You are on page 1of 9

SPE 104192

Transport of Small Cuttings in Extended Reach Drilling


Mingqin Duan, Stefan Miska, Mengjiao Yu, Nicholas Takach, and Ramadan Ahmed, SPE, U. of Tulsa, and
Claudia Zettner, SPE, ExxonMobil

Copyright 2006, Society of Petroleum Engineers


This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2006 SPE International Oil & Gas Conference
and Exhibition in China held in Beijing, China, 57 December 2006.
This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE Program Committee following review of
information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper, as
presented, have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to
correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any
position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or members. Papers presented at
SPE meetings are subject to publication review by Editorial Committees of the Society of
Petroleum Engineers. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper
for commercial purposes without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers 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 where and by whom the paper was presented. Write Librarian, SPE, P.O.
Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083-3836, U.S.A., fax 01-972-952-9435.

Abstract
Field experience has shown that inefficient transport of small
cuttings is a main factor for excessive drag and torque during
extended reach drilling; however, very little is known about
the transport behavior of small cuttings. In this study,
extensive experiments with three sizes of cuttings (0.45 mm3.3 mm) were conducted in a field-scale flow loop (8 in.4.5
in., 100-ft long) to identify the main factors affecting small
cuttings transport. The effects of cuttings size, drill pipe
rotation, fluid rheology, flow rate and hole inclination were
investigated.
The results show significant differences in cuttings
transport based on cuttings size. Smaller cuttings result in a
higher cuttings concentration than larger cuttings in a
horizontal annulus when tested with water. However, a lower
concentration was achieved for smaller cuttings when 0.25
ppb Polyanionic Cellulose (PAC) solutions were used. Unlike
the transport of large cuttings, which is mainly dominated by
fluid flow rate, the key factors controlling small cuttings
transport were found to be pipe rotation and fluid rheology.
Improvement by pipe rotation in the transport efficiency of
small cuttings is up to twice as large as the improvement in
large cuttings transport. Compared with water, PAC solutions
significantly improve smaller cuttings transport, while the
transport of larger cuttings is only slightly enhanced.
Mathematical modeling was performed to develop
correlations for cuttings concentration and bed height in an
annulus for field applications. Predictions from a three-layer
model previously developed for larger cuttings were also
compared with experimental results. Differences (up to 80%)
indicate the need for improving the frequently used three-layer
model by including correlations specifically developed for
small cuttings to get a better design of extended reach drilling.
This study is also useful for horizontal or high-angle well
drilling and completion through sand reservoirs.

Introduction
Efficient cuttings transport is a major challenge when a long
extended reach well with a horizontal and highly inclined
section of more than 20 thousand feet has to be drilled.1-3
Cuttings can be ground to finer sand while being transported
out of the hole, especially when rotary drilling is used.
Drilling may not be able to proceed if cuttings transport
remains a problem in such a hole. Because of excessive drag
and torque caused by small cuttings settled at the lower side of
the horizontal or inclined section, it may not be possible to run
casing in place even if drilling to the target depth can be
achieved. Similar problems exist in horizontal and highly
inclined wells drilled through unconsolidated sand reservoirs.
Field practice and experimental observations4-8 show that
smaller cuttings are more difficult to transport under certain
conditions. Moreover, smaller particles tend to more easily
stick a drill pipe due to their cohesive effects.7,9 It is even
more difficult to release the pipe once it gets stuck by small
sand-sized cuttings.
An investigation into previous studies in the area of hole
cleaning and sand transport shows that very limited
information is available for small cuttings transport under
drilling conditions. Though different cuttings have been tested
by a few investigators,4,5,7,8,10-12 no study on small cuttings
transport in horizontal or high angle annuli involving drill pipe
rotation has been conducted. Previous conclusions about the
cuttings size effects on cuttings transport are quite diverse, and
even contradictory in some cases.4-7,10-12 Their experiments
upon which these conclusions are based were conducted under
incomparable conditions. It may not be correct, or at least not
safe, to state explicitly that smaller cuttings are harder or
easier to transport. The result may depend on various
combinations of drilling parameters. This study was
undertaken to understand why and under what conditions they
are harder or easier to transport.
Literature Review
By measuring total annular cuttings concentration, Parker4
observed that smaller cuttings are easier to transport in vertical
wells, but slightly harder to transport in highly inclined wells.
This is consistent with Larsens5 observations that at high hole
inclination angles smaller cuttings are harder to clean out.
These cuttings need a higher fluid velocity to keep continuous
forward movement. The smallest cuttings used were 2.3 mm
in diameter. Gavignet and Sobey6 also stated in their two-layer
model that smaller particles need a higher flow rate to
maintain bed motion. Ahmed7 found that cuttings beds of

