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A Comparative Study of Hydraulic Models for Foam Drilling M.E. OZBAYOGLU The University of Tulsa E.

A Comparative Study of Hydraulic Models for Foam Drilling

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 bottom-hole pressure accurately, and to optimize the different controllable variables for effective cutting transport performance. The University of Tulsa’s low-pressure 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 two-phase 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 (6-9) 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 (11-23) . 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., lost-circulation 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.

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

Foam Hydraulic Models The hydraulic models given below are used in the computer program for the
  • v T

=

+

vv

SF

...........................................................................................

(5)

The slip velocities calculated from the pilot-scale 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,

In arriving at a method for predicting friction losses in laminar, τ

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.

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 single-phase 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) .

by using a mass balance, and the real gas law equation as suggest- ed by Mitchell
 

v

S

= 25..

8

LVF

+−

w

357(τ

0 0024 )

0.02

LVF

0.1

≤ 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

density as a function of foam quality. In their calculations, howev- er, they neglected the contribution

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 Buckingham-Reiner 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

 1   3 
1
3

τ

y

32 µ

p

w

  • 1 −+

    • 3 τ

τ

w

.................................................

(1)

Foam Hydraulic Models The hydraulic models given below are used in the computer program for the
  • v =

  • 4

   + 
 +
 1   3 
1
3

τ

y

144 D τ

w

  • 1

  • 3

τ

y

  • 8 µ

o

τ

w

τ

w

4        
4

...............................................

(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

Foam Hydraulic Models The hydraulic models given below are used in the computer program for the

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:

Foam Hydraulic Models The hydraulic models given below are used in the computer program for the

P

(

f

=

4 K


  • D  

83

n

+

1

Q

)

n

L

π nD

  • 3

...................................................................

(3)

For τ w > (4/3)τ y

Foam Hydraulic Models The hydraulic models given below are used in the computer program for the
  • v F

=

144 D

 τ

  • 4

τ

  • 8 µ

o

w

3

y

.....................................................................

(12)

The pilot-scale 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

  • 0

.

02

LVF

0 .1

 

(13)

  • 0

.

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:

Foam Hydraulic Models The hydraulic models given below are used in the computer program for the

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.

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:

For Γ < 60 %, τ = C Γ ............................................................................................. (16) For Γ > 60 %,

µ

a

=

τ '

YP

( 8 v ) d
(
8 v
)
d

1

+ K '

( 8 v ) d
(
8 v
)
d

n ' 1

................................................

(19)

K’, n’, and τYP 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 non-Newtonian 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;

For Γ < 60 %, τ = C Γ ............................................................................................. (16) For Γ > 60 %,

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 density-dependent

parameters are normalized with respect to liquid density by using

this variable. The principle states that if we plot volume-equalized

shear stress vs. volume-equalized 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 volume-equalized Reynolds number as fol-

lows:

For Γ < 60 %, τ = C Γ ............................................................................................. (16) For Γ > 60 %,

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:

For Γ < 60 %, τ = C Γ ............................................................................................. (16) For Γ > 60 %,

dp

  • 1 (

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 volume-equalized power law model [Equation

(29)]

For Γ < 60 %, τ = C Γ ............................................................................................. (16) For Γ > 60 %,

τ =

k

ε

1 n

n − 1 du du dr dr
n − 1
du
du
dr
dr

...........................................................................

(29 )

together with an elementary momentum balance on an axial cell,

they derived an analog of the Haigen-Poiseuille [Equation (30)]:

For Γ < 60 %, τ = C Γ ............................................................................................. (16) For Γ > 60 %,

Q = 2 π

0 R

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 Oldroyd-Jastrzebski correlation (31) .

Consequently, they have defined the volume-equalized Fanning

friction factor as follows:

For Γ < 60 %, τ = C Γ ............................................................................................. (16) For Γ > 60 %,

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 pressure-ambient 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 1: A schematic view of the experimental setup.

FIGURE 2: TUDRP low pressure-ambient temperature flow loop.

