9
Society of PetroleumEngineers
SPE 28306
A Mechanistic Model for Cuttings Transport
R.K. Clark, * Shell Development
Co., and K.L. Bickham, BET Development Co.
SPE Member
A
Copyright
1994, Society of Petroleum
Engineers,
Tfds paper was prepared for presenta$on
Inc.
at tha SPE 69th Annual Tgchniml
Conference
and Exhlbltion hdd in Now ohms,
LA, U. S.A., 25+8
.Septemb.ar 1994,
This papw was SaIected for presentation by an ePE Program Curnmittee following review of lnfomliai cantdnad In an aksfracf silbmitted by the authm($~ contents of the paper,
as presentsd, have nof bee reviewed by the !Mety
of Petroleum Engineers and am subjwt to correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect
any position of the Sodety of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or members. Papers presented af SPE meetings are subject 10 publication re.dew by Ed[torial Committees of the Sodety
of Petmle.m Engleers, permission to copy Is restricted to an abstract of net ore than SCU words. IIlusttafions may not be copied. The abstract sfm.ld wn!ah conspicuous .Mmwfedgmem
of wher8 and by whom the paper Is preswtod, write Llbrarlan, SPE, P,O. Box 632s!36, Richardson, TX 7503S3336, U .e,A, Telex, 183245 SPEUT,
ABSTRACT*
Acuttinggeneratedatthebit maybe transported to the surfacaby
several different mechemismsas it moves along the wellbore. The
specific mecbenism depends on the wellbore angle. For high
angles, where a stationery cuttings bed can form, transport is vie a
rolling mechanism. In intermediate angles, where a churning,
moving cuttings bed can form, transport is via a lifting
mechaniem. At nearvertical angles, particle settling determines
transport. The model described below combinee fluid mechanical
treatments ofthese mecbanisme intoaforrnat for easy analysis of
cuttings transport in wells of any configuration.
INTRODUCTION
Of the many functions that aeperformedbythe drillingfluid, the
most important ie to transport cuttinge from the bit up the
amndue to the surface. If the cuttinw cannot be removed from the
wellbore, drilling cannot proceed for long. Transport is usually
not a problem if the well is near verticaI. However, considerable
difficulties caa occur when the well is being drilled directionally
as cuttings may accumulate either in a station~ bed at hole
angles above about 500 or in a moving, churning bed at lower hole
! angles, Drilling probleme that may result include etuckpipe, lost
circulation, high torque end drag end poor cement jobe. The
severity of such problems depends on the amount smdlocation of
cuttings distributed along the wellbore.
The problem of cuttings transport in vertical wells has been
studied for memyyesm, with the earliest analysis of the problem
being that of Pigott.l The transport efficiency in verticrd wells is
.
..
*References end Table 3 at end of paper.
139
usually assessed by determining the settling velocity, which is
dependent on particle sise, density and shape, the drilling fluid
rheology smdvelocity, and the hole/pipe configuration. A recently
developed correlation for settling velocity of irragubdy shaped
particles in drilling fluids is that of Chien.2
Since the early 1980s, cuttinge traneport studies have
focuesedoninclined wellbores, andenex~neivebody ofliterature
on both experimental end modeling work has developed.
Experimental work on cuttin~ traneport in inclined wellbores
haebeenconducted usingflowloopsat the University ofl?ulsass
and elsewhere.g 11
Some of the more recent modeling etudies are those of Luo
and Bern,12Fordet eL,18Larsen,Pilehvari and Aser,14andRaei.16
LuoandBern12and Fordet al.lspreeentmathematicel modaIsfor
determiningt.heminimum fluidvelocityfor trrmsportingcuttings
without the formation of a cuttings bed. These are physically
based models thathavebaanvalidatedagainst axperimentrddata,
Lao and Berns model has also been compared with field data.lq
L.emens model is based on empirical correlations derived fiom
experimental data generated in a 35 ft long 5in. diame~r flow
loop.14 Thie model can be used to predict a cuttings bed height if
the flow ie subcritical, i.e., below the velocity required to keep
all cuttings moving upward.
Rasi assumes that a cuttings bed will form end predicts the
height of the bed15and the open area above it. This area is then
compsxed with the crosssectional area of thebit and stabilizers to
see if they can pass through the nonbed area without ditlkulty
ThemodelsofLaoandBern,12 Larsenetal,,14mdRagi15 mevdd
for hole angles greater than 50 or so where a stationary cuttings
bed may fofi. The model of Ford et al. can be applied at any
,
2
SPE 28306
A MECHANISTIC MODEL FOR CUTTINGS TRANSPORT
wellbore angle.la The models are accessible via main frame or
personal computers end uee readily available data as input
parameters.
Laboratory experience indicates that the flow rate, if high
enough, will always remove the cuttings for any fluid, hole size,
and hole angle. Unfortunately, flow rates high enough to
transport cuttings up and out oftheennuluseffectively cannotbe
builds, the mud velocity over the bed increases. The cuttings
buildup process continues until the mud veloeity over the beds
surface eventually reaches the critical value. At that condition,
the bed height remains unchanged. If additional cuttings axe
deposited onthebed, themudvelocityin theneighborhoodofthat
region exceeds the critical velocity As aresr.dt,the stronger fluid
forces will dislodge the protruding outtinge. After these extra
used in my
welis due to limited pump capacity and/or high
eurfeee ordownhole dynamic pressures. Thw ie particularly true
for high angles with hole @eZ@ger
then 12?4 in. High rotary
speeds and backreamin g are often used when flow rate does not
suffice.
Drilling fluid rheology plays en important role, _although
often there are exmflicting statements as to whether the mud
should be thick or thin for effective transport. It is common when
drilling highangle wells for elevated low shemrate theologies to
cuttings are moved downstream, the local equilibrium bed height
is then reestablished. Thus, the equilibrium bed height is
formulated as a function of the critical mud veloci~.
Furthermore, the critical transport velocity is the critical
velocity that gives a zero cuttings bed height.
be spec~led. Ty@callx the Fmm 6rpm and 3rpm dial readings
are set at some level thought to aid in hole cleaning at high angles.
Many settheselowshearreadingz (inlbf/100ft2)equivalenttothe
hole sizeininches. Thisrecommendationas wellazotherrulesof
thumb have been presented by Zamora and Henson.18~17
The model described below was developed to allow a
complete cuttings transport analysis for the entire well, from
surface to the bit. The mechanisms which dominate within
dflerent ranges of weilboreengle areuzed to predict cuttings bed
heights and ,=ukir
cuttimgs concentrations as functions of
operating parameters (flow rate, penetration rate), wellbore
conf@ration (depth, hole angle, hole sizeorcasinglD, pipe size),
fluid properties (density, rheology), and cuttings characteristics
(density size, bed porosity angle of repose), Parameters that are
not currently taken iriti account include pipe eccentricity and
rotary speed.
This paper has three major section% (1) the fwst identifies
the modes of trmmport and outlines the mathematical
development of the model, some of which is given intheappendix;
(2) the model is compared with data generated in flow loop
experiments; and (3) three applications of the model are used to
show its versatility in addressing a variety of cuttings transport
problems.
CRITICAL VELOCITY MECHANISTIC
7<
Wellbore
U(
Cuttings
.
J
Mud velocity profile
(x and z components)
Formation
%
Fig. 1 Schematic of cuttings transport in an inclined
wellbore.
