Research Papers: Petroleum Engineering

Performance Evaluation of a Highly Inhibitive Water-Based Drilling Fluid for Ultralow Temperature Wells

[+] Author and Article Information
Xin Zhao

School of Petroleum Engineering,
China University of Petroleum,
Qingdao, Shandong Province 266580, China;
National Engineering Laboratory for Testing and
Detection Technology of Subsea Equipments,
Huangdao District,
Qingdao, Shandong Province 266580, China
e-mail: zhaoxin@upc.edu.cn

Zhengsong Qiu

School of Petroleum Engineering,
China University of Petroleum,
Qingdao, Shandong Province 266580, China;
National Engineering Laboratory for Testing and
Detection Technology of Subsea Equipments,
Huangdao District,
Qingdao, Shandong Province 266580, China
e-mail: qiuzs63@sina.com

Mingliang Wang

School of Petroleum Engineering,
China University of Petroleum,
Huangdao District,
Qingdao, Shandong Province 266580, China
e-mail: wml19901221@126.com

Weian Huang

School of Petroleum Engineering,
China University of Petroleum,
Qingdao, Shandong Province 266580, China;
National Engineering Laboratory for Testing and
Detection Technology of Subsea Equipments,
Huangdao District,
Qingdao, Shandong Province 266580, China
e-mail: masterhuang1997@163.com

Shifeng Zhang

Department of Petroleum Engineering,
Texas Tech University,
Lubbock, TX 79409
e-mail: springwindzhang@163.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received December 21, 2016; final manuscript received August 15, 2017; published online September 12, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Daoyong (Tony) Yang.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 140(1), 012906 (Sep 12, 2017) (9 pages) Paper No: JERT-16-1518; doi: 10.1115/1.4037712 History: Received December 21, 2016; Revised August 15, 2017

Drilling fluid with proper rheology, strong shale, and hydrate inhibition performance is essential for drilling ultralow temperature (as low as −5 °C) wells in deepwater and permafrost. In this study, the performance of drilling fluids together with additives for ultralow temperature wells has been evaluated by conducting the hydrate inhibition tests, shale inhibition tests, ultralow temperature rheology, and filtration tests. Thereafter, the formulation for a highly inhibitive water-based drilling fluid has been developed. The results show that 20 wt % NaCl can give at least a 16-h safe period for drilling operations at −5 °C and 15 MPa. Polyalcohol can effectively retard pore pressure transmission and filtrate invasion by sealing the wellbore above the cloud point, while polyetheramine can strongly inhibit shale hydration. Therefore, a combination of polyalcohol and polyetheramine can be used as an excellent shale stabilizer. The drilling fluid can prevent hydrate formation under both stirring and static conditions. Further, it can inhibit the swelling, dispersion, and collapse of shale samples, thereby enhancing wellbore stability. It has better rheological properties than the typical water-based drilling fluids used in onshore and offshore drilling at −5 °C to 75 °C. In addition, it can maintain stable rheology after being contaminated by 10 wt % NaCl, 1 wt % CaCl2, and 5 wt % shale cuttings. The drilling fluid developed in this study is therefore expected to perform well in drilling ultralow temperature wells.

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Fig. 1

Photographs of hydrate formation after the completion of 16-h tests: (a) 10 wt % NaCl, (b) 20 wt % glycol, (c) 20 wt % NaCl, (d) 30 wt % glycol, and (e) 40 wt % glycol

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Fig. 2

Pore pressure transmission curves

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Fig. 3

Scanning electron microscope images of shale core after interacting with polyalcohol [27]: (a) 1500 times magnification and (b) 6000 times magnification

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Fig. 4

Comparison of shale cuttings recovery of different shale inhibitors

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Fig. 5

Variations in temperature and pressure as a function of time in hydrate inhibition performance tests: (a) stirring and (b) static

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Fig. 6

Comparison of shale cuttings recovery of HIWBDF and KCl/polymer drilling fluid

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Fig. 7

Photographs of shale core samples after being soaked in different solutions: (a) soaked in 10 wt % NaCl solution for 10 s; (b) soaked in HIWBDF for 10 s; (c) soaked in KCl/polymer drilling fluid for 10 s; (d) soaked in 10 wt % NaCl solution for 3 min; (e) soaked in HIWBDF for 24 h; and (f) soaked in KCl/polymer drilling fluid for 24 h

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Fig. 9

Rheological properties of HIWBDF before and after contamination

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Fig. 8

Rheology comparison of HIWBDF with other drilling fluids



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