smaller particles are more difficult to erode with viscous fluid


than beds of larger particles.
However, Ford et al.10 observed that as the cuttings size
decreases from 2.5-3.7 mm to 1.7-2.0 mm, the Minimum
Transport Velocity (MTV) required both for cuttings
rolling/sliding and for suspension decreases. It means that
smaller cuttings are easier to transport in terms of MTV. After
more experiments on the same flow loop,11 they concluded
that smaller cuttings are easier to transport at all angles of
inclination in an annulus when pipe rotation is not present.
The result of Martins12 bed erosion tests in a horizontal
annulus is another example. It was observed that with thick
fluids sandstones of 2 mm in diameter are easier to erode than
those of 4 mm.
Sifferman and Becker13 noted that cuttings size itself only
has minor effects on hole cleaning, but its influence on the
effects of other parameters is noteworthy. Similarly, Bassal8
found that the effects of cuttings size on cuttings concentration
in a horizontal annulus are quite dependent on other
parameters. With low viscosity mud, smaller cuttings are
harder to transport than larger ones at all pipe rotary speeds
and flow rates. However, with high viscosity mud, the
tendency may reverse depending on different flow rates.
Nevertheless, the cuttings tested above are mainly within
the size of 1.3 mm to 7 mm. In fact, the transport mechanism
of small sand-sized particles is more complicated than that of
larger particles due to stronger particle-particle intra-phase
interaction and particle-fluid inter-phase interaction. From the
simulation results of Doan et al.14 with particles of 75 m and
200 m in diameter, a smaller particle was observed to have
higher interface interaction coefficient.
More recently, it was noticed that there exists a certain size
of cuttings that needs the maximum transport velocity under
certain conditions. Walker and Li15 observed that smaller
particles are easier to clean out than larger ones within the size
of 0.76 mm, but harder to clean out when the particle size is
larger than 0.76 mm. Ahmed7 found that, in a horizontal pipe,
the critical velocity for particle rolling increases sharply with
particle size in a smaller particle size range (up to 1.5 mm in
diameter), and flattens or decreases in a larger particle size
range.
Experimental Setup
The Test Facility
Experiments with small cuttings were carried out on the
Tulsa University Drilling Research Projects (TUDRP) Low
Pressure Ambient Temperature (LPAT) flow loop, as shown
in Fig. 1. It consists of an annular test section, cuttings
injection system, cuttings separation system, mud circulation
system, hoisting system, data acquisition and control system.
The test section is 100 feet long, consisting of a transparent
outer casing (8 in. ID) and an inner drill pipe (4.5 in. OD). The
drill pipe can be rotated up to 140 RPM. It lies close to the
lower side of the outer casing with an average eccentricity of
0.8 (Fig. 2). This is a typical situation in most extended reach
and horizontal drilling operations. The test section can be
continuously lifted to simulate a wellbore with inclination
angle ranging from 90 to nearly 0 degree from vertical.
Cuttings are injected into the annulus through an injection
valve at the bottom of the injection tank, and then are

SPE 104192

separated from drilling fluid by an industrial shale shaker. The


separated cuttings enter the collection tank that is weighed by
a load cell below the tank. The data acquisition system records
mud flow rate, drill pipe rotary speed, differential pressure,
cuttings injection and collection rates, weight of the injection
tank, and weight of the collection tank, etc.

Fig. 1 The LPAT flow loop.


Air Vent

Mud Return
Cuttings
Inject.
Tank

Excess Line

Shale Shaker

Bypass Line
Mud Tank

Cuttings
Collect.
Tank

Cuttings

Bypass Valve
Holdup
Valve

Test Section

Three-way
Holdup
Valve

Auger

Mud In
Pump

Flow Rate Control

Cuttings Transfer Line

Fig. 2 Schematic drawing of the LPAT flow loop.

