Water Wetting Joint Industry Project (WW-JIP)
Wettability Measurements |
Please contact Luciano Paolinelli for more information on the WW-JIP.
Internal corrosion of oil and gas wells and pipelines made from carbon steel is
associated with the presence of water on the pipeline surface. When the circumference of the pipe is fully coated with oil, corrosion will
not occur. Increased knowledge of water wetting can increase the confidence of the corrosion engineers and operators on the integrity of the
pipeline and can decrease the cost associated with corrosion mitigation.
The factors that contribute to water wetting in pipelines are both hydrodynamical and chemical. Higher oil flow rates and
heavier, more viscous oils will have a less tendency for water wetting, while low oil flow rates, light oils and large diameter pipelines are
associated with a greater tendency for water wetting. Furthermore, surface active components from the oil, either naturally occurring or
added as inhibitors, can alter the wettability of the steel surface, so that it is less likely to be wetted with water, even under less
desirable hydrodynamical circumstances.
The Institute for Corrosion and Multiphase Technology (ICMT) has
built an extensive knowledge of the water wetting phenomena starting in 2004. In the first phase of the project, the emphasis was on two-phase
oil-water flow and in the second phase, which started in November 2009, the emphasis is on three-phase, oil-water-gas flow. The introduction
of the third phase (gas) has a tremendous effect on the distribution of liquids on the circumference, and has an extensive effect on water
wetting. Knowledge of the wettability of three-phase flow has a special importance for wells, both horizontal and vertical.
Figure 1. The three-phase flow loop is mounted on an inclinable rig, allowing for
multiphase and wettability measurements at various inclinations (0°±90°).
In order to investigate multiphase flows, the ICMT employs a 4” inclinable flow rig, which allows for measurements to be
performed at horizontal, inclined or vertical orientation, in both upwards, and downwards facing flows. The wettability is assessed using
conductivity probes, which detect conductivity at the steel surface. Complimentary measurement techniques include fluid sampling, ER-probes,
traversing inductance probe and measurements of changes in the concentration of iron, which only occurs if water can wet the pipe surface.
Figure 2. The doughnut cell allows for small scale testing of wettability in two-phase
oil-water flow. Animation courtesy of Dan Li.
A small-scale benchtop apparatus has been developed and tested at the ICMT to simulate pipeline flow. This apparatus is
named “Doughnut Cell” and makes it possible to conduct two-phase, oil-water flow testing at a much smaller scale than the flow loop testing.
As an example, doughnut cell tests take only about 2 gallons of oil, compared to 850 gallons for the flow loop test. Water wetting in
two-phase system can therefore be simulated much quicker and in a much less expensive manner.
- Improved understanding of water wetting and the key factors affecting it
- A small scale benchtop apparatus for testing of water wetting
- A costume wettability assessment for particular crude oils
- Full reports (every six months) documenting the results, analysis and outlining future work
- A database of water wetting and multiphase flow data which can be made available to other software developers under by special
- State-of-the-art model of water wetting in oil/water two- and gas/oil/water three phase flows
- "Experimental Study of Water Wetting in oil–water Two Phase flow—Horizontal Flow of Model Oil", Cai, J., Li, C., Tang, X., Ayello, F., Richter, S., Nesic, S. Chemical Engineering Science, 2012, 73, 334-344.
- "Role of Asphaltenes in Inhibiting Corrosion and Altering the Wettability of the Steel Surface" Ajmera, P., Robbins, W., Richter, S., Nesic, S. Corrosion, 2011, 67(10).
- "Evaluation of the Protectiveness of Paraffins for CO2 Corrosion", Yang, S., Robbins, W., Richter, S., Nesic, S., Corrosion/12, Paper nr. C2012-0001323, (Houston, TX, NACE, 2012).
- "Crude Oil Chemistry Effects on Inhibition of Corrosion and Phase Wetting" Francois Ayello, Win Robbins, Sonja Richter, Srdjan Nesic. NACE Paper No. 11060, 2011.
- "The Role of Asphaltenes in Inhibiting Corrosion and Altering the Wettability
of the Steel Surface" Pankaj Ajmera, Win Robbins, Sonja Richter, Srdjan Nesic. NACE Paper No. 10329, 2010.
- "Effect of Corrosion Inhibitor on Water Wetting & CO2 Corrosion
in an Oil-Water Two Phase System" Chong Li, Sonja Richter and Srdjan Nesic, ICC2008 Paper No. 2662, Las Vegas, October 2008.
- "Crude Oil Chemistry Effects on Inhibition of Corrosion and
Phase Wetting" Francois Ayello, Winston Robbins, Sonja Richter and Srdjan Nesic, ICC2008 Paper No. 3149, Las Vegas, October 2008.
- "Study of Wettability of Different Steel Surfaces" Xuanping Tang, Sonja
Richter and Srdjan Nesic, Paper No. 3109, ICC2008, Las Vegas, October 2008.
- "Experimental Studies of Wetting in Large-Diameter Horizontal Oil/Water Pipe
Flows," J. Cai, S. Nesic, C. Li, X. Tang, F. Ayello, C.I.T Cruz and J.N. Al-Khamis. SPE Paper No. 95512
- "Determination of Phase Wetting in Oil-Water Pipe Flows," Francois Ayello,
Chong Li, Xuanping Tang, Jiyong Cai, Srdjan Nesic, C.Ivan T. Cruz, Jamal N Al-Khamis. NACE Paper No. 08566, 2008
- "Effect of oil type on phase wetting transition in
oil-water flows," Xuanping Tang, Francois Ayello, Chong Li, Srdjan Nesic, Jiyong Cai, C.Ivan T. Cruz, Jamal N Al-Khamis. NACE
Paper No. 07170, 2007
- "Experimental Study on Water Wetting and CO2 Corrosion in
Oil-Water Two-Phase Flow," Cai,J.; Li,C.; Ayello,F.; Tang,X.; Nesic,S.; Cruz,I.; Al-Khamis,J. NACE paper No. 06595, 2006
- "A multiphase flow and internal corrosion prediction model
for mild steel pipelines," Nesic,S.; Cai,J.Y.; Lee,K.-L.J. NACE paper No. 05556, 2005
- "Modeling of Water Wetting in Oil-Water Pipe Flow," Cai,
J.; Nesic, S.; NACE International Conference and Exhibition, Paper No. 04663, New Orleans, Louisiana, April 2004