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(1) The mud removes well cuttings from the bottom of the well to allow drilling to
continue. Without removing the cuttings, drilling would have to stop every few feet
to remove the cuttings that clog up the bottom of the well as has to be done on a cable
tool drilling rig.
(2) As the mud flows across the bit, it cleans the cuttings from the teeth.
(3) The drilling mud also cools and lubricates the bit.
(4) In very soft sediments, the jetting action of the drilling mud squirting out of the bit
helps cut the well.
(5)The drilling mud also controls pressure in the well and prevents blowouts.
At the bottom of the well, there are two fluid pressures. Pressure on fluids in the
pores of the rock (reservoir or fluid pressure) tries to force the fluids to flow through
the rock and into the well. Pressure exerted by the weight of the drilling mud filling
the well tries to force the drilling mud into the surrounding rocks.
If the pressure on the fluid
in the subsurface rock is greater
than the pressure of the drilling
mud (underbalance), water, gas,
or oil will flow out of the rock into
the well. This can cause the sides
of the well to cave in, trapping the
equipment. In extreme cases, it
can cause a blowout where fluids
flow uncontrolled and often
violently onto the surface.
In order to control
subsurface fluid pressure, the
weight of the drilling mud is
adjusted to exert a greater
pressure on the bottom of the well
than the pressure on the fluid in
the rocks (overbalance).
Some of the drilling mud is then forced into the surrounding rocks during
drilling. The rocks act as a filter, and the solid mud particles are plastered to
the sides of the well to form a filter or mud cake as the fluids enter the rock.
The filter cake is very hard. It stabilizes the sides of the well and prevents
subsurface fluids from flowing into the well.
After a well has been drilled, the drilling mud is disposed of and not reused.
If it is fresh water drilling mud, it can be spread on the adjacent land to
fertilize the crops (land farming). Salt water, oilbased, and emulsion
drilling mud, however, usually have to be trucked away to a disposal site.
On an offshore drilling rig, a barge can be used to bring the mud ashore to a
disposal site.
The kelly cock (Fig. ), a valve, is
used either above or below the
kelly. It allows drilling mud to
be circulated down the
drillstring but can be closed by
hand with a hexagonal wrench
to prevent fluids from flowing
up the drillstring. The kelly
cock is closed during making a
connection to prevent mud
from spilling out of the kelly.
Fig. Kelly cock with wrench
In general
The concept that a fluid cannot maintain a rigid shape is a basic, but
important characteristic, which means that fluids cannot sustain a shear
stress (a tangential force applied to the surface).
Rheology is the study of the deformation of fluids.
The fluid flow behavior is described by an applied shear stress and the
resulting shear rate within that fluid.
Two parallel fluid layers are separated by a distance dy. An applied
force, F, acting over an area, A, causes the layers to slide past one
another. The resistance to this sliding movement, the frictional
drag, is called shear stress.
Shear stress, t, is defined as the force per unit area required to
sustain a constant rate of fluid movement.
Or, an applied force, F, acting along a unit surface area, A, tending
to deform the fluid element.
shear rate: Consider that a fluid is placed between two parallel plates that
are 1.0 cm apart, the upper plate moving at a velocity of 1.0 cm/sec and the
lower plate fixed. The fluid layer at the lower plate is not moving and the layer
nearest the top plate is moving at 1.0 cm/sec. Halfway between the plate, a
layer is moving at 0.5 cm/sec. The velocity gradient is the rate of change of
velocity with distance from the plates. This simple case shows the uniform
velocity gradient with shear rate (v1  v2)/h = shear rate = (cm/sec)/(cm/1) =
1/sec.
Shear rate, ¸, is the velocity gradient, i.e., is the rate of change of velocity at
which one layer of fluid passes over an adjacent layer.
Mathematically:
dv
dy
¸ =
F
A
t =
It has been shown experimentally that the force per unit area (shear
stress) applied to a fluid is proportional to the velocity change of two
fluid layers (shear rate) a unit distance apart:
where n (power index) depends on the type of fluid.
DRILLING FLUIDS
Time dependent
Fluid
Newtonian
Fluids
Non Newtonian
Fluids
Pseudoplastic
Power law
Herschel
Bulkley
Bingham plastic
Dilatant
DRILLING FLUIDS
Newtonian fluid
Newtonian fluids are those whose flow behavior
call be fully described by a single term called
