The recent advances in drilling activities in shale plays have led to unprecedented challenges that need to be addressed to improve the drilling performance. One of the challenges, experienced especially in the Bakken formation, is a very high rate of drillpipe body wear. The drillpipe body wears out more quickly than the tool joints, thus reducing the life of the tube. Consequently, a mechanism to analyze the pipe body contact would be useful in understanding the downhole scenario and would help to reduce the wear.
This study uses the finite element analysis to perform a step-by-step investigation of the drillpipe body wear during the drilling of a typical Bakken well using field data. The model helps to calculate the clearance of the center of the pipe body from the wellbore for each joint of pipe and further estimates the side force if there is any contact. The side force analysis is then used to predict the downhole wear in the pipe body under the given drilling parameters.
The field case study presented compares the performance of 4-in., 4¼-in., and 4½-in. drillpipe from the kickoff point in the 8¾-in. build section. It also analyzes the 4-in. and 4¼-in. drillpipe in the 6-in. lateral section to the target depth. The study also critically examined the influence of drilling parameters on pipe performance to better understand downhole conditions. Based on this analysis, recommendations are provided to mitigate drillpipe body wear for shale drilling environments. This study has the potential to be fully implemented to improve the drill string design in shale plays to reduce drilling times, increase drilling efficiency, and reduce costs by maximizing the life of the drillpipe.