Water-in-oil dispersion modeling is critical to assess the internal corrosion in pipelines, specifically for the oil and gas industry applications. In many oil transportation facilities, a small amount of water could be entrained in production fluids. Turbulence can break out the water into the form of tiny droplets. Under certain conditions in horizontal or inclined pipelines, water droplets can settle and contact the wall which may lead to CO2 and/or O2 or other forms of corrosion and damage the transport system integrity.
In the present study, a novel transient approach has been developed that provides water concentrations across the pipe section. A one-dimensional transient finite-difference computational model has been used to determine concentration distribution in a vertical direction across the pipe. Calculated water fractions using the transient model is compared to experimental data and more comprehensive 3-D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) approach for various flow conditions and watercuts that shows the viability of the simplified one-dimensional approach. The proposed model is capable of predicting water dispersion at different locations and could be utilized for various pipe-flow systems.
Furthermore, water in the form of droplets or liquid film can result in corrosion when it wets the pipeline surface. Consequently, the calculated water concentration at the bottom of the pipe assists in determining wettability of the pipe surface by water and evaluating the corrosion risk along the pipeline.