During laboratory flowlooptests,three si~]cant
MODELS
patterns
ofcuttingsmovement were observed. They zrerolling, lifting, and
settling; a different pattern seems to dominate the cuttings bed
formingprocessineachoftbreerangesof
wellbore angles. Athigh
angles, the transport pattern is rollinG namely, the cuttings roll
end bounce along the bed surface. At lower wellbore angles where
the wellbores complementary qngle is greater than the cutting%
angle of repose, cuttings are lifted from a churning fluidized bed.
Atnearverticaltoverticalwellbore angles, thecuttings sreahnost
uniformly distributedthroughoutennular cross setilonendsettle
downhole against the flowing mud.
There me several mechanisms that could possibly play a
major put in the cuttings transport process within a particular
flow pattern. In the following sections, severaI equations are
When theannulermudvelociiy ishighenough, elldrillcuttimgs in
the wellbore aretransportedupwerd (F@re 1). Moreoveq for the
general case, the annular mud velocity needs only to exeeed the
cuttings bed buildup conditions in the most sensitive spot eiong
the wellbore. There, as the annular mud velocity slowly and
continuously is decreased, a state is reached where some cuttings
are lost from the flow.
The notion of a critical transport condition leads to a theory
for czdculating the equilibrium cuttimgsbed height. First, with a
steady mud flow rate, a decrease in the wellbore annular mwa
results in a mud velocity increase. For subcritical mud velociiy
conditions, the theory is that the cuttings bed will build. As it
140
SPE 28306
R, H. CLARK AND K L. BICRHAM
derived for the three patterns.
However, the governing
mechanism is the one which dominates the flow at a particular
wellbore angle. Two mechanisms are based on the forces required
to displace asingleprotrudingcuttingfrombeds surf, namely
these equations calculate the velocities that causes acuttingto be
either rolled or lifted from its resting place. The third equation is
basedonthe KelvinHehnholtz stabiMyofthemudlay
erflowing
over the fluidizedbed. Finally the fourth equation is baeedonthe
settling velocity of the cuttings, that is, the annular velocity
reqtied to limit the suspended cuttings concentration to five
percent by volume in the flowing mud stream.
Equilibrium
end the muds rheology is assumed to be governed by the
HerschelBuIkley viscosity law. The static forces are the
buoyancy force, F~ gravity force, Fg, and the plastic force, FP,
which is due to the yield stress of the mud. The dynamic forces are
the dragforce, FD,Iiftforce, FL, and pressure gradient force, FAP
Theysxeallzssumedtoaot throughthecenterofgravity. The mud
circulation rata is held constant.
RollingMechaniem.
Forthecsaeofrolling, themomentsdueto
forces are summed around the support point, a(x,z); nmnel~
IxI(F.
Cuttinge Bed Height Models. Figure 2 shows a
stationary cuttingebedthathes formedonthelower wellbore wall
in an inclined well with a wellbore angle, a. At high wellbore
anglee where the wellbores complementary engleis less than the
cuttingsengle ofrepose,~, astationarycuttings bed accumulates
in the lower part of the wellbore cross section. When the wellbore
complemental angle, 90 a, is Iesethsm$, the outtinghae to be
either rolled or lifted from the bed surface in order to move.
Suppose that the cuttings bed height is in equilibrium with the
prevailing conditions. If the dynamic forces acting on the
stationmy cutting can be calculated as a fmction of local mud
velocity, U, then the mud circulation rate needed to dislodge the
cutting can be determined. This notion is en exteneion of work in
other areas, such es sedimentation,18~Ig,zo soil erosion,zl and
slurry transport.zz
+FJ+
lz\@.
Fp)+g(F,
F,)=O
(1)
where the length of the moment arm for the buoyancy and gravity
forces is
t =
Moreoveq O <as
shows
Izl(sina
+ cosa/ten@)
90; likewise, O s @ s 90. Ftily
(2)
the figure
@ = arctan(z/x).
(3)
When the dynamic forces exceed the static forcee, the cuttings
tend to roll along the bed in a moving cutting zone. The dynamic
forces generally increase with mud velocity. Exceptions may be
possible; for example, Coleman20 and Davies and Szmad2s
experimentally observed that the lift force is negative in a smell
range near a particle Reynolds number of 100 and is positive
elsewhere.
Lifting Mechanism. This condition was obsqwed to eccur at
intermediate wellbore angles. Namely the cuttings were not
motig in the zdirection while resting on the wellbore wall. The
cutting would start its motion in thexdirection. It would move up
into the region where the axial mud velocity carried the cutting
downetreem. AS it accelerated up to the mud velocity, it would
start to settle back toward the w.dlbore wall because the slip
velocity between the cutting and the mud was too low to sustain
lift. For the Iiftingcese, FRis aesumed to equal the 2UIUOfFDand
F~ The other forces are summed in the xdirection; that is,
F~
FP+(FbF.Jeina
= O.
(4)
Aethe wellbore angle approaches vertical (00), Equation (4)
predicts that the lift force equals the plastic force. Obviously
enother mechanism must come intQplay since this is contrary to
observation. From vertical driWmgexperience, we bnow that the
annukw mud veloci~ must ezceed the settling velocity of the
cuttings in the axial direction. Consequently, when the wellbore
angles are small, we need to consider the traditional cuttings
transport mechanism that is baaed on the settling velocity.
Fig. 2 Forces acting on a cutting on a cuttimgs bed.
A number of forces act, on the protruding cuttimg. The
cuttingis assumed to be sphericel with avoidfree interior. It has a
diameter, d, and a material d&eit~ e.. Furth&more, it is held
stationery byareactive force, FR. Thie force acts throughboththe
forthesolutionofEquations (l)and(4). !fhesemefunctionsofthe
geometry, kinematics, and dynamics of a particukr wellbore
point contact, a, at an angle, 13,end the cuttings center of gravity.
The cuttiige bed has an angle of repose,+. The mud density is Q,
example, Blevinsx> Others era derived in the appendix.
141
@MaryEquatione.
Several ancillary equations are required
system. Most are found in fluid mechanics text books (for
.
. ...
,
SPE 28306
A MECHANISTIC MODEL FOR CUTTINGS TRANSPORT
and the pressure force,
The drag force,
F~ = C~~@J2,
(5)
the lift force,
F&
nda
r~,
(lo)
where
FL = C@
QU9,
(6)
(11)
the buoyancy force,
Fb = gQ~,
where Dhyd is the hydraulic diameter of the flow area (ses
Equation (16) and Equation (17)), P is the pressure, z~is the wd
(7)
and the gravity force,
shear stress, end ~ is the mud yield stress.
F.
= gQ=~
(8)
where CDis the drag coefficient, CLis the lift coefficient, and g is
the gravitational constant.
The following two equations are derived in the appendix
(Equation (A1) end Equation (A4)). The plastic force,
Fp = =[$
+ (Jx/2  @) Sill@  cos@sin@],
(9)
Rolling and Lifting Bed Height Equations. Two equations
forcriticrdvelocity may beobtainedbysubstitutingEquations (2)
end (3) end the ancillary equations (Equations (5)(11)) into
Equations (1) and (4). At high wellbore angles, one of these
resulting equations for critical velocity may govern the flow. For
the case of rolling, the geverningequation for the critical velocity
is
1/2
u=

4[3~@
+ (rc/2 @) SinzI$  COS!$Sill@)&n@ + dg(Qc Q)(cosa + 5~ati@)
drl
3Q(C~ + CL tan@)
[.,
(12)
For the csae of lifting, the governing equation for the critical veloci~ is
..
.
1/2
u =
[
..
4[3~@ + (x/2  @) Sinz@ cos @SkI@) + dg(Qc  Q)Sins]
3QCL
,,
.. .