the Newtonian viscosity, µ .
For these fluids. examples of which include
water and light oil.
The shear stress is related to shear rate linearly
with the proportionality constant being the
Newtonian constant viscosity, µ .
In engineering units,
t is in dyne/cm
2
= 4.79 lbs/100 ft
2
¸ is in s
1
µ is in poise= dyne x s/cm
2
The field unit of viscosity is the centipoise (1
poise = 100 centipoise). The field unit of shear
stressis lbs/100 ft
2
.
t µ¸ =
nonNewtonian fluid
•A fluid whose viscosity is not
constant at all shear rates and does
not behave like a Newtonian fluid.
•Most successful drilling fluids are
nonNewtonian.
•Within that group are several
general types and rheological
mathematical models to describe
them.
•Pseudoplastic is a general type of
shearthinning, nonNewtonian
behavior that is desirable for drilling
fluids.
Pseudoplastic
Pseudoplastic is a general type of
shearthinning, (i.e., the apparent
viscosity decreases as the shear rate
increases) nonNewtonian behavior
that is desirable for drilling fluids.
Pseudoplastic rheology: low viscosity
at high shear rates and high viscosity
at low shear rates, benefits several
aspects of drillinghigher drilling rate
and improved cuttings lifting.
Bingham plastic and powerlaw
models describe a psuedoplastic
behavior using only two
measurements (two parameters).
The HerschelBulkley model is a
threeparameter rheological model
t µ¸ =
( )
n
K t ¸ =
y p
t t µ ¸ = +
( )
n
y
K t t ¸ = +
Source / Illustrations: glossary.oilfield.slb.com
Bingham plastic model. Fluids that
conform to the Bingham plastic model
do not have a constant viscosity and
require a certain minimum stress to
initiate flow. The yield point, or
threshold stress, is the y intercept.
Bingham Plastics include thickened
hydrocarbon greases, certain asphalts
and bitumen, some emulsions
PV should be as low as possible for
fast drilling and is best achieved by
minimizing colloidal solids.
YP must be high enough to carry
cuttings out of the hole, but not so
large as to create excessive pump
pressure when starting mud flow.
DRILLING FLUIDS
y p
t t µ ¸ = +
Powerlaw fluid
A fluid described by the twoparameter rheological model of a pseudo
plastic fluid, or a fluid whose viscosity decreases as shear rate increases
In this equation, K is the consistency index and n is the flow behavior
index. The flow behavior index is readily determined as the slope of a
plot of t vs ¸ on logarithmic coordinates. The value of n is less than
unity for Power Law .
Example: Waterbase polymer muds, especially those made with XC
polymer
( )
n
K t ¸ =
DRILLING FLUIDS
HerschelBulkley fluid (Yield Power Law)
A fluid described by a threeparameter
rheological model. A HerschelBulkley
fluid can be described mathematically as
follows:
Many claywater behave as Herschel
Bulkley fluid
( )
n
y
K t t ¸ = +
DRILLING FLUIDS
Some Important Definitions
Viscosity : Viscosity is the internal resistance of a fluid to flow. It is equal to the
ratio of shearing stress to the rate of shearing strain.
Plastic Viscosity : The plastic viscosity is the part of the flow resistance of the
fluid caused by mechanical friction within the fluid.
This mechanical friction is due to
1. the interaction of individual solid particles,
2. solid and liquid particles
3. the deformation (shearing) of the liquid particles under shear stress.
The amount of solid particles, their size, distribution and their shape have direct
effect on the plastic viscosity.
Yield Stress : The yield stress is the part of the flow resistance of the fluid caused
by electrochemical forces within the fluid.
These electrochemical forces are due to
1. the electrical charges on the surface of reactive particles,
2. the electrical charges on the submicron particles
3. the presence of the electrolytes in the case of waterbase muds.
Effective Circulating Viscosity
Most drilling muds commonly used in the field exhibit viscous
properties which are shear rate dependent. During normal drilling, the
mud being circulated experiences different velocities in the various
sections of the circulating system ranging from practically 0 ft/s in the
pits to over 300 ft/s across the jets of the drill bit. These wide ranging
velocities give rise to mud shear rates of less than 5 sec
1
in mud pits to
over 100,000 sec
1
across the bit jets.
The effective circulating viscosity: therefore, can be defined as the
viscosity of the mud at a given shear rate in a particular section of the
circulating system under given conditions of pressure and temperature.
where µ
e
is in cp, K is in lbf/ft
2
(sec
1
)
n
, annular velocity, v
a,
is in ft/s and
wellbore diameter, D
w
, and pipe diameter, D
p
, are in inches.
1
47913.6
n
a
e
w p
v
K
D D
µ
÷
 
