DOI: 10.1002/cjce.25072 ISSN:

Simulating the displacement of a heavy oil by a lighter oil in an offshore production line

Jovani L. Favero, Paulo Laranjeira da Cunha Lage, Flávio da Silva Francisco, Tatiane F. Machado, Luiz Fernando L. R. Silva, Fábio P. Santos
  • General Chemical Engineering


An analysis was conducted on the displacement of a heavy fluid by a miscible light fluid in the flow assurance operation of injecting diesel oil to displace heavy oil in an insulated offshore production line. A three‐dimensional computational fluid dynamics model was developed and implemented in OpenFOAM®. It stimulates the production stages, no‐touch time, and oil displacement, considering heat transfer through natural convection and conjugated heat transfer through the solid layers of the pipeline. The specific test case focused on the first 180 m of an existing offshore production line. The simulations revealed two primary mechanisms of mixing: turbulence and secondary flows generated by the pipeline curves. Remarkably, the results demonstrate that by injecting a volume of lighter oil 1.3 times the pipeline volume, approximately 90%–95% of the heavy oil can be effectively removed.

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