OTC 22884
Friction Pressure Losses of Fluids Flowing in Circular Conduits
Ahmed H. Ahmed Kamel, University of Alaska Fairbanks and Ali S. Shaqlaih, University of North Texas at Dallas
Copyright 2012, Offshore Technology Conference
This paper was prepared for presentation at the Offshore Technology Conference held in Houston, Texas, USA, 30 April–3 May 2012.
This paper was selected for presentation by an OTC program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been reviewed by the Offshore Technology Conference and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Offshore Technology Conference, its officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Offshore Technology Conference is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of OTC copyright.
Abstract Fluids are pumped through circular conduits in various operations in the petroleum industry. These fluids may be Newtonian
or nonNewtonian, clean or proppantladen, polymerbased or surfactantbased, singlephase or multiphase, dragreducing,
etc. They are pumped through straight and coiled tubing as well as through annuli under laminar or turbulent flow conditions. Calculation of friction pressure losses for these circumstances is very crucial and vital for the success of the operation.
A simple DarcyWeisbach equation is widely used to calculate friction pressure losses in pipes. However, a unique term,
Fanning friction factor, has to be determined. Enormous numbers of correlations are available to determine the friction factor. These correlations vary in complexity and applicability and have their own limitations. In addition, several parameters included in the correlations have to be identified and they vary from one correlation to another. What is the suitable correlation? That is the question. Estimating the Fanning friction factor is not an easy task and very confusing. Inaccurate estimation may lead to erroneous results and thus, failure of operations. This paper is a more insight and comprehensive review of the Fanning friction factor correlations and presents how to select the most suitable one for specific conditions. It discusses the parameters involved in the friction factor calculation and how to define it. The authors compare and question the applicability, accuracy, and limitations of each correlation to propose the most accurate ones. An innovative code, based on the most widely and accurate correlations, is proposed to predict the Fanning friction factor. It is a user friendly and stepbystep code that overcomes the complexity faced by the professional in the oil industry to calculate friction pressure losses. In conclusion, this paper summarizes the stateoftheart in the field of fluid hydraulics in the oil and gas industry.
Introduction
In 
the petroleum industry processes, a variety of fluids are pumped through straight and coiled tubing during operations such 
as 
hydraulic fracturing, acidizing, wellbore cleanup, cementing and drilling which usually are executed under turbulent flow 
conditions. Accurate prediction of friction pressure losses when pumping these fluids has remained a challenge, mainly due to the lack of adequate friction loss correlations and proper understanding of the complex flow phenomena of fluids (especially nonNewtonian fluids in coiled tubing). The classical Darcy–Weisbach equation has been used for predicting friction pressure losses. It is a simple equation to be used. Yet, a very crucial and confusing term has to be determined. It is the friction factor. Friction factor is not a constant and depends on various parameters related to pipe specifications, fluid behavior, and flow regime. It is important to recall that the friction factor originally defined by Blasius is four times the Fanning friction factor. This article focuses on the Fanning friction factor, f.
Straight and Coiled Tubing. The oil and gas industry has been extensively utilizing coiled tubing, CT due to its numerous advantages over conventional straight tubing. However, centrifugal forces result from CT curvature yield secondary flow, which increases friction pressure losses. Moreover, the small diameter of CT yields excessive friction pressure losses which often limit the maximum obtainable fluid flow rate in most CT operations. The friction pressure losses in CT have a major impact on success of the job if it has not been taken into account. Friction
in coiled tubing has been shown to be up to 200 % higher than it for the same fluid in straight tubing. As the curvature ratio
increases, friction pressure losses increase as well.
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Fluid Type. Various types of fluids  Fig. 1 have been pumped through straight and coiled tubing in the oil industry. These fluids include Newtonian and nonNewtonian fluids, polymerbased or surfactantbased fluids, clean or proppantladen fluids, singlephase or multiphase fluids, drag reducers, foams, etc. Fluid characterization and defining the constitutive model represents the first step in estimating friction pressure losses. Some fluids are simple and require a sole parameter to be characterized, while others are not. Power law model is widely used to mimic the fluid flow behavior of nonNewtonian fluids where two parameters, n and K can be estimated using a simple rotational viscometer. Majority of friction factor equations for nonNewtonian fluids incorporate these two parameters. For the different values of n and K at the same Reynolds number, friction factor would be the same regardless of pipe diameter. However, for viscoelastic fluids, n and K my not satisfactorily characterize the fluid behavior and friction factors may vary with diameter, although Reynolds number is the same. This is known as Scaleup Factor. Conventional friction factorReynolds number correlations may be misleading (Ahmed and Shah,
2010).
Flow Regime. Flow regime, mainly laminar or turbulent, is a major parameter that affects friction factor. The question now is which flow regime prevails. In 1883, Osborne Reynolds published and developed what is so far known as Reynolds number, N _{R}_{e} . It is a dimensionless number  Table 1 – that indicates the type of flow for any Newtonian fluid in any pipe size. His experimental work defined the range over which certain flow regime exists (Govier and Aziz, 2008). In the treatment of flow of nonNewtonian fluids, Metzner and Reed (1955) defined a generalized Reynolds number based on the power law model and published a set of critical values to determine the onset of turbulence. In coiled tubing, centrifugal forces increases resistance to flow. The pioneering work of Dean (1927, 1928) on the theoretical aspects of the coiled tubing flow has been of significant importance and lead to the introduction of nondimensional parameter, Dean number, N _{D}_{N} that counts for tubing curvature. The critical Dean number was proposed by Srinivasan (1970). Elastic properties of surfactantbased, SB fluids play an important role in characterizing their flow behavior. Deborah number is a conventional dimensionless term that is used to quantify the viscoelastic behavior of SB fluids. Ahmed and Shah (2010) proposed a new definition for Deborah number that combines the effects of elastic properties of SB fluids and shear rate. They were successful in correlating flow data of SB fluids in straight and coiled tubing. From the above discussion, it is clear that estimating the friction factor is a very crucial task. Various empirical and theoretical equations or even charts are available to evaluate the Fanning friction factor for the same conditions of pipe geometry, fluid type, and flow regime. Most equations seem to suffer from some drawback, either they are simple but not accurate or they are accurate but not simple. Therefore, the present study is aimed at providing the reader a critical review and the stateoftheart in the subject of friction factor. Another objective is to develop an algorithm using the most accurate correlations to estimate Fanning friction factor regardless of fluid type, flow regime, and tubing geometry.
Figure 1: Fluids Flow in Circular Conduits
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Table 1: Equations used in Friction Losses Calculations in Straight and Coiled Tubing
Parameter 
Equation 
Remarks 

