Slug translational velocity for highly viscous oil and gas flows in horizontal pipes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Yahaya D. Baba
  • Aliyu M. Aliyu
  • Olawale T. Fajemidupe
  • Joseph X.F. Ribeiro
  • Liyun Lao
  • Hoi Yeung

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Sheffield University
  • Department of Mechanical Engineering
  • University of Nottingham
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Kumasi Technical University
  • Cranfield University


Slug translational velocity, described as the velocity of slug units, is the summation of the maximum mixture velocity in the slug body and the drift velocity. Existing prediction models in literature were developed based on observation from low viscosity liquids, neglecting the effects of fluid properties (i.e., viscosity). However, slug translational velocity is expected to be affected by the fluid viscosity. Here, we investigate the influence of high liquid viscosity on slug translational velocity in a horizontal pipeline of 76.2-mm internal diameter. Air and mineral oil with viscosities within the range of 1.0–5.5 Pa·s were used in this investigation. Measurement was by means of a pair of gamma densitometer with fast sampling frequencies (up to 250 Hz). The results obtained show that slug translational velocity increases with increase in liquid viscosity. Existing slug translational velocity prediction models in literature were assessed based on the present high viscosity data for which statistical analysis revealed discrepancies. In view of this, a new empirical correlation for the calculation of slug translational velocity in highly viscous two-phase flow is proposed. A comparison study and validation of the new correlation showed an improved prediction performance.


Original languageEnglish
Article number170
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sep 2019


  • Closure relationship, Gamma densitometer, High viscosity oil, Slug translational velocity