About this Research Topic

Manuscript Submission Deadline 31 August 2022

The physics of multiphase flow in porous media is a relatively young field in rapid development. Much of the understanding of multiphase flow in porous media that we have today comes not from basic science, i.e., the study of phenomena for their own sake, but as spin-off knowledge in connection with ...

The physics of multiphase flow in porous media is a relatively young field in rapid development. Much of the understanding of multiphase flow in porous media that we have today comes not from basic science, i.e., the study of phenomena for their own sake, but as spin-off knowledge in connection with applications. A traditional application that has been one of the main driving forces of this field is the development of oil, gas, and natural gas hydrate. In recent years, the exploration and development of hydrocarbon energy, such as oil, natural gas, and natural gas hydrate, has come to deep water and deep stratum regions. The practicing engineers must face challenges resulting from the multiphase flow of complex fluids under elevated temperature/pressure conditions. These challenges require developing our understanding of multiphase flow in porous media under conditions that typically are not studied in a basic science setting. For example, the temperature and pressure of a 24000 ft long wellbore can reach over 200 ℃ and 100 MPa in the Tarim oilfield. In deep-water wells, the wellbore temperature can vary from 4 to 120 ℃, while the wellbore pressure can vary from 10 to 30 MPa. Since phase state, heat-mass transfer between gas and liquid, and fluid hydrodynamics in the wellbore (e.g., acid gas, hydrocarbon gas and crude oil) depend highly on the temperature and pressure conditions, multiphase flow behavior in deep stratum and deep-water wellbore becomes much more complex. Different from conventional oil and gas development, the development of oil and gas in deep water and deep stratum regions involves many complex physical phenomena, such as phase transition (gas-liquid-solid-super critical), particle deposition (wax, hydrate, water scale, asphaltene, etc.), changes of heat-mass transfer induced by phase change, etc.

Current models, experiment measures and simulation approaches cannot satisfy the requirement of developing oil and gas from deep water and deep stratum regions. The most interesting and urgent multiphase flow problems in this context can be grouped into two categories. First, unexpected crystallization of solid particle happens in multiphase flow induced by changes of temperature and pressure in the wellbore, such as gas hydrate, wax, acid gas, water scale, asphaltene, etc. Those particles can deposit along wellbore and pipe and plug the production channel of oil and gas. Second, the accompanied physical problems induced by the phase transition threaten the safety of drilling and production in deep stratum and deep-water region. For example, the phase transition changes the distribution of temperature and pressure in wellbore and increases the risk of gas kick.

It is the aim of this Research Topic to explore the challenges and open questions for multiphase flow in porous media under conditions dictated by the conditions met when developing oil and natural gas in deep water and deep stratum regions.

We will draw on contributions from several frontier engineering fields, such as gas hydrate development, CO2 storage underground, underground natural gas storage, underground coal gasification, etc. to bring the field of multiphase flow in porous media forwards.

This Research Topic will be dedicated to publishing experimental and theoretical studies related to the multiphase flow behavior in the wellbore. The Research Topic intends to cover but is not limited to the following topics:
1. Transient multiphase flow model coupling with reservoir performance.
2. THMC (thermal-hydrological-mechanical–chemical) coupling and multi-physical process in drilling and production.
3. Characteristics of heat and mass transfer process in wellbore.
4. Physical structure and dynamic deposition process of solid particles (wax, hydrate, asphaltene, scale, etc) in multiphase flow.
5. Flow assurance method and theory in wellbore.
6. Structural strength of wellbore and pipe (aspect of fluid-structure coupling).
7. New experiments and new simulation approaches towards multiphase flow in wellbore.
8. New challenges from the aspect of multiphase flow in wellbore in the frontier engineering fields, such as CO2 storage underground, underground natural gas storage, natural gas hydrate production, underground coal gasification, etc.

Keywords: Hydrodynamic, Multiphase Flow, Flow assurance, Drilling and completion, Phase transition


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