SHELL EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION COMPANY

HOLE CLEANING BEST PRACTICES QUICK GUIDE

Revision 0

April 2003

SEPCo HOLE CLEANING BEST PRACTICES QUICK GUIDE
The concept of “Drilling in the Box” is used to represent the engineering required in the planning and execution stages of a well in order to optimize hole cleaning as part of the entire drilling system. The inside of the box represents an environment of “good hole cleaning”, with the sides representing the limits that must be taken into account in order to remain in the box. Throughout the planning and execution phases of a well, it must be remembered that changes to one parameter will impact others, and a systems approach must be applied to all decisions, to remain within “the box”.

The “PLANNING BOX”
ECD Planning THE SOFT ISSUES WELL DESIGN (wellpath, casing size and depth, PP/FG window, modeling) g es nin tic WELLBORE STABILITY (mud, practices, sag, ECD) un ac R Pr n DRILLSTRING DESIGN (pipe size, pipe specifications, fatigue, casing wear, mechanical tools) tio ing ple ipp RIG CAPABILITY (pumps, standpipe, top drive, power, solids control, PM, hoisting) Tr om C & d MUD SELECTION (mud type, properties, sag) g an llin i g ECD PLANNING (wellpath, casing, mud, drillstring) Dr sin Drillstring Desig Ca DIRECTIONAL DRILLING STRATEGIES (Bit & BHA types) n CASING & COMPLETION RUNNING (modeling, surge pressures) DRILLING & TRIPPING PRACTICES (parameters, practices) s gie te n ra sig St g De n illi ell “Good hole cleaning performance W Dr al doesn’t just happen … it must be ion ct re engineered into the design” Di Wellbore Stabilit y

Mud Selection

The “EXECUTION BOX”
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me Re Mechanical Tools

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Soft Issues

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ECD Managemen t
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THE SOFT ISSUES DIRECTIONAL DRILLING PRACTICES
practices)

Rig Capability

(BHA design, strategy,

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MECHANICAL TOOLS (PBL, jet subs, bladed drillpipe, other) DRILLING PARAMETERS AND PRACTICES (RPM, flowrate, ROP,
connection practices, modeling)

RTOC
s ice ct a pr

MUD PROPERTIES (weight, rheology, PV’s, barite sag, gas cut mud) ECD MANAGEMENT (mud, PWD, procedures, post run analysis) HOLE CONDITION MONITORING (T&D, cuttings load & description,
downhole drilling dynamics tools, PP/FG monitoring)

Tripping Practices

Mud Properties

REMEDIAL HOLE CLEANING PRACTICES
backreaming)

(cleanup cycles, sweeps,

Drilling Parameters and Practices

re Di

g lin ril D al on i ct

TRIPPING PRACTICES (cleanup cycles, tripping, backreaming) RTOC (Real Time Operations Center)

“Sometimes you have to go slow to go fast”

Soft Issues

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company

UNDERSTANDING THE THEORY
Understanding the basic theory presented below is necessary prior to considering the hole cleaning guidelines that follow.

What is happening to the cuttings downhole?

There are three distinct inclination ranges where cuttings will behave differently, and thus strategies for hole cleaning will also differ. Note in a high inclination high angle well, all three ranges will be seen in a single wellbore. In wells with inclinations in the range of 35° - 60°, cuttings begin to form “beds”, as the distance for them to fall to bottom is now measured in inches. The cuttings move up the hole mostly on the low side, but can be easily stirred up into the flow regime. The most notable feature of this inclination range is that when the pumps are shut off, the “beds” will begin to slide (or avalanche) downhole. There is an increased risk of pack-offs and stuck pipe occurring in this range.

Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0

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PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 0° - 60° 35° -35° In a vertical to 35° degree well, cuttings are brought to the surface by combating cutting slip velocity, where the cutting must fall thousands of feet to reach the bottom of the hole. Hole cleaning is simply provided by the viscosity and flowrate of the drilling fluid. When the pumps are turned off, cuttings are suspended by the thixotropic drilling fluid, although some settling will occur with time.

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Although Page 5 the challenges associated with an avalanching bed have gone away. and often more time consuming.90°. continuous cuttings bed. Apr 2003 .90+° Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Between 60° . hole cleaning in this environment is still difficult.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 60° . the cuttings fall to the low side of the hole and form a long.

ECD and excessive T&D. Fluid and cuttings move uniformly in annulus High Velocity Fluid Low Velocity Fluid Tripping – cuttings beds will need to be lower as the BHA with stabilizers and bit restrictions are pulled back through the cuttings bed (minimal clearance and flowby area). Bed height will be limited by pack-off. increased friction). the tolerable cuttings bed height and distribution will not be the same for all operations. VERTICAL WELLBORE HIGH ANGLE WELLBORE “A wellbore with a cuttings bed height and distribution such that operations are trouble free” Based on the definition above. Casing Running – depending on the annular clearance and slack-off weight available. This may require minimal or no cuttings bed remaining in the hole.e. there may be very little tolerance for cuttings beds being pushed in front of the casing (i. Hole cleaning practices should be developed in respect to the following distinct operations: Drilling . and cuttings transport is very limited. Cuttings on the low side will not be disturbed by fluid unless stirred up by pipe rotation Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 6 Apr 2003 . the fluid in a high angle wellbore simply flows up the high side. Bed heights can quickly become intolerable in this case.cuttings beds can be higher for drilling because the BHA is not being pulled through them (good clearance).PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Cuttings Movement With Flow Cuttings Movement Without Flow What happens to the fluid flow at high inclinations? What is a clean hole? Without rotation.

Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 7 Apr 2003 . gravity acts to lowside of hole like aas the high velocity on conveyor belt thecutting on hole acts Fluid flow transportingcuttings lowside ofhole pull them back to the it lifts the the cuttings up the the back onto the conveyor hole. Eventually the cuttings will fall off the conveyor belt due to the belt.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company How are cuttings removed from the Hole? Resultantrotationpushed up the top of Drillpipe force Gravity on flow area High velocity As cuttings Force Drillpipe hole by Cutting fromare turns at the conveyor belt fluid. Flowrate governs the speed of the conveyor belt and how long the cuttings stay on it. summation of these forces.

The minimal values are based on the use of good hole cleaning practices in conjunction with these reduced parameters.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company What parameters are required? DESIRABLE HOLE SIZE 17½” 14½” 12¼” 9⅞” 8½” FOR GOOD HOLE CLEANING RPM MINIMAL FOR EFFECTIVE HOLE CLEANING RPM FLOWRATE (gpm) 900 – 1200 850 – 1150 800 – 1100 700 – 900 450 .g.400 120 – 150 120 – 170 150 – 180 120 – 150 70 – 100 120 120 120 100 60 Note that the values shown in the table above should only be used as a generic guideline. Caution: vibrations due to bit and BHA excitation (e.600 FLOWRATE (gpm) 800 800 650 . steerable assemblies) should always be considered / monitored with high rpm’s.700 500 350 . Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 8 Apr 2003 . with bi-center bits.

Low effective mud weight can cause formation collapse increasing the hole size. The impacts of changing the wellpath must be carefully modeled as a small change can have a significant impact on a high angle well. and ultimately the feasibility of the entire well. casing sizes and depths are generally defined by other criteria. and “how” of success.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company “PLANNING BOX” HIGH LEVEL GUIDELINES The following high level guidelines should be reviewed in the planning stage of the well design. for tight clearance casing programs. Adequate time and resources should be allotted to planning high angle wells. and specific training should be a prerequisite for engineers involved in planning these wells. Logistics are generally more of an issue on high angle wells and need to be planned thoroughly prior to and during the well. Wellbore instability must be solved before hole cleaning can be effective. wellbore instability. Wells in the range of 35º . and detailed offset analysis and modeling will be required. as this will be a significant part of the design basis for the well. Although the wellpath is generally defined by other criteria. Care should be exercised with theoretical models as many of the key parameters involve assumptions which may not be true in practice. cuttings beds. Page 9 Apr 2003 • • • WELL DESIGN • • • • • WELLBORE STABILITY • • • • • Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 . There are many design issues that need to be considered. Operational practices must be designed around keeping within the recommended effective downhole mud weight envelope. as well as to highlight significant operational issues that will impact the well design. faults. reducing AV’s and increasing the cuttings load. Solving wellbore instability starts by having the right mud weight to control the formations being drilled. This should be accomplished through training during the planning phase of the well. Note that there is little scope for optimization in the execution phase if the planning has not been successful in designing out the limitations. and rubble zones associated with salt.60º build interval cased off with smaller casing can be a significant benefit. Operations personnel should be involved from the early stages of planning to facilitate ownership in the plans. and fracture gradient profiles need to be well defined. Excessive downhole mud weight can result in loss circulation and the need for lower pump rate and rpm. High angle wells should be planned using a systematic approach that allows the designs to be progressed in a series of steps as the spud date approaches. Everyone must understand the risks and the “what”.60º generally result in more problems with hole cleaning and tripping when poor practices are used. High angle wells cannot be planned in the same manner as vertical or low angle directional wells. to ensure that all aspects of the hole cleaning system have been considered. For example. wellbore instability). but when possible. Oversized hole sections may allow greater tolerance for poor hole conditions (i. If further details or background are required. Each interval of the well should be modeled using a hole cleaning model to identify potential problems in each section of the wellbore. “why”. Wellbore instability can be detrimental to hole cleaning. but the implications for hole cleaning also need to be considered. Consider the challenges of drilling through insitu fractured formations. having the 30º . as well as significant implications when things do go wrong. There is generally little margin for error. these should be optimized to aid with hole cleaning. The pore pressure. It must not be assumed that these wells will drill the same as vertical wells. Getting either of these wrong can have a significant impact on hole cleaning. THE SOFT ISSUES • • • Commitment and alignment is required at all levels. when possible. and orientations within a field.e. Again. modifications can be applied to the wellpath to optimize hole cleaning directly or indirectly. refer to the relevant sections in the manual. A wellbore stability study using STABOR will be beneficial in identifying the required mud weight for different well inclinations.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • • • Tripping practices are also critical on a high angle well to avoid inducing wellbore instability (e. pack-off when backreaming) Controlling barite sag when the mud weight envelope is narrow is important for avoiding instability. Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 10 Apr 2003 . swabbing.g. PWD should be run to aid in controlling the effective downhole mud weight within the permissible envelope.

If pump redundancy is not available. separate boost pumps may be required). Note ID and OD of connections on long drillstrings can have a significant impact on flowrates (ID) and ECD (OD). Casing wear should also be considered with high tensions and RPM. Additionally. The top drive must be capable of the maximum torques that will be seen in the well (may not be at TD). pumping rotating and picking up) The rig will require adequate solids control to allow the mud system to be processed at the required flowrates and ROP’s. and tensions. ECD management. Any additional surface limitations need to be evaluated and eliminated where possible. and during the well (e. When hole cleaning is the priority. additional volume from cement pump) In general.e. T&D. The optimal drillstring size is likely to change in the different hole sections of a well. Avoid compromises to downhole flowrates to boost the riser (i. Pipe specifications will need to account for the maximum modeled pick-up tension (drilling and landing strings).g. etc). fishability. The maximum pressure when modeling hydraulics should not be based on the standpipe pressure. Consideration should be given to running bladed drillpipe to help stir up cuttings bed through long tangent and build sections. pumps lines. the ability to boost the riser to increase AV’s should be considered. or pressure limitations due to swivel packing reliability. large OD hole sections (e. These dimensions need to be optimized within other design limitations (i. The maximum rig power available will need to be compared against the worst case power requirement while drilling.e. For deep high angle wells the combined drillstring loading should be considered with high pressures. the maximum continuous torque available at 120rpm is also important. fishability. the drillstring size should be as large as possible to allow the maximum flowrate to be pumped within the other system limitations (surface system. reduce the risk of pack-off while backreaming). saver subs). Recognize the implications of using a landing string in drilling the well. and consideration given to increased maintenance prior to. clear guidelines should be in place should a pump not be available for any reason (e. Consider the use of intermediate liner sizes that may provide improved flowrates in specific applications. Having a sufficient number of high quality shakers is the main priority (one per 300gpm as a rule-of. The pressure and flowrate limitations of the specific pump liners (with realistic safety factors) will need to be used in the hydraulics modeling. swivel packings.g. Detailed hydraulics modeling will be required to ensure that the pumps are capable of outputting the required flowrates. T&D). pick-up tensions. and may include tapered drillstrings. can you drill ahead. High angle wells generally place higher loads on rig equipment. Preventive maintenance plans should be reviewed in the planning stage. • • • • • RIG CAPABILITY • • • • • • • • • • Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 11 Apr 2003 . This is particularly true if backreaming is planned (i. This is generally for backreaming at the TD of deep.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company DRILLSTRING DESIGN • Hole cleaning must be taken into account when designing or selecting the drillstring.thumb). and perform adequate sensitivity analysis.g. Always assume realistic parameters in modeling (benchmark offsets where possible).e. as this rpm will be the minimum required for effective hole cleaning in 12¼" and larger hole size. The hoisting capacity of the rig will need to be carefully evaluated if high surface tensions are expected when drilling or running casing. For deepwater applications. and torque. Common examples include limited flowrates due to shakers or flowlines. rotary speeds. Comprehensive T&D and hydraulics modeling are required to allow the optimal drillstring size to be selected. a 5000psi standpipe pressure rating will be the minimum required for most high angle wells. but rather the value that the pop-off valves on the mud pumps are actually set at (with an operating margin). The number and type of mud pumps available on the rig can often be a limitation to the hole cleaning.

i. Mud checks at the rig site should be conducted at downhole circulating temperature. and flow line temperature.g. the mud properties will need to be optimized to meet the requirements of minimum ECD and maximum hole cleaning at the same time. 6 rpm reading preferably at 1 – 1. and the wellpath should be designed (within other constraints) to be as short as possible.g. and insufficient rheology (especially low 6 & 3 rpm’s and YP). For deepwater applications. For deepwater applications. and other parameters should be included. prevention of bitballing).PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company MUD SELECTION • In large diameter low angle holes. mud line temperature. connections and centralization. mud properties etc.e. pack-off and lost circulation. WBM systems are the preferred mud systems for drilling and hole cleaning. but should show the results for the entire openhole interval. Barite sag may adversely affect ECD and surge pressures. Note that ECD’s are not reduced by a single design change. and maintenance at the rig-site (especially maintaining adequate ultra low-end rheology.e. and cause barite sag. Hole sizes should be optimized to maximize the annular clearance.e. prevention of differential sticking). but implications for hole cleaning need to be considered. rheology. these criteria strongly favor the use of SBM’s (exceptions are areas with very high fracturing / lost circulation risks). Realize that lowering the mud properties to minimize ECD may compromise the hole cleaning efficiency. If narrow allowable mud weight margins dictate the control of ECD as a primary concern. Consider running casing as a liner if ECD’s margins are tight. Hole cleaning and ECD modeling should be conducted using parameter input from Fann 70 (or equivalent) viscometer measurements. Consider ECD implications when designing the wellpath. drillstring. ROP. Sensitivities to mud weight. Drilling oversize openhole sections may yield benefits to ECD. Lower inclinations may also require less mud weight and reduce ECD’s. insufficient flowrates. For example ECD’s are a function of well length. Detailed ECD modeling will be required early in the planning stages to understand the implications of the well design and equipment being used. cleanup cycles. High-vis sweeps may need to be programmed to clean the hole properly.) due to a combination of high ROP. ECD’s must be modeled with variable downhole rheology that take into account the temperature / pressure profile throughout the wellbore. and well control. In most cases. etc). Care should be taken to prevent high annular cuttings loading (resulting in high ECD. Barite sag is an important detrimental phenomenon that must be taken into account in the selection and design of a mud system for high angle wells. but rather the addition of many small incremental design changes (often requires a lot of work to make margins manageable). Minimizing barite sag tendency requires dedicated formulation of the mud formulation for sag control (using sag control agents such as organophilic clays). 600 rpm & 300 rpm reading that affect PV and YP). Examples may include drillstring and casing design. it is recommended to formulate the mud with appropriate low-end rheology (i. and should be optimized as part of the overall drillstring design.e. as ECD’s are not necessarily the highest on-bottom.2 x hole size). Casing strings should be designed considering the ECD implications of casing size. weight. Fann 70 data should be used.e. Page 12 Apr 2003 • • • • ECD PLANNING • • • • • • • • • Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 . provided other system limitations (e. warranting remedial actions (e. flowrate. mud rheology should be considered explicitly as a function of temperature and pressure. For hole cleaning. controlled ROP. and environments with reduced drilling margins and high fracturing / lost circulation risks. wellbore stability. wellbore stability in shales. flowrate and rpm. rpm. Note that it is difficult to modify low-end rheology independent from high-end rheology (i. friction coefficient and fluid loss control (i. aggravated BHA balling etc. ECD’s should not just be calculated and compared to fracture gradient at TD (what PWD will see). pack-off. pro-active monitoring (using special sag screening techniques such as the VST test). then hole cleaning may become a lower priority. Main mud selection criteria for drilling high angle holes are: hole-making ability (i. The drillstring size and connection OD may have a significant impact on ECD’s. If managing ECD’s are a higher priority than hole cleaning (generally smaller hole sizes). < 3 rpm readings). restrictions on viscosity due to ECD limitations) are met as well.

may require a cleaner hole or alternative casing running technique). if minimal weight available at TD. as well as the level of exposure to poor hole conditions (i.e. With deep high angle wells. • • • • • • • CASING & COMPLETION RUNNING • • • • • • • Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 13 Apr 2003 . These may include rotary assemblies (with adjustable stabilizers). or rotary Steerable Tools (RSS). The bits impact on directional performance. or to allow circulation in casing with bit-centers on a motor or underreamers. Alternatively. consider a dedicated cleanout run with an optimized hole cleaning BHA. hydraulics. vibrations. Modeling of the casing runs should always be performed to determine the casing slack-off and pick-up weights. etc). and need to be run with appropriate practices to maintain good hole cleaning. PBL subs can be used for increased flowrates. pumping of aggressive LCM pills. As inclination and stepout increases. but rather need to be matched to objectives of the BHA being run. pick-up weights are generally more of an issue. footage. steerable motor assemblies are not ideally suited for good hole cleaning. Long casing strings should be run with a fill-up and circulate tool to facilitate working casing to bottom. Work with the geologists to maximize the target area. directional control. or cost/ft. The maximum flowrate and rpm specifications for all BHA components should be evaluated. Open shoes and fluid diverter systems may be required with tight annular clearance to reduce surge pressures. DWOB/DTOR). ECD management. Centralizer spacing on the shoe-track will be important to creating limber shoe-tracks to aid in running pipe through build and turn sections. or tight clearances. and any limitations designed out if possible at the planning stage.g. and junk slot area are particularly important.e. alternatives should always be considered if hole cleaning is a priority for an interval. For each hole section. If conventional steerable assemblies are run. Alternatively the use of bits and mud motors on the last casing string / liner can be used to work pipe to bottom. Consideration should also be given to the use of electronic tools in the BHA to aid with (and monitor) hole cleaning effectiveness. slack-off weights will become an issue. Bits should not be selected based solely on ROP. cutting size. These tools are just one part of the hole cleaning system. Liner hangers with the ability to circulate and rotate should be considered to facilitate running to bottom.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company DIRECTIONAL DRILLING STRATEGIES • • The Directional Drilling Strategy is an integral part of hole cleaning. the directional strategy should be planned around the key issues in that interval (i. particularly with tight annular clearances. or other indirect affects (e. this may allow rotary assemblies with adjustable stabilizers to be used in the tangent sections. practices will be all the more critical to ensure the hole is clean and tripping problems are avoided. consider drilling it as a pilot hole and then opening it up to the required hole size. RSS’s should not be considered the “ultimate” hole cleaning solution. Picking up casing and liner strings with tight clearances can lead to excessive swabbing and wellbore instability. Running casing to bottom in a high angle well should not always be taken as a given. and various design approaches may be pursued to allow the casing to run to bottom. If possible. Reamer or asymmetric shoes should be considered for casing and liners to aid in working the pipe through tight spots or cuttings beds left in the hole. to reduce the sliding required if motors are used. hole cleaning. High weight / grade or high collapse casing may be required with floated casing. If it is known that a section will not be able to be cleaned with the given parameters. or if floating casing. Additionally. Consideration should be given to running various mechanical tools in the BHA such as jet subs or PBL subs. ECD’s must be considered when running casing / liners. In general. PWD. Centralization type and quantity will be critical to reducing drag as casing and liners are run to bottom.

flowrate. remedial hole cleaning options will need to be available. Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 14 Apr 2003 . Appropriate tripping / backreaming practices also need to be developed and agreed to prior to drilling the well. losses (surge. sweeps. Again these options need to be thought out and agreed to in the planning stage. backreaming. pack-off). or inducing wellbore instability (swab). Trip speeds need to be defined using swab / surge modeling. The requirements for each of these needs to be clearly understood in the planning phase to ensure that all limitations are designed out where possible. and ROP. mud properties. These practices need to be centered around avoiding stuck pipe.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company DRILLING AND TRIPPING PRACTICES • • • • The key parameters for hole cleaning while drilling are rpm. In the case that the hole cannot be cleaned within the limitations of parameters above. These may include cleanup cycle.

In high inclination wells it is likely that much of the drillpipe will be run in compression. Similarly. the OD of all BHA components must be documented to identify areas of minimal clearance (i. Directional drillers should avoid “chasing the line” which will result in excessive sliding and tortuosity. motor bend and rpm limit). but PDC bits can utilize larger nozzles without compromising performance. RSS’s should be considered to provide a single trip option. DWOP. Contingency plans should be proactively developed for all operations in the initial planning phase (e. is time consuming. flow-by area.e. Roller cone bits require HSI for drilling efficiency. Consider a “pit-stop” strategy with multiple BHA’s designed to efficiently drill and clean the different sections of the well (but consider the impact on wellbore stablility). avoid excessive directional work trying to hit the center of the target (i. hitting the target involves landing anywhere in the target box). • • • DIRECTIONAL DRILLING PRACTICES • • • • • • Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 15 Apr 2003 . This is often important for gaining extra flowrate in pressure limited situations. For example. refer to the relevant sections in the manual. pre-tour) is required to ensure all personnel. are able to understand what is happening downhole. to ensure that all aspects of the hole cleaning system are considered.e. Drillpipe run in compression should be reposition periodically and inspected frequently for fatigue. A single BHA may have to achieve multiple objectives (e. Everyone involved needs to understand the special challenges that are required to drill a high angle well may require a paradigm shift in hole cleaning practices. If steerable motors are run. and make the right decisions for the success of the well. they should be set up to maximize the section drilled in rotary mode. As with the planning phase. Quality control is critical on high angle wells to prevent tool failures in the hole. and result in further compromises and problems. In particular. risk matrix).PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company “EXECUTION BOX” HIGH LEVEL GUIDELINES The following high level guidelines should be reviewed prior to the execution stage of the well. THE SOFT ISSUES • Again the commitment and alignment of all personnel is critical in the execution phase.g. which is agreed to at all levels. Fishing and recovering from downhole tool failures. potential for packing off and tripping problems). which may compromise drilling efficiency. A clear and concise hole cleaning plan should be prepared prior to the well. Avoid running excessive HWDP and drillcollars for weight in the high angle section of the well. Additionally. The junk slot area (JSA) should be maximized for easier tripping through cuttings beds (a natural feature of bi-center bits and oversize hole). Reacting to problems often leads to solutions that are not optimal. dimensions. hole cleaning course.g.g. in a build section. and additional tripping. etc). from the Rig Superintendent to the shaker hand. Alternatively. and hole cleaning (e. and often leads to more significant problems with the hole. build followed by tangent). as this will negatively impact both T&D and flowrates. the steerable assembly should be set up to build in rotary mode.g. Careful consideration must be given to every BHA component and how it will impact hole cleaning (flowrate and rpm limitations. use the appropriate practices. If further details or background are required. consideration should be given to running adjustable stabilizers behind the motor to provide some added flexibility to rotary build /drop rates (not applicable when drilling oversize hole). prespud. specific and appropriate training (e.

collect consistent T&D data. The system should be designed to maximize the flowrate at all times and in all sections. cutting returns). Hole Condition monitoring (HCM) as discussed below. Initial ROP upon drillout should be controlled at a conservative level while steady state conditions are established (e. rheology. etc). and ECD management. within other limitations (e. Drilling should cease if loss of a pump or power results in key drilling parameters (e. but may allow more tolerance for cuttings in the hole when tripping (i. Prior to. and when backreaming motors with bi-center bits in casing.e. allow underreamers to collapse when circulating and rotating in casing. The plan is to maximize the ROP while staying within “the box”. ECD. Along with rheology and cutting size. In the case that the hole cannot be cleaned within the limitations of parameters above. they may be used to pump aggressive LCM pills which cannot pass through downhole tools. Standard connection practices will need to be developed. larger OD hole).g. Additionally. etc). and ROP. For floater applications. It’s use can also reduce the risk of pack-off while backreaming (i.g.g. vibrations. In 12¼" hole and above. large JSA) Nozzled motors or jet subs should be considered for by-passing flow if a flowrate restriction is seen in the BHA. when excess pumping capacity exists. The aim of these practices should be to minimize the potential for getting stuck on a connection. hole cleaning models can be used to give an idea of the parameters that are required for effective hole cleaning at a given ROP. these parameters need to be optimized to clean the entire wellbore. flowrate) falling below agreed threshold values. Smaller hole sizes will require less rpm in the range of 60-120rpm. above liner tops). and minimize the pressure loading on the hole. BHA components. and while drilling the well. standpipe pressure.e. remedial hole cleaning options as discussed below will need to be pursued. ECD. aid with hole cleaning.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company MECHANICAL TOOLS • PBL subs with multiple open and close cycles can be used to increase flowrates when needed for cleaning up the wellbore (e. This may require tri-cone bits to be run as the motors torque output will be impacted by nozzling. mud pumps. PWD and vibrations need to be monitored to find the optimum rpm for hole cleaning. Models should always be calibrated with actual data (generally indirect indicators – T&D. the riser should be boosted to increase AV’s and unload cuttings that may be accumulating. cuttings. Bladed drillpipe can be used to stir up cuttings beds in long tangent sections and increase the rate at which the hole is cleaned up. 120 rpm is the minimum rpm required for effective hole cleaning.g. the key drilling parameters for hole cleaning are rpm. In a high angle section (>30º). ROP is used as the “control” for hole cleaning. • • • DRILLING PARAMETERS AND PRACTICES • • • • • • • • • • Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 16 Apr 2003 . is the means for maximizing the ROP. rpm. multiple dunes with smaller size). T&D. Underreamers and bi-center bits may make hole cleaning more difficult (i. flowrate (AV).e.

provided other system limitations (e. and may increase the chance of pack-offs. However. little difference between 10 min and 30 min gels) but adequate to suspend cuttings (e. Gel strengths should be non-progressive (i.e.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company MUD PROPERTIES • The mud weight required for both wellbore stability (as determined by STABOR) and well control. make controlling mud properties more difficult. Simulations need to be carried out using mud properties as a function of temperature and pressure. without suffering excessive hole problems. Note that it is difficult to modify low-end rheology independent from high-end rheology (i. should be maintained prior to drilling into problem formations.e. It is recommended to obtain Fann 70 measurements of the mud sent out from the plant.). no dispersion occurs) and must be removed from the hole. Field experience shows that it is usually possible to maintain a mud weight of 0. tripping.g. gellation) allows for cuttings to remain suspended in the mud while static. ≥ 0.e.g.e. LGS should preferably be < 5%.g. as determined by Fann 70 (or equivalent) viscometer. slow fracture breathing etc. small wellbore influx. The use of a pressurized mud balance is recommended to accurately measure surface mud weights. Maintaining good shale inhibition and chemical wellbore stabilization is an important requirement for drilling and cleaning high-deviation wellbores.2 x hole size). and cuttings beds that are more difficult to remove (due to mutual sticking of cuttings). and occasionally test mud samples from the rig. API SP (measuring solids control efficiency) should preferably be >90% (note that high dilution rates to maintain optimum properties will inflate drilling fluid cost). as all cuttings are kept intact (i. strongly favoring the use of SBMs. keep YP in check (thereby controlling ECD’s). and stuck pipe. Good solids control.g. 6 rpm reading preferably at 1 – 1. logging. Poor inhibition and chemical stability will complicate hole cleaning by causing wellbore enlargement. restrictions on viscosity due to ECD) are met as well.e. Pro-active sag monitoring using representative tests (e. pack-off problems (with associated fracturing & lost circulation risks). Sweeps in high angle holes should be avoided.5 ppg below STABOR recommended mud weight) will inevitably lead to wellbore enlargement (with cavings and reduced annular velocities complicating hole cleaning).e. consult with bit experts) to update hole cleaning predictions. Use actual cuttings size (i.2 – 0. PWD information on static mud weight while tripping yields valuable information on sag tendency. minimizing pump pressures and maximizing flow rates for hole cleaning. as they tend to be ineffective. EzClean / TDClean / Virtual Hydraulics etc. VST) should be practiced. Running SBMs with higher synthetic-to-water ratio (SWR) will help to thin the fluid. slow pump rates and pipe rotation. The effect of mud compressibility (more pronounced for SBMs than for WBMs) always needs to be taken into account when selecting and maintaining an optimum downhole mud weight. higher annular loading. hole collapse. maintenance requirements on sag control agents such as organophilic clays in the right ratio’s) should be strictly adhered to. 600 rpm & 300 rpm reading that affect PV and YP). Note that higher SWR’s will increase the cost of the mud system. 10 sec gel: 10 – 18 lbs/100ft2.g. is crucial to minimize PV (thereby minimizing pump pressure / maximizing flow rates).g. • • • • • • • • • • • Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 17 Apr 2003 . It is recommended to maintain the mud with appropriate low-end rheology (i.) which should be minimized if possible. maintaining even lower mud weights (e. and prevent gels from becoming progressive (thereby preventing excessive swab & surge pressures). 10 min & 30 min gels: 16 – 28 lbs/100ft2).g. Thixotropy (i. Note that good shale inhibition may complicate hole cleaning in large diameter vertical hole. monitor shakers. preventing cuttings / solids breaking down to colloidal size in the mud. and should be used to optimize pump staging and mud circulation during trips.3 ppg below the STABOR mud weight (e. Mud rheology should be optimized in accordance with hole cleaning simulations (e. Mud treatment recommendations (e. Barite sag is aggravated by low shear operations (e. to accommodate high ECD’s in small drilling margin environments).g.

the mud system will need to be designed with minimal high-end rheology. etc Prior to drilling into a known loss / depleted / weak zone. Drilling parameters and mud properties need to be tracked to provide a relative measure of changes in the hole cleaning system. pipe movement. consider performing a cleanup cycle to minimize the cuttings and ECD loading in the hole. For high angle sections where ECD margins are tight. The cuttings returning across the shakers must be checked at regular intervals. Specific procedures need to be followed to minimize ECD cycling on the formations for all operations – drilling. and used to predict ECD’s throughout the wellbore (might be higher ECD’s further up the hole). The shape and character of the cuttings are also an indicator of what is happening downhole. Real-time monitoring of T&D data verses predicted data is one of the primary means of monitoring hole cleaning effectiveness while drilling. reduced flowrate and rpm).g. PWD should be run and used to understand the impact of various parameter while drilling (flowrate. which should be monitored to provide an indication of the hole gauge when drilling and tripping. Additionally. Some FEWD tools provide a pseudo-caliper (e. • • • • • • • HOLE CONDITION MONITORING (HCM) • • • • • • • Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 18 Apr 2003 . mud weight required for wellbore stability. reaming. and sweeps (pressure spikes) should be avoided. Note that the hole will become more difficult to cleanup once losses begin (e. resistivity / density / neutron). Boosting of the riser can be used for controlling cuttings loading and mud viscosity in the riser. cutting weighing machine. It is important to recognize all the methods used to gather data in the HCM process are indirect measurements and require interpretation. all measures must be taken to control the effective downhole mud weight. RTOC can be a resource for this review. breaking circulation.e. lower flowrates).g. connections.g. thicker mud in the riser (due to low temperatures) may also result in increased ECD’s. PWD data (incorporated with drilling parameters) should also be used as another data set to monitor the hole condition. Each source of data should not be used in isolation. gel strengths (surge) should be as flat as possible. cuttings loading in the riser may impact ECD’s. Time based (memory) PWD logs should be reviewed at the end of each run to determine the effectiveness of practices.g. timed bucket). etc). trying to clean the hole once losses or wellbore instability have started becomes far more difficult. and fracture gradient) is tight. Some qualitative or quantitative means of measuring the cuttings volume will aid in providing a relative measure of how well the hole is being cleaned (e. Hole Condition Monitoring (HCM) is the real-time collection and interpretation of relevant well data. tripping. In practice this may compromise hole cleaning (e. may not show cuttings beds lying on low side of the hole). The PWD data should not be monitored in isolation as it may not provide a true indication of hole cleaning effectiveness in high angle tangent sections (i. and analyze problems. Hydraulics models should be calibrated with actual data from the PWD. rpm. For deepwater applications. Additionally. and also monitor practices when off-bottom (time based logs). running casing. However.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company ECD MANAGEMENT • If the drilling envelope (determined by pore pressure. cutting height in auger. This method is also used as the primary means of monitoring tripping and casing running operations in high angle wells. with the aim of maximizing ROP within the hole cleaning system (“drilling in the box”).

it may be necessary in specific applications (e. Cased hole should not be considered a “safe haven” on high angle wells. but if done incorrectly can increase the potential for fractures and loss circulation. ECD management. as this is the operation where most stuck pipe and borehole problems occur. Note that backreaming may prevent swab related instability. etc). floating casing. safer. and more efficient to maintain a clean hole than to clean up a dirty one. as the risks of getting stuck in cuttings beds still exists. on TLP’s and platform rigs). indicate a wellbore stability problem. tight annular clearances. consider stopping to perform a cleanup cycle. running casing / liner with open floats). The RTOC is staffed with skilled Contract and Shell staff working together to monitor planned vs actual operations for all wells drilled realtime. RTOC can be a resource for optimizing tripping speeds. backreaming is not recommended unless required in specific applications.g.e. BHI. and recommended backreaming procedures should be strictly followed. In case riser boost is not available (e. the mud weight should be increased (within the allowable mud weight envelope). but may be used to check the condition of the hole. or some other data. the first action should be to ensure that all drilling parameters are optimized for hole cleaning (e. tight hole). by providing improved operational planning and monitoring. If backreaming is performed.g. The cleanup cycle should be performed at the maximum allowable flowrate and rpm. If indications are seen that hole cleaning is starting to become a problem (i. Effective practices are critical to tripping success. Backreaming is a high risk and time consuming operation. control drill at a reduced ROP in an attempt to find the optimal ROP to remain on-bottom and “drilling in the box”. It is recommended that a tailgate meeting is held prior to backreaming operations due to the increased risk of pack-off and stuck pipe. and measure the T&D before and after the cleanup cycle. Their objective is to identify deviations and anomalies from planned and then notify offshore / onshore rig team to permit “real time” changes (optimization) in the program and operating practices to be made (e. Wiper trips (check trip / short trip) are of limited value in hole cleaning.g. However. as they tend to be ineffective and make controlling mud properties more difficult. hole cleaning. and hole cleaning problems still exists. 2-4 x BU). detrimental operating practices. If the drilling parameters and mud weight are all optimized.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company REMEDIAL HOLE CLEANING PRACTICES • It has been repeatedly demonstrated that it is better to stay on-bottom at an optimized ROP (“drilling in the box”). It is easier. Refer to the manual and sample detailed guidelines for more details of tripping practices. and then use remedial actions to clean up the hole. Regardless of which method is used to trip. T&D deviates. and capture / sharing of learning’s. • • • • • • • TRIPPING PRACTICES • • • • • • RTOC • • Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 19 Apr 2003 . increase rpm. Trip speeds need to be optimized using swab / surge modeling. Sweeps in high angle hole should be avoided. As for the remedial hole cleaning practices.g. Tripping out of the hole is where the “rubber meets the road” on high angle wells. it should always be preceded by a cleanup cycle.g. SEPCo’s Real Time Operations Center (RTOC) is designed to improve performance and reduce drilling trouble time/cost for GOM wells. Monitor PWD. ECD increasing. cuttings load. the first step should always be to perform a cleanup cycle. Hi-vis sweeps are recommended for cleaning large diameter low angle hole if cuttings removal proves insufficient due to low pump rates / annular velocities and/or insufficient mud rheology. a sweep may also be useful at the tail end of a clean-up cycle to help lift any remaining cuttings to the surface. flowrate). until the shakers are clean (e. If cuttings over the shakers. than it is to drill at ROP’s outside the ability to clean the hole. If none of the above steps are effective.

well designs.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company DETAILED GUIDELINE TEMPLATES Following are detailed guidelines for: • • • • • Cleanup Cycles Hole Cleaning While Drilling Connection Practices Standard Tripping Practices Backreaming Practices. as equipment. Note that these guidelines will most likely be different for every well and every hole section. and section priorities change. Pull up slowly to avoid washing out the hole. Monitor vibrations to avoid excessive levels. Generally 2 distinct waves of cuttings over the shakers will occur during the cleanup cycle (second generally comes at 1-1. Expect improvement as the hole cleans up. at a rate of one stand every ±60 minutes Monitor relative changes in T&D and PWD compared to both modeled and last observed prior to cleanup cycle. Maintain rpm and flowrate at their maximum level.5 x BU after the first peak drops off). These sample guidelines may be used as templates which should be modified for a specific application.5 . CLEANUP CYCLE The following procedure should be used to cleanup the hole prior to tripping or for remedial purposes when drilling. Attached as an example at the end of this section is a single page “Hole Cleaning / Tripping Practices Summary” from the 12¼" interval of an actual well. Circulate 2. – – – – Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 20 Apr 2003 .3 x BU and until shakers are clean – Measure the quantity of cuttings coming over the shakers every 15 minutes.

