Unconsolidated reservoirs are notorious for production of sand with crude oil and natural gas. Bed formation in production pipelines poses several operational problems, such as partial or complete pipeline blockage, which decreases production rate and increases frictional pressure losses. Equipment failure may occur as well as erosion/corrosion and formation of corrosive cells under the sand beds. In this study, solid transport in horizontal stratified gas-liquid flow is investigated for a high concentration of 20,000 PPM, leading to sand bed formation. The experiments are conducted with air and water along with glass bead with particle sizes of 45–90 μm and 425–600 μm. The sand bed formation is studied by conducting experiments with gas-slurry flow. The experimental results confirm that the height of the bed decreases with increasing superficial gas velocity, and increases with increasing superficial liquid velocities. It is also observed that the height of the bed created with smaller diameter particles is larger than the one created by the bigger. The acquired experimental data shed more light on the formation of sand beds. It also serves as a basis for theoretical mechanistic models to enable prediction and design of stratified gas-liquid-solid flow.

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