M.E. OZBAYOGLU
The University of Tulsa
E. KURU
University of Alberta
S. MISKA, N. TAKACH
The University of Tulsa
Abstract
Compared to conventional (incompressible) drilling fluids, relatively little is known about the hydraulic and rheological properties of foamed drilling fluids. The complex flow mecha nisms involved in compressible drilling fluid circulation make determination of the optimum combination of liquid and gas injection rates very difficult. Modelling of foam rheology is the key issue in hydraulic design, in order to predict the bottomhole pressure accurately, and to optimize the different controllable variables for effective cutting transport performance. The University of Tulsa’s lowpressure ambient temperature flow loop has been recently modified to accommodate foam flow. The flow loop permits foam flow through 0.0508 m (2 in.), 0.0762 m (3 in.), 0.1016 m (4 in.) diameter pipes, and a 0.2032 m (8 in.) by 0.1143 m (4 1 / 2 in.) annular section. Preliminary experiments have been conducted, in which pressure losses were measured for different foam qualities. Measured parameters were gas/liquid flow rates, pressure, differential pressure loss, and temperature. Statistical analysis was carried out to see the degree of fit pro vided by Bingham plastic, power law, and yield power law mod els for the generalized foam flow curve data. A comparative study was conducted to investigate the predic tive ability of the available foam hydraulic models. Models pre sented by Beyer et al. (1972), Blauer et al. (1974), Reidenbach et al. (1986), Sanghani and Ikoku (1983), Gardiner et al. (1988) and Valko and Economides (1992) were used to estimate the frictional pressure losses during the flow of foam in horizontal pipes. Comparison of the model predictions with experimental pressure loss values show that model predictions of frictional pressure losses can be different from the actual values by 2 to 250 %.
Introduction
In the 1970s, high quality foams were developed into a viable fracturing stimulation tool for oil and gas wells (1) . Since then, foam rheology has been the subject of numerous investigations, in an effort to design better proppant transport medium. Lord (2) pre sented one of the first comprehensive mathematical treatments of foam flow behaviour. He used the real gas law and mass balance considerations to develop an equation of state for foam with solids. Later, Spoerker et al. (3) modified Lord’s solution and pre sented a new twophase flow equation. They used a virial equa tion (4) instead of the real gas equation of state. They also solved the differential mechanical energy equation to obtain an explicit expresion for pressure loss prediction during foam flow.
Reidenbach et al. (5) presented empirical correlations to calculate the rheological properties of N _{2} and CO _{2} foam fracturing fluids. Harris (69) conducted some excellent studies on the rheology and fluid loss properties of fracturing fluids. Harris and Reidenbach (10) also studied the effect of temperature on the rheology of foam fracturing fluids.
Foam has been used as a drilling fluid in many drilling opera tions, and the results from various field cases are well documented in the literature (1123) . In many cases, drilling with foam has been shown to provide significant benefits, including increased produc tivity (by reducing formation damage), an increased drilling rate, reduced operational difficulties associated with drilling in low pressure reservoirs (e.g., lostcirculation and differentially stuck pipe), and improved formation evaluation while drilling.
Foam is generally formed by mixing a gas phase with a liquid phase, which is either water (stable foam) or an aqueous polymer solution (stiff foam) containing 1 – 2% by volume foaming agent. The major advantage of foam is its flexibility in controlling the “mud effective density,” which influences the bottomhole pres sure. Characteristically, the foam viscosity is greater than that of the liquid and gas phases. Although viscosity may improve cut tings transport, it also results in higher pressure losses. Designing proper fractions of gas and liquid phases, volumetric flow rates, and types of polymers and surfactants is critical for achieving the desired flowing bottomhole pressure and cuttings transport.
Field experiences have shown that the performance of foamed drilling fluids is rather difficult to predict. This is mainly because the complex flow mechanisms involved in foam circulation make determination of the optimum combination of liquid and gas injection rates very difficult. Other questions remain, such as how to predict the bottomhole pressure, and how to combine different controllable variables in order to obtain optimum cuttings trans port performance and bit hydraulics.
In a recent study, Nakagawa et al. (24) compared the predictive ability of four different commercial simulators by using field data. Their analysis has indicated that equivalent circulating density (ECD) predictions from available foam hydraulic models differed significantly from the field measured values.
In an effort to determine the best hydraulic model applicable to foam flow, we have identified six different foam hydraulic models available from the literature and compared their performances for predicting pressure losses in pipe flow. The models selected are the ones developed by Blauer et al. (25) , Sanghani and Ikoku (26) , Beyer et al. (27) , Reidenbach et al. (5) , Valko et al. (28) , and Gardiner et al. (29) A brief discussion of the each model is given in the fol lowing section.
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52
Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology
Foam Hydraulic Models
The hydraulic models given below are used in the computer
program for the determination of pressure losses due to the lami
nar flow of foam in horizontal pipes.
Blauer et al. Model
v T
=
+
vv
SF
...........................................................................................
(5)
The slip velocities calculated from the pilotscale data were
correlated with the liquid volume fraction (LVF) and wall shear
stress (τ _{w} ).
For τ _{w} ≤ 16.5 kg/m 2 (0.0024 psi)
In arriving at a method for predicting friction losses in laminar, 