Remedial action will need to be based on the PWD as well as other indicators (T&D. the pick-up and slack-off weight will diverge from the theoretical trends. % cuttings over shakers. For successful implementation of this concept it is important that all aspects of the system are considered. Parameters – ensure the key parameters above are monitored and recorded. etc). PWD shows an improvement in loading. 3. formation change. etc). differential sticking. and torque are recorded each stand in a consistent manner (refer to connection practices). vibrations. Should be interpreted real-time on the rig floor and RTOC. gels). and PWD.g. Cuttings Returns – monitor quantity of cutting over the shakers every 30 minutes. Initial ROP upon drillout should be controlled at a conservative level while steady state conditions are established (e. PWD – the PWD should be monitored and any indications of poor hole cleaning noted. as varying one parameter will affect the others. 4. etc). lb/min. cuttings). Mud – Establish the optimum mud properties (weight. ROP – Maximize based on T&D monitoring (divergence of PU and SO weights from theoretical). slack-off and pick-up weights return to theoretical curves.e. stop drilling and perform a cleanup cycle. etc). Alternatively. If the hole is loading up with cuttings. This is a technique whereby drilling performance (ROP) is optimized to match the hole cleaning ability of the entire drilling system. borehole instability.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company HOLE CLEANING WHILE DRILLING Hole cleaning can be described by the theory of "Drilling in The Box". hole cleaning may not be the root problem (i. rheology. ECD.g. downhole tools. Parameters: • • • • Flowrate – Establish the design and minimum flowrate. Also report size and shape of cuttings. Change parameters if not optimum for hole cleaning (as detailed above). RPM – Establish the minimum and maximum rpm based on various limitations (surface limitations. cuttings. etc) Hole Condition Monitoring and Reporting: • T&D . rheology. and what defines each. slack-off weight. T&D. other options may include sweeps. ECD. Slow and control ROP until hole cleaning improves (e. Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 21 Apr 2003 . Establish a background cuttings level and compare on a regular basis (e. If hole cleaning continues to be a problem. If the hole still does not appear to be cleaning up. and the downhole effective mud weight envelope.g. 2. wiper trips or backreaming. • • • Remedial Hole Cleaning Practices: 1. rotating off-bottom weight.ensure pick-up weight.

and minimize the pressure loading on the hole. record slack-off weight – – 1.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company CONNECTION PRACTICES The aim of these practices are to minimize the potential for getting stuck on a connection. and makeup connections. aid with hole cleaning. Depending on hole conditions the stand may be reamed 1 to 2 times. 1. 6. collect consistent T&D data. – – – 1. and at consistent pump rate. Down-reaming should be controlled or avoided as this can cause excessive surge. Start pumps slowly (stage up the pumps over several minutes). and mode of drilling prior to the connection. backreaming the stand may not be required at all. hole angle. Factors to consider are the flowrate. Shut down pumps and bleed off pressure Slack-off and set slips. 4. If ECD’s are approaching the fracture gradient. 3. If the ROP is controlled in the last single (with rotary drilling). Drill down stand at the required parameters for efficient hole cleaning. Break out top drive. – – Note backreaming is performed solely to clear cuttings from around and above the BHA so they do not cause problems while the pumps are off and pipe is stationary. 2. Record rotating off-bottom torque and string weight Stop the rotary and pick up at 30 ft/min. 5. Regardless of which is done first. start rotating slowly prior to starting the pumps (break the gels and reduce ECD spikes). Drill ahead as instructed or wait on MWD survey (if required). rpm. Backream the stand as required. Pick up new stand. record pick-up weight Slack off at 30 ft/min. and pick up out of slips. change one parameter at a time awaiting its response. 2. ROP. hole size. Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 22 Apr 2003 . With one single off-bottom.

If backreaming is started. 6. The primary rules for tripping in high angle wells are: • • • • Always assume that any tight hole or over-pull is due to cuttings (i. Use of analog weight indicators is recommended to better identify fluctuations.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company STANDARD TRIPPING PRACTICES These practices should be used for the majority of trips out of the hole.e. The goal here is simply to confirm if it is a cuttings bed. They may be modified slightly based on whether the trip is for a BHA. either just inside the shoe or many thousands of feet inside casing. Return to step 1 and circulate the cuttings out of the hole. Pull up through the tight spot again without rotation to see if it has been eliminated after reaming. and circulate for 30 minutes. pull 5-10 stands wet to check hole condition. The actual pick-up weights should be plotted against the theoretical weights. It is not unheard of for stuck pipe to occur inside casing. – 1. If the tight spot has disappeared. Refer to detailed backreaming procedures. ream through the section and try to eliminate the tight spot. 1. consider pulling wet all the way to the shoe before pumping a slug and POOH on elevators (i. not to circulate BU. ledge). Tripping in practices should also be developed to minimize the surge exerted on the formation. it should be continued up to 30o inclination. When shakers are clean. Note that if tight hole is likely based on offsets or analog wells.e key seating. to ensure that sections of tight hole and overpull are quickly and clearly identified. • • Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 23 Apr 2003 . Pump a slug and POOH on elevators – – Record pick-up weights on every stand and plot on a theoretical T&D chart in real-time (preferably it should be on the rig floor). limits slugs in the hole). If the tight spot remains in the same place. 3. Perform cleanup cycle. However. Pull up wet through the tight spot without rotation. If this is the case.e. If obstruction has been removed. then it is likely another mechanical process (i. hole cleaning related). 2. then it was caused by a cuttings bed that has now been moved up the hole. 2. and deal with potential barite sag. Do not assume that cased hole is a safe haven for tripping. logging or casing run. RIH 2-3 stands until the BHA is clear of the obstruction. Note there may be certain applications in which backreaming out of the hole may be required on narrow margin wells in order to prevent wellbore instability. go to step 2. Memory PWD data should be analyzed after a trip to identify problems and modify practices for future trips. If a tight spot is encountered (>30kips overpull) assume the tight spot is cuttings. this assumption needs to be tested to ensure wellbore stability (or another issue) is not the problem. Backreaming should be used as a last resort if a cuttings bed cannot be circulated out.

The primary rules for backreaming in high angle wells are: • • Always perform a cleanup cycle prior to starting backreaming. consider intermediate clean up sessions while backreaming out of the hole. 2. Do not take a short cut with this step! Commence backreaming at a maximum of 4-5 stands per hour. Be patient! – – 1. the following guidelines should be followed closely. and torque for signs of packing off and tight hole. circulation with rotation before backreaming into the shoe. – – – If an RSS is included in the BHA. Also. Take special care when backreaming into a casing shoe as the larger diameter rathole below the shoe (or when drilling oversize hole) may be an area where cuttings will accumulate. Monitor PWD and vibrations. Perform a full cleanup cycle as per the previous guidelines.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company BACKREAMING PRACTICES After determining that backreaming is necessary.5 . Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 24 Apr 2003 . Consider extra • • Sweeps should be avoided while backreaming as they increase the risk of packing off (i. Maintain maximum flowrate and rpm. and after backreaming prior to POOH. ensure the pads are set in the neutral position. Backreaming should always be performed at maximum possible flowrate and RPM (within other system limitations). Note that the main risk when backreaming is packing off. Continue to backream to ±30 o inclination (maybe inside casing) before circulating a further 1. 1. and where applicable. and the practices should be designed around monitoring and avoiding packing off. return flow.2 x BU and POOH on elevators Consider circulating the hole clean prior to backreaming into the casing shoe. Monitor pump pressures.e. can pickup cutting dunes).

Directional FINAL TRIP PRIOR TO CASING .12¼” HOLE HOLE CLEANING (While Drilling) SECTION PRIORITIES: HOLE CLEANING / TRIPPING PRACTICES SUMMARY CONNECTION PROCEDURE INTERMEDIATE TRIP Tangent – Hole Cleaning Build – Hole Cleaning.

Start rotating once returns established (if survey not required). 2. it is planned to backream the entire openhole interval to maximize the chance of running the casing to bottom. Run back to bottom and set slips. 1. Pick up new stand. minimize mud weight. and at consistent pump rate. 3. start the pumps and rotary slowly. . ledge). it should be continued until ±700m MD (30o inclination).Target 150–180rpm (optimize for vibrations) Mud . Shakers should stay full while drilling. Control ROP until actual T&D measurements return to theoretical curves. Pump further 1-2 x BU after the first peek of cuttings drops off. High Velocity Fluid Low Velocity Fluid Standard cleanup Backreaming will completely “safe” the will leave remove cuttings bed and create cuttings bed on a dune above the BHA bottom Cuttings on the low side will not be disturbed by fluid unless stirred up by pipe rotation . the following tripping procedure should be followed: 1. Shut down pumps. 3. record up weight (k lbs).Hole cleaning while drilling will be a function of matching the drilling performance (ROP) to the capability of the “hole cleaning system” (Drilling in the Box). • • • • • T&D . Pump a slug and POOH on elevators – Set AutoTrak undergauge (zero force) – Record PU weights on every stand and interpret chart on the drill floor If a tight spot is encountered (> 30 k lbs overpull). RPM .maintain 6 rpm between 12-16.If the tight spot remains in the same place. Monitor PWD when flow adequate to turn tool on. Stop drilling. – – • • • • Flowrate – Maximize at all times. Break out top drive. or rpm less than 120. EzClean – Model theoretical hole cleaning performance and attempt to calibrate the model. 2. KEY HOLE CLEANING PARAMETERS: To minimize the potential for getting stuck on a connection. monitoring tools. Drill down stand If the ROP has exceeded 200’/hr. 4. unlatch and clean elevators. pull 5-10 stands wet to check hole condition. Commence backreaming at a maximum of 5 stands per hour. When the shakers are clean. Cuttings – monitor on a regular basis (volume – lb/min. 3. The 9⅝” casing will be run with partial flotation and will be critical to the success of the well. and possible remedial actions if hole cleaning becomes a problem. backreaming. REMEDIAL 1. or wait on MWD survey (if required). OPTIONS: Change key drilling parameters if not optimum. – 1. aid with hole cleaning. should be able to pump >1100gpm to TD (SPP limited at TD). record down weight (k lbs). – Record rotating off bottom torque (k ft-lbs) and string weight (k lbs). and makeup connections. MONITORING: – – 1. and then optimize based on T&D readings and other limitations. 2.5 x BU and POOH on elevators – Consider circulating the hole clean at intermediate points. dope pin. 8. collect consistent T&D data. If the tight spot has disappeared. and circulate and rotate for 30 min. otherwise only ream the stand once.e key seating. Maintain rpm and flowrate at the level used when drilling the hole. Perform cleanup cycle (as per the intermediate trip guidelines). Continue to backream to ±700m MD (30o inclination) before circulating ± 2. then it was caused by a cuttings bed or dune that has now been moved up the hole. 2. Ramp up pumps in 20 stoke intervals over 2-3 minutes. 4. Backreaming should be used as a last resort if a cuttings bed cannot be circulated out. Parameters – monitor and record key parameters listed above. or a wiper trip. the procedure below should be followed at each connection: 1. With one single off bottom. then it is likely another mechanical process (i. Consider other alternatives – sweeps (weighted or LCM). Switch Power Frame to make up. Following are recommendations of the key hole cleaning parameters. not to circulate BU – – After racking back each stand. Monitor T&D. With 5. centrifuge as necessary).5” liners. – Slack off at 10 m/min. and go to step 3 once removed. For all intermediate trips out of the hole to replace a Bit / BHA. RIH 2-3 stands until the BHA is clear of the obstruction. Measure the lb/min quantity of cuttings coming over the shakers every 15 min. ROP – Do not exceed 75’/hr for first 1000’. Attempt to ream through the obstruction. Drill ahead as instructed. PWD and vibrations. 1. size and shape). Return to step 1 and circulate the cuttings out of the hole. If backreaming is started. or greater. 7. PWD – The PWD will be of limited value in this interval for hole cleaning and ECD management. – Set AutoTrak full gauge (zero force) – – HOLE CLEANING 1. – Consider circulating the hole clean prior to backreaming into the 13⅝” casing shoe. Rack back a stand every 45-60. The following guidelines will apply: 2.ensure PU. Pull up through the tight spot (on elevators with no rotation or circulation). HOLE CLEANING 5. and minimize pressure loading on the formations. ream the stand twice. 6. 1. 6. Stop rotary and pick up at 10 m/min. PV and LGS as low as possible (run screens as fine as possible. flat gels. return flow and torque for signs of packing off and tight hole. SO. Perform a cleanup cycle by pumping 3 – 6 x BU or until the shakers are clean. then raise to maximum rpm and flowrate and allow the pressure and torque to stabilize prior to commencing backreaming the stand Monitor PWD and vibrations Monitor pump pressures. pick up off of slips. For this reason. ROB weight and torque data recorded each stand in a consistent manner Should be interpreted real-time on the rig floor. Look for changes in trends. Once at maximum flowrate. – The goal is simply to confirm if the problem is cuttings. assume the tight spot is cuttings. pull off bottom and perform a cleanup cycle (as detailed in tripping column).

le Ho ial ed m Re Mechanical Tools Cl le Ho n Co i dit on RTOC s ice Tripping Practices Mud Properties Drilling Parameters and Practices c re Di g lin ril lD na tio t ac pr Soft Issues g nin ea t ac Pr s ice ECD Management g rin o nit Mo Cuttings transport is like a conveyor belt up the high-side of the hole .

4) (4.1.2) (9.2. 7.3) Mechanical tools Electronic tools Target size Bit design (8.2) Liner hangers FAC tool (9.3.3.1.3. □ □ □ □ □ □ Key issues considered Equipment limitations 8.3.2) (8.3.1) Casing sizes and specifications (6.3.3.1) Check surface flowrate limitations (7.2.4) (6.1) DIRECTIONAL DRILLING: □ □ □ □ □ Training for engineers /decision makers (4.2) Hole cleaning modeling for each MUD SELECTION: □ □ □ □ Mud Type (5.2) (7. 9.2) PM of rig equipment Hoisting capacity CASING & COMPLETION RUNNING: □ □ □ □ □ Wellpath impact on hole cleaning (4.2.3.3.4.2.2.2.4.4) □ □ □ □ □ ECD modeling □ □ ECD and wellpath Hole sizes (6.1.1.2.1.1) Planned drilling parameters Planned remedial practices Planned tripping practices (10.3.1.2) (5.1) (9.3.2.3. Running ECD’s Downhole rheology DRILLING & TRIPPING PRACTICES: ECD PLANNING: □ (4.1.4) (4. □ “Good hole cleaning performance doesn’t just happen … it must be engineered into the design” T&D and Hydraulics modeling Page 28 Apr 2003 Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 .4. 4.3) (10.1) Casing size / depth PP / FG / BHI Profiles Oversize hole implications interval (4.1.4.3.3.4.3.2) (9.2.2) (7.1) (10.2) (9.3.2) (6.2.2.2) □ □ □ (5.1.3) Power requirements (7.2.2.2) Operational involvement in planning (4.2. 4.5.1.3.2) (4.2.2. 9.4.2) Top drive torque / rpm output (7.3.3.1) (8.3.2.2) □ □ □ □ □ Casing runs modeled Running alternatives Centralization (9.2) Adequate planning time / resources □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ Mud pumps / hydraulics modeling (7.3) (8. 6.7) (10.5) (8.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company THE HOLE CLEANING CHECKLISTS The checklists below are based on the quick-guide and can be used as a prompt for personnel involved in both the planning and execution phases of the well.2.4) Tripping practices Barite sag PWD (5. (10.2) (4.2.3) (4.2) Systematic planning steps Logistics (4.4) WELL DESIGN: Adequate Solids control Riser boost for deepwater 7. WELLBORE STABILITY: Low End Rheology Barite Sag 4.1) SPP rating / pop-off setting (4. PLANNING CHECKLIST: SOFT ISSUES: RIG CAPABILITY: (4.1) DRILLSTRING DESIGN: □ □ Optimal Drillstring design 7 .7) □ □ □ □ □ □ STABOR study performed (4.1) (5.3) Operational practices 6.3. 8. They are also used to link the sections from the quick guide to the relevant sections in the manual.3) Mud weight window defined (4.1. 1) (6.2) (6.2) (6.2) (4.1.3) Mud Properties Drillstring design (6.5.3) Shoe track centralization Reamer or asymmetric shoes (9. 4. 6.4) (7.

2.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company (4.4) □ Checked combined loading Checked casing wear Bladed drillpipe (8.4) □ □ Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 29 Apr 2003 .3.

flowrate.2) (3.4) Loss of pump Max Flowrate Riser Boost Cutting returns (7.1.1.4.3.3. 4. 4.4) PWD data (6.2) (10.1) (10.5) (8.2.4.2.2. 7.5) (8. 8.2.1) (10. 4. 7.1) Mud properties 10.4.5) (5.3.1.3.4) (5. (10.2.2.2.4.3.6.2.1) (4.4.2) (10.6) (5. 6.3.1.3.2 ) Chasing the curve Hitting the target Maximize rotary (8.3.4.3.2.5) (8.3.3.2.2.3.4.3) Swab / surge modeling Bladed drillpipe Underreamers Bi-center bits Motors nozzled Jet subs (8.3) DIRECTIONAL DRILLING PRACTICES: □ □ □ □ □ □ BHA equip specifications 8 .1. 8. 5.3.6) Backreaming Minimal HWDP / DC Bit hydraulics ECD MANAGEMENT: TRIPPING PRACTICES: (4.1.2.4) Contingency planning (5. 5. 6.2.2.1.3) Remedial Hole Cleaning Options Calibrate Hole Cleaning models (4.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company EXECUTION CHECKLIST: SOFT ISSUES: MUD PROPERTIES: (4. 5.2.2. ROP 120rpm □ □ □ □ □ □ Collection of relevant data T&D Data (10.1.2) (10.3) (10.1.6.2.2) (4.5) □ □ □ □ □ Cased hole not safe haven (6. 10.1.4) ECD modeling Specific practices Cleanup cycle ECD in riser (10.3. □ □ □ Training for rig site Quality Control □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ Correct mud weight Rheology optimized 5.3.2.3.2. 7.2. 6.1) (4.3.3.3. □ □ □ □ □ RTOC: □ □ □ □ Tripping plan Cleanup cycle (10.3. 7. 6.2) Gel strengths Solids control □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ Hole Condition Monitoring Optimal Drilling Parameters (10. 10.4.4.2.2.3. 7.1.1) HOLE CONDITION MONITORING: □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ □ RPM. 10.3.4) Downhole tools (5. 8.3.3. 8.1.1. 5.3) (4.2.2.1) (4.2) (10.3.3) (10.2) □ (3.1) (4.1) (10.3. 10.1.2) (8.3) MECHNAICAL TOOLS: □ □ □ □ □ □ PBL subs (8.4.3.2.3.1. Synthetic to water ratio Chemical Inhibition Impact of sweeps Barite sag (8.3.3. 10.2.2.4.4) (10.2. 6.2) Planned vs actual operations Identify deviations from plan Optimize performance Capture leanings Share learnings DRILLING PARAMETERS AND PRACTICES: (10. 4.3) (4.4) □ □ Effective downhole mud weight (4.2.2.4.3.4.5. 10.2) (8.2) (6.1) (3.2) (6.5) (8.2) (4.3) (8.2.3.2.3) (10.2.4) Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 30 Apr 2003 .4.1) Wellbore instability Control drill Cleanup cycles Wiper trips Sweeps (10.3.1.6.3.3.4.2.3) (4.2.3) Drilling Parameters Mud Properties 10.5.1) REMEDIAL HOLE CLEANING PRACTICES: (4.5) Backreaming practices (10.3.3.3.3.2.4.5) “Sometimes you have to go slow to go fast” ROP optimization Connection Practices (10.3.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Quick Guide Rev 0 Page 31 Apr 2003 .

SHELL EXPLORATION AND PRODUCTION COMPANY HOLE CLEANING BEST PRACTICES MANUAL Revision 0 April 2003 .

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...........................................................................................................................................................................2 SCOPE..6 Cuttings Bed Model Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 ...................................................................................................................1 PURPOSE.......................................5 1......................................................................................................................................5 1..............................................................................................................................................PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Table of Contents 1 INTRODUCTION..5 1...........................3 CHANGE PROCEDURES...................................................

with an integrated hole cleaning design. THE HOLE CLEANING BEST PRACTICES MANUAL This document provides more comprehensive detail to support the summary material in the QUICK GUIDE. It is intended to be available for those requiring more details or background when planning or executing a directional well. the hole cleaning challenges will also continue to grow. However. poor time performance. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . If you get hole cleaning “right”. Several things are required for this to happen: • A clear understanding of the theory of what is happening downhole. to plan and execute directional wells. However. there is a good chance of getting the whole well “right”.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1 INTRODUCTION Hole cleaning is a critical and central design issue for any wellbore drilled above ±30º. simple. planning. As wells become more challenging. and the boundaries are pushed further. to optimize overall well performance and minimize risk. even short. excessive torque and drag. THE HOLE CLEANING BEST PRACTICES QUICK GUIDE This brief document is provided as a higher level summary of the key theory. and relevant operational experience • • “Good hole cleaning performance doesn’t just happen … it must be engineered into the design” 1. losses. It is intended that this document will be used as a prompt or checklist for those involved in planning and execution of a directional well.2 SCOPE There are two main parts to this manual: 1. 1. planning and execution issues that need to be understood as part of the hole cleaning design.1 PURPOSE The purpose of this manual is to provide a detailed resource that can be used by Engineering and Operational personnel. 2. etc). getting it “wrong” may significantly impact the overall well cost both directly and indirectly (e. Successful hole cleaning on directional and high angle wells requires a shift away from the “vertical hole mentality”. stuck pipe. low angle directional wells are subject to hole cleaning difficulties if attempted with a “vertical hole mentality”.g. and how things change as the wellbore inclination increases Planning with hole cleaning as the central focus Execution utilizing appropriate practices based on the theory.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company The appropriate links between the sections are shown in the documents. contact SEPCo personnel as above (504 728 7490).com Paper Copy: John Gradishar or Eric van Oort Shell Exploration and Production Company PO Box 61933 New Orleans. the form on the following page should be filled out and sent electronically or as a paper copy. (i.vanoort@shell. as per the details below: Email: john.com). ensure the Web browser is turned on to use the “back” function.1 CHANGE PROCEDURES If changes or additions are seen as necessary. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 . russell@kmtechnology. or K&M Technology Group in Houston (Russell Conwell. 70161-1933 Note. and if using electronically. to John Gradishar or Eric van Oort. LA.e. hyper-links are available to facilitate navigation (hint: if using the document electronically.gradishar@shell. if you require further details of any of the material contained within the QUICK GUIDE or MANUAL. 281 298 6900.com eric. On the menu bar -View / Toolbars / Web) 1.

PLEASE ATTACH TO THIS FORM Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . 70161-1933 IF ADDITIONAL SPACE IS REQUIRED. LA.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company SEPCo HOLE CLEANING BEST PRACTICES MANUAL REVISION REQUEST FORM Name of person requesting revision: __________________________________________________________________ Company:_________________________________________________________________________________________ Title:_____________________________________________________________________________________________ Date:_______________________ Revision to: QUICK GUIDE URGENT REQUEST MANUAL ROUTINE REQUEST BOTH Revision request based on operations from which rig:____________________________________________________ Field ? _________________________________________Well ? _____________________________________________ Topic:____________________________________________________________________________________________ Description of revision:______________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ __________________________________________________________________________________________________ SEND THIS FORM TO: John Gradishar or Eric van Oort Shell Exploration and Production Company PO Box 61933 New Orleans.

this systems approach to hole cleaning is broken up into “The planning Box” and the “Execution Box” as detailed in the following sections.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 2 HOLE CLEANING – THE SYSTEMS APPROACH Hole cleaning is one of the key challenges in a high angle well. In an effort to help planning and operational personnel adopt this systems approach to hole cleaning. and a systems approach must be applied to all decisions. Specifically. it must be remembered that changes to one parameter will impact others. with the sides representing the limits that must be taken into account in order to remain in the box. the entire well should be viewed as a hole cleaning system. “Drilling in the Box” is used to represent the engineering required in the planning and execution stages of a well in order to optimize hole cleaning as part of the entire drilling system. mud system. to remain within “the box”. It is directly and indirectly impacted by a wide range of planning and execution issues. For example. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . Using a systems approach means that all planning decisions and operations and must treat the entire well as a single system. This means that all designs and execution issues must be considered to be inter-related. The inside of the box represents an environment of “good hole cleaning”. you cannot simply change the bit or BHA. Throughout the planning and execution phases of a well. This requires hole cleaning to be planned using a “Systems Approach”. the concept of “Drilling in the Box” is used. and optimizing hole cleaning performance in a specific interval needs to consider all of these issues. or drilling parameters without considering how each of these components affects the others. and the overall impact on hole cleaning efficiency. For simplicity.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 2.1 THE “PLANNING BOX” ECD Planning s ice ct a Pr r bo e ll W e y ilit ab St & ng illi Dr Drillstring Desig n ip Tr g pin Mud Selection ell W s De ign Rig Capability c re Di illi Dr l na tio ng e at tr S s gie Casing Running Figure 1 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 Soft Issues .

If the hole cleaning limitations are not removed at this stage. The goal is for the Engineers planning the well to evaluate how each of these issues will impact the hole cleaning performance. and attempt to design out any limitations.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company All of the issues shown in the planning box (Figure 1) are critical hole cleaning parameters that must be considered in the early stages of planning the well. it will become very difficult to optimize hole cleaning performance in the execution phase of the well. “Good hole cleaning performance doesn’t just happen … it must be engineered into the design” Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

2 THE “EXECUTION BOX” es tic ECD Managemen t r ito on ing Re ole lH dia me Mechanical Tools le Ho on iti nd Co M Tripping Practices Mud Properties Drilling Parameters and Practices c re Di r lD na tio ng illi pr t ic ac es Figure 2 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 Soft Issues ea Cl g nin Pr ac .PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 2.

The goal is for Operations Personnel to work with the well plans and equipment that have been provided.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company All of the issues shown in the execution box (Figure 2) are critical hole cleaning parameters that must be considered in the execution stage of the well. and optimize the actual hole cleaning and overall performance in each section of the well. “Sometimes you have to go slow to go fast” Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

6 1. They are often very large and consequently can be more difficult to remove than cuttings (see Figure 3). Hole cleaning is not only one of the most difficult challenges on a high angle well. but is often poorly understood.7 0.8 1. which can lead to many related hole problems. these are the most significant solids that need to be removed from the wellbore. An illustration is provided below to give an indication of the relative volume of cuttings that are generated when drilling different hole sizes at a range of ROP. and a large volume of cavings can be generated in a very short time.0 2. the more they will break up into fines.3).7 1. Generally. Solids can be made up of several different components: • Cuttings – the rock cut away by the bit (see Figure 3).1 SOLIDS IN A WELLBORE Hole cleaning is fundamentally about the removal of solids from a wellbore.3. tripping and running casing. and the interaction of these cuttings when drilling. 3. It is critical to understand what is happening to cuttings that are generated in a high angle well.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 3 HOLE CLEANING THEORY The following section presents the fundamental theory of hole cleaning. Cavings result when the wellbore becomes unstable (SECTION 4. STANDARD BED FOR FORD F-150 PICK UP TRUCK IS ± 60FT3 HOLE SIZE ROP (ft/hr) 200 50 200 50 200 50 200 50 NUMBER OF BEDS FILLED TO THE TOP IN ONE HOUR 17½” 14½” 12¼” 8½” 5.3 0.3 • Cavings – rock that was part of the wellbore wall that has broken away. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . This is a pre-requisite to “intelligently” managing hole cleaning in both the planning and execution phases of the well. The longer the cutting stay in the wellbore.4 3. The hole size and the ROP determine the volume of cuttings that are generated and must be removed.

CUTTINGS PDC “orange peel” cuttings CAVINGS Figure 3 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . These are also known as low gravity solids and account for a major portion of the drilling fluid maintenance cost and effort (SECTION 5.2.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • Fines – a mixture of reground cuttings and/or cavings that are difficult to remove from the hole and the mud system.5). • Swarf / Junk / Cement – other solids that may have to be removed from the wellbore.

Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . the cuttings transport. and therefore hole cleaning strategy. will be quite different for each inclination range. As shown in Figure 4 below.1 HOLE CLEANING REGIMES Hole cleaning can be divided into 3 different regimes based on the wellbore inclination.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Cuttings 60°-35° 35° -90° Movement With Flow 0°Cuttings Movement Without .60° Flow Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

Here. the cuttings fall to the low side of the hole and form a long. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 . cuttings are brought to the surface by combating cutting slip velocity. although settling will occur with time. In wells with inclinations in the range of 35° . All of the drilling fluid will move above the drillpipe. and all must be considered in the hole cleaning strategy. and often more time consuming.60°. hole cleaning in this environment is still difficult.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 4 In a vertical to 35° degree well.90° presents a different set of operational circumstances. The most notable feature of this inclination range is that when the pumps are shut off. The cuttings move up the hole mostly on the low side. where the cutting must fall thousands of feet to reach the bottom of the hole. and mechanical agitation is required to move the cuttings. It should be noted that a high inclination or horizontal well has sections of all three inclination ranges. This increases the potential for pack-offs and stuck pipe. Although the challenges associated with an avalanching bed have gone away. as the distance for them to fall to the bottom of the hole is now measured in inches (SECTION 3. and significantly changes the hole cleaning strategy with respect to the vertical well scenario. the “beds” will begin to slide (or avalanche) downhole. When the pumps are turned off. cuttings begin to form “beds”. continuous cuttings bed. but can be easily stirred up into the flow regime. cuttings are suspended by the thixotropic drilling fluid.3. The final inclination range of 60° .3). Hole cleaning is simply provided by the viscosity and flowrate of the drilling fluid.

Downhole conditions are often misunderstood in the drilling industry. Annular velocity (AV) is a meaningful term since the fluid velocity is essentially uniform. In a high angle wellbore. fluid flowpaths and velocities are different in a high angle well compared to a vertical well. it is critical to understand what is actually happening in the wellbore. In a vertical well (and in the vertical portion of a high angle well) the fluid moves freely around the drillpipe. especially in high angle wellbores. the term “AV” is less meaningful.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1.2 WHAT IS HAPPENING DOWNHOLE IN A HIGH ANGLE WELLBORE? To design an effective hole cleaning system. since the fluid is essentially only moving above the drillpipe where there are no cuttings (without pipe movement). 1.1 Fluid Flow As shown in the Figure 5.2. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company HighCuttings on theWellbore not be Fluid and cuttings move Low angle low side will Velocity High Vertical Wellbore disturbed by in annulus stirred up by pipe Velocity uniformly fluid unless Fluid Fluid rotation Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 5 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

including gravity.2. Flowrate basically governs the speed of the conveyor belt and how long the cuttings will stay on it. rpm and fluid rheology (viscosity).PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. they are then returned to the conveyor belt by rotation. and the process continues up the hole. The distance the cuttings will travel on the conveyor belt before falling off is a function of flowrate. Rotation turns the conveyor belt on as it pulls the cuttings up into the high velocity fluid and they are moved up the hole. The high velocity fluid flows up the high side of the hole as the drillpipe lays on the lowside. and general hole cleaning requirements. bit and BHA selection. the cutting are acted on by several forces.2 Cuttings Transport A good analogy for cuttings transport in a high angle section of a wellbore is that of a conveyor belt (Figure 6). Understanding this analogy has significant consequences for mud rheology. Once the cuttings have fallen off. However. Without pipe rotation there is no way for the cuttings to get into the high velocity fluid stream and therefore the conveyor belt is basically turned off. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . drilling parameters. and after a certain distance they will fall off the conveyor belt back to the lowside of the hole.

Eventually the cuttings will fall cuttings back onto the off the belt (refer to conveyorconveyor belt due to the summation of these forces. Figure 9) Flowrate governs the speed of the conveyor belt and how long the cuttings stay on it. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Resultant force on area atthe hole of Force from Fluid As Drillpipeon flow Cutting are pushed up the top by Gravity cuttings High velocity Drillpipe rotation theturns theacts like a conveyor acts to high velocity cutting lowside of hole fluid. gravity belt the flow conveyor hole pull them back to the lowside of the transporting the cuttings up the hole belt on as it lifts the hole.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 6 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

washouts. They are generally formed when the conveyor belt is turned off (i. Thus. and cuttings are not being efficiently transported up the hole.1 Cuttings Dunes Cuttings dunes are different from cuttings beds as they tend to form localized “mounds” rather than flat beds which are spread out along the wellbore. they will eventually fall to the bottom of the hole due to gravity.g.3 Cuttings Beds In a high inclination well. This is known as Saltation Flow in a high angle or horizontal wellbore (see Figure 7).PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . helping to move cuttings to the front of the dune. above liner tops.4 for further details of acceptable cuttings bed height and distributions. Once on the bottom of the hole they are in a region of low flow. the annular velocity (AV) of the fluid around the drill collars will likely keep that region free of cuttings. and with rotation.1. Efforts should be made to prevent the build-up of large dunes by regular periods of rotation (on or off-bottom) during long slide intervals. Once in front of the dune. Hole cleaning is all about managing the cuttings bed height and distribution such that operational problems are avoided. etc). the AV is again reduced.2.9 for an example of ECD spikes with rotation after sliding. the AV above the dune increases. However. Refer to EXAMPLE 11.e no rotation). as the fluid passes the BHA in the annulus. Fluid flow will predominate on the high side of the hole and the cuttings will quickly drop out around the HWDP. Refer to SECTION 3. it is possible to pack-off the hole with the cuttings once rotation begins. As it builds. Backreaming with insufficient parameters (e. and the cuttings drop to the bottom of the hole. Even when the cuttings are in the high velocity flow stream. or any other period where there has not been any rotation. The most common example would be slide drilling where rotation is not possible. the AV drops considerably. • 1. the dune will move very slowly up the hole. It should also be noted that dunes can be formed at any other point in the well where AV’s are significantly reduced (e. reduced rpm) will also result in dunes forming and greatly increased risk of packing off and stuck pipe. regardless of the other drilling parameters. While slide drilling. pulling too fast. As the dune grows upwards.g. If the dune volume has been allowed to grow to a critical height and size. from which it is difficult to remove the cuttings without rotation. the height of the dune will grow towards the top of the hole. or when tripping the BHA through the dune. The cuttings will form a “dune” that builds towards the surface. It is important to understand and to take this phenomenon into account prior to beginning rotation or tripping following a long slide interval. cuttings beds are inevitable for the following reasons: • • Cuttings only have a few inches to fall to the bottom of the hole.

or tripping through dunes.e. As a cutting dune forms. and the length of the hole. Figure 7 Dependent upon the degree of slide vs. avalanching). multiple “beds” can be moving out of the hole at any one time. rotary drilling. the inclination (i. they are often mistaken as the hole “unloading” or the result of a sweep. it slowly insufficient parameters. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . or when backreaming with Cuttings dunes form above the BHA when sliding.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Dunes can also form at other areas where AV’s are reduced. Tight hole and packing off can occur when rotation is started moves up the hole by a process known as Saltation Flow. As these beds reach the surface.

regardless of how efficient the hole cleaning practices are. However. a cleaner hole will be required (lower cuttings bed) to allow free movement of the BHA through the cuttings bed. a higher cuttings bed can be tolerated when drilling as the BHA is not being pulled through the cuttings bed. See Figure 8 below. every high angle wellbore will have a cuttings bed of some thickness and distribution. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . This is mainly due to the differences in annular clearance seen in these various operations. Management of the cuttings in the hole is the key to efficient drilling operations.13). Note that a hole that is “clean” for drilling is not necessarily the same as that for tripping a BHA or running casing. However. when tripping.2 WHAT IS A CLEAN HOLE As discussed previously. In general.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. a wellbore does not have to be 100% free of cuttings to be considered “clean”. and the resulting ability to trip the pipe through the cutting bed. An acceptable cuttings bed height will often depend on the bit and stabilizer design (refer to EXAMPLE 11. A “clean” hole can be defined as: “a wellbore with a cuttings bed height and distribution such that operations are trouble free”.