Both Equation (12) and Equation (13) give a value for the
critical velocity of a cutting. The velocities calculated by these
equations are the undisturbed velocities, that is, the axial velocity
acting above the cuttings bed at a point that would be occupied by
the cuttings center ifit were in place. These equations calculate
the velocities that would either roll or lift the cutting from its
resting place. In general, these two mkulated vekes will be
different. In such cases, the lower value will be the dominent one
providing that other conditions cmemet.
KelvinHelmholtz
Stability Model. When the behavior of
the cuttings is observedat low wellbore angles intheflowloop, the
nature of the mud and cuttings slurry is a churning motion. The
process is reminiscent of the behavior of a gasliquid flow when
its flow pattern is changing from stratfled to slug flow. The
app~ce
Oftie fluidized bed is similar to the liquid layer, and
the mud layer flowingover the bed behaves like the gas layer. The
interface between these layers has a wavy churning nature.
Occasionally, wisps of cuttings are swept up into the mud layer.
There, they are carried downstiefi
and settle back into the
fluidized bed. The process is persistmt, and it appears to be
random.
142
(13)
Coneiderthestratifiedflow arrangement ehowninFigure 3.
There is a nearly cuttingsflee mud layer flowing over a mostly
cuttingefiiled fluid layer. A smellamplitude wave propagates at
the inter&e as long as the flowing conditions are stable. The
inviscidKeIvin Helmholtz stability theory provides amethodfor
predicting the onset of unstable conditions between inertial and
gravitational forces acting on the interface,z5 that is, the value of
mud velocity that causes the lower layer to disperse cuttings
throughout the entire cross section. Wallis end Dobson20 give a
clear description of the instabili@ condition for stratified
gasliquid flow. Their result is adopted here as follows:
1/2
TJmk >
[
Dqg(Qb Q) sina
Q
@b
Q.(1
l~1w (
(14)
)]]
(15)
Dq is the equivalent diameter of the area open to flow, end ~b is
the bed porosity. Sometimes, Qbis called the submerged bulk
density Whentheaverage mixturevelocity, Um~, intheopenarea
above the bed exceeds the RHS of Equation (14), the interface
betweenthelayers is unstable. The minimum transition velocity
is when U~ equals the RHS of Equation (14).
R. K. CLARK ANf) K L. BICl@A.M
w SPE 28306
IT&relationship canbeusedtodetermine thehydraulicdimneter
of the area open to flow above the cuttings bed. For just the
wellbore anmdus, the hydraulic diameter of the weflbore crose
section (with no cuttings present) is
D
=D~DP
(17)
where Dh is the wellbore diameter, in., andDPis the driilpipe OD,
in. The equivalent diameter is defined as
(18)
De~ = m
where A is the area open to flow. For the wellbore anrmlus, the
equivalent diameter is
%
()
The plug diemeter ratio is
Fig. 3 Stratified flow ofmudoverafluidized
bed.
cuttings
1
Equations (12), (13), end (14) are theequilibriumbed height
equations that calculate a criticef velocily condition. The
relationship between the two different velocities, U and Um~,
needs to be emphasized here. The velocity, U, is the local axial
velocity acting ahove the cuttings bed at a point where the
cuttings center would be if it were in place. The velocity, Uti, is
the average flow velocity in the mea open to flow. Um~ is easily
obtained from the operating conditions; however, the Iocd
v&city, U, is determined from fluid mechanical relationships.
cutting
mm
!
velocity
profile
annular
Five Peroent Mrmirnum Coneentrntion
Model.
For
lowangle conditions, Figure 4 chows a schematic of the cuttings
transportproeess inaHerschel Bulldey fluidunderleminerflow
conditions. The area which is open to flow is characterized as a
tube insteadofanenmdus. This simplifies the wellbore geometry
The tube diameterisbaeed onthehydraulicdiameter forpreseure
drop calculations and on the equivalent diameter for velocity
calculations, eo that the equatione derived in this section can be
used whether there ie a stationary cuttings bed or not.
Since drilfingmudoften exhibits ayield streee, there maybe
a regio~ netw the center of the croes eeotion, where the shear
stress is less than the yield stress. There, the mud will move as a
plug, i.e., rigid body motion. The plug velocity is Up The average
cuttings concentration and velocity in the plug are CPand UcP,
region
,1,

0:
plug
region
,,,
,.!
mixlure
velociiy
profile
:1
k*
Fig. 4 Mixture and cuttings velocity profiles in a
Herschel BuMey fluid under laminar flow.
respectively. In the snnularregionaroundtheplug, themudflowe
with a velocity gradient and behaves as a viecous fluid. The
average annular velocity of the mud in this region is Ua, In
addkion, for the cuttings in this region, the average concentration
end velocity are wand U=, respectively.
Flow Conditions.
CroeeSeetional
Geometry
First, let us define some basic
wellbore geometry. The hydraulic diemeter is defined es four
times the flow ereadividedby the length of the wetted perimeter;
namely,
volumetric flow rate of the cuttings which depends on the bit size
end the penetration rate. In addition, the mixture velocity can be
calculated from the average plug end anmdus velocities in the
equivalent pipq namely,
Dhyd
4 X croessectional area
(wetted perimeter)
The mixture veloci~ is
(21)
where Qm is the volumetric flow rate of the mud and Q is the
Umk = U*(1 q + Uplf
(16)
143
(22)
.
A MECHANISTIC MODEL FOR CUTTINGS TRANSPORT
Cuttings Concentration.
follows:
relationship, are all used to determine the critical velocity.
However, the predicted velocities from both Equations (12) end
The feed concentration isdefmedas
(13) muetbe put onanequivalentbmiswiththosepredictidfiom
Equations (14)and(33),nsmely theaveregemixturevelocity. The
(23)
&
The average concentration, c, of cuttings in a short segment with
length, Az, and crosssectional are+ ~ can ha calculated as
follows
c
=c.(1~)+cJ:.
critical velocity is determined according to the following
1. For nearvertical cases, when the values calculated by
Equations (13) and (14) are less than the one fkom
Equation (33), the critical velocity equals Equation (33)s
value. Ifthecirculation rateexccedsthisvalue, the suspended
cuttings concentration will remain less than five percent.
However, if the mud circulation velocity is less than the
cuttings settlingvelocity, the cuttings willeventuallybuildup
in the wellbore and plug it
2. Forlowangle cases, where the wellbore complementaxyangle
is greater then the cuttings angle of repose, the remdts of
Equations (12), (13), (14), and (33) are ranked emsllest to
largest.
3. For highangle cases, where the cuttings angle of repose is
greater than the wellbore complementary angle, the restdtsof
Equations (12), (13), and (33) are ranked smallest to largest.
The critical velocity equals the fwst value that exceeds
Equation (33)svalue. If~here=e none, thenthecriticslvelue
equalsthe one calculated from Equation (33).
w)
The cuttings concentrations in the plug and annular regions are
assumed equal. This means that the suspended cuttings are
uniformly distributedacroes the ereaopentoflow. Obviously, this
has a major impact, and it probably is a function of wellbore
geometry, mud properties, cuttings properties, and operating
conditions. It could stand alone as a research topic. Thus, we
obtain
u
..
=_.cu.(l c)
cc.
(25)
where
u.
(26)
= U=(I ~) uq~
is the average settling velocity in the axial direction. The
components of the settling velocities (see appendiz) in the axial
direction are
u= = Fl[c, R~, Uiz ]
(27)
COMPARISON
and
SP =
where
u:
Fz[U~ ,32]
4dg(QC @
3QCD
(28)
1/2
1
(29)
1[2
u~
4
~3
[{
dg(e.  Q)
iccy
1]
dUQ
ReP =
w.