Test Matrix
Two sizes of sand-sized cuttings with median diameters of
0.45 mm and 1.4 mm, respectively, were used in this study.
Data for 3.3 mm cuttings are from Qureshis project16, which
was followed by this study. These data were obtained on the
same flow loop under the same test conditions. Flow rate
ranged from 200 to 400 gpm, pipe rotary speed from 0 to 80
RPM, and hole inclination from 70 to 90 degrees from
vertical. Water and 0.25 lbm/bbl Polyanionic Cellulose (PAC)
solutions (k = 0.0254 Pa.sn and n = 0.72) were used as drilling
fluids. Cuttings injection rate was maintained at approximately
30 ft/hr in terms of Rate Of Penetration (ROP).
Definitions of Experimental Variables
The above test matrix was designed to study the effects of
cuttings size, drill pipe rotation, fluid rheology, flow rate and
hole inclination on cuttings concentration, Cv, and equilibrium
bed height, H, in an annulus. Cv is defined as the true volume
of cuttings in the annular test section at steady state flow
conditions divided by the total volume of the annulus. A
steady state is reached when the mass rate of cuttings removed
out of the annulus equals the mass rate of cuttings injected to
the annulus, which means that there is no further cuttings
accumulation in the test section. H is defined as the average

SPE 104192

height of a stationary bed along the test section at steady state.


It is measured while fluid is flowing and pipe is rotating, if
applicable. It does not account for cuttings in suspension or in
the moving layer. Fig. 3 shows how to measure the bed height
with and without pipe rotation, respectively.

No pipe rotation

Pipe rotating counterclockwise


Fig. 3 Equilibrium Bed Height.

Both Cv and H are important hole cleaning indicators. Cv


reflects the general cleaning status since it gives the total
amount of cuttings in a well. H was also studied because
cuttings in a stationary bed are more likely to cause problems,
such as excessive drag and torque, sticking of pipe, etc., than
cuttings in suspension.
Test Procedure
As shown in Fig. 4, a typical test process consists of the
following four experimental stages.
Stage 1, pre-steady state: Cuttings are being injected into
the test section. Differential pressure across the test section is
increasing due to a decreasing open area for fluid flow.
Cuttings collection rate is zero at the beginning and begins to
increase at the end of this stage.
Stage 2, steady state: Cuttings collection rate equals
injection rate at about 30 ft/hr in terms of ROP. Differential
pressure is stabilized. Equilibrium bed height is measured
during this stage.
Stage 3, trapping cuttings: Cuttings are trapped in the test
section when the test section is closed and the flow is diverted
to the bypass line. Cuttings injection is stopped. The bypass
line is clear of cuttings when the collection rate is approaching
zero.
Stage 4, flushing the test section: Open the test section to
flush cuttings to the collection tank. The test section is clear of
cuttings when the collection rate is approaching zero. Cuttings
concentration, Cv, is obtained by comparing the weights of the
collection tank before and after flushing.
100
90

160

differential pressure
80

140

70

injection rate

120

60
100
50

collection rate

80

40
60
30
40

20

20

10

0
0

500

1000

1500

2000

2500

3000

3500

4000

Tim e (second)
(1)

(2)

(3)

Fig. 4 Overview of a Test Process.

(4)

0
4500

Differential Pressure (inch of water)

Injection / Collection Rate (lb/min)

180

Results and Discussion


Effects on Annular Cuttings Volumetric Concentration
Cuttings Size Effects. Fig. A-1 shows the cuttings
concentration vs. water flow rate for three different cuttings
sizes, namely, 0.45 mm, 1.4 mm and 3.3 mm, in a horizontal
annulus without pipe rotation. The concentration of the
smallest cuttings (0.45 mm) is approximately 7% (absolute
difference obtained by directly subtracting two concentrations)
higher than that of the largest cuttings (3.3 mm) at all flow
rates tested. Results for 40 RPM pipe rotary speed are plotted
in Fig. A-2. Again, smaller cuttings result in a higher
concentration than larger cuttings, hence are more difficult to
transport in terms of cuttings concentration.
However, when 0.25 lbm/bbl PAC solutions were used,
concentration of smaller cuttings is much lower than that of
larger cuttings, as shown in Figs. A-3 and A-4. For example,
0.45 mm cuttings concentration is around 10% (absolute
difference) lower than 1.4 mm cuttings with 80 RPM pipe
rotation (Fig. A-4). A possible reason is that when PAC is
used and drill pipe is rotated, smaller cuttings are transported
farther than larger cuttings before settling to form a cuttings
bed. Therefore, smaller cuttings are easier to transport than
larger cuttings with polymeric fluid.
Effects of Drill Pipe Rotation. Pipe rotation helps reduce
the volumetric concentration of both 0.45 mm and 1.4 mm
cuttings (Fig. A-5). However, the extent to which the pipe
rotation helps cuttings transport depends on the cuttings size and
the type of drilling fluid. The three dotted lines for 0.45 mm
cuttings in Fig. A-5 are much steeper than the three solid lines
for 1.4 mm cuttings. It means that pipe rotation is more helpful
in transporting small cuttings than large cuttings. At 200 gpm
flow rate, when pipe rotation increases from 0 to 80 RPM, 1.4
mm cuttings concentration drops 6% (absolute difference)
while 0.45 mm cuttings concentration drops 12%.
Improvement in cuttings transport due to pipe rotation for
small cuttings is twice as large as for large cuttings.
Comparing pipe rotation effects when different drilling
fluids are used indicates that pipe rotation with PAC solutions
has more positive effects than with water on 0.45 mm cuttings
(Fig. A-6). It makes no apparent difference between PAC and
water for 1.4 mm cuttings. This is in agreement with
laboratory observations. Small cuttings take a longer time to
settle in PAC than in water once agitated by pipe rotation;
hence, the small cuttings can be transported farther with PAC.
Large cuttings also take a longer time to settle in PAC than in
water, but the difference is not as great as the case for small
cuttings.
Previous experience with large cuttings is to increase mud
flow rate to improve hole cleaning. In extended reach drilling
where there is a long inclined or horizontal openhole section,
pressure losses can be significant if flow rate is increased. By
using a high flow rate to meet the requirement of hole
cleaning, we take a risk of fracturing formations. Rotating drill
pipe, if possible, is a good alternative. In addition to
improving small cuttings transport, pipe rotation can reduce
pressure losses because of a decreased cuttings concentration
(Fig. A-7).

