Managing Suspension Characteristics of Lost-Circulation Materials in a Drilling Fluid
- Sandeep D. Kulkarni (Halliburton) | Dale E. Jamison (Halliburton) | Kushabhau D. Teke (Halliburton) | Sharath Savari (Halliburton)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- January 2016
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 310 - 315
- 2015.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Lost Circulation, fibers, Sedimentation, suspension, Drilling Fluids
- 5 in the last 30 days
- 806 since 2007
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Lost-circulation materials (LCMs) are often used to mitigate the loss of drilling fluids into subterranean formations. Well-known LCMs include ground marble, graphitic carbon, and cellulosic particulates. The carrier fluid’s ability to suspend the LCMs (minimize settling) is critical in high-pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) or inclined wells. This study provides methods to help determine and manage suspension characteristics of LCMs in the fluid with the aid of certain suspending agents (e.g., fibers).
A detailed experimental study was conducted to evaluate the suspension of a range of LCMs in various drilling fluids and investigate the effects of suspending agents (e.g., fibers) on LCM suspension. On the basis of the experimental data, semiempirical models were developed to help predict the influence of fibers on LCM suspension. The design parameters used in these models included fiber concentration, fiber density, number of fibers per unit volume, and average fiber length and diameter. The modeling work discussed in this study also provides methods for tailoring the suspending-agent properties necessary for achieving effective LCM suspension in the fluid.
The uniform suspension of LCMs in the carrier treatment or drilling fluid is necessary during LCM pill preparation and during wellbore applications, such as a hesitation-squeeze operation. Thus, the use of fibers to manage the suspension characteristics of LCMs in carrier fluids can help ensure efficient use of LCMs for lost-circulation control. This method is particularly important in severe-loss zones where large-sized LCMs are used, as well as in HP/HT or inclined wells, where maintaining LCM in suspension can be challenging.
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