You are on page 1of 49

Debris Management and Cleanout

Debris Categorization
Solids
Gunk (sludges, emulsions, viscous liquids,
PIPE DOPE!)
Junk introduced into the hole

www.GEKEngineering.com Source:

Wellcert

Photograph (from Colombia) of cutter run.

www.GEKEngineering.com

Solids generated during the well


construction process typified by:
barite due to mud settlement
cuttings (cement and formation) due to
poor hole cleaning
swarf from milling operations
mill scale rust and other solids from
poorly prepared tubulars
www.GEKEngineering.com

Gunk from fluids used in the well


pipe dope tremendously damaging!
viscous muds (milling fluids and
synthetic muds at low temperature)
gelled oil based mud after mixing with
water

www.GEKEngineering.com

Junk introduced to the well:


seals/elastomeric materials from BOP and
seal stacks
cement plugs and float equipment after drill
out
perforation debris
materials accidentally introduced e.g.:

wood from pallets


dropped objects
hoses
tools
www.GEKEngineering.com

Junk introduced to the well:


Paint
During lab test in Germany,
(University of Hannover) we found
out that 1 ft2 of paint could plug
1 ft2 of screens.

Sandro Sanchez Adrialpetro Ltd.


www.GEKEngineering.com

RISKS AND ISSUES


Solids and junk result in inability to run the
completion (early setting of packers)
Solids and gunk have both caused problems
functioning CIV/FIV type valves requiring bailer
runs or coiled tubing intervention
Gunk may produce serious formation damage
Junk and solids can both prevent future well
intervention activity or stick perforating guns
Debris on top of wireline plugs can prevent their
recovery
www.GEKEngineering.com

The Well Patroller one type of cleanup device designed to remove


debris from the well.

www.GEKEngineering.com

Learning
Functioning the BOP with a clean fluid
in the well can introduce junk
Mixing water, brines, and particularly
acid with OBM without suitable
surfactants/solvents creates
insoluble gunk (very viscous sludge)
that prevented packers being set

www.GEKEngineering.com

www.GEKEngineering.com

10

Best Practices pt. 1


Proper preparation of tubulars to eliminate rust
and mill scale polish prior to use.
Careful fluid and hydraulic design to ensure
effective hole cleaning and fluid compatibility
The cleanliness of the wellbore should be
confirmed by a gauge ring or drift sub using the
clean up/workover string.
Where there is concern about tubular condition
(rust/mill scale/excessive doping/cement) pipe
pickling should be considered.
www.GEKEngineering.com

11

TUBULAR: Size
Weight
Grade

3 1/2"
7.7#
L 80

4 1/2"
12.6#
L 80

5 1/2"
17#
L 80

7"
29#
L80

9 5/8"
47#
L80

Total Average Scale In Pounds


Per 1000ft.

81.31

38.98

165.31

147.17

194.88

Millscale Deposition In Pounds


Per Square Inch

0.00031

0.00011

0.0004

0.0002
8

0.00027

www.GEKEngineering.com
Source: Ramco, together with Robert Gordon's Institute of Technology, Wellcert

12

Mill Scale

The formation of mill scale occurs on steel products in the


manufacturing process.
When steel is heated to temperatures above approximately 600C and
its surface comes into contact with an uncontrolled atmosphere,
oxidization takes place. When the steel is cooled down, the oxidization
appears as scale.
Oxidization takes place on any surface in contact with air during the
manufacturing process. For tubular goods this means that both
internal and external surfaces are affected. The action of rolling the
pipe can force the scale to tightly adhere to the parent metal.
Subsequent heat treatment to tubulars carried out in a furnace,
without a controlled atmosphere, will add further deposits of mill
scale.

www.GEKEngineering.com

13

Removal of Mill Scale in Pounds (of weight loss) PER 1000FT.