=


÷
\ .
1. Place a freshly stirred sample in a
container and immerse the rotorsleeve
exactly to the scribed line.
2. Start the motor by placing the switch in
the highspeed position with the gear
shift all the way down. Wait for a steady
indicator dial value, and record the 600
RPM reading. Change gears only when
motor is running.
3. Change switch to the 300RPM speed.
Wait for a steady value and record 300
RPM reading.
4. Plastic viscosity in centipoise = 600
reading minus 300 reading (see Figure).
5. Yield Point in lb/100 ft2 = 300 reading
minus plastic viscosity in centipoise.
6. Apparent viscosity in centipoise = 600
reading divided by 2.
Field measurements of viscosity:
Newtonian Fluid :
where µ is the Newtonian viscosity in cp, u
N
is the viscometer dial
reading at rotational speed, N.
Bingham Plastic Fluid :
For N=300 and 600 rpm:
where µ
p
is the plastic viscosity in cp, t
y
is the yield point in lbf/100 ft
2
t µ¸ =
300
N
N
u
µ =
y p
t t µ ¸ = +
300
y
N
p
N N
t
u
µ
 
= ÷

\ .
600 300 p
µ u u = ÷
300 600
2
y
t u u = ÷
DRILLING FLUIDS
Power Law Fluid and HerschelBulkley fluid (Yield Power Law):
In filed units, ( Power Law )
where n is the Power Law index, K is the consistency index in eq.cp and
u
o
is the zero gel in lbf/100 ft
2
. The shear rate, ¸ (sec
1
), can be expressed
in terms of N as
( )
n
K t ¸ =
2
3.32log
N o
N o
n
u u
u u
 
÷
=

÷
\ . ( )
N o
n
N
K
u u
¸
÷
=
( )
( )
510
N
n
N
K
u
¸
=
DRILLING FLUIDS
1.704N ¸ =
Flow Regimes: A range of stream
flows having similar bed forms, flow
resistance, and means of transporting .
Laminar flow is a streamline flow
where all fluid particles move along
lines parallel to the axis of the conduit,
and adjacent fluid layers slip past each
other with no mixing of particles. In
steady state conditions, inside circular
conduits, laminar flow can be visualized
as a series of concentric cylinders
slipping pass one another as shown in
figure.
As the fluid velocity becomes higher,
The particle travel in irregular paths
with no observable pattern and no
definite layer.
Turbulent flow is characterized by the
irregular movement of particles of the
fluid.
Turbulent Flow is the type of
flow regime found inside the
drill string during drilling
operations.
Since high mud velocities are
required to achieve turbulent flow,
this results in high pressure drops.
This type of flow is generally not
desired in the annulus due to its
tendency to cause excessive hole
erosion and high “equivalent
circulating densities”.
However, turbulent flow can
move the mud like a plug, causing
the mud to move at approximately
the same rate. This provides for
better hole cleaning and is
sometimes required on high angle
holes.
The Reynolds number Re is a dimensionless number that gives a measure of the ratio of
inertial forces to viscous forces. It is generally used to determine whether a flow regime is
laminar or turbulent. For Newtonian straight pipe flow, it has been established
experimentally that the critical Reynolds number, i.e., the number above which flow is no
more laminar, has a value approximately equal to 2100. Mathematically, Reynolds number is
given by
where µ is the fluid density, v is the average fluid velocity, D is the pipe diameter
and µ is the fluid viscosity. In field units, N
Re
can be expressed as
where µ is in ppg, v is in ft/s, D is in in and µ is in cp.
Re
v D
N
µ
µ
=
Re
928 v D
N
µ
µ
=
Filtrate/Water Loss and Filter Cake Thickness
These two properties shall be dealt with together, as it is the filtration of
mud that causes the build up of filter cake.
Filtration is defined as the loss of the liquid phase of a drilling fluid
into permeable formations.
What happen during the filtration?
when the permeability is such that it allows fluid to pass through the
pore spaces, Loss of fluid (usually water and soluble chemicals) from
the mud to the formation occurs. As fluid is lost, a build up of mud
solids occurs on the face of the wellbore. This is the filter cake.
Permeability: The ability, or measurement of a rock's ability, to transmit
fluids
DRILLING FLUIDS
DRILLING FLUIDS
Two types of filtration occur; dynamic, while circulating
and static, while the mud is at rest.
Dynamic filtration reaches a constant rate when the rate of
erosion of the filter cake due to circulating matches the rate
of deposition of the filter cake. Static filtration will cause
the cake to grow thicker with time, which results in a
decrease in loss of fluids with time.
The problems associated with high fluid loss are:
Formation damage
Formation evaluation difficulties
Wellbore instability
Cementing difficulties
Mud measurements are confined
to the static filtration. Filtration
characteristics of a mud are
determined by means of a filter
press.
The standard test is conducted at
surface temperature at 100 psi and
is recorded as the number of ml's
of fluid lost in 30 minutes.
An API high pressure/high
temperature (Hp/Ht) test is
conducted at 300° F and 500 psi.;
DRILLING FLUIDS
The residue deposited on a permeable medium when a slurry, such as a drilling
fluid, is forced against the medium under a pressure.
Filtrate is the liquid that passes through the medium, leaving the cake on the
medium.
Most of these problems are caused by the filter cake and not the amount
of filtration because the aim is to deposit a thin, impermeable filter cake.
The cake quality depend on
low water loss
Solids size and it’s distribution into mud system
Differential Pressure also affects filtration by compressing the
filter cake, reducing its permeability
Increased temperature has the effect of reducing the viscosity of
the liquid phase and hence increasing filtration.
DRILLING FLUIDS
Filter cake
Fluid loss agents
Clays(such az:Bentonite)
Starch
Water soluble polymers
Sodium CarboxylMethyl Cellulose (CMC)
polyanoinic cellulose
The following are the high point summary in discussion of filtration:
Aim is Deposition of thin, compressible and impermeable filter cake
Minimization of fluid loss is not equivalent to cake thickness minimization
Amount and type of solids are very important to the type of filter cake that
will be deposited
Bentonite is an excellent filtration additive
Formation characteristics must be considered and controlled
The mud in all cases must be designed to have a minimum amount of total
solids
DRILLING FLUIDS
Hydrostatic head is determined by:
Example:
After penetrating a hydrocarbon bearing formation, the
fluid depth configuration is developed as shown in
figure. What is the pressure at the bottom of the well ?
Note that the circulation is stopped.
True vertical depth : 3700 ft.
Casing inner diameter : 8 in.
Bit diameter : 7
7/8
in.
Pipe outer diameter : 4
1/2
in.
Drill collar outer diameter : 6
3/4
in.
Mud density : 10.2 ppg
Oil density : 5 ppg
Gas density : 1 ppg
DRILLING FLUIDS
f
P g h µ =
P = 400 psi
Casing shoe
@ 2600 ft
750 ft
420 ft
400 ft
GOC
MGC
Mud weighting mathematical relations
Material balance equation:
are the final mixture weight, the original
liquid weight. and the added material weight respectively.
Volume balance equation:
are the final mixture volume, the original
liquid volume. and the added material volume respectively.
DRILLING FLUIDS
Since
By using the equation above, the weight of material that has to be added can
be derived as:
With a similar approach, the amount of liquid volume, V
L
, with density, µ
L
,
required to prepare a mud of total volume, V
f
, having density, µ
f
, can be
determined as:
W
V
µ =
final
added initial added initial
final final added initial
W
W W W W
µ µ µ µ
+
= = +
1
final initial
added initial
final
initial
added
W W
µ µ
µ
µ
µ
 

