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Research Papers: Petroleum Engineering

Drilling Fluid Density and Hydraulic Drag Reduction With Glass Bubble Additives

[+] Author and Article Information
Bahri Kutlu

Petroleum Engineering Department,
University of Tulsa,
17802 IH-10 West/Suite 300,
San Antonio, TX 78257
e-mail: bahri.kutlu@apachecorp.com

Nicholas Takach

Petroleum Engineering Department,
University of Tulsa,
800 S Tucker Drive,
Tulsa, OK 74104
e-mail: nicholas-takach@utulsa.edu

Evren M. Ozbayoglu

Petroleum Engineering Department,
University of Tulsa,
800 S Tucker Drive,
Tulsa, OK 74104
e-mail: evren-ozbayoglu@utulsa.edu

Stefan Z. Miska

Petroleum Engineering Department,
University of Tulsa,
800 S Tucker Drive,
Tulsa, OK 74104
e-mail: stefan-miska@utulsa.edu

Mengjiao Yu

Petroleum Engineering Department,
University of Tulsa,
800 S Tucker Drive,
Tulsa, OK 74104
e-mail: mengjiao-yu@utulsa.edu

Clara Mata

3M,
3M Center, 236-2A-07 Street,
Paul, MN 55144-1000
e-mail: cemata@mmm.com

1Present address: Apache Corporation, 17802 IH-10 West/Suite 300, San Antonio, TX 78257.

Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received October 28, 2014; final manuscript received April 11, 2017; published online May 11, 2017. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 139(4), 042904 (May 11, 2017) (11 pages) Paper No: JERT-14-1352; doi: 10.1115/1.4036540 History: Received October 28, 2014; Revised April 11, 2017

This study concentrates on the use of materials known as hollow glass spheres, also known as glass bubbles, to reduce the drilling fluid density below the base fluid density without introducing a compressible phase to the wellbore. Four types of lightweight glass spheres with different physical properties were tested for their impact on rheological behavior, density reduction effect, survival ratio at elevated pressures, and hydraulic drag reduction effect when mixed with water-based fluids. A Fann75 high pressure high temperature (HPHT) viscometer and a flow loop were used for the experiments. Results show that glass spheres successfully reduce the density of the base drilling fluid while maintaining an average of 0.93 survival ratio, the rheological behavior of the tested fluids at elevated concentrations of glass bubbles is similar to the rheological behavior of conventional drilling fluids and hydraulic drag reduction is present up to certain concentrations. All results were integrated into hydraulics calculations for a wellbore scenario that accounts for the effect of temperature and pressure on rheological properties, as well as the effect of glass bubble concentration on mud temperature distribution along the wellbore. The effect of drag reduction was also considered in the calculations.

Copyright © 2017 by ASME
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References

Figures

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Fig. 1

Density reduction of glass bubbles calculated using mass balance

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Fig. 2

A picture of dynamic testing facility (DTF) showing the three test sections and pressure measurement equipment

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Fig. 3

Schematic of dynamic testing facility

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Fig. 4

Density reduction of material 4 when mixed with water.The straight black line shows the calculated specific gravity values based on the manufacturer ratings. The dashed line is theaverage deviation from the calculated values for all measurements.

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Fig. 5

Density measurements obtained before and after high pressure experiments of material 1. Straight line indicate the expected density versus volumetric concentration of glass bubbles. Lower density data points show the density measurements before the fluid are subjected to 34.47 MPa (manufacturer rated collapse pressure of material 1). Higher density data points show the density measurements after high pressure experiments.

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Fig. 6

Density measurements obtained before and after high pressure experiments of material 4. Straight line indicate the expected density versus volumetric concentration of glass bubbles. Lower density data points show the density measurements before the fluid is subjected to 124.11 MPa (manufacturer rated collapse pressure of material 4). Higher density data points show the density measurements after high pressure experiments.

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Fig. 7

Specific gravity change and survival ratio calculated from HPHT (Fann 75) experiment results. Line with rhombus markers shows the SG increase after high pressure experiments (results are presented for each volumetric concentration). Specific gravity increase indicate collapse of the glass bubbles tested. Line with square markers shows the survival ratio of the glass bubbles calculated from aforementioned specific gravity changes.

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Fig. 8

Water + 2 kg/m3 XCD polymer rheogram comparison from different equipment and setups used in this project

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Fig. 9

2 kg/m3 XCD base fluid rheology at elevated pressures. Results are used during ECD simulations to account for the effect of pressure on viscosity of the fluid.

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Fig. 10

Flow curves obtained from flow loop experiments with material 1. Shear stress values increase with shear rate and concentration.

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Fig. 11

Rheological behavior of Water + 2 kg/m3 XCD fluid and fluids mixed with 0.3 v/v glass bubbles. Experiments showed similar rheological behavior for all material types.

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Fig. 12

Fluid apparent viscosity (SI units and Oilfield units) versus wall shear rate for base fluid and fluids mixed with material 1. Straight lines (except base fluid) show the estimates obtained from the modified Einstein viscosity model. Shear rate range spans the laminar and turbulent flow.

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Fig. 13

Friction factors calculated from experiments with material 1. Plot demonstrates the elevation of fanning friction factor with the increasing glass bubble volumetric concentration. Colebrook smooth and Virk's Asymptote shows the theoretical envelope expected for friction factors to lie within. (2.024 cm diameter pipe with smooth pipes.)

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Fig. 14

Flow loop test results showing drag reduction effect of glass bubbles when they are mixed with water + 2 kg/m3 XCD polymer (smooth pipe). Positive numbers indicate drag reduction and values in the X axis show the volumetric concentration of glass bubbles in the system.

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Fig. 15

Heatmap showing the percentage of hydraulic drag reduction on a wall shear rate versus volumetric concentration of glass bubbles plot. Positive numbers indicate drag reduction.

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Fig. 16

Drag reduction comparison of rough and smooth pipe. Experiments with smooth pipes showed higher drag reduction (positive numbers) compared to rough pipes.

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Fig. 17

Modeled pump pressure (line with square markers) at target depth during drilling operation (Y axis on left) versus volumetric concentration of glass bubbles in the system in a vertical well. Bottomhole ECD for the same cases are shown with the line with round markers (Y axis on right).

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Fig. 18

Modeled bottomhole pressure (sum of hydrostatic pressure and annular frictional pressure losses) and ECD estimates at target depth versus volumetric concentration of glass bubbles in the system for a vertical well

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Fig. 19

Modeled pump pressure (line with square markers) at target depth during drilling operation (Y axis on left) versus volumetric concentration of glass bubbles in the system for a long lateral section scenario. Bottomhole ECD for the same cases are shown with the line with rhombus markers (Y axis on right).

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Fig. 20

Modeled bottomhole pressure and ECD estimates at target depth versus volumetric concentration of glass bubbles in the system for a long lateral section scenario

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Fig. 21

Calculated mud temperature along the wellbore. Curve with elevated bottom hole temperature and lower surface return temperature show the estimate for fluid with 30% microsphere concentration. Curve with lower bottom hole temperature and higher surface return temperature show the calculated base fluid temperature profile.

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