand velocity are made by digital imaging technique for better understanding of the oil-gas-sand multiphase flow hydrodynamics and sand transport mechanisms. The results show flow regimes of the multiphase flows significantly influence sand transport in the pipeflow. The shape of the local and global sand particle velocity and holdup profiles are also strongly modified by flow regimes. Furthermore, the experimental results indicate that the transport effect of the suspended sand particle can be enhanced by operating the multiphase flows under slug flow conditions. It is concluded that a new mechanism based on bubble-particle interaction needs to be considered in the modelling of sand transport behaviour during oil-gas-sand multiphase production and transfer operations.

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