τ 

transitional, and turbulent flow regimes for foam flow in pipes, 
v 
S 
= 25 8 . LVF w 0 0024 . 0 02 . LVF ≤≤ 0 1 
. 

Blauer et al. (25) calculated Reynolds numbers and Fanning friction factors by using effective foam viscosity, actual foam density, 

average velocity, and true pipe diameter. 


The authors also found that the relationship between Reynolds 
= (1 . 1 + 14 8 . LVF ) τ w 0 0024 . 0 10 . ≤ LVF 
≤ 0 25 . 

number and Fanning friction factor for foam was identical to that 
v 
S 

of singlephase fluids. The authors assumed that foam behaves 

like a Bingham plastic type of fluid. 
For τ _{w} > 16.5 kg/m 2 (0.0024 psi) 

They calculated the average foam flowing velocity and quality 

by using a mass balance, and the real gas law equation as suggest ed by Mitchell (30) . 


v 
S 
= 25.. 8 LVF +− w 357(τ 0 0024 _{)} 0.02 
≤ 
LVF 
≤ 0.1 

Foam plastic viscosity and yield strength were experimentally 

determined as a function of foam quality. They also defined foam 

density as a function of foam quality. In their calculations, howev er, they neglected the contribution of the gas phase in the final 

v 
_{S} =+ 1.. 1 14 8 LVF 0 10 . ≤ LVF ≤ 0.25 
(6)
(7)
(8)
(9)
equation for the foam density.
For laminar flow of foam in pipes, Blauer et al. (25) calculated
the pressure losses by using the BuckinghamReiner equation
The velocity of a Bingham fluid in a circular pipe of diameter
D is given as follows:
Q =
π
D
3 τ
w
g
c
4
τ
y
τ
y
32 µ
p
w
1 −+
3 τ
τ
w
.................................................
(1)
v =
4
τ
y
144 D τ
w
1 −
3
τ
y
8 µ
o
τ
w
τ
w
...............................................
(10)
The wall shear stress, τ _{w} , in Equation (1), can be written as a
function of the differential pressure loss, ∆P, and the pipe geome
try as follows:
By neglecting the fourth order term in Equation (10), the fluidi
ty of foam is expressed as follows:
For τ _{w} < (4/3)τ _{y}
τ w
∆ P D
=
L 4
...........................................................................................
(2)
v _{F} = 0
..................................................................................................
(11)
Sanghani Model
The main difference between Sanghani’s (26) model and Blauer
et. al.’s (25) work is that Sanghani assumed that the foam behaves
as a pseudoplastic fluid. He provided experimental data for
pseudoplastic model parameters, K and n, as a function of foam
quality. The density of foam differs from Blauer’s work by
including the effect of gas phase.
Sanghani (26) suggested that the pressure loss for laminar flow of
foam in pipes could be calculated by using the following equation:
∆ P
(
f
=
4 K
D
83
n
+
1
Q
)
n
∆ L
π nD
3
...................................................................
(3)
For τ _{w} > (4/3)τ _{y}
v F
=
144 D
τ
4
τ
−
8 µ
o
w
3
y
.....................................................................
(12)
The pilotscale experimental data showed that τ _{y} in Equation
(12) is 4.65 kg/m 2 (0.000675 psi) and that the Bingham viscosity
of the foam is given as follows:
µ o
1
=
7200
LVF +
267
µ o
1
=
2533
LVF +
733
. 02 LVF 
≤ 
0 .1 

