Experimental and Computational Multiphase Flow

, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 255–272 | Cite as

Computational fluid dynamic analysis for investigating the influence of pipe curvature on erosion rate prediction during crude oil production

  • Chukwugozie Jekwu EjehEmail author
  • Evans Annan Boah
  • Gbemisola Precious Akhabue
  • Chigozirim Cyprian Onyekperem
  • Josiah Ikechukwu Anachuna
  • Isaac Agyebi
Research Article


The flow dynamics in pipes is a very complex system because it is largely affected by flow conditions. The transport of crude oil in pipelines within unconsolidated petroleum reservoirs is associated with presence of solid particles. These particles are often transported as dispersed phases during crude oil production and are therefore detrimental to the pipe surface integrity. This could lead to the occurrences of crevice corrosion due to pipe erosion. In relation to the above discussion, this paper is aimed at analyzing crude oil dynamics during flow through pipeline and identifying erosion hotspot for different pipe elbow curvatures. Reynolds Averaging Navier-Stokes (RANS) and Particle Tracing Modeling (PTM) approach were used. The focus is to simulate fluid dynamics and particle tracing, respectively. Post-processed results revealed that the fluid velocity magnitude was relatively high at the region with minimum curvature radius. The maximum static pressure and turbulence dissipation rate were experienced in areas with low-velocity magnitude. Also, the rate of erosive wear was relatively high at the elbow and the hotspot varied with pipe curvature. The particle flow rate, mass, and size were varied and it was found that erosion rate increased with an increase in particle properties.


rate of erosion pipe curvature pipe elbow computational fluid dynamics presence of solid particles 