÷

=

 
÷



\ .
\ .
1
1
f
added
L f
L
added
V V
µ
µ
µ
µ
 
÷


=

÷

\ .
For practical purposes, the following equations are commonly used based on the
similar approach presented above. In order to calculate the amount of weight material
required to increase the mud weight (or density) of 100 bbl of mud and the resulting
increase in the volume of the mud is given, respectively, by
and
where X is the number of 100 lbsacks of weighting material required, Y is the
increase in the volume due to the weighting material in bbl, sp.gr. is the specific
gravity of the weighting material, i.e., for barite, 4.3, µ
1
is the original mud weight in
ppg, and µ
2
is the final mud weight in ppg.
( )( )
( )
2 1
2
350 . .
8.33 . .
sp gr
X
sp gr
µ µ
µ
÷
=
÷
( )
( )
2 1
2
100
8.33 . .
Y
sp gr
µ µ
µ
÷
=
÷
Also, the number of sacks of weighting material required to prepare exactly 100 bbl
of mud of weight µ
2
in ppg, is determined by
The volume of original mud of weight µ
1
ppg which will be required is given by
( )( )
( )
2 1
1
350 . .
8.33 . .
sp gr
X
sp gr
µ µ
µ
÷
=
÷
( ) ( )
( )
2
1
100 8.33 . .
8.33 . .
sp gr
Y
sp gr
µ
µ
÷
=
÷
Example #1: Calculate how many sacks of barite are required to
increase the density of an 800 barrel mud system from 12.7 lb/gal to
14.5 lb/gal.
Example Problem #2: Calculate how much water and barite are
required to make 800 barrels of a 10.5 lb/gal waterbased drilling
mud.
Example: The geometric configuration of a drilling well is as follows:
True vertical depth : 4000 ft, Casing shoe @ 3000 ft, Casing ID : 8 in,
Pipe OD : 4
1/2
in, Pipe ID : 4 in, Drill collar OD : 6
1/2
in, Drill collar ID
: 4 in, Length of collars : 600 ft, Bit size : 7
1/2
in, Mud pit : 10 ft x 20 ft x
7 ft, Surface mud lines : 5 bbl, Mud weight : 9.6 ppg, Specific gravity
of barite : 4.3.
How much weighting material is required to increase the mud weight
to 11 ppg ?
DRILLING FLUIDS SELECTION: how to plan a mud program
 obtain pore pressures and casing program; set mud weights
 look for geological hazards, check hole geometry, ECDs and hydraulics;
set optimum viscosities
 establish maxi fluid loss by intervals; set other critical properties (sand
content, pH, …)
 select mud type by interval; check mud program against other phases of
well plan for possible conflict
 write mud systems composition; determine material requirements
 develop contingency plan for kicks, hole trouble
Note: Drilling fluids specialists, usually associated with Service Companies
can provide valuable expertise/assistance to the well planner.
Time
dependent
Fluid
Newtonian
Fluids
Non
Newtonian
Fluids
Power law
Fluids
Yield Power law
Fluids
Dilatant Fluids
Bingham Fluids
DRILLING FLUIDS
) 511 (
300
n
K
u
=
( )
300
600
log 32 . 3
u
u
= n
2
3.32log
N o
N o
n
u u
u u
 
