Performance Analysis of Steady-State Multi-Phase Flow Simulators

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis


The present thesis aims on comparing the performance of two of the most widely used steady-state multi-phase flow simulators in the oil and gas industry – namely, Petroleum Experts PROSPER and Schlumberger PIPESIM. In order to obtain qualitatively high results, a vertical single-phase water well model is built and analyzed in terms of heat transfer in the wellbore for three cases. In a second step, five different multi-phase flow correlations available in both software packages are utilized in an oil well model. The results are compared in terms of temperatures, pressures and corresponding flow rates along the wellbore. Detailed model descriptions are provided to permit readers to replicate all results. The simulation results of the water well model are compared to a mathematical model developed in MATLAB based on the work of Fruhwirth, Hofstätter and Schwaiger (2015) for three cases with heat transfer coefficients of 10-6 [BTU/h/ft2/°F], 0,1 [BTU/h/ft2/°F], and 8 [BTU/h/ft2/°F] respectively. It is decided to continue with the intermediate case in the consequently more complex multi-phase flowing conditions of the oil well model. In the second major part of the research, the oil well model is repeatedly simulated for five multi-phase flow models. Pressure-temperature profiles along the wellbore as well as the operating pressures and flow rates from a nodal analysis are evaluated after the simulation. The more complex fluid configurations in the oil well case and the introduction of different multi-phase flow models increase the complexity of the analysis. The most important of all the outcomes is that both PROSPER and PIPESIM give reasonable results for the proposed models in an acceptable range. Due to some problems during the application of PROSPER, PIPESIM is the better choice for kinds of multi-phase flow simulations as done in this thesis. This Master Thesis will enhance the understanding of the general mechanics behind multi-phase flow and the working principles of the discussed simulators; thus the overall simulation and interpretation skills of the operator will improve significantly.


Translated title of the contributionPerformance-Analyse von Steady-State Mehrphasenströmungssimulatoren
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
Award date19 Oct 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2018