Reynolds number 
⁄ 
Newtonian fluids in ST 

Solvent Reynolds 
µ _{s} is the solvent or base fluid viscosity 

number 

Generalized Reynolds number 
NonNewtonian fluids in ST 

Dean number 
( 
) 
Newtonian in CT 

Generalized Dean 
^{(} 
^{)} ( 
) 
( 
) 
NonNewtonian in CT 

number 

Critical Dean number 
[ 
( 
) 
] 
End of laminar flow in CT 

Deborah number 
( 
_{⁄} 
) 
λ is the fluid relaxation time 

Deborah number for CT 
( 
_{⁄} 
) 
r/R is the curvature ratio 
Laminar Flow In laminar flow, the viscous force of the fluid is dominating over the inertia forces which dampen out any instability or turbulence. The individual particles of fluid move forward in straight lines parallel to each other and velocity at the wall is zero while it increases away from the wall until reaches its maximum at the center of flow. In laminar flow, the flow curve fits very well with Newton law; shear stress is directly proportional to shear rate i.e. viscosity is constant. It is more or less a theoretical flow, which rarely encounters engineers.
Clean Newtonian Fluids i.e. Water. For laminar flow, pipe roughness has almost no effect on the determination of friction pressure losses due to the nature of streamlines. This is not the case in turbulent flow. nature of this type of flow. Hagen Poiseuille equation is valid for flow of clean Newtonian fluids in straight pipes. This law has been confirmed many times and it is graphically represented by:
_{⁄} ………… … ……………………
… ………………………………………………………
…………….(1)
Several correlations are available for friction factor determination of laminar flow of Newtonian fluids in coiled tubing. Among them, Liu and Masliyah (1993) developed their correlation based on numerical solutions of more than 250 cases. The equation was validated and showed a good agreement with the various experimental and numerical observations. It is valid for curvature ratio ranges from 0 to 1 and Dean number from 1 to 5,000. The equation is given by:
⁄
[
(
_{⁄}
)
^{⁄}
]
^{⁄}
(
_{⁄}
)
^{⁄}
(
_{⁄}
)
_{⁄}
………………………
………
…………
…….……(2)
Polymeric NonNewtonian PseudoPlastic Fluids. For nonNewtonian pseudoplastic fluids in laminar flow in straight tubing, Metzner and Reed (1955) suggested the following equation in Blasius form to estimate the friction factor:
_{⁄} ……………………… … ………………………………………………………
………………
……….(3)
This equation has been experimentally proven to be applicable for flow of polymers, surfactants, foams, bentonite fluids and drilling fluids in circular straight tubing. In coiled tubing, the complex rheological behavior of nonNewtonian fluids adds another dimension of complexity to the flow phenomena. Therefore, flow of nonNewtonian fluids in coiled tubing has remained a much less studied area than Newtonian fluids. However, some studies are available. Zhou and Shah (2007) using the boundary layer approximation developed a new friction factor correlation in terms of generalized Dean number, curvature ratio and flow behavior index. The
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new correlation was evaluated experimentally with previously available correlations using fullscale coiled tubing and showed an excellent agreement. The equation is given by:
[
( ) ( _{⁄} ) ^{⁄} ……………………………………… ……………….………………………
…………(4)
(4a)
………………………….………….… (4b)
( )] …………………………………………….………………………………………
Viscoelastic Surfactant Fluids. Surfactant based fluids are used extensively nowadays in the oil and gas industry. These fluids offer numerous advantages over conventional polymers as they exhibit strong nonNewtonian behavior, require less energy to pump, are more resistant to mechanical degradation, etc. In laminar flow of SB fluids in straight tubing, the equation proposed by Metzner and Reed, Eq. 3 can still be applicable. While in coiled tubing, Ahmed (PhD, 2008), using both lab and fullscale experimental data, proposed the following equation:
⁄
*
( _{⁄}
)
( _{⁄}
)
+
……
………………………
……….………………
…
(5)
The above equation considers the ratio of friction factor in coiled tubing to that straight in tubing. Compared with available data, Eq. 5 exhibits a reasonably good agreement where the average deviation is less than 4.5%.
Drag Reducing Fluids. Drag reduction phenomenon is limited to turbulent flow regime and therefor no drag reduction is in laminar flow. Contrarily, drag reducing fluids exhibit higher friction pressure losses under laminar flow conditions due to viscosity increase. However, as viscous fluid under laminar flow conditions in straight tubing, Eq. 3 may be satisfactory. For coiled, similar equations may be used. Yet, further investigation is suggested.
Bentonite and Drilling Fluids. Normally, inside drill string in drilling operation, turbulent flow prevails. Laminar flow may be encountered in the annulus between drill string and casing/hole. This is beyond the objectives of the present article. However, from nonNewtonian fluids point of view, the modified HagenPoiseuille equation, Eq. 3 can be used to predict friction factor of these fluids in straight tubing. In coiled tubing, no such correlation is available. However, available correlation for flow of nonNewtonian fluids in coiled tubing may be helpful. This subject is still under investigation and further research may lead to such correlation.