FIGURE 2: TUDRP low pressure-ambient 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 pre-mixed in two different tanks, each

with 4.16 m 3 (1,100 gal.) capacity. The water-surfactant 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 (31-32) 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.

FIGURE 3: Shear stress vs. shear rate plot for 70% quality foam.

FIGURE 3: Shear stress vs. shear rate plot for 70% quality foam.

FIGURE 5: Shear stress vs. shear rate plot for 90% 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.

FIGURE 3: Shear stress vs. shear rate plot for 70% quality foam. FIGURE 5: Shear stress

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:

2 Q = Q −β τ π c m w R ........................................................................ (32)
2
Q
=
Q
−β τ
π
c
m
w
R
........................................................................
(32)

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.

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

Oldroyd-Jastrzebski correlation (31) , which suggests a three-step

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 least-squares straight lines will be equal to

8βτ w . Therefore, the value of β can be determined by dividing the

slope of the least-squares 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 Rabinowitch-Mooney (32) equation given as

follows:

FIGURE 7: 1/D 2 vs. shear rate plot for 80% foam quality.

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 8: 1/D 2 vs. shear rate plot for 90% foam quality.

FIGURE 9: Slip factors for different foam qualities.

FIGURE 9: Slip factors for different foam qualities.

TABLE 1: Rheological model parameters. Power Law Bingham Plastic Yield Power Law  s  s
TABLE 1: Rheological model parameters.
Power Law
Bingham Plastic
Yield Power Law
s
s
kg
S
kg
kg
kg
S
f
f
f
f
µ p ( p )
n
K
τy
τy
n
K
2
3
3
2
m
 m
 m
m
70%
0.78
2.48
0.62
0.30
-0.93
0.74
3.38
80%
0.74
5.02
1.01
0.45
-1.63
0.40
49.88
90%
0.56
12.84
0.84
0.77
-708.43
0.00
69,156.57
 

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

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-

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 non-Newtonian 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 slip-corrected 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).

FIGURE 8: 1/D 2 vs. shear rate plot for 90% foam quality. FIGURE 9: Slip factors

V (1 − Γ

  • V 21

=

1

)

+

P T

1

2

P T

2

1

( Γ 1
(
Γ
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.

FIGURE 10: Shear stress and shear rate plot after slip and n’ correction.

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.

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 Yield-Power 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.

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 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.

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.

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.

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 ReVE =

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 n-2 /L

geometry dependent consistency index, mt 2-n /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

Γ = foam quality, dimensionless β = slip coefficient, L 3 /mt β’ = corrected slip
Γ
=
foam quality, dimensionless
β
=
slip coefficient, L 3 /mt
β’
=
corrected slip coefficient, L 4 /mt
µ
=
apparent viscosity, m/Lt
a
µ
=
effective viscosity, m/Lt
e
FIGURE 18: Model comparison with experimental data for 75
mm pipe with 90% quality.
FIGURE 17: Model comparison with experimental data for 50

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 foaming-defoam-

ing materials.

 

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Provenance— Original Petroleum Society manuscript, A

Comparative Study of Hydraulic Models for Foam Drilling

(2000-183) first presented at the Canadian International Petroleum

Conference June 4-8, 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 pre-press December 7,

final approval June 3, 2002.

Authors’ Biographies

Safety Journal, 1998. 30. MITCHELL, B.J., Viscosity of Foam; Ph.D. Thesis, University of Oklahoma, 1967. 31.

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.

Safety Journal, 1998. 30. MITCHELL, B.J., Viscosity of Foam; Ph.D. Thesis, University of Oklahoma, 1967. 31.

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.

Safety Journal, 1998. 30. MITCHELL, B.J., Viscosity of Foam; Ph.D. Thesis, University of Oklahoma, 1967. 31.

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 Trondheim-Norwegian

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 non-profit 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.

Safety Journal, 1998. 30. MITCHELL, B.J., Viscosity of Foam; Ph.D. Thesis, University of Oklahoma, 1967. 31.

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 co-principal 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 co-director 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 petroleum-related 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).