In a drilling operation hole cleaning plays an important role. Improper hole cleaning can lead to problems like reduced penetration rate, torque and drag increase, and increase in pipe sticking potential. Cutting transport in a wellbore is a complex problem affected by several parameters such as mud density, cutting size and density, rate of penetration and mud circulation rate. Researchers conducted experiments with different setups representing annulus flow in a limited number of hole sizes to investigate the contribution of several physical and operating conditions. Due to time and cost involved in the construction and conduction of the experiments all reported studies are limited to physical model dimensions and operating parameters.

In this study, we introduced a new approach to determine the parameters affecting cutting transport in any wellbore. This method utilizes a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) software program. The effectiveness of selected program was determined by simulating successfully results from an experiment reported in literature.

Presented in this study are the effects of cutting and mud properties on the cutting transport efficiency for vertical and horizontal wellbores. This approach eliminates the need for expensive laboratory setups and can be used to study unlimited number of physical and operational conditions in any wellbore.

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