Effects of Fluid Rheology. In comparison with water,


0.25 lbm/bbl PAC solutions have positive effects on reducing
volumetric concentration of both 0.45 mm and 1.4 mm
cuttings. However, the effects are highly dependent on
cuttings size. The cuttings concentration with PAC is much
lower than with water for 0.45 mm cuttings, as shown in Fig.
A-8. The same trend remains for both horizontal and highly
inclined wells. Also note in Fig. A-8 that the concentration
difference between the two fluids is even larger when pipe
rotation is added. As for 1.4 mm cuttings, the concentration
with PAC is only slightly lower than with water (Fig. A-9),
both in horizontal and highly inclined wells. Increasing pipe
rotation does not make a bigger difference between
concentrations with PAC and with water.
Hole Inclination Effects. Figs. A-3 and A-4 also indicate
how hole angle affects the volumetric concentration of two
different cuttings at different flow rates using water and PAC,
respectively. Hole angle in the range of 70 to 90 degrees has
only a minor influence on cuttings concentration.
Effects of Flow Rate. As shown in Figs. A-1 through A-4,
increasing flow rate from 200 to 400 gpm decreases cuttings
concentration by 10% to 15%.
Effects on Equilibrium Bed Height
Every bed height shown here is converted to a
dimensionless bed height, which is defined as the equilibrium
bed height, H, divided by the wellbore diameter, D.
As shown in Fig. A-10, the bed heights with PAC
solutions are lower than those with water for 0.45 mm cuttings
at each flow rate and pipe rotary speed. However, PAC is not
that helpful in reducing bed heights of 1.4 mm cuttings,
though the general tendency is that bed heights with PAC are
marginally lower than those with water (Fig. A-11). This is
consistent with the effects of fluid rheology on cuttings
volumetric concentration.
A further look into Figs A-10 and A-11 indicates that an
increase of pipe rotation from 0 to 40 RPM significantly
reduces bed heights. The bed height with 200 gpm flow rate
and 40 RPM pipe rotation is approximately equivalent to the
bed height with 400 gpm and no pipe rotation (Fig A-10).
Further increasing pipe rotation, however, only slightly
reduces bed heights. It is observed that most cuttings are in a
stationary bed without pipe rotation. Once the pipe is rotated,
even at a low speed, a large amount of cuttings are agitated
and moved up to a suspension layer. Increasing pipe rotation
to 80 RPM brings more cuttings in suspension, but not as
many as when the pipe is rotated from 0 to 40 RPM. This
explains why pipe rotation from 0 to 40 RPM makes a big
difference for bed heights.
The twelve lines with thirty-six experimental data points in
Figs. A-10 and A-11 show an interesting relationship between
bed height and flow rate. The bed height almost linearly
decreases with an increasing flow rate within the range of flow
rate tested (200 to 400 gpm), regardless of pipe rotary speed,
testing fluid or cuttings size. This relationship is also used in
the correlations for bed heights.