(13) 

. 1 LVF ≤ 
0 
.25 

(14) 
Beyer et al. Model
Beyer et al. (27) considered the effect of wall slip in their model
ling of foam flow behaviour. They described the composition of
the foam at any temperature and pressure by the liquid volume
fraction, which is defined as follows:
LVF(T,P) =
VOL
L
VOL
L
+
VOL (T,P)
G
.....................................................
(4)
where VOL _{L} is the liquid volume fraction in the foam, and VOL _{G}
is the gas volume fraction in the foam. According to the pilot
scale experiments, total velocity (v _{T} ) is composed of a slip com
ponent (v _{S} ) and a fluidity component (v _{F} ).
Equations (4) to (14) were combined to obtain an explicit func
tion for Ψ which then can be used to estimate frictional pressure
drop as a function of total velocity (v _{T} ), liquid volume fraction
(LVF), and pipe diameter (D) as follows:
dP
_{}
f
=
4 τ
w
dL
D
= Ψ
v T
()
T,P , LVF T,P ,D
()
..................................
(15)
Reidenbach et al.’s Model
Reidenbach et al. (5) proposed empirical correlations for
calculation of rheological properties of N _{2} and CO _{2} foam
stimulation fluids.
June 2002, Volume 41, No. 6
53
For Γ < 60 %,
τ _{y} = C _{1} Γ
.............................................................................................
(16)
For Γ > 60 %,
τ y
= C e
2
C
3
Γ
.........................................................................................
(17)
The consistency index;
K
foam
=
Ke
liquid
C
1
Γ
+
C
2
Γ
2
................................................................
(18)
where C _{1} , C _{2} , and C _{3} are constants dependent on concentration,
texture, and physical properties.
The authors presented a laminar flow model with viscosity
dependent on foam quality, yield point, base liquid consistency
index (K′), and flow behaviour index (n′). A general flow formula
can be derived for yield pseudoplastic fluids but cannot be solved
explicitly for pressure losses. The authors, therefore, suggested a
practical method for determining laminar flow pipe pressure loss
for a yield pseudoplastic fluid by defining apparent viscosity as
follows:
µ
a
=
τ '
YP
− 1
+ K '
n ' − 1
................................................
(19)
K’, n’, and τ’ _{Y}_{P} are constants obtained from a plot of wall shear
stress τ _{w} vs. 8v/D and depend on geometry. The authors suggested
that this viscosity might be used as an apparent Newtonian viscos
ity in standard pressure drop calculations.
Valko and Economides’ Model
Valko and Economides (28) proposed a new constitutive equa
tion for nonNewtonian compressible fluids by using the invari
ance property of Reynolds number (i.e., assume a constant friction
factor) They defined a new variable called “specific volume
expansion ratio” and used this variable instead of “foam quality”
for the characterization of the foams.
The specific volume expansion ratio is defined as the ratio of
the liquid density to the foam density;
ε
s
=
ρ
L
ρ
F
..............................................................................................
(20)
where ε _{s} is the specific volume expansion ratio, ρ _{L} is the base liq
uid density, and ρ _{F} is the foam density. All densitydependent
parameters are normalized with respect to liquid density by using
this variable. The principle states that if we plot volumeequalized
shear stress vs. volumeequalized shear rate, points obtained at
different qualities and different geometries lie on one curve in
isothermal conditions.
By using the specific volume expansion ratio concept, the
authors defined the volumeequalized Reynolds number as fol
lows:
N
Re VE
=
1 D u
n
K
2
−
nn
ρε
−
1
...................................................................
(21)
losses during the isothermal, steady state flow of compressible
fluids in horizontal pipes:
dp
2
22
f b c
f
−
Dg p
3
+
42
+
ff
f abc p
2
2
f a c p
22
= −
dx
D
bp
3
2
+−
ap
2
abc p
−
22
a c
................................
(23)
The constants a, b, and c in Equation (23) are defined as fol
lows:
a
=
RT
w
g
M
g
..........................................................................................
(24)
b = w _{g} RTB'
M
g
+
1 − w
g
1
ρ
g
................................................................
(25)
c =
4 m
g
+
m
l
D
^{2} π
