Interface profile in oil-dragging-water pipeline system

Guang Li Xu*, Guo Zhong Zhang, N. Brauner, A. Ullmann, Gang Liu, Xin Zhang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The pipeline corrosion products due to water accumulation at low elevation spots blocking pipeline is a serious threat to the normal operation of the pipeline. The characteristics of oil-dragging-water pipeline system were studied experimentally and theoretically to analyze the mechanism of water withdrawn by oil flow. Lab-scale experiments were conducted on the test loop with inner diameter of 27 mm to measure water displacement and the critical oil flow rate required for the onset of water displacement by diesel flow from a lower horizontal test section into an upward inclined test section. In addition, a model for predicting the oil-water interface profile, which is based on combining momentum equations of two phases with the neutral stability condition of stratified flow, was received. The predicted amount of water withdrawn by diesel flow and the critical oil flow rate were favorably compared with the experimental measurements. The results indicate that the new model can predict the changes in two parameters. The water height gradient model can predict the distribution of the phase interface in oil-dragging-water pipeline system with oil flow in laminar.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-129
Number of pages6
JournalZhongguo Shiyou Daxue Xuebao (Ziran Kexue Ban)/Journal of China University of Petroleum (Edition of Natural Science)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • Interface profile
  • Pipeline corrosion
  • Stability of oil-water interface
  • Two phase flow
  • Water displacement
  • Water plug


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