SPE 104192

Comparison of the Measured Cuttings Bed Area with the


Predictions from a Three-Layer Model
Cuttings bed area is the cross-sectional area of a cuttings
bed in an annulus. The measured cuttings bed area in Figs. A12 and A-13 was calculated from the measured bed heights in
this study. The predicted bed area was obtained from a
computer simulator based on a three-layer mechanistic model
developed by Ozbayoglu17. The three-layer model was
originally verified by experiments with large cuttings. The
model was used in this study to test its applicability to small
cuttings transport. Divided by the area of the annulus, the
cuttings bed area was converted to a dimensionless bed area.
All bed areas presented here were obtained without pipe
rotation.
Fig. A-12 shows comparisons of cuttings bed area between
measurements and model predictions for 0.45 mm cuttings at
different flow rates with two different drilling fluids. The
model gives a good prediction of cuttings bed area with water
at 100 gpm flow rate, but over predicts the bed area at higher
flow rates. The differences between the measurements and the
predictions are even larger when PAC fluids are used. The
predicted bed area is nearly twice as large as the measured bed
area at 400 gpm flow rate.
The predictions for 1.4 mm cuttings are closer to
experimental data as shown in Fig. A-13; especially when
water is used as a drilling fluid. The above comparisons show
that the three-layer model developed for large cuttings needs
to be modified in order to predict the transport of small
cuttings. This also indicates the necessity of studying small
cuttings transport.
Dimensional Analysis
Correlations were developed to predict annular cuttings
volumetric concentration, Cv, and dimensionless equilibrium
bed height, H/D, based on the experimental data. As discussed
above, the experimental results show very different behavior of
cuttings transport with water vs. PAC solutions. Correlations for
water and PAC were developed separately because one model is
not able to accommodate both fluids.
The following general equation for cuttings concentration is
selected based on graphical analysis of the effects of the four
independent variables; namely, flow rate, hole angle, cuttings
size, and pipe rotation,
Cv = bFr b1 b2 Rdp b3 tanh(1 + b4Ta ) ,
(1)
where Fr is the superficial Froude number, is the
dimensionless hole angle, R dp is the ratio of cuttings diameter to
the annular hydraulic diameter, and Ta is the Taylor number (see
Appendix B for definitions).
The correlation based on all the experimental data points with
water is,
C v = 0.24 Fr 0.715 0.146 Rdp 0.065 tanh(1 9 10 6 Ta ) .
(2)
Fig. A-14 shows a comparison of predicted Cv using Eq. 2
with experimental data. The differences are mostly within 10%.
The correlation based on all the experimental data with PAC
for 0.45 mm cuttings is,
C v = 0.18 Fr 1.05 0.69 tanh(1 3.61 10 4 Ta ) .
(3)

SPE 104192

Cv
d
dp
D
Fr
g
H
k
n
ppb
Rdp

Note that dp is not included in the correlation for PAC because


regression involving dp does not give satisfactory results.
The correlation based on all the experimental data with
PAC for 1.4 mm cuttings is,
C v = 0.32 Fr 0.651 0.179 tanh(1 1.63 10 4 Ta ) .
(4)
A comparison of predicted Cv using Eqs. 3 and 4 with
experimental data is shown in Fig. A-15.
Hole angle is found to have only minor effects on equilibrium
bed height; thus is not included in the correlations. The
following general equation for bed height is based on graphical
analysis of the effects of the three independent variables; namely,
flow rate, pipe rotation and cuttings size,
H
= c(c1 + c2 Fr )(1 + c3Ta )c 4 Rdp c5 .
D

= pipe rotary speed, 1/s

V sl

(6)

and

Ta

(5)

The correlations of bed height for water and PAC solutions are
given by,
H
= 0.82 (1.24 0.44 Fr ) (1 + 1.782 10 4 Ta ) 0.326 Rdp 0.006 ,
D

= annular cuttings volumetric concentration


= drill pipe outer diameter, in.
= cuttings median diameter, mm
= well bore diameter, in.
= superficial Froude number
= gravitational acceleration, m/s2
= dimensionless bed height
= fluid consistency index, Pa.sn
= fluid behavior index
= pound per barrel
= ratio of cuttings diameter to the annular
hydraulic diameter
= Taylor number
= superficial fluid velocity, m/s
= hole angle, radian
= fluid density, kg/m3

