Measurement of the Flowrate Out of a Well for Conventional Drilling Operations
- Eric Cayeux (NORCE/DrillWell)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- IADC/SPE International Drilling Conference and Exhibition, 3-5 March, Galveston, Texas, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2020. IADC/SPE International Drilling Conference and Exhibition
- 1.6 Drilling Operations, 4.3.4 Scale, 6.3 Safety, 4.1 Processing Systems and Design, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 4 Facilities Design, Construction and Operation, 2.1.3 Completion Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
- cuttings size distribution, Flowrate measurement, Gain loss detection
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- 108 since 2007
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The flowrate out of a well is an important source of information for detecting gains or losses. Yet, many conventional drilling operations have only access to qualitative measurements from a flow-paddle. Quantitative flowrate out measurements can be obtained from a vibrating tube Coriolis flowmeter, but it usually requires regular cleaning to maintain an acceptable precision. This paper described a new design for a flowrate out sensor that necessitates little maintenance and yet provides quantitative measurements.
This new device is primarily a mass flowmeter that also utilizes Coriolis forces as the measurement principle. Unlike the vibrating tube mass flowmeter, the apparatus does not need to be filled with drilling fluid. Because of its measurement principle, cuttings cannot clog the apparatus and mud cannot form a layer at the surface of the instrument and therefore its precision stays unbiased for a long time. A small fraction of the return flow passes through a densitometer to obtain the mass density of the drilling fluid and therefore the volumetric flowrate can also be provided.
As a side effect of the instrument measurement principle, it is possible to obtain information about the number of cuttings particles that pass through the apparatus as well as their particle mass distribution. Dissolved gases are also separated while the drilling fluid traverses the device and it is therefore possible to relocate a chromatograph inside the apparatus in order to obtain a gas composition very close to the well outlet. Parts of the device have been built at a laboratory scale and the measurement principles have been verified for a range of small flowrates. The paper presents the results from the laboratory testing.
The quantitative measurement of the flowrate out of a well with an apparatus that can be retrofitted on existing rigs and that necessitates little maintenance, open for the possibility to achieve automatic gain/loss detection with few false alarms, therefore improving substantially safety of conventional drilling operations.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||12|
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