Rigorous dynamic and steady-state multiphase modeling for complex pipe networks

The Pipe workspace in the Symmetry platform allows pipe networks to be created with the same thermodynamic packages as VMGSim and provides consistent fluid characterization from upstream to downstream models.


The Pipe workspace in the Symmetry platform provides for rigorous modeling of multiphase pipe networks in steady state and dynamics.

The model complexity may vary from a simple straight pipeline to highly looped networks. This workspace also allows users to run their analysis in steady state (e.g. field development planning, network debottlenecking, flow assurance analysis, etc.) as well as in transient conditions (liquid loading, pigging scheduling, slugging, etc.).

The Pipe workspace relies on the state-of-the-art thermodynamics which allows users to apply the same fluid characterization, and physical properties and phase equilibria throughout the reservoir, gathering system, processing, refining, to final products and by-products. This provides a more consistent modeling including the ability to track all the components from end-to-end.


Workspace Tailored for Pipe Network Applications
  • Simple and complex pipe networks solved with a network solver
  • Dedicated Pipe ribbon and stencil
  • Line list utility for easy visualization, analysis and bulk editing of pipes
  • Model Audit utility to guide users when specifying a pipe network and to help troubleshoot simulations
  • Flow Path Viewer to view profiles for sets of connected pipes
  • Initialize dynamic models from steady state results
Flow Correlations
  • Generalized multiphase mechanistic models (Petalas, Oliemans, etc.)
  • Available superior mechanistic flow models such as OLGAS 2 and 3 phase
  • Traditional empirical methods (Beggs and Brill, Lockhart & Martinelli) 
Flow Assurance
  • Rigorous Hydrate formation estimation with or without inhibitors
  • Wax formation
  • Erosional Velocity
  • Solid formation
  • Component tracking
  • Extensive list of physical and transport properties
  • Access to comprehensive set of productivity tools such as case studies, custom calculations in process calculators and flexible plotting of virtually any variable
Well Deliverability

Well performance can be modeled using the Deliverability option available in the Source and the Stream - it allows you to input a relationship between well flowing pressure and well production rate.

  • Tabular data (Q vs P)
  • Linear equations
  • Fetkovich equation
  • Vogel equation
Pipe Network Creation
  • Build a network using terrain details based on digital elevation models (e.g. DEM files)
  • Ability to import pipe networks from shapefiles
  • Resolve inconsistencies and connectivity issues using the network connection tool
  • Insert pigs directly in the pipeline or through the pig launcher (i.e. mixer) in the dynamic model
  • Track pig location and velocity throughout the gathering system/network
  • Predict liquid holdup and pressure loss as pig proceeds down the pipe and sweeps liquid ahead
  • Pig one pipe or multiple pipes—there's no limit to the number of pipes in a network that can be pigged
  • Analyze different control mechanisms to mitigate large liquid slugs leaving the pipeline into the downstream slug catcher
  • Use Scheduler block to develop a pigging schedule for pipelines at regular intervals
  • Calculate liquid holdups and slugs induced by elevation/terrain changes in pipelines—important for configurations such as risers
  • Calculate slugging based on flowrate and operational conditions
  • Monitor the formation and burping of liquid slugs in pipelines
  • Evaluate slug catchers based on liquid slugs/holdup instead of steady state values
Fluid Characterization

The Symmetry platform contains a wide variety of fluid characterization methods for systems ranging from heavy oil to associated liquids produced with gas. Simulations may use a consistent slate of components regardless of the number of different fluids when using PIONA based characterizations. These types of fluids track the molecular structure of the different sources thus allowing for consistent property estimation when material is blended.

The data required to define a fluid may be as detailed as an extended Cn analysis combined with other information such as viscosity or density data. There are also options to characterize fluids with a reduced set of properties such as specific gravity, gas oil ratio and water cut. 

Property Package

The Symmetry platform has a consistent property package and fluid characterization that can be used throughout the simulator in all of the workspaces with the steady state and dynamic engines and as well as a tailored workspace that can be used when required.

Available Flow Correlations

The Pipe workspace has all of the most widely used model flow models in the industry. It covers the most traditional empirical methods (Beggs and Brill, Lockhart & Martinelli) to the more generalized multi-fluid mechanistic models currently available (Petalas, Oliemans, etc.). Users can also access  the most typical third-party flow models such as OLGAS and LedaFlow.

Steady State and Dynamics

Pipe network models can be run in steady state and dynamics. It takes a few clicks to switch a steady state model into dynamics and vice versa. This powerful feature allows engineers to perform two analysis's using the same model. In fact, in case of a network with a long stabilization time the use of the steady state solver in conjunction with the dynamic can quickly reach steady state conditions.

Transient analyses in the Symmetry platform can have an augmented scope compared with the common practice. For instance, engineers can study the effect of slugging and pigging not only in the inlet separator but also all the downstream unit operations. Launched pigs, and their induce slug, can be tracked at any point of the network. Users may take the advantage of the Event Scheduler tool that will allow them to evaluate multiple pigging scenarios that can lead to an optimized pigging schedule that minimizes facility downtimes saving millions of dollars.

The detailed analysis can include the pipe network details, processing units, plant process control schemes, emergency shut-down scenarios, operating procedures such as start-up and scheduled shut-down, etc. 

Multiple Fluid Characterization

Multiple PIONA characterization consists of a customizable carbon number and molecular structure component grid, where properties are trended per chemical class. Properties for slate components are obtained from extended correlations based on information gathered for the different structure types. Each fluids composition slates is regressed to minimize the error on provided experimental information which be different types of analysis: Distillation Curve, Cn Analysis, Viscosity and Density Curves, Black-Oil properties among others.

This approach allows users to take any input specifications from multiple fluids to be fitted in a unique compositional slate which provides a better estimation of the physical properties, consistent thermodynamics, more accurate estimation of blends, and component tracking all across the board (pore to pipe).

The Oil Sources unit operation is used to characterize reservoir fluids to match the given properties. In general terms, users can create many different Oil Sources as many different fluids are available. A fixed slate of components is used for all the fluid which compostion are regressed to match the analyses.

Well Modeling

Well performance can be modeled in the Pipe workspace using the Deliverability option available in the Source and the Stream. It allows users to input a relationship between well flowing pressure and well production rate.

The available options are:

  • Tabular data
  • Linear Equation
  • Fetkovich Equation
  • Vogel Equation
Supported Unit Operations in the Network Solver

The following unit operation can be solved within a steady state pipe network solver:

  • Pipe Segments
  • Source
  • Sink
  • Node, Mixer, and Splitters
  • Valves: all calculation modes as in steady state and a block valve behavior
  • Heaters and Coolers
  • Pump
  • Compressors
  • Expanders 
Flow Path Viewer

This allows users the ability to select flow paths (a set of connected pipes) for results visualization. It can show any variable calculated within the pipes and results can be shown in a plot or tabular fashion. Flow paths can be created, named, and deleted so users can monitor particular network sections. The combination of Flow Path Viewer and the Flow Assurance tool give a lot of flexibility to users for troubleshooting pipe networks.

Model Audit

This tool a key to solving pipe networks. It monitors all of the specs required to solve a model guiding the user to provide input data and boundary specs (P/F), as well as catching over-specifications.

Contact Us

To find out how VMG can help you solve your process challenges, email or call in the U.S. and Canada at (403) 457-4595. For all other inquiries, please fill out the form below.

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