Research Papers: Deep-Water Petroleum

Flow Diverting for Reducing Wellbore Erosion in Gas-Drilling Shale Gas Wells

[+] Author and Article Information
Jun Li

College of Petroleum Engineering,
China University of Petroleum,
Beijing 102249, China

Boyun Guo

Department of Petroleum Engineering,
University of Louisiana at Lafayette,
Lafayette, LA 70504

Kegang Ling

Department of Petroleum Engineering,
University of North Dakota,
Grand Forks, ND 58203

Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received April 23, 2012; final manuscript received February 19, 2013; published online May 24, 2013. Assoc. Editor: Hong-Quan (Holden) Zhang.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 135(3), 031501 (May 24, 2013) (4 pages) Paper No: JERT-12-1084; doi: 10.1115/1.4023791 History: Received April 23, 2012; Revised February 19, 2013

With the downturn in natural gas prices, it is vitally important to reduce the cost of drilling shale gas wells. Gas-percussion drilling has been recently employed in shale gas field development. It increases footage capacity by nearly 60%. However, wellbore erosion by the high-velocity gas has been recognized as a problem that hinders further application of the technology. This paper investigates a potential solution to the problem using a new type of flow-diverting joint (FDJ). The FDJ with exchangeable nozzles can be installed at the shoulder of the drill collar to partially bypass gas flow into the annulus between the drill pipe and open hole. Hydraulics computations with a state-of-the-art computer program indicate that this technique will allow for the use of high-gas injection rate to carry drill cuttings while reducing the gas flow rate through the drill bit. As a result, the gas velocity in the drill collar–open hole annulus can be maintained at a safe level to prevent hole erosion. The reduced gas flow rate through the drill bit also minimizes wellbore enlargement at hole bottom. Sensitivity analyses with the computer program show that the FDJ-nozzle area to bit-nozzle area ratio is directly proportional to the annulus area ratio, and the bypassed flow rate fraction remains constant as drilling progresses. This makes the FDJ system easy to design and practical to use over a long section of hole to be drilled.

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Fig. 1

Flow diagram in the gas drilling system with FDJ installation

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Fig. 2

A sketch of a new type of flow-diverting joint (FDJ)

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Fig. 3

Kinetic energy index profile without FDJ (114 mm pipe and 159 mm collar)

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Fig. 4

Kinetic energy index profile with FDJ nozzle area 2.9 cm2 Ref. [2] (114 mm pipe, 159 mm collar, and 3 × 20 bit nozzles)

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Fig. 5

Relationship between nozzle area ratio and annulus area ratio (114 mm ∼ 127 mm pipe, 146 mm ∼ 159 mm collar and 3 × 20 bit nozzles)

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Fig. 6

Relationship between nozzle area ratio and annulus area ratio (114 mm ∼ 127 mm pipe, 146 mm ∼ 159 mm collar and 3 × 10 bit nozzles)

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Fig. 7

Change of flow rate ratio with depth (constant KEI = 1.2) for 3 × 20 bit nozzles

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Fig. 8

Change of flow rate ratio with depth (constant KEI = 1.2) for 3 × 10 bit nozzles



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