Cuttings have for drilling Casing Clean Hole a will .PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Bits Stabilizers .a bit with a large junk be “A Running casing significant drillingon how clean require a trip more freely than a area will cleaner hole than drilling higher for impact because the to avoidnot being to through BHA is ploughing trip the hole must be pulled heavy set bit cuttings it through beds is not the same as a clean hole for tripping” Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .can bed canslot Drillpipe -.

ECD and excessive T&D. hole cleaning practices need to be developed specifically with respect to the following distinct operations: • • • Drilling – higher cuttings beds can be tolerated as the BHA is not being pulled through them. surge).13). Bed height will generally be limited by pack-off. Tripping – Cuttings beds will need to be reduced in height to allow the BHA (with stabilizer and bit restrictions) to be pulled through them without tight hole and packing off (refer to EXAMPLE 11. there may be very little tolerance for cuttings beds being pushed in front of the casing (i. increased friction.e. Casing Running – depending on the annular clearances and slack-off weight available. This may require minimal or no cuttings remaining in the hole.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 8 Based on the discussion above. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

This is not recommended in practices as the fluid is left with little cuttings carry capacity if the pumps are shut down. inhibition in these muds. Cleaning is primarily a function of dilution of the mud at the surface (i. tripping) in order to be effective. viscosity) and practices (e. This not only requires a formation which is easily dispersed.g ROP. connections. For example. in order to generate turbulent flow. This requires a combination of appropriate parameters (e. The mud systems are generally low cost seawater or gel systems (spud muds). discreet cuttings must be mechanically carried out of the wellbore by the fluid. It should be noted that some hole cleaning documentation recommends that turbulent flow be used in order to improve hole cleaning in the annulus. dispersion only applies in large diameter top hole sections that drill soft clay or siltstone formations. In practices. rpm. in order to get turbulent flow. Dispersion involves the cuttings “disintegrating” into the mud. With Mechanical removal of cuttings. The majority of hole cleaning problems encountered in high angle wellbores are related to inadequate mechanical hole cleaning. Large washed out hole is an inevitable consequence of the lack of Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .g. and being removed from the hole as part of the mud itself. Basically.e. discarding the solids laden mud). but also an uninhibited mud system that will allow the cuttings to disperse into it. flowrate. flowrates of 3500gpm. 1800gpm and 800gpm would be required in 17½".PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. In general. seawater) must be combined with very high flowrates. turbulent flow is almost impossible to achieve with normal drilling fluids in the annulus. and the remaining sections of this manual address this hole cleaning mechanism.g. with 5½" drillpipe. very low rheology (e. 12¼" and 8½" hole respectively.1 HOLE CLEANING MECHANISMS There are two main mechanisms for hole cleaning: Dispersion and Mechanical removal.

2.e. it is almost impossible to move this cuttings bed without mechanical agitation. which is a function of the viscosity of the mud. the high velocity flow area is at the top of the hole.2 1. turns the conveyor belt on).1 HOLE CLEANING PARAMETERS Rotation Rotation is the key parameter for hole cleaning efficiency in high angle sections. Rotation provides this agitation. The hydraulic action is due to the “viscous coupling” effect. As shown in Figure 9 below.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. above the pipe and cuttings bed. pulling the cuttings up into the active flow area with a mechanical and hydraulic action. LowWith Rotation side will not be be With rotation the low High Velocity Velocity Fluid NoCuttings onof the pipe. where mechanical removal of cuttings is required (i. cuttings will Rotation disturbed up into the highstirred up by pipe pulled by fluid unless velocity fluid Fluid (mechanically and also due to the viscous rotation coupling effect) Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . Regardless of the fluid rheology or flowrate.

and vibration induced drillstring and downhole tool failures. These speeds have proven to be quite consistent for different hole sizes. there are at least two distinct hurdle rotary speeds at which step improvements in cuttings return are seen in high angle sections. This graph is not based on a theoretical model or laboratory experiments. has consistently shown a step-change in the volume of cuttings coming over the shakers depending on the rpm used. but the speed of rotation that has proven critical for effective hole cleaning.5 and EXAMPLE 11. but little incremental benefit (cuttings return) has been seen over 180rpm. Note that several operators have experimented with rotary speeds of up to 220rpm in 12¼" hole. drillpipe sizes.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 9 It is not just pipe rotation. and mud types. Vibrations monitoring should be an integral part of optimizing the rpm to avoid harmonics. but rather. In 9⅞" and larger hole sizes. Refer to EXAMPLE 11. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 . In large diameter holes such as 16” or 17½". operational experience in 9⅞" and larger hole sizes.10. These occur at 100-120 rpm. as some operators have seen significant BHA damage at high rotary speeds in this large hole size. on actual operational experience from a broad cross-section of high angle wells around the world. As shown in the Figure 10. rotation speeds greater than 130-150rpm should be avoided. and at 150-180 rpm.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 150 – 120Hole Cleaning 100 Relative Fine 180 rpm Pipe rpm RPMtuning of pipe rpm Effectiveness (9⅞" and larger hole sizes) vs Cuttings 60-80rpm is from Return generally not meaningful Volume Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

1 for the recommended minimum rotary speeds for effective hole cleaning in a range of hole sizes. adequate hole cleaning in 8½" and smaller hole sizes is seen with rotary speeds as low as 60-80 rpm: • • • • The pipe is better centralized by the tool joints in the smaller hole (less eccentricity) Smaller annular clearance results in increased and better distributed AV’s Viscous coupling more effective Fewer cuttings to remove for the same ROP as larger hole sizes Refer to SECTION 10.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 10 For the following reasons.1. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

It is important to appreciate the fact that as long as cuttings are coming over the shakers.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. or a higher ROP to be sustained while keeping the hole clean.1 Flowrate Flowrate is the key parameter to hole cleaning rate. and that a point of diminishing returns exists on the high side (refer to Figure 11 below). the hole is being cleaned.e. faster speed of the conveyor belt and cuttings stay on longer). Hole cleaning “rate” is then the issue. Field experience suggests that a threshold exists on the low side of the flow rate numbers. HoleRelative HoleCleaning Minimum Flowrate Point of Cleaning Cuttings Return rate at 120rpm diminishing flowrate for with no rotation benefits returns Volume Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .1. Once the conveyor belt is turned on with adequate rpm. increasing the flowrate simply allows the hole to be cleaned up quicker (i.

Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 11 Refer to SECTION 10.2 for the recommended minimum flowrates for effective hole cleaning in a range of hole sizes.1.

and the low velocity “dead zones” increasing in size (see Figure 12).e. This will make cutting removal slower and more difficult. • Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . or wellbore instability. harder to get onto the conveyor belt) Cuttings will drop out of the fluid more easily. the rheology of the mud also plays a key role in hole cleaning. with the area of the high velocity flow reducing. particularly when also having to consider ECD and barite sag. If the mud is too thick. The rheology is often very difficult to optimize. it will have the following impacts on hole cleaning: • • Fluid is more prone to channeling up the high side of the hole. it will have the following impacts on hole cleaning: • • The fluid will lose it’s “viscous coupling” effect and will not be able to move the cuttings as effectively with rotation (i. May increase pumping pressures or ECD’s to the point where flowrate has to be reduced.2 Fluid Rheology Although not as important as rotation and flowrate. making hole cleaning slower (i.1.e. If the mud is too thin. excessive ECD.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. travel less distance up the conveyor belt) May be some indirect impacts through barite sag.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Low High Viscosity With high viscosity fluid. and the areas of low Fluid velocity flow increase Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . the area of high High Velocity Velocity Fluid Low velocity flow shrinks.

much of the fluid in a high angle wellbore flows up the high side of the hole. Based on operational experience. the goal is to get the downhole rheologies to these same specifications. flowrate. The number of BU required will increase with the following: • • • • Increased measured depth Higher inclination Larger hole size Reduced parameters (rpm. it must be noted that YP is largely a meaningless term for assessing hole cleaning capability. since the cuttings will move up the hole at a much lower speed than the fluid.6) will be required to cleanup a high angle wellbore. However. bypassing the cuttings beds on the lowside. For these wells. shear thinning fluids are generally used for better low-end rheology. It is also critical to ensure that the string is rotated at an adequate rpm while performing the cleanup cycle. this effectively turns off the conveyor belt and the cuttings will not be removed from the lowside of the hole. If for any reason the rpm drops below a critical threshold (e. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 . For SBM systems. it is generally observed that two distinct “waves” of cuttings return over the shakers when performing a cleanup cycle. A minimum of 2 .1 Cleanup Cycles (Time) As shown in Figure 5. Flowrates should be maximized to improve the cleanup rate. Thus the term “bottoms-up” (BU) is somewhat meaningless for high angle wells.3 x BU (and up to 4 .0 – 1. or background level.2 x hole size in inches. pumping an additional 1-2 x BU after the first drop off in cuttings should always be considered when performing a cleanup cycle. A useful rule of thumb for shear thinning fluids is to design the 6 rpm reading to 1. viscosity) Generally circulation should continue until the volume of cuttings coming over the shakers has reduced to a minimal. Refer to SECTION 5.2.2 for a more detailed discussion of mud rheology and its impact on hole cleaning. 120rpm in 12¼" hole).5 times slower than the drilling fluid in a deviated well. Experiments at Tulsa University have confirmed that cuttings move out of the hole up to 3 . The exact reason for this phenomena is unknown. 1.1. The Fann 3 and 6 rpm readings are a better measure of hole cleaning properties in the annulus.g.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 12 Given the drilling fluids that are used for high angle wells.

1. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Refer to detailed guidelines for cleanup cycles in SECTION 10.3.

the less chance there will be of critical issues being missed. Needless to say. relevant service company specialists (e.3. Rig Superintendents. geology. as well as dedicated completions. etc).g. However. the longer the planning time allowed. This will achieve the following: ○ ○ Pave the way for acceptance of new ideas into the field Provide some ownership of the drilling plan • ○ Identify significant operational issues that need to be addressed early in the planning stage. Operations personnel (e. This will include Engineers with experience drilling high angle wells (or Engineers with specific ERD training). cement.1 General Issues The following general considerations should apply to the planning process for high angle wells: • Adequate time should be allowed for planning. Consistent personnel should be maintained through the planning process to avoid issues being missed or background knowledge being lost. adequate resources need to be made available for planning a high angle well. Foremen. etc).g. Toolpushers) should also be included in the planning process from an early stage. location. Refer to EXAMPLE 11.g.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1 1. the required planning time will vary depending on many different factors (e.1. The role of this individual would be to maintain the focus on a system approach to the overall well design. rig capability and required upgrades. a minimum of 6-12 months lead-time is required for challenging high angle wells. There is generally little margin for error.1 OVERALL WELL DESIGN PLANNING PROCESS High angle wells cannot be planned in the same manner as vertical or low angle directional wells. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . As a general rule-of-thumb. • Along with adequate planning time. as well as significant implications when things do go wrong. 1. directional. offset experience. Do not expect optimal performance from the well if insufficient planning time is allowed. mud. The following section summarizes some of the key issues that should be considered when planning a high angle well. and reservoir engineering personnel. well design. • • A Senior Engineer should be dedicated to the planning process to act as a “project manager”.

As a final step in the planning process. and power requirements. BHA strategies. Following these systematic steps will provide a solid engineering basis for the final well design.1. hydraulics. fracture gradient and wellbore stability profiles Establish the drilling feasibility and evaluate the risks of a given high angle well. A Preliminary Well Design (PWD) should be generated to achieve the following: ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ Establish a pore the pore pressure. It should also focus on the critical equipment being utilized to ensure that it is fit for purpose. This is achieved with T&D. Allow a relatively accurate time and cost estimate to be generated and therefore used for further economic evaluation of the project as a whole. However. This workshop should focus on the actual mechanics of implementing the plan and conducting realistic "what if" exercises. Some possible steps in this procedure are presented below. the planning and operations team should participate in a “Drill the Well on paper” (DWOP) exercise. cementing and other services. This may be before the well. Final confirmation of rig specifications. or before the start of each critical hole section. The OWR will identify the key issues and risks that will need to be the focus of the planning process. drillsting.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1.3). These are the detailed operational plans that will be used by the field personnel for drilling the well. Define the workscope for the following stage of the project. Improved time and cost estimates. drilling fluids. Establish the required drilling rig capability.1 Planning Steps High angle wells should be planned using a systematic approach that allows the designs to be progressed in a series of steps as the spud date approaches.1. and hole cleaning modeling (SECTION 4. • It is also recommended that a comprehensive pre-spud meeting be held with the rig crews to familiarize them with the well plans. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . • • • A Detailed Well Design (DWD) should be generated to achieve the following: ○ ○ ○ ○ Final drillpipe and casing specifications to allow materials to be ordered. • Establish team and level of knowledge A quality Offset Well Review (OWR) is an essential first step in the planning process.4). Develop plans for contracting of rig and third party services. • • Training of the relevant personnel in hole cleaning and general high angle drilling practices (SECTION 4. • Drilling Programs and / or Detailed Hole Section Guidelines should be produced. drilling fluids. and the anticipated risks. the nature of the well. Tendering and selection of directional drilling.3. and adequately translated into operational practices. and ensure that key areas of the design are not missed. the required planning steps for each high angle well will be different based on the time and resources available. Sufficient detail should be included to ensure that the all critical planning issues are captured.

it is relatively easy for decisions to be made which may seem sound for normal wells.2 SOFT ISSUES Although the following are considered the “soft issues”. use the appropriate practices. is critical in developing wells designs for minimal risk and optimal performance. all office based staff involved in the upfront decision making should have some exposure to ERD specific training to help with the “what”. if limitations are not designed out of the system in the planning phase of the well. there must be a clear understanding of the risks involved with drilling high angle wells. Having experienced ERD personnel is also beneficial in gaining this commitment. Training and education is the primary means of gaining this understanding and commitment of all personnel to the process. and “How” of drilling high angle wells. but will also apply for the entire drilling crew as well as Service Company personnel. but result in significant impact on performance and cost for a high angle well. Specific ERD training should be a pre-requisite for Engineers involved in the planning of high angle wells. 1.2. and also for the cleanup cycle prior to tripping.1 Training When planning high angle wells. From senior management down to the shaker-hand on the rig. A shaker-hand may fail to notice and report that little or no cuttings have been coming over the shakers for the last few hours of drilling.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. as well as understanding: • • • “what” needs to be done “why” it needs to be done “how” it is going to be done Without this clear understanding.1. This training needs to target the Drilling Foreman and Toolpushers. Following are some common examples of this: • Senior management may not approve upgrades to rig equipment if they do not understand “why” it is required. An onsite Foreman. who does not understand “why” it is required.1 Commitment to the Process In both the planning and execution phase of the well. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 • • . having commitment and alignment at all levels is fundamental to the success of a high angle well. and make the right decisions for the success of the well. there are a significant number of issues that must be considered. Additionally. there is little scope for optimization in the execution phase of the well. “why”. Additionally. A clear understanding of these issues. may choose not to perform a cleanup cycle prior to tripping out of the hole as he sees it as non-productive time. 1. these are often some of the more significant issues to be considered. and their inter-dependence. in planning and executing high angle wells. Specific training is also required in the execution phase to ensure that all onsite personnel are able to understand what is happening downhole.

g. especially if tapered or multiple drillstrings are necessary. Following are some examples where logistics management may be more difficult with high angle wells: • ERD designs often require specialized casing. For ultra-long high angle wells. This is basically due to the requirement for more material. • With longer / deeper hole sections. there is often inadequate space available to store casing on the pipe rack and some casing may need to be run off of the boats. This may be further complicated if mud storage capacity on board must be increased to manage SBM usage. Additionally. where large mud volumes may be recovered and must then be (a) stored or sent away. • • • • • Substructure weight limitations may prevent the combination of a full derrick of drillpipe and casing on the pipe rack. Casing stacked very high can create safety and storage problems. extra solids control equipment. equipment and people. hi-torque connections. extra rig crews for running casing.1. or to make room on the floor to run casing. different directional drilling tools. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . It is not uncommon for the last portion of a high angle well to require that drillpipe is pickedup/laid-down due to insufficient derrick capacity. specialized rollers.1 Logistics Particularly in remote and / or offshore locations. large volumes of mud will be involved.). they are likely to be overwhelmed by the logistics issues (or at least be completely devoted to them). Additional personnel are almost always required for these wells (such as for SBM environmental compliance services. Detailed pit plans may be required for the following operations: ○ Building / delivering initial mud volumes. logistics can be a significant and complex issue for high angle wells. barite and other chemicals. etc). tubulars and other equipment which may be difficult to find or have long lead-times if manufactured (e. there are other changeover and deliver issues that need to be managed. high collapse casing. or (b) stored and pumped down hole for the cement job or casing fill-up. etc. Well control implications always need to be evaluated (large mud volumes and barite quantities) Drillpipe racking space in the derrick is often insufficient for long high angle wells.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. with the use of both WBM and SBM likely. • Increased volumes of cement. ○ Running casing (especially if casing is run empty). Unless the onsite Drilling Foreman is given additional logistics management support. This is another reason why planning for high angle wells requires adequate lead-time to avoid “living with” inadequate off-the-shelf equipment. Accommodation for personnel is often a key issue for high angle wells.

and can also lead to further problems in the hole. 1. Trip times for failed tools are significantly longer than conventional wells. contingency planning is an important function on any normal well. Fishing and recovering from downhole tool failures is time consuming.1. Contingencies should be planned in detail with the financial and time commitments made to those contingencies that are seen as necessary. a financial commitment may be required to have the casing/liners and directional drilling tools necessary to act on that contingency.g. the probability of failure is greatly increased. it is critical on a high angle well for several reasons: • • • • High angle wells tend to push equipment and tools to their limits. collapsed casing.1 Quality Control Quality control is an important function on any well.1. The following general contingencies may be considered: • Loss Circulation Stuck Pipe (while drilling and running casing / liners) Fishing Well Control Wellbore Instability Sidetracking Openhole abandonment Alternate Hole sizes Weather Spills • • • • • • • • • Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. failure to reach well objectives). if a contingency hole size is planned. This should include inspection and maintenance plans for equipment before and after being used.1 Contingency As with quality control. However. The failure of poor quality or defective equipment and tools can have significant impacts on a high angle well (e. A strict quality control plan should be in place for all equipment which is used on a high angle well. and if inherent quality problems exist. For example. but is that much more critical on a high angle well.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. with many other variations using a combination of these. Thus the overall well design needs to be evaluated from a “big picture” perspective.1 TECHNICAL ISSUES The overall design for a high angle well is a function of many different technical design requirements. casing depths Directional drilling and bit strategy Hydraulics and hole cleaning Mud weight (Wellbore stability. These profiles are shown in Figure 13 and detailed in the following section. tangent angle. One of the key issues for hole cleaning and the wellpath design is to evaluate the areas of the well in which cuttings are likely to accumulate due to avalanching. as well as looking at each critical section in detail. This is usually at the base of tangent intervals between 35º . losses) Torque. or is given a lower than appropriate priority with respect to other key design features.1.60º. it may not be in the next.1 Wellpath The wellpath design is critical to the success and optimal performance of any high angle directional well. 1. The following sections address the key technical well design areas. the wellpath design is often given too little thought. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . Note that several design iterations are usually required before an optimal wellpath is decided on. Despite it’s importance. Drag and Buckling Geological and survey uncertainty BHA tripping difficulties Casing running Rig capability requirements Logging options Completion and workover design and options • • • • • • There are several main wellpath profiles. the directional plan affects every aspect of the well design: • • • • • Total depth (MD). and discusses issues that need to be considered in the planning phase with respect to hole cleaning and other design requirements. Although hole cleaning may be the key driver in one section. Ultimately. differential sticking.

1 Build and Hold Profile Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company TVD CATENERY S-TURN B&H COMPLEX HORIZONTAL THROW Figure 13 1.1.1.

3 S-Turn Profile When a higher tangent angle may be beneficial to avoid the avalanching zone.0/100’). tied to a TVD of formation. and other well objectives allow. casing/liner. or increased ECD’s. 4-5/100’). 1. Hole cleaning at inclinations above 60º will be easier as there will not be any avalanching of cuttings beds in the tangent. 0. this well profile may have a significant impact on the required hole and casing lengths. accelerating to higher build rates as the angle increases (e. For example. For instance. Advantages include: • A reduction in the angle-of-attack into the target. which in turn can make hole cleaning unmanageable. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 . 1. and coiled tubing for workovers. A constant build rate is used to kick the well off from vertical.60º if possible. etc). As discussed in the previous section. an increased tangent angle may move hole cleaning out of the difficult “avalanching” zone.1. Additionally.5-1. However. For a well with 6000m (20. The extra measured depth may result in reduced flowrates if the rig has a limited hydraulics capability. It is also likely that increased mud weights will be required for stability at the higher angle (may impact flowrates).g. there are several potential downsides that also need to be considered. and are a good starting option for a high angle well design. a catenary design considerably increases both the tangent angle and overall total depth. good practices will be critical).2 Catenary Profile There has been a trend within the industry to use “pseudo-catenary” directional plans for high angle wells. a commonly experienced downside of the catenary curve is that the higher angle increases the difficulties associated with running drillpipe.1. Such designs use low initial build rates (e. as this will be the most difficult inclination to clean (i. The main benefit of this design is reduced drilling torque over a conventional build and hold design.000ft) throw at 2500m (8200ft) TVD. which uses faster initial build rates. and thus hole cleaning would be improved for this shorter 17½" interval.5/100ft build rates).1.e. tied to a measured depth. a 13⅜” casing depth tied to TVD would be shallower using a catenary profile. but cleaning the hole up will take longer. Likewise. For hole cleaning.g. completion. building to a tangent angle that is held constant all the way to the target. thus reducing the TVD survey uncertainty impact (although. casing wear can also be reduced. the increased angle may also make wellbore stability more difficult to manage. However. consideration should be given to an S-turn profile.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company This could be thought of as the conventional design for directional wells. Depending on the drivers for casing setting depths (e. a catenary design adds about 10 angle and 1000m (3300 ft) to the total depth (compared to a build and hold design with 2.1. Build and hold profiles minimize the total depth and required directional work.g. the inclination of the tangent section should avoid 35º . The increased tangent angle of a catenary design may positively or negatively impact hole cleaning. the lateral survey uncertainty will still be just as significant).

but also ECD’s and torque will be at their highest.2 Hole and casing size The majority of high angle wells drilled around the world use a combination 17½”. resulting e. Also. However. Design and practices will need to manage the hole cleaning through the tangent as well as the drop section of the well. these “standard” hole sizes are not generally used. Drilling Oversize hole may make hole cleaning more difficult (i. It will reduce the drilled interval in (and below) the payzone.1 and EXAMPLE 11. formation instability issues are reduced due to less exposure time. For example. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . 1. With the inherent difficulties associated with deep sidetracks in high angle wells. and the resulting minimal clearance casing programs required.1. for SEPCo Deepwater operations in the GOM. If the angle across the pay-zone is kept to less than 45.1. and simply the depth of experience in these sizes.g. this becomes a worthwhile consideration. Additionally.1.2). This is due to the large number of casing strings required. then the cuttings bed will avalanche to TD. • Formation contact may be reduced. in a lower differential sticking tendency opposite depleted formations. but may also have some advantages: ○ Reduced ECD’s and therefore higher flowrates ○ Larger JSA and annular clearance with bi-center bits or underreamers allows greater tolerance when tripping through cuttings beds (refer to EXAMPLE 11. thus leaving larger ID casing / liners exposed while drilling smaller hole sizes with limited flowrates.e.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • • The effect of geological uncertainty is lessened. These casing programs will have several key impacts on hole cleaning which need to be accounted for in the overall well design: • Generally require oversize hole sections to be drilled. 12¼” and 8½” hole sizes. Not only can the formation be harder and more abrasive. The reasons for this include the availability of tools and equipment. Planning needs to account for cleaning these upper large OD hole sections with very low flowrates.1 Complex 3-D Well Designs For these well design. the last hole interval may be a 6¼" x 7” hole section drilled through a 7⅝" liner. again because of the lower angle-of-attack. the total depth is often less due to the lower angle at TD. 11¾” and 13⅜” casing above. • Liners are generally required for lower intervals. the hole may need to be cleaner for casing running due to the azimuth changes that the strings will have to run through (ploughing of the shoetrack). This will reduce the residual cuttings on the low side of the hole where flowrates are poor and actually make hole clean-up somewhat easier. 1. Payzone cementing may be made more reliable. • • The total depth may be reduced. ability to drill smaller contingency hole sizes. lower AV’s). with 9⅝". which often proves to be the most difficult drilling. the hole cleaning will again need to consider the different inclinations sections in the hole. Although the depth to the target is greater due to the less direct route.

) into the annulus.1. Instability will introduce additional solids (e. meaning that higher mud weights are usually required to stabilize high-deviation wells in normally stressed environments such as the GOM.1 Wellbore Stability Wellbore instability and hole cleaning problems are inherently linked by the following mechanisms: • Maintaining wellbore stability is generally more difficult for high-deviation wells. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 . Wellbore instability thus may compound the already significant challenge of hole cleaning on high-deviation wells.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. rubble fragments etc. which require additional hole cleaning measures. Such wells are also more difficult to clean. cavings. resulting in lower AV’s with reduced hole cleaning capacity. • • Instability will lead to borehole enlargement.g.

Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 . determining the ability of the rock to withstand certain stress loads. may lead to wellbore instability exposed to WBM or OBM/SBM with inappropriate invert salinity. it takes a specific amount of time before drilling problems become significant / insurmountable. i. Near-wellbore stresses. there is a specific time factor associated with this form of instability. However. i. Usually.g. by swabbing. etc. nearwellbore formation stresses will overcome formation strength and trigger hole enlargement and possibly full-scale collapse. leading to tensile wellbore fracturing or the re-opening of natural fractures. • Impact of bit nozzles / flow rate. This situation may arise when the mud weight selected is too low for the formations drilled. wellbore deviation and azimuth). the nearwellbore formation stresses may be placed in tension. progressive yielding – and ultimate failure – of the rock in time. including mud pressure penetration and clay swelling. or if the hydrostatic head has been reduced indirectly by barite sag or excessive downhole mud losses.g.e. Pressure fluctuations will cycle stress on the wellbore wall. yet underestimated. governing stability in a newly excavated borehole. preventing excessive mud viscosity and progressive gels that may trigger surge and swab. • Drill string vibrations / side-cutting action. It is therefore never a good idea to leave the string static while circulating. Minimizing pressure fluctuations (e. excessive swab & surge). determined by the formation stresses and pore pressure. • Adverse drilling fluid – formation interactions. it is certainly true that jet flow from nozzles can readily erode and wash out poorly consolidated formations such as shallow sands. • Annular pressure fluctuations (e. Non-optimum mud weight / ECD leads to the following problems: ○ Effective mud weight too low. When effective mud weight / ECD acting on the formation is too high.) will deliver a more stable wellbore for a longer period of time. When the effective mud weight / ECD acting on the formation is too low. compensating in-situ stresses and pore-pressure. The fact that ordinary annular flow can erode competent rock is a common misconception that pervades a lot of open literature and internal Shell documentation.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company The main causes of wellbore instability are the following: • Inappropriate effective downhole mud weight.e. (d) the mud weight itself. ○ Effective mud weight too high. Note that the optimum mud weight for wellbore stability can be assessed using STABOR. giving rise to wellbore “fatigue”. adverse drill string vibrations and uncontrolled action of side-cutters may generate high impact forces and shock-loads onto the formation that may cause it to destabilize.e. Several mechanisms. Besides accelerating failure of drillstring components. (e) circulation and pipe movement that affect the dynamic ECD. with associated mud losses. are determined by the following factors: (a) the in-situ stress state. (b) the rock strength and failure parameters. by slow mud pump acceleration / deceleration. cause of wellbore instability and stuck pipe problems. Annular pressure fluctuations are an important. (c) the wellbore trajectory (i.

g.e. Note that this may mean that other formations in the same section (e. The way to prevent such incompatibilities is to switch over to OBMs/SBMs. while making connections). i. Mud weight therefore usually have to be tailored such that they are sufficient to stabilize these shales. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 . which may lubricate fracture surfaces (i.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Inherent sources of wellbore instability problems include formations in the following categories: • Low-strength / poorly consolidated formations.) may have to be drilled at considerable overbalance in order for the shales to remain stable (with associated risks of lower ROP. which are readily dislodged with any lowering of annular pressure. • Naturally fractured or faulted formations.g. lost circulation and barite sag are related. borehole instability. and in areas with active salt movement such as near-/sub-salt plays in the Gulf of Mexico.). “rubble” zones. In a class all by itself. • Abnormally / geo-pressured formations. higher differential sticking and seepage tendencies etc. e. brittle formation with discontinuously elevated porepressure may give rise to the sudden appearance of highly characteristic spallings or “pressure-cavings”. fine fibers. which generally have better fracture sealing and healing capacity than OBMs/SBMs.g. This is achieved by: ○ Lowering fluid loss to any extent practicable. no effective pressure holding the fragments in place. The way to control these formations is to elevate the mud weight. provide more wellbore pressure support. wellpath and casing point selection. Focus should be on preventing fluid penetration into the fracture network.e. A succinct overview of some useful borehole stability best practices is given below. Such environments need to be carefully analyzed for their non-trivial in-situ stress state and its consequences for mud weight programs. • Highly stressed formations. or use high-performance WBMs with special additives to control pressure penetration and inhibit hydration Figure 14 gives a comprehensive overview on how hole cleaning problems. ○ Switching over to WBMs. • Formations sensitive to drilling fluids. Typical examples of such formations can be found in active tectonic environments such as the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and the Andes. ○ Improving the plugging of the (micro-) fractures by the mud using LCM materials (e. The majority of formation-fluid incompatibilities are due to clay-rich shales or young chalks interacting adversely with WBMs.e. ○ Apply a resin/monomer borehole strengthening treatment to the troublesome zones. permeable / depleted sands etc.g. e. Typically. and swelling. coal beds). lignite & gilsonites – be aware that these materials may cause sheening problems when used in SBMs). More details are given in the “Best Practices for borehole stability & stuck pipe”. shales are the weakest formations drilled in any section (although there are exceptions. these formations may be very difficult to stabilize. reducing friction holding the rubbled fragments together) and equilibrate pore pressure with mud pressure (i. graphites. Drilling in a hard.

Increased mud viscosity High mud formation Weakened weight Surge ECD / increasedSAG INSTABILITY CLEANING Weakened flowrate formation LOSSES & rpm Figure 14 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . Reducedhydrostatic/ECD (deep) Gain in flowrate Loss of mud weight (shallow) Poor hydrostatic POOR HOLE EXCESSIVE WELLBORE BARITE Packoff Enlarged Swab & hole viscous mud.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Cavings rheology Packoff loading Annular loading.

accretion and pack-off. If mud weight needs to be lowered because of excessive mud losses. faults and fractures. You may find that by keeping mud weight low you will actually cause the problems you were trying to prevent.3 ppg. Monitor static mud weights using PWD on trips to assess the extent of barite sag in the well and the need for remedial actions. The following sequence of events often applies: low mud weights -> borehole instability -> borehole enlargement & caving -> hole cleaning problems -> pack-off -> ECD surges -> tensile fracturing -> mud losses. DO NOT assume that maintaining a mud weight equal to pore-pressure plus 0. (4) switch to a dispersed WBM system with better fracture healing and sealing ability.) and to formulate an appropriate response. Measures to prevent instability from excessive annular pressure fluctuations (swab / surge) are (1) maintain optimum mud rheology & solids control. (2) improve the bridging capability of the mud by adding LCMs (e. go back down and circulate the hole clean before trying again. Use the expertise of your sub-surface team (petrophysicists. Prepare & maintain a drag chart for the well. borehole instability. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . cuttings beds.g. leading to instability. WELL EXECUTION Try to maintain the proper mud weight for wellbore stability at all time – DO NOT play the game of going in with a low mud weight and “letting the hole talk to you” if there is no compelling reason to do so – when the hole decides to talk to you. (3) apply a resin/monomer formation strengthening treatment to the troublesome zone.g. (5) case off the problem. Update your pore pressure / fracture gradient / borehole stability / mud weight model while drilling. which results in more resistance to string movement than would be expected from normal hole drag alone. ledges etc. Solicit the help of the NWC Fluids Team (formerly GHOST) and BHS Global Implementation Team in SEPTAR if necessary. graphites etc. using log information from MWD and PWD tools. Prevent barite sag by following barite sag guidelines (see below). DO NOT maintain mud weights low enough to trigger borehole instability problems in a misguided attempt to prevent mud loss problems. (7) do not down-ream on connections. then there is a potential stuck pipe mechanism acting in the well. fine fibers. (5) use muds that prevent bitballing.). Lowering the mud weight by 0. you may not like what it has to say. software tools such as Drillworks PREDICT and RockPro. Use the drag charts to assess the true nature of the problem (e. (8) treat the borehole gently. (6) use PWD technology to monitor transient annular pressures. When encountering fractured/faulted/rubble formations that give rise to large rock fragments which are difficult to clean out of the hole. high-pressure zones) and to conduct borehole stability modeling.5 ppg for trip margin is enough to guarantee a stable well. Monitor / analyze deviations from predicted values to assess stuck pipe tendencies.g.g. using drag charts). real-time pore pressure measurements. if overpull is experienced while tripping out.2 – 0. DRILLING FLUIDS Minimize adverse mud-shale interactions by using SBMs/OBMs. lower it in steps by 0.g. try the following measures: (1) lower fluid loss as much as practicable. geophysicists & geologists) to identify sub-surface hazards (e. STUCK PIPE If overpull or setdown is experienced during movement of the drillstring (as assessed e. The wrong reaction can make the problem worse.5+ ppg may shock the formation. perform an integrated borehole stability (IBS) study including a STABOR mud weight study. (4) optimize trip speeds for drillstring and casing using a reliable swab/surge simulation program.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company BOREHOLE STABILITY BEST PRACTICES PLANNING To prepare for critical wells or well sections. and the full analysis capabilities of the new RTOC. Always move the string opposite to its original direction when an obstruction is encountered. or high-performance WBMs with special additives to prevent mud pressure penetration and clay swelling. (2) prevent excessive / progressive gels. (3) accelerate / decelerate mud pumps slowly. e.

