Mathematical Modeling of Drilling Operations by Use of Nitrogen-Enriched Mud: A Case Study by Use of a Recorded Drilling Data-Set
- Eric Cayeux (International Research Institute of Stavanger) | Richard Kucs (OMV) | Nick Gibson (Sekal)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- December 2014
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 438 - 453
- 2014.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- foam drilling, hydraulic modeling, uncertainty evaluation
- 1 in the last 30 days
- 395 since 2007
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When drilling in an arid region through heavily fractured formations, it can be very challenging to manage drilling-fluid losses and at the same time maintain a downhole-pressure gradient that is compatible with the very-low geopressure gradient windows that are typically encountered in those drilling conditions. Nitrogen- enriched drilling muds may provide a good solution to both problems; however, the properties - such as density, rheology, specific-heat capacity, and thermal conductivity - of this type of drilling fluid are highly dependent on temperature and pressure, and in most cases those characteristics cannot be measured in situ, making it difficult to estimate the actual downhole-pressure conditions. The approach described in this paper consists of the reconstruction of the drilling-fluid-mix properties from the characteristics of its components and the incorporation of the resulting pressure- and temperature-dependent constitutive laws into a realtime multiphase- and multicomponent-drilling hydraulic model to estimate the downhole pressures along the drillstring and borehole as a function of the drilling parameters. Because of the uncertainty of some of the characteristics of the components of the drilling fluid as well as their actual proportion in the mix, the modeled values are only valid within a certain accuracy. Stochastic simulations are made during the estimation of the downhole pressures to ascertain the precision of the calculations. As a consequence, by comparing the obtained interval o confidence on the estimations with actual measurements, it is possible to evaluate whether the drilling conditions are normal or deteriorating. The validity and performance of the derived fluid-model extension are tested by use of a real-time data set recorded during the drilling of a well in the Erbril area of the Kurdish region of Iraq, by use of the wellsite information transfer standard markup language drilling-data-exchange protocol. The model results are reviewed and compared with the actual measurements recorded during the drilling operations. The potential sources of limitation, discrepancy, or error between the modeled and observed well and fluid behavior are discussed, along with potential explanations for the observed wellbore physics seen in the recorded-data feed.
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