÷
=

÷
\ .
( )
N o
n
N
K
u u
¸
÷
=
DRILLING FLUIDS
1.704N ¸ =
( )
n
K t ¸ =
( )
( )
510
N
n
N
K
u
¸
=
Power Law Fluid and HerschelBulkley fluid (Yield Power Law):
There are different models proposed to express this relation between the shear
stress and shear rate as shown in the figure.
t µ¸ =
( )
n
K t ¸ =
y p
t t µ ¸ = +
DRILLING FLUIDS
( )
n
y
K t t ¸ = +
DRILLING FLUIDS
Newtonian Fluids : Newtonian fluids are sonamed because their
rheological behavior follows the postulation of Newton that fluids
might be expected to respond to an applied shearing stress by flowing
in a manner such that the velocity gradient is strictly proportional to
the applied stress.
where µ is the constant of proportionality in the relationship
characteristic of the Newtonian fluid, which is known as the viscosity of
the fluid and this single property defines the rheological behavior of
fluids which follow the relation presented above. Viscosity can be
determined from the slope of the rheogram (t vs ¸) of a Newtonian
fluid. Water, air and glycerin are the examples of Newtonian fluids.
t µ¸ =
DRILLING FLUIDS
Pseudoplastic Fluids : Pseudoplastic fluids are those fluids whose
behavior is timeindependent, for which an infinitesimal shear stress
will initiate motion, and for which the rate of increase in shear stress
with velocity gradient decreases with increasing velocity gradient. This
type of behavior is widely encountered in solutions or suspensions in
which large molecules or fine particles form loosely bounded
aggregates or alignment groupings that are stable and reproducible at
any given shear rate, but which rapidly and reversibly break down or
reform with increase or decrease in shear rate. A number of drilling
fluids fall in this category. There is no single or simple form of
constitutive equation that accurately describes the rheological behavior
of pseudoplastics, although several empirical equations are useful over
limited ranges of velocity gradient. Even the simplest bust most limited
of these involves two constants to characterize the fluid as compared
with the single property for Newtonians. Some of these equations
incorporate three or more such constants.
DRILLING FLUIDS
Power Law is the most widely used model in engineering calculations.
It is presented as
In this equation, K is the consistency index and n is the flow behavior
index. The flow behavior index is readily determined as the slope of a
plot of t vs ¸ on logarithmic coordinates. The value of n is less than
unity for pseudoplastics.
Other wellknown pseudoplastic models available in the literature are:
PrandtlEyring
Ellis
ReinerPhilippoff
Sisko
Cross
Meter
( )
n
K t ¸ =
DRILLING FLUIDS
suspensions of clay, fly ash, finely divided minerals, quartz, and paint
systems. Some of the drilling muds fall in this category. The constitutive
equation for a Bingham fluid is
where t
y
is the yield stress and µ
p
is the coefficient of rigidity, socalled
plastic viscosity. The yield stress is obtained by extrapolation to zero
velocity gradient and the coefficient of rigidity corresponds with the
slope of the line of the plot of a t vs ¸ graph.
YieldPseudoplastics : A number of materials exhibit a yield stress, as in
the case of Bingham plastics, but the relationship between the shearing
stress in excess of that initiating flow and the resulting velocity gradient
is not linear. Commonly, the relationship exhibits convexity to the shear
stress axis, and fluids showing this behavior may be called yield
pseudoplastics.
y p
t t µ ¸ = +
DRILLING FLUIDS
Many claywater and similar suspensions like drilling muds behave as
yieldpseudoplastics. As in the case of pseudoplastics, there is no single
theoretically based constitutive equation for yieldpseudoplastics, but
any of the empirical equations for pseudoplastics may be modified for
yieldpseudoplastics. Illustrating this for the Power Law equation;