In a long section. this value will need to be used.g. Conservative estimates should be used (e. 1.1. ○ The hydraulics model should take into account the connection ID of drillstring being used. • Modeling should include relevant sensitivities based on changes in flowrates. This tends to be an iterative process that must balance the hydraulics. mud weight and rheology. changes to the down hole rheology should be factored into the modeling. cuttings size and drillstring size. this may result in significant pressure loss depending on the connection ID. Note that pressure drop specifications for directional drilling equipment are generally based on pumping water through the tools. 750 -1200 psi for RSS or conventional steerable BHA. ○ The maximum SPP should be based on the rating of the pump liners that will be used.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. and losses with mud will be significantly more. The bottom chart shows the impact on flowrate as the section is drilled to TD.1.000’ 12¼" section drilled with 10. For deepwater or high temperature applications. ○ The pressure drop across BHA components is often underestimated. The following sections present general issues related to modeling these parameters. downhole and surface equipment. The top chart shows the SPP when circulating at TD with different drillstring options. taking into account the different drillstring sizes and a range of liners in the mud pumps. ECD and T&D results.1. Note that the pressure and flowrate rating of the liners will need to include an appropriate safety factor or operating margin. The following should be considered when modeling hydraulics: • • The hydraulics model being used should be calibrated with actual well data Realistic input parameters should be used: ○ If a particular pressure drop is required across the bit.1 Hydraulics Modeling The aim of hydraulics modeling (software to be used includes Shell’s IDM-based EzClean & Modrill as well as supplier software such as M-I’s Virtual Hydraulics) is to determine the flowrates that will be available for hole cleaning in each critical interval of the well. ○ The rheology and mud weight used should be based on the worst case for a conservative result. These results are based on a 15. and in particular their impact on hole cleaning. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . 400 – 600 for rotary BHA).1 Modeling One of the key areas of planning a high angle well is modeling. Otherwise the bit should be nozzled with a realistic TFA (may change based on the use of PDC or tri-cone). given the downhole and surface equipment to be used. An example of hydraulics modeling is shown in Figure 15. the hydraulics needs to consider the impact on flowrates with different size liners in the pumps. Thus.5ppg mud.

0 600 600 2000 650 4000 700 6000 750 800 8000 Flowrate (gpm) 10000 Depth (ft MD) 850 12000 900 950 14000 7" 1000 16000 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .10.0 Assumptions : 6" liner limited to 770 gpm flowrate (90spm).0 12¼" Hydraulics Summary for Different Drillstrings Options LINER SIZES 5" Drillpipe 6 5/8" Drillpipe 1.5ppg BHA pressure drop = 800 psi (motor / MWD) 7" 6-1/2" 1500. and/or 3184 psi 7" liner limited to 1045 gpm flowrate (90spm).PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1.52 / 37 / 28 / 22 / 16 / 10. MW . and/or 3736 psi 6-1/2" liner limited to 900 gpm flowrate (90spm).0 900 6-1/2" 5 7/8 Drillpipe 5 1/2" Drillpipe 7" 7" 3000.000 4000.0 800 2500.0 5" Drillpipe Flowrate SPP (psi) pump limits (gpm) at 5 1/2" Drillpipe 3500. and/or 2744 psi Mud Rheology .0 5 7/8" Drillpipe 6-1/4" 6-1/2" 6 5/8" Drillpipe 6" 700 2000.100 4500.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 15 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

particularly if sliding will be required. As a minimum.1. Additionally. • • • • 1. as well as during circulating and cementing casing and liners. some incremental ECD may need to be allowed for centralizers or other tools on the OD of the string. In certain applications. rotating and pick-up weight as the section is drilled.1. The friction factors used should be calibrated with offset well data if possible. what the PWD would show). Ensure that connections OD’s are included as they will impact ECD. Modeling should include relevant sensitivities based on changes in flowrates. The ECD model should show the calculated ECD across the entire openhole interval.1 ECD Modeling The aim of ECD modeling (software to be used includes Shell’s IDM-based EzClean & Modrill as well as supplier software such as M-I’s Virtual Hydraulics) is to determine the ECD’s that will be seen in the openhole interval of each critical section of the well. changes to the down hole rheology should be factored into the modeling.1. the ECD may actually be higher further up the hole. the following should be analyzed in each critical interval: ○ The change in slack-off. pick-up and torque. not just at TD (i. ○ An analysis of the potential buckling. ○ The increase in off-bottom torque as the section is drilled. calculate the tension and torque at crossover points in the string. For deepwater or high temperature applications. • The rheology and mud weight used should be based on the worst case for a conservative result. The following should be considered when modeling ECD: • The ECD model being used should be calibrated with actual PWD data when possible. and drillstring size.e.1.1 T&D Modeling The T&D in each critical hole section should be modeled (software to be used includes Shell’s IDM-based Surge) to determine the expected loads on the drillstring. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .e. less buoyancy). and cuttings loading in the hole. mud weight and rheology. if not accounted for with the model. ○ If a tapered string is to be run. Ensure that the additional torque from the bit is added to the off-bottom torque to calculate the maximum torque seen on surface when drilling on-bottom. This includes ECD’s while drilling. Drillstring rotation will impact the ECD and should be included in the modeling (SECTION 6. The following should be considered when modeling T&D: • • • Separate friction factors should be used for slack-off.4).1.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. The lowest expected mud weight should be used in calculations as this will be the more conservative case for T&D (i.

1. In practice. • The flow loop testing itself can introduce errors into the models. ○ The length of the flow loops are relatively short. hole diameter. Not only are there a large number of assumptions. ○ Flow loop testing generally involves small annular clearances (5” pipe in 8” hole). as discussed in SECTION 3. but many cannot be Page 1 Apr 2003 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 . is why hole cleaning models do not show the step change in rpm seen in larger hole sizes. actual wellbore data clearly shows that the hole cleaning regime is entirely different in 12¼" hole compared to 8½" hole. and often will never exceed 100rpm in the testing. hole diameter. size. In practices. and the tool joints will impact the formation of cuttings beds. the basis for the models are theoretical formulas and empirical data from lab testing using flow loops. all assumptions have been removed). It is difficult to see how true cuttings transport can be accurately represented in such as short distance (SECTION 3. This fact. this involves the assumption that results from the flow loop can be scaled up (extrapolated) from a ±50’ flow loop. with unrealistic parameters. ○ Simulated cuttings used in the flow loop are of a particular shape. cuttings will need to deal with changes in the hole diameter and filtercake as they travel up the wellbore. ○ The outer tube representing the borehole is generally a smooth tube of a constant diameter.6. Although these models may provide some useful data.2. the cuttings will be an ever changing variable with changes in drilling parameters. Results are then scaled up (extrapolated) for the higher pipe rpm’s seen in practice. In practice. weight / size of cuttings. there has been an effort to develop and utilize theoretical hole cleaning models to identify potential hole cleaning problems and optimize solutions. fluid flow etc). There are many assumptions made within the theoretical formulas that simplify what is actually happening down the hole (i. mud. ○ Pipe used in the flow loop is generally fixed and constrained and does not include tool joints.1.1. in combination with scaling up the hole size. to a 15000’ hole section. pipe is not constrained in the hole. • When the model is used in both a planning and operational phase. “Do not use Hole Cleaning Models in Isolation” The following are some general limitations seen with most of the hole cleaning models within the industry: • In general. and density.e.2. is that the actual wellbore conditions are being used to tell the story of what is happening down hole (i. In practice. The main advantage of the HCM techniques presented in SECTION 10. caution is recommended in using them in isolation for planning and monitoring of deep. with the results for this size combination then scaled up (extrapolated) for larger hole sizes in the model. Thus hole cleaning models tend to do a much better job predicting results in smaller hole sizes than they do in larger hole sizes. Again.2) ○ The pipe rpm is generally limited due to the mechanical setup of the flow loop. etc). a range of assumptions need to be made (cuttings size / weight. etc. mud rheology. ROP.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. large diameter hole sections (refer to the limitations below). geology. needs to be used as part of an entire Hole Condition Monitoring (HCM) process. The basis for most models has been theoretical formulas and empirical data gathered from lab testing using flow loops. Any model that is used.1 Hole Cleaning Modeling In recent years.e.

This allows the optimization of fluid properties. operations maps indicate the best combinations of flow rate and tripping speed when backreaming or pumping out of hole. torque/drag. Shell’s IDM-based EzClean software or equivalent supplier software should be used. based on the circulating temperature profile downhole. which is difficult to define with many bit designs (e. T&D or hole cleaning. sliding and circulating operations. due to pack-off from the residual solids that are left after drilling or circulating. and so incorporates the full string.g. However. Drill pipe rotation and eccentricity of the pipe in the wellbore are also modeled. EzClean also aims to provide more information on which to base real operational decisions. For example. RSS pads. Results can be generated for the separate cases of rotary drilling. the EzClean program models fluid hydraulics and the transport of drilled cuttings and associated circulating pressure profiles throughout the wellbore. Additionally. and offers several advantages for the user. this calculation may not consider other BHA components which have limited flow-by area (e. and drilling and circulating conditions for effective hole cleaning.g. must be calibrated with actual wellbore data to be considered reliable. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 2 Apr 2003 . EzClean has been developed from a number of earlier programs and laboratory tests.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company verified in practice. there is no method for actually measuring the cuttings bed height downhole. wellbore trajectory and fluid modeling as the other IDM programs. etc). etc) • Any model. the problem comes when the assumptions are significantly wrong (e. EzClean For SEPCo applications. Therefore the calibration of hole cleaning models with actual well data tends to be subjective and implied. etc. the basic hydraulics algorithms in the two applications are identical (including cuttings). This can highlight depths where special hole cleaning operations or extended circulation may be required.g. This includes fluid rheology and density dependence on pressure and temperature. There is some overlap in the functionality of EzClean and IDM-Modrill. In turn. Beyond the basic prediction of cuttings beds. It is integrated with the rest of the IDM portfolio. MWD stabilizers. spiral blades and gauge). Hole cleaning models are very difficult to calibrate as their output results cannot be directly confirmed with wellbore data. This includes a quantitative estimate of the likelihood of stuck pipe problems while tripping pipe in or out of the hole. hole washed out significantly. Sensitivity plots show the general impact of changes in a variety of key input parameters. Calculation of the equivalent circulating density (ECD) along the wellbore can be specified with or without effect of cuttings loading in the fluid column. This relies on knowing the flow-by area of the bit. EzClean models well hydraulics in relation to hole cleaning. One significant difference is that EzClean models only drillstrings – the hydraulics of casing/liner strings or coiled tubing must be determined using Modrill. Although it can be argued that small changes in the assumptions will have a limited impact on the hole cleaning results. • Many of the models provide results based on how difficult it will be to trip out of the hole with a calculated cuttings bed height. Modrill models well hydraulics in relation to its effect on the overall mechanical stresses on the workstring. whether it be hydraulics. Within the IDM suite of Well Engineering software.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1 DRILLING FLUIDS The drilling fluid has both function and properties related to hole cleaning. 1. The selection of the optimal mud system for the well is often a difficult task. which must consider many factors including technical. and disposal logistics. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . Water Base Mud (WBM). local environmental legislation.2 by a more detailed discussion of the fluid properties and their impact on hole cleaning. In general. based either on olefins or esters).1 MUD SELECTION The importance of good mud system design for high angle wells cannot be over-stated. the final selection will also be based on issues such as the cost of the fluid. including Low-Tox OBM (LTOBM) and Diesel OBM (DOBM)). drilling fluid systems can be categorized as seawater (SW). and Synthetic Base Mud (SBM. cavings and other solids from the wellbore Suspension of the solids when the drilling fluid is not being circulated • The main properties of the drilling fluid that will impact hole cleaning include: • • • • • • Density Rheology Gel strength / Thixotropy SWR (Synthetic / Water ratio) for OBM/SBM Low Gravity Solids Inhibition Barite Sag • The following section details some general guidelines that need to be considered in the selection of an optimal drilling fluid for a particular interval of the well. Oil Base Mud (OBM. Each system will have its own distinct properties and advantages and disadvantages. The main hole cleaning functions of the drilling fluid include: • Removal of cuttings. logistical and commercial issues. There are many different mud types that fall under these categories. As well as the technical selection issues listed in the following table. followed in SECTION 5.

ISSUE HOLE CLEANING CAPABILITY IMPACT ON DRILLING FLUIDS SELECTION For large diameter surface holes that are drilling soft dispersive formations. In particular.2 x hole size. gauge hole. consider the use of an uninhibited / dispersive WBM to allow the hole to be cleaned with dispersion rather than mechanical removal of the cuttings from the hole. The inhibition of the mud will be important to allow the cuttings to remain intact and removed from the hole as easily as possible.e. and more efficient cuttings transport (i. Other critical parameters for hole cleaning include the following: • • The solids loading of the mud system. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . better hole cleaning). and where hole gauge is not critical. Improved drilling performance can be expected from a properly designed premium mud system in the following ways: • • Improved inhibition resulting in discrete intact cuttings. The selection of a drilling fluid should not be based on a cost/bbl basis. The 6 rpm reading should target 1 – 1. but rather on an overall well cost basis (i. Improved weight transfer to bit and bit performance (ROP) due to the absence of bit-balling and lower friction factors. the build up of low gravity and colloidal solids will impact the hole cleaning effectiveness of the system. it is generally the case that a high quality mud system will be more cost effective than a cheaper mud system for a high angle well (at least for the high angle section of an ERD well). • • If in a pressure or ECD limited application.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Although there is a time and place for any given mud system. that a poorly selected drilling fluid that results in hole problems (even minor ones) will have a significant impact on a high angle well. • It goes without saying. “Do not take shortcuts with the mud selection” Critical technical issues that must be considered when selecting drilling fluids are shown in the following table.e. This is mainly due to improved inhibition and gauge hole. When drilling more consolidated non-dispersive formations. the rheology should be optimized to allow the maximum flowrates to be used. high performance WBM or SBM will generally provide improve results over uninhibited / dispersive WBM. consider the impact of the mud on the overall performance and cost of the well). Trouble free tripping and casing runs. A shear thinning fluid with adequate low-end rheology (3 and 6 rpm readings) to support cuttings in the low shear environment of the annulus.

The mud system needs to directly address these wellbore stability issues through mud weight and inhibition. then mud weight will have to be increased progressively in time to offset this chemical instability with improved mechanical stability. this is a critical issue. Generally. solubility of gas into the mud. Differential sticking can act on BHA’s in degrees. the in-situ stresses (mechanical). Ester-based muds appear to have the lowest friction factors of any of the SBM systems. but also directly related to hole cleaning. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . thickness. In a high angle well. For shallow wells. On average. or a combination of both. high angle wells may be drilled through under-pressured or pressure-depleted formation. while the reservoir section is generally much longer due to the high angle of the wellbore.e. SBM will provide lower friction factors than a WBM. barite sag and ability to use high flowrates with increased mud weights must all be considered. the increasing angles associated with high angle wells lead to increased mud weight. it does not mean that there is not a degree of differential sticking acting on the assembly. Differential sticking forces act to drive the friction factors in the well up. given that there is less capability to accommodate further increases in torque or drag. Selecting the proper fluid and/or fluid additives for fluid loss control and filter cake properties (toughness. lubricity etc. The cleaner the high angle wellbore. An invert emulsion (e. the lower the friction factors that will be seen.g. LUBRICITY In general. hole sections are generally open much longer and must be tripped through more often than on conventional wells. Further. Note that the mud weight and the inhibitive performance of the drilling fluid are often closely related. allows for chemical instability to occur).PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company WELLBORE STABILITY Wellbore stability may be a function of the reactivity of the formations (chemical). Just because an assembly is not differentially stuck. If a mud allows for mud pressure penetration and clay swelling (i. OBM or SBM) system keeps the water away from the rock and virtually eliminates the hydration process if the mud’s invert salinity (in particular its water activity) is designed properly for the formations being drilled. Note also that “slicking” up a mud system by adding a lubricant may not have any effect if high friction has its origin in hole cleaning problems. Time dependency and shale hydration become critical issues. lower average mud weight can be maintained with muds that prevent mud pressure penetration and inhibit clay swelling TIME DEPENDENCY OF FORMATIONS On high angle wells. WELL CONTROL This is not only a mud weight issue. Factors such as gel strength properties (which affect likelihood of swabbing or surging if the mud gels up when static).) to minimize the effects of differential sticking is a key issue in high angle wells. Lubricants are available for WBM’s and have met with varying degrees of success. lubricity is not only a function of the “slickness” of the mud system. DIFFERENTIAL STICKING Differential Sticking performance of a mud system will be a key consideration when drilling through permeable formations. and there is less available jarring capability to deal with stuck pipe.

These products seem to preferentially attach themselves to steel and have eliminated bit balling in a number of examples. the mud system may need to be specifically design around managing ECD’s. but also the “micro-balling” that occurs at the cutter tips. The mud system’s anti-balling performance has a dramatic effect on bit and BHA selection. bit hydraulics. The mud system needs to be design with adequate ultra-low rheology (< 3 rpm). BARITE SAG Barite sag is an important design consideration for wellbore stability. ECD’s have begun to play a limiting role in many programs.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company BIT BALLING This affects both drilling and tripping. Balling is an important issue on high angle wells. Balling should not only be thought of as the commonly envisaged “global balling”. Use of SBM/OBM is the most effective way to deal with bit balling problems. ROP enhancers have been successfully used for the prevention and mitigation of bit balling. and hole cleaning risks. well control (swabbing). tripping capability. both while drilling and while running and circulating casing. ECD AND MUD LOSSES ECD’s are often greatly magnified on high angle wells. As high angle wells have grown longer and shallower. rig flowrate capabilities. which requires the use of specialized mud chemicals and testing equipment (see barite sag best practices). In critical applications. because bit hydraulics is often compromised (low HIS) due to limited rig capabilities. well control and ECD management. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

it will be difficult to even get on the “playing field”. The following mud weight related issues should be considered with respect to their impact on hole cleaning (see also SECTION 4.3): • Higher mud weights may improve hole cleaning marginally with additional buoyancy force on the cuttings (i. However. Impact on wellbore stability. Impact on ECD. and allow flowrate and rpm to do their job. Apart from not being overly effective.1 MUD PROPERTIES Having adequate flowrate and rpm are the key parameters in good hole cleaning. both of which will impact the hole cleaning. “Getting the mud properties right puts you on the playing field” The following sections provide some general guidelines. It should be noted that sweeps are not recommended in high angle wellbores (refer to SECTION 10. This may lead to wellbore instability or losses.1 Mud Weight For hole cleaning. Optimizing the mud properties will have a limited impact on improving hole cleaning performance. Higher weights will increase the pressure drop through the circulating system. Higher weights will result in higher ECD’s. Basically. improved carrying capacity of the mud). ECD loading). Note that sweeps are recommended for cleaning out large diameter near-vertical holes. Wellbore stability may be an issue if the mud weight is decreased (in-situ stresses). Once initiated.3). unless the mud properties are right. depending on the specific application.e.3. • • Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . higher or lower mud weights may be preferred. 1.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1.1. the other main reason for not pumping sweeps is that they tend to make the control of the mud properties listed below that much more difficult. wellbore stability is difficult to control and will result in additional hole cleaning difficulties.3. which may result in lower flowrates in a pressure limited application. or increased (natural fractures. • Impact on Stand Pipe Pressure. as specific mud properties will need to be different with each mud type and hole section. saying this. getting the mud properties wrong from the start will result in significant hole cleaning difficulties.

From these readings the PV (plastic viscosity) and the YP (yield point) of the mud is obtained. This viscosity change is best illustrated for a “drilling system” by the graph shown in Figure 16 below. and number of solids in the mud. and their viscosity changes as the flowrate changes. shape. • • • PV = 600rpm – 300rpm YP = 300rpm – PV = 2 x 300 rpm – 600 rpm YZ = 2 x 3 rpm – 6 rpm The PV is a measure of the force required to keep the drilling fluid moving once it has started to flow. This instrument simulates the flow properties of the drilling fluid under downhole shear rate conditions. 6. The results are normally measured in the standard format of 600.1 Rheology Rheology basically refers to the viscosity of the drilling fluid at different flowrates. laminar Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . The YP is a measure of the force required to get the drilling fluid to start flowing from stationary. The PV will depend on the size. It is indicative of the low shear (i.e. The rheology is measured due to the fact that drilling muds are generally Non-Newtonian fluids. and an increase in PV can point to a build up of solids in the mud (i.e. 200.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. 100. fines).1. It is representative of the muds behavior in high shear areas such as inside the drillpipe and at the bit nozzles (i. 300.e. and 3 rpm readings. and is to a large extent determined by the mutual electro-static interactions between particles in the mud. Figure 16 Rheology is measured using a Fann Viscometer. turbulent).

the rheology may need to be run as thin as possible. This may compromise hole cleaning.1. provided there are no restrictions on ECD.2 times the hole size (in inches) has proven very effective in high angle h ole applications. temperature and pressure effects must be taken into account. In hole sections where ECD becomes the main priority. it should be noted that YP is no longer as relevant a measure of low-end rheology with the shear thinning drilling fluids that are generally used for modern high angle wells (i. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 2 Apr 2003 .PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company flow) properties of the mud and represents the behavior of the mud in areas such as the annulus.e. Figure 17 below shows the PV and YP on a shearShear YP PV Strain Stress Figure 17 Regardless of the mud type used. However. 3 and 6 rpm readings and the yield stress YZ defined by them are more relevant). the overall objective is to maintain a pumpable fluid with low-end rheologies that are high enough to keep the cuttings moving out of the hole. hole cleaning will become much more difficult. the use of 6 rpm or YZ readings as a primary indicator of hole cleaning capability. maintaining a 6 rpm reading 1 . For WBM systems.e. Although the work on mud rheologies is ever changing. while still allowing enough support for the Barite in the system (i. if borehole instability or losses are initiated. prevent barite sag). For SBM systems. using a Fann 70 or equivalent viscometer).g. and maintaining a low plastic viscosity (PV) for pumpability. This is best done by looking at rheology measurements done at actual well temperature and pressure conditions (e. are widely accepted. However.

and reduced ECD’s).1.1. Premium solids control equipment from the shakers through to the centrifuges will be critical in keeping the mud system as clean as possible on a high angle well. an adequate number of high quality shale shakers. the main impact of high solids content is the effect on the circulating pressures of the increased PV.g.1 SWR The Synthetic Water Ratio (SWR) plays an important part in hole cleaning and drilling performance in high angle wells. with lower PV’s.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1.e. 1. 80:20 as the invert emulsion droplets tends to act like low gravity solids raising the PV. Adverse effects caused by drilled fines account for a major portion of the drilling fluids maintenance cost and effort.2 Low Gravity Solids Drilled fines (or LGS) are usually the most significant contaminant in the mud system. improved flow rates. gel strengths should be non-progressive (i.1. • • The initial gel strength is measured after 0 seconds at rest. 1. is necessary in high angle wells (for improved annular cleaning. they may also result in swab / surge problems or ECD spikes when breaking circulation. 10 sec gel 10-18 lbs/100ft2. These effects include: • • • Difficulty in maintaining rheological properties Reduced ROP Increased wear on downhole and surface components Increased risk of differential sticking (i.g. Although higher gel strengths will assist hole cleaning by preventing cuttings from settling and reducing the tendency to avalanche.e. is the best way to prevent LGS build-up. Good solids control. • In general. and indicates how difficult it is to break circulation. a thinner mud. This necessitates the use of higher SWR levels of e. fitted with as fine a mesh screen Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . 10 min and 30 min gels: 16-28 lbs/100ft2). It is common for vertical applications to run a system with a high water content (e.1 Gel Strength Gel strengths are basically used to measure the force required to restart the drilling fluid moving after it has been stationary for a period of time. taking solids out of the mud flow while they are large. The 10 second gel strength is measured after 10 seconds at rest.g. and indicates how well the mud will hold cuttings in suspension The 10 minute gel strength is measured after 10 minutes at rest. little difference between 10 and 30 minute gels) but adequate to suspend cuttings (e. thicker filter cake) Increased circulating pressure loss More difficult to remove cuttings from the bottom of the hole • • • For hole cleaning. SWR = 60:40) for reduced mud cost and increased viscosity. In particular. However.

Treatments for barite sag. • • • Additionally. logging. as the cheaper generic brands tend to include contaminants that will impact the mud PV. For more detailed information. Some indications of this problem include: • Poor cuttings returns observed over the shakers when drilling with adequate flowrate and rpm.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company as possible.e. Getting as many solids out of the system as soon as possible will help to prevent the build up of LGS and colloidal solids in mud system (See Solids Control Best Practices). When the low shear viscosity in the mud is no longer sufficient to support the barite it drops out and settles. slow fracture breathing. Tight hole and swabbing when tripping out of the hole.g. should be run from the start of the interval. using organophilic clays and/or polymeric additives.1 Inhibition If the mud provides inadequate inhibition of clay swelling. backreaming). Basically seeing a small amount of unconsolidated material coming over the shakers. slow pump rates. 1. Barite sag is caused by operational practices that take place at low shear rates (e.1. etc).1. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 2 Apr 2003 . distinct cuttings coming over the shakers. 1.1 Barite Sag Barite sag may become a drilling problem when mud weights are high (> 12. tripping. dry. This results in very poor hole cleaning and is often seen with poor quality WBM systems (minimal inhibition) in high angle wells. • Balling of bit and BHA components. Brief barite sag prevention guidelines are given below. hole deviation becomes significant (angle > 30o) and the allowable mud weight range is tight. and hole cleaning parameters are good. any chemicals used (e. Additionally. salt) should be higher quality products. poor shale inhibition and chemical stability will complicate hole cleaning by causing wellbore enlargement and additional cuttings loading.g viscosifying agents. What tends to result is a “paste” on the bottom of the hole that will not disperse. see Barite Sag Best Practices. tend to target the ultra-low rheology range (< 3rpm). hole cleaning becomes very difficult as there is a mix of dispersion and mechanical removal of cuttings. Mud treatment recommendations to avoid sag must be strictly adhered to. Large “cakes” of cuttings returning when backreaming. operating practices must be planned around avoiding sag as much as possible. In addition.0 ppg). If the system inhibition is adequate. there should generally be a large volume of firm. The ultimate solution to reducing LGS is by thinning and dilution. Little or no additional cuttings seen with cleanup cycles. but cannot be removed without mechanical agitation from the bit (i.

treatment should be 3:1 VG-Plus : VG-Supreme. and dynamic sag which correlates with (ultra) low-end rheology of the mud.e. Chandler and other ultra low-shear viscosity measurements have proven to be less reliable indicators of sag tendency. Optimum mud properties for sag control: (1) 10’. Raise the awareness of the rig crews to sag problems using these guidelines and demonstrations of sag dynamics with the ZAG tube (please contact the Fluids Team). flat. light mud moving up) -> breaking of gels -> reduced barite suspension -> more barite sag. 30’ Gels: 16-28 lb/100ft2. Treatment with rheology modifiers to control sag should be strictly adhered to (contact the Fluids Team for the latest advice. Other indicators are unusually high stand-pipe pressures. stop drilling and condition the fluid with appropriate rheology modifiers (see above). Avoid / minimize drilling operations at annular flow rates < 100 ft/min and drillpipe rotation < 50 rpm. Make sure the mud formulation coming from the mud plant guarantees sag control. Sag is identified (1) while circulating BU by getting light mud followed by a slug of heavy mud to surface (do not confuse the signatures of sag with heavy trip slugs coming to surface). light mud/reduced hydrostatic on top of heavy mud/increased hydrostatic). 5. 2. mud loss or gains (fracture breathing) etc. (2) YZ (2*3rpm – 6 rpm): 8 – 15 lb/100ft2. (3) Non-HPHT wells: VST < 0. Sag may be triggered by: (1) poor maintenance of the mud with rheology modifiers to prevent sag. (2) mud contamination that affects the mud’s barite suspension capabilities. Instead. Start staging at the point in the well where the total hydrostatic head of the sagging. particularly ERD wells. It is a serious cause of drilling problems on HPHT wells and wells at higher deviation ( > 30o). 4. DO NOT stage in the section of hole that contains the lighter. slow pipe rotation and pipe reciprocation. For monitoring. use the VST (viscometer sag test) and RBC measurements.e. Use special sag monitoring & maintenance procedures. 3. which will vary for each SBM – for Novaplus SBM. it may be necessary to build a mud from scratch to achieve this. Note that barite sag may become self-sustained in wells at high deviation under static conditions: barite sag -> density contrast in well (dense mud on low side of hole. high torque & drag. pump up PWD readings on static mud weight to evaluate sag tendency. at a 3-4 ppb total concentration ). There are two forms of sag: static sag or settling which correlates with gel strength of the mud. variable density mud equals the hydrostatic head of the mud with constant density. Remedying Sag If excessive density swings are observed. HPHT wells: VST < 1. (4) RBC < 1. mostly in muds at densities > 12 ppg. While tripping. Verify sag tendency using large-scale flow-loop tests in the lab.5 times BU before resuming. high ECD’s & induced mud loss. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . slow circulation ( annular velocities < 50 ft/min).5. pump low-viscosity mud ahead of the cement spacer to aid in mud displacement and improve cement bonding. your well employs muds > 12 ppg and is a HPHT well or a well at deviation > 30o) do the following: 1. (5) ES > 600.0. Well Planning & Execution If you have identified that your drilling operation may suffer or is suffering from sag (i. replacing light mud light mud by normally weighted mud) may increase the hydrostatic head on bottom and lead to mud losses.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company What is Barite Sag BARITE SAG GUIDELINES Sag is the undesirable variation in drilling fluid density due to downhole settling of weighting material. (3) long periods of low shear operations breaking gel strengths.e. (2) PWD readings of static mud weight while tripping (i. If barite sag is observed (i. unexpected kicks and BHS problems.0.e. i. light mud/reduced hydrostatic on top of heavy mud/increased hydrostatic). Understand the implications of an extended period of logging on sagging tendency. light mud floating on top) -> differential flow (barite slumping down. Do not go overboard in thinning back the mud to achieve a low YP prior to running casing – the mud may start to sag.e. Circulate until the density stabilizes + 1. increasing the chance of fracturing and losses. sagged out mud – staging (i.

1 What is ECD? Equivalent Circulating Density (ECD) can be defined as: “the additional “mud weight” seen by the hole. due to the circulating pressure losses of the fluid in the annulus. The following section presents some basic theory on ECD. particularly in smaller hole sizes.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1 1. 1.1 ECD MANAGEMENT ECD FUNDAMENTALS Hole cleaning and ECD management cannot be treated as separate issues on a high angle well. and why it is a significant issue on high angle wells. Thus ECD is affected by the following factors: • • • • • • • • Length of annulus or well Annular clearances Flowrate Mud properties Rotation of the pipe Backpressure through surface return lines Drill cuttings load (supported by the mud) Surge (and swab) pressures Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 . and where mud weight margins are tight. or surge pressures” The following formula is used to calculate ECD: Annulus ∆ P (psi) ECD (ppg) = MW (ppg) + --------------------0.052 x TVD (ft) As can be seen by the formula above. ECD at a particular depth (TVD) is a function of the pressure drop in the annulus down to that depth (MD).1.

as they can contribute to the fatigue stresses and borehole collapse. and act in the opposite direction to surge pressures.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Surge pressures are often overlooked in planning for ECD’s.1ppg SMWD ECD: 15. The magnitude of swab and surge pressures will depend on the following: • • • • • Pump rate and drillstring rpm Speed of the pipe movement up or down Viscosity of the mud Flow-by area around the BHA or casing For a floater. 16. they can also be damaging to a wellbore. Figure 18 shows an example of down reaming from the MC766#1 Princess well.9 ppg Static MW Downhole 14.75 ppg 16. This example highlights the damaging effect that surge pressures can have on the openhole formations.37 ppg surge Figure 18 Swab pressures are seen when pulling out of the hole. Although they counteract ECD’s.36 ppg surge ECD + 1. They result from the downward movement of the drillstring or casing acting as a plunger. the rig heave also needs to be considered Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 . and causing an annular pressure spike or surge.

even if it is bent quite severely. This is mainly seen when operating with narrow wellbore stability. As shown in Figure 14. and the strength and elasticity of the material. depending upon the lithology. the wellbore is failed through fatigue. rather than just for a static on-bottom scenario. • Efficient hole cleaning will be compromised if losses or wellbore instability result from excessive or fluctuating ECD’s. it will break due to fatigue failure if it is bent enough times. reservoir damage can be a side effect if ECD's are not minimized.1.1 What are the Effects of ECD? So how does ECD impact a high angle well. mud weight. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . where annular clearances are small or mud weight margins are tight. deep high angle wells. • • The reduction in flowrate may also have a negative impact on torque and drag (increased cuttings bed height). Further. how many times it is bent. and the size and frequency of ECD fluctuations. Casing collapse can be initiated by ECD’s (surge pressures) while running floated casing strings on long. the situation is almost beyond control. Casing collapse calculations should account for the increased annular pressure due to ECD’s while running casing. This can be critical for marginal casing runs. This is particularly the case if the formation is brittle (such as coals or brittle shales). Long mud-over-air casing flotation jobs have experienced collapsed casing due to the running ECD’s alone. Every effort should be made in the planning phase to avoid these narrow margin scenarios. It is the same with the wellbore and ECD fluctuations. and drilling performance (less than ideal bit and motor performance at reduced flowrates). as would a paper clip when bent back and forth.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. A paper clip can be bent back and forth once or twice without breaking. The time to failure is dependent upon how severe the bending is. However. and hole cleaning in particular: • High ECD’s increase the risk of lost circulation. what results is a “vicious cycle” that is often difficult or impossible to break out of. • Wellbore instability can be caused by the constant flexing and relaxing of the wellbore from pressure fluctuations caused by cycling the pumps or swab / surge. Even with only two of the problems occurring. The wellbore can eventually fail. • Surge pressure creates a “piston force” that behaves like drag. Effectively. This applies to both drilling and casing / liner running operations. and fracture gradient margins.

Longer exposure times with long intervals on high angle wells. • Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .1. This is due to the following: • • • • Long measured depth intervals relative to the vertical depths (refer to Figure 19) High angle wells are generally shallow by their nature. High angle wells generally use larger diameter drillpipe for hydraulics or buckling reasons. The shallow-type high angle wells are particularly prone to ECD problems as their formations are often so shallow as to have little integrity.1 Why is ECD a Concern for High Angle Wells? ECD’s are generally a more significant issue on high angle wells than for conventional wells.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. More aggressive parameters (flowrate and rpm) are generally required for hole cleaning.

000’ Same is 10.7 mud & /350 P both 10.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company than 1011.000’ at same Samevertical greatersame 4000’ ECDvertical mudMDin 4000’ Casing@ppg well atMDinpsi annulus ∆ VD =10 ppg well & 350/ psi 0 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 MD well shallow wells annulus TVD MD/TVD MD shallow TVD ppg MD/TVD 2 1 0 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .7 ECD = @well Casing wells than ERmuch T is much greater in both11.710.7 TVD ER 10.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 19 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

hole cleaning parameters (flowrate and pipe RPM) may have to be compromised if ECD’s are critical. 8½” or less). the ECD impact from rotation becomes more significant. Refer to EXAMPLE 11.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. It is important that hydraulics models used to calculate ECD’s include the effects of rotation. Hydraulics models will often fail to account for rotation.e. The original thinking was that this was due to cuttings being pulled up into the flowpath when rotation commenced (i.1 ECD and Pipe Rotation Operational data supports the literature that proposes a relationship between ECD’s and pipe rotation in small hole sizes (≤ 8½” hole). and therefore increases ECD’s. High speed pipe rotation will cause fluid to spiral as it moves up the hole. improved hole cleaning). prior to drilling out). the same relationship is also seen when there are no cuttings in the hole (i. and will therefore underestimate ECD’s in small hole sizes Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . As the annular clearances are decreased. Although this may contribute to some increase in ECD.1.e. As such.5. Another theory is that the fluid has to travel an increased distance to surface due to a ‘spiraling’ flow path when the pipe is rotated (see Figure 20). This occurs mainly in small hole sizes (i. This increases the distance that the fluid must travel. This can be critical if ECD’s margins are tight. thus reducing hole cleaning efficiency and increasing drilling time.e.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 20 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

e.e. but it does not address the long section of cased hole.1. 1. Drilling oversize hole will provide improved annular clearance in the openhole interval.2. as just like hydraulics and buckling issues. Although not applicable for all well types. However. • • 1. and therefore impacts the annular pressures.2 ECD MANAGEMENT . unless the well has been specifically designed with ECD minimization in mind. Casing points may change with different wellpaths.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. allowing for increased margins at the shoe. in most hole sections. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .PLANNING ECD’s cannot be treated as an after-thought. there are few “big hitters”). “the only real solutions for reducing ECD induced problems are in the planning phase” There are numerous options to help reduce ECD’s on high angle wells.1 Hole Size Optimization In SEPCo’s deepwater GOM wells there is little scope to optimize the hole sizes (i. the casing plan should be analyzed for possible alternatives which may reduce ECD’s in critical sections. 1.2 Casing Plan Although there is limited scope to modify the casing plan for SEPCo’s deepwater GOM wells. Although the ECD reductions from some of the design changes below may be small. May be able to program lower mud weights with a lower tangent inclination.1 Wellpath Design The wellpath trajectory may impact ECD’s in several ways: • The wellpath directly affects the total depth that must be drilled. which may dominate the ECD’s effect. maximize clearances and minimize ECD) due to the number of casing strings that are required. in general. it should be remembered that it is the combination of a number of small incremental reductions in ECD that generally make the difference (i. the following sections provide possible solutions to reducing ECD in the planning stages of the well design. drilling oversize hole is required in order to accommodate larger casing strings. there is little that the field personnel can do to reduce ECD problems at the rig-site.1.