Foam Fluids. Foams are being used in a number of oil and gas industry applications. Combining foams and coiled tubing services allow underbalanced drilling, stimulation, completion, workover, and remedial operations to be performed faster and at a lower cost. Flow characteristics of foam fluids are challenging because foams have complex structure with striking metastable characteristics. A number of investigators have studied foam rheology and flow of foam in straight pipes and developed correlations to predict apparent viscosity and friction pressure losses. Eq. 3 represents the most accurate and widely used correlation for friction factor determination in straight tubing. In coiled tubing, Khade and Shah (2002) conducted an experimental study in the laminar flow regime for 20, 30 and 40lbm/Mgal guar foams qualities ranging from 0 to 80 %, at 1000 psi confining pressure, through a ½in. pipe over a temperature range of 100 to 200 ^{o} F. Employing the generalized Reynolds number, based on the actual flow behavior index, flow consistency index, and density of the foam, they proposed the following Fanning friction factor formula which has an average regression coefficient value of 0.998 for all data sets.
^{(} ^{)} ……………………………………… ……………………………………………
……(6)
A comparison with fullscale experimental data using 2⅜in tubing showed the validity of the proposed correlation. Nevertheless, the above equation does not consider the change in coiled tubing curvature ratio, which may suggest further investigation for broader correlation.
Water and Polymer Slurry. Hydraulic fracturing through coiled tubing (CT) has become an effective well stimulation technique for wells that have multiple zones. One of the design challenges is the difficulty of predicting the friction pressure losses of slurries in coiled tubing strings. Under flow conditions of actual pump rates in HF, the centrifugal acceleration is much higher than the gravitational acceleration. Therefore, the solid particles will be segregated and migrate toward the outer wall which will affect the slurry flow behavior. For homogenous Newtonian slurries, if the slurry mixture is treated as a singlephase fluid where the “equivalent fluid” has properties of relative density ρ _{r} and relative viscosity μ _{r} , then the principle of the pressure gradient multiplier, M, can be applied to predict friction pressure losses where:
(
⁄
)
(
⁄
) …………………………
………………………………
……………………………
………(7)
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Shah and Zhou (2002, 2006) proposed the following correlation for the multiplier, M for laminar flow of slurry in both straight and coiled tubing.
…………………
……………………
………………………………………………………………
……(8)
Table 2 summaries the various Fanning friction factor equations that are available for laminar flow regime in both straight and coiled tubing.
Table 2: Fanning Friction Factor in Laminar Flow of Fluids in Straight and Coiled Tubing
Turbulent Flow On the contrary of laminar flow, the inertia forces are the dominating over the viscous forces. The fluid particles move in irregular paths and their movement is haphazard causing an exchange of momentum from one portion of the fluid to another, thus increasing eddies and fluctuations which increase friction losses. Turbulent flow is the practical flow that encounters engineers mostly. In turbulent flow, roughness projections protrude through the laminar sublayer and play a major role in the determination of pressure losses since the smoothness of internal surfaces is changing over time. Depending on the interaction between roughness projections and viscous sublayer, friction pressure losses may increase and Fanning friction factor may become more dependent on tubing relative roughness and not on Reynolds number.
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Dodge and Metzner (1959) were the first to develop a semi empirical formula based on theoretical considerations to determine the pressure drop for nonNewtonian fluids in turbulent flow. Using pseudo plastic aqueous Carbopol solutions and applying the technique of dimensionless analysis for the power law fluids, they derived the following expression for the Fanning friction factor:
_{√}
[
^{(}
^{⁄}
^{)} ]
……………… ………………………
……………………
………………………(9)
The authors indicated excellent agreement between the calculated and the experimentally determined friction factors over a range of n (0.36 < n < 1.0) and Reynolds number (2,900 < N _{R}_{e} < 36,000). The validity of this equation has been established for polymeric solutions, solidliquid suspensions, power law and nonpower law fluids. However, Anomalous results were found with an aqueous solution of carboxymethylcellose, CMC (Shah, 1984). Enormous numbers of Fanning friction factor equations are available for turbulent flow of both Newtonian and nonNewtonian fluids in straight tubing, while coiled tubing does lack the presence of enough correlations, which represents one of its drawbacks. In the following pages, an elaborative review is intended. Most of the equations presented are based on experimental data gathered using both lab and fullscale flow loops that mimic the actual field applications. These flow loops are available in the stateoftheartfacility at the Well Construction Technology Center, WCTC at the University of Oklahoma.
