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Effect Of Flow Through A Choke Valve On Emulsion Stability

M.J. van der Zande, K.R. van Heuven, J.H. Muntinga, W.M.G.T. van den Broek

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Abstract When oil is produced under high water-cut conditions, oil in water emulsions can be formed. The break-up of oil droplets predominantly takes place in the choke valve. We have conducted laboratory experiments to investigate the effect of flow through a choke valve on the oil-droplet-size distribution in the emulsion. In these experiments the choke is modeled as a circular orifice in a pipe. The droplet sizes after break-up can be correlated to the mean energy dissipation rate per unit mass in the orifice. The experiments have been conducted with two set-ups on a different scale. The relation, which we have derived for the maximum stable droplet diameter downstream of the orifice can be applied to both scales. Furthermore the effect of oil viscosity on the droplet sizes after break-up has been investigated.