TUBULAR: Size
Weight
Grade

3 1/2"
7.7#
L 80

4 1/2"
12.6#
L 80

5 1/2"
17#
L 80

7"
29#
L80

9 5/8"
47#
L80

Internal Blast Cleaning (1)

40.32

15.46

84.00

19.49

83.33

External Wire Brush (2)

17.47

10.08

24.19

30.24

23.52

External Blast Cleaning (3)

40.99

23.52

81.31

127.68

111.55

Difference Between External


Blast and Wire Brush (3-2)

23.52

13.44

57.12

97.44

88.03

165.31

147.17

194.88
14

TREATMENT

Total Millscale/Corrosion (1+3)

81.31 38.98
www.GEKEngineering.com

Scale Density
1 cubic inch of scale in air weighs
0.0614lbs.
1 cubic inch of scale in water weighs
0.0567lbs.

www.GEKEngineering.com

15

Volume of Scale, in3 per 1000 ft of pipe

(1728 in3 = 1 ft3)

TUBULAR: Size
Weight
Grade

3 1/2"
7.7#
L 80

4 1/2"
12.6#
L 80

5 1/2"
17#
L 80

7"
29#
L80

9 5/8"
47#
L80

Internal

711.1

272.7

1481.5

343.7

1469.7

External

722.9

414.8

1434.0

2251.9

1967.4

Total

1434.0

687.5

2915.5

2595.6

3437.1

www.GEKEngineering.com

16

Best Practices pt 2.
Use optimum dope (manufacturers
recommendation) and torque to spec.
Dope the pin, not the box.
Function test BOP before placing on the
well
Keep the hole covered when not in use
www.GEKEngineering.com

17

Tools for Cleanup


casing scrapers to remove cement and
casing burs
brushes to remove gunk and cement
circulating subs to enable high circulating
rates to be used
junk subs to remove solids and junk
jetting assemblies
www.GEKEngineering.com

18

Circulating Spacers and


Displacement Pills
Displacement pills designed to ensure effective
mud displacement and water wetting of the
casing in the event oil based muds are in use.
Key roles:
disperse and thin the drilling fluid (need
compatibility with drilling fluids)
lift out debris and junk
water wet pipe
remove pipe dope
effectively displace the mud
www.GEKEngineering.com

19

Issues

Well control is key in pill sequence (only


possible to get thin, light fluids in turbulence
Pumping fluids to displace OBM without
suitable surfactant packages may result in
insoluble sludge
Low temps can affect surfactant effectiveness
Pills in turbulence lose carrying capacity if
annular velocity drops below that required for
turbulence

www.GEKEngineering.com

20

Issues
In high mud weight, risk of inducing barite sag
needs to be considered (displacement pills thin
the mud to the point it can no longer support
barite)
HSE needs to be considered for all chemicals
used, mixtures of displacement pills and mud
have to be separated from the active mud and
packer fluid for disposal (zero discharge issues)

www.GEKEngineering.com

21

Learnings
Conventional casing scrapers with spring actuated
blocks have failed leaving junk in the hole or even a
stuck tool. Conventional scrapers are not built for
extended rotation or drilling. Scrapers work in
reciprocation.
Failure rate of multifunction ball opening circulating subs
has been high in some regions.
Weight actuated tools rely on maintaining weight set
down on the tool to maintain the circulation path, all
circulation is at one point. These tools should be run with
the clutch option allowing drillpipe to be rotated
independently of the pipe inside the liner.
www.GEKEngineering.com

22

Best Practices
A casing scraper should create maximum contact with
internal diameter of casing, (match strength of tools to
string needs).
Casing scrapers should enable rotation at rates up to 50
rpm. Scraper elements should be be capable of being
lost in the hole.
Circulating sub should be of weight set down type (clutch
option).
For a clean out strings in high angle cased and
perforated well a debris recovery system is best.
Casing brushes are not considered necessary if an
effective scraper is selected. If a brush is used it should
be redressed after each application.
www.GEKEngineering.com

23

Filtration
Filtration removes solids to prevent build
up of solids and helps prevent plugging in
the formation.
Two basic filtration systems are employed:
cartridges (nominal or absolute)
filter presses (Plate and Frame or Pressure
Leaf)

www.GEKEngineering.com

24

Gel sample as pumped

Suspended fines in
gravel pack or frac
gel a problem?

Washouts in washpipe
(and screen) during
www.GEKEngineering.com
packing

25

After Centrifuge

Risks and Issues


Filtration can impact pump rate of completion fluids
Filtration may be unnecessary cost in some wells, but
should be assessed on a well-by-well basis (from
potential damage mechanisms
Filter presses have the advantage of high solids
tolerance and throughput - units are large but cheap to
operate.
Cartridges used for small volumes of relatively clean
material - smaller throughputs and less tolerance to dirty
fluids, generally cartridges are more expensive
Can be health and environmental risks associated with
operating and disposing of filtration medium.
www.GEKEngineering.com

26

Learnings
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

6.
7.

