Coiled tubing (CT) is widely used in well intervention as a practical and cost-effective means of servicing wells. Over the years, the actual flow through CT has been a point of discussion and theory. Testing has been conducted to promote a better understanding of what happens inside the CT. In recent years, the use of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software has provided greater insight into actual CT flow patterns, including fluid-flow velocity profiles and secondary flow regimes. These flow patterns can be studied in a straight pipe or curved (CT) condition with variable flow rates and variable fluids. CFD could help us understand the phenomenon of erosion, including particle path and migration through the tubing. It might also lead to a greater understanding and efficient design of friction pressure gradients. After CFD is proven and established, an alternative to full-scale testing or other predictive methods may be possible.

This paper discusses the flow phenomenon of CT using CFD, particularly over the tubing guide. This is an area of concern because the tubing configuration changes from straight to bent to straight again. Details of fluid flow for both the straight and curved sections have been examined to evaluate flow-velocity profiles and flow patterns. Fluids investigated have included water, gel, and slurry.

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