This threeparameter equation is also known as HershelBulkley
equation, describes the behavior of yieldpseudoplastics reasonably
well except at high shear rates.
( )
n
y
K t t ¸ = +
DRILLING FLUIDS
• The optimum utilization of mud pump
horsepower is of significant importance in
rotary drilling operations. Drill bit
hydraulics is generally associated with the
use of jet bits
The purpose of the jet nozzles is to improve the cleaning
action of the drilling fluid at the bottom of the hole.
Drilled cuttings of rocks that are not efficiently removed
from underneath the bit, will be regrinded and, hence, will
cause wasteful bit wear and drilling time, and therefore,
higher drilling cost.
Current field practice in bit hydraulic design involves the
selection of an optimum flow rate and corresponding
optimum bit nozzle sizes that maximize one of the
following parameters:
a) Bit hydraulics b) Jet impact force c)Jet nozzle velocity
We are now facing with wells which are more difficult to drill. Also, we are
required to make the wells more cost effective.
The result of these requirements is to put more emphasis on the well
design process.
Easy for implementation.
The design should also provide flexibility
Cost effectiveness.
Significant importance in rotary drilling operations:
Trajectory design
Select optimal mud weight
Determinate the casing setting depths
Hydraulic program design
Bit hydraulic design
Design the casing
Design the cement program
Design the drill string
Current field practice in bit hydraulic design involves the selection of
an optimum flow rate and corresponding optimum bit nozzle sizes that
maximize one of the following parameters:
a) Bit hydraulics
b) Jet impact force
c)Jet nozzle velocity
The purpose of the jet nozzles is to improve the cleaning action of the
drilling fluid at the bottom of the hole.
Insufficient hole cleaning
regrinded
wasteful bit wear
high drilling time
higher drilling cost
Pump Pressure Requirement in
Rotary Drilling
The available pump surface
pressure
p s dp dc adc adp b
P P P P P P P = + + + + +
b f p
P P P + =
Hydraulic Power Requirements
Hydraulic power is defined as the product of a flow rate, Q, and a
corresponding pressure, P, such that
where P is in psi, Q is in gpm and HP is in horsepower. Using Pp
definition,
1714
p
PQ
HP =
b f p
P P P + =
b f p
QP QP QP + =
p f b
HP HP HP = +
Example
A 15000 ft well is to be drilled. It has been determined that,
for a flow rate of 350 gpm, the pressure losses in the well
will be as follows; inside the drillpipes, 0.1 psi/ft, inside the
drill collars, 0.3 psi/ft, between the wellbore and drill
collars, 0.07 psi/ft, between the wellbore and drillpipes,
0.01 psi/ft, pressure loss at the bit is 2200 psi, and at the
surface connections, equivalent to 600 ft drillpipe. Drill
collar length is 1000 ft. Determine the minimum required
pump pressure and hydraulic horsepower if the pump
efficiency is 80%.
psi
Since the pump efficiency is 80%, HP
p
will be
HP
adc adp dc dp s f
P P P P P P + + + + =
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) ( )
0.1 14000 0.3 1000 0.07 1000 0.01 14000 0.1 600 2200 4170
p
P = + + + + + =
( )( )
4170 350
1
1064.4
1470 0.8
P
HP = =
Simple Equation To Perform Pressure Drop Calculations
For a Newtonian fluid in Laminar region,
For a Newtonian fluid in Turbulent region,
2
32 P v
L D
µ A
=
A
Q P
f
µ ~
2
2
f
f v
P
L D
µ
A
=
A
2
fQ P
f
µ ~
In a well, we have a mixture of flow regimes.
c is a constant and a function of mud flow properties, hole
geometry, pipe geometry, depth, etc,
m is a flow exponent that varies between 1 and 2, and can
be measured in the field.
If no information is available, a value of 1.86 is assumed.
Therefore,
b
m
p
P cQ P + =
m
f
cQ P =
Determination of m
m
f
cQ P =
T
a
k
i
n
g
l
o
g
a
r
i
t
h
m
( ) ( ) ( ) ( ) Q m c cQ P
m
f
ln ln ln ln + = =
If arbitrary two flowrate
vs frictional pressure loss
data is known, m can be
determined by


