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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 presents-d, 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 7503S-3336, 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 near-vertical 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?ulsas-s
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 fi-om
experimental data generated in a 35 ft long 5-in. diame~r flow
loop.14 Thie model can be used to predict a cuttings bed height if
the flow ie sub-critical, 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 cross-sectional area of thebit and stabilizers to
see if they can pass through the non-bed 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 high-angle wells for elevated low shem-rate theologies to

cuttings are moved downstream, the local equilibrium bed height


is then re-established. 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 6-rpm and 3-rpm 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.
Atnear-verticaltoverticalwellbore 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 eio-ng
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 sub-critical 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 Kelvin-Hehnholtz 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


Herschel-BuIkley 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 z-direction while resting on the wellbore wall. The
cutting would start its motion in thex-direction. 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 x-direction; that is,
F~

FP+(Fb-F.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 avoid-free 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 (A-1) end Equation (A-4)). 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.
Kelvin-Helmholtz
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 gas-liquid 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 cuttings-flee mud layer flowing over a mostly
cuttinge-fiiled fluid layer. A smell-amplitude 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
gas-liquid 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
low-angle 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.

Croee-Seetional
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 croes-sectional 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 cross-sectional are+ ~ can ha calculated as
follows
c

=c.(1~)+cJ:.

critical velocity is determined according to the following


1. For near-vertical 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. Forlow-angle 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 high-angle 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
equ-alsthe 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)
c-c.

(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 two-week intervals. The first two sets of tests were
conducted on the 5-in. flow loop at the University of Tulsa. This
equipment has been described extensively by others.3-6 The
third set oftests was conductedontheUniversity ofTtiasnewer
8-in. flow 100P.7ZS
Fluids used in the experiments coneistedof water, solutions

above the low side of the annulus. The pipe wee concentric in the
8-in. loop tests. Pipe was only rotated in the 5-in. 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 5-in. loop end 60 on the 8-in. loop. The
tests were run at angles ranging from neer-verticel
(200 minimum) to horizontal (900). The inner pipe in the 5-in.

(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), theKelvin-Helmboltz 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 (0.43-in.) 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 5-in. 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 5-in. 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

Sub-Critical 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 IL-Qla

Me&sured Eccenlric
Predicted

144 100 !80 m


Flow Rate (gpm)

s~#~
0.1S
0.1s
0.43
MS

8 Cuttings tronsport in a 5-in. 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 5-in. flow loop at 90.

Fig. 11-

experirnenti data from tests on the 8-in. 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 8-in. 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 low-viscosity 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 high-angle 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 8-in. flow loop.

Cuttings transport at high englee in en 8-in. flow loop.

FIELD APPLICATION
The Wttings transport model, in its easy-to-use personal
computer format, has been applied to many different drilling
situations. A number of these are discussed below.
DrillingLarge-Dweter
Holes in Deepwater Operations.
Thefwst stringof pipe set duringdeepwater drillingoperetions is
a.SO-in.or 36-in. structural pipejetted several hundred feet below
the mud line. The first interval drilled end cased is for either
20-in. or 26-in. caaing. This interval is usually drilled with
eeawater end viscous sweeps with mud returns to the seafloor.
The large hoIe size smdlow-viscosity 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
36-in. structural pipe (34.75-in. ID) es afimction of flow rate. The
pressureat thebaseofthe 200 ftlong, 36-in. pipegeneratedby this
cuttings-laden fluid is also given. If the pressure imposed by the
cuttings-laden fluid exceeds the fracture pressure at the base of
the 36-in 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 0.25-in. The drillpipe size is
5-in. in thie example.

146

.
SPE 28306

R. K. CLARK AND K. L. BICKHAM

Table 2
CUTTINGS CONCENTRATION IN A WASHOUT

CUTTINGS LOADING IN 36-in. 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 26-in. 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 26-in. casing point and then opening to 31Ys-in. or
(2) drilling a 31%-in. hole in one pass. The sane cuttings loading
will eventually occur in the 36-in. 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 36-in. 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 a-e 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 10-in. diameter washout, six feet in length
in the verticrd 5-in. flow loop at the University of Tulsa A
Carbopol solution was used as the drilling fluid.
A similar amdysiscanalsobe-conducted to examine cuttings
buildupinalsrge-diameterdri~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 near-vertical, 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 133/5-in.
easing (12.347-in. ID)hadbean set at 3010 ftmeamu-eddepth, and
that 5-in. drill pipe end 180 ft of 8-in. 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 right-hand 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.

.
AMECI-IANISTIC MODEL FOR CUTTINGS TRANSPORT

10

angles etartingfrom 5 andbuild@gto84. The drill pipeusedfor


both wells was 66/8-in.
The cuttinge transport model wee used to examine the
17Y2-in.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, high-angle 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
bottoms-up 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 cross-sectional 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 open-hole annuhrareaat 6310 ft.

not of the same magnitude se experienced in the 17Yz-in.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.

