High viscous oil–water two–phase flow: experiments & numerical simulations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Archibong Archibong-Eso
  • Jing Shi
  • Yahaya D. Baba
  • Aliyu M. Aliyu
  • Yusuf O. Raji
  • And 1 others
  • Hoi Yeung

External organisations

  • Cranfield University
  • Cross River University of Technology, Calabar
  • Afe Babalola University
  • University of Nottingham
  • Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University


An experimental study on highly viscous oil-water two-phase flow conducted in a 5.5 m long and 25.4 mm internal diameter (ID) pipeline is presented. Mineral oil with viscosity ranging from 3.5 Pa.s – 5.0 Pa.s and water were used as test fluid for this study. Experiments were conducted for superficial velocities of oil and water ranging from 0.06 to 0.55 m/s and 0.01 m/s to 1.0 m/s respectively. Axial pressure measurements were made from which the pressure gradients were calculated. Flow pattern determination was aided by high definition video recordings. Numerical simulation of experimental flow conditions is performed using a commercially available Computational Fluid Dynamics code. Results show that at high oil superficial velocities, Core Annular Flow (CAF) is the dominant flow pattern while Oil Plug in Water Flow (OPF) and Dispersed Oil in Water (DOW) flow patterns are dominant high water superficial velocities. Pressure Gradient results showed a general trend of reduction to a minimum as water superficial velocity increases before subsequently increasing on further increasing the superficial water velocity. The CFD results performed well in predicting the flow configurations observed in the experiments.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)755-767
Number of pages13
JournalHeat and Mass Transfer/Waerme- und Stoffuebertragung
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 8 Mar 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • CFD, Flow patterns, Heavy oil, Oil and gas, Pipelines, Pressure gradient, Viscosity