References
H
= 5.1 (0.31 0.13Fr ) (1 + 4.513 103Ta ) 0.329 Rdp 0.089 ,
D

(7)

respectively.
A sample calculation of Cv is given in Appendix C.
Conclusions and Recommendations
1. In terms of cuttings concentration, smaller cuttings are
more difficult to transport than larger cuttings in a
horizontal annulus when tested with water. However,
smaller cuttings are easier to transport when 0.25 lbm/bbl
PAC solutions were used.
2. Pipe rotation and fluid rheology are key factors affecting
small cuttings transport. Improvement by pipe rotation in
the transport efficiency of small cuttings is up to twice as
large as the improvement in large cuttings transport.
Compared with water, PAC solutions significantly
improve smaller cuttings transport, while the transport of
larger cuttings is only slightly enhanced.
3. Hole angle has only minor effects on cuttings
concentration and bed height within the range of 70 to 90
degrees from vertical.
4. The three-layer model previously developed for larger
cuttings over predicts cuttings bed area up to 100% for
smaller cuttings. Correlations developed in this study
predict cuttings concentration and bed height for small
cuttings with errors mostly within 10% of the
experimental results.
5. Drill pipe rotation combined with polymeric drilling
fluids is highly recommended to efficiently transport
small cuttings during extended reach or horizontal
drilling.
Acknowledgements
Authors wish to thank all member companies of the Tulsa
University Drilling Research Projects (TUDRP) for their
financial and technical support throughout this study.
Nomenclature
b, b1-b4
= equation constants in Eq. 1
c, c1-c5
= equation constants in Eq. 5

1.

Guild, G.J., Wallace, I.M., and Wassenborg, M.J.: Hole


Cleaning Program for Extended Reach Wells, paper SPE 29381
presented at the 1995 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference,
Amsterdam, Netherlands, 28 February-2 March.
2. Gao, E. and Young, A.C.: Hole Cleaning in Extended Reach
Wells-Field Experience and Theoretical Analysis Using a
Pseudo-Oil (Acetal) Based Mud, paper SPE 29425 presented at
the 1995 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, Amsterdam,
Netherlands, 28 February-2 March.
3. Schamp, J.H., Estes, B.L., and Keller, S.R.: Torque Reduction
Techniques in ERD Wells, paper IADC/SPE 98969 presented
at the 2006 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference, Miami, Florida, 2123 February.
4. Parker, D.J.: An Experimental Study of the Effects of Hole
Washout and Cutting Size on Annular Hole Cleaning in Highly
Deviated Wells, MS Thesis, U. of Tulsa, Tulsa, Oklahoma
(1987).
5. Larsen, T.I.: A Study of the Critical Fluid Velocity in Cuttings
Transport for Inclined Wellbores, MS Thesis, U. of Tulsa,
Tulsa, Oklahoma (1990).
6. Gavignet, A.A. and Sobey I.J.: Model Aids Cuttings Transport
Prediction, JPT (September 1989) 916.
7. Ahmed, R.M.: Mathematical Modeling and Experimental
Investigation on Solids and Cuttings Transport, PhD
Dissertation, Norwegian U. of Science and Technology, Norway
(2001).
8. Bassal, A.A.: The Effect of Drillpipe Rotation on Cuttings
Transport in Inclined Wellbores, MS Thesis, U. of Tulsa,
Tulsa, Oklahoma (1995).
9. Gailani, J.Z. Jin, L., McNeil, J., and Lick, W.: Effects of
Bentonite Clay on Sediment Erosion Rates, DOER Technical
Notes Collection (ERDC TN-DOER-N9), U.S. Army Engineer
Research and Development Center, Vicksburg, Mississippi
(2001).
10. Ford, J.T., Peden, J.M., Oyeneyin, M.B., Gao, E., and Zarrough,
R.: Experimental Investigation of Drilled Cuttings Transport in
Inclined Boreholes, paper SPE 20421 presented at the 1990
SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New
Orleans, Louisiana, 23-26 September.
11. Peden, J.M., Ford, J.T., and Oyeneyin, M.B.: Comprehensive
Experimental Investigation of Drilled Cuttings Transport in
Inclined Wells Including the Effects of Rotation and
Eccentricity, paper SPE 20925 presented at the 1990 European
Petroleum Conference, Hague, Netherlands, 22-24 October.