Clean Newtonian Fluids i.e. Water. For estimating the friction factor for turbulent flow through drawn brass tubing before 1932, Lees equation, developed in 1915, was widely used. However, sufficient data had been accumulated later. Even more, the range of the Reynolds number over which measured values of friction factor are known has been increased. Therefore, Drew et al. (1932) gathered data from about 1328 tests with diameters ranging from 0.107 to 4.0in. He proposed that all the data lay very close to a welldefined curve that is represented by what is known nowadays as Drew correlation. His correlation is valid for turbulent flow of any Newtonian fluids in smooth straight tubing in the Reynolds number range of 2100 < N _{R}_{e} <
3×106.
……………………………………
…………………………………………
……………(10)
Practically, in oil field applications, pipe always has some roughness which is believed to increase friction factor over that of smooth pipes. On contrary to laminar flow (where roughness effect may be neglected), other equations are available for Fanning friction factor in rough straight tubing. However, the most widely used is that one developed by Chen (1979). Chen equation is given by:
_{√}
{
[
(
_{⁄}
)
]}………………………
…………
… ……… ………(11)
It covers a Reynolds number range from 4,000 to 4×108 and relative roughness range from 0.05 to 5×107. Chen equation was with others equations proposed by Churchill and Wood against Colebrook equation and showed its superiority. Moreover, Chen equation is more convenient than the latter as it expresses the friction factor explicitly. For Newtonian turbulent flow in smooth coiled tubing, Ito (1959) measured the friction pressure losses using water and drawncopper tubing at various curvature ratios. He proposed the following friction factor equations, Eq. 12 for Dean number ranges from 0.034 to 300 and curvature ratio between 0.0012 and 0.067.
(
_{⁄}
) ^{⁄}
,
*
(
_{⁄}
)
+
……………………… …………………
…………………………(12)
Later, Srinivasan (1970) measured pressure drops of water and fuel oil in both helical tubes (with constant curvature) and spiral tubes (with variable curvature). Experimental values were used to develop equations to predict friction factors for laminar, transition, and turbulent regions. His equation is valid for 0.0097 < r/R < 0.135 and any Dean number higher than critical Dean number up to 14,000. It has been proven experimentally that, Srinivasan correlation is superior and more accurate than Ito correlation.
^{(} ^{⁄}
^{)}
……………………………………
…………………………………………………………
…………(13)
Analyzing water flow data in rough coiled tubing has been a challenge, mainly because there is no published correlation on the effect of tubing roughness on friction factor in coiled tubing. Zhou and Shah (2006) proposed the following correlation for rough coiled tubing based on the assumption that the ratio of rough coiled tubing friction factor to that of smooth coiled tubing is approximately equal to the corresponding ratio in straight tubing.
^{(} ^{⁄}
^{)}
[
{
[
(
_{⁄}
)
]}]
……………
………………….…(14)
Though this assumption is yet to be verified, the experimental data of their study seem to indicate that Eq. 14 can adequately describe the effect of tubing roughness on friction factor in coiled tubing which proves its accuracy.
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Polymeric NonNewtonian PseudoPlastic Fluids. Shah (1984) proposed a simple but more versatile equation which is explicit in f and does not require multiple pipe data. It is valid for flow of nonNewtonian pseudoplastic fluids in turbulent as well as transition flow regimes in straight tubing. Fluids with a wide range of flow behavior index (n = 0.272 to 1.0) and generalized Reynolds number (2,000 – 500,000) had been investigated. Predictions from his correlation have been compared favorably with field data from several fracturing treatments.
_{(} _{)} ^{(} ^{)} ………………………………………………………………………………………… ……… …(15)
In 2002, Willingham and Shah (2000) proposed a new friction factor correlation based on experimental flow data for various fluids (0.18 < n < 0.68) in various tubing sizes with a wide range of generalized Reynolds number (1000 < N _{R}_{e}_{g} <
350,000).
_{√}
_{√}
……….…………………………………………………
…………………………
….…………
…(16)
The viscous sublayer in turbulent flow of polymeric fluids has been shown to diminish the roughness effect under certain flow conditions. Therefore, either equations may be applied in rough straight tubing as well, especially the data used in development were gathered with fullscale tubing that has some roughness. This may be true for all highly viscous fluids. Yet, it should be approved. In coiled tubing, Willingham and Shah (2002), in the same paper with the same fluids and various coiled tubing sizes, proposed a similar equation to predict Fanning friction factor of polymeric fluids in coiled tubing.
_{√}
{
(
_{⁄}
) ^{⁄}
[
^{(}
^{⁄}
^{)}
]
}
√
_{(}
_{⁄} _{)} …………
…………………
………
…(17)
Recently, Zhou and Shah (2007), employing numerical solutions of turbulent flow in coiled tubing for 0.25 < n < 1.0, developed another correlation for Fanning friction factor. Their correlations was then verified with Ito correlation for Newtonian turbulent flow as well as the experimental data presented by Willingham and Shah (2002).
( 
_{⁄} 
) 
^{⁄} 