...................................................................................
(26)
w
g
=
m
g
m
g
+
m
l
....................................................................................
(27)
In order to represent the volumetric behaviour of the gas phase,
the authors used a virial equation of state (4) , truncated after the
second term:
RT
ρ
M
g
p
=
1
1
+ B'
...............................................................................
(28)
Gardiner et al.
The method of Gardiner et al. (29) also uses the volume equaliza
tion principle proposed by Valko and Economides (28) . The authors
assumed that the flow is isothermal, and the effect of changing
axial velocity on radial velocity is negligible. They also assumed
that foam is a pseudoplastic fluid.
By using the volumeequalized power law model [Equation
(29)]
τ =
k
ε
1 − n
...........................................................................
(29 )
together with an elementary momentum balance on an axial cell,
they derived an analog of the HaigenPoiseuille [Equation (30)]:
Q = 2 π
urdr = πR ^{2}
^{u} slip ^{+}
n
− dp
_{R} n +1 _{ε} n −1
3n + 1
dx 2 k
1
n
.........
(30)
Equation (30) relates the pressure gradient during foam flow in
pipes to foam volumetric flow rate, which is corrected for slip
effect using the OldroydJastrzebski correlation (31) .
Consequently, they have defined the volumeequalized Fanning
friction factor as follows:
f
f
=
16
1
8
6
n +
2
N
Re VE
n
n
................................................................
(22)
By using the principle of mechanical energy balance, they
derived the following equation to determine frictional pressure
54
Experimental Setup
Foam flow experiments were conducted by using the
University of Tulsa low pressureambient temperature flow loop.
A schematic view of the experimental facility is shown in Figure
1. Figure 2 shows a general view of the flow loop.
A 75 HP centrifugal pump (maximum capacity 0.041 m 3 /s (650
gpm) and 345,000 kg/m 2 (50 psi)) is used with two different
Fisher control valves (one has a 0 – 0.003 m 3 /s (0 – 50 gpm)
Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology
FIGURE 1: A schematic view of the experimental setup.
FIGURE 2: TUDRP low pressureambient temperature flow loop.
range, and the other has a 0.003 – 0.041 m 3 /s (50 – 650 gpm)
range) to provide a controlled circulation of liquid through the
loop. A compressor (with a working capacity of 0 – 862,000
kg/m 2 (0 – 125 psi), 0 – 0.755 m 3 /s (0 – 1,600 scfm)) is used to
supply compressed air. The gas is introduced to the system
through a regulator, allowing the pressure of the inlet gas to be
reduced and equalized to the pressure of liquid. The flow rates of
both the gas and liquid phases are measured by mass flow metres.
Surfactant and water are premixed in two different tanks, each
with 4.16 m 3 (1,100 gal.) capacity. The watersurfactant solution
and compressed air are mixed by a static mixer to generate foam
just before the pipe section. The pipe section consists of acrylic
transparent pipes with a total length of 15.24 m (50 ft.) and diame
ters of 0.05 m (2 in.), 0.07 m (3 in.) and 0.10 m (4 in.). The pres
sure difference between the inlet and outlet of the pipe section is
measured by a differential pressure transducer. Also, the pressure
at the inlet of the pipe section is measured by a pressure transmit
ter, allowing determination of the foam quality. After the pipe sec
tion, foam enters the annular section, where cuttings can also be
introduced.
The annular section is approximately 27.4 m (90 ft.) long, and
it consists of a 0.20 m (8 in.) ID transparent casing with a 0.11 m
(4.5 in.) OD drillpipe. The drillpipe can be rotated up to 200 rpm.
One end of the flow loop is attached to a movable platform, while
the other is connected to a pulley, which enables the user to
incline the loop to any angle between 15˚ and 90˚ from vertical.
Pressure difference between the two ends of the flow loop is mea
sured by using a differential pressure transducer. A control room
located near the test section contains the data acquisition system.
The foam breaking process takes place in three stages: 1) a
foam breaker is injected into the foam just before it arrives at the
shale shaker; 2) foam is then exposed to high speed water streams