Extended-Reach
Drilling. The world record extended-reach
wells drilled by Statoil in 19912s and 1992/9329have been wall
documented. considerable hole cleaning-related problems were
experienced when drilling the 17Yz-in.interval on the C3 well in
1991. Thisintervalwae drilled from5220 fttoaftidepthof9460
ftfollowingonesidetrack. Theholeanglesrangedfrom 60 to71.
Based on this experience, the 17yz-kI. interval on the next
extended-reach 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

E-05 =

m/S

fvmin

5.08 *

Eo3 =

IdS

gal(U.S)/min

X 6.309020

E-o5

in.

X2,54 *

Eo2 = m

in?

X 6,4516 *

Eo4 = mz

= m8/s

lb/100 ftz

X4.788026

E-01

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

E-o3

= 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


Pm-titles, paper SPE 26121 (1993).

3. Iyoho,A.W: Drilled-Cuttim@ Transport by Non-Newtonian


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) 43-56.

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 plug-in 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 Large-Scale
Wellbore Simulator and Investigation of Hole Size Effects on
.Cfiti~CuttingsTrensportVelocityinHighlyIncdinedWeUs~
MS thesis, U. of l?uls~ Tds% OK (1991).
8. Jalukar, L.S.: A Study of Hole Size Effect on CriticsI and
Subcritical DrillingFluidVelocities in Cuttings Transport for
Inclined WeIlbores~ MS thesis,ll offuls% Tulsa, OK (1993).
9. Brown, N.E, Bern, EA., and Weaver, A.: Cleaning Deviated
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
Exhibition, New Orleans, Sept. 2326.
11. Siffermen, T.R.sndBecker,T!E.: HoieClecminginFull-Scale
Incliied Wellbore, SPEDE (June 1992) 115 120.
12. Luo, Y. end Bern, F!A.: Flow-Rate Predlctione for Cleaning
Deviated Wells, paper IADC/SPE 23884 presented at the
1992 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference, New Orleans,
Feb. 1821.
13. Ford, J., et al.: Development of Mathematical Models
Describing Drilled Cuttinge Transport in Deviated Wells,
paper 93-1102 presented at the 1993 CADE/CAODC Spring
Drilling Conference, Calgary Apr. 14-16.
ofa
14. Lcitseri,T.I.,Pilehvari,A.A., and~ar, J.J.: Development
. .
New Cuttin@ Trensport Model for High-hgle Wellbores
Including Horizontal Wells, paper SPE 25872 presented at
the 1993 SPE Racky Moumtein Regiourd/Low Permeability
Reservoirs Symposium, Denver, Apr. 12 14.

SPE 28306

25. Milne-Thomson, L.M.: Theoretical Hydrodynamics, 4thad.,


The Macmillan Compsmy New York (1960) 404405.
26. Wallis, G.B. end Dobson, J.E.: The Onset of Slugging in
Horizontal Stratitied Air-Water Flow, Intl. J. Mzdtiphaae
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The Behavior of Drilled Cuttings in Washout
27. M, h;
Sections, MS thesis, U. Ms% Tulsa, OK (1979).
28. Njaerheim, A. and Tjoettq H.: New World Record in
Extended-Reach Drilling From Platform Statfjord C,
paper IADC/SPE 23349 presented at the 1992 L4DC/SPE
Drilling Conference, New Orleans, Feb. 1821.
29. Alfsen, T.E., et al.: Pushing the Limits for Extended Reach
Drilling: New World Record tlom Platform Stut~ord C,
WellC2, paper SPE26350 presentedat the 1993 SPEAnnual
Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, Oct. 3-6.

30.Hill, R.H,:

Tha Mothemutiad Tkeo~ of Plasticity,


1986 Reprint, Oxford Urdvereity Press, New Yorlq (1950)
128-160.

15. Rasi, M.: Hole Cleaning in Large, High-Angle Wellbores~


paper IADC/SPE 27484 presented at the 1994 IADC/SPE
Drilling Conference, Drdlaa,Feb. 1518.

Ckemical Engineers
31. Perry, R.H, and Chilton, C.H.:
Handbook, 5thcd., McGraw-Hill Book Company New York,
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16. Zemor% M. ,md Hanson, F!: Rules of Thumb to Improve


High-AngleHole Cleaning,Pet. Eng, Intl. (Jan. 1991)4446,
48,51.

32: Beris, A.N., et sd.: dreeping Motion of a Sphere Though a


Bingham Plastic, J Fluid Mesh. (1985) 158, 219244.

17. Zamora,M, end Henson, F!:MoreRulesofThumb to Improve


High-Angle Hole CIeaning,Pet. Eng. Zntl.(Feb. 1891) 22,M,
2627.
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520524.
19. E1Semni, E.A.: Hydrodynamic Forces Acting on Particles
in the Surface of a W,resm Bed, PhD disseti-ation,
U. California, Berkeley, CA (1949).