SPE 104192

40

Cuttings Vol. Conc., %

12. Martins, A.L, Sa, C.H.M., Lourenco, A.M.F., and Campos, W.:
Optimizing Cuttings Circulation In Horizontal Well Drilling,
paper SPE 35341 presented at the 1996 International Petroleum
Conference and Exhibition of Mexico, Villahermosa, Mexico, 57 March.
13. Sifferman, T.R. and Becker T.E.: Hole Cleaning in Full-Scale
Inclined Wellbores, paper SPE 20422 presented at the 1990
SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New
Orleans, Louisiana, 23-26 September.
14. Doan, Q., Ali, S.M.F., Oguztoreli, M., and George, A.E.: Sand
Transport in a Horizontal Well: A Numerical Study, paper SPE
37568 presented at the 1997 International Thermal Operations
and Heavy Oil Symposium, Bakersfield, California, 10-12
February.
15. Walker, S. and Li, J.: The Effect of Particle Size, Fluid
Rheology and Pipe Eccentricity on Cuttings Transport, paper
SPE 60755 presented at the 2000 SPE/ICoTA Coiled Tubing
Roundtable, Huston, Texas, 5-6 April.
16. Qureshi, M.A.: Experimental Study on Effective Hole Cleaning
Using a Mechanical Cleaning Device, MS Thesis, U. of Tulsa,
Tulsa, Oklahoma (2004).
17. Ozbayoglu, M.E.: Cuttings Transport with Foam in Horizontal
and Highly-Inclined Wellbores, PhD Dissertation, U. of Tulsa,
Tulsa, Oklahoma (2002).

30

20
0.45 mm
10

1.4 mm
3.3 mm

0
150

200

250

300

350

400

450

Flow Rate, gal/min


Fig. A-2 Cuttings Volumetric Concentration vs. Water Flow Rate
for Three Different Cuttings (40 RPM, 90deg).

40
1.4 mm, 70 deg

Cuttings Vol. Conc., %

SI Metric Conversion Factors


ft 3.048*
E 01 = m
gal/min (US) 6.309
E 05 = m3/s
inch 25.4
E 03 = m
inch of water 2.491
E + 02 = Pa
lbm/min 7.56
E 03 = Kg/s
lbm/bbl 2.88
E + 00 = Kg/m3
*conversion factor is exact.

1.4 mm, 90 deg


30

0.45 mm, 70 deg


0.45 mm, 90 deg

20

10

0
150

200

250

300

350

400

450

Flow Rate, gal/min


Fig. A-3 Cuttings Volumetric Concentration vs. Flow Rate with 40
RPM Pipe Rotation at Different Hole Angles Using PAC.

Appendix A
Figures for Results and Discussion
40

40

Cuttings Vol. Conc., %

Cuttings Vol. Conc., %

1.4 mm, 70 deg

30

20
0.45 mm
10

1.4 mm

1.4 mm, 90 deg


30

0.45 mm, 70 deg


0.45 mm, 90 deg

20

10

3.3 mm

0
150

200

250

300

350

400

450

Flow Rate, gal/min


Fig. A-1 Cuttings Volumetric Concentration vs. Water Flow Rate
for Three Different Cuttings (0 RPM, 90deg).

0
150

200

250

300

350

400

450

Flow Rate, gal/min


Fig. A-4 Cuttings Volumetric Concentration vs. Flow Rate with 80
RPM Pipe Rotation at Different Hole Angles Using PAC.

SPE 104192

40

Cuttings Vol. Conc., %

Cuttings Vol. Conc., %

40

30
1.4 mm, 200 gpm
1.4 mm, 300 gpm

20

1.4 mm, 400 gpm


0.45 mm, 200 gpm
0.45 mm, 300 gpm

10

0.45 mm, 400 gpm

30

20
0 RPM, w ater
10

0 RPM, PAC
40 RPM, w ater
40 RPM, PAC

0
0

40

80

120

0
150

160

200

Drill Pipe Rotation, RPM

350

400

450

Fig. A-8 Comparison between Different Drilling Fluids for 0.45


mm Cuttings (70 deg).

40

40

Cuttings Vol. Conc., %

Cuttings Vol. Conc., %

300

Flow Rate, gal/min

Fig. A-5 Cuttings Volumetric Concentration vs. Drill Pipe Rotation


at 70 Hole Angle Using PAC.

30
Water, 200 gpm
Water, 300 gpm

20

Water, 400 gpm


PAC, 200 gpm
10

PAC, 300 gpm


PAC, 400 gpm

0
0

40

80

120

30

20

Water
10

0
150

160

PAC

200

Drill Pipe Rotation, RPM

250

300

350

Dimensionless Bed Height, H/D

30
Water, 200 gpm
Water, 300 gpm
Water, 400 gpm
PAC, 200 gpm
10

PAC, 300 gpm


PAC, 400 gpm

0
0

40

80

120

450

Fig. A-9 Comparison between Different Drilling Fluids for 1.4 mm


Cuttings (70 deg).

40

20

400

Flow Rate, gal/min

Fig. A-6 Cuttings Volumetric Concentration vs. Drill Pipe Rotation


at 70 Hole Angle Using Different Fluids (0.45 mm Cuttings).

Differential Pressure, in. of water

250

160

Drill Pipe Rotation, RPM


Fig. A-7 Measured Differential Pressure vs. Pipe Rotation at
Steady State (0.45 mm Cuttings, 90 deg, measurement length for
differential pressure is 78 ft).