2. then the liner solution may be ideal. This is especially the case if any balling or cuttings accumulation occurs around these items. rather than running 7” liner in 8½” hole. lighter weight casing strings should be used where possible. an intermediate casing could be run as a liner. This would increase the cased hole diameter from 8. tie-backs).1 Run Casing as a Liner Running casing as a liner (instead of long string) should be considered if ECD’s are prohibitive for running (surge). if 10¾” casing is run inside 13⅜ casing. Simply using smaller casing sizes may have significant benefits.e.g. or for drilling the next hole section. this may be critical. Although this might not sound like much of an improvement. Additionally. hole cleaning in the large diameter upper hole section (above top of liner) should be considered carefully. especially if the annular clearance between the casing strings is small. For example. then alternate centralizers and/or connections should be considered.1. This will reduce the ECD while running and cementing the liner.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1.681” to 8.3 Use different sizes of casing When ECD is critical. liner hangers. and cementing that casing string. Non Rotating Drillpipe Protectors (NRDPP’s) or Roller Bearing Subs may be considered to reduce drilling torque. the annular clearance around the couplings is improved by 125% by using a Hydril 521 connection rather than an LTC or BTC connection (Assuming 133/8” 68 ppf casing with 10¾” casing inside). if the casing is special drift). Under these circumstances. the annular area around a 7” tooljoint has increased by more than 10%. circulating. and should not be considered lightly. For example.1. 9⅝” 40 ppf casing could be used instead of 9⅝” 47 ppf casing. consider the use of 6⅝” liner (i. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . If ECD related problems are a concern while running or circulating casing. Given the dominance of tooljoints in ECD impact in 8½” hole size.2. often the highest ECD’s seen in the well. and then tied-back (if necessary) after drilling the following hole section.1. The use of flush or near-flush connections will reduce ECD’s. For example.2. 1.2 Use Alternative Casing Connections and Centralizers The casing connections and/or centralizer type can have an influence on the downhole pressure while running or circulating casing. This may require the use of PBL or jet subs. Also if high torque is a significant problem in the production hole. Having the larger hole size above the liner top will allow the safe use of these torque reduction tools with a minimal impact on the ECD’s.835” (it would also allow 8¾” hole to be drilled instead of 8½”. This approach adds complexity to the casing plan (e. 1. still allows 6” contingency hole size below). since flowrates will probably be limited by the downhole tools. For example.

the drillstring design should always be scrutinized and optimized if ECD’s are an issue.0 for further details of mud selection and properties and their impact on ECD.1 for further details of drillstring design. Certain projects may require three or more separate drillstring sizes (4” x 5” x 5½”) to manage ECD fluctuations.4 Casing Flotation and ECD Another ECD issue that is often overlooked on high angle wells is the ECD’s created while running casing. Regardless of the well type. especially on very shallow high angle wells where there is little formation integrity. For hole sizes larger than 8½" the choice of 5”. but the running ECD’s may be sufficiently large to collapse the casing or breakdown the formations (losses). The collapse pressure may be acceptable in a static situation.1. As a general rule-of-thumb. open shoes and fluid diverter systems may be required. An option may be to use bladed drillpipe to provide stiffness while not increasing drag (as will occur with HWDP). This can be an issue when running long strings with tight clearances or floated casing. the drillpipe can be stiffened by the addition of Non Rotating Drill Pipe Protectors (NRDPP’s). and large OD drillpipe is required to overcome buckling problems. When tight clearance are involved.2. 1. while maintaining the necessary torque. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . As already mentioned. If NRDPP’s or larger OD drillpipe is used.1. The relatively small annular area is very sensitive to tooljoint and tubular diameters. Hole sizes larger than 8½” are not as sensitive to tooljoint size. Tooljoint selection is also critical to ECD’s. 5½” or 5⅞” drillpipe will have minimal direct effect on ECD pressures and annular velocities. Dynamic surge pressures should always be factored into casing designs.4 Drillstring Design Refer to SECTION 7. in 8½” hole. If ECD’s are a problem in these smaller hole sizes. The bladed drillpipe is significantly stiffer while not increasing ECD’s as much as the other solutions. the tooljoint clearance is quite small and will have a significant effect on annular pressures. It is in 8½" and smaller hole size that ECD effects quickly become a significant issue. one effective approach is to use a tapered drillstring to reduce annular pressure drops. The drillstring design often plays a critical role in ECD management. Alternately. pickup and hydraulics capabilities. then the ECD effect should be allowed for.1. 1. NRDPP’s add approximately 1 psi per protector.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. particularly with flotation. Refer to SECTION 5. It is common to apply HWDP or larger OD drillpipe in shallow high angle wells to overcome buckling problems.3 Drilling Fluids Drilling fluid selection and design is an important element for effective ECD management. especially when a cuttings bed is present to further reduce annular area.

Although many engineers focus on the JSA of PDC bit designs. Additionally. avoid the use of sleeve stabilizers (common on MWD/ FEWD equipment) and replace them with integral blade or string stabilizers. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . This is primarily to reduce the risk of tripping problems when pulling through cuttings beds. Clamp-on stabilizers should be avoided. In particular. careful attention should be given to the stabilizers on steerable motors and MWD / FEWD equipment. These items often have much less JSA than the bit. This is often possible if planned in advance with the service company. if possible.13).5 Bit and stabilizer design The bit and stabilizer programs for high angle wells should be designed for maximum junk slot area (JSA).1. It will also reduce the risk of swabbing when pulling through cuttings beds.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. stabilizer designs are often overlooked (EXAMPLE 11. an increased JSA will also reduce the pressure surge when running or reaming into the hole. If possible.

parameters.1 Parameters If tight margins are anticipated. The PWD will only show the cuttings that are up in the flow regime or those suspended in the low angle sections of the well. 1. Modeling should be used to analyze the ECD across the entire openhole interval. Note that to be of value. and practices that will impact ECD management in the execution phase of the well. and may create an additional risk of packing off. • PWD data is not available in real-time with the pumps off. or high ECD and / or losses are seen in an interval. rpm.2 ECD MANAGEMENT . In certain applications (e.2.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. temp.EXECUTION The following sections discuss the main tools. rheology. This will provided some idea of the relative impact of each of theses variables.1. even when the pumps are off. This exercise will also provide clean hole data which may aid in monitoring hole cleaning as the section progresses.e.1 Pressure While Drilling (PWD) Tools Pressure While Drilling (PWD) technology is very valuable in applications where tight margins are involved. However the PWD tools have limitations which must be understood. Therefore the tool is of no value when tripping out of the hole without circulation. Although this is a valuable addition to the actual tool readings when circulating. The following issues should be considered: • Hydraulics models should always be calibrated with actual PWD data. The PWD will not see cuttings lying on the low side of the hole until the beds build up to a critical level. it still does not allow tripping problems to be identified (i. the following should be considered with respect to drilling parameters: • Prior to drilling out the shoe. At this stage it is likely that the hole is close to packing off. the ECD may actually be higher up the hole. it may prove beneficial to measure the magnitude of ECD variations with a range of flowrates and RPM’s (as per table below). tapered drillstring. the mud will need to be circulated for an adequate length of time to shear and warm it.). S-bend well).g. Time-based logs should be reviewed at the end of each run to determine the effectiveness of practices and analyze problems. • • PWD information is complex and difficult to interpret in real-time (affected by flowrate. RPM / GPM Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 400 500 Page 1 600 Apr 2003 . based on the actual wellbore conditions. output is from a model). etc. 1. Circulating just for the PWD data when tripping is not only time consuming. • Real-Time models are now available that provide continuous ECD values. • • The PWD will only show the pressure at the location of the tool. and therefore obtain good quality data. but is unlikely to identify developing problems quickly enough. Note that the flowrate or rpm may dominate depending on various parameters.

There is also increased risk of packing off during this time. hole cleaning compromised) in order to lower the ECD. PWD tools have shown that ECD’s can increase sharply when pipe rotation is initiated after a long slide interval (EXAMPLE 11. or high ECD and / or losses are seen in an interval. 1. ROP may need to be controlled to limit the amount of cuttings being generated. the pipe is moving faster than the dune). Whenever the pumps or the rotary are started up.e. If this is the case. they should be brought on slowly to ensure a minimum effect on ECD and cuttings loading. it may be necessary to ‘stage’ into the hole when tripping back in.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 0 40 80 • • If excessive ECD’s induce losses. This practice will place the highest loads on the wellbore.1 Practices If tight margins are anticipated. The optimum ROP will most likely be determined by drilling off the PWD readings. This requires breaking circulation at intermediate points when RIH. for rotary speeds. Gel strengths should be as flat as possible to minimize pressure spikes when breaking circulation or moving pipe after stationary for a period of time. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 2 Apr 2003 .4. this can result in ECD spikes due to packing off. as well. maintaining the ECD below a targeted level. Down-reaming should be avoided where possible. The reduced parameters are only likely to make hole cleaning and therefore ECD’s worse. • • The mud system will need to be run as thin as possible (within barite sag limits) to minimize the annular pressure losses. • With very tight ECD margins. rather than when back on-bottom. consider stopping and curing the losses before drilling on with reduced flowrate and / or rpm. the following should be considered with respect to drilling practices: • Slide drilling results in the build-up of a cuttings dune immediately above the BHA.1. pipe rotation should be initiated first in order to start the fluid moving in the hole. Refer to SECTION 10.5 and EXAMPLE 11. This is true. • It is a good practice in high angle wells to slowly increase the flowrate from a low level to the maximum. control drilling is advisable. • Some mud systems tend to gel up when left static or if allowed to cool down. If backreaming too quickly (i. • As with slide drilling. rather than simply breaking circulation at the planned drilling flowrate. Slide intervals should be broken up with pipe rotation so as to re-distribute the cuttings more evenly up the hole. backreaming can cause a significant cuttings dune to form above the BHA. Particularly if the flowrate and rpm have already been reduced (i. This will help to break down the gel strength of the mud and minimize the surging effects as the pumps are brought on line.e.9) This is because of the instantaneous lifting of this cutting dune into the flow regime.2 for detailed backreaming guidelines.

Where there are ECD concerns. to minimize the cuttings concentration and ECD impact.1 Operations Summary The table below is a summary of ECD management guidelines for various operations. consider starting drill pipe rotation (1020rpm) before starting up the pumps. This may be used as a template and expanded on for specific applications. 1. • Break circulation as above and ream down carefully to avoid surging. this may result in an increase in the annular pressure and ECD that is sufficient to breakdown the openhole formation. and cold mud (thicker) in the riser needs to be considered. BACK ON-BOTTOM • • Once on-bottom after a trip. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . PWD • Logs need to be provided to the appropriate people in a timely manner TRIPPING IN • Be aware of the max allowable pipe speed with pumps on and off.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • Sweeps should be avoided as they may pick up excessive cuttings in the lower angle potions of the well. This should be defined at the well site based on PWD data • • Accelerate pipe slowly to avoid significant surge pressures Break circulation at regular intervals on the trip in.1. break circulation as above Do not start drilling until the PWD indicates that the ECD has returned to background levels. or the riser to be boosted. flow rate – monitor PWD when data is available. • Reaming rate is to be determined at the well site based on ECD considerations. BREAKING CIRCULATION • The pumps should be started at as slow a rate as possible and built up to the drilling REAMING TO BOTTOM • This is the worst case for surging the formation – avoid where possible. ream using lower flow rates than while drilling. This may require the ROP to be controlled. If margins are tight. OPERATION / EQUIPMENT ECD MANAGEMENT GUIDELINES • Ensure the tool is calibrated with correct TVD's used to calculate ECD • • • • Use PWD data to maximize drilling parameters while ensuring that the ECD does not exceed target values Time and depth-based logs need to be annotated with operations taking place Use PWD data to calibrate ECD models and to project ahead Review time-based memory data after each run to determine the effectiveness of practices and analyze problems. • In deepwater applications. cuttings loading. • If high ECD is a concern (confirm on PWD).

with and without pumps on. spikes and may fracture the formations. • • • Minimize mud weight Maintain low values for PV and LGS Monitor PWD readings and adjust parameters accordingly MAKING CONNECTIONS • Surge pressures are important at connections and while tripping. • • Back-ream each stand once to remove cuttings from around the BHA. Break circulation and move pipe SLOWLY” Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . Minimize speed while washing back down to bottom. Pipe rotation will also increase ECD. The ECD from circulating is combined with the surge effect. hole. • TRIPPING OUT • Ensure that maximum allowable trip speeds are known in both the open and cased Ensure the pipe is picked up slowly to limit the initial swab effect.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company DRILLING AHEAD • Maximize ROP based on PWD and T&D readings. Keep a close watch on PWD and adjust parameters accordingly Break circulation and at the same time the string is picked up to avoid surge pressures Back-reaming should be avoided where possible tripping and the calibrated ECD model • • Lower mud rheology prior to POH with the last BHA Start and stage mud pumps up slowly PUMPING SWEEPS BACKREAMING • Should be avoided as sweeps can pick up large amount of cuttings that cause pressure • • • RUNNING CASING / LINER • Running speeds should be based on PWD memory data recorded while drilling and “Small changes in pump pressure can have a significant impact on the well bore.

as discussed in SECTION 4.1 DRILLSTRING Designing the optimum drillstring for a high angle well is a function of balancing many design parameters including hydraulic. max spm may be 120. This may involve the actual power to the pumps themselves (e. However. cost and logistics must be factored into the design as the optimum drillstring size may be different in each section of the well. but the risk will be reduced and performance improved with additional pumping capacity (redundancy).1. the following parameters need to be evaluated to maximize the available flowrates in critical hole cleaning sections. will be the basis for this evaluation.4). limited flowrates).3. ○ The pump liner sizes available. In relation to hole cleaning.4). but have pressure and flowrate restrictions – 5¼" may be the optimal solution) ○ Ensure there is adequate power available to run the pumps at the planned flowrates and pressure. ECD and T&D. and how these may impact the hole cleaning and general performance on a high angle well.4.g. The following issues related to the mud pumps should be evaluated: ○ As a general statement. ○ Consider the use of specific intermediate liner sizes if they provide improved flowrates (e.g. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .e. serious consideration must be given to changing the drillstring design if not optimum.3.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1 RIG EQUIPMENT The following sections discuss various drilling rig equipment and components.2 HYDRAULICS CAPABILITY Significant limitations for hole cleaning can result if a rig is specified that has inadequate hydraulics capability (i. 1600 hp pumps may only have 1000 hp motor). if critical limits are approached (e. On many projects. need to be considered. drillstring design is simply a function of modeling the drillstring that is available. or a limitation in the total rig power system (refer to SECTION 7. and the associated pressure and flowrate restrictions. which is optimized through upfront modeling (SECTION 4. Ensure the power implications are considered if the rig pumps are to be upgraded or an additional pump is to be added. 1. Additionally. Detailed hydraulics modeling. 5” and 5½" may be available. but pumps are never run above 100 spm. and identifying the limitations of that string. 1. fracture gradient. overpull margin. • The number and type of mud pumps is the key variable.g. Ensure that these restrictions are realistic and take into account actual drilling conditions (e. etc). the main drillstring variable is the size. When evaluating the rig capability. pop-off valves may be set at 80% liner rating.g. it may be possible to drill a critical section with one or more mud pumps (at their limits). etc).

1 ROTARY AND HOISTING CAPABILITY The rotary and hoisting capability of the rig will generally not have a direct impact on hole cleaning. Note that the rotary and hoisting capability will also be important to allow larger safety margins should the pipe become stuck (e. deepwater GOM wells. shakers or other solids control equipment. Note as a rule-of-thumb. High angle wells will require more from the pumps and this may require increased levels of maintenance (or preventative maintenance). Generally. The main issue to consider is any rpm limitations that are imposed by the topdrive or drillstring. The solids control system may impose limitations on flowrates. and thus impact the hole cleaning efficiency.7500psi preferred. This can include flowlines. Note that the swivel packing on the top drive can be a limitation on some rigs.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company ○ Ask the question of how the pumps perform for an extended period under high load. ○ The ability to boost the riser for deepwater wells needs to be considered. For example. If planning a high flowrate in a particular interval. with 6000 . • • The standard drillstring size available on the rig can often be a critical limitation for flowrate when longer wells are to be drilled. may impose limitations on the output rpm of the top drive. but may be a function of the rating of the standpipe itself in some cases. ○ If there are only two rig pumps. or the required mud processing is possible at this rate. Each top drive will have its own performance curve and the rpm verses torque should be carefully evaluated.e may set a pressure limitation for reliability). Hoisting capability tends to be an issue for running long casing strings and liners on Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . 1. 5000 psi would be considered a minimum for high angle wells. as the reliability decreases rapidly as pressure increases (i. consider tying in the cement pump as a temporary backup should one of the pumps go down. • The maximum standpipe pressure (SPP) will most likely be a function of the liners run in the mud pumps.g. more overpull). ensure that all components of the surface system are capable of accepting this flowrates. high torque seen at the base of a 12¼" or larger hole section. one shaker will adequately handle ±300gpm of flowrate. Several examples are shown in Figure 21 below.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Varco TDS-4S-1 Maratime Hydraulics DDM-500 Figure 21 1.2 POWER CAPABILITY Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

normal operation 50-100 ft/min Sheave efficiency: [Hookload + Overpull] (lbs) x PU speed (ft/min) Drawworks (HP) = --------------------------------------------------0. or string weight if pipe being rotated (lbs) • • • Overpull .PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Designing a rig with the appropriate hydraulics capability is critical to hole cleaning.811) 12 lines (0. hole cleaning can be significantly compromised.1 Total Generator / Transformer capacity required (KVA) = Total Power (KW) ÷ Power Factor Multiply by 1. the maximum power load will be while backreaming in deep larger diameter hole sections. the rig power requirement will be reduced.11.000 lbs to simulate getting stuck PU speed .100.9 x 1714 2π x Torque (ft-lbs) x rpm Top drive (HP) = -------------------------------0.pick-up weight at TD.1 to give 10% safety factor Power (KW) = Power (HP) ÷ 1341 Refer to electrical specialist for discussion of power factor. The power usage should be calculated for each critical section of the well. Refer to EXAMPLE 11. Auxiliary power (HP) = ± 1000 (estimate) • • • lighting and any auxiliary pumps and equipment Total Power Usage = (Drawworks + Pump + Top Drive + Auxiliary power) x 1. but without adequate power to use that capability. using the formulas shown in the table below.842) 10 lines (0.782) 90% efficiency Pressure and flowrate at TD 90% efficiency Torque and rpm at TD • Based on the power for rig quarters. FORMULA • • ASSUMPTIONS 90% efficiency Hookload . Note that if backreaming can be eliminated with alternate hole cleaning practices. In general. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .9 x 33000 • • • • 8 lines (0.9 x 33000 x Sheave efficiency – – – Flowrate (gpm) x Pressure (psi) Pump (HP) = --------------------------------------0.

• • • Particularly a concern if SBM is used Need pit space for transfers. etc.e. considerable work will be required on the rig. These may or may not impact hole cleaning. pit isolations and cleanout. additional pit cleaners.1 GENERAL CAPABILITY ISSUES The following table lists other general rig capabilities that need to be considered when planning high angle wells. and the many HSE issues associated with using an SBM. swapping systems and recovery of SBM MUD SYSTEM VOLUME • Need enough volume for storage of base oil DRILLWATER SUITABILITY FOR SBM Will be an issue for deep surface holes drilled with WBM. etc. ship-to-shore etc. consideration will have to be given to drilling beyond the set-back depth with singles or possibly doubles.) Several benchmark examples of rig capability are shown in EXAMPLE 11. • Will also need to consider the disposal method for cuttings (i. Extra personnel will be required (i.) • • Need to evaluate if the pipe deck is large enough to handle the required casing volumes Suitability of running casing off a boat Large cement volumes depending on cement design • • PIPE DECK AREA BULK STORAGE TANKS ACCOMMODATION • Large volumes of barite required to weight up the system. pipe wipers. This may require drilling with doubles. ISSUE DERRICK • CAPABILITY Strength of the derrick itself will need to be checked with the extra loads imposed by drilling (i. weight of pipe) • It is essential that the drill string be returned to a state of tension prior to initiating rotation (i. • DERRICK SET-BACK WEIGHT AND AREA Calculate maximum amount of pipe that can be set-back based on area (finger board restriction) and weight (sub-structure limit) • If insufficient for the length of the well. This may include sealing the rig floor. • If SBM is required (and has not been used previously). The derrick height and stretch in the drillpipe when deep in a high angle well may prevent the bit from being pulled off-bottom at connections when drilling with triples.e.e. additional service companies specialists. Solids Control Engineer. mud-vacs. high torque.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1.e. cuttings re-injection. avoid damaging pipe).11 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . local regulations for dumping.

1 DIRECTIONAL DRILLING PLANNING DIRECTIONAL DRILLING STRATEGIES In the planning phase. no rotation). The BHA strategy should be designed around minimizing the impact on hole cleaning with the BHA’s that are to be run. and overall well design. In order to define the BHA strategy for a high angle well. Design BHA strategies around these key issues (as discussed in the following sections). and other measures may be required to compensate for these limitations (e. 4. Note that not all of the issues will apply to all hole sections. In a pressure limited situation. bit and surveying issues have also been considered “The goal is to design a directional strategy that complements the ‘system’. this will likely result in reduced flowrates. the following steps should be considered in the planning process: 1. 2. Identify the key issues for the well as a whole. Break the well up into hole sections and identify the key issues in each hole section. each section of the well should be evaluated separately.g. or a dedicated cleanout trip with an optimized BHA may be required if steerable motors are used). Ensure that other general BHA. 3. the pressure impact of a steerable motor (with PDC) can be up to 1200 – 1500psi. This is a function of the pressure drop across the motor.Hole Cleaning Hole cleaning is generally a key issue in most hole sections on a high angle well. A series of key issues are discussed in the following sections.e. and not simply to hit the target or follow the line” 1. more frequent cleanup cycles.1 Key Issue . The BHA strategy should consider the following hole cleaning issues: • Conventional slide drilling is generally detrimental for hole cleaning due to the following: ○ When sliding. the “conveyor belt is turned off”. If there is no choice in the BHA’s that are to be used. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . with the aim to optimize the directional drilling strategy within the hole cleaning system. ○ When slide drilling. and allow key issues in the following step to be inter-linked.1. and cuttings are not being moved up the hole (i. This will give a big picture view of the well. the limitations of the assemblies should be clearly identified. as well as a stalling buffer to prevent exceeding the rating of the popoff values on the mud pumps.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1 1. ○ The bend settings on the motor may impose rpm limits on the drillstring. This results in dunes building up in the wellbore.

10. with continuous high speed rotation. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . However. hole cleaning practices and the directional drilling strategy will be more critical. layout any tools with rpm or flowrate restrictions) • • BHA’s to be run in the high angle section of the well should utilize a minimal amount of drillcollars and HWDP to avoid unnecessary pressure loss which may impact flowrates. top hole drilled with gel / SW). hole cleaning requirements will not be as stringent due to the fact that the hole will be largely cleaned by the cuttings dissolving into the mud. the drilling parameters may need to be run at less than optimal for hole cleaning. • As flowrate and rpm are key parameters for hole cleaning. a rotary assembly in a tangent section may be dropping excessively unless high WOB and low rpm is used. The BHA strategy may be impacted by the mud system proposed for an interval. in order to control either inclination of azimuth. Refer to EXAMPLE 11. RSS’s should not be thought of as the “ultimate” hole cleaning solution. For example.g. any limitations with the tools to be run should be clearly identified and eliminated if possible. • Conventional rotary assemblies will improve hole cleaning with continuous rotation and minimal pressure drop across the BHA.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company ○ In tangent sections.2. This is particularly true as several of the RSS tools have very limited flowby area. which increases the percentage of slide required. Refer to SECTION 8. • RSS’s will provide the optimal hole cleaning performance while drilling. even with the use of adjustable stabilizers. and it is known that hole cleaning will be compromised. high bend setting for high dogleg capability). this may require the use of larger tool sizes. However. and then open up the hole on a separate run ○ Plan a dedicated cleanout run with an optimized hole cleaning BHA (i.1 Key Issue – Directional Control Required Another key issue for BHA strategy is the requirement for direction control within an interval.1. as well as the build rates required to achieve these changes. or an inhibitive mud is to be used.g. and complete directional control at a full range of drilling parameters. jetted motors. if long sections of non-dispersive formation are to be drilled. 1. For example. For example. when drilling dispersive formations with uninhibited WBM (e. steerable motors tend to undercut the hole. and appropriate practices will still need to be applied to prevent tripping problems.1. This may result in poor hole cleaning with high ROP’s combined with low rpm. • If a BHA is selected based on one of the other key issues that is a higher priority (e. high angle surface holes can often be drilled without problems despite poor hole cleaning parameters. clean up the section. However.e. This includes the requirement for changes to inclination and azimuth. This explains how large diameter. or PBL subs for increased flowrates. consideration should be given to the following strategies: ○ Drill a smaller hole size as a pilot hole.

MWD tools with continuous surveys are beneficial in identifying micro-doglegs (refer to EXAMPLE 11. high build rates). which is often difficult to see with the sliding and surveying practices used (as demonstrated in Figure 22). or the cumulative dogleg. It is essential that every assembly run in a high angle well have a fully developed contingency as a backup. or a lack of success in a particular application. Operators often ‘put all their eggs in one basket’ with RSS’s. as this is where the tensions are the highest and therefore the greatest percentage of T&D is generated. Alternatively. These contingencies should be available on the rig and ready to run in the case that the primary plan is not successful. but may not be suitable in all application (e. Steerable assemblies generally result in increased tortuosity. where targets are large enough to allow for some bit walk. The BHA strategy should consider the following tortuosity and T&D issues: • • • The top build section will be the most critical for tortuosity. buckling. rotary assemblies and RSS’s are preferred for hole cleaning. However. drilling torque. • • 1. Alternatives include modifying the drillstring size/weight in an effort to overcome the buckling. steerable motors will be required. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . uneconomic. consider drilling a pilot hole. Alternatively. In particular. Tortuosity is a measure of how “wiggly” the wellbore is. The main application for rotary BHA’s will be in long tangent sections. if a steerable or RSS run is planned in the next section anyway. • If buckling is seen as an issue. This is mainly a function of how the BHA will affect the tortuosity of the wellpath. Tortuosity can be minimized when sliding by breaking up slide intervals into as small as increments as possible. in a long. inclination control is limited (even with adjustable stabilizers). or possibly rotary assemblies (refer to EXAMPLE 11.g. • If a smooth build section is critical. and azimuth control is not possible (unless using walking bits).PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company The BHA strategy should consider the following directional control issues: • Based on the previous section. • RSS’s will provide full directional control. The bend for steerable assemblies should be optimized to allow the build rate to be achieved.1 Key Issue – T&D The BHA strategy can be critical in allowing the well to be drilled within the T&D limits (e. high angle well. or running rotary assemblies. and have been caught out with no backup due to tool failures. consideration should be given to using motors with At-BitInclination (ABI) for precise directional control. as directional control is generally improved in smaller hole sizes. In a normal directional well.12). With rotary assemblies. slide drilling (particularly with PDC’s) will be difficult and inefficient. etc).g.1. If the required directional control cannot be achieved with rotary assemblies or RSS’s. tortuosity in upper sections may have a significant impact on torque and drag in the lower hole sections. casing running. and a motor is to be used. the tortuosity may not significantly impact T&D. Tortuosity will be minimized with the use of RSS’s. there may be more scope for running a rotary assembly and allowing it to deviate from the planned wellpath (within limits).12). while maximizing rpm.

1 Key Issue – Bit Selection In high angle wells.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Sliding Pattern May Hide Tortuosity Su R Po rvey ota te int Sli de • Big-bend motors usually drop while rotating • Slide 1. rotate 2 pattern • Survey every 3 singles Su Po rvey Rota int te Sli de • DLS = 0°/100’ (NOT!) Figure 22 1. but must be designed to match the BHA strategy to maximize performance and aid in hole cleaning and tripping effectiveness.1. The BHA strategy should consider the following bit issues: Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . bits should not just be “pulled off the shelf” or selected on a cost/ft basis.

The hydraulics impact of a bit design should always be considered as part of the larger “hole cleaning system”. The main priority will be to have a stable design to minimize vibrations. with a longer less active gauge suitable for tangent intervals. This includes issues such as the required pressure drop across the bit. However.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • Steerable motors will generally require heavy set PDC bits or tri-cones in order to allow efficient sliding. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . fluid flow and face cleaning etc. number of nozzles. PDC designs have progressed significantly in the last few years and more aggressive “steerable” PDC designs are now available. the bit design will need to allow for the capabilities of this tool (e. Generally. short gauge to maximize build/drop capability). If using adjustable stabilizers. the bits must be selected specifically for the application and tools they are to be used with.g. while still allowing good directional control. • If RSS’s are run. • • More aggressive bits can be used for rotary assemblies. a short active gauge will be required for direction work. nozzle sizes.

13. and to ensure that the drillpipe is not in compression when drilling. Note that these practices do not apply to high angle wells when drilling at high angle. buckling is much less of an issue. The HWDP is required to provide a stiffness transition between the drill collars and drillpipe.e. • Drilling oversize hole with underreamers or with bi-center bits may make hole cleaning more difficult (i. and running the drillpipe in compression is not considered a problem.1 DIRECTIONAL DRILLING PRACTICES Once the BHA strategy is decided upon in the planning stage of the well. and a maximum of 3 stands of HWDP should be run. these bits are much more likely to experience cleaning and tripping problems with the cuttings having to pass through them. This is mainly to provide sufficient weight to keep the neutral point in the BHA. there is generally still adequate scope in the execution phase to optimize the BHA design for hole cleaning.1 BHA Weight Traditional vertical well BHA design includes long sections of drill collars and HWDP. The smaller the JSA. for high angle wells the amount of weight in the BHA should be minimized for the following reasons: • • Weight in the high angle portion of the well produces excessive torque and drag (laying on low side) Creates buckling problems further up the string (increased drag) Increased pressure drop (may result in reduced flowrates and less effective hole cleaning) Running drillpipe in compression is not a significant issue The effectiveness of jars is questionable • • • Drill collars should only be run as required for MWD and LWD tools. This may result in slower trips and possibly more time performing remedial hole cleaning operations during trips. The shape of the JSA is also important. lower AV’s in larger OD hole). Therefore. Refer to EXAMPLE 11. However. smaller PDC cutters). Note that drillpipe that has been run in compression should be regularly rotated through other sections of the drillstring (if possible). the thinner the cuttings bed must be to allow acceptable tripping. but may provide benefits for both tripping (large JSA) and ECD management (refer to EXAMPLE 11.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • There may be some hole cleaning benefit to producing smaller cutting sizes (i.1 and EXAMPLE 11. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .2). and general ERD drilling performance. 1. 1. For example. or “Steering wheel” bits may have similar junk slot area as a given straight bladed bit. On most high angle wells. • Junk slot area (JSA) is a critical component of the bit design for high angle wells. this is not likely to be a significant part of the “hole cleaning system”.e. However. the majority of the drillstring will be in compression when drilling (due to drag). With the pipe lying on the low side of the hole. Effectively the bit acts as a plunger when being dragged through the cuttings bed. full spiral wrap blades.1.

Any spiral stabilizers used in ERD applications should be a partial wrap design with maximum junk slot area. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . These tools are cycled using mud-pulse telemetry and are available in 12¼”. • In general. by WOB. there are different adjustable stabilizers on the market.13 • • • Stabilizers should have tapered leading and trailing edges to prevent the stabilizer hanging up. Each design has different applications and different advantages and disadvantages. These tools are cycled hydraulically. Following are some general design and operational considerations: • For straight tangent sections on shorter wells. • • However. the amount of stabilization should be kept to three or less stabilizers for a high angle well. • • • The gauge design of bits used with adjustable stabilizers is important. or to recommend a particular stabilizer design. for easier tripping through cuttings beds. Long gauge bits will tend to constrain the assembly and reduce the effectiveness of the adjustable stabilizer.1. When planning hydraulics. The following are some general guidelines to consider. Straight blade stabilizers may be preferred for high angle wellbores. Stabilizers should be designed for maximum junk slot area. or a combination of both. Spiral stabilizers may have application if bit/BHA whirl is a significant issue. For more complex applications.1 Stabilizer Design This discussion is not intended to be an authoritative analysis.2”). • 1. which have different advantages. but increased stabilization will only increase torque and drag. 9⅞” and 8½” hole sizes. spiral stabilizers have also been seen to increase the torque compared to straight blades in some applications. Similarly.13. simple 2-position tools are available in a wide range of hole sizes (6” to 17 ½”). Short gauge bits are preferred (1” . Every directional company and directional driller seems to have a different experience and preference for stabilizer designs. ensure the pressure drop required below the adjustable stabilizer is accounted for. On a rotary assembly.1 Adjustable Stabilizers There are multiple BHA design options that can utilize adjustable stabilizers for inclination control. or where a larger range of flexibility is required. Refer to EXAMPLE 11. Refer to EXAMPLE 11. Note in some applications they may also produce more torque and vibrations compared to a spiral stabilizer. These stabilizers reduce junk slot area appreciably. and can often be replaced with better designs with some pre-planning. The final choice will depend on many factors. more complex tools are available with a wider range of stabilizer settings.1. The use of 360˚ wrap stabilizers is not recommended. This is believed to be due to the greater contact area of spiral blades. It is envisaged that the spiral type blades will not whirl as aggressively as a straight bladed stabilizer. String or integral stabilizers are preferred over sleeve stabilizers. disadvantages and applications. The sleeve and clamp-on type stabilizers are commonly used on motors and MWD/FEWD equipment to provide design flexibility in the field. which in turn are preferred over clamp-on type stabilizers.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. this may require nozzling the bit for up to 750psi pressure drop required for the more complex tool. This will be dependent upon specific requirements.

However. conventional power sections should be used to get them closer to the bit. the bladed drillpipe has a similar configuration to that of standard drillpipe. SMF’s Hydroclean drillpipe is shown in Figure 23 below. Each centralizer consists of 5-6 spiral blades (slightly larger OD than tooljoint). Another benefit observed by some Operators when using the bladed drill pipe has been improved slide drilling performance. more buckling resistance) of the bladed drill pipe in the string. Adjustable stabilizers can be run behind motors. a notable side benefit was an improvement in hole cleaning performance. The blades are designed to stir up the cuttings bed into the high flow regime on top of the hole and therefore improve hole cleaning. though the reaction seen from them will be reduced (too far back). 1. which are hardfaced with a low-friction coating designed to reduce torque and casing wear.1 Bladed Drillpipe Bladed drillpipe was originally intended to reduce drilling torque by the use of low-friction alloys on the blade surface. If run behind motors.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • • • The tools should be set up to provide some indication of their position downhole (open / close). This is a combined result of the cleaner hole and the stiffer nature (i. With the simpler tools this is a function of a change in pressure. This requires tools with different cycling mechanisms to avoid interference and confusion. which may be difficult to see when deep in the hole. Multiple adjustable stabilizer tools have been used in effectively in a single horizontal drilling BHA. along with a reduction in torque.e. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . In general. with the addition of integral bladed centralizers placed evenly between the tooljoints.1.

