Designing Fast Drilling Fluids
- H.C.H. Darley (Shell Development Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- April 1965
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 465 - 470
- 1965. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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- 725 since 2007
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The influence of particle size and concentration on the development of chip hold-down pressure (CHDP) was studied in an apparatus designed to measure the change of filtration rate daring the first second of the filtration process. CHDP is controlled by the "bridging" particles (i.e., particles in the 50 to 0.2 micron range), whereas filter lose is controlled by the conflict fraction. The results indicated that a fast drillings, fluid with a low filter loss could be obtained if the concentration of bridging solids and the viscosity were kept very low. A novel group of drilling fluids, which we have named colloid emulsions, was developed to meet the above requirements. These colloid emulsions are made by dispersing an oleophilic colloid in oil and emulsifying about 5 per cent of this dispersion in water or a dense brine. Good results have been obtained in field trials with emulsions which use asphalt as the oleophilic colloid.
In recent years it has been found that fast rates of penetration can be maintained in hard formations by using "clear" water as a drilling fluid. In some cases, however, water cannot be used because the very -high downhole filter loss creates various difficulties in drilling, in logging, or in producing the well. It then becomes necessary to "mud up", which results in a decrease in drilling rate. The reason that mud decreases drilling rates is a complex subject which has been well covered by such authors as Garnier and van Lingen, Cunningham and Eenink, and van Lingen." One of the principal factors involved is the tendency of the drilling fluid to develop a filter cake on the bottom of the hole. The pressure differential which develops across this filter cake opposes the action of the bit in dislodging chips from the rock. This pressure differential is referred to by Garnier and van Lingen as the chip hold-down pressure, which is denoted by the initials CHDP in this paper. The work described in this paper was undertaken to develop a drilling fluid which would minimize CHDP but which would still have a low filter loss-in other words, a fluid which would deposit a filter cake on the sides but would lay little or no filter cake on the bottom of the hole.
EVALUATION OF CHDP
Conditions governing the growth of filter cake on the sides of the hole are obviously different from those on the bottom of the hole. On the sides of the hole, cake will form continuously but at a decreasing rate, until eventually the rate of growth will equal the rate of cake erosion by the mud stream. On the bottom of the hole, each time a bit tooth dislodges a chip the cake is removed, a fresh rock Surface is exposed, and the filtration process must start over again. Thus the CHDP is determined by the amount of cake which can form in the interval between successive tooth strikes at a particular spot, normally a fraction of a second. Our first step therefore was to study filtration rates over the first second or so of the filtration process. These tests were conducted in the simple type of dynamic filter cell shown in Figs. 1 and 2. In this cell the mud was filtered through a train of rock cores while rotating blades kept the mud flowing over the surface of the core. The procedure was to evacuate the cores to 0.05 mm of mercury, saturate with brine, and assemble in the holder under brine. The permeability of the core train was then determined. A plastic seal was placed on the face of the core train, and a rip cord was attached from the seal to one of the blades. At the start of the test, 500 psi was applied to the mud, and the meniscus in the capillary measuring tube was adjusted to zero. When the blades were started, the seal was ripped from the face of the core, and filtration began. The filtration rate was at first measured by photographing the advance of the meniscus in the capillary tube.
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