The Optimal Range of the Nitrogen-Injection Rate in Shale-Gas Well Drilling
- Jun Li (China University of Petroleum) | Boyun Guo (University of Louisiana at Lafayette) | Gonghui Liu (Beijing Information Science & Technology University) | Wei Liu (China National Petroleum Corporation Drilling Research Institute)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- January 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 60 - 64
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.4.2 Gas Injection Methods, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 5.8.2 Shale Gas, 4.6 Natural Gas
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- 942 since 2007
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Given the downturn of natural-gas prices in North America, it is vitally important to reduce the cost of drilling shale-gas wells. Gas-percussion drilling with nitrogen gas recently has been used in shale-gas field development. It has increased footage capacity by approximately 60%. Because the rate of penetration (ROP) is fast in gas-percussion drilling, it requires injection of an adequate quantity of nitrogen gas to clean the hole. However, a high rate of gas injection often causes wellbore erosion and deviation problems. It is imperative to determine the optimal range of the nitrogen-gas injection rate that can mitigate the problem. This paper presents an analytical method for predicting the optimal range of the nitrogen-gas-injection rate required to balance the borehole-cleaning and -integrity issues. The optimal gas-injection rate was sought between the minimal value required for hole cleaning and the maximal permissible value to avoid hole erosion. The minimal value was determined on the basis of Angel's kinetic-energy theory for cuttings removal modified with Charles' theory of particle-grinding energy. The maximum required value was estimated by use of the sonic flow criterion at the bit. Good consistency was observed between the predicted optimal range of gas-injection rate and field problem-free nitrogen-gas-injection rates. This paper provides drilling engineers a practical tool for designing the optimal range of nitrogen-gas-injection rate to cut shale-gas drilling cost.
|File Size||214 KB||Number of Pages||5|
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