[ 
^{(} 
^{)} ( 
) 
( 
_{⁄} 
) 
^{⁄} 
] 
⁄ ( 
) 

⁄ 
⁄ 
……….……… …………………………….…………
…….…
……………
………………
……………………
……………………………………………
…
…(18)
…….(18a)
Viscoelastic Surfactant Fluids. The primary difficulty in modeling turbulent flow of surfactant based fluids is the socalled “diameter effect”. For Newtonian fluids, friction factor chart is sufficient to describe flow, regardless of different fluids and diameters i.e. at the same Reynolds number, friction factor would be the same regardless of pipe diameter. However, for SB fluids, friction factors vary with diameter, although Reynolds number is the same. The twoparameter model (fN _{R}_{e}_{g} ) based only on fluid viscous properties cannot satisfactorily represent flow behavior of SB fluids. Despite the important role of fluid elasticity in flow behavior of SB fluids, it has received little attention. Therefore, Ahmed and Shah (2010) adopted a new approach to describe flow properties of SB fluids. The fluid elastic properties together with viscous properties were used in developing their correlations. A new definition of Deborah number, a conventional dimensionless term used to quantify the viscoelastic behavior of fluids, was introduced. This new definition includes a fluidrelated parameter represented by relaxation time and tubingrelated parameter represented by imposed shear rate. The mathematical expression of Deborah number has the advantage of simplicity and reflects the effect of fluid elastic properties and shear field imposed as a result of diameter change. Finally, a single correlation for Fanning friction factor that is a function of Deborah number and flow behavior index was developed. For straight tubing, it is given by:
[
(
)
] *
√
For coiled tubing, the equation is given by:
+……….…
………
…….…………
…(19)
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[
] [ {
(
_{⁄}
)
^{⁄}
}
(
_{)}
]…………………………
………(20)
A validation was conducted using experimental data of various concentrations of SB fluids in various straight and coiled tubing sizes (½, 1½, 2⅜, and 2⅞in. OD). The average percent deviation is less than 4.2% while the maximum is less than 6.5%, indicting its good accuracy. One should recall that the different levels of pipe roughness in turbulent flow may also affect the data. This effect is minimal for viscous fluids used in this study. The proposed correlations represent the first attempt to correlate flow behavior of surfactant based fluids in larger tubing sizes. It solves the problem of scaleup and permits the use of labscale data to develop such correlation.
Drag Reducing Fluids. In their study to investigate the drag reduction characteristics in labscale straight and coiled tubing, Shah and Ahmed (2006) developed correlations to predict Fanning friction factor values of slickwater at its optimum concentration (0.07% by vol.) as a function of solvent Reynolds number. A straight tubing correlation predicts the value of friction factor as a function of solvent Reynolds number, N _{R}_{e}_{s} while for coiled tubing, it is a function of solvent Reynolds number and curvature ratio. The correlations were also evaluated using the experimental data from 1.0in. fullscale experiments and the results showed the good reproducibility of the developed correlations and therefore, can be used for the engineering design of straight and coiled tubing hydraulics. However, a question has to be answered. That is, can the correlations developed from smallscale data be applied to larger tubing sizes? How accurate? Moreover, laboratory conditions represent controlled situation where fluids are mixed properly, impurities/contaminations are avoided, tubing has smooth surface, fluids are pumped for shorter times, flow is almost isothermal, etc. However, in field application, this is seldom the case. Therefore, further comparisons with data from 1½, 2⅜, and 2⅞in. fullscale flow loops were presented (Shah and Ahmed, 2010). From the comparisons, it was evident that the correlations developed using ½in. flow loop data are sufficient to predict Fanning friction factors in large straight and coiled tubing within their application range [0.01 < r/R < 0.031 and 22,000 < N _{R}_{e}_{s} < 155,000]. Beyond it, the predictions from correlations deviate significantly from experimental data. This may be primarily due to the differences in shear field and pipe roughness. Considering these various effects, new correlations for wider range of application were developed using all the available data from both lab and fullscale flow loops. These correlations are as follows:
For straight tubing:
For coiled tubing:
(
_{⁄}
)
^{(}
^{)} ……………………………………….…………… ………(21)
……………………………………………………….……………
………
……(22)
The values of correlation coefficient obtained were very close to unity (R ^{2} = 0.99 for ST and R ^{2} = 0.98 for CT) indicating excellent agreement. The worst percentage deviation was less than 7% while the average deviation was less than 4% which shows its accuracy over a wide range of solvent Reynolds number.
Bentonite Fluids. Shah (1999) pumped a single bentonite fluid system (8 lb/bbl) through 1½ and 2⅜in. straight and coiled tubing and proposed two preliminary correlations specifically for this fluid, or these types of fluids. Both correlations have the same formula but, for straight tubing, Fanning friction factor is function of both generalized Reynolds number and pipe inside diameter as follows:
………………………………………………………………
…………… … …(23)
For coiled tubing, in addition to the previously mentioned parameters, curvature ratio is included as follows:
,
( (
⁄
)
)
 ⁄
………………………………………….………………….……(24)
These two correlations in comparison with the experimental data, showed a reasonably good matching, which ensures its accuracy and applicability.
Drilling Fluids. The most widely used correlation to predict the Fanning friction factor for most drilling fluids in straight tubing is the one proposed by Dodge and Metzner, Eq. 9 (Dodge and Metzner, 1959). Yet, it is an implicit equation. For coiled