3ty
s = dg(@c Q)
cosa,
(30)
(32)
loop was set both concentric end eccentric with the pipe %in.
0.05),
Equation (25) becomes
0
The predictions of the cuttings transport model have been
compared with date from flow loop experiments conducted over
three separate twoweek intervals. The first two sets of tests were
conducted on the 5in. flow loop at the University of Tulsa. This
equipment has been described extensively by others.36 The
third set oftests was conductedontheUniversity ofTtiasnewer
8in. flow 100P.7ZS
Fluids used in the experiments coneistedof water, solutions
above the low side of the annulus. The pipe wee concentric in the
8in. loop tests. Pipe was only rotated in the 5in. loop tests.
Two types of test results were obtained (1) a visually
determined critical flow rate and (2) the equilibrium annular
cuttings concentration as a function offlow rate. The criticelflow
rate wee taken to be that at wbichnocuttingsbed was formed; i.e.,
all cuttimgs were observed to be moving upward cind no
The cuttings
accumulation of cuttings was occurring.
concentrationiiithe ennulusisessentially equal totht oftbcfeed
acceptable mixture velocity requiredforacuttingsconcentration,
c. Plgott recommended that the concentration of suspended
cuttings be a value less than five percent.l With this limit
u mix ==0.05
WITH EXPEIUIWENTML RESULTS
of HEC, xanthan gum and PHPA in fresh water, end bentonite
slurries before endefteraddition of en exteudmgpolymer. In all,
158 tests were run on the 5in. loop end 60 on the 8in. loop. The
tests were run at angles ranging from neerverticel
(200 minimum) to horizontal (900). The inner pipe in the 5in.
(31)
CD is the drag coefficient of a sphere, ~ is the yield stress of the
mud, end Vais the apparent visc6ii@ of the mud at a sheer rate
resulting from the settling cutting.
The value calculated using Equation (25) is the minimum
(C =
SPE 28306
(33)
where ~ <0.05. This implies that the penetration rate must be
limited h a rate that satisfies this equality.
Equations (12) fid(13),thecriticrdvelocityrelationshipsfor
rollingendlifting, Equation (14), theKelvinHelmboltz stabiii~
relationship, and Equation (33), the critics3 mixture velocity
under these conditions. As the flowrate is lowered below critical,
cuttings begin to accumulate and form either a moving, churning
bed at low angles or a stationary bed at high angles. The dividing
singleis taken to be the complement of the angle of repose.
144
R. K. CLARK*
SPE 28306
K. L. BICKHAM
measured data for the large cuttings (0.43in.) and the model
predictions. The quantitative egreement is not so good for the
small cuttings, eithough qusditatively the chsnge in cuttings
Foralltesta,theannular cuttingeconcentrationwasallowed
to reach a steady state, cuttings injection wqs stopped, and the
cuttinge were flushed out of the anmdue end weighed. From the
cuttinge weight and density a volume percent concentration in
the annulus was calculated. This concentration could be
converted to a cuttings bed height knowing the cuttings bed
porosity end the po~tion of the inner pipe.
24
z23
Critical Transport Prediction.
Figure 5 shows the vieually
determined critical flow rate, described above, as a function of
hole angle foraxanthrmgumfluid with the properties listed with
the figure. The hole and pipe size, penetration rate, and cuttings
sise ere also listed. The critical flow rates determined with the
pipe concentric and with the pipe eccentric are both indicated.
a
~
,* 
16 
10
8
x
v
Measur6d Concentric
Measured Eccentr?c
Predkted
PFa&h3d
0.42
0.4S
0.18
0.4s
42
Mud Velocily((pm)
Flow Rste (gpm)
6OW1M13374O1O31SO
Rete
(gpm)
(b
Fig. 6S30

2W2222402E02W
Flow
Cuttings transport in a 5in. flow loop at 30.
9
40
Plpa Pmiticm
25 
103
eeffle
o~
108?2040=
Mud
Pv:
YP:
YZ
ROP
Gum
8.0 IM1OOR2
2.5 b/100it2
50.0 fph
Dsnstiy:
PiPeDiet
Hole Dla
Cuffirsw
,
~ss
;
Measured concentric
0.18
V
x
v
Measured Eccentric
Measured Concentric
Measur4
Ecmnt,b
Predicled
Pmdided
0.4s
0.43
0.18
0.18
0.42
0
+
ev702090
WelboreAngle, deg
Xanthan
3.5 Cp
gm
~~~&
P 5
E
~ !0
8.3,ppg
2.2 in.
.5.0 In.
0.18 Io_
5
IDI
120
140
160
180
2ZU
240
=0
230
FlowRate (gpm)
Fig. 5 Critical transport comparison.
Fig. 7 Cuttings transport in a 5in. flow loop at 50
The solid line represents the criticrd transport condition
predicted by the cuttings transport model. The angle r~ge for
each mode of trensport, eettle, Iii, and roll, is indicated. The
predicted criticaj transport flow rate is considerably lower than
the visuellydetermined criticelflowrateat ee.chef the fourangles
tested. Thedifferencebetween prediction and experiment here is
due to the different criteria used to determine critical conditions.
Thetramsport model prediction is effectively amininmmpreseure
drop condition. The experimental critical flow rate is based on
visual observation and is not amenable to analytical modeling.
Pipe PosSiOn
+
Measured Concentric
0
x
Measured Eccen!ric
Measured Concantrio
SubCritical Prediction.
Figures 6 through 9 illustrate the
model prediction of the ahmdsr cuttings concentration in the
xsnthan gum fluid for various hole angles, pipe positions, and
cuttings sizes as a fimction of flow rate. The measured cuttings
concentrations tweindicatedoneach figure. The data point at the
highest flow rate represents the vieually determined critical flow
rate. The transport model critical flow rate occurs at the sharp
break in the elope of the concentration versus flow rate curve,
Examination of these figures chows good agreement between the
01
Fig.
145
24
80 ILQla
Me&sured Eccenlric
Predicted
144 100 !80 m
Flow Rate (gpm)
s~#~
0.1S
0.1s
0.43
MS
8 Cuttings tronsport in a 5in. flow loop at 70.
.
SPE 28306
A MECHANISTIC MODEL FOR CUTTINGS TRANSPORT
40
*
+
35
0
x
v
~. 
25 
20 
so
%m
Cultrll
PipePositbn
Size (In
Measured
Concentrk0.18
Measured Eccentk
Measured Concentrb
Measured E.xan!rb
Predbtd
Pred!!t&
0.i8
0.43
0.43
0.18
0.43
2A
gr2 
B
~ 18g; :
~ 10
0
~
15 
,0
.s8
580 IW
Fig.
9
120 140 180 130 240 220 240 =0
Flow Rate (gpm)
20
280
Cuttings transport in a 5in. flow loop at 90.
Fig. 11
experirnenti data from tests on the 8in. flow loop With an
extended bentonite mud. Agein, the highest flowrate data were
taken to represent ~itical conditions.
These are again
considerably above the model prediction. The critical flow rate
prediction in the 8in. loop is certainly more in line with field
experience then that based on visual observation. Agreement
between experimentendmodelpredictionis quitegoodforeach of
the sixhole angles. Unfortunately insuflicientdatawere takenat
the lower hole anglee to eesese the model predictions fully.
Inflow loop tests with water and other lowviscosity fluids,
the model consistently underpredicted the annular cuttings
concentrations at angles above 50. It appears that the fluid
rheolo~ is given more importance in the transport model than ia
usually seen in highangle flow loop experiments.6)8
28
\,
20. Mea%.
20 Pred.
35.Mea,.
30. Pred.
4W Mess.