coming out of jet nozzles to enhance separation of gas and liquid
phases; and 3) final separation of liquid and gas phases is
achieved inside the collection tank by injecting additional foam
breaker.
Foam rheology experiments were conducted at 70%, 80%, and
90% foam qualities, with total flow rates varying from 0.003 m 3 /s
(50 gpm) to 0.0157 m 3 /s (250 gpm). Results from pipe flow
experiments are discussed in the following section.
Analysis of the Wall Slip Effect
The presence of a thin liquid layer in the immediate proximity
of the tube has been observed during the flow of some polymer
solutions (3132) and foam (29, 33) in pipes. This thin liquid layer
would lead to a reduction in apparent viscosity in the vicinity of
the wall, with results analogous to those that would be expected if
there was actual slip between the fluid and the solid surface. Since
true slip is not believed to occur, the phenomenon is referred to as
effective slip near the tube wall, and corrections must be
applied (26) .
Generally, a plot of wall shear stress, τ _{w} [Equation (2)], vs.
June 2002, Volume 41, No. 6
55
FIGURE 3: Shear stress vs. shear rate plot for 70% quality foam.
FIGURE 5: Shear stress vs. shear rate plot for 90% quality foam.
Newtonian wall shear rate, γ _{w} [Equation (31)], is used to deter
mine the presence of wall slip effect.
γ
w
8 v
=
D
...............................................................................................
(31)
If experimental data indicates the presence of a wall slip effect,
measured flow rate values need to be corrected for an effective
slip effect before they are used for the development of a flow
curve. A flow curve is intended to portray the relationship
between shear stress and shear rate at a point in the fluid, without
any extraneous effects such as may be introduced by the proximi
ty of solid surfaces. The measured volumetric flow rate from the
pipe flow experiments may be corrected to the value it would
have in the absence of the “slip” by the following equation:
FIGURE 6: 1/D 2 vs. shear rate plot for 70% foam quality.
56
FIGURE 4: Shear stress vs. shear rate plot for 80% quality foam.
Figures 3, 4, and 5 show the characteristic plots of τ _{w} vs. γ _{w} for
foam qualities of 70, 80, and 90 degrees, respectively. In Figures
3 – 5, different trend lines observed for 0.05 m (2 in.), 0.07 m (3
in.) and 0.10 m (4 in.) diameter pipes indicate the presence of the
slip effect. Therefore, measured flow rate values need to be cor
rected before we can use them to establish flow curves. The effec
tive slip coefficient, β, needs to be determined to calculate the slip
corrected flow rates.
The effective slip coefficient, β, can be estimated by using the
OldroydJastrzebski correlation (31) , which suggests a threestep
procedure to determine the value of β.
A plot of Newtonian wall shear rate, 8v/D, vs. 1/D 2 at constant
wall shear stress, τ _{w} , must be obtained. Figures 6, 7, and 8 show
typical plots for foam qualities 70, 80, and 90 %, respectively.
The slope of the leastsquares straight lines will be equal to
8βτ _{w} . Therefore, the value of β can be determined by dividing the
slope of the leastsquares line by 8τ _{w}_{.}
A functional relationship between the effective slip coefficient
and wall shear stress can be determined by curve fitting of the plot
of β vs. τ _{w} . Figure 9 shows the variation of the slip coefficient, β,
as a function of wall shear stress, τ _{w} .
The effective slip coefficient increases with increasing wall
shear stress for 70% quality foam, while it decreases with increas
ing wall shear stress for 80 and 90% foam qualities. Both behav
iours have also been reported by other researchers (29, 33) .
Development of Flow Curves
Under conditions of steady, fully developed flow in horizontal
pipes, using the force balance, the wall shear stress, τ _{w} , is deter
mined from Equation (2). The rate of shear at the tube wall can be
calculated by using the RabinowitchMooney (32) equation given as
follows:
FIGURE 7: 1/D 2 vs. shear rate plot for 80% foam quality.
Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology
FIGURE 8: 1/D 2 vs. shear rate plot for 90% foam quality.
FIGURE 9: Slip factors for different foam qualities.
quality values, which is physically impossible. 

