Real-Time Evaluation of Hole-Cleaning Conditions With a Transient Cuttings-Transport Model
- Eric Cayeux (IRIS) | Taiwo Mesagan (Statoil) | Sakti Tanripada (Statoil) | Mohamed Zidan (Statoil) | Kjell Kåre Fjelde (University of Stavanger)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- March 2014
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 5 - 21
- 2014.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 1.6.1 Drilling Operation Management, 1.7.7 Cuttings Transport, 1.7.2 Managed Pressure Drilling, 1.6 Drilling Operations
- transient model, real-time, hole cleaning
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During a drilling operation, a real-time analysis of surface and downhole measurements can give indications of poor hole cleaning. However, it is not always intuitive to understand how and where the cuttings are settling in the borehole because the transportation of cuttings and the formation of cuttings beds are largely influenced by the series of actions performed during the operation. With a transient cuttings-transport model, it is possible to get a continuously updated prognosis of the distribution of cuttings in suspension and in beds along the annulus. This information can be of prime importance for making decisions to deal with and prevent poor hole-cleaning conditions. A transient cuttings-transport model has been obtained by integrating closure laws for cuttings transport into a transient drilling model that accounts for both fluid transport and drillstring mechanics. This paper presents how this model was used to monitor two different drilling operations in the North Sea: one using conventional drilling and one using managed-pressure drilling (MPD). Some unknown parameters within the model (e.g., the size of the cuttings particles) were calibrated to obtain a better match with the top-side measurements (cuttings-flow rate, active pit reduction as a result of cuttings removal). With the calibrated model, the prediction of cuttings-bed locations was confirmed by actual drilling incidents such as packoffs and overpulls while tripping out of hole. On the basis of the calibrated transient cuttings-transport model, it is thereby possible to evaluate the adjustments of the drilling parameters that are necessary to stop and possibly remove the cuttings beds, thus giving the drilling team the opportunity to take remedial and preventive actions on the basis of quantitative evaluations, rather than solely on the intuition and experience of the decision makers.
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