Modernization of the API Recommended Practice on Rheology and Hydraulics: Creating Easy Access to Integrated Wellbore Fluids Engineering
- Peter A. Bern (BP Research) | Keith Morton (Chevron ETC) | Mario Zamora (M-I SWACO) | Roland May (INTEQ) | David P. Moran (Smith International) | Terry Hemphill (Halliburton Energy Services Group) | Leon H. Robinson (Consultant) | Iain Cooper (Schlumberger) | Subhash N. Shah (University of Oklahoma) | Daniel Flores (Exxon Mobil)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- September 2007
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 197 - 204
- 2007. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 7.3.3 Project Management, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 1.7.7 Cuttings Transport, 3 Production and Well Operations, 1.1 Well Planning, 1.2.2 Drilling Optimisation, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 1.6 Drilling Operations, 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 1.11.2 Drilling Fluid Selection and Formulation (Chemistry, Properties), 1.6.3 Drilling Optimisation, 4.3.4 Scale, 4.2.4 Risers
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Tailoring drilling-fluid hydraulics is one important key to the success of a drilling operation. Failure to do so, can result in costly problems, negatively impact equipment longevity and performance, as well as ultimately jeopardize overall well objectives. In recent years, the industry methods have deviated from American Petroleum Institute (API) RP13D standard practice (2003, 2006). This departure has been driven primarily by the increasingly onerous demands of critical wells, coupled with readily accessible computer power.
In 2003, a task group was formed to modernize the existing API recommended practice (RP) bulletin on rheology and hydraulics. It comprised a cross-functional team of operators, suppliers, and academics that set an aggressive target to modernize the existing standard within 2 years. The focus was to develop simple, yet accurate, methods that could be implemented readily with basic spread-sheeting skills.
This paper describes improvements made to the existing procedures and provides an illustration of how these methods can be applied to complex well designs. The paper also serves to introduce the industry to a modernized API standard that offers an ideal foundation to inform new engineers of the fundamental concepts of hydraulic design and optimization.
Rheology and hydraulics are central to successful well planning and execution of drilling operations, and there has been an API RP in place since the mid-1980s. API RP13D(2003) has served the industry well as a guide to support these important issues. However, it was widely recognized that the most recent version of this recommended practice required modernization. The primary drivers for this included
- Increased well complexity beyond the scope of the current document
- Extensive use of drilling fluids with physical properties sensitive to high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) environments. The need to integrate wellbore engineering technologies to give a holistic approach.
In addition, a recently published paper(Zamora and Power 2002) concluded that the timing was right to effectively bridge the widening gap between field practices and the technology being introduced into advanced hydraulics software.
By incorporating the fundamentals, it is believed that the revised standard will serve both as a practical reference and as a training guide. The intended audience includes the office-based planning engineer and the wellsite operational staff (drilling engineer and drilling-fluids engineer). A review of the existing RP13D identified the following areas as the primary focus for attention in enhancing the document: downhole behavior (rheology and density), pressure-loss modeling, hole cleaning; drilling optimization; swab/surge pressures; wellsite monitoring and rheological testing. A full listing of the revised sections is shown in Table 1.
This paper introduces the modernized recommended practice that was published recently (RP13D 2006). Also presented are revision improvements and their application to complex well designs, together with the project planning and management methods used to complete the new document to meet an aggressive time line.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||8|
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