Texas Tech University

Multiphase Flow Dynamics

The Multiphase Flow Dynamics Laboratory (MFD Lab) investigates the gas-liquid phase flow patterns, fluid flow characteristics, pressure drop, liquid holdup, and severe slugging conditions. Two-phase oil-gas flow in wavy pipelines exhibits a complex transient behavior due to the accumulation of liquid in the valley and gas in the ridges. The presence of severe slugging is one of the most common flow assurance concerns. This situation can cause problems in oil & gas transport operations, such as time-varying stresses in pipelines, premature wear, and start-up additional pressure drop. In addition, severe slugging can significantly affect the flow performance in deviated and wavy horizontal wellbores.

The MFD Lab is currently investigating the physical phenomena that affect the multiphase flow performance in horizontal wavy wellbores and deviated pipes. One important area of interest is the severe slugging development process which is vital for production engineers. Proper prediction of severe slugging conditions would allow them to prevent and mitigate severe slugging and achieve optimal designs for multiphase flow systems. Dynamic simulations are also performed for predictions of transient multiphase flow behavior and the liquid holdup variation and pressure profile along pipes.

Principal Investigators

Dr. Marshall Watson

Dr. Sheldon Gorell


Bob L. Herd Department of Petroleum Engineering