Cartridge units are not usually appropriate for dirty or


viscosified fluids
DE press materials require good HSE control
Tendency is to over-specify filtration requirements.
Dont filter oil with a DE press.
Filtration less required when underbalance
perforating(?)
Kill pills are usually not filtered
Absolute cartridge filters are 2-5 times cost of nominal
and usually worth it, but check bed filtration first.

www.GEKEngineering.com

27

Best Practices
For general applications, coarse filtration to 80 microns is all that
should be considered when fluids do not penetrate the formation
When a fluid penetrates the formation, filtration is more likely to be
required. Filtration should be tailored to the pore throat size of the
formation. A simple guide to setting a specification is 14% (1/7th) of
the average pore throat diameter
Filtration below 2 microns is usually impractical
Always use a guard filter downstream of a DE press
For a DE press filtration, rate is approximately 1 bpm per 100 sqft for
sea water and 0.5 bpm per 100 sqft for a brine

www.GEKEngineering.com

28

Determination of Well
Cleanliness
The determination of how clean the well is usually based on the
cleanliness of fluids returning from the wellbore. The most
common measures are normal turbidity units (NTU) and solids
content, neither relate to what is left in the well.
Junk baskets, gauge rings and the SPS WellPatroller do give
some positive indication of solids removal.
Other indicators of a clean well are torque and drag (related to
the friction coefficient of fluid coating the casing walls) and
cleanliness of the clean up string when pulled.

www.GEKEngineering.com

29

Risks and Issues


NTU (a light transmission test) measurements rely
solely on the cloudiness of the fluids, corrosion
products in return fluids give high values, NTU and
solids content are not directly related. Solids content
will only assess materials collected at the bottom of the
test tube during centrifuging.
Coloured water will give higher NTU values.
Using sample sizes of a few mls, it is difficult to draw
conclusions about a well with an annular volume of 500
bbl, 0.1% vol/vol solids equates to +/- 1 cuft of solids
deposited for tubing contents of 200 bbl.

www.GEKEngineering.com

30

Measurement Learnings
To deal with rust color (or precipitation)
interference with NTU readings, add a
small amount of HCl after the first reading
and re-measure.
If the junk basket is full, rerun.

www.GEKEngineering.com

31

Cleanup Best Practices and


Design Criteria, Pt 1
A solids content of about 0.05% determined by an electric centrifuge
is acceptable for most operations. For gravel packing this should be
reduced to 0.02%.
To determine solids content the standard tubes for sand content for
the centrifuge are not usually appropriate, centrifuge tubes with
more accurate calibrations should be obtained.
NTU values should be used to track clean up with regular samples
taken for analysis of solids content at a later date.
A target value of 50 NTU above surface pits should be used.
For critical wells e.g. high angle wells/where milling has
occurred/previous problems with debris, a circulating junk basket
(e.g., the SPS WellPatroller is recommended).

www.GEKEngineering.com

32

Cleanup Best Practices and


Design Criteria, Pt 2
Where the string is rotated during clean up the increase
in torque can be used as an indicator, the coefficient of
friction in sea water/brine is more than twice that of
OBM.
Visual inspection of the clean up string, if it is mud free
and water wet mud displacement has been successful, if
the string is mud coated run a gauge ring/junk basket or
SPS WellPatroller.
For critical application (e.g. gravel pack) use particle
size analysers on location, laser particle size systems
are recommended.

www.GEKEngineering.com

33

Debris Removal Equipment


Example tools:
casing scrapers to remove dried mud, pipe
dope, cement and casing burs
brushes to remove pipe dope, bacteria
colonies and cement
circulating subs to enable high circulating
rates to be used
junk subs to trap and remove solids
www.GEKEngineering.com

34

Equipment Risks and Issues


Equipment failure may result in additional junk or a stuck clean up
string, (not a common problem.
There have been instances with casing scrapers and brushes where
the clean out tool has introduced junk to the hole when these are not
of a single piece construction or have retaining mechanisms for
blocks.
Circulating subs (particularly hydraulically operated) carry some risk
associated with failing to close thus losing the ability to circulate to
the bottom of the well.
Some of the equipment is only available from niche / specialist
suppliers which carries risks around QA/QC and tool availability.
There is concern with running well clean up tools with minimum by
pass area pushing large pieces of junk ahead and into CIV/FIV tools

www.GEKEngineering.com

35

Equipment Learnings
Conventional casing scrapers with spring actuated
blocks have failed leaving junk in the hole or even a
stuck tool.
Conventional scrapers are not built for extended
rotation or drilling. Scrapers work in reciprocation.
Failure rate of multifunction ball opening circulating
subs has been high in some regions.

