Buried Pipe Line Heat Transfer Improvements in VMGSim

Accurately calculating heat transfer in a buried pipeline is important to analyze the flowing conditions of the system. At the 2016 BHR Conference on Multiphase Production VMG presented the advantages of a 2012 buried heat transfer coefficient model from Zakarian, Hoelbeach, and Morgan over the traditional, widely used method attributed to Carslaw and Jaeger in their book, Conduction of Heat in Solids, published in 1959.

VMG has incorporated the advanced 2012 model into pipeline calculations. Sensitivity analysis has shown that this recent model prevents over prediction of the buried heat transfer coefficient at shallow burial depths associated with the traditional method. This over prediction can lead to greater uncertainty in the calculation of flowing temperature, liquid holdup, and pressure drop throughout the pipeline.  


The plot shows that selecting the more advanced equation can have a substantial effect on the liquid inventory of this line. This impacts the measures needed to counteract the adverse effects of high pressure drops and high liquid content. 

The Zakarian et al. model will be the default buried heat transfer coefficient calculation method in VMGSim v10 allowing greater confidence in multiphase flow prediction at shallow burial depths.

For more information please refer to the full publication listed below or contact your local VMG office.


C.J. Arthur, L. Russell, and P.E. Adames, An investigation of buried pipe outer heat transfer coefficient correlations, in 10th North American Conference on Multiphase Production Technology. 2016, BHR Group: Banff, Canada. p. 179-190.


To Top