Offshore petroleum production operations pose a unique set of challenges. A common undesirable phenomenon that occurs in these multiphase flow systems is known as slug flow. Slug flow is an oscillatory flow regime that creates large bullet shaped bubbles (also known as Taylor Bubbles) followed by large slugs of liquid. This high-rate alternation of liquid and gas production volumes in the surface facilities causes severe pressure oscillations. These oscillations adversely affect the structural health and individual components. A bench-scale closed flow loop was built with capabilities of measuring pressure and flow rates at different relevant sections. PID control strategy to mitigate the harmful effects of slug flow regime showed promise, although the tests were performed in the low pressure conditions of bench scale setup. The sensors and valve were programmed with MATLAB® to provide real time analysis, and a PID controller was utilized to adjust the back pressure. Initial experimental data and visual observation provided better understanding of slug flow regime and some quantitative data was obtained through image processing. Theoretical estimates of Taylor bubble velocities were found to be in agreement with presented observations. Further experiments are being carried out to gather data and showcase this model to develop better multiphase flow control strategies.

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