The model parameters obtained from the curve fitting of the 

experimental data are used in the computer simulator for compar 

ing the predictive ability of the existing hydraulic models. 

70% 
21.75 
22.05 
21.62 

80% 
14.70 
15.53 
15.69 

90% 
62.25 
50.89 
60.90 
Comparison of the Foam Hydraulic 


Models 

83 v 
n ' 
+1 

γ w 
= 
D 
4 n ' 
(33) 

The Sanghani (26) , Beyer et al. (27) , Blauer et al. (25) , Valko and Economides (28) , and Gardiner et al. (29) models were compared for 

where 
their ability to predict pressure losses due to the laminar flow of 


foam in pipes by using experimental data. Since results of the sta 

d 
ln 
( τ 
) 
tistical analysis have shown that the Yield Power Law model is 

' 
w 

n = 
d 
ln 
8 v D 

(34) 
not applicable to the foam under investigation, the model of Reidenbach (5) et al. is not included in the model performance comparison. 
For Newtonian fluids, n’ = 1, and the wall shear rate equation
reduces to Equation (31). For nonNewtonian fluids, n’≠ 1; there
fore, the generalized wall shear rate relationship given by
Equation (33) should be used to establish flow curves for non
Newtonian fluids. Note that the slipcorrected flow rate values
from Equation (32) should be used to calculate the generalized
wall shear rate values in Equation (34). Generalized flow curve
data for 70%, 80%, and 90% quality foams are plotted in Figure
10.
A statistical analysis was conducted to determine the curve fit
ting parameters, assuming the foam flow behaviour can be
explained by using Power Law, Bingham Plastic, and Yield
Power Law models. A summary of the estimated model parame
ters is given in Table 1.
The average error involved in curve fitting of the actual flow
curve data with the three rheological models is given in Table 2.
The results show that the power law model gives a better fit to
explain foam flow behaviour for 70% and 80% foam qualities,
whereas, the Bingham Plastic model was better for 90% foam
quality.
Results of the statistical analysis also show that the yield power
law model is not applicable for the foam used in the experiments,
since the yield point values, τ _{y} , were found to be negative for all
A computer program was developed to compare the experimen
tal results with existing models. Input data for the program, i.e.,
pressure, temperature, flow rates, pipe diameter and length, were
set to be the same as the experimental conditions. The program
considered the change in the foam volume due to the change in
pressure as the foam flows along the test section by incorporating
the foam equation of state given by Equation (40).
V (1 − Γ
V 21
=
1
)
+
P T
1
2
P T
2
1
..............................................................
(40)
where subscript “1” refers to the present position, and subscript
“2” refers to the next position of foam as it flows along the pipe.
Figures 11 – 19 show the comparison of the pressure losses,
measured vs. predicted, obtained by using different models for 70,
80, and 90% quality foams in 0.05 m (2 in.), 0.07 m (3 in.) and
0.10 m (4 in.) pipes, respectively. Comparison of the existing rhe
ological models with experimental results showed that there is no
“best” model which describes the foam flow behaviour under all
flow conditions. The difference between actual pressure losses
and the model predictions can be anywhere from 2% to >250 %,
as is shown in Figures 20 – 22.
June 2002, Volume 41, No. 6
57
FIGURE 10: Shear stress and shear rate plot after slip and n’ correction.
FIGURE 12: Model comparison with experimental data for 75
mm pipe with 70% quality.
Conclusions
Based on the analysis of the experimental data and the results
of the comparative study, the following conclusions are offered:
1. Wall slip effect may not be negligible and should be consid ered in establishing the flow curve representing the true flow behaviour of foam in pipes. The true shear rates are deter mined by using measured flow rates that are corrected for the slip effect.
2. The YieldPower Law model is not applicable for the foam investigated in this study.
3. Foam rheology can be better characterized by the Power Law model for 70% and 80% qualities, whereas the Bingham plastic model gives better fit for 90% foam quality.
4. It is concluded that there is no “best” model for predicting the pressure losses during foam flow in pipes under all cir cumstances. In general, it can be said that Valko and Economides’ model gave the relatively more accurate pre diction of pressure losses for all foam quality ranges tested
FIGURE 14: Model comparison with experimental data for 50
mm pipe with 80% quality.
58
FIGURE 11: Model comparison with experimental data for 50
mm pipe with 70% quality.
FIGURE 13: Model comparison with experimental data for 100
mm pipe with 70% quality.
(i.e., 70, 80, and 90%). Blauer et al.’s model gave compara
bly better predictions for the 80 and 90% foam quality
ranges. Predictions from other models were rather erratic;
predicting pressure losses closer to actual values in some
cases, and very different from the actual values in other
cases. Therefore, results from these models were considered
rather inconclusive. Some of these erratic behaviours may be
attributed to the fact that the bubble size and the texture
were not among the parameters which were controlled dur
ing these experiments.
5. Finally, it can be suggested that considering only rheological
parameters and foam quality is not enough to achieve a satis
factory model for pressure loss estimations. Therefore, bub
ble size and texture have to be included into the rheological
models to obtain a more “general” model. Further research is
required for introducing the effect of quality, bubble size,
texture and rheological parameters in pressure loss
calculations.
FIGURE 15: Model comparison with experimental data for 75
mm pipe with 80% quality.
Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology
FIGURE 16: Model comparison with experimental data for 100
mm pipe with 80% quality.
NOMENCLATURE
a
b
B’
c
D
f _{f}
g _{c}
K,k
K’
L
LVF
m _{g}
M _{g}
m _{l}
n
n’
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
N _{R}_{e}_{V}_{E} =
P,p
Q,V
R
T
u,v
v
_{F}
v
_{s}
v
_{T}
w _{g}
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
=
constant coefficient, L 2 /t 2
constant coefficient, L 3 /m
modified second virial coefficient of gas, Lt 2 /m
constant coefficient, m/t/L 2
pipe diameter, L
friction factor, dimensionless
gravitational constant
consistency index, mt n2 /L
geometry dependent consistency index, mt 2n /L
pipe length, L
liquid volume fraction, dimensionless
mass flow rate of gas, m/t
molar mass of gas, m/mol
mass flow rate of liquid, m/t
flow behaviour index, dimensionless
geometry dependent flow behaviour index,
dimensionless
volume equalized Reynolds number, dimensionless
pressure, m/Lt 2
flow rate, L 3 /t
universal gas constant
temperature, T
foam velocity, L/t
fluidity velocity, L/t
slip velocity, L/t
total velocity, L/t
mass fraction of gas, dimensionless
Greek Letters
FIGURE 17: Model comparison with experimental data for 50
mm 
pipe with 90% quality. 