40 Pred.
to 
30
oil
42o
~
1WSM3W4WX.3
w07m8m
Flow
ig. 10
Rate
sm7c08co
FlowRate (~m)
Figures 10 end 11 compexe model predictions with
s 
1msN3m4cOs10
(gpm)
Cuttings transport at low angles in en 8in. flow loop.
Cuttings transport at high englee in en 8in. flow loop.
FIELD APPLICATION
The Wttings transport model, in its easytouse personal
computer format, has been applied to many different drilling
situations. A number of these are discussed below.
DrillingLargeDweter
Holes in Deepwater Operations.
Thefwst stringof pipe set duringdeepwater drillingoperetions is
a.SOin.or 36in. structural pipejetted several hundred feet below
the mud line. The first interval drilled end cased is for either
20in. or 26in. caaing. This interval is usually drilled with
eeawater end viscous sweeps with mud returns to the seafloor.
The large hoIe size smdlowviscosity drilling fluid (eeawater) will
result in abuildup ofcuttings in the structuraIpipe srmuluswhich
can, if the fracture gradient at the shoe of the structorcd pipe is low
enough, result in loss offluid. This loss is one of several causes for
what ie called shallow water flow, i.e., abreekthrough offluid to
the sea floor mound or away horn the structural pipe.
The cuttings transport model was used to examine this
problem end to identify corrective action. Table 1 lists the
predicted steady state cuttings concentration in the enmdus of a
36in. structural pipe (34.75in. ID) es afimction of flow rate. The
pressureat thebaseofthe 200 ftlong, 36in. pipegeneratedby this
cuttingsladen fluid is also given. If the pressure imposed by the
cuttingsladen fluid exceeds the fracture pressure at the base of
the 36in pipe, fluid flow to the mud line may occur. For weak,
shallow sediments in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, the fracture
gradient may beequivelent to only 30 or 40 psioverhydrostaticor
118 to 128 psi total.
The two portions of thetable correepondta drillinga31%in.
hole at 50 Whr with seawater end the use of a viscous sweep
(density = 8.9 lbm/gaI, plastic viscosity = 9 CP,yield point =
40 lbf/100 ft2, yield stress = 15 lbf/100 ft2). The cuttings bulk
density is 2.05 g/cm8 and the she ie 0.25in. The drillpipe size is
5in. in thie example.
146
.
SPE 28306
R. K. CLARK AND K. L. BICKHAM
Table 2
CUTTINGS CONCENTRATION IN A WASHOUT
CUTTINGS LOADING IN 36in. STRUCTURAL PIPE
F1OW
DrillwithSeawater
DrillwithSweep
Rata
Pressure
Cuttings
Pres9ure
cuttings
(gPm)
Concentration
at Shoe
Concentration
at Shoe
(psi)
(psi)
(%)
(%)
750
51.0
134
21.8
llz
1000
45.0
129
15.4
107
1250
39.8
124
12.3
104
1500
35.3
120
8.6
101
1750
31.1
116
7.0
99
2000
27.2
113
4.5
97
FlowRate
(gpm)
Annular
Velocity
(ft/min)
EquilibriumCuttings
Concentration(%)
Experimental
Predicted
100
25.8
33.0
26.8
125
32.3
24.9
21.5
150
38.7
19.5
16.7
Experimental data from M (Reference No.27).
Pipe jetted to 200 ft balow the mudline, drilling 31%in. hole.
The model provides guidance on drilling the 26in. casing
interval such that SW1OWwater flow can be minimized. It is
obvious from Table 1 that a high flow rata is essential, as are
periodic viscous sweeps, to keep the pressure at the base of the
structural pipe at a tolerable level. Drilling continuously with a
sweep would be succesefid, although the total volume of sweep
required for drilling the 31%in. interval may exceed the rig
mixing capability.
The cuttings concentration levels shown in Table 1 are
essentially unch~ged for each of the two d@rent operational
procedures in common practice in deep wate~ (1) drilling a pilot
hole to the 26in. casing point and then opening to 31Ysin. or
(2) drilling a 31%in. hole in one pass. The sane cuttings loading
will eventually occur in the 36in. ennulus whether or not a pilot
hole is drilled before the final hole size is reached. If the cuttings
from the pilot hole arecleaned out of the 36in. snnulus, they will
build up again as the pilot hole is opened. Itis ilso interesting to
note that the cuttings loading is virtually independent of
penetration rates that ae typical of deepwater operations.
If~Ything,the model may underpradict the magnitude of
the cuttings btildup, se sugges~d by comparison with the
experimental data of Ali shown in Table 2.27 Alis data were
generated by placinga 10in. diameter washout, six feet in length
in the verticrd 5in. flow loop at the University of Tulsa A
Carbopol solution was used as the drilling fluid.
A similar amdysiscanalsobeconducted to examine cuttings
buildupinalsrgediameterdri~ingrk~.
Theneedforhighermud
viscosity, viscous sweeps, end/or additional flow rate by boosting
the ricer can all be aasessed end operational practice set as
necessary. Monitoring the pressure at the base of the riser is a way
of assessing how effective such practices are at keeping the riser
clean.
147
Redevelopment
Drilling. Redevelopment of axistiig fields
often involvae reentering an old well, cutting a window, and
rhilling out to a newbottomhole location. Such wells czn have
compkx directional progrmns. This was the rase in a recent
offshore well in which awindow wascut in a curved conductor, the
well kicked to an angle of ovar 40, droppad to nearvertical, and
then turned sharply and eventually completed as a horizontal
wefl. During drilling of the 12]/!in. hole at an angle near 85,
problems were axperiencad on strip out of the hole at ameseured
depthof 6710 ft (5700ft TVD). It tookexteneivebackresmingand
circulation to compIete the trip out of the hole successftily
The output for en analysis of this situation by the cuttings
trsmsport model is shown in Table 3. The input parameters
include the mud type, the rheology model chosen, the penetration
rate, the mud flow rate, the mud properties (density, plastic
viscosity,yield point, endyield stress), end the cuttings proparties
(density diameter, bed porosity, and angle of repose). The
measured depth, hole angle, hole size, and pipe size complete the
input data required for conducting the analysis. These data are
included in the output es indicatad in Table 3. Note that 133/5in.
easing (12.347in. ID)hadbean set at 3010 ftmeamueddepth, and
that 5in. drill pipe end 180 ft of 8in. drill collars were used.
The results of the emdysis at each depth include the
following: the mud velocity in the open area above the cuttings
bed, the equivalent circrdating density (ECD), the mud pressure
(circulatingwithoutcuttings andtotaIwithcuttinge), thecuttings
concentration (in the circulating mud end total in the anmdus),
the areaopen to flow, andtheheight of the cuttings bed. Figure 12
depicts much of the same information but in a format that allows
the location of cuttings accumulations in the wellbore to be more
readily identified.
The asterisk in the fa righthand column of Table 3
indicates that the cuttings accumulations at this location me in a
movingbed end will avakmche down the wellbore if the pumps are
turned off without first circulating them out of the well. Where
there are no asterisks (depths from 6310 to 6525 ft), a stationsg.
bed three to four inches in height is predictad.
.
AMECIIANISTIC MODEL FOR CUTTINGS TRANSPORT
10
angles etartingfrom 5 andbuild@gto84. The drill pipeusedfor
both wells was 66/8in.
The cuttinge transport model wee used to examine the
17Y2in.interval in these two wells. The model indicates that,
RedevelopmentWell
cam.
FLowArec
v. ma
1
am
.
m.
Drillpip
Wellbore
Fig. 12
Mu#el.
E(
PI
Well Cia.
Mud
Pv
v!?
