Critical Conditions for Effective Sand-Sized Solids Transport in Horizontal and High-Angle Wells
- Mingqin Duan (Chevron E&P) | Stefan Z. Miska (University of Tulsa) | Mengjiao Yu (University of Tulsa) | Nicholas E. Takach (University of Tulsa) | Ramadan M. Ahmed (University of Oklahoma) | Claudia M. Zettner (ExxonMobil)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- June 2009
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 229 - 238
- 2009. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 1.7.2 Managed Pressure Drilling, 2 Well Completion, 3 Production and Well Operations, 1.6.6 Directional Drilling, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 1.7.7 Cuttings Transport, 2.7.1 Completion Fluids, 4.3.4 Scale, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment
- hole cleaning, horizontal, critical velocity, drilling fluid, sand
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- 1,548 since 2007
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Effective removal of small, sand-sized solids is critical for successful drilling and completion operations in sand reservoirs. Recent experience in extended-reach drilling also indicates that inefficient transport of smaller cuttings is a main factor for excessive drag and torque. This study was undertaken to determine two critical conditions for efficient transport of small solids. The two conditions are represented by the critical resuspension velocity (CRV), the minimum fluid velocity necessary to initiate solids-bed erosion, and the critical deposition velocity (CDV), the minimum fluid velocity required to prevent bed formation.
Experiments were conducted in a field-scale flow loop (8 × 4.5 in., 100 ft long) to determine CRV and CDV for 0.45-mm and 1.4-mm sands in different fluids over a range of bed heights and hole inclinations. The results show that, depending on sand size and fluid properties, CDV is approximately two to three times larger than CRV. Water is more effective than low-concentration polymer solutions for bed erosion. However, polymer solutions are more helpful than water in preventing bed formation. This indicates the need for different drilling fluids for cleanout and drilling operations.
A mechanistic model was developed to predict CRV for a solids bed. Both experimental and theoretical results indicate the importance of interparticle forces that are incorporated into the model. The model accounts for drillpipe eccentricity in any direction in an annulus, which is consistent with experimental observations. The model predictions are in good agreement with experimental results. Existing CDV correlations developed for larger cuttings were verified by experimental data for sands. The differences are approximately 25%. Results in this study will be useful not only in drilling and completion through sand reservoirs, but also in extended-reach drilling and sand control.
|File Size||614 KB||Number of Pages||10|
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