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tubing operations, no such correlation is available. However, other equations for polymeric fluids may be applied. For oil based buds, further investigation is necessary.
Foam Fluids. Turbulent flow of foams is a challenging subject due to the nature of foam, foam rheology, excessive friction pressure losses, technical difficulties, etc. No or very little data on turbulent flow of foams are available which makes development of friction factor correlations practically not feasible. However, this is still an open area of research, both experimentally and analytically where further investigation is recommended.
Water Slurry. For turbulent flow of homogenous Newtonian slurry, following the “equivalent fluid” principle as in laminar flow, Eq. 7 can be used. However, different formulas for relative density ρr and relative viscosity μr, should be used to calculate the pressure gradient multiplier, M (Shah and Zhou, 2006) for turbulent flow of slurry in both straight and coiled tubing.
…………………
…………………… …………………………………
…………………… …………(25)
Polymer Slurry. For turbulent flow of polymeric nonNewtonian slurries, the following two empirical correlations were proposed to account for the effect of sand content (Shah and Zhou, 2002). For straight tubing, it is represented as:
……(26)
(
)
,
 (
) …………
…………………………
…
For coiled tubing, a change in coefficient can be noticed as follows:
(
)
,
 (
) …………
…………………………………
……
………
…(27)
These two correlations were verified using slurry flow tests with two guar concentrations (25 and 35 lb/Mgal) and 4 different sand concentrations (2, 4, 6, and 10 lb/bbl) in 2⅜in. straight and coiled tubing and a reasonable agreement was seen. Employing same sand concentrations with 35 lb/Mgal guar in 1½in. chrome and carbon steel flow loops, Shah and Zhou (2006) proposed another form of multiplier that is function only of sand concentration and compared it with field data from actual CT fracturing treatments which proved its accuracy. However, it is more specific for 35 lb/Mgal guar base fluid and ignores the rheological properties of the base fluid and thus limits its applicability. A detailed investigation may result in a broader correlation. In conclusion, Tables 3 and 4 summarize all the selected correlations for turbulent flow of fluids in circular tubing.
Algorithms An algorithm is a step by step procedure to calculate a needed quantity. It usually starts with an input and ends with output after finite number of steps. Algorithms can be expressed in many ways, such as natural languages and flowcharts. Most algorithms are designed to be implemented as computer programs. The question then is given a set of input and looking for a certain output, can one find the best algorithm? In that sense, what best means? Methods have been developed for calculating algorithms efficiencies. Understanding the relative efficiencies of algorithms designed to do the same job is essential in industry. For example, the choice of an efficient over an inefficient algorithm may save thousands of dollars. The amount of time required to execute the algorithm and the amount of memory space needed to run it are essential to define the algorithm efficiency. In many cases, one has to make a tradeoff between the time sand the space according to the available resources (Cameron 1990; Epp 2011). One of the purposes in this research paper is to develop an efficient algorithm that can be easily and effectively used in the industry to find the friction factor under various conditions. The proposed algorithm is shown in Figs 2a and b for straight and coiled tubing, respectively. One can easily convert the proposed algorithm to a coded program for friction factor calculations. A developed software is currently under revision and evaluation by the authors.
Summary Numerous fluids are pumped through various tubing geometries under different conditions in the oil and gas industry. Friction pressure losses calculations are of utmost importance and routinely, simple DarcyWeisbach equation is applied for this purpose. Yet, friction factor determination is a great challenge. The present article is an uptodate critical review of the Fanning friction factor correlations. It discusses in details methods of development, accuracy, applicability, and limitations of each correlation. Experimental correlations are widely applied than theoretical or numerical equations, especially in turbulent flow regime. This is may be due to the fact that turbulence phenomenon is not yet understood. Moreover, rheological behavior of polymeric and surfactant fluids adds more challenges. Not to mention secondary flows in coiled tubing. Therefore, experimental investigation represents the heart of the turbulent flow research. Although enormous numbers of correlations is available, our paper overcomes this obstacle and proposes the most accurate equation considering all factors of fluid type, tubing geometry, and flow regime. However, some equations are still questionable and further investigation is recommended. This may include, but not limited to, polymers, surfactants, foams, and slurry turbulent flow in straight and coiled tubing. On the other hand, for some situations, no correlation is available yet or at least, the published correlations need to be validated. Oil based muds, emulsions, turbulent flow of foams are good examples.
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A pioneering code, based on the most widely and accurate correlations, is developed and can be used to assist predict the Fanning friction factor. It is a user friendly code that helps the people working in the oil and gas industry to calculate the friction pressure losses without even foregoing background in this field. Finally, the present paper helps advances the stateof theart in the field of fluid hydraulics in the oil and gas industry.
Table 3: Fanning Friction Factor in Turbulent Flow of Fluids in Straight Tubing
Nomenclature A(n) & B(n) C _{v} 

