Particle Removal From Sandbed Deposits in Horizontal Annuli Using Viscoelastic Fluids
- Majid Bizhani (University of Alberta) | Ergun Kuru (University of Alberta)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- April 2018
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 256 - 273
- 2018.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Viscoelasticity, Particle Image Velocimetry, Drilling Fluid rheology, Hole cleaning, Horizontal Wells
- 3 in the last 30 days
- 252 since 2007
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This paper presents results of an experimental study on how fluid viscoelastic properties would influence the particle removal from the sandbed deposited in horizontal annuli. Water and two different viscoelastic fluids were used for bed-erosion experiments. The particle-image-velocimetry (PIV) technique was used to measure the local fluid velocity at the fluid/sandbed interface, allowing for accurate estimation of the fluid-drag forces and the turbulence stresses.
It was found that polymer fluids needed to exert higher level drag forces (than those of water) on the sandbed to start movement of the particles. Results have also shown that, at the critical flow rate of bed erosion, the polymer fluids yielded higher local fluid velocities and turbulent stresses than those of water. Moreover, the local velocity measurements by means of the PIV technique and the resultant bed-shear-stress calculations indicated that enhancing polymer concentration under the constant flow rate should also enhance the drag forces acting on the sandbed. However, these improved fluid hydrodynamic forces did not result in any improvement in the bed erosion. Therefore, the mechanism causing the delay in the bed erosion by polymer additives could not be explained by any decrease in the local fluid velocity and the turbulence.
The primary reason for the delayed bed erosion by the polymer fluids was suggested to be linked to their viscoelastic properties. Two possible mechanisms arising from the elastic properties of the polymer fluids that hinder bed erosion were further discussed in the paper. The stress tensor of the viscoelastic-fluid flow was analyzed to determine the normal stress differences and the resultant normal fluid force acting on the particles at the fluid/sandbed interface. The normal force induced by the normal stress differences of the viscoelastic fluid was identified as one of the possible causes of the delayed bed erosion by these types of fluids.
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