Drill Cutting Transport in Full Scale Vertical Annuli
- Thomas R. Sifferman (Continental Oil Co.) | George M. Myers (Continental Oil Co.) | Elard L. Haden (Continental Oil Co.) | Harry A. Wahl (Continental Oil Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 1974
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,295 - 1,302
- 1974. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 1.7.7 Cuttings Transport, 1.11.2 Drilling Fluid Selection and Formulation (Chemistry, Properties), 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 4.3.4 Scale, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 1.11.5 Drilling Hydraulics
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This paper was prepared for the 48th Annual Fall Meeting of the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME, to be held in Las Vegas, Nev., Sept. 30-Oct. 3, 1973. Permission to copy is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words. Illustrations may not be copied. The abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgement of where and by whom the paper is presented. Publication elsewhere after publication in the JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY or the SOCIETY OF PETROLEUM ENGINEERS JOURNAL is usually granted upon request to the Editor of the appropriate journal provided agreement to give proper credit is made.
Discussion of this paper is invited. Three copies of any discussion should be sent to the Society of Petroleum Engineers Office. Such discussion may be presented at the above meeting and, with the paper, may be considered for publication in one of the two SPE magazines.
The absence of the basic data needed to fully evaluate present field practices and current concepts on drill cutting transport prompted this full scale study. Several drill prompted this full scale study. Several drill pipe and casing sizes were used in a 140-ft pipe and casing sizes were used in a 140-ft vertical flow system to define the variables affecting drill cutting transport under steady state conditions.
Variables evaluated were annular velocity (4 to 200 ft/min), fluid rheological properties (mud, water, oils), cutting size (3-6 properties (mud, water, oils), cutting size (3-6 mesh), fluid weight (12-15 ppg), rotary speed (0-200 rpm), drilling rate (cutting feed concentration), drill pipe position (centered-eccentric), and annular size. Annular velocity and fluid rheological properties were the most significant variables. Annular velocities well below the 120 ft/min used in most hydraulic programs were found adequate to clean the hole. Increasing apparent viscosity dramatically improved cutting transport. The other variables showed 2nd and 3rd order effects. Terminal slip velocities were a good indicator for the velocities required to initiate transport, but observed transport was 75 to 90% of the theoretical values. These findings should destroy many myths on drill cutting transport and provide a factual basis for improving drilling hydraulics.
The drilling literature does not answer or else gives conflicting answers to many of the questions asked about drilling hydraulics. Some of these unresolved questions are:
Should mud viscosity be raised or lowered to clean the hole? What velocity is required to prevent excessive cutting buildup in the annulus? Can the annular velocity be lower in slow drilling areas? As mud weight increases, can annular velocity be decreased? How does drill pipe rotation, position (centered or eccentric) and annular clearances affect cutting transport and pressure drops? Is an annular velocity of 100-120 ft/min needed to keep the hole clean? If not, what velocity is required? What are the "ideal" mud properties? Are our current hydraulic programs a technical and economic "overkill"? programs a technical and economic "overkill"?
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