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Numerical study of pipeline leak detection for gas-liquid stratified flow.

Adegboye, Mutiu Adesina; Karnik, Aditya; Fung, Wai-Keung


Wai-Keung Fung


Multiphase flows are of paramount importance in the oil and gas industry, considering that most petroleum industries produce and transport oil and gas simultaneously. However, systematic research on pipeline leakage conveying more than one phase at a time is lacking attention. In this work, a numerical method is proposed to investigate the effect of two-phase gas-liquid leak flow behaviour in a subsea natural gas pipeline. The results of the simulations have been validated against the latest experimental and numerical data reported in the literature, and a good agreement has been obtained. The effect of leak sizes, longitudinal leak locations, multiple leakages and axial leak positions on the pressure gradient, flow rate and volume fractions in the pipeline were systematically investigated. The results show that the flow field parameters provide pertinent indicators in pipeline leakage detection. In particular, the upstream pipeline pressure could serve as a critical indicator for detecting leakage even if the leak size is small. Whereas, the downstream flow rate is a dominant leakage indicator if the flow rate monitoring is chosen for leak detection. The results also reveal that when two leaks with different sizes co-occur in a single pipe, detecting the small leak becomes difficult if its size is below 25% of the large leak size. However, in the event of a double leak with equal sizes, the leak closer to the pipe upstream is easier to detect.


ADEGBOYE, M.A., KARNIK, A. and FUNG, W.-K. 2021. Numerical study of pipeline leak detection for gas-liquid stratified flow. Journal of natural gas science and engineering [online], 94, article 104054. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 29, 2021
Online Publication Date Jun 8, 2021
Publication Date Oct 31, 2021
Deposit Date Jun 10, 2021
Publicly Available Date Jun 9, 2022
Journal Journal of natural gas science and engineering
Print ISSN 1875-5100
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 94
Article Number 104054
Keywords Loss prevention; Multiphase flows; Natural gas transportation; Numerical simulation; Pipeline leak detection
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