SCSC2003 Abstract S5873

NUMSOSS: Numerical Simulation Software for Oil Sand Slurry Flow in Flexible Pipelines

NUMSOSS: Numerical Simulation Software for Oil Sand Slurry Flow in Flexible Pipelines

Submitting Author: Dr. Samuel Frimpong

In order to optimize the hydraulic transportation system efficiency and cost in the surface extraction of Athabasca oil sand deposits in Canada, there is a desire to extend the hydraulic transport system to production faces in oil sands mines using mobile train of Flex-Rite flexible pipelines. Hydraulic transportation system has been shown to be more competitive than off-highway truck transportation system. This flexible arrangement introduces a unique set of hydraulic transport problems, which needs rigorous modeling, experimentation and analysis to understand the system production capacities and efficiency. Part of the work presented here is an attempt to provide multi-phase oilsand slurry simulation and modeling by developing a slurry flow simulator, a graphical user interface (GUI) software, for Flex-Rite flexible pipeline system. Such software provides a platform for rigorous experimentation and analysis of flow and production capacities. Frimpong et al. (2002) establis
hed a set of partial differential equations for modeling the multi-phase flow of oil sands slurry in a flexible pipeline train under steady-state flow of oil sands slurry. The flexible arrangement allows modeling in elbow-type joint at different angles and in conventional linear pipelines, enabling adaptation of pipelines to various mine outlays. The models yield the productivity and deliverability of bitumen slurry between two mine facilities and they combined the effects of dispersed particles and the carrier continuous phases as opposed to the single-phase assumptions. Frimpong et al. (2002) also developed a numerical scheme to solve the models. Based on some numerical results, optimal operational conditions for flexible pipelines were established when used in the design of hydraulic transportation system in an oil sands mine layout.

In this paper, the authors extend the earlier work by introducing higher level of complexity and by relaxing some of the underlying assumptions of the previous work. The slurry flow transport system is modeled as an unsteady state dynamic behavior of slurry flow in Flexi-Rite flexible pipeline system. It incorporates the conditions for the flow system evolution through time as it progresses from the stratified initial condition to unsteady flow situation in which fluid flow properties of the system change with time. An interactive numerical simulator software is developed based on this new developments with a graphical user interface (GUI) using the Java programming language. The numerical scheme is developed as Java classes using objected-oriented programming concept and the classes are integrated into a single package (fps - flexible pipe simulator package), which can be distributed as a jar executable. Given the entry conditions (states) of the slurry at the inlet of the
pipe, the software computes the distribution in space and time of the carrying continuous phase (water), bitumen droplets and sand particles. The software uses a finite difference numerical scheme as the solution technique and it incorporates the effect of wall shear stress (Rojas-Figueroa, 2002) at each phase. A visualization screen is developed as part of the package for viewing the movements and distribution of the slurry components through time and space. The screen also provides a relatively simple animation of the slurry system.

A brief summary of the numerical solution steps is presented in this paper, followed by a full description of the software package and the programming concepts. Numerical examples are also presented to show the practical application of the software. The main novelty of the software is that it allows interactive modeling and visualization of any given flexible pipe under consideration. Also, by relaxing some of the assumptions in the earlier work, the present work provides a further step towards a more realistic modeling of flexible pipe train systems. It also provides a better way for exploring alternative options or scenario when planning and designing flexible pipeline systems.

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