Emulsions in Oil&Gas production

Emulsions in Oil&Gas production


Emulsions are commonly present in the petroleum industry and its characteristics have a large impact on the design and operation of subsea and surface facilities.  Each type of emulsion (O/W, W/O or multiple) has its particularities in terms of stability, rheology and morphology.

Some fields impose an addition challenge: presence of heavy and extra heavy oils. Such oils can be extremely viscous and may create very stable emulsions. Understanding the emulsion characteristics, presence of free water, influence of chemical additives and operational conditions is fundamental to ensure transportability and separation efficiency.



Besides its importance, the detailed understanding of emulsions and dispersions in pipeline and related  equipment (valves, pumps, etc) is still not fully achieved.

Nonetheless, ISDB FlowTech works hardly to clarify some important aspects, such as:

  • Characterization and prediction of emulsion droplet size distribution in high shear systems.
  • Impact of chemical additives on emulsion morphology and stability;
  • Hydrodynamics of OW/WO systems inside equipment, via CFD tools;
  • Scale up and down of agitated equipment.


Carneiro, J.N.E, Patil, A., Johansen, S.T., Gonçalves, G.F.N, Gallassi, M., 2018, Drop Breakup and Size Evolution in Oil and Gas Production: A Review of Models and Mechanisms, In book: Applications Paradigms of Droplet and Spray Transport: Paradigms and Applications, pp.83-121.

Johansen, S.T, Mo S., Meese, E., Oliveira, J.E.S, Reyes, J.F.R., Carneiro, J.N.E., 2015, CFD Simulations of Multiphase Flows Containing Large Scale Interfaces and Dispersed Phases with Selected Production Technology Applications. Conference: Offshore Technology Conference, At Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

Reyes, J.F.R., Carneiro, J.N.E., Oliveira, J.E.S, Mo, S., Fossen, M., Johansen, S.T, 2014, CFD simulations of the two-phase of different mixtures in a closed system flow wheel. Conference: 10th International Conference on CFD in Oil & Gas, Metallurgical and Process Industries, At Trondheim, Norway.

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