Modeling of newtonian fluids and cuttings transport analysis in high inclination wellbores with pipe rotation

Sorgun, Mehmet
This study aims to investigate hydraulics and the flow characteristics of drilling fluids inside annulus and to understand the mechanism of cuttings transport in horizontal and deviated wellbores. For this purpose, initially, extensive experimental studies have been conducted at Middle East Technical University, Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering Flow Loop using water and numerous drilling fluids for hole inclinations from horizontal to 60 degrees, flow velocities from 0.64 m/s to 3.05 m/s, rate of penetrations from 0.00127 to 0.0038 m/s, and pipe rotations from 0 to 120 rpm. Pressure loss within the test section and stationary and/or moving bed thickness are recorded. New friction factor charts and correlations as a function of Reynolds number and cuttings bed thickness with the presence of pipe rotation for water and drilling fluids in horizontal and deviated wellbores are developed by using experimental data. Meanwhile empirical correlations that can be used easily at the field are proposed for predicting stationary bed thickness and frictional pressure loss using dimensional analysis and the effect of the drilling parameters on hole cleaning is discussed. It has been observed that, the major variable influencing cuttings transport is fluid velocity. Moreover, pipe rotation drastically decreases the critical fluid velocity that is required to prevent the stationary cuttings bed development, especially if the pipe is making an orbital motion. A decrease in the pressure loss is observed due to the bed erosion while rotating the pipe. Cuttings transport in horizontal annulus is modeled using a CFD software for different fluid velocities, pipe rotation speeds and rate of penetrations. The CFD model is verified by using cuttings transport experiments. A mathematical model is also proposed to predict the flow characteristics of Newtonian fluids in concentric horizontal annulus with drillpipe rotation. The Navier-Stokes equations of turbulent flow are numerically solved using finite differences technique. A computer code is developed in Matlab 2007b for the proposed model. The performance of the proposed model is compared with the experimental data which were available in the literature and gathered at METU-PETE Flow Loop as well as Computational Fluids Dynamics (CFD) software. The results showed that the mechanistic model accurately predicts the frictional pressure loss and the velocity profile inside the annuli. The model’s frictional pressure loss estimations are within an error range of ± 10%.


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Citation Formats
M. Sorgun, “Modeling of newtonian fluids and cuttings transport analysis in high inclination wellbores with pipe rotation,” Ph.D. - Doctoral Program, Middle East Technical University, 2010.