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

Claudia Zettner, SPE, ExxonMobil

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

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 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.

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

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

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

Fig. 3 Equilibrium Bed Height.

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)

(4)

0

4500

180

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).

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

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

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

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

= 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.

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

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

Fig. A-2 Cuttings Volumetric Concentration vs. Water Flow Rate

for Three Different Cuttings (40 RPM, 90deg).

40

1.4 mm, 70 deg

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.

30

0.45 mm, 90 deg

20

10

0

150

200

250

300

350

400

450

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

30

20

0.45 mm

10

1.4 mm

30

0.45 mm, 90 deg

20

10

3.3 mm

0

150

200

250

300

350

400

450

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

Fig. A-4 Cuttings Volumetric Concentration vs. Flow Rate with 80

RPM Pipe Rotation at Different Hole Angles Using PAC.

SPE 104192

40

40

30

1.4 mm, 200 gpm

1.4 mm, 300 gpm

20

0.45 mm, 200 gpm

0.45 mm, 300 gpm

10

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

350

400

450

mm Cuttings (70 deg).

40

40

300

at 70 Hole Angle Using PAC.

30

Water, 200 gpm

Water, 300 gpm

20

PAC, 200 gpm

10

PAC, 400 gpm

0

0

40

80

120

30

20

Water

10

0

150

160

PAC

200

250

300

350

30

Water, 200 gpm

Water, 300 gpm

Water, 400 gpm

PAC, 200 gpm

10

PAC, 400 gpm

0

0

40

80

120

450

Cuttings (70 deg).

40

20

400

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

250

160

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

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, %

0.6

0.4

20

10

0.2

0

150

0

200

250

300

350

400

450

10

20

30

40

Experimental, %

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

Abed / Aannu

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, %

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

0.4

20

200

250

300

350

400

450

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)

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

4 0 . 048

(C-3)

= 655

=

75

180

= 1.31

(C-4)

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)

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