VZ
12.5 ~g
40.0 Cp
17.0 Ib/looitz
6.0 lb/100f12
ROP
Cko. Rate
Cuttisgs
SPE 23306
50.0 @h
620.0 ~m
0.25 in.
Cuttings analysis in a redevelopment well.
while both moving and stationery cuttings beds were present
while drilling the 17%kI. hole in each well, the extent of the
stationary bed wee far Iesa in the C2 well than in the C3. The
heights of the stationary beds are predictad to have been about
equal in both wells, five to six inches depending on the hole angle,
butthetotalvolome ofcuttingsinthestationarybed intheC3 well
was over four timee the volume in the stetionmy bed in the
C2 well. This reduced cuttings volume in the C2 well resulted in
Iesstimeepent backreamingat ahighrotary speed, shout the only
practical way cuttings can be removed in a large, highangle hole.
Each welliapredicted to have contained about the samevolumeof
cuttings in moving beds, outtinge which can be circulated out of
the well given eufticient circulation time.
The cuttings transport model predicts few hole cleaning
problems in the 12%fi. end 8%in. intervals in both wells, even
though these interva.lsweredrilledatangles of80ormore. While
some problems were mentioned in the StatOilpapers, they were
Several pointa can be made flomthis analysis: (1) a buildup
of cuttiige is likelv in two intervak (z) where the hole angle ia50
or less, theseouttingsarein amovingbedandcen becirculatedout
of the well but will avalanche down the well if not circulated out
firs~ (3) cuttings canied in a moving bed contribute to the total
wellbore pressure (ECD); and (4) a stationary bed can exist at
angles above 50 and up hole fkom the drill collars. Table 3 and
Figure 12 show the situation as it occurred. The model input
perametera can be varied to see what action is most likely to
correct the situation. Increasing the flow rate to 800 gal/rein
should be sufficient to remove cuttings effectively at angles less
then 50, but a flow rate graatez then 1000 gal/rein would be
required to remove the stationary bedsat angles greaterthan50.
Sincethemodelisastsady state solution, it cannotbeusedto
determine the circulation time needed to remove cuttings when
they are in a moving bed. The analysis implies that one
bottomsup time is not sufficient, but how muchlongerthan this
is needed to remove all cuttings is unknown. Cutfmgs in a
stationary bed cannot be removed by circulation alone unless the
mitical flowrate isexceeded. Suchbedscenoften beremovedonly
by mechanical action via pipe rotation and e.xiaImovement. The
work of Raei15indicates that a stationary bed can be tolwated if
the crosssectional areas of the bottomhole assembly and bit are
lees then the area available for flow. For the exemple in Table 3,
this ereais 66.8 in.2, 68% of the openhole annuhrareaat 6310 ft.
not of the same magnitude se experienced in the 17Yzin.interwd.
One of the objectives of the well path used in the C2 well was to
reduee torque end drag. The cuttings treneport model indicates
that the@eof path eelectadforthe C2 wall ie also bentilcial from
a hole cleaning standpoint. This has also been noted by Raei.15
Thus, one of the uses of the cuttings transport model ie to design
well paths that yield the fewest hole cleaning problems, assuming
the path meets all of the other objectives as well.
CONCLUSIONS
1. Acuttinge transport model has been presented whiohutilizes
fluid mechanical relationships developed for the various
modes of particle transpork aettling,lifting, and rolling. Each
transport mechanism is dominant within a certain range of
wellbore smglee.
2. Themodelpro~desameans ofanslyzingcuttings transportas
a function of operating conditions (flow rate, penetration
rate), mud properties (denei@, rheology), well configuration
(angle, hole size, pipe size), and cuttinge properties (density
size, angle of repose, bed porosity).
3. Model predictions zwein good agreement with experimental
cuttings transport data for flowratesbelowcritical conditions.
Predicted flow rates for cxitica.1 transport, i.e., no bed
formation, are lower then those determined visually in flow
loop experiments.
4. This versatile model. in ita PC format. has been used to
examine several situations where poorcuttinge trsnsporthad
bean reeponsl%lefordrillingproblems. Themodelisuseful for
assessing the problems caused, for identif~ng potential
solutions, and for designing well paths for optimal hole
cleaning.
ExtendedReach
Drilling. The world record extendedreach
wells drilled by Statoil in 19912s and 1992/9329have been wall
documented. considerable hole cleaningrelated problems were
experienced when drilling the 17Yzin.interval on the C3 well in
1991. Thisintervalwae drilled from5220 fttoaftidepthof9460
ftfollowingonesidetrack. Theholeanglesrangedfrom 60 to71.
Based on this experience, the 17yzkI. interval on the next
extendedreach well, the C2, was planned and drilled with lower
148
R.K. CLARKANDK.
SPE 28306
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We would like to thank Shell Development Company for
permission to publish this work. We would also like to thank
Dr. J.J. Aser, Dc A Pil.ehvari,Don Richison, and the studentaaud
assistants at the University of Tulsa who assisted with the flow
loop experiments.
NOMENCILWPUR.E
A
mea open to flow
local cuttinge concentration
ca
local cuttings concentration outside the central core of a
mud with a yield stress
cuttings feed concentration
local cuttings concentration in the central core ofa mud
with a yield stress
CD
dreg coeflkient
CL
lift coefficient
cutting diameter
hydraulic diameter of the wellbore immdus
D4
Dh
equivalent diameteq see Equation (18)
wellbore diameter
D~d
hydraulic diameter, see Equation (16)
DP
drillpipe outside diameter
11
L. BICKHAM
Yp
shear rate peet a sphere
pressure gradient, see Equation (11)
reaction force action engle
plug diameter ratio
Pp
Q
spparent viecosity of mud surrounding the cutting
mud density
Q.
cutting material density
angle of repose
@b
bed porosity
S1 METRIC CONVERSION
CP
FACTORS
x 1.0 *
pfl*S
ft
3.048 *
Eol = m
fthr
8.466667
E05 =
m/S
fvmin
5.08 *
Eo3 =
IdS
gal(U.S)/min
X 6.309020
Eo5
in.
X2,54 *
Eo2 = m
in?
X 6,4516 *
Eo4 = mz
= m8/s
lb/100 ftz
X4.788026
E01
lbrn/geJ(U.S.)
X 1.198264
E+02 = kg/m3
lbf/in.2 (psi)
X 6.894757
* Conversion factor is exact.
DPIUg diameter of the central coreof a mud @th a yield stress
Eo3
= Pa
E+03 = Pa
wFEl@ICES
Fb
buoyancy force
FD
drag force
1. Pigott,R. J.S.: MudFlowinDrilling, Dtill. andProd.Pratt,,
API (1942) 91 103.
Fg
FL
FP
gravity force
lift force
plastic force
2.
FAp
pressure force
FR,
reactive force
b
e
n
consistency index
Q.
Q.
Rep
Chien,S.l?:Settling Velocity of Irregularly Shzped
Pmtitles, paper SPE 26121 (1993).
3. Iyoho,A.W: DrilledCuttim@ Transport by NonNewtonian
Drilling Fluids Through Inclined, Eccentric hrm~ Ph.D.
dissertation, U. of Tuls~ lldea, OK (1980).
,.