ρ 
_{f} 
= 
foam density, m/L 3 

ρ 
_{g} 
= 
gas density, m/L 3 

ρ 
_{L} 
= 
liquid density, m/L 3 

µ _{o} ,µ _{p} 
= 
plastic viscosity, m/Lt 

ε _{s} 
= 
specific volume expansion ratio, dimensionless 

τ _{w} 
= 
wall shear stress, m/Lt 2 

τ 
_{y} 
= 
yield point, m/Lt 2 

SI Metric Conversion Factors 

ft. × 0.3048 
E +00 = m 

lb _{m} × 0.454 
E +00 = kg 

in. × 25.4 
E 03 = m 

in 3 /min × 1.6387 E 05 = m 3 /min 

Gal (US) × 3.785 E +00 = litre 

Psi × 6.8948 
E 03 = MPa 

Acknowledgements 

The authors wish to thank Tulsa University Drilling Research 

Projects’ (TUDRP) member companies and the U.S. Department 

of Energy for their support of this study. We would also like to 

thank Bachman Chemicals Co. for providing the foamingdefoam 

ing materials. 

REFERENCES 

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Behaviour; paper SPE 7927, presented at the SPE Symposium on Low Permeability Gas Reservoirs, Denver, CO, May 20 – 22, 1979. 

3. SPOERKER, H.F., TREPES, P., VALKO, P., and ECONOMIDES, M., System Design for the Measurement of Downhole Dynamic 

Rheology for Fracturing Fluids; paper SPE 22840, presented at the 66 th Annual and Technical Conference and Exhibition of the SPE, Dallas, TX, October 6 – 9, 1991. 



FIGURE 19: Model comparison with experimental data for 100 

mm 
pipe with 90% quality. 
June 2002, Volume 41, No. 6
59
FIGURE 20: Error analysis of foam hydraulic models (70% quality).
FIGURE 22: Error analysis of foam hydraulic models (90% quality).
4. REID, R.C., PRAUSNITZ, J.M., and POLING, B.P., The Properties of Gases and Liquids; 4 th Edition, McGrawHill, New York, 1987.
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12. BENTSEN, N.W. and VENY, J.N., Preformed Stable Foam Performance in Drilling And Evaluating Shallow Gas Wells in Alberta; Journal of Petroleum Technology, pp. 12371240, October
FIGURE 21: Error analysis of foam hydraulic models (80% quality).
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25. BLAUER, R.E., MITCHELL, B.J., and KOHLHAAS, C.A., Determination of Laminar, Turbulent and Transitional FoamFlow Friction Losses in Pipes; paper SPE 4885, presented at the 1974 SPE California Regional Meeting, San Francisco, CA, April 4 – 5,
1974.
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and Cleanout Operations; M.S. Thesis, the University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK, 1982.