d 

D 
_{e} 
D 
_{e}_{,}_{C}_{T} 
=
=
=
=
=
dp/dl =
e =
f =
=
f _{∞}
_{K} =
_{M} =
_{n} =
=
=
_{N} _{D}_{N}
_{N} _{D}_{N}_{g}
Empirical fluid parameters [dimensionless] Volumetric solid concentration [dimensionless]
Pipe inside diameter [in.] Deborah number [dimensionless] Deborah number for coiled tubing [dimensionless]
Pressure gradient [psi/ft]
Pipe roughness projection [in.]
Fanning friction factor [dimensionless] Infinite Fanning friction factor [dimensionless]
Power law fluid consistency index [lb.s ^{n} /ft ^{2} ]
Friction pressure losses multiplier [dimensionless]
Flow behavior index [dimensionless] Dean number [dimensionless] Generalized Dean number [dimensionless]
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Table 4: Fanning Friction Factor in Turbulent Flow of Fluids in Coiled Tubing
_{N} _{R}_{e}_{g}
_{N} _{R}_{e}_{s}
r
R
r/R
R ^{2}
v
λ
μ
μ
μ
ρ
ρ
_{a}_{,}_{5}_{1}_{1}
_{r}
_{r}
= 
Generalized Reynolds number [dimensionless] 
= 
Solvent Reynolds number [dimensionless] 
= 
Radius of coiled tubing, [in.] 
= 
Radius of curvature of coiled tubing reel [in.] 
= 
Coiled tubing curvature ratio [dimensionless] 
= 
Correlation coefficient [dimensionless] 
= 
Fluid velocity [ft/sec] 
= 
fluid relaxation time [sec.] 
= 
Fluid viscosity [cP] Fluid density [ppg] 
= 
Fluid apparent viscosity at 511 s ^{}^{1} shear rate [cP] 
= 
Slurry relative viscosity [dimensionless] 
= 

= 
Slurry relative density [dimensionless] 
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Figure 2a: Algorithm for Straight Circular Conduits
Figure 2b: Algorithm for Coiled Circular Conduits
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_{N} _{R}_{e} 
= 
Reynolds number [dimensionless] 
Abbreviations 