Reduced weight bedcuttings bed 40-60% RESULTS Reduced300EROSION HEIGHT final of height RESULTS Wt. EQUALIBRIUM BED40-50% BED GPM 200 GPM 15-25%Reduced time by 60% up longer for bed to build 50 RPM (lb.) 30 ft.) Time (sec.) Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 ./hr ROP 80 RPM 1800 Standard 960 575 460 175 750 HH Hydroclean Standard Hydroclean 750 1000 2000 Time (sec.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 23 Testing results are shown below in Figure 24 for the Hydroclean drillpipe at Tulsa University flow loop.

it has proved difficult to quantify their actual benefit in the field. with one joint every 3-4 stands through critical intervals over 45º inclination. The main benefit will be to speed up the cleanup cycle process (e.g. With Bladed Drillpipe Without Bladed Drillpipe Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 . Generally run in 10⅝" and larger hole sizes.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 24 Although this testing confirms their effectiveness. The following general observations can be made with respect to using bladed drillpipe: • • • If good hole cleaning practices are already in place. may require 3. A sufficient number of tools need to be run in order to be effective (cost implications). the benefits of running these tools will be limited.5 x BU rather than 4 x BU to cleanup the hole).

as they help to break up and spread out the cuttings beds (Figure 25). Figure 25 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 2 Apr 2003 . This will help to reduce the risk of packing off and may speed up the backreaming process.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • The tools have been seen as beneficial when backreaming.

g. There are many different types of PBL subs that function using various mechanisms. In general.e. ○ Allows circulation while in casing with bi-center bits (or conventional bits) run on motors (i. These tools are suitable for a wide range of applications which may include: ○ Allow increased flowrates in various applications (e.e. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . faster wellbore cleanup. and each may add some degree of additional risk to the well. and have a good track record or reliability and functionality. This will allow increased flowrates to be pumped. This may require tri-cone bits to be run (i. The tool shown below in Figure 26 is a multi-activation system that works by dropping a series of vinyl and steel balls for up to 6 cycles. in larger casing ID above the top of liners.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. flowrates restrictions in BHA. keep in mind that none of these tools will replace poor practices. • If a motor is to be run. similar to motor nozzling). to reduce pressure loss through small ID strings used inside liners. etc) ○ For pumping aggressive LCM pills which cannot pass through downhole tools.e.1. However. ○ Allow pressure activated underreamers to collapse when circulating and rotating in cased hole. less torque required). avoiding casing wear and bit damage). most motors will allow a nozzle to be run in the top of the rotor that allows fluid to bypass the rotor / stator gap. but may result in reduce torque output from the motor and careful consideration needs to be given to the impact on sliding and bit selection. This applies for cleaning up the hole while tripping out.1 Other Mechanical Tools Consideration should be given to the following mechanical tools for various applications that may directly or indirectly impact hole cleaning in a high angle well. • • Jet subs run in the BHA will also allow higher flowrates to be pumped when flowrate restrictions are seen with other BHA components (i. tools run should be simple to operate. as well as breaking circulation while tripping in. and it has a flowrate limitation that is considered inadequate for hole cleaning.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 26 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

rotary. or ECD is an issue. dual tools. steerable. They can be run in a variety of different BHA setups (e. An added benefit is that they allow more tolerance to cuttings beds in the hole for tripping. etc). they may also make hole cleaning that much more difficult by drilling a larger OD hole. However. Security DBS NBR Anderreamer Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .g. string or NB. and the hydraulics and pinning setup. RSS. Key issues with these tools include adequate stabilization to reduce vibrations. cutter durability. The two most commonly run tools are shown in Figure 27 below.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • Underreamers are generally run to drill oversize hole where annular clearances are tight.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 27 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

they have several disadvantages.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • Bi-Center bits (Figure 28) provide similar benefits to underreamers (larger JSA. and increased percentage of sliding with a motor in the hole. with less risks (no moving parts). RunningAhead Drilling Through Casing Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . Increased vibrations compared to a conventional PDC. easier tripping). However. including the following: ○ Cannot be used with “push-the-bit” RSS’s. ○ ○ ○ Often poor sliding with motors Tend to drop angle in rotary making directional control difficult.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 28 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

Furthermore. As the tension below the doglegs increase. If the well falls below the designed vertical section in wells of less than ±70°. Minimum dogleg severity (both individual doglegs and cumulative) is key to minimizing torque. Time and cost should be secondary priorities here. particularly hydraulics. it is vital that BHA planning take into account the rig’s capabilities. casing and completion operations.1 1. or for “efficient” drilling on a high angle well. and not ROP. Intersect the target(s).1. For these wells. sticking to the planned vertical section may be critical to keeping the tangent angle down. Excess shallow doglegs in a high angle well can have a severe impact on torque. and intersect the target(s). so too does the resulting torque and drag. This may result in excessive slide drilling and a wellpath that is more tortuous than necessary. as this is critical for future torque and drag management. The Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual wellpath should be re-drawn to the target Rev 0 from the current location. 2. are not conducive to good hole cleaning performance. Drill a smooth. Actual Wellpath – re-drawn curve Planned Wellpath chasing the line will result Chasing the original Actual Wellpath – wellpath curve in increased torque and drag problems. therefore. and therefore minimize the effects of negative weight on the well. Their priorities should be to: 1. the effects of the critical doglegs are lessened. See Figure 29. it is important that all parties are in agreement with respect to the directional drillers priorities. However. For high angle wells. it will ultimately reduce the overall torque and drag for the well. including the company geologists and reservoir engineers.1. the well should be re-drawn to the target and the original design discarded. and for negative weight wells. drag and buckling problems. Although this will increase the tangent angle. "Chasing the Curve" refers to the practice of trying to get back on the planned vertical section line when the well falls behind on inclination. 3. for wells greater than ±70°. rather than chasing the original line Page 1 Apr 2003 .PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. with as smooth a wellbore as reasonably possible. one of the traditional expectations for directional drillers was that they stay “on the line”. accurate build section. Pro-actively maintain good hole cleaning environment throughout the drilling process. They are generally expected to have followed the planned wellpath as close as reasonably possible. drag and buckling for drilling. Sliding frequency and time should be based around the long-term benefit. 1.1 PRACTICES Priorities for DD’s The traditional performance criteria upon which a directional drillers performance is judged.1 Chasing the curve As mentioned above. This involves planning BHA’s that will maximize rotary drilling and allow high continuous rotary speeds (on and off-bottom). Trying to stick to a vertical section when the well is falling behind can cause serious problems in high angle wells. the tension below the doglegs begins to reduce and.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 29 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 2 Apr 2003 .

Note that each of the alternatives below may have specific applications that lend the technique to some wells and not to others. and generally requires a cleaner hole than drilling or tripping operations. Page 1 Apr 2003 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 . Modeling will highlight potential problems and allow the run to be modified prior to the difficulties being seen in the field. Generally only effective in cased hole. • • • Hang-off Drill Collars – drill collars can be run and hung off inside the casing in the low angle section of the well for additional running weight. Top Drive Weight – with the use of a push plate. there are numerous casing /liner running methods that can be used to overcome varying degrees of drag.1 PLANNING A CASING RUN It should never be assumed that a casing or liner string will run to bottom on a high angle well with no problems. part of the top drive weight can be applied to the top of the casing string for additional weight. For further information on any of these alternatives refer to K&M Technology Group or other personnel with a suitable level of experience in these applications. All of the casing running techniques listed below have been used in various applications around the world to run casing in challenging applications. Again the impact will be minimal unless the string is floated. the pickup weights are generally more the issue with very high string tensions in deep lower angle wells. the definition of a clean hole will be different for drilling. Rather. and planning for casing runs should account for this as well as increased stiffness with larger OD pipe (i. 2. with lighter casing in the high angle section of the well. • • • Roller Centralizers . Inverted Casing Designs – running weights will be improved by utilizing heavier weight casing in the low angle section (e.8.4. Run casing as a liner – If possible.g. Cuttings and cuttings beds will be seen as additional drag when running casing. tripping and casing running operations. Examples of casing runs on high angle wells are shown in EXAMPLE 11.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 2 CASING / LINER & COMPLETION RUNNING As discussed in SECTION 3. or when running floated casing. As discussed below. they have been seen to reduce the cased hole friction factors by us to two thirds.e. Running casing or liner is often the limiting factor in a high angle well. Modeling of the string weights while running and picking up the string should always be an integral part of the planning process for a high angle wellbore. consideration can be given to running a long string of casing as a liner in order to improve running weights. Particularly when clearances are tight. casing slack off weights are generally not the main issue in casing running. not the same as drilling friction factors).the use of roller centralizers on the casing can have a significant impact on the running weights. < 30º). It should be noted that for deepwater GOM wells. there is little tolerance for cutting beds in the hole. Will have minimal impact. Lighter weight casing – reducing the casing weight results in lower drag in the high angle portion of the well.

Risk is always increased with this option as casing collapse must be considered in both a static and dynamic mode when the casing is fully or partially air filled. but mud is added to the low angle or vertical portion of the wellbore for additional weight. The centralizer type. There should then be no centralizers at all for the next 2-3 joints (see Figure 30). placement frequency and overall number will all affect the casing drag. These should be as short as possible to reduce casing stiffness. to ‘lift the nose up’. • Mud over air – in this option the casing is run empty through the high angle section.1 OTHER CASING RUNNING ISSUES Following are some general considerations that apply to running casing and liners in ERD wells: • Good centralization improves cementing. the “brake” action of a conventional bow spring centralizer does not exist. but the first goal must be to get the casing to bottom. ○ If pipe rotation is not required. if bow spring centralizers are used.e. can act as “brakes” on the casing string (i. ○ To limit ploughing. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . Centralizers act to stiffen the casing and. ○ Consider the use of roller centralizers (as discussed above). The mud and air are generally separated with the use of a Davis Lynch Selective Flotation collar. then solid body centralizers are recommended. it is recommended that the shoe track be centralized for maximum shoe standoff and maximum shoe track flexibility. ○ If pipe rotation is required. the restoring force of the centralizer applies a normal force to the wellbore wall). 1.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • Air Filled (empty) – the casing can be run empty in order to significantly reduce the drag. Since the outside diameter of these tools is equal to the hole size. Casing running friction factors can be quite sensitive to the centralization program and tortuosity of the wellpath. then semi-rigid or ‘double bow’ centralizers are recommended. across a zone where differential sticking is anticipated. The following centralizer observations are made for high angle wells: ○ Centralization should be minimized (within cementing objectives). They will only really be effective in cased hole intervals over ±30º inclination. The only exception to this would be in the case of running casing or liners with flush connections. There have been two incidents of collapsed casing with floated casing runs. The optimum method for achieving this involves placing 1-2 centralizers back-to-back at the very bottom of the shoe joint.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company The conventional centralization (as have problems runningcasing hole This centralization is less likely to above) will stiffen the in the shoe significantly. Liner hanger systems should permit circulation and rotation to aid in working the pipe through tight spots or cuttings beds left in the hole. consider running a reamer or asymmetric shoe to help work the string down past ledges or cuttings beds. Page 1 Apr 2003 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 . Picking up casing and liners with tight clearances should be minimized as this can result in excessive swabbing or induced wellbore instability. floated casing string. or while passing a ledge Figure 30 • • • If rotation of the casing or liner is possible (e. It is more likely to hangup or plough when running in the hole through a build or turn. liner).g.

1 COMPLETION When planning a high angle well. The operational practices and engineering designs relating to drilling the well will certainly affect various aspects of the completion and workover programs. the FAC tool allows this to happen efficiently without having to stop and rig up circulation subs. the feasibility of running completion and intervention strings in and out of the wellbore must also be considered in the early planning stages. 1.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • Fill and Circulate (FAC) tools are recommended to be run with long strings of casing. ○ ○ Allows the casing to filled regularly with minimal time impact to the operation (i. • With tight annular clearance consider running open shoes or fluid diverter systems to help reduce surge pressures. do not have to rig up extra hoses) If circulation is required to work the casing down or for any other reason. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .e.

“the best laid plans can come apart very quickly when inappropriate parameters and practices are applied.0.6. drillpipe rotation is critical for good hole cleaning in the high angle portion of the wellbore. but they are seen on most wells in practice.1 DRILLING AND TRIPPING PRACTICES DRILLING PARAMETERS AND PRACTICES The following sections provide guidelines for the actual parameters and practices that should be employed to maintain good hole cleaning while on-bottom drilling.1. and all limitations have been designed out of the system. Note that theoretical models will not predict these step changes. as well as a considerable amount of ERD experience from a wide variety of high angle wells drilled throughout the world. Flowrate alone is ineffective unless the pipe is being rotated fast enough to stir the cuttings into the flow regime. The mechanics of why these hurdle speeds occur is unclear.2. there are hurdle rotary speeds that produce step changes in hole cleaning performance on high angle wells (see Figure 10).1.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 2 2. These guidelines are based on the hole cleaning theory presented in SECTION 3. or inappropriate decisions are made” 2.2). Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . especially since relatively constant hurdle speeds have been noted for a wide variation of hole size. drillpipe size and mud systems. Field experience suggests that in 9⅞" and larger hole sizes.1 Drillpipe Rotation As discussed in SECTION 3. and “turn the conveyor belt on” (SECTION 3. This has been clearly verified by cuttings return at the shakers on many high angle wells. The discussion below assumes that the engineering work in the planning phase has “got it right”.

and 3 rig pumps is considered to be a minimum requirement to enable effective hole cleaning. and vibration induced drillstring and downhole tool failures. As such. the recommended drillstring rpm to allow effective hole cleaning is shown for some common hole sizes. for reduced fatigue on steerable motors). some will argue that the recommended high rotary speeds above are unnecessary. • Many high angle wells have been successfully drilled with lower pipe speeds (typically 80-100 rpm. If the drillstring rpm is limited by the motor bend.5. the majority of the drillstring is supported by the lowside of the hole. it is common on such operations that 6⅝” drillpipe. in a high angle wellbore. In smaller hole sizes the impact of rotation on ECD should be carefully mapped to allow limits to be set. rotation speeds greater than 130-150rpm should be avoided. much greater rig capability is normally necessary. The off-bottom loads on a steerable motor are significantly lower. as some operators have seen significant BHA damage at high rotary speeds in this large hole size. and therefore the fatigue considerations may allow for the increased rotary speeds. However. to compensate for the reduced rotary speeds. Vibrations monitoring should be an integral part of optimizing the rpm to avoid harmonics. • There may be some concern that the high rotary speeds recommended above may result in damage to the borehole or drillstring. However. If drilling a vertical or low angle well this may be the case. and the pipe will rotate smoothly (does not whip around). Such large equipment should not be necessary if practices and parameters are set appropriately.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company In the table below. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . For example. Refer to EXAMPLE 11. the possibility of increasing rpm when off-bottom should be considered. Note also that buckling while rotating is almost impossible to achieve in a high angle well (very high WOB required). HOLE SIZE 17½” 14½” 12¼” 9⅞” 8½” DESIRABLE RPM MINIMUM FOR EFFECTIVE HOLE CLEANING 120 rpm 120 rpm 120 rpm 100 rpm 60 rpm 120 – 150 rpm 120 – 170 rpm 150 – 180 rpm 120 – 150 rpm 70 – 100 rpm The following operational issues should be noted with respect to drillstring rpm and hole cleaning: • • • • In large diameter holes such as 16” or 17½".

whereas 1000 gpm is definitely much better than 700 gpm.1 Flowrates Ideally. 1300 gpm in 12¼” hole is not necessarily much better than 1000 gpm. HOLE SIZE 17½” 14½” 12¼” 9⅞” 8½” DESIRABLE FLOWRATE 900 – 1200 gpm 850 – 1150 gpm 800 – 1100 gpm 700 – 900 gpm 450 – 600 gpm MINIMUM WORKABLE FLOWRATE 800 gpm 800 gpm 650-700 gpm 500 gpm 350-400 gpm The following operational issues should be noted with respect to flowrates and hole cleaning: • • The SPP when off-bottom is usually less than when on-bottom drilling (especially if a PDC bit and steerable BHA is in use). The bit hydraulics can use up too much available pressure at the expense of hole cleaning. forgetting that good hole cleaning is pointless if you can’t drill ahead due to poor bit hydraulics. Hence.g. Bit nozzling should be with flowrate limitations in mind. higher flowrates may be used when off-bottom and circulating the hole clean (if pressure limited). This statement is based on experience where “drilling in the box” practices resulted in similar maximum sustained ROPs regardless of the flowrate above 1000 gpm (in 12¼” hole).6. the recommended and minimum flowrates to allow effective hole cleaning are shown for some common hole sizes.2). Alternately.1. bit hydraulics can be ignored in the attempt to maximize annular velocities. as well as optimizing bit hydraulics. In the table below. These may included: • • • • Standpipe pressure (SPP) ECD and fracture gradient Downhole tool limits Directional issues (e. For example.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . and a balled bit makes tripping through a cuttings bed more difficult and increases risks. The minimum workable flowrate assumes a comprehensive “systems approach” has been implemented for hole cleaning in the planning and operational stages. shallow build section often have to be drilled at reduced flowrates to avoid washing out the hole. Poor bit hydraulics may also lead to bit balling. within the other limitations that may exists in the well design. and allowing the build to be obtained) Field experience seems to suggest that a point of diminishing returns is reached with escalating flowrate (refer to SECTION 3. the maximum possible flowrates should be used for every section of a high angle well.

205-245 fpm for 5½” drillpipe. • Note that some documentation recommends a minimum annular velocity of 150 ft/min in order to maintain adequate hole cleaning in high angle hole sections. the fluid film in contact with the formation is near stationary). it is very difficult to visualize that such relatively slow velocities can erode the wellbore. Erosion due to AV’s across the BHA and drillpipe is extremely unlikely. erosion). and 231-277 fpm for 65/8” drillpipe. the actual fluid velocity immediately next to the wellbore is essentially zero (i. however. such as instability or chemical interaction). There are several problems with this rule-of-thumb: ○ With 5½" drillpipe in 17½" hole. ○ Regardless of the theoretical AV’s. except perhaps in extremely unconsolidated or shallow formations. in 8½" hole a flowrate of 260gpm would be required.1200 gpm in 12¼” hole) will give theoretical AV’s of 196-235 fpm across 5” drillpipe. Flowrate Profile in the annulus of deviated wellbore ○ As discussed in SECTION 3. “annular velocity” has less meaning in a high angle wellbore. ○ Such high flowrates (say. • It is clear. Turbulence may be feasible with seawater across the drill-collars. 1000 .3. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . especially if the bit is nozzled for high HSI.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • There may be some concern that the high flowrates recommended above may wash out the hole (i. and demonstrated in Figure 31 below. When you consider that walking pace is 330 – 440 fpm. that hole erosion can and does occur (note that hole erosion should not be confused with hole enlargement due to other reasons. This is because the fluid is viscous. Similarly. This is unlikely for the following reasons: ○ For all intents and purposes. Most hole erosion occurs at the bit. Therefore this rule-of-thumb should not be used. and faster in the center of the hole.e. with the viscous mud systems that will be used in these wells. and from experience this flowrate is seen as inadequate. See Figure 31 below.e. this would require 1700gpm to obtain this annular velocity.1. it is impossible to get turbulent flow in the annulus. and the fluid is moving slower near the wellbore. We know that 17½" hole can be adequately cleaned with less flowrate. but otherwise laminar flow is assured.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company

Figure 31

1.1.1

ROP

ROP is a key parameter in the process of “Drilling in the Box” (SECTION 2). Once all the sides of the box have been established, a certain ROP will be required to maintain good hole cleaning, or stay within the box. If the ROP increases, you either have to change one of the parameters, or you will move outside the box (cuttings start to build up). If the ROP decreases, one or more of the sides of the box may be relaxed and still allow you to remain within the box. This process is shown in Figure 32 below. Refer to SECTION 10.2 for guidelines of how to establish the optimum ROP to continue “Drilling in the Box”.

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If no Increases: ROP changes can state: Drilling in steadybe made to the sides Decreases: (i.e. parameters box, a same parameters If allsize)of the box is theof the will the limits imposed by the different design and The sizedecreases, some function of need is may ROP of the stay ROP (i.e. box be same size), and ROP increases, box and to relaxed parameters which impact hole thebe reduced (or remedial hole cleaning cleaning. The inside of the box represents a operationalto reduce the size of the you will still have outside hole cleaning. practices will the box and move hole cleaning environment, and outside good adequatebe required) excessive cuttings the box is poor hole cleaning. The red beds will start to build current hole cleaning position (approaching the limits of the diamond represents the up in the hole. One box).of the sides of the box may be able to be changed (e.g. increase flowrate, change rheology, etc), and this will allow this increased ROP to be managed (i.e. back within the box).

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Figure 32

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1.1.2

Connection Practices

The connection practices on a high angle well should be different than those used on a vertical or low angle well. The aim of these practices is as follows:

Minimize the potential for getting stuck. This is achieved by moving any cuttings beds up away from the BHA prior to stopping for the connection. This is particularly important with intervals in the 35º - 60º range where avalanching will occur when the pumps are stopped. This will also be more critical when slide drilling.

Aid with hole cleaning. If for any reason the ROP (or any other parameter) cannot be controlled to maintain good hole cleaning within the box, the connection may be used as an opportunity to spend additional time circulating to aid in cleaning up the hole.

Collect consistent T&D data. The connection allows an opportunity to obtain a good relative measurement of the T&D, which will provide an indication of the hole cleaning efficiency. Minimize pressure loading on the hole. Connections done with poor practices can result in large ECD spikes on the hole (e.g. through the startup of pumps and pipe movement). Particularly when tight margins are involved, ECD’s at connections need to be analyzed and practices modified accordingly.

Note that connections on a high angle well will generally take longer, but the practices used will prove valuable in preventing stuck pipe, losses, or more significant hole cleaning problems. The following generic procedure is provided as a template. For each well and each interval, specific connection procedures need to be developed by engineering and operational personnel. 1. Drill down stand at the required parameters for efficient hole cleaning.

2. Backream the stand as required.
– Note backreaming is performed solely to clear cuttings from around and above the BHA so they do not cause problems while the pumps are off and pipe is stationary. Factors to consider are the flowrate, rpm, hole size, hole angle, ROP, and mode of drilling prior to the connection. Depending on hole conditions the stand may be reamed 1 to 2 times. If the ROP is controlled in the last single (with rotary drilling), backreaming the stand may not be required at all. Down-reaming should be controlled or avoided as this can cause excessive surge. Record rotating off-bottom torque and string weight Stop the rotary and pick up at 30 ft/min, record pick-up weight Slack off at 30 ft/min, record slack-off weight

– – –
3. – –

With one single off-bottom, and at consistent pump rate;


1. 2. 3.

Shut down pumps and bleed off pressure Slack-off and set slips. Break out top drive.
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PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 4. start rotating slowly prior to starting the pumps (break the gels and reduce ECD spikes). If ECD’s are approaching the 6. change one parameter at a time awaiting its response. fracture gradient. Start pumps slowly (stage up the pumps over several minutes). Regardless of which is done first. and pick up out of slips. Pick up new stand. 5. Drill ahead as instructed or wait on MWD survey (if required) Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . and makeup connections.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company

1.1

HOLE CONDITION MONITORING

High angle wells that are designed with an effective hole cleaning system must also include adequate monitoring of hole cleaning performance as the well is being drilled.

This process is known as “Hole Condition Monitoring” (HCM), and is basically the real-time collection and interpretation of relevant well data, with the aim of maximizing ROP within the hole cleaning system.
The relevant well data collected can include the following.


• • • •

Off-bottom Torque and Drag (T&D) data Cuttings returns Drilling parameters Mud Properties Downhole tools (PWD / DWOB / DTORQ / Calliper)

As discussed in SECTION 10.1.3, ROP is the key output that is used to remain “Drilling in the box”. HCM is the process that is used to allow the optimal ROP to be defined for a given “box size”. However, it is important to clearly define the ROP (hole cleaning) strategy up front. Historically, there have been two different schools of thought on drilling ROPs in high angle hole sections. Some Operators choose to drill at maximum instantaneous ROPs and then perform remedial hole cleaning operations as required (usually in the form of wiper trips or backreaming). Alternately, some Operators nominate a “safe” speed at which ROP will be limited to. This controlled ROP may be based on personal experience, or on published “stuck pipe school” guidelines. It has been K&M’s experience that the best overall footage/day (and therefore cost/foot) is achieved if hole cleaning is managed pro-actively.

“Generally, it is safer, easier and more efficient to keep the hole clean, than it is to clean up a dirty one. “
The process of monitoring T&D data (refer to SECTION 10.2.1 below) has proven to be a reliable way of maximizing ROP and minimizing stuck pipe occurrences. It is possible to safely drill at relatively high-sustained penetration rates for long, high angle hole sections if all drilling parameters, practices and strategies are optimized for the drilling rig capability. Further, it is possible to do so with minimal (if any) remedial action such as pumping sweeps, clean-up cycles, wiper trips or backreaming (refer to EXAMPLE 11.4). “Drilling in the box“ is the technique that was developed by K&M to achieve this.

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PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company

1.1.1

Torque and Drag (T&D) Data

Real-time T&D monitoring involves taking torque, rotating string weight, pick-up and slack-off readings at the surface, at every connection. Note that all readings are off-bottom. This data is then plotted against predicted trends that are based on previous experience, and calibrated with the data from the current well. If the actual results start to diverge away from the predicted trends, then a hole cleaning problem may be developing. The combination of this data, and carefully monitored cuttings, mud, and drilling parameter data can then be used to optimize drilling ROP, and / or to decide what remedial action is necessary. So what is T&D monitoring actually telling you? As shown in Figure 33 below, tooljoints will create additional drag as they are pulled through the cuttings bed (EXAMPLE 11.13). The amount of additional drag will be dependent on the bed height. Therefore, as cuttings beds build up in the hole, pick-up and slack-off weights, and their divergence from theoretical trends, can be used to gauge the level of cuttings beds in the hole. A change in the pick-up weight is normally the first indicator of hole cleaning problems. If the cuttings bed is thin, the cuttings will be moved aside leaving a groove, and slack-off may not be influenced to the same degree as pick-up. Slack-off weight changes indicate further development of hole cleaning problems. This is due to the cuttings bed becoming thick enough to re-fill the groove left after pulling the tooljoint through it while picking up. As the cuttings bed height increases, the effect on slack-off weights will become more pronounced. Therefore slack-off weight is often used as the key indicator defining the point at which remedial action is required. Torque is a secondary hole cleaning indicator as it is not as sensitive to the cuttings bed height and increased torque can be caused by other problems (i.e. changes to the mud system, hole geometry, etc.). Tooljoints create reliable indicator of hole cleaning,through the cuttings the Torque is not a additional drag as they are pulled but may respond if bed. The drag of the tooljoint is dependent on the bed height. cuttings bed gets thick enough

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PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company

Figure 33

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PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company

The following advantages are seen with the T&D method for monitoring hole cleaning:

• •

This method allows the actual wellbore conditions to “talk to you” while drilling, and provides positive indications of what is happening downhole in real-time. As compared to hole cleaning models, almost all assumptions are eliminated. The same method can be used to monitoring tripping (in and out), as well as casing and liner running operations. Again, in these operations, T&D monitoring provides a real-time indication of actual wellbore conditions, without the limitations of PWD methods (SECTION 6.3.1), or hole cleaning models (SECTION 4.3.4.4).

When using off-bottom T&D data, most BHA, and all bit interaction (both of which vary wildly and are unpredictable) are removed from the equation. The data collected can be used as the basis for T&D modeling and planning for future high angle wells. The value of this data cannot be understated. Quality T&D data is the key to planning challenging high angle wells. This is particularly the case when the feasibility of a well is in question, or trying to stretch the rig capability.

The hole cleaning monitoring is not sensitive to downhole tool failure (as with PWD).

It is important to trust the T&D modeling, but it is just as important that its limitations are well understood. T&D modeling has proven to be an excellent tool for monitoring cuttings bed build-up, but there are many phenomena that may be occurring, that will not necessarily show up or that may be misinterpreted. Differential sticking, key-seating and wellbore instability effects should not be misinterpreted as cuttings build-up. The symptoms are different and their identification underlines the importance of collecting and interpreting the T&D data in conjunction with the other relevant well data (following sections) on an ongoing basis. An example Torque & Drag (T&D) monitoring chart is shown in Figure 34. Refer to EXAMPLE 11.7 for other example plots of T&D monitoring from actual wells.

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PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 34 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

character) coming over the shakers are also very important (see Figure 3). involving the collection and weighing of cuttings in a bucket at regular intervals. Properties monitored should include weight. mud.1. etc. if wellbore stability is being seen. LGS. has one of the parameters increased.g. or has something else changed? Attempts have been made to quantitatively measure the cuttings volume coming out of the hole with the use of cutting weighing devices attached to the discharge of the shakers. The aim of these tools is to determine the weight of rock coming out of the hole.1. Other Operators have attempted a simpler method. changing conditions) rather than actual values. fluid loss. or is something wrong? If the hole unloads. gel strength. However. Again.e. flowrate. as they will often be the first ones to pick up a change in cuttings character.) should be recorded at regular intervals to provide a relative indicator of changes in the system. but is often not analyzed in detail by onsite personnel. 1. Chlorides. 1. if the mud is doing its job. The drilling parameters (ROP. There are many assumptions involved with this method. this provides a valuable relative comparison. YP.3 Mud Properties Mud properties should also be monitored on a regular basis. SWR. and while performing cleanup cycles prior to tripping.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1.1. This information can be used to determine how well the hole is being cleaned. This data will prove invaluable in interpreting what is happening downhole. This applies both while drilling. with an aim to identify trends (i. The type of cuttings (e. etc. compared to the weight being drilled. it can provide valuable information when used in conjunction with T&D and other well data. PV. ROP. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . should all be taken into consideration when comparing the volume of cuttings on the shakers. rpm. and thus how clean the hole actually is. Both the volume and type of cuttings can “tell a clear story” of what is happening downhole. flowrate) and other components of the hole cleaning system (e. which make it difficult to use as a definitive hole cleaning tool. depth. This information should already be captured by the mud logger or other personnel. etc. The cuttings volume will provide a relative indication of how well the cuttings are being removed from the hole. rpm. WOB. pump pressure.2 Drilling Parameters Drilling parameters (time. size. which will indicate a change downhole.1 Cuttings Returns Monitoring the cuttings coming over the shakers at regular intervals is a critical component of HCM. If there are no cuttings coming back has something changed. sliding or rotating). BHA.g. fann readings. The shaker hand is a critical person in the hole cleaning system. The key is to look for trends and changes in the trends. shape.

which is difficult in a high angle well.3. The DWOB tool is an excellent way to monitor drillpipe buckling.1 Pressure While Drilling (PWD) Tools PWD tools are valuable for ECD management. When the surface and downhole loads start to diverge. 1.e.g.4 Downhole Tools Various MWD-based tools have been developed to help monitor hole conditions. • Despite these disadvantages. particular while sliding (e. but should not be used in isolation to monitor hole cleaning. drilling) to be effective. Careful and frequent calibration of the tools is required. Perhaps the most important limitation of relying on DWOB/DTORQ. This is done by comparing the difference between the surface loads and the downhole loads.4.1.1. and difficult to interpret on the rig floor in real-time (difficult to track trends). • • The DWOB / DTORQ information is generally very complex. These tools may provide valuable imformation. Several Operators have used DWOB / DTORQ extensively in high angle drilling to monitor hole cleaning.2 Downhole Weight on Bit and Torque (DWOB / DTORQ) Tools Anadrill originally developed the DWOB / DTORQ tools. Refer to Section SECTION 6. is that this tool is useless when tripping in or out. reliance upon DWOB / DTORQ as primary hole cleaning monitoring tools in not recommended. this is assumed to be due to cuttings loading. and is a good way to calibrate T&D and Buckling modeling programs. As with the PWD tools. the measurements must account for the variations of on-bottom bit and BHA interaction. These tools can provide very valuable information. weight transfer to the bit).1. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . and in some cases have also proven to be valuable in monitoring hole cleaning performance. the comparison of downhole and surface loads can be quite complicated. which is the greatest risk of stuck pipe.4. but should not be used as a primary hole cleaning tool.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. which measure downhole loads at the MWD tool. 1. Hence. as they have distinct limitations as discussed below. With PDC bits in particular. the DWOB/DTORQ information can be very useful.1. The following are key issues: • The DWOB / DTORQ tool relies on being on-bottom (i.

This type of tool is designed primarily for the detection of large washouts in shales and unconsolidated sands.1. This may be beneficial for monitoring wellbore stability and aiding with hole cleaning decisions.1 LWD Calipers Some LWD tools (Resistivity / Density / Neutron) provide pseudo-calipers which can be used to monitor the hole diameter when drilling and tripping. Density / Neutron based pseudo-calipers measure the time taken for ultrasonic signals emitted from the tool to bounce off the formation and return to the tool.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. Resistivity based pseudo-calipers provide an indirect measurement that can measure hole sizes up to 60”. The size of the washout that can be measured is generally limited (inches not feet). Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .1.

the hole cannot be kept clean through optimizing parameters or controlling the ROP. The following generic guidelines are provided as a template for a cleanup cycle. It is critical that any remedial operations are initiated for the right reasons and that the response is appropriate. Circulate 2. 1. Further. For example. at a rate of one stand every ±60 minutes Monitor relative changes in T&D and PWD compared to both modeled and last observed prior to cleanup cycle. Ensure that the symptoms correspond with cuttings bed behavior and that remedial operations will be appropriate for hole cleaning.2. loss of a pump. Note that the same procedure will most likely be used in all hole sections. the effectiveness of remedial operations should be closely observed and quantified via T&D (and PWD) monitoring before and after the operation. and should be based on clear T&D and cuttings return trends. deteriorating wellbore condition. As discussed in SECTION 10.3 x BU and until shakers are clean • • • Measure the quantity of cuttings coming over the shakers every 15 minutes.5 . Hole Condition Monitoring (HCM) is the process used to optimize ROP and stay on-bottom.2 REMEDIAL HOLE CLEANING It has been repeatedly demonstrated on high angle wells that it is better to stay on-bottom at an optimized ROP (controlled to match hole cleaning system) than it is to drill in short fast bursts and then use remedial operations to clean the hole up (refer to EXAMPLE 11.g. If practices and parameters are optimized. or prior to backreaming. easier and more efficient to maintain a clean hole than it is to clean up a dirty hole. Maintain rpm and flowrate at their maximum level. there may be occasions where some remedial actions will be required.1 Cleanup Cycles If for any reason. drilling through a reservoir section may result in some differential sticking acting as drag and erratic torque. A cleanup cycle simply involves stopping to circulate the hole clean prior to drilling ahead. it is generally possible to drill for very long intervals without any cleanup cycles. wiper trips (or any other remedial hole cleaning measures). However.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. and regardless of whether it is being used as an intermediate cleanup cycle. Pull up slowly to avoid washing out the hole. It is safer. Remedial hole cleaning measures would then prove inappropriate. Note that the same procedures are also used for performing a cleanup cycle prior to tripping out of the hole. This may be due to changing conditions (e. or as the final cleanup prior to tripping. Page 1 Apr 2003 • Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 .4). performing an intermediate cleanup cycle should be considered as the first remedial option. Remedial operations should only be used after optimization options have been exhausted. poor mud properties). • Monitor vibrations to avoid excessive levels. Expect improvement as the hole cleans up.2.

then a significant mud loss can be seen as the hole cleans-up.6. as the hole is cleaned up. The flowrate and pipe rpm should be maximized during the circulation. Otherwise. This phenomenon tends to make mud volume tracking especially difficult in wells with inclinations greater than 65°. then drilling may be resumed.1 Wiper Trips Page 1 Apr 2003 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 . Remember that the mud is traveling on the high side of the hole at a rate much faster than the cuttings moving on the low side of the hole. pit gains of the same sort of volume will be observed as the cuttings bed builds back up and displaces the mud. Experience with the system on the rig will instill confidence in the amount of time the well will take to clean up. Often the cuttings returns over the shakers come in two distinct waves.” 1. If a motor assembly is in the hole and periods of slide drilling have been used. Pipe RPM may also be greater than that used when drilling. a wiper trip or some other remedial action may be warranted (e. then various “dunes” may exist in the well at any one time. then the hole isn’t clean yet. If these values return to clean hole values following this procedure. If cuttings are still coming out of the hole. When drilling recommences.4). especially if pressure limited. although it should be planned for by continuing to circulate another 1-2 x BU after the well initially cleans up. The following should be noted: • Do not stop circulation after a nominal 1 or even 2 x bottoms up. Remember that achievable off-bottom flowrates may be higher than those used for drilling. as these terms are largely meaningless for hole cleaning in high angle wellbores (refer to SECTION 3.g. cuttings flow over the shakers may also vary considerably with time. Additionally. As these dunes are removed from the hole. • If mud volumes are tracked carefully on the rig. • • Some form of quantitative cuttings measurement will be beneficial during this process to help in deciding when the hole is adequately clean. “Patience is the real key to effective hole cleaning. It is not uncommon that good cuttings return does not actually commence until after 1 . the pipe should be reamed up slowly at ±60 min/stand and the stand set back. this is not the same as backreaming as the aim is to fully cleanup the hole before drilling ahead or tripping out.1. • The T&D and PWD trends should be monitored throughout the process.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • Generally 2 distinct waves of cuttings over the shakers will occur during the cleanup cycle (second generally comes at 1-1. Note. backreaming). • • • Vibrations should be carefully monitored to ensure that no damaging vibrations are being induced while rotating at high rpm off-bottom (often worse than on-bottom). It is not exactly clear why this is the case. The key is to be patient. and for the shakers to clean up after 4 x bottoms up (times will vary according to parameters and conditions). dependent on the drilling mode.5 x BU after the first peak drops off).2 x bottoms up. • If there are concerns with undercutting or washing out the hole while rotating and circulating it clean. it can give the appearance that the hole is unloading.