Water, 0 rpm
Water, 40 rpm
Water, 80 rpm
PAC, 0 rpm

0.8

PAC, 40 rpm
PAC, 80 rpm

0.6

0.4

0.2

0
150

200

250

300

350

400

450

Flow Rate, gal/min


Fig. A-10 Dimensionless Cuttings Bed Height vs. Flow Rate (0.45
mm Cuttings, 90 deg).

SPE 104192

40

Water, 0 rpm
Water, 40 rpm
Water, 80 rpm
PAC, 0 rpm

0.8

PAC, 40 rpm
PAC, 80 rpm

30

Predicted, %

Dimensionless Bed Height, H/D

0.6

0.4

20

10
0.2

0
150

0
200

250

300

350

400

450

10

20

30

40

Experimental, %

Flow Rate, gal/min


Fig. A-11 Dimensionless Cuttings Bed Height vs. Flow Rate (1.4
mm Cuttings, 90 deg).

Fig. A-14
Predicted Cuttings Volumetric Concentration vs.
Experimental Data for Water.

40

0.8

Predicted, %

Abed / Aannu

30

0.6

Water, predicted

0.4

Water, measured

10

PAC, predicted

0.2

20

PAC, measured
0
150

200

250

300

350

400

450

10

Flow Rate, gal/min

Abed / Aannu

Fig. A-15 Predicted Cuttings Volumetric Concentration vs.


Experimental Data for PAC Solutions.

Vsl

0.8

Fr =

0.6

Rdp =
Water, predicted

Ta =

Water, measured
PAC, predicted
PAC, measured
0
150

40

Appendix B
Definitions of the Dimensionless Groups
The four dimensionless groups are defined as,

0.2

30

Experimental, %

Fig. A-12 Comparison of Measured and Predicted Cuttings Bed


Area from a Three-Layer Model (0.45 mm, 90 deg).

0.4

20

200

250

300

350

400

450

Flow Rate, gal/min


Fig. A-13 Comparison of Measured and Predicted Cuttings Bed
Area from a Three-Layer Model (1.4 mm , 90 deg).

g (D d )

dp
Dd

(B-1)

(B-2)

f ( d ) 2 n ( D d ) n
4k

(B-3)

and is hole angle in radian (dimensionless), where Vsl is


superficial fluid velocity, m/s, D is well bore diameter, in., d is
drill pipe outer diameter, in., dp is cuttings median diameter,
mm, k is fluid consistency index, Pa.sn, n is fluid behavior
index, f is fluid density, kg/m3, and is pipe rotary speed,
1/s.

SPE 104192

Appendix C
Given the following parameters, calculate Cv:
Hole inclination: 75 degrees
Hole diameter: D = 8 in.
Drill pipe ID: d = 4.5 in.
Drilling fluid density: f = 9 lbm/gal
Fluid behavior index: n = 0.8
Fluid consistency index: k = 0.1 lbf.sn/100ft2
Flow rate: Q = 350 gpm
Drill Pipe Rotational Speed : = 70 RPM
Cuttings median size: dp = 0.12 mm
Solution:
The given conditions are most close to the conditions for
Eq. 4, hence Eq. 4 will be used for Cv calculation.
(1) Convert the given units to SI units:
D = 0.2032 m
d
= 0.1143 m
f = 1078 kg/m3
k
= 0.048 Pa.sn
Q = 0.022 m3/s
dp = 0.00012 m
= 7.33 s-1
(2) Calculate superficial liquid velocity, Vsl:
V sl =

(D 2 d 2 )

0 . 022
2
0 . 1143 2 )
4

( 0 . 2032

(C-1)
= 0.99 (m / s )
(3) Calculate the dimensionless groups needed in Eq. 4 for
cuttings concentration:
Fr =

V sl
g (D d )

0 .99
9 .8 ( 0 .2032 0 .1143 )
= 1 . 06
=

Ta =

(C-2)

f ( d ) 2 n ( D d ) n
4k

1078 ( 7 . 33 0 . 1143 ) 2 0 .8 ( 0 . 2032 0 . 1143 ) 0 .8


4 0 . 048
(C-3)
= 655
=

75

180

= 1.31

(C-4)

(4) Calculate cuttings concentration:


0 . 651
C v = 0 . 32 F r
0 . 179 tanh( 1 1 . 63 10 4 Ta )
= 0 .32 1 .06 0.651 1 .31 0 .179 tanh( 1 1 .63 10 4 655 )
= 21 %

(C-5)