.

\



.

\

=
2
1
2
1
ln
ln
Q
Q
P
P
m
f
f
Determination of m
In the field, during a drilling operation, data is always recorded
regarding with the flow rate, pump pressure, nozzle information, etc.
( )
( )
2 2
2
2
5
2
2 2
2
1
5
1
10 3 . 8
10 3 . 8
d t
p f
d t
p f
C A
Q
P P
C A
Q
P P
µ
µ
÷
÷
×
÷ =
×
÷ =
Therefore, for arbitrary
points, P
f
can be expressed
as
b f p
P P P + =
Example
A well is being drilled at 12000 ft while using a 15.5 ppg mud
and a drill bit having 141414 nozzles. At flow rates of 400
gpm and 300 gpm, the circulating stand pipe pressure were
recorded to be 4622 psi and 2880 psi, respectively.
Determine the flow exponent, m&c
Example
From an exploration well, the following system losses
or parasitic losses have been measured at different well
depths (Table). show the continuous pressure drop
flow rate behavior
depth(ft) Pressure Loss (psi) Q(gpm)
4000 1400 600
4000 2225 800
7200 1500 500
7200 3200 800
10500 1800 500
10500 3845 800
Typical optimization criteria are
The maximization of the hydraulic energy delivered
through the bit nozzles,
The maximization of the jet impact force.
(Drilling Engineering, J.J.Azar & G. Robello Samuel Publisher:
PennWell , 2007 page 141170)
Although these criteria seem reasonable at a first glance,
a closer look at the total hydraulic system reveals that they
may have limitations.
hydraulic optimization problem in a nontraditional way
(Modern Well Design Bernt S. Aadnoy (1999), 2nd Edition, A.A Balkema page 2531)
Operating Windows for Pumps
Pumps used at the field have basically two operating windows as shown
in the figure.
Drill Bit Hydraulics
Flow Rate
H
P
,
P
HP
Pressure
Region I
Region II
1714
p
PQ
HP =
b f p
P P P + =
Operating Windows for Pumps
•For a constant liner size, in the first operating region, pump
pressure is constant and horsepower in use increases. This
increment continues until maximum horsepower of the
pump is reached. At this point, second operating region is
active, where horsepower is constant, i.e., maximum
horsepower of the pump, and pump pressure decreases.
Maximizing Hp
b
involves minimizing Hp
f
, or in other
words, the lowest flow rate and the highest pump pressure
will result in the highest Hp
b.
However, the “lowest flow rate” will usually result in
inadequate bottom hole cleaning. To compensate for this,
bottom hole pressure can be increased by using smaller jet
nozzles.
Drill Bit Hydraulics
Maximum Bit Hydraulic Horsepower Criterion
Hydraulic horsepower is based on the theory that cuttings are best
removed from beneath the bit by delivering the most power to the
bottom of the hole.
The amount of pressure lost at the bit, or bit pressure drop, is essential
in determining the hydraulic horsepower.
Maximum bit hydraulic horsepower criterion assumes that optimum
bottom hole cleaning achieved if hydraulic horsepower across the bit is
maximized with respect to the flow rate, Q.
Thus, expressing this hydraulic horsepower explicitly in terms of Q
and then using differential calculus will lead to the desired flow rate
that is believed to ensure optimum bottom hole cleaning.
Mathematically, the maximum bit hydraulic horsepower is achieved
when
Drill Bit Hydraulics
0
b
HP
Q
c
=
c
Limitations
There are two limitation to the hydraulic bit horsepower
that need to be considered;
i) limitations due to the maximum allowed surface
operating pressure, Pp, and
ii) ii) limitations due to the maximum available pump
hydraulic horsepower, HPp.
Casei
From hydraulic horsepower definition, bit hydraulic horsepower can be
written as
Drill Bit Hydraulics
b b
QP HP =
Thus, for maximum bit hydraulic horsepower,
Since
Drill Bit Hydraulics
( ) ( )
0 = =
Q
QP
Q
HP
b b
o
o
o
o
b
m
p
P cQ P + =
m
p b
cQ P P ÷ =
( ) ( ) ( )
0 =
÷
=
Q
cQ P Q
Q
HP
m
b b
o
o
o
o
Differentiation gives
Since
Drill Bit Hydraulics
( )
1 0
m
p
P c m Q ÷ + =
m
f
cQ P =
( )
f p
P m P 1 + ÷
( )
p f
P
m
P
1
1
+
=
Hence, on the basis of the maximum
bit hydraulic horsepower criteria: the
optimum bit hydraulics will be
achieved if friction pressure loss in the
circulating system is maintained at
an optimum value of
( )
max
1
1
P fopt
P
m
P
+
=
Optimum Values for Flow Rate and Nozzle Area
Optimum flow rate can be determined using the frictional pressure loss
information obtained using either maximum hydraulic horsepower, or
maximum jet impact force. It has been shown that
Drill Bit Hydraulics
m
f
f
opt
P
P
Q Q
opt
1
1
1
(
(
¸
(
¸
=
.
2 opt
Q Q =


.

\



.