33. Zemora, M. end Bleier, R.: Prediction of Drilling Mud


Rheology Using a SimpM,ed Herechel-Bulkley Model, J.
PressureVesselTech,, Trans. ASME, (Aug. 1977)88,485-490.
34. Seffmen, PG.: The Lift on a Small Sphere in a Slow Shear
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35. SefTman,PG.: Corrigendum~J. FluidMechanics, (1968) 31,
Pert 3,62%
36. UMherr, I?H.T., Le, T.N., rmd Tiu, C.: Characterization of
InelasticPower-Law
Fluids Using Falling Sphere Da@ The
Canudian J. Chem. Eng. (Dec. 1976) 54, 497502,

20.Coleman, N.L.: A Theoretical and Experimented Study of


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Hypothetical Stresmbed, Proceedings 12th Congress of the
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(1967) 3,185-195.

21.Chepil, W?S.: The Use of Evenly Spaced Hemispheres to


Evaluate Aerodynamic Forces on the Soil Surface, Trans.,
American Geophysical Union (1958) 39, No. 3,397-404.
22. Wicks, M.: Transport of Solids at Low Concentration in
Horizontal Pipe, iddvances in SolidLiquidFlaw in Pipes
andItsApplicotwn, I. Zandi (cd.), PergamonPress, New York.
(1967) 101-124.

23. Davies, T.R.H. end Samad, M.WA.~Fluid DynamicLift on a


ParticlqJ. HydraulicsDiv&ion, ASCE, (1978) 104,No. HY8,
11711182.
24. Blevins, R.D.: Ap~lied Fluid Dvnumics Handbook. Van
Nostr~d Reinhofi-Company, 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
Non-Newtonian 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,
Slip-1ine 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.nslip-line theory.30 Since
the forces are axieymmetric, the region of interest can be treated
ueing a two-dimensional coordinate system. TheSpheres motion
is assumed to be incipient. The result is
F,

=%

(A-1)
-

-- - eos@ sin~].
[Q + (n/2 ~)smz$

= Ilcds/6

(A-4)

= F,[c>R%, U:,]

is obtained
u *.

F2[U~ >Ys] = U$ (1 ww).

Herschel-Bulldey

lZecosity

=_ UA (1 - C)n

(A-5)

=. e0.0811y
-1.19

(A-6)

Sgn(x)
(0.0001 + 0.865 1X1-9V3

and
x

..
.,,
= -1.24 hl(ReP) 4.59.

For ~pical muds, it is

~gued t~t the Herschel-Bulkb?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 Herechel-Bulkley
viscoeity law is used to express the shear stress as follows:
(A-12)

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/~,

(A-13)

where
KB =

~Y/YP

%yp-

l).

(A-14)

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.

(A-11}

cutting; namely,

SettlingVedocity CorrectiouFactcrs.
Perry and Chiltongive
aprocedureforcrdculatingthehinderedsettlingeffect
@q. 5-224,
p. 5-64),s1 They present agraphical method (Fig. 5-82, p. 5-65) for
determining the exponent, n in Equation (A-5), as a function of
Rep Equations (A-6), (A-7), end (A-8) were chosen to fit their
s-shaped curve within 370error.
u.

After combining Equations (A-9) and (A-1O),the following result

(A-3)

PI is the upstreein pressure, PZ is the downstream presswe, d ie


the diameter of the sphere, 13isenenglemeaeured fromthex-axis,
and Iis defined in Equation (11). The preesure force can be found
by integrating Equation (A-2) from Otcin/2. The result ie
Fm

(A-1O)

where ~ is the yield streee, kh is the consistency index,

(A-2)

= 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 envelope-to-particle diameter ratio. Beris al SJ.3Z


completed a ftita difference study end found that the
envelope-to-particle 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 z-direction due to a pressure gradient is
dFAp = (Pl P2) ~COS2 ~df3

(A-9)

p=

%[+-351

A-15)

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

A-v

(&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
turbulent-water 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

(A-1,)

l-~,

= d cos - l(B),

(A-18)

cL,~
< cm

chord length

where

= d ~,

end

segment area = ~[(arc length) - B(chord length)].


(A-17)

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 A-1 shows that the regions
of the wellbore cross section maybe iderWzedusing a mmbination
of arcs, chords, andsegmentsofcircular m-eea.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.
cross-sectional 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 Herschel-Bulkley
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 m-ereferred toes the elevationdange and fictional
pressure-gradient 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 pressure-gradient term
m-e 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
Herschel-Bulldey 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 cross-sectional geometry of the wellbore and the nature
of the non-Newtonien fluid flowing in either a Iaminar or
hubulent state. The methods are obteined from several sources,

Dh

Fig. A-1 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)

Synthetic-Base
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*

.,:.

.,

..

-.

_.