Crossflow and Impact Under Jet Bits
- R.H. McLean (Humble Oil And Refining Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 1964
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,299 - 1,306
- 1964. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 4.3.4 Scale, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 1.6 Drilling Operations
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Jet impingement produces two mechanisms to clean the bottom of a borehole during jet-bit drilling operations. One is an impact-pressure wave in the immediate area of jet impingement. The other is cross flow, which spreads across the bottom away from the pressure wave. Measurements of the vertical distribution of the crossflow at several positions beneath a 4 3/4-in. tricone jet bit in a laboratory model show that the maximum velocity in the cross flow is directly proportional to the square root of the product of the rate of flow and the velocity of the jets through the nozzles (QV). Other measurements in the laboratory model show that gradients in the impact-pressure wave are directly proportional to the jet QV if the diameters of the nozzles are held constant. Consistency of the basic relationships through changes in the Reynolds numbers of the jets from 31,000 to 93,000 suggests that the laboratory results should be representative of typical flow in field operations having higher Reynolds numbers. Estimates of the impact-pressure waves under conditions other than those in the jet-bit model may be made by comparison with a less complex model-impingement of a jet against an unrestricted flat surface normal to the jet. Equations derived from current jet technology describe the wave in this simple system for a wide range of conditions.
The efficiency of rotary drilling operations is strongly linked to the efficiency with which cuttings are removed. Cuttings remaining on the bottom of the borehole will impede further penetration by the bit until they are removed. Wasteful regrinding is prevented if the fluid circulated past the bit removes cuttings as rapidly as they are made. Most investigations of bottom-hole cleaning under bits have been concerned with the rate-of-penetration effects of bit type, nozzle configuration, fluid properties, pressure gradients and utilization of hydraulic horsepower. These investigations have shown that drilling muds, weighted to keep the pressure in the borehole greater than in adjacent formations and carrying material which forms a filter cake, apparently plaster cuttings against the bottom, making them difficult to remove. In addition to a demonstration of the factors causing poor cleaning, the most significant result of these previous investigations has been the increased use of jet bits accompanied by better hydraulic programs and better selection of drilling fluids. Undoubtedly, these practices have improved bottom-hole cleaning, but rates of penetration when drilling with muds are still often lower than would be expected with perfect cleaning. Although there is general agreement with the concept that increasing hydraulic energy at a jet bit often increases the rate of penetration by improving cleaning, research workers have differed as to the best criterion for evaluating hydraulics. Some lean toward maximizing the product of the rate of flow and the velocity through the nozzles (QV); others prefer to maximize the hydraulic horsepower at the bit; still another says that neither criterion is universally suitable. This controversy shows that conclusive field evidence has not established the superiority of either of these criteria. Analysis of the fluid flow which cleans the bottom should contribute to resolving the controversy. Impinging jets clean the bottom by creating two mechanisms capable of dislodging cuttings. One is the impact from the momentum of the jet and the other is the flow parallel to the bottom away from the area of impingement. The impact force appears in the form of a pressure wave on the bottom and, in this paper, is called the impact-pressure wave. The flow parallel to the bottom is called crossflow. Fig. 1 illustrates these two mechanisms. This paper describes crossflow and the impact-pressure wave beneath jet bits and relates them to controllable parameters. Through these relations, criteria for use in designing hydraulics to achieve maximum use of the mechanisms of cleaning are derived.
PROPERTIES OF CROSSFLOW
CONCEPTS DEVELOPED IN PREVIOUS INVESTIGATIONS
Concepts of scavenging the bottom by crossflow have been well discussed by Bobo, et al. They examine the means by which crossflow may create forces on cuttings and conclude that the cleaning action of crossflow can be increased by increasing the velocity of the flow stream close to the bottom.
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