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Dynamic Cuttings Slip Velocity Evaluation in Non-Newtonian Fluids Using a Temperature Dependent Transient Drift-Flux Model for Directional Wells

[+] Author Affiliations
Ekaterina Wiktorski, Dan Sui, Kjell Kåre Fjelde, Vebjørn Langåker

University of Stavanger, Stavanger, Norway

Paper No. OMAE2018-77386, pp. V008T11A054; 17 pages
  • ASME 2018 37th International Conference on Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering
  • Volume 8: Polar and Arctic Sciences and Technology; Petroleum Technology
  • Madrid, Spain, June 17–22, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: Ocean, Offshore and Arctic Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5129-6
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


The objective of drilling a well is to prepare a clean hole without obstructions for further casing and production tubing running. Cuttings transport has always been important, but challenging process, especially when drilling long directional wells. Poor hole cleaning causes severe problems, as stuck pipe, extreme torque and drag, difficulties in casing landing, cementing, etc. Extensive studies of cuttings transport, both theoretical and experimental, have been performed to estimate, for example, cuttings concentration and cuttings slip velocity to determine optimal conditions for effective hole cleaning.

This paper presents a dynamic analysis of cuttings transport in non-Newtonian fluids based on a transient drift-flux model and an associated numerical scheme AUSMV (advection upstream splitting method) developed by Evje and Fjelde 2002. In this paper, the scheme is modified to simulate cuttings transport dynamically taking into account effects related to pressure, temperature and cuttings slip.

During drilling, the heat is transported from the formation into the wellbore and up to the surface. In this paper, the energy balance is enhanced by introducing an analytical temperature model into the AUSMV scheme. The temperature distribution along the well is calculated at the beginning of simulation and kept constant throughout the simulation.

Additionally, the AUSMV scheme is improved by considering drilling fluid’s transport- and thermal properties. Transport properties of an oil-based mud, such as viscosity and density, are obtained from experiments. The experimental results were used to determine the coefficients in a linear density model used in the study to investigate the effect of non-Newtonian behavior on the heat transfer, cuttings transport and downhole pressure. Furthermore, a model to calculate the apparent viscosity at various pressures and temperatures was developed based on the experimental results and used to evaluate the impact of viscous forces on the cuttings distribution in the well.

Presented numerical scheme solves dynamic cuttings transport problems taking into account the slip velocity variation with wellbore geometry, operational (controllable) parameters and formation properties. In comparison to the traditional steady-state models, the transient cuttings transport model with integrated depth-dependent parameters gives a possibility to achieve a more realistic simulation of cuttings transport, distribution and accumulation along the wellbore through the time.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME



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