CL 
= 
Laminar flow in coiled tubing 
CMC 
= 
Carboxymethylycellulose 
CT 
= 
Coiled tubing 
DR 
= 
Drag reducing 
HF 
= 
Hydraulic fracturing 
l 
= 
Liquid 
OD 
= 
Pipe outside diameter 
SB 
= 
Surfactant based 
SL 
= 
Laminar flow in straight tubing 
sl 
= 
Slurry 
ST 
= 
Straight tubing 
References Ahmed Kamel, A. H. 2008. Flow Characteristics of SurfactantBased Fluids in Straight and Coiled Tubing. PhD Dissertation, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma (May 2008). Ahmed Kamel, A. H. and Shah, S. N. 2010. ScaleUp Correlation for the Flow of SurfactantBased Fluids in Circular Coiled Pipes. Journal of Fluid Engineering 132 (8): 081101.1 – 081101.12. Ahmed Kamel, A. H. and Shah, S. N. Investigation of the Complex Flow Behavior of SurfactantBased Fluids in Straight Tubing. Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology 49 (6): 1320. Bourgoyne, A.T., Chenevert, M.E., Millhein, K.K., and Young, F.S. 1986. Applied Drilling Engineering. Textbook Series, Vol. 2 (152155), Richardson, Texas: Textbook Series, SPE. Chen, N.H. 1979. An Explicit Equation for Friction Factor in Pipes. Ind. Eng. Chem. Fundam 18: 296. Cormen, T. H., Leiserson, C. E., Rivest, R. L. 1990. Introduction to Algorithms. 1 ^{s}^{t} Edition. MIT Press and McGrawHill. Dean, W. R. 1927. Note on the Motion of Fluid in a Curved Pipe. Philos. Mag. 20: 20823. Dean, W. R. 1928. The Streamline Motion of Fluid in a Curved Pipe. Philos. Mag 30: 67393. Dodge, D. W. and Metzner, A. B. 1959. Turbulent Flow of NonNewtonian Systems. AIChE Journal 1(2): 189 – 204. Drew, T.B., Koo, E.C., and McAdams, W. H. 1932. The Friction Factor for Clean Round Pipes. Trans., AIChE 28: 5672. Epp, S. 2011. Discrete Mathematics with Applications. 4 ^{t}^{h} Edition. Cengage Learning. Govier, G. W. and Aziz. K. 2008. The Flow of Complex Mixtures in Pipes. Textbook Series, Vol. 2, Richardson, Texas:
Textbook Series, SPE. Ito, H. 1959. Friction Factors for Turbulent Flow in Curved Pipes. J. Basic Eng. 81 (2): 123134. Khade, S. D. and Shah, S. N. 2002. New Empirical Friction Loss Correlation for Foam Fluids in Coiled Tubing. Paper SPE 74810 presented at the SPE/ICoTA Coiled Tubing Conference and Exhibition, Huston, Texas, USA, 910 April. Liu, S. and Masliyah, J. H. 1993. Axially Invariant Laminar Flow in Helical Pipes with A finite Pitch. Journal of Fluid Mechanics 251: 315353. Metzner, A. B. and Reed, J. C. 1955. Flow of nonNewtonian Fluids  Correlation of the Laminar, Transition and Turbulent Flow Regions. AIChE Journl 1(4): 434440. Shah, S. N. 1984. Correlations Predict Friction Pressure of Fracturing Gels. Oil & Gas Journal, January, 9298. Shah, S. N. and Zhou, Y. 2006. Correlations to Predict Frictional Pressure of Fracturing Slurry in Coiled Tubing. Paper SPE 104253 presented at the 2006 SPE International Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition, Beijing, China, 57 December. Shah, S. N., Ahmed Kamel, A. H. 2010. Investigation of the Flow Behavior of Slickwater in Large Straight and Coiled Tubing. SPE Production and Operations, Feb. 7079. Shah, S. N., Ahmed Kamel, A. H., and Zhou, Y. 2006. Drag Reduction Characteristics in Straight and Coiled Tubing – An Experimental Study. Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering 53: 179188. Shah, S. N., Zhou, Y., and Goel, N. 2002. Flow Behavior of Fracturing Slurries in Coiled Tubing. Paper SPE 74811 presented at the SPE/ICoTA Coiled Tubing Conference and Exhibition, Huston, Texas, USA, 910 April. Srinivasan, P.S., Nandapurkar, S.S., and Holland, F.A. 1970. Friction Factors for Coils. Trans. Inst. Chem. Engr 48: T156
T161.
Technical Report for the Coiled Tubing Consortium SemiAnnual Meeting in Norman, 1999. Norman, Oklahoma: Well Construction Technology Center, University of Oklahoma, 27 May. Willingham, J. D. and Shah, S. N. 2000. Friction Pressures of Newtonian and NonNewtonian Fluids in Straight and Reeled Coiled Tubing. Paper SPE presented at SPE/ICoTA Coiled Tubing Roundtable, Houston, TX, 56 April. Zhou, Y. and Shah, S. N. 2007. Theoretical Analysis of Laminar Flow of PowerLaw Fluids in Coiled Tubing. AIChE Journal 53(9): 22102220. Zhou, Y., and Shah, S. N. 2007. Theoretical Analysis of Turbulent Flow of PowerLaw Fluids in Coiled Tubing. SPE Journal 12(4) 447457.
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Zhou, Y., and Shah, S. N. 2006. New Friction Factor Correlations for NonNewtonian Fluid Flow in Coiled Tubing. SPE Drilling and Completion 21(1): 6876.
SI Metric Conversion Factors
bbl 
× 
1.589 873 E–01 
= m ^{3} 
ft 
× 
3.048* E–01 
= m 
cP 
× 
1.0* E – 03 
= Pa·s 
gal 
× 
3.785 412 E − 03 
= m ^{3} 
in. 
× 
2.54* E + 00 
= cm 
lbm 
× 
4.535 924 E − 01 
= kg 
psi 
× 
6.894 757 E + 00 
= kPa 
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