www.GEKEngineering.com

36

Equipment Learnings
Weight actuated tools rely on maintaining weight set
down on the tool to maintain the circulation path (all
circulation is at one point). These tools should be
run with the clutch option allowing drillpipe to be
rotated independently of the pipe inside the liner.
(Rotation assists cleanout)
Recent experience with the SPS WellPatroller
highlighted it is very effective at removing gunk and
solids debris, this tool provides a level of assurance
not available with any of the other tools (including
conventional junk subs).

www.GEKEngineering.com

37

Best Practices and Design


Casing scrapers should create maximum contact with ID of casing,
be a one piece design with full drill pipe strength and no weak
internal connections.
Casing scrapers should enable rotation at rates up to 50 rpm, these
should be of a design so that blocks are either retained in the body
of the scraper. (UWG/Global) or are an integral design (SPS
Razorback).
The preferred circulating sub should be of the type utilising weight
set down to function, with a clutch mechanism. If a reliable hydraulic
tool is developed this may become preferable as it allows
reciprocation with circulation.
For clean out strings in high angle cased well a WellPatroller should
be run (or if concern about debris or junk in the well).
Casing brushes are not considered necessary if an effective scraper
is selected. If a brush is used it should be redressed after each
application.
www.GEKEngineering.com

38

Performance Best Practices


A brine returns with an NTU < 30 above
value of fluid in pits is excellent
performance
Clean returns after circulating < 150% of
hole volume is good performance
Interface volumes between pills of <20 bbl
is excellent performance

www.GEKEngineering.com

39

Information Capture

fluid designs and properties


flow rates
pill volumes and volumes circulated
equipment used
materials used and costs
interface volumes
pipe movement during displacement
time breakdown
fluids cleanliness v time during circulation
surface clean up
target vs actual
pipe movement and torque

www.GEKEngineering.com

40

Will Circulating a Well Really Clean


It Out?
Not necessarily.
Clean-out efficiency depends on:

Ability to remove the solids from returning fluids;


Fluid hydraulics - the flow rates in every section;
Ability to disperse, then lift solids out of the well;
Ability to effectively remove the dope, mud cake,
residues, etc., from the pipe walls.

Often, mechanical assistance is required!


Pipe movement friction can increase as pipe
becomes water wet.
www.GEKEngineering.com

41

Circulation Options
Normal Circulation vs. Reverse Circulation
Annular Velocity (AV) w/ rotation vs. AV w/no
rotation
Coiled Tubing vs. Drill Pipe
Mud vs. Brine
Ungelled vs. Gelled Brines
Liquids vs. Foam
N2 assistance vs. production gas lift
Mechanical assistance (pumps)
www.GEKEngineering.com

42

First Considerations

All liquids or solids?


Type, size and density of solids?
Casing and tubing sizes bottom to top?
Well trajectory, restrictions, deviation, depth,
pressure limits?
Reservoir fluids and pressure?
Reservoir leakoff potential at cleanout rates?
Location access limits, size and weight limit?
Equipment availability?
Experience availability?
www.GEKEngineering.com

43

Photograph (from Colombia) of cutter run dope,


rust, mud, etc.

www.GEKEngineering.com

44

Scrapers and Brushes Physically


Cleaning the Well
Available tools
Damage potential

www.GEKEngineering.com

45

One very detrimental action was running a scraper prior to packer


setting. The scraping and surging drives debris into unprotected
perfs.
Effect of Scraping or Milling Adjacent to Open
Perforations
20

% Change in PI

10

Perfs not protected by


LCM prior to scraping

0
-10

Perfs protected
by
2
LCM

-20
-30
-40

Short Term PI Change


Long Term PI Change

-50
-60

SPE 26042
www.GEKEngineering.com

46

Casing Scraper Designed to


knock off perforation burrs,
lips in tubing pins, cement
and mud sheaths, scale, etc.
It cleans the pipe before
setting a packer or plug.
The debris it turns loose from
the pipe may damage the
formation unless the pay is
protected by a LCM or plug.

www.GEKEngineering.com

47

www.GEKEngineering.com

48

Iron accumulation on a
trench magnet.

www.GEKEngineering.com

49