1993. 


Rheology of Fire Fighting Foams; accepted for publication, Fire 
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Journal of Canadian Petroleum Technology
Safety Journal, 1998.
30. MITCHELL, B.J., Viscosity of Foam; Ph.D. Thesis, University of Oklahoma, 1967.
31. ENZENDORFER, C., HARRIS, R.A., VALKO, P., ECONOMIDES, M., FOKKER, P.A., and DAVIERS, D.D., Pipe
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During the Flow of Concentrated Suspension; Ind. Eng. Chem. Res., 6, pp. 445454, 1967. 33. SKELLAND, A.H.P., NonNewtonian Flow and Heat Transfer; John Wiley and Sons, Inc., Chapter 2, pp. 2767, New York, NY, 1967.
Provenance— Original Petroleum Society manuscript, A
Comparative Study of Hydraulic Models for Foam Drilling
(2000183) first presented at the Canadian International Petroleum
Conference June 48, 2000, in Calgary, Alberta. Abstract submit
ted for review November 8, 1999; editorial comments sent to the
author(s) October 17, 2001; revised manuscript received
December 4, 2001; paper approved for prepress December 7,
final approval June 3, 2002. _{}
Authors’ Biographies
Evren Ozbayoglu is currently a Ph.D. can
didate in The University of Tulsa
Oklahoma, drilling research projects.
Before joining TU, he was a research assis
tant at Middle East Technical University,
Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering
Department, Ankara, Turkey. He received a
B.Sc. in 1996 and, in 1998, a M.Sc. from
Middle East Technical University. He is a
member of SPE.
Ergun Kuru is an associate professor of
Petroleum Engineering at University of
Alberta. He received his B.Sc. degree from
Middle East Technical University, an
M.Sc. and Ph.D. from Louisiana State
University all in Petroleum Engineering.
His research interests include drilling opti
mization, cuttings transport, underbalanced
drilling, and formation damage. Dr. Kuru is
currently serving in SPE’s drilling engi
neering committee, and is an associate technical editor of the
ASME Journal of Energy Resources Technology. Dr. Kuru is a
member of SPE and the ASME.
Stefan Miska, professor and chairman of
the Department of Petroleum Engineering
at The University of Tulsa since 1992,
obtained his Ph.D. degree (1973) and his
M.S. degree (1968) from the University of
Mining and Metallurgy in Cracow, Poland,
where he began his career in academia as
an assistant professor. He has also worked
at The University of TrondheimNorwegian
Institute of Technology, and at New
Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, where he became
professor and chairman of the petroleum engineering department.
In 1996 he became director of Tulsa University Drilling Research
Projects (TUDRP), a nonprofit research consortium of major
oil/service companies. Dr. Miska was a member of the SPE
Production Operations Committee, is currently a reviewer for
Drilling Engineering, and is a member of the API Resource
Group on Drill Stem Design. He is a member of SPE, IADC, and
the Petroleum Society. His current research interests are in
mechanics of tubulars, drilling optimization, and cuttings
transport.
Nicholas Takach is an associate professor
of chemistry at The University of Tulsa. He
received his B.S. degree in chemistry from
California State Polytechnic University and
a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the
University of Nevada. Dr. Takach joined
Tulsa University Drilling Research Projects
(TUDRP) in 1996 and became associate
director in January, 1999. Dr. Takach is
also a coprincipal investigator of the
Advanced Cuttings Transport Study
(ACTS), a major new research initiative funded primarily by the
U.S. Department of Energy, and was formerly codirector of the
Tulsa University Wettability Research Projects. His research
interests include the physical and chemical properties of drilling
and completion fluids, surface and environmental chemistry
applied to the petroleum industry and thermodynamic modeling of
natural gas stability in ultradeep reservoirs. Dr. Takach has pub
lished in both chemistry and petroleumrelated journals, and has
given presentations in both areas at national and international con
ferences. Dr. Takach is a member of the SPE and the ACS
(American Chemical Society).
June 2002, Volume 41, No. 6
61