~
moment arm for the buoyan~ and gravity forces
behavior index volumetric cuttings flow rate
4. Tornre~ PH., Iyoho, A.W, and Azar, J.J.: Ezperimentel
Study of Cuttings Transport in Dwectionel Wdls~ SPEDE
(Feb. 1986) 4356.
volumetric mud flow rate
5. Okrej@ S.S.endknar, J.J.: The Effects ofMud Rheology on
#mnulsr Hole Cleaning in Dwectionrd Wells, S~~E
(Aug. 1886) 297308.
p~lcle Reynolds number
local veloci~ that would act at the cuttings center in the
absence of the cutting
U;ix
averege mixture velocity in the rweaopen to flow
u.
average settling velocity in the axial direction
U,*
settling velocity in the area outside theplughamud with
a yield stress
U,p
x
settling velocity in the plugin a mud with a yield stress
Y.
coordinate normal to the flowing mud
yield stress parameter, Equation (22)
axial coordhate
a
~.
wellbore angle
wall shcxwstress
~Y
Y
mud yield stress
shear rate
.
6. _@sen, T,I.: AStudy of the Critical FluidVelosityin Cuttings
Trensport~ MS thesis, U. of N@ T@% OK (1990).
7. Stevenik, B.C.: Design and construction of a LargeScale
Wellbore Simulator and Investigation of Hole Size Effects on
.Cfiti~CuttingsTrensportVelocityinHighlyIncdinedWeUs~
MS thesis, U. of l?uls~ Tds% OK (1991).
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Holes: New Experimental and Theoretical Studies, paper
SPE 18636 presented at the 1989 SPE/TADC Drilling
Conference, New Orleans, Feb. 28MeE 3.
149
.
12
A MECHANISTIC MODEL FOR CUTTINGS TRANSPORT
10. Ford, J.l!, et al.: Experimental Investigation of Dr_~ed
Cuttings Transport in Inclined Borehole, paper SPE 20421
presented at the 1990 SPE Annual Technical Conference end
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Incliied Wellbore, SPEDE (June 1992) 115 120.
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Feb. 1821.
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ofa
14. Lcitseri,T.I.,Pilehvari,A.A., and~ar, J.J.: Development
. .
New Cuttin@ Trensport Model for Highhgle Wellbores
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SPE 28306
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Nostr~d ReinhofiCompany, Ne{York (1984)
,.. .
37. Clii, R., Grac+ J.R., sad Weber, M.E.: Bubbles, Drops, and
Particles, Academic Pres~ New York (19781. 
38. Beyer, WH., cd.: CRC Standard Mat~emuticol Tables, 25th
Edition, CRC Press Inc., W Palm Beach, FIorida, (1978) 143.
39. Benedict, R.F!: Fundamentals of Pipe Flow, John Wiley &
Sons, New York (1980).
40.Dodge, D.W?and Metsner, A.B.: Turbulent Flow of NonNewtonian Systems, A.I.Ch.E. J. (1959) 5, No. 2, 189204.
41. Dodge, D.WandMetzner,AB.:
No. 1,143.
Errat%A,LCh.~iJ
(1962)8,
42. Govier, G.W and Asiz, K.: Tke Flow of Complex Mixtures in
Pipes, van Nostrand Reinhold Compeny, New York (1972).
43. Torranca, B.McK.:
Friction Factors for Turbulent
NonNewtonian Fluid Flow in Circular Pipes, Tks South
&can Mech. Eng. (1963) 13, No. 3, 8991.
150
SPE 28306
R. K. CLARKANDK,
L, BICKHMI
13
APPENDIX
u = = U,(I p)
Plastic Force Acting
in the Stagnfit
Mud Beneath
the
Cutting. Acuttingsittingonthe top surface ofacuttingsbedwill
1ikelybepoeitionedinenintersticeofeeveralneighbonngcuttinge
held stationary by the bed. The circulating drilling mud, around
the upper portion of the cutting, will be liquid end flowing. In
contrast, thedrillingmudin theintereticebeneath thecuttingwill
be stagnant end pleeti~ assuming the mud has a yield strees,
Slip1ine field theory provides a method to calculate the
resultant force, Fp required to Mt.acuttingfrom astagnent layer
of drilling mud. However, several simplifying assumptions are
needed to make the calculation tractable. HWgivesamethodthat
can beusedto calculate themesn compressive preseureand shear
stress acting on a yield surface based o.nslipline theory.30 Since
the forces are axieymmetric, the region of interest can be treated
ueing a twodimensional coordinate system. TheSpheres motion
is assumed to be incipient. The result is
F,
=%
(A1)

  eos@ sin~].
[Q + (n/2 ~)smz$
= Ilcds/6
(A4)
= F,[c>R%, U:,]
is obtained
u *.
F2[U~ >Ys] = U$ (1 ww).
HerschelBulldey
lZecosity
=_ UA (1  C)n
(A5)
=. e0.0811y
1.19
(A6)
Sgn(x)
(0.0001 + 0.865 1X19V3
and
x
..
.,,
= 1.24 hl(ReP) 4.59.
For ~pical muds, it is
~gued t~t the HerschelBulkb?y viscosity law is a eatiefactory
representation. ZmnoraandBleier show experimentally that this
viscosity law represents the rheologicei nature of drilling fluide
under most steady flow conditione.33 The HerechelBulkley
viscoeity law is used to express the shear stress as follows:
(A12)
Lift and Drag Coefficient Models. Saffman developed an
emdyticel model of the lateral forces acting on a sphere in a
uniform shear flow in a Newtonian fluid.w~35Saffinens theory is
applied to tie ~ttinge trensportbyutinga%ynolds number that
is based on the apparent viscosity of the mud surrounding the
R%
= QdU/~,
(A13)
where
KB =
~Y/YP
%yp
l).
(A14)
UMherretei. present amethodto celeulatetheaverage sheerrate
of a power law fluid flowing past a sphere graphically, The
following is a fit of their r.e801k3e
where
n
Law.
(A11}
cutting; namely,
SettlingVedocity CorrectiouFactcrs.
Perry and Chiltongive
aprocedureforcrdculatingthehinderedsettlingeffect
@q. 5224,
p. 564),s1 They present agraphical method (Fig. 582, p. 565) for
determining the exponent, n in Equation (A5), as a function of
Rep Equations (A6), (A7), end (A8) were chosen to fit their
sshaped curve within 370error.
u.
After combining Equations (A9) and (A1O),the following result
(A3)
PI is the upstreein pressure, PZ is the downstream presswe, d ie
the diameter of the sphere, 13isenenglemeaeured fromthexaxis,
and Iis defined in Equation (11). The preesure force can be found
by integrating Equation (A2) from Otcin/2. The result ie
Fm
(A1O)
where ~ is the yield streee, kh is the consistency index,
(A2)
= rd sin~.
g = y;o.47.
t= dtidr is the shear m~ (YsO), and n is the behavior index.
(When T s ~ y = Oend the strtis are equal to zero. In other
words, the plugs interior behaves es if it were an inelastic solid
moving at a velocity of UP)
where the upstream and downstream pressure difference can be
eapressed as
PI Pz
where ~ is the envelopetoparticle diameter ratio. Beris al SJ.3Z
completed a ftita difference study end found that the
envelopetoparticle diameter ratio for material with different
yield stresses could be determined. The following is a curve fit of
their resulti.
z = ~Y+ khyn
Force Due To Pressure Gra&ent.
The differential force
actimgin the zdirection due to a pressure gradient is
dFAp = (Pl P2) ~COS2 ~df3
(A9)
p=
%[+351
A15)
where U is the velocity of the fluid relative to the particle. If the
particle is stationary, the velocity is the axial velocity ahove the
cuttings bed at a point that would be occupied by the cuttings
Av
(&8)
center if it were in place.
E1Samnilg end Einstein and E1Sm@ls
A correction for the settling velocity of the, en~elop: that
eurro~de a cutting se~tling in: mud tith a yield stress cm be
estimated se follows. The settling velocity of the particle and
envelope system can be found horn the continuity equatio~
namely,
.
