Bubble Size Effect on
the Gas-lift Technique

By Sebastien Guet
September 2004
Delft University Press
ISBN: 904072492X
160 pages, Illustrated, 6 " x 9 "
$59.50 Paper Original


This is a Ph.D. dissertation. The gas-lift technique uses gas injection in vertical oil wells to decrease the gravitational pressure drop. The decreased pressure in the production pipe results in an increase of the pressure drop from the reservoir to the oil well and enhances the oil production.

In this thesis we investigated the influence of the bubble size and initial concentration distribution on the gas-lift technique efficiency. A vertical upward bubbly pipe flow of air and water is used, with a height of 18m and a diameter of 72mm. The flow velocity conditions investigated in the experiments were representative of practical gas-lift circumstances.

Different bubble injectors were tested in order to vary the size and initial concentration distribution of the bubbles. The influence of the initial concentration distribution was limited. The effect of bubble size, on the contrary, was significant. It was due to three contributions: the effect of the bubble size on the flow pattern changes, on the radical distribution (of void fraction and of gas and liquid velocity) and on the relative velocity between the gas and the liquid.

Contents include: Introduction, Gas-liquid flow during gas-lift, Experiments, Bubble injector effect on the gas-lift efficiency, Bubble size effect on low liquid input drift-flux parameters, Bubbly pipe flow modeling, Conclusion.

Fluid Mechanics

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