2 Sweeps “The use of sweeps in high angle wells has proven largely ineffective.180 rpm). this effect will be increased.1 and EXAMPLE 11. wiper trips have limited (if any) value for hole cleaning. even the most viscous of pills will eventually allow the cuttings to fall to the bottom of the hole. The most common result of pumping a sweep in a high angle well is that it is seen early at the shakers. 1. When sweeps do work. without the detrimental effect of low-vis or hi-vis sweeps being absorbed into the mud system. Firstly. It has been proven that long.2. Pipe rotary speed with the sweep outside of the drill pipe should be greater than 120 rpm in 9⅞" and larger hole sizes (and preferably 150 . these are not the hole cleaning related remedial actions that are being discussed here. it is unlikely that the cuttings come from very far downhole. sweeps only make managing barite sag that much more difficult. the fluid will take the path of least resistance. If barite sag is a concern. identify wellbore instability. On the rare occasions that sweeps do bring cuttings to the shakers. rather than the high angle section of the wellbore. ECD’s are usually critical already. Furthermore. The pipe rotary speed while the sweep is inside of the drill pipe should be greater than 60 rpm. and will tend to stretch out on the top side of the hole.g.” A brief look at the downhole profile in a high angle well (refer to Figure 5) points to the reasons that sweeps are not very effective. Refer to examples of sweeps in high angle wellbores in EXAMPLE 11. With higher viscosity fluids. or a swelling shale interval. which is likely to have a detrimental effect on ECD’s. Almost certainly. • • If it is determined that a sweep is nonetheless required. Note that wiper trips for other reasons may still be necessary (e.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Unless preceded by a cleanup cycle. as the pipe is rotated. mixing of the sweep with the drilling fluid is inevitable. to wipe a permeable zone to prevent excessive filter cake build up. mud rheology is already difficult enough to keep within specification. regardless of the sweep design.1. they bring cuttings back in a very concentrated amount. With the fluid flow along the top of the hole. if good practices and strategies are used throughout. So what are the downsides of pumping sweeps on high angle wells: • • Time and money In high angle wells. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 . the following is recommended: • Carefully document the following to avoid doing the same thing twice and expecting a different result: ○ ○ ○ Sweep volume and properties Parameter used when pumping the sweep (rpm and flowrate) Results of the sweep (volume and type of cuttings returned) • The pipe should be rotated throughout the displacement process. the cuttings recovered by a sweep came from the vertical or build section. etc). However. or it is not seen at all. high angle hole sections on high angle wells can be drilled without wiper tripping.

This approach is intended to cause turbulent flow (or at least better disturb the cuttings bed) followed by a “catch-all” fluid. Do not shut down the rotary or the pumps until the sweep is seen back at surface (likely identified by a density change in the fluid). Another advantage of weighted sweeps is that coarse grain barite can be used. ○ Fiberous LCM has been used to aid in picking up cuttings by scouring the wellbore.4. Different sweep types may be trialled.1. floated casing. The high-vis sweep may ○ Weighted sweeps have been shown to be effective in aiding with the removal of fine silt beds (formation sand and barite) on the low side of the hole. It is not uncommon for sweeps to be detected at the surface earlier than expected. 1. but may be necessary prior to tripping in certain applications (e. The two pills must be back-to-back to be effective.g.2 for detailed backreaming guidelines. since the sweep will tend to ‘channel’ on the high side. tight clearance casing programs such as SEPCo deepwater GOM wells). Options included: be weighted to improve buoyancy of the cuttings and to move the sweep closer to the low side of the hole.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • The bit should be pulled off bottom as the sweep clears the bit (actual preference is not to be drilling and adding further cuttings to the system). These sweeps should be weighted 3-4ppg over the mud weight with a minimal increase in the fluid viscosity. • • • Sweeps must be coordinated with the directional drillers to ensure that they are not slide drilling while the sweep is in the hole. The low-vis sweep should be large enough to remain intact. which will allow the sweeps to be removed at the shakers and thus avoid impacting the specifications of the entire mud system. Refer to SECTION 10.1 Backreaming Backreaming should be considered as a last resort for remedial hole cleaning options. The volume should be sufficient for a 200-400ft column in the annulus. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . with a relatively small low-vis volume followed by a large hi-vis sweep. ○ Tandem sweeps.

limits slugs in the hole). If tripping procedures do not account for these issues. not to circulate BU 2.1 Standard Tripping Practices The following generic guidelines are provided as a template for standard tripping procedures.e.3.2). If obstruction has been removed. If the tight spot remains in the same place. When shakers are clean. every trip should be preceded by a cleanup cycle (refer to SECTION 10. Use of analog weight indicators is recommended to better identify fluctuations. then it is likely another mechanical process (i.1). The goal here is simply to confirm if it is a cuttings bed. If a tight spot is encountered (>30kips overpull) assume the tight spot is cuttings. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . If the tight spot has disappeared. since they have the ability to backream. 6. then the practices are likely to result in an inappropriate. then it was caused by a cuttings bed that has now been moved up the hole. it should be continued up to ±30o inclination. Pull up wet through the tight spot without rotation. pull 5-10 stands wet to check hole condition. This has developed into a time consuming and risky practice. If this is the case. to minimize the potential for problems while tripping. 1. but simply that the cuttings bed height is sufficiently low and evenly distributed to allow the bit and BHA to pass through without problems.3. Pull up through the tight spot again without rotation to see if it has been eliminated after reaming. – 1. go to step 3.4. 3. This is where most problems tend to occur when Operators simply utilize the same practices that were employed in vertical holes. This procedure will apply to all intermediate bit trips as well as the final trip prior to running casing if there are no special requirements (SECTION 10. and what happens as the BHA is pulled through these beds. This does not mean that there should be no cuttings at all. and circulate for 30 minutes. 2.2. and often-dangerous operations. RIH 2-3 stands until the BHA is clear of the obstruction. Pump a slug and POOH on elevators – – Record pick-up weights on every stand and plot on a theoretical T&D chart in real-time (preferable on the rig floor). formation of cuttings beds. ream through section and try to eliminate the tight spot.13 Regardless of the method used to trip out of the hole. If backreaming is started.10 and EXAMPLE 11.2. Return to step 1 and circulate the cuttings out of the hole. Refer to example plots in EXAMPLE 11. The advent of the top-drive system has lead to many Operators choosing not to invest time in cleaning up the hole prior to tripping. 1.1).PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. if necessary. ledge).8. consider pulling wet all the way to the shoe before pumping a slug and POOH on elevators (i.2 TRIPPING Tripping on high angle well is where the “rubber meets the road”. The main differences that must now be considered are the transport of cuttings. time consuming. Refer to EXAMPLE 11. Note that if tight hole is likely based on offsets or analog wells. Perform cleanup cycle (SECTION 10. Backreaming should be used as a last resort if a cuttings bed cannot be circulated out.e key seating.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company The primary rules for tripping in high angle wells are: • • Always assume that any tight hole or over-pull is due to cuttings (i. in general. 1. rather than leaving a small cuttings bed that the bit and BHA can safely trip through. However. a quick shut-in in a high pressure hydraulic system (such is the case if the wellbore packs off instantaneously when the pumps are on) causes a brief.1. a dangerous cuttings dune builds up just above the BHA. In essence. to ensure that sections of tight hole and overpull are quickly and clearly identified. A feature of high angle wells that utilize backreaming is that the wellbores often seem to deteriorate over time. but extremely violent’ pressure wave within the upstream system.1 Backreaming Although backreaming may be considered an appropriate practice in vertical and conventional low angle deviated wells. refer to EXAMPLE 11. As such. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . instantaneous pressure surges. Backreaming should be used as a last resort if a cuttings bed cannot be circulated out. The actual pick-up weights should be plotted against the theoretical weights. there is a high risk of permanent damage to the wellbore below the pack-off. It is possible that even the briefest pack-offs expose the lower wellbore to similar effects.1.1 Problems with Backreaming So what’s so bad about backreaming in a high angle wellbore: • Backreaming cleans the wellbore completely below the bit and BHA. hole cleaning related). unless backreaming is used on a regular basis. This is likely due to the “hydraulic hammer effect” (or “water hammer effect”). The ‘hydraulic hammer effect’ is well known to pipeline and systems engineers and is the primary reason that pipeline valves are designed so that they cannot be shut-in quickly. but extremely large. either just inside the shoe or many thousands of feet inside casing. and deal with potential barite sag. See Figure 35 below. especially if any tight hole was encountered while backreaming. The dune significantly increases the risk of packing off and stuck pipe. as a primary hole cleaning tool. Casing wear is generally not a serious concern in ERD. Also. This pressure wave quickly builds upon itself.10. • Backreaming can be detrimental for casing wear as high tensions forces in the drillstring are seen in the build section. Do not assume that cased hole is a safe haven for tight hole avoidance.1. • • • Tripping in practices should also be developed to minimize the surge exerted on the formation. 1. backreaming and pumping out of the hole are not appropriate practices for high angle wellbores. It is not unheard of for stuck pipe to occur inside casing. and is known to burst pipelines and pressure vessels.e. • If pack-off does occur. Refer to detailed backreaming procedures as detailed below. which exposes the wellbore to brief. This dune is likely to be much higher and thicker than the cuttings bed left from a cleanup cycle. If backreaming is started. this needs to be tested to ensure wellbore stability (or another issue) is not the problem.3 and EXAMPLE 11. it should be continued until ±30º inclination before circulating the hole clean and POOH.

movingbed height harmless NoAcceptable Cuttings – Hole Tripping near 100% below the bit. but the otherwise is low Result of dune is left below the cuttings bed left in the above the BHA BHA. Backreaming can mask the true wellbore conditions (difficult to see cuttings beds when POOH). From a feasibility aspect. Beach or cuttingscreated Harmless BackreamingBed for is cleaned – hole is not 100% clean. Once it is started it cannot be stopped. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . If backreaming is to be a planned part of ERD hole cleaning practices. power requirements for optimum rig sizing must account for backreaming expectations. since there is no rotation to move the cuttings dune away. and it must be done slowly. • • • Backreaming is a time consuming operation. then the power requirements may be significantly more than if hole cleaning and tripping practices are designed to prevent the need for backreaming. High vibrations and shock are often seen on the MWD when backreaming.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • • Backreaming can also have a significant impact on the fatigue life of the drillstring (again due to high tension and cyclic stresses). “Pumping out” (no rotation) is even more dangerous. The cuttings form dune which presents a significant stuck pipe / bitbackreamed interval cuttings to enoughthe allow easy passage of the aassembly without pumps or rotation above to pack-off risk unless backreaming is extremely slow.

e. • • Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .1. These may include: • Cuttings are not removed by cleanup cycles due to build up of fines.1. or paste. swelling formation. on low side of the hole (e. poor mud quality) Hole problems not related to cuttings beds (i.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Figure 35 1. ledges) To prevent swab related formation compressional failures.1 Backreaming Applications There may be certain applications in which backreaming is required and cannot be avoided.g.

Be patient! 1. In this situation. The pulling speed is a critical parameter. Monitor PWD and vibrations. and where applicable. Wouldn’t you expect to have hole cleaning problems if you drilled a stand down in 5 minutes (1200’/hr). Maintain maximum flowrate and rpm. The following general guidelines should apply: • There is no application for “pumping out” of the hole (i. the process needs to be based on surface torque and pump pressure measurements as a means of determining pulling speed.15 min/stand in 12¼” hole. Be Patient! • “Backreaming is an exercise in patience” Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . and made a connection with no further circulation? Some Operators have theoretical models for predicting the fastest safe speed that the pipe can be pulled when backreaming. 1. 2. Note that pumping out further increases the risk of packing off and/or stuck pipe. Monitor pump pressures. return flow. while there is insufficient rotation to disturb and move the dune away from the BHA. without any or insufficient rotation). tight hole) When running casing or liner with open floats 1. Keep in mind that backremaing is basically the same as drilling back up the hole. and torque for signs of packing off and tight hole. ensure the pads are set in the neutral position. Perform a full cleanup cycle as per the previous guidelines.e.1 Backreaming Guidelines The following generic guidelines are provided as a template for backreaming operations.1. Continue to backream to ±30 o inclination (maybe inside casing) before circulating a further 1. • Backreaming should always be performed at maximum allowable flowrate and string rpm. Regardless. the dune is still being created.1. Do not take a short cut with this step! Commence backreaming at a maximum of 5 stands per hour.5 . – – – – – If an RSS is included in the BHA. Typical speeds may be as slow as 10 . circulating out.2 x BU and POOH on elevators Consider circulating the hole clean prior to backreaming into the casing shoe. Examples may include: ○ Where these is minimal string weight available ○ ○ ○ Casing flotation where circulation will not be possible For tight annular clearances (surge pressures.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • If a very clean hole is required for subsequent casing running operations.

This will allow high cost MWD / FEWD tools to be laid out. Consider bladed drillpipe or stabilizers in the drillstring to spread the cuttings load (refer to SECTION 8. This will reduce the risk of pack-off and stuck pipe. Always perform a cleanup cycle immediately after finishing backreaming – never just POOH.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • • Always perform a cleanup cycle prior to starting backreaming. This applies to both cased and openhole.10 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . Take special care when backreaming into a casing shoe as the larger diameter rathole below the shoe may be an area where cuttings will accumulate.4). Consider tripping for a smaller and cheaper assembly prior to backreaming. and an undersize bit and stabilizers to be used.2. • • • • • Sweeps should not be pumped while backreaming as they may increase the risk of packing-off. Consider extra circulation with rotation before backreaming into the shoe. This will minimize the risk of stuck pipe and pack-off. Refer to EXAMPLE 11. Consider intermediate cleanup cycles while backreaming out of the hole.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company

1

CASE STUDIES

The following case studies have been included to provide examples of different theory, practices and techniques described in this manual. Although the majority of the examples are based on data from SEPCo wells, some other data has also been included.

EXAMPLE
11.1 11.2 11.3 11.4 11.5 11.6 11.7 11.8 11.9 11.10

WELLS
Ursa A3 & A5 MC 765 #1 Ardennes JA-2 & others Ursa A5 MC 766 #1 & other Ursa A10 Other Other Other Other Other Other Other Hole Cleaning Practices

TOPIC

Hole Cleaning Practices (2) Backreaming Intermediate Hole cleanup Effects of pipe rotation hole cleaning and ECD and Borehole Instability and Hole Cleaning T&D Monitoring while drilling T&D Monitoring while tripping and running casing ECD effects Tripping Practices Rig Capability Tortuosity Expro Stuck Pipe Prevention Course cuttings bed sticking model

11.11
11.12 11.13

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PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company

1.1

HOLE

CLEANING PRACTICES

The Ursa A5 was spudded in October 2000, and did not utilize good hole cleaning practices. After the poor performance on this well, many of the hole cleaning practices detailed in this manual were then implemented to some degree on the Ursa A3, which was spudded in June 2001. The hole cleaning, and overall performance, was considerably improved on this well. The tables that follow provide a summary of the operations on each well, with the rating system shown below used to describe the various hole cleaning practices seen on each of these well. Poor practices (mainly on the A5) included the following: • Low rotary speeds and flowrates Relying on sweeps to clean the high angle hole section Insufficient circulating time (e.g. 1 x BU) Backreaming used too often and inappropriately Hole cleaning capability limited by BHA designs (e.g. rpm and flowrate restrictions, sliding) Tight hole treated as hole problems rather than cutting beds


• • •

In summary, although there was tight hole seen on many of the trips (particularly A5), no significant problems were encountered on either of these well (e.g. stuck pipe). This is despite the fact that the hole cleaning practices were often poor. It is likely a function of drilling oversize hole (larger annular clearance and bit junk slot area) that prevented more significant problems from occurring due to the poor practices (increased tolerance for cuttings beds).

Good hole cleaning practices / performance Marginal hole cleaning practices / performance Poor hole cleaning practices / performance URSA A5
Start Depth End Depth

Operations Summary

Rating

Comment

17" Hole (UR to 22") to 7350', 16" Casing set at 7320' 6185' 7350' RIH with 17" tri-cone bit, LOT 10.8ppg, using PHPA mud, drill to 7350' (1472gpm, 120rpm), pump regular hi-vis Nut Plug sweeps for hole cleaning, still vertical. POOH to 6475', some drag, BR to 6168', having problems with hole packing off, ream down to 6754', work tight spots, pump Nut Plug sweep, BR to 4200', pump 100bbl caustic sweep, good returns of gumbo and cuttings, RIH to 6876', taking 20 kips, POOH to 6548', encountered 20 kip OP and swabbing, pump out of hole to 6373', POOH removing gumbo from string. Vertical

7350'

7350'

Vertical

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PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company

7350'

7350'

RIH with same BHA and UR hole to 6755' with 120rpm, 724gpm, while raising MW to 10.3ppg, circ and condition mud at 6755' due to 10.78ppg ECD, UR to TD, pump Nut Plug sweep and circ hole clean with 120rpm, 1400gpm, wiper trip to shoe, spot 16ppg mud on bottom, POOH ok. RIH with 16" J-55 109# Hydril 511 casing on 6⅝" landing string, RIH to 7320' ok 10⅝" x 14½" Hole to 9916', 13⅝" Casing set at 9875' RIH with 10⅝" PDC, 14½" RWD, motor (1.15 bend), PBL, 6⅝" DP, displace to 10.8ppg NovaPlus, FIT to 11.7ppg, drill to 9580', pumped 3 hi-vis sweeps and noted increase in fines, but no change in larger cuttings, drill to 9916', 40 rpm, 1250gpm, approx 48deg at TD. Circ and condition mud (1.5hrs), 50 rpm and 1283gpm, BR to 7441', 50rpm, 1325gpm, no tight hole, circ for 1 hr, POOH to shoe, RIH, drag at 8940', wash and ream to bottom raising MW from 11 11.2ppg, circ 50bbl hi-vis sweep, returned large volulme cuttings, continue circ until cutting dropped off, BR to 8673' (30deg inc), pump hi-vis sweep, RIH to TD no problems, circ 3 x BU and hole still unloading large volume cuttings, pump hi-vis sweep, BR to 8007', pump hi-vis sweep, POOH to 4105', open PBL in riser, circ hole clean, POOH. RIH with 13⅝" 88.2# P-110 GB-TCC-IS-SC casing on 6⅝" landing string to 9875', max 25 kips drag, no returns or partial returns, wellhead problems. 9½" x 14" Hole to 17260', 11¾” Liner set at 17255' RIH with 9½" PDC, 14½" RWD, motor, NBR (14"), 6⅝" HWDP, 5½" DP, Bladed DP every 4 stands, 11.5ppg NovaPlus (MWD showing 11.95 and 11.83ppg), FIT to 12.54ppg, drill and slide to 11534' (building angle 51+ deg), 40-50rpm, 1016gpm, circ and condition mud for 0.5 hrs due to increasing ECD's, Drill to 12980', pumps 2 hi-vis sweeps when ECD's increasing, first one brought back good load, no impact from second, Drill to 13150', pump lo-vis followed by hi-vis, 70rpm, BR from 13150' to 10100', 70 rpm, 1016gpm, lo-vis / hi-vis pill brough back good load cuttings, circ hole clean 1.5 hrs, RIH ok (no fill), drill to 17260', 70rpm, 1000gpm, inc 50-55deg, MW up to 11.7ppg, sweeps show little benefit Pumped hi-vis sweep and circ BU, no increase cuttings (sweep back 100bbls early), BR to 10009', 70rpm, 1000gpm, pumped hi-vis sweeps during BR with minimal success, pumped lo-vis/hi-vis with good returns at 10009', RIH, tight 10090', wash and ream to 10200', circ BU, RIH in TD, hi-vis sweep no extra returns, POOH to 10288', pump lo-vis / hi-vis sweep (no increase), BR to 9980', activate PBL, cir BU, 50rpm, 1000gpm, POOH ok RIH with 11¾” 65# P-110ST-L Liner on 6⅝" running string to 17255', lost returns at 12460', well took 12 bbls/stand after, excess, but erratic torque noted, shoe plugged,

Vertical

7350'

7350'

Vertical

7350'

9916'

With inclination up to 48deg on bottom, hole cleaning will be impacted by low rpm, and amount of sliding. Circ prior to BR would have done little with 50 rpm, and all the BR is doing is picking up everything and dropping it back on the lowside above the BHA. There are a lot of cuttings as little would have been removed while drilling the section.

9916'

9916'

9916'

9916'

9916'

17260'

Poor hole cleaning environment with slide drilling (majority in rotary), 50-70rpm, 45-55deg inclination. Sweeps most likely unloading the riser when extra returns seen. Bladed drillpipe may have helped with sweeps. This trip gives good evidence of the limited value of hi-vis sweeps (came back early). Tandem sweeps slightly more effective, but again limited with rpm of 50-70 Hole was not adequately clean based on casing run

17260'

17260'

17260'

17260'

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PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company

Start Depth

End Depth

Operations Summary 10⅝" Hole to 24840', 7⅝" Liner set at 24835'

Rating

Comment

17260'

17261'

RIH to drillout shoe with tri-cone, some junk in hole, squeeze liner lap RIH with 10⅝" PDC, 8¼" motor, 3-point reamer, LWD tools, 12.5ppg NovaPlus, LOT 14.8, drill to 23769', drop angle down to 30deg, 60-90rpm, 750-775gpm, MW up to 13ppg, gas cut back to 12.8ppg Pump Hi-vis / Lo-Vis sweep and circ 1.75 x BU, short trip to 19442', 10-20k OP in Yellow sand, and further tight spots shallower, RIH with no resistance or fill, pump sweep and circ BU, POOH to 17130', 15k OP at 20599', 17512' and 25k OP at 17356', work through each, circ at top 11-3/4" liner, no extra cuttings, POOH Minimal sliding, but motor restricts rpm and flowrate Insufficient time spent circ BU left cuttings beds (tight spots), no indication of rpm used (most likely 60-70rpm). Failure to get tools down likely a result of cuttings bed left in the hole from previous cleanup, slow circ most likely resulted in barite sag seen on following wiper trip Insufficient rpm just smoothing out the cuttings beds or accumulating them back in doglegs or washed out intervals

17261'

23769'

23769'

23769'

23769'

23769'

RIH TLC, tool string HU @19652' (50deg), could not work down, POOH with lots of damage, some slow circ done with TLC tools

23769'

23769'

RIH for wiper trip, 10⅝" hole opener, UG stabs, RIH and tag obstruction at 19652', could not work through without rotation, 70rpm, 700gpm, RIH and HU 21762', work through, tag several further obstructions, all around slide points, barite sag seen near bottom, circ single BU at TD, 40rpm, 727gpm, POOH to shoe, again saw OP at 19652', RIH to this point and ream through this area, RIH to TD ok, Circ 1 x BU, 40rpm, 700gpm, Barite sag seen, POOH again seeing several tight spots RIH with TLC, logged ok, left a small SS/rubber element in hole RIH with 10⅝" PDC, Motor, LWD, break cir on way into the hole, some HU points on the way in, raising MW to 14ppg on bottom and circ for 5 hrs, Drill to 24840', 80rpm, 670gpm, majority rotary, circ regularly to reduce gas, 34deg inc Circ for 3 hrs at 80rpm, 670gpm, BR to 23,297', POOH, tight spot at 17478', wash and ream through, POOH to shoe, circ BU at 20rpm, 670gpm, RIH to TD ok (no fill), circ BU, mud losses, 75rpm, 500gpm, POOH to top 11¾” liner, circ for 2.5 hrs at 50rpm, 260gpm, POOH TLC run, tools HU 21240' but dropped through, ran to bottom ok RIH with Logging BHA, break circ on way in, very low flowrates to avoid losses, Barite sag, POOH spotting LCM as required RIH with 7⅝" 47.1# P-110, 39# Q-125 VAM ACE Liner to 24749', wash liner to 24825', no mud losses while washing down, losses during cement job up to 730bbls

23769' 23769'

23769' 24840'

Limited flowrate and rpm, circ for gas would have helped to some degree Again poor hole cleaning with inadequate rpm and circ time

24840'

24840'

24840' 24840' 24840'

24840' 24840' 24840'

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PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company

URSA A3
Start Depth End Depth

Operations Summary

Rating

Comment

17" Hole (UR to 22") to 7366', 16" Casing set at 7320' Run 21" drilling riser, 20¾” BOP stack, RIH with 17" tri-cone bit, motor (1.15 bend), 6⅝" DP, FIT 10.65ppg, using HP-WB mud, slide / rotate from 6167' - 7366' (1350gpm, 45rpm), circ for 0.5 - 2 hrs several times before running gyro survey, inclination from 0 - 15deg Pumped 100bbl hi-vis sweep and circ for 2 hrs raising MW from 10.1 to 10.3ppg, POOH ok RIH with 22" UR and PBL sub, UR section with 1350gpm Pump 100bbl hi-vis sweep and circ well clean for 2 hrs with 1350gpm, POOH and noted 25kip OP and swabbing at 7171', MU TDS and wipe section, suspect cuttings bed, RIH to 7246' and 25 kips drag, wash and ream to TD ok, spot 94bbl 16ppg pill back to 7166', POOH to 6269', activate PBL, BR to 4056', circ BU, POOH ok RIH with 16" X-56 109# Hydril 511 casing on 6⅝" landing string, RIH to 7320' ok 10⅝" x 14½" Hole to 10120', 13⅝" Casing set at 10071' RIH with 10⅝" PDC, 14½" RWD, motor (1.5 bend), 6⅝" DP, displace to 10.8ppg NovaPlus, FIT to 10.8ppg, drill to 7938', circ 1.5 hrs at 1350gpm (60 rpm), started taking losses, pump slug and POOH, inc up to 23 deg. TIH, wash and ream from 7331' to 7938', drill to 10120' (40 rpm, 1150gpm), pumped a 13ppg hi-vis sweep at 9370' (40rpm, 1150gpm), circ for 0.5 hrs at 9420', raise MW to 11ppg, approx 60deg inc on bottom. No circ at TD, BR to 7320' with 60 rpm, 1280gpm (multiple tight spots), pump 50bbl hi-vis sweep, RIH to 8895', 25kips drag, wash to 9092' (reaming down), TIH to TD ok (no fill), spot 16ppg mud back to 9920', POOH to 7367', open PBL and circ, POOH to 4094', circ, POOH RIH with 13⅝" 88.2# P-110 GB-TCC-IS-SC casing on 6⅝" landing string, full returns to 9380', started taking 60-80kips drag, washed and reciprocated to 9458', RIH to 10071' with partial returns, lost 52 bbls running csg rpm too low while circ prior to tripping, although inclination low. rpm too low while drilling, and insufficient cleanup time with sliding. No circ prior to start BR, BR just drop cuttings out above BHA (explains tight spots), leaving cuttings beds in the hole forces down reaming to get back to bottom, insufficent rpm throughout Drag and losses probably due to cuttings beds LIH

6167'

7366'

Low Inclination

7366' 7366'

7366' 7366'

Low Inclination

7366'

7366'

Low Inclination

7366'

7366'

7366'

7938'

7938'

10120'

10120'

10120'

10120'

10120'

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PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company

Start Depth

End Depth

Operations Summary

Rating

Comment

12¼" x 14" Hole to 20116', 11¾” Liner set at 20116' RIH with PDC, PD900, NBR (14"), 6⅝" HWDP, 5½" DP, bladed drillpipe every 4 stands, 11.5ppg NovaPlus, FIT to 12.7ppg, open NBR below shoe, drill to 13832', 140-160rpm, 1100gpm, trip due to PD900 failure, 60deg inc in the hole Circulate 5 hrs at 160rpm, 1100gpm prior to trip, hole cleaned up after 2 circ, 2nd spike in cuttings seen after 3rd BU, POOH ok

10120'

13832'

Good flowrate and rpm Good practices, no BR, no tight hole. Excellent hole cleaning conditions throughout, monitoring T&D verses theoretical would be of value to optimizing ROP and hole cleaning. On the initial cleanup while slowly BR up, may have been advisable to circ for longer to see if a second wave of cuttings seen on the shakers, may want to add in intermediate cleanup point May still have been cuttings left in the hole due to not cleaning up the hole after backreaming.

13832'

13832'

13832'

20116'

RIH ok, drill to 20116' with 160rpm and 1100gpm, MW up to 11.7ppg at end, torque 23 kft-lbs, 60deg tangent, good run

20116'

20116'

No circ, BR to 11303' with 160rpm, 1060gpm - BR 3 stands/hr until pronounced decrease in cuttings over the shakers at 3.75 x BU, increase to 5 stands /hr, several tight spots with increase in torque, BR from 11303' to 10160' with 160rpm, 1060gpm - lower to 3 stands/hr as hole unloading large size cuttings over shakers, RIH to 10255', spent 1 hr cleaning up the hole, trouble getting NBR into casing shoe, RIH to TD, ok (no fill), dropped gyro, POOH into shoe, worked several tight spots RIH with 11¾” 65# P-110ST-L Liner on 6⅝" running string to 20101 (seen deeper when drilled out), run ok, losses started at 17093' and 110bbls lost by TD, could not circ at TD due to plugged shoe, 667 bbls mud lost during cementing 10⅝" Hole to 26533', 9⅝" Liner set at 25635'

20116'

20116'

20116'

20129'

RIH to drillout shoe with tri-cone, LOT to 14.67ppg, installed WWT protectors from 14271' to 19028' (bit depth), POOH RIH with 9⅞" PDC, PD675, LWD tools, RWD (10⅝"), 5½" HWDP, 5½" DP, bladed drillpipe every 4 stands, 12.7ppg NovaPlus, shut down several days for weather, drill to 21260', PD675 not giving any reaction, POOH Circ and condition mud prior to POOH with PD675 (5 hrs), POOH ok RIH with 10⅝" PDC, 8¼" motor (1.15 bend), LWD tools, 5½" HWDP, 5½" DP, bladed drillpipe every 4 stands, drill and slide to 25952' (dropping angle to approx 45deg), rotating 60-100rpm, 775gpm, mud weight increased to 13.4ppg, @25952' circ and condition mud (1 hr), drill and slide to 26147' (past base of Yellow), build to 47deg, stop and circ 3 x BU while increasing MW to 13.9ppg, 100rpm, 760gpm, drill to 26218', see losses at 26200' (max ECD 14.62), slow pump rate to 520gpm, no losses, drill to 26243', stage pumps up, but losses, pump 2 x LCM pills, still getting losses, drill to 26340' at 520gpm, pump another LCM pill, drill to 26553', Pump out of hole to 25095' at 775gpm, log down and try to identify loss zone while circulating and cutting MW to 13.5ppg (11 hrs), could not rotate or induced losses, once MW back to 13.5ppg could rotate at 90rpm, POOH ok Checked ECD prior to drilling ahead with 12.7ppg mud in the hole (@635gpm 80rpm / 13.38ppg, 100rpm / 13.39ppg, 120rpm / 13.42ppg, 140rpm / 13.43ppg

20129'

21260'

21260'

21260'

21260'

26533'

May have done some more circulation while sliding, lots of time spent circulating before POOH, although rpm is unknown

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PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company

26533' 25395'

26533' 25650'

RIH with cement stinger, Barite sag seen with mud circulated up, set cmt plug, POOH RIH with 8½" tri-cone, 10⅞" RWD, 12¼" NBR, PBL, 5½" HWDP, same DP as previous, pumped up static MW of 13.7ppg at shoe, ream to 25395' where tagged cmt, drill cmt to 25650' (TD) Circ 1.5 hours at 760gpm, 140rpm, BR to 20074' (760gpm, 140rpm), several tight spots, no circ after BR, circ at several depths with the PBL sub on trip out, POOH ok RIH with 9⅝" 43.5# P-110 ST-L Liner to 25635', 20bbl losses getting liner to bottom, liner shoe plugged, circ with full returns, 100bbls lost during cementing 6½" x 9⅞" Hole to 26534', 7⅝" Liner set at 26532' RIH with 6½" PDC, 9⅞" RWD, 6¾” XP motor (1.15 bend), LWD, PBL, 5" HWDP, 5" DP, sag of 12.5 - 17.4ppg seen, drillout shoe to 25657', started seeing losses after 15min circ, 13.7ppg NovaDrill, FIT 15ppg, problems KO out original wellbore, losses and sag seen, condition mud, ECD's up to 14.7 and mud losses, POOH RIH with 3½" stinger, 14.4ppg mud on bottoms up at 23000', cement back to 24948', hesitation squeeze, POOH RIH with 6½" PDC, 9⅞" RWD, 6¾” XP motor (1.15 bend), LWD, PBL, 5" HWDP, 5" DP, tagged TOC at 25432', drill cmt to 25670', circ and condition mud to 13.5ppg (static MW 13.75 from PWD), FIT 15ppg (15.15 from pWD), drill and log cement to 26517', POOH to 25607', FIT to 14.71 from PWD (twice), POOH ok RIH pressure samples on TLC, ok RIH with 7⅝" 47.1# P-110 VaRSS-1 Liner to 26532', no losses while running liner, 216 bbls mud lost during cementing 6¼" x 7" Hole to 27535', 5½" Liner set at 27535' RIH with 6¼" tri-cone, LWD, 3½" DP, 5" DP, drillout shoe, still some sag seen, 13.9ppg mud, FIT to 15.0ppg, drill to 26840' with 260gpm, 50 rpm (no losses), circ 2 vol of 7⅝" x 9⅝" annulus to clear cuttings, 10 stand wiper trip, POOH (MWD failure??) RIH 6¼" tri-cone bit, 4¾” motor (no bend), NBR (7"), LWD, 3½" DP, 5" DP, PBL sub in string at top of 7⅝" liner, MW 14ppg, open up hole to 7", 14' fill on bottom, drill to 27088' (pipe stalling), had to PU to approx 140 kips OP to break free, decision made to weight up to 14.2ppg, drilled to 27092' in attempt to get MWD signal, POOH to 26600', open PBL and circ for 8 hrs, POOH ok RIH same BHA as previous, drill to 27535', 50rpm, 250gpm, Circ 6.5hrs, 50 rpm, 250gpm, wiper trip to shoe and back, circ 2 x 7⅝" x 9⅝" casing volumes, POOH and open PBL above 7⅝" liner top, circ 2 x BU, 50 rpm, 356gpm, POOH RIH TLC, tools stuck, worked free, POOH ok RIH with 5½" 23# P-110, ST-L liner to TD, ok, lose a total 736 bbls mud while cementing Limited cleaning in 9⅝" and above, get this on the trip out with PBL Adequate time spent circulating Short distance drilled with high rpm and flowrates Good flowrates and rpm, no circ after BR Cuttings may have been left in the hole as hole was not cleaned up after backreaming

25650'

25650'

25650'

25650'

25650'

25810'

Sag and ECD issues

25810'

25810'

25432'

26534'

Sag and ECD issues

26534' 26534'

26534' 26534'

26534'

26840'

26840'

27092'

27092'

27535'

27535' 27535' 27535'

27535' 27535' 27535'

Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0

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and no backreaming. Parameters while drilling were 625gpm and 50-80rpm. There appears to have been less problems with cuttings in this original hole compared to the sidetrack. and practices employed included sweeps. tripped. a short wiper trip. and 10⅝" rather than 12¼". The well was successfully drilled. logged and plugged back to the 11¾” shoe for delineation as sidetrack #1. Hole conditions throughout this section were reported as good. This is most likely due to the fact that the original hole was shorter. The inclination was ±50º. MC 765 #1 ST1 11 ¾” Liner 13244’ md 12 ¼” Bi Center hole to 23244’ md 57 o Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. at lower inclination.1 HOLE CLEANING PRACTICES (2) The MC 765 well was originally drilled to 21702’ MD with a 10⅝" bit.

the cuttings bed height in the 12¼" hole was ±7”. the limitations of hole cleaning models should be kept in mind when using their results (refer to SECTION 4. The hole cleaning index was ±1.4). Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company The well was then sidetracked with a 12¼" bi-center bit and drilled to 23244’ MD with similar parameters and practices. This is attributed to the use of the bi-center bit which provides a junk slot area of 50% in 12¼" hole.4.3. The hole angle on the sidetrack was ±57º. even in light of these thick beds. Again. Based on the results from EzClean below.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Both Hi-vis and Lo-vis sweeps were employed while drilling the sidetrack (± every 2000’). the sweeps were ineffective in removing cuttings from the tangent section. Refer also to the details of the Hi-vis sweep pumped at a depth of 17260’ in the A5 well (EXAMPLE 11.1). DEPTH 14200’ Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 SWEEP ? Page 1 RESULT No result Apr 2003 . Based on the results seen below.

Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 16768’ 18463’ 21388’ 23275’ 140bbl Lo-Vis Hi-Vis 150bbl Lo-Vis 140bbl Lo-Vis No Result ? ? Few cuttings The mud weight was continuously increased through the section due to tight hole and stuck pipe (packed off). The problem was incorrectly diagnosed as wellbore instability. very few cuttings would have been removed from the 12¼" tangent. With a flowrate of 625 gpm and 50-80 rpm.

The 9⅝" was eventually recovered and the well sidetracked again with similar results. logging. Drill to TD Circ BU One BU. The bi-center bit was POOH successfully with only a few tight spots (due to large JSA). Three additional tool pusher logging runs were made. After a cleanout run (which still failed to cleanup the hole). No Rotation POOH The first tool pusher logging run stood up at 17902’ MD. A subsequent cleanout run was made with a 10⅝" hole opener with the motor and MWD laid out to try and gain additional flowrate. oversize hole) Sweeps are generally ineffective in high angle wells Different bed heights are permissible depending on the operations (e. The following are the main learnings from this example: • High angle hole cleaning requires different practices from those used on vertical wells. which was attributed to the cleanliness of the hole. Tight clearance casing programs have their benefits (e. all having problems with tight hole and excessive drag due to cuttings beds. a single BU was pumped with no pipe rotation (see data below). tripping. On the third sidetrack. drilling. As while drilling the section. but stuck at 18075’ MD. and a dedicated backreaming run prior to running the casing.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Once at TD. there was an added focus on hole cleaning including additional flowrate with 6⅝" drillpipe. the 9⅝" liner was run.g. At this stage it was incorrectly assumed that the hole was clean.g. casing) • • • Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 2 Apr 2003 . little if any cuttings were seen coming back. This sidetrack was successful.

Planning time was only 2 weeks. and on a record setting rig (vertical hole focus). The LWD confirmed the losses were at ±5100’ MD. The rig had just finished a deep. one of the key learnings is the limited planning time that was available for this well to be drilled. and the options were to stack it. However. but this was considered as adequate as it was only 6800’ TVD. High angle wells require adequate planning time and resources in order to be successful. 10⅝" hole was then drilled to 9167’ MD. the rig was still under contract. vertical HPHT well in record time.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. and LCM treatments provide ineffective. 9 5/8” liner stuck at 6142’ md 66o 10 5/8” hole to 9167’ md 8 ½” to TD Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . In the interest of not giving up ±3000’ of hole (± 2 days of drilling). the original 10⅝" hole was cleaned out with an 8½" bit (to 9167’ MD). before drilling ahead in 8½" hole to the planned TD of 11540’ MD. 11¾” surface casing was set at 4300’ MD. when loss circulation was experienced. at a maximum angle of 66 degrees. An unplanned 9⅝" liner was run.1 BACKREAMING In this example. and subsequently stuck below the weak zone at 6142’ MD. into mild geopressures. The Ardennes HI A545 JA-2 was a last minute addition to the rig schedule. or drill the Ardennes well (a high angle development well with high gas rate potential).

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

at a rate of 30 FPM (7-9 stands/hour. with 4 x BU.5 – 3” beds).PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company The flowrate was reduced to 332 gpm below the 9⅝" casing in an attempt to reduce ECD. just after making a connection. Additionally. one bottoms up was circulated and the interval was back reamed at 332 gpm. 90 rpm. At the reported drilling parameters the estimated bed heights would be 6” to 7” in the 10⅝" section. A kick off plug was set below the 9⅝" liner and the interval was redrilled in 8½" hole at 540gpm and 90 rpm. The plot on the following page shows the surface parameters while back reaming in the 10⅝" section. The rig crews were skeptical of the need for 4 x BU on the cleanup cycle. the hole packed off. plus a dedicated backreaming clean out trip with a minimum BHA (at reduced speeds). The EzClean plot on the following page highlights the benefits of the improved parameters and hole size (1. and 3” to 5” in the 8½" section (refer to EzClean results below). Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 5 Apr 2003 . a hole cleaning plan was prepared and agreed to by all parties. At TD. Note the torque and pressure spikes. A 7” production liner was successful run to TD. At 6705’ MD. The rig reported that returns were re-established after working the pipe and backreaming was continue for an additional 5 feet where the drill string again packed off and was permanently stuck. It called for a cleanup cycle at TD. which are good indicators that the hole is packing off. but report that cuttings returns only cleaned up after the fourth BU.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Torque Spikes BR ~ 30 FPM Pack off 6705’ MD SPP Spikes Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

A 6⅝" x 5½" tapered drillstring was being used. In this case: ○ ○ No cleanup cycle prior to commencing backreaming Backreaming too fast and with inadequate parameters ○ Ignored the warnings (torque and pressure spikes) FURTHER EXAMPLES: The PWD logs on the following page are from the 12¼" section of an 82º well drilled in the North Sea. The overall ROP was controlled at 100 ft/hr with instantaneous rates up to 150 ft/hr. needs to be done carefully with appropriate practices to minimize risks. This hole section was eventually lost after drilling to TD and performing a wiper trip prior to running casing. “Sometimes you must go slow to go fast” ○ ○ ○ Plugging back the 10⅝" hole to start with would have significantly helped Cleanup cycles were not viewed as productive work Backreaming was too fast • Backreaming should be avoided in high angle holes. This included a significant amount of backreaming as shown in the short sample of PWD data on the following page. The mud was an 11. but when necessary. The well was drilled with a steerable assembly down to a depth of 20783’. This was only discovered at a later date in a post well review. The loss of the wellbore was attributed to wellbore instability induced through the backreaming process (ECD cycling of formations). with large ECD spikes being seen on the formation.8ppg Petrofree SBM with a 6 rpm reading less than 10. A further 14 days were then required to get out of hole. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . While drilling at 18855’. when the time-based PWD logs were studied. with a flowrate of 850 – 950 gpm and 60-120 rpm. the well packed off and was eventually worked free with rotation. Integrated hole cleaning plans and crew training is critical.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company The following are the main learnings from this example: • • Adequate planning time is required for high angle wells. Numerous pack-offs occurred during this time.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1.1. Several experiments were made in drilling this hole interval. The 14 ½” interval was drilled with a ±53º tangent to 17260’ MD. include the use of bladed drill pipe. and the application of an intermediate backreaming run. where an 11 ¾” liner was run. 13 5/8” shoe at 9875’ md 14 ½’ hole at 17260’ md 53 o Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .1 INTERMEDIATE HOLE CLEANUP The hole cleaning performance on the Ursa A5 was discussed in detail in EXAMPLE 11.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

the estimated bed height in this interval was 9-10 inches. As a result it was decide to pilot test an intermediate back reaming run to see what effect it may have on the cutting beds and drilling conditions. This was a concern when drilling this interval. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 5 Apr 2003 .PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Based on the EzClean modeling shown below.

A total of 24 hrs was required to backream the hole from 13200’ MD to the shoe. In addition to the rig cost for the backreaming time. The ROP prior to the intermediate backream run was ±75 fph.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company The plot on the following page shows the PWD EMW vs MD for the 14½" interval on A-5. there is the added risk associated with performing an additional and unnecessary backreaming run. after 700’ was drilled the equilibrium cuttings beds were re-established and the ROP was again reduced to 65 fph to control ECD. and trip back to bottom. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 7 Apr 2003 . ECD’s were reduced and this permitting the ROP to be increased to ±100 fph. When drilling re-commenced. However.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company The main lesson to be learnt from this example is that an intermediate cleanup trip is generally not required if the Hole Condition Monitoring (HCM) process is being used correctly. This will allow the bit to stay on-bottom drilling at the optimum ROP for hole cleaning and ECD management. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

MC 766 #1. 7 5/8” Liner at 28801’ MD Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . and so the 7” directional BHA was washed to ± 29050’ MD. A 7⅝" liner was run and stuck at 28801’ MD. and sliding to kick off commenced. and the well was sidetracked as bypass #1. The well was drilled to a TD of 31753’ MD. The 9⅞" open hole was eventually abandoned with cement plugs.2 EFFECTS OF PIPE ROTATION ON HOLE CLEANING AND ECD The plot below shows the directional plan for the Princess Appraisal Well.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. The kick off plug was soft. due primarily to wellbore instability. before a ledge was encountered.

which is primarily evident by the elevated static mud weights on connections in the “conditioning by circulating” section.2 to 0. poor hole cleaning).8 ppg. The mud was NovaPlus with a surface mud weight of 14. Notice the evidence of sag in the mud. Notice the increase in ECD and static mud weight while sliding. pipe rotation is again commenced. After conditioning the hole.3 ppg over surface mud weight. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 . the ECD’s begins to come down.e.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company The plot on the following page shows PWD and surface parameters for the kick off of MC 766 #1 BP1. the BHA was slid for ±12 hrs (i. Equally important is the fact that the static mud weights drop to more of an expected of 0. and after an initial increase (as expected). After the slide.

0 ppg (SMW + Compressibility) ECD Rotary Drilling MC766# 1ST1 (22/Apr/2002) The main lessons to learn from this example are: Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Depth (ft MD) Rotary Speed (rpm) Flow In (gpm) ECD (ppg) Conditioning by circulating Downhole Mud Weight Surface Mud Weight 14.8 ppg Sliding Expected Downhole Mud Weight 15.

However. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . the rotation will result in improved hole cleaning and therefore should lower ECD with time (depending on the specific wellbore conditions.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • • Hole cleaning is basically non-existent without rotation (build up of cuttings and ECD). Rotation after a long period of sliding will initially cause an increase in ECD as the cuttings are moved up into the flow stream.

After tripping back in the hole with a rotary assembly. drilling 10⅝" hole at 600 gpm. the well was circulated at 120rpm. At 2 x BU. There were very few cuttings over the shakers.6 Page 1 Apr 2003 . 4 x BU were circulated at 100 rpm. • Refer to Example 1 in EXAMPLE 11.10. The ECD impact from simply increasing the rpm from 0 to 120 is clearly seen (± 0. Before tripping out. The following examples demonstrate the impact of drillstring rotation on ECD: 13.1ppg). A sidetrack was performed with a motor with a large bend limiting string to 40 rpm. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 13.7 • The plot below shows an example of a typical connection from the 12¼" interval of the Ursa A-10 well.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company FURTHER EXAMPLES: The following examples demonstrate the impact of drillstring rotation on hole cleaning in larger hole sizes: • On a 75° inclination well. and remained full as the well was drilled ahead with 120 rpm. the shakers were flooded with cuttings. and a slight improvement was seen in the cuttings load on shakers.

52 10.49 10.2 10.34 10.71 10.53 10.e. The mud weight was 9.5 10. A full string of 5½" drillpipe was used with a tapered 11¾” (top 5650’) x 9⅝" casing string.25 10.3ppg at the time of testing (PV/YP = 17/12).68 NA 3127 3153 3167 3177 3181 1750 1800 1840 1840 1830 1840 • On the following well in this same project.41 10.12 10.74 10. RPM 280 GPM ECD (PPG) 365 GPM 437 GPM 0 40 80 120 10.67 10.800’ MD (i.4 10. Again.42 3006 3047 3085 3103 3107 3108 1300 1360 1370 1380 1394 1390 10. These results show that rotation actually has a greater impact on ECD than flowrate.42 10. with a mud weight of 8.44 10.4 ppg at the time of the testing (PV/YP =12/23).54 10.64 10.91 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .81 10. A full string of 9⅝" was run to surface. an ECD tests was performed with the PWD prior to drilling out the 9⅝" shoe set at 20. RPM ECD (PPG) 350 GPM DHP (PSI) SPP (PSI) ECD (PPG) 400 GPM DHP (PSI) SPP (PSI) ECD (PPG) 450 GPM DHP (PSI) SPP (PSI) 0 40 60 80 100 120 10.37 10. Note that the WBM was being used. these results show that rotation has a greater impact on ECD than flowrate.59 NA 3086 3117 3140 3152 3157 1510 1600 1630 1650 1650 1650 10.35 10.818’ MD.54 10. ECD tests were again performed prior to drilling out the shoe at 22.6 10. no cuttings effect).64 10. and a tapered string with 4½" (8363’) x 5½" drillpipe was run.24 10.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • On this high angle well (80º+ inclination).58 10. This time SBM was being used.17 10.

The average inclination in the 10⅝” hole interval was ±62º. Drilling parameters were 750 gpm and 130 rpm. The A10 was sidetracked below an 11¾” liner shoe at 17600’ MD. The interval was drilled with a 12. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1.6 ppg SBM.1 BOREHOLE INSTABILITY AND HOLE CLEANING 11 ¾: Liner at 17600’ MD 10 5/8” hole to 27600’ MD ~ 62 o URSA A10 STK 1 is a good example of the detrimental effect of wellbore instability on hole cleaning. A 10⅝” hole was drilled to 27600’ MD where the BHA was tripped at a planned logging point. There was no evidence of any problems with wellbore instability or hole cleaning while drilling the interval.

1 ppg Apr 2003 .0 ppg TVD (ft) Drilling Margin POOH Clean up Cycle Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 14.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Downhole Equivalent Mud Weight (ppg) Drilling 13.

3ppg of that mud weight recommended to prevent the borehole instability. This packing off was due to a massive cavings load (dune) being moved past gauge sands.5ppg when the drill string was tripped conventionally. The graph above shows the PWD equivalent mud weight verses TVD while drilling and tripping on A10 STK1.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Once A10 STK 1 reached the planned logging depth of 27600’ MD. cavings) and/or fracturing the formation . The blue data is the PWD data collected while drilling.6ppg.2 to 0. One can see that although the surface measured mud weight was 12. The drillpipe was then tripped on elevators.1ppg. the drill string began dragging significantly on the trip. The opaque blue shows the target range for the effective down hole mud weight based on STABOR prediction to avoid borehole instability (e.g.9 ppg. There is about 0. However. the effective down hole mud weight with pumps off was about 12. Notice while drilling and while backreaming during the clean up cycle that the actual down hole mud was within 0. At 13500’ TVD (19300’ MD).2ppg increase in effective down hole mud weight due to mud compressibility. the effective down hole mud weight dropped to 12.0 to 14. For the remainder of the trip.8ppg while drilling. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 5 Apr 2003 .4 to 12.6 to 13. a 2-3 bottoms up clean up cycle was performed at 750 gpm and 130 rpm. The pack off is evident through the pressures spikes on the ECD verses TVD plot from 13500’ to 13200’ TVD. the drill string was backreamed out of the hole. This range was 13. Packing off was occurring while back reaming the upper part of the hole. The maximum ECD range from 13.

The 9⅝” liner stuck ±900’ off bottom at 26707’ MD. packing off. stuck drill pipe. This oversized hole was very difficult to clean and the gauge sands provided ample opportunity for the cuttings to pack off while back reaming. The maximum hole size of ±20” was measured in the shales while the sands remained nearly gauge at 12¼”.8ppg mud and a 9⅝” drilling liner was run. This included pumping and back reaming out the hole instead of straight pulling out of the hole to avoid excessive swabbing.g. The log on the right shows MWD density derived calipers from A10 ST1 BP1 from the same interval as the caliper on the left.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company A10 STK 1 was underreamed to 12¼” with a 12. stuck casing. The gauge hole greatly improves the ability to clean the hole and reduces the risk of trouble (e. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 . The borehole instability which caused the packing off and prevented the 9⅝” liner from reaching TD is clearly evident in the caliper on the left. The caliper clearing shows that these practices resulted in a nearly gauge hole even after two weeks.0ppg mud weight. All well operations were focused on maintaining the equivalent down hole mud weight within the target mud weight envelope. etc). A10 STK1 BP1 was drilled with a 13. and prevented the liner from reaching TD.

2 13.13/0. (0.15/.8 13 S/O (act) st #1 P/U (act.) P/U (act) st #1 13. A10ST1 Princess 10 5/8" hole section 3-27-02 300 18000 350 400 450 500 550 600 650 700 750 800 18000 Started backreaming (24740 ft.) P/U cal.) 13.4 12.) full stand on connections! Note drop in p/u weights and ECD also dropped following this 20000 20000 22000 22000 24000 24000 26000 26000 28000 28000 30000 12 12.2 S/O cal.16) 12.2 T&D MONITORING WHILE DRILLING Various examples of T&D monitoring charts while drilling are shown on the following pages.4 Rot (cal. (act)st#1 30000 12.08) Rot.) ECD1 14 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .6 13.org.8 Rot.(0.6 S/O (act.org.org.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1.(act.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 5 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1.3 T&D MONITORING WHILE TRIPPING AND RUNNING CASING Various examples Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 5 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

4 ECD EFFECTS Page 5 Apr 2003 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 .PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1.

FLOWRATE AND RPM IMPACT ON ECD: Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . ECD SPIKE WHEN BEGIN ROTATING AFTER SLIDING: Cuttings Pick Up Sliding ROTATION BEGINS AFTER SLIDING ECD SPIKES AS CUTTINGS DUNE IS PICKED UP AFTER SLIDE PIPE MOVEMENT.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company The following plots taken from actual wells demonstrate how various operations can impact ECD.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company ECD SPIKES DUE TO ROTATION AND CIRCULATION AFTER CONNECTION: Gel Breakdown GELS BREAK FLOW WITH AFTER EACH CONNECTION NO ROTATION ECD SPIKES AS FLOW WITH ROTATION Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

Backreamed from TD to 7527’ at 100rpm and 600gpm. (A cleaner wellbore has now allowed “safe” backreaming with improved parameters. Pulled two stands ok without pumping or rotating. The section was drilled to a TD of 9285’ MD. and the weighted sweep) • Backreamed out of the hole to 6948’. Circulated another 100 bbl weighted sweep at 150rpm and a small amount of cuttings over the shakers. with ±35º on bottom. Pumped a second sweep and continued to clean up hole with 150 rpm and 1060 gpm (riser boosted at 500 gpm). increased rpm to 150 while pumping a 100 bbl weighted sweep (3 ppg over mud weight) and circulating bottoms up. RIH back to bottom with the bottom 40’ of 14¾” hole tight. a 20” hole section was being drilled using an 8¼" AutoTrak tool.5 TRIPPING PRACTICES The examples provided below highlight poor tripping practices. EXAMPLE 1: On this deepwater well in the GOM.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. with a 14¾” bit and 20” NBR. RIH and took weight (20 k lbs) at 8912’. at an average of 50-60 ft/hr. An SBM was being used and had poor low-end rheology (thin) for hole cleaning. increased flowrate. Final trip out confirms the hole is adequately clean for tripping) Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . 830gpm and 4 stands per hour. The hole was tight with showed signs of packing off. with 120 rpm.5ppg over the mud weight) was pumped and the well circulated for 4 hours at 100 rpm until the shakers were clean. Inadequate parameters were used for backreaming which did little to move cuttings out of the hole. The comments in (red) provide a discussion of the problems and possible solutions. POOH ok with no backreaming. a 100 bbl weighted sweep (1. (Tight hole straight after picking up is a good indication of the ineffectiveness of the previous sweep at low rpm in this higher angle section of the hole. at this angle it would not have taken cuttings long to fall back down the hole) • On bottom again. Washed and reamed to TD with hole again tight trying to pack-off. • An attempt was made to POOH with the hole tight from 9285’ (TD) to 9240’. Had to reduce flowrate due to shakers overloading with cuttings. • At TD. (Finally the cuttings are being removed from the hole with a combination of high rotary speeds. Hole condition good. The drillpipe was 5⅞". (The shakers were most likely clean as the cuttings were being bypassed on the low side due to inadequate rotary speed). Also.

The section from the 13⅜” surface casing shoe at 5713’ to 11414’ had been drilled with a rotary Andergauge assembly and a 13” NBR. The decision was made to POOH. the hole packed off at 10164’ and was jarred free after 2 hours. from the EOB at ±3450’. 150 rpm).5 hours. backreaming the last time was too fast with the BHA moving 210’ up the hole in 30 minutes.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company EXAMPLE 2: On a well in Trinidad. An hour was spent backreaming through the tight area (960 gpm. high rpm and flowrate. (It is clear from the above description that a sufficiently thick cuttings bed was pulled into starting at 10721’. as the following operations prove there were still a significant volume of cuttings in the hole). No excess cuttings were noted when the sweep returned and the well was assumed to be clean. • The BHA was POOH to 10721’ where excessive drag was encountered (35 k lbs). Towards the end. After backreaming 210’ in 30 minutes (±5 stands per hour). More circulation was required. The correct procedure would have been to stop and circulate the cuttings out of the hole after they were first pulled into). • Due to some pump problems the hole was circulated with a lo-vis / hi-weight sweep at 13459’ (1060gpm. and adequate to reduce the cuttings beds to a safe height to trip up to 11300’ without problems.5 hours) was circulated while backreaming through the tight area. The BHA was then tripped a further ± 200’ before again encountering excessive drag (35 k lbs). 150rpm). The BHA was then tripped a further ± 200’ before again encountering excessive drag (35 k lbs). (The hole cleaning environment while drilling was very good with 100% rotary. If the BHA was tripped further. where the previous two backreaming runs had only moved the cuttings 200’ in 1 – 1. a 12¼" hole section was being drilled with a tangent section of ±52º. A single BU (1. or alternatively may have been due to a formation change as a reduction was also seen in ROP). While drilling. the fact still remains that limited cuttings were returned. the flowrates ranged between 960 – 1060gpm and rpm between 130-150. • Prior to tripping. ROP’s were not particularly high ranging from 60-100 ft/hr. All that resulted from backreaming the first two times was to shift the cuttings bed up the hole ±200’.2ppg SBM was being used and the drillpipe was a tapered 6⅝" x 5½" string. pump problems again reduced the flowrates to 960gpm. problems may have been encountered). This was followed by an 8¼" AutoTrak tool for drilling the subsequent build to horizontal (no NBR). • The well was drilled ahead to 13805’ at 1050 gpm and 150 rpm. an estimated 3 x BU was circulated while pumping a 50 bbl lo-vis / 50 bbl hi-weight sweep (unknown parameters). A wiper trip was conducted back to 11300’ and no tight spots were encountered on the trip out or in. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . Additionally T&D had been increasing (torque increased from 35 – 43 k ft-lbs). However. Even if a good flowrate and rpm were used while performing this cleanup cycle. (Again the ineffectiveness of sweeps in high angle holes is highlighted. The circulation at this depth was likely 1 x BU. A 10. (The increasing torque may have been an early indicator of hole cleaning problems. The torque increased from 25 to 35 k ft-lbs.

From this point down to 8407’. moved the cuttings up the hole. No problems were seen POOH after this. sweeps. The wellbore was plugged back and sidetracked from the 13⅜” shoe. After backreaming to 8075’. The BHA was backreamed to 9790’ (955 gpm. It is also likely that reciprocating the pipe without circulation while repairing the auger. 150 rpm). would have aided the cuttings in avalanching back down the hole below the BHA) • The process of backreaming and pumping sweeps was continued back to the 13⅜” shoe at 5713’. After cavings were reported to be coming over the shakers. (Although there may have been wellbore instability by this stage. another sweep was pumped with a single bottoms up (955 gpm. 1050gpm and excessive cuttings were seen over the shakers. This assembly was eventually worked out of the hole and found to have significant damage to the AutoTrak (likely due to downreaming and jarring with stuck pipe). (The cuttings beds were still in the hole and resulted in the significant problems seen as attempts were made to work through them. but not out of the hole. The packing off while backreaming is likely to have induced the wellbore stability seen later in this section. Below 8000’ are the cuttings that avalanched back down the hole when reciprocating for 19 hours without pumping. The BHA was then backreamed to 8450’ at 3 stands per hour. • A simple cleanout assembly with no MWD was then RIH. The string first took weight at 7522’ (20 k lbs).PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • After working the string free. (Finally the hole is cleaned up properly with the majority of cuttings above ±8000’ now removed from the wellbore. The first tight hole was encountered around 8409’. Another sweep was pumped with a single BU and again limited cuttings were seen over the shakers. the auger at the shakers failed and the trough backed up with cuttings. Compounding the problem would have been the AutoTrak assembly with very low flow-by area around the steering ribs and LWD tools). a gyro survey was run which confirmed that the hole had been sidetracked. (The continual process of backreaming. For 19 hours the string was reciprocated without pumping while the auger was repaired.1ppg. Additional cuttings may also now be in the hole due to induced wellbore instability from the packing off while backreaming). Prior to entering the shoe. rather than being the root cause of the problems) Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .3 ppg in an effort to reduce the perceived well bore instability problem. 150 rpm) at a slower rate of 2 stands per hour. and circulating 1 x BU.5 bbls/hr with the mud weight 10. it is highly probable that this was induced by the poor practice during this trip. and no excessive cuttings were seen. The mud weight was increased to 10. the string was washed and reamed down with continual high torque spikes. Another sweep was pumped and a single BU circulated with 150 – 175 rpm. approximately 5 x BU were pumped with several sweeps at 955 gpm and 150 rpm. The BHA was clean. • An Autotrak assembly was run back in the hole. the mud weight was raised to 11 ppg. After washing and reaming to 8683’. Some packing off was seen with the string stuck once. pack-offs and stuck pipe. Static mud losses at the shoe are reported as 1.

e. The trip out of the hole was good other than a few tight spots after pumping out with no rotation.5ppg. Tight hole was also seen on a wiper trip to TD and back to the shoe. However significant losses resulted in the weight having to be reduced to 11. The mud weight was started at 11 ppg and increased to 11. Practices were modified ○ Higher rpm (150 -160). (Although the practices used on the sidetrack were improved. the string was lowered back down the hole and circulation or backreaming was used at this point (i.e. flowrates were often limited due to the losses ○ Sufficient cleanup cycles were pumped (i.8 ppg. > 1 x BU) ○ When tight hole was encountered on trips out. not starting rotation in the middle of the cuttings bed) ○ The ribs on the AutoTrak were retracted when tripping • At TD of the 12¼" sidetrack. two 15ppb LCM sweeps were pumped while circulating an estimated 4-5 x BU. The 9⅝" casing was run to TD ok. and backreaming. Good cuttings were seen over the shakers. some minor problems were still seen. most likely due to the pumping out and backreaming) Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company • The 12¼" sidetrack was redrilled with several changes.

• Total days (drill and complete) were 53. the two wells provide good benchmarking comparisons. connections) • Low Tox SBM is used for 12¼” and 8½” sections. Although the final 8½” TD is significantly larger than the A-29 example.500 ft) horizontal section • 17½” to 1300m (4. this well held the world record for ERD.221 ft) • 79 dropping to 45 (S-turn profile) • 17½” was drilled to 1500mMD (4. Additional 70-80 days to drill the 8½” horizontal section • TDS-4 top drive • 3 x 1600 HP pumps • 6000 HP electrical power. BP WYTCH FARM M5 At one time. • Total time to drill to 12¼” TD 30-35 days. for the smaller rig.000 ft-lb.3 million tons mast capacity.600 psi • (flowrate at 12¼” TD was ±700 gpm) • Drilling fluid = Ester SBM • Racking capacity = 5. given the limited rig capability.1 RIG CAPABILITY The example shown in the table below highlights the fact that a large rig is not necessarily required for drilling large high angle wells. RIG CAPABILITY: • TDS-4 top drive (38. ESSO AUSTRALIA LTD FORTESCUE A-29 SUMMARY: Although the TD and throw of this well is not particularly significant by today’s standards.921 ft). The well was drilled and completed with 12¼" hole to TD. • Nominal 2. and 12¼” drilled to TD. the 12¼” TD’s are very similar. with 50% each of 5” and 5½” drillpipe. WELL DETAILS: • TD = 6210m MD (20. 12¼” to 6700m (22.800 ft-lb. it is still a good comparison for the rig capability used. Total days to 12¼” TD = 39 days. • Racking space for 9. Although Wytch Farm is generally not a good project to benchmark against because of several unique factors that do not apply to most high angle wells.82 tangent section. (5½” drillpipe has 60. Given that the 12¼” section is often the most difficult part of a high angle well to drill. However.) • 2 x 1600 HP pumps • Electrical power = 4500 HP • 5½” drillpipe with HT-55 connections • Maximum surface pressure .000 kips • 8½” TD = 8700m MD (28.500 ft). The larger rig has enough "grunt" to simply overcome many of the difficulties with brute force. K&M and Esso were awarded an Engineering Excellence Award for the achievement. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .000 ft). • 6⅝” drillpipe is used for 17½” hole • 5½” x 6⅝” drillpipe is used for 12¼” hole. This well set several regional depth. the well exceeded the rigs rated capabilities.000m of 5½" drill pipe • Derrick load = 1.250 ft).500 ft) • Throw = 8000m (26.250 ft) • +/. to horizontal • Includes 2000m (6. 8½” to TD.3.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1.375 ft). reach and performance records and is believed to have set a world record for the longest high angle well with only 2 casing strings. a focused hole cleaning design approach is critical to work within the limitations of the rig.000m (29. • Throw = 5249m (17.4 days.

The rig was upgraded from a cased hole workover rig to the configuration below. It was a challenging well with the limited rig capability.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company The following example again highlights what can be achieved with a limited rig capability. WELL DETAILS: • 14¾” to 7500’ • 10⅝” to 17500’ • 7⅝” to 19555’ (TD) • Tangent angle 75º RIG CAPABILITY: • • • • 2 x 1000 HP pumps (620 gpm max flowrate) TDS 9S (24. 000 ftlbs) 500.000 lbs mast 700 bbl mud system • 5” drillpipe Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . EXXON HONDO H-42 SUMMARY: The H-42 was drilled from the Hondo platform in 1999. but a focused hole cleaning design approach.

842 8 lines 0.000 400.209 3.003 hp 4.000 35.111 1.458 1.457 965 4.000 700.000 160.209 3. Hydraulics gpm 1.100 psi 4.936 5. 30.000 x sheave eff Sheave Efficiency: 0.TIH Running Casing .811 10 lines 0.209 3.000 100.1 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .lbs.9 HHP = Pressure x flow rate eff x 1. Power Consumption: O1 (12¼" Hole Section) HOLE: MD: TVD: 12¼ in.209 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 500 TOTAL 4.126 4.000 160.100 1.000 270.067 3.661 5.567 MAXIMUM RIG HORSEPOWER REQUIREMENT * Includes 80 kips block weight 6.292 413 2.000 100.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company The example below shows a detailed evaluation of the power consumption for various operations in a 12¼" interval on a high angle well.500 Rotary 952 952 1.000 Trip Speed ft.476 kw Factor of Safety: 1.200 5. 5867 m 2642 m Rotary Horsepower efficiency: 0.500 4.111 465 116 637 465 69 1.890 Hoisting* POWER Hydraulics Aux Equip 3.000 Tension* lbs.9 RHP = DHP = Torque x rotary speed eff x 5250 Hookload x trip speed eff x 33.792 913 2.782 12 lines Drawworks Horsepower efficiency: 0.000 100.000 270. Rotary rpm 150 150 150 150 40 10 40 60 10 60 60 60 1.500 4.000 180.500 4. 270./ min.000 30.000 270.100 1.000 35.000 Overpull lbs.9 Hydraulic Horsepower efficiency: 0.TOH ft.714 Horse Power Summary (Worst Case) Torque OPERATION Rotating off bottom (ROB) Rotate into Hole (RIH) Rotary Drilling (RD) Backreaming (BR) Trip into Hole (TIH) Slide Drilling (SD) Trip out of Hole (TOH) Running Casing .100 1.

1 TORTUOSITY EXAMPLE 1: The following example highlights the hidden tortosity that may not be seen if you only get a survey every 100’. the micro-doglegs in the wellbore were clearly seen. By monitoring the continuous surveys. This example is from an 8½" horizontal interval drilled with both motors and RSS’s.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1.5 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . 91 90.

The tortuosity difference is obvious. Note that the conditions on these wells were identical.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company EXAMPLE 2: RSS’s will generally provide a significantly smoother wellbore than those drilled with conventional motors. 0 2000 Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . The example below is from three wells drilled in the Cook Inlet in Alaska. other than the use of an RSS in the 8½" hole (2500’ to 8523’ MD) on well #3.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

made from two different sizes of salt (sea salt at 2-4mm and table salt at 0. slightly undergauge) blades on a 10-ft long.5” cuttings bed). The model operates with no fluid or fluid flow. however.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company 1. The picture below shows the drillpipe / drillcollar crossover “shoveling” a significant pile of cuttings ahead of the change in cross sectional area. the actual forces. • The top stabilizer has 12⅛" (i.2 CUTTINGS BED MODEL The following demonstration comes from the Expro Stuck Pipe prevention course. The BHA is made up of six component parts fabricated from Nylon and machined to approximately 1/3rd scale: • The thinnest section of the model seen at the top of the picture is the 30ft section of 5" Drill Pipe. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 . The bottom stabilizer is a spiral blade stabilizer (again 12⅛" OD blades with a 10-ft long 9. This is a scale distance of 40’ above the top stabilizer.e. The dry bed is obviously not the case in reality. 9.5" collar. distances and times will not change dramatically. • • • There are two bit models. in this case only the PDC model is used. A cuttings bed sticking model was set up with a 100 mm diameter Perspex tube representing a 1/3rd scale model of a 12¼" hole.5" body). however. The model is sufficient for illustrating basically what is happening down hole while pulling out without back reaming or circulating. and the body area is hatched in red to enable clear identification of the models various components once inside the Perspex tube. The volume of cuttings is approximately 5-10% by volume (scale 1. The solids in the tube are also 1/3rd scale. The alternative drill collar (absent from Photo) is a 35ft section of 9.5-1mm). The outer diameter of the stabilizers is painted solid red or black. The two bit models can be used to illustrate the relative importance of bit flow by area between bit types. one PDC and one blank tricone body. This is representative of the best case for hole cleaning as no avalanching of cuttings is occurring. The next section is a 32-ft section of 8" drill collar. and is a straight bladed type.5" OD body. The model is used in a horizontal situation to simplify the operation of the model.

the pile of cuttings ahead of the drillpipe / drillcollar connection can be seen to increase in height. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 . The top stabilizer enters the tube and cuttings begin to build up.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company After pulling the BHA a further scale distance of 6’ into the model.

PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company As the BHA is drawn further into the tube the cuttings can be seen to build up around the stabilizers Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 3 Apr 2003 .

Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 5 Apr 2003 . The overpulls now increase rapidly and the string will become stuck in a short time. The gap at the top of the annulus has now closed and the stabilizer if effectively packed off with cuttings. As the BHA is drawn further through the tube a significant pile of cuttings builds up in front of both stabilizers. Below the stabilizer (to the right of it) very few cuttings remain on the low side of the tube. Again the bigger pile is in front of the spiral stabilizer. The difference in the thickness of the cuttings bed after the BHA has passed can be seen in the picture below.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company The straight blade stabilizer has less of a shoveling effect than the spiral stabilizer.

The picture below shows how the cuttings are dragged ahead of the stabilizers leaving very few cuttings behind to cause problems at the bit. Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 7 Apr 2003 . If the flow by area of the stabilizer were not as restrictive then the piling of the cuttings would likely occur at the bit. it is likely that the piling up of cuttings would occur over a shorter distance. Due to the lower flow by area of the bit.PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company Here an overview of the two stabilizers and the cuttings forming around them can clearly be seen.

The depth of a cuttings bed that will cause problems while POOH is surprisingly small (5%-10% Volume).PROPRIETARY Shell Exploration and Production Company So what are the learnings from this model: • Illustrates how the cuttings can build up in front of stabilizers and other changes in cross sectional area. The model is aimed at situations where gauge or close to gauge hole exists. Over gauge hole will give fewer problems with cuttings build up as the flow by area around the BHA components will effectively be far greater. Highlights the dangers of jarring up when stuck while pulling out of the hole. • • • Hole Cleaning Best Practices Manual Rev 0 Page 1 Apr 2003 .

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