.
present results
of the dynamic forces due to a flowing stream acting on rocks
protmding above a sediment bed. Their studies focused on a
turbulentwater stremn flowing over abed of rocks. This end the
Saffman models are combined as follows
.
151
.SPE 28306
A MECHANISTIC MODEL FOR CUTTINGS TRANSPORT
14
582[~~cLs2cm
B
CL=
CLS
=
CL,E= 0.09
arc length
(A1,)
l~,
= d cos  l(B),
(A18)
cL,~
< cm
chord length
where
= d ~,
end
segment area = ~[(arc length)  B(chord length)].
(A17)
Drag Coefficient.
Clitl et rd. present the best models for
calculating the dreg coet%cient of spherical particle in a
Newtonian fluid.37
Wdlbore Geometry Model. Figure A1 shows that the regions
of the wellbore cross section maybe iderWzedusing a mmbination
of arcs, chords, andsegmentsofcircular meea.Moreover, it shows
that the regions may have different shapes depending on the
position of the chords defining the top end bottom surfaces of the
moving zone and the top sun%ce of the stationmy bed. Their
shape depends on whether these top surfaces exist, and then, if
they are below, touching, or above the drillpipe. The boundaries
that separate these regions are hI and hII.
~
~
The wellbore
Approximate
Mixture
Flow Model.
crosssectional areawhichisopen to flow is characterized asa tube
instead of as an irregularly shaped channel. This decision was
made primexily to keep the calculations manageable at the
perzonaIcomputer level. The development ofamore physically
accurate flow model would be the basis of a maior research
progikm. Further, a more physically accurab model should be
pursued only after the approximate model is proved inadequate.
The mud rheology is calculated using the HerschelBulkley
viscosity law. For both the kaninar end turbulent flow cases, the
velocity profde end the pressure drop equations are required.
The pressure grdlent is sum of three component; namely
dp
Zdza
 1 +*I. +%If
A)
where z is the natursl coordinate in the direction tlom the well
bottom to its top. The first term on the right is called the
accelerational component it is negligible for this study The next
two terms mereferred toes the elevationdange and fictional
pressuregradient terms, respectively.Practicallyspesking, atlow
circulation rates the frictional term is negligible compared with
the elevation term. However, some of the important results
obtained when calculating the frictional pressuregradient term
me used to celcukate the cuttings concentration, namely, the
velocities, U, U@ end Up, end the plug diameter ratio, kP,for the
moving cuttings zOnO Ststionatyc.ttings bed
case when the flow is leminer.
Since no general enrdyticfd solution exists for a
HerschelBulldey fluid flowingin en eccentric enmdus with the
drillpipe both rotating and trsnzlating axially and laterally the
1
!
D,
approximate fiictiond pressure gradient is calculated from a
combination of methods. The combination accounts for both the
cemplex crosssectional geometry of the wellbore and the nature
of the nonNewtonien fluid flowing in either a Iaminar or
hubulent state. The methods are obteined from several sources,
Dh
Fig. A1 Wellbore cross section with a cuttings bed.
Relationships for the arc end chord lengths smd for the
segment ereaz can be found in any mathematical handbook (e.g.,
Beyer38). The following mathematical anaIysis leads to a set of
relationships based on the segment height, h, end on the circle
diameter, d. The analysis stsxts with the following basic
relationships:
152
e.g., Benadict,3gDodge and Metzneq40>41Govier and Aziz,42 and
Torrance.g
Although this approach is a practical one, it leads to
situations ofuncertainty. For instance, thearmularflowgeomeiry
is treated as flow in a tube with a regidsr circular cross section.
The tube diameters chosen differently depending on the purpose
of the calculation. Ifit is desired to calculate the velocity profile,
thed@neter is chosen toequsl the annulus equivalent diametar.
On the other hand, it is equal to the hydraulic diameter if the
ptiposeis to predi% tie average shezwstreis actingon the wetted
per~eter~ fiother words, to predict the pressure gradient.
.,
SPE 28306
15
R.K.CLARK AND K.L.BICKHAM
Table
CUTTINGS ANALYSIS IN A REDEVELOPMENT WELL
Mud Name
Viscosity Law
Drilling Rate (ft/hr)
Mud Flow Rate (galhuin)
Fluid Density (ibm/gal)
Pv (Cp)
YP (lbf/100 ftz)
YZ (lbf/100 ftz)
Cuttings Density (g/cm3)
Cuttings Diameter (in.)
Bed Porosity (%)
Cuttings Angle of Repose (deg)
SyntheticBase
HerscheIBulkley
50.0
620.0
12.5
40.0
17.0
6.0
2.30
0.25
37.0
40.0
Program Reeuke
Survey
Point
Meas.
Depth
(ft)
915
Hole
Ang.
(deg)
Hole
Diem.
(ii.)
0.0 12.347
27.5
12.347
1575
38.6
12.347
1660
43.3
12.347
2165
44,0
12.347
2915
35.9
12.347
33.5
33.5
12.847
12.250
3010
8
9
Soil
3195
32.2
12.250
10
3750
25.1
12.250
11
4320
15.9
12.250
12
4560
12.0
12.250
13
4875
6.0
12.250
14
15
5250
55543
2.2
i2.250
8.9
12.250
16
5700
20.4
12.250
17
5865
33.8
12.250
18
6010
44.9
12.250
19
6105
48.4
12.250
20
6245
47.1
i2.250
21
6275
6310
23
6360
24
6435
25
6525
26
6526
27
6610
28
6709
29
6710
50.0
52.7
57.2
62.0
70.0
70.0
80.7
84.3
84.3
12.250
22
12.250
12.250
12.250
12.250
12.250
12.250
12.250
12.250
Pipe
OD
(ii.)
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
5.000
8.000
8.000
8.000
8.000
Mud
Vel.
(fpm)
ECD
120
12.5
128
12.7
606
144
12.9
15
1002
147
12.9
18
1158
148
13.0
22
1315
139
13.2
31
1698
136
137
13.2
13.2
32
32
1752
1752
136
13.2
34
1858
1.23
13.2
40
2180
123
13s
46
2522
123
13.1
48
2675
123
13.1
51
2679
123
13.0
54
123
13.0
57
3126
3325
123
13.0
59
8423
138
13.0
60
3525
149
13.0
62
3608
154
13.0
63
3656
154
13.0
65
3723
154
13.0
65
3737
176
13.0
66
3753
174
13.0
86
3774
170
13.0
68
3801
163
13.0
69
3830
178
13.0
69
3831
178
13.0
71
3851
178
13.1
73
3864
178
13.1
73
3864
(Ppg)
Pressure
Circ. Total
(psi)
(psi)
cuttings
Circ.
TotiJ
%
%
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.9
0.8
0.8
0.8
0.8
*Cuttinge bed may avelanche when circulation stops if hole angle is less than 50 degrees.
153
0.9
4.7
Flow
lwea
%
Bed
Ht.
(in.)
69
93
1.2*
11.0
82
2.4*
12.2
81
2.6*
12.4
80
2.6*
9.4
85
2.1*
8.0
7.8
1.9*
6.9
87
88
69
0.9
99
0.9
99
0.9
99
0.9
99
0.9
99
0.9
99
0.9
98
0
0
0
0
0
0
7.8
88
1.8
11.3
81
2.5*
13.7
78
2.8*
13.7
78
2.@
13.7
76
2.8*
19.8
68
3.7
19.1
70
3.6
18.1
71
3.5
16.3
74
3.2
0.8
99
0.8
99
0.8
99
0.8
99
1.8*
1.6*
.,:.
.,
..
.
_.