\

=
2
1
2
1
ln
ln
Q
Q
P
P
m
f
f
Optimum Values for Flow Rate and Nozzle Area
Therefore, optimum bit pressure loss can be determined as
Once optimum flow rate and optimum bit pressure is determined,
nozzle diameters can be optimized by using these variables. In field
units, total nozzle area can be determined as
Drill Bit Hydraulics
( )
opt
b d
opt
total
n
P C
Q
A
2
2 5
10 3 . 8 µ
÷
×
=
.
fopt p
opt
b
P P P ÷ =
Optimum Values for Flow Rate and Nozzle Area
where µ is in ppg, Q is in gpm, P is in psi and A is in in
2
. C
d
is called
discharge factor, and is usually assumed as 0.95. If nozzle sizes are assumed
to be constant, nozzle size (in) can be determined as
n= number of nozzles
Drill Bit Hydraulics
.
n
A
d
nopt
opt
n
t
4
=
Example
Given the following data:
Tricone bits used.
Mud density = 15.5 ppg
Flow exponent = 1.657
Maximum and minimum flow rates = 404 gpm and 268 gpm
Maximum allowable pump pressure = 5440 psi
Maximum hydraulic horsepower = 1600 HP
Frictional pressure loss at 300 gpm = 2334.4 psi
Determine the optimum flow parameters for operating
region1 using Maximum hydraulic horsepower criteria
Example
You are given the following well data:
• Drill pipe:
OD = 4.5 in.
ID =3.64in.
Weight = 20 lbs/ft
• Drill collar:
OD=7in.
ID =2 in.
Weight = 120.lbs/ft
Length= 1.000 ft
• Mud:
Bingham
θ
600
= 21: θ
300
= 29; 10s/10min; gel = 15/25
lbs/l00 ft
2
Weight= 15.5 lbs/gal
• Pump:
National duplex (double acting)
Maximum allowed operating pressure=,
5,440 psi
Hy1iraulic horsepower= 1,600 hp
Volumetric efficiency= 80%
Minimum required annular fluid
velocity: 85 ft/min average
• Well geometry:
Shape as shown in figure 2
Last intermediate casing is 9 7/8
in. at
12,000 ft TVD
Drill bit: 12 7/8
in. tricone with 314
nozzles to 12,000 ft; next bit to be used is
87/8
in.
Tricone (assume that the hole is washed
out to 97/8
in.)
Field data: At 12,000 ft.
while using the 8 7/8
in.
tricone 314 nozzles.
Q
1
= 300 gpm
Pp
l
= 2,966 psi
Q
2
= 400 gpm
P p
2
= 4,883 psi
Using the bit hydraulic
horsepower criterion,
determine the optimum
nozzle sizes to be used
to drill the next depth
interval. Assume current
depth is 12,000 ft.
7000 ft
7000 ft
30deg
12000 ft
3000 ft
Caseii
Bit hydraulic horsepower can be expressed as the difference between the
pump hydraulic horsepower and the hydraulic horsepower lost due to
frictional losses:
f p b
HP HP HP ÷ =
1 +
= =
m
f f
cQ QP HP
1 +
÷ =
m
p b
cQ HP HP
Drill Bit Hydraulics
For maximizing bit hydraulic horsepower
Thus, only solution for this equality is that, Q=0, which is a
trivial solution. Mathematically, this means that bit
hydraulic horsepower cannot be maximized for operating
region2.
Drill Bit Hydraulics
0
b
HP
Q
c
=
c
( )
1
0
m
p
HP cQ
Q
+
c ÷
=
c
Maximum Jet Impact Force Criterion
•Hydraulic (Jet) Impact Force is based on the theory that cuttings are
best removed from beneath the bit when the force of the fluid leaving
the jet nozzles and striking the bottom of the hole is the greatest.
•Jet impact force can be derived using Newton’s second law and
Bernoulli’s energy conservation equation.
Drill Bit Hydraulics
0
2
2
= +
n
b
v
P µ
2
2
v
P g h W F µ µ µ µ
A
A ÷ A + = ÷
Maximum Jet Impact Force Criterion
• v
n
is the average velocity at the nozzle downstream. Thus, solving for
nozzle velocity gives
•As mentioned in the previous chapters, Newton’s second law states that
•Thus, inserting the nozzle velocity into this equation, jet impact force,
F
j
, can be derived as
Drill Bit Hydraulics
µ
b
n
P
v
2
=
( )
.
j n
m
F mv v Qv
t t
µ
c
= = A =
c A
µ ,
b j
P Q F =
Maximum Jet Impact Force Criterion
• where ζis a constant and equal to 0.01823Cd.
•The maximum jet impact force assumes that optimum bottom hole
cleaning is achieved by maximizing the jet impact force with respect to
the flow rate.
•Thus, expressing this impact force, F
j
, in terms of flow rate, Q, and
using differential calculus will yield the desired value of Q that makes F
j
maximum. Mathematically, maximum jet impact force is achieved when
•Since
Drill Bit Hydraulics
( )µ ,
m
p j
cQ P Q F ÷ =
0
j
F
Q
c
=
c
m
p b
cQ P P ÷ =
Maximum Jet Impact Force Criterion
•Prior to carrying out the differentiation, there are two limitation to the
hydraulic impact force that need to be considered; i) limitations due to
the maximum allowed surface operating pressure, Pp, and ii) limitations
due to the maximum available pump hydraulic horsepower, HPp.
•Casei
Drill Bit Hydraulics
( )
max
m
j p
F Q P cQ ç µ = ÷
( )
max
2 2 m
j p
F P Q cQ ç µ
+
= ÷
Maximum Jet Impact Force Criterion
Differentiating the above equation with respect to Q yields
Drill Bit Hydraulics
max
2
2
p f
P
m
P
+
=
( )
max
1
2 2 0
m
p
P Q c m Q
+
÷ + =
max
2
p b
P
m
m
P
+
=
.
Maximum Jet Impact Force Criterion
Caseii
Since
Drill Bit Hydraulics
p f
P
m
P
2
1
+
=
p b
P
m
m
P
2
1
+
+
=
.
p p
HP P Q =
2 m
j p
F HP Q cQ ç µ
+
= ÷
( )
1
2 0
m
p
P Q c m Q
+
÷ + =
Differentiating
Typical optimization criteria
Maximum Bit Hydraulic Horsepower Criterion (region I)
Maximum Bit Hydraulic Horsepower Criterion (region II) (cannot be
maximized for operating region2.)
Maximum Jet Impact Force Criterion (region I)
Maximum Jet Impact Force Criterion (region II)
( )
max
1
1
P fopt
P
m
P
+
=
max
2
2
p fopt
P
m
P
+
=
p fopt
P
m
P
2
1
+
=
Example
Given the following data:
Tricone bits used.
Mud density = 15.5 ppg
Flow exponent = 1.657
Maximum and minimum flow rates = 404 gpm and 268 gpm
Maximum allowable pump pressure = 5440 psi
Maximum hydraulic horsepower = 1600 HP
Frictional pressure loss at 300 gpm = 2334.4 psi
Frictional pressure loss at 400 gpm = 3760.2 psi
Determine the optimum flow parameters for operating window1 using
Maximum jet impact force criteria
Drill Bit Hydraulics
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