  1. Abdulla, A. 2011. Estimating erosion in oil and gas pipeline due to sand presence.Google Scholar
  2. Agrawal, M., Khanna, S., Kopliku, A., Lockett, T. 2019. Prediction of sand erosion in CFD with dynamically deforming pipe geometry and implementing proper treatment of turbulence dispersion in particle tracking. Wear, 426–427: 596–604.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Al-Baghdadi, M. A., Resan, K. K., Al-Wail, M. 2017. CFD investigation of the erosion severity in 3D flow elbow during crude oil contaminated sand transportation. Engineering and Technology Journal, 35: 930–935.Google Scholar
  4. Badr, H. M., Habib, M. A., Ben-Mansour, R., Said, S. A. M. 2002. Effect of flow velocity and particle size on erosion in a pipe with sudden contraction. In: Proceedings of the 6th Saudi Engineering Conference, 5: 79–88.Google Scholar
  5. Banakermani, M. R., Naderan, H., Saffar-Avval, M. 2018. An investigation of erosion prediction for 15° to 90° elbows by numerical simulation of gas-solid flow. Powder Technol, 334: 9–26.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bazilevs, Y., Takizawa, K., Tezduyar, T. E. 2015. New directions and challenging computations in fluid dynamics modeling with stabilized and multiscale methods. Math Mod Meth Appl S, 25: 2217–2226.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bonelli, S., Marot, D. 2011. Micromechanical modelling of internal erosion. Eur J Environ Civ En, 15: 1207–1224.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bounaouara, H., Ettouati, H., Ticha, H., Mhimid, A., Sautet, J. 2015. Numerical simulation of gas–particles two phase flow in pipe of complex geometry: Pneumatic conveying of olive cake particles toward a dust burner. Int J Heat Technol, 33: 99–106.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Egerer, C. P., Schmidt, S. J., Hickel, S., Adams, N. A. 2016. Efficient implicit LES method for the simulation of turbulent cavitating flows. J Comput Phys, 316: 453–469.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ejeh, C. J., Akhabue, G. P., Onyekperem, C. C., Annan, E. B., Tandoh, K. K. 2019. Evaluating the impact of unsteady viscous flow and presence of solid particles on pipeline surfaces during crude oil transport using computational fluid dynamics analysis. Acta Mechanica Malaysia, 2: 20–27.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Eliyan, F. F., Kish, J. R., Alfantazi, A. 2017. Corrosion of new-generation steel in outer oil pipeline environments. J Mater Eng Perform, 26: 214–220.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Islam, M. A., Farhat, Z. N. 2014. Effect of impact angle and velocity on erosion of API X42 pipeline steel under high abrasive feed rate. Wear, 311: 180–190.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Kesana, N. R., Throneberry, J. M., McLaury, B. S., Shirazi, S. A., Rybicki, E. F. 2014. Effect of particle size and liquid viscosity on erosion in annular and slug flow. J Energy Resour Technol, 136: 012901.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. López-López, J. C., Salinas-Vázquez, M., Verma, M. P., Vicente, W., Galindo-García, I. F. 2019. Computational fluid dynamic modeling to determine the resistance coefficient of a saturated steam flow in 90 degree elbows for high Reynolds number. J Fluids Eng, 141: 111103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Murrill, B. J. 2016. Pipeline Transportation of Natural Gas and Crude Oil: Federal and State Regulatory Authority. Congressional Research Service.Google Scholar
  16. Najmi, K., Hill, A. L., McLaury, B. S., Shirazi, S. A., Cremaschi, S. 2015. Experimental study of low concentration sand transport in multiphase air–water horizontal pipelines. J Energy Resour Technol, 137: 032908CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Njobuenwu, D. O., Fairweather, M. 2012. Modelling of pipe bend erosion by dilute particle suspensions. Comput Chem Eng, 42: 235–247.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Okonkwo, P. C., Mohamed, A. M. A. 2014. Erosion-corrosion in the oil and gas industry: A review. Int J Metall Mater Sci Eng, 4: 7–28.Google Scholar
  19. Parsi, M., Najmi, K., Najafifard, F., Hassani, S., McLaury, B. S., Shirazi, S. A. 2014. A comprehensive review of solid particle erosion modeling for oil and gas Wells and pipelines applications. J Nat Gas Sci Eng, 21: 850–873.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Peng, W., Cao, X. 2016. Numerical simulation of solid particle erosion in pipe bends for liquid–solid flow. Powder Technol, 294: 266–279.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Qi, H., Wen, D., Yuan, Q., Zhang, L., Chen, Z. 2017. Numerical investigation on particle impact erosion in ultrasonic-assisted abrasive slurry jet micro-machining of glasses. Powder Technol, 314: 627–634.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Saniere, A., Hénaut, I., Argillier, J. F. 2004. Pipeline transportation of heavy oils, a strategic, economic and technological challenge. Oil Gas Sci Technol, 59: 455–466.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Sanni, S. E., Olawale, A. S., Adefila, S. S. 2015. Modeling of sand and crude oil flow in horizontal pipes during crude oil transportation. J Eng, 2015: 1–7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Takizawa, K., Tezduyar, T. E., Kanai, T. 2017. Porosity models and computational methods for compressible-flow aerodynamics of parachutes with geometric porosity. Math Mod Meth Appl S, 27: 771–806.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Veritas, D. N. 2007. Recommended practice RP O501 erosive wear in piping systems. Available at Scholar
  26. Wong, C. Y., Boulanger, J., Feng, Y., Wu, B. 2016. Experimental and discrete particle modelling of solid particle transportation and deposition in pipelines. In: Proceedings of the SPE Asia Pacific Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition: SPE-182407-MS.Google Scholar
  27. Wong, C. Y., Boulanger, J., Zamberi, M. S. A., Shaffee, S. N. A., Johar, Z., Jadid, M. 2014. CFD simulations and experimental validation of sand erosion on a cylindrical rod in wet gas conditions. In: Proceedings of the Offshore Technology Conference-Asia: OTC-24761-MS.Google Scholar
  28. Yan, J., Korobenko, A., Tejada-Martínez, A. E., Golshan, R., Bazilevs, Y. 2017. A new variational multiscale formulation for stratified incompressible turbulent flows. Comput Fluids, 158: 150–156.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chukwugozie Jekwu Ejeh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Evans Annan Boah
    • 1
  • Gbemisola Precious Akhabue
    • 2
  • Chigozirim Cyprian Onyekperem
    • 3
  • Josiah Ikechukwu Anachuna
    • 1
  • Isaac Agyebi
    • 1
  1. 1.All Nations University CollegeEastern RegionGhana
  2. 2.Presbyterian University CollegeEastern RegionGhana
  3. 3.Centre of Excellence in Marine EngineeringPort HarcourtNigeria

Personalised recommendations