Calculation of Circulating Mud Temperatures
Charles S, Holmes, SPE-AIME, Cities Service Oil Co. &iWNId c. Swift, SPE-AIME, Cities Service Oil Co.

A thorough knowledge of the mud temperature pro-

Previous Studies
Farris4 has developed charts that depict the bottomhole temperature during cementing periods, These charts represent a commonly used basis for choosing oil-well cements and for predicting bottom-hole cementing temperatures. Crawford et a/.2 has developed a method based upon the work of Edwardson et aL3 to calculate the bottom-hole circulating temperature as a function of well depth, casing and hole size, pumping rate and time, fluid characteristics, reservoir physical properties and the thermal status of the well. Their method represents a numerical solution for the transient heat transfer at a given depth,

files developed during well drilling and subsequent “periods of well logging is helpful. Complete temperature profiles for the fluid in both the pipe and the amulus may aid in revealing information about downhole conditions. Accurate prediction of maximum temperatures to be encountered during drilling allows for precise mud selection and preparation. The mud profiles also give indication of formation characteristics of the rock contacted during drilling, The object of this investigation was to develop an analytical mathematical model that could be used to predict the mud temperature in the drill pipe and annulus during drilling at any depth in the well. The model is a solution of the steady-state equation for the heat transfer between the fluids in the annulus and the fluids in the drill pipe, This is combined with an approximate equation for the transient heat transfer between the fluid in the annulus and in the formation. The approximw method is adequate since the total heat transfer between the two fluids is much greater than that between the annulus fluid and the formation. The low heat transfer between the anmdus fluid and the formation is a result of the relatively low thermal conductivity of the formation and the film resistance to heat transfer formed at the iuterface of the mud and the rock. Temperatures cal be calculated as a function of well depth, mud circulation rate, circulating fluid characteristics, reservoir properties, and wellbore and drill-pipe size.

Basic Assumptions and Equations
The model in this study is based upon the assumption that the heat transfer between the annular fluid and the formation can be approximated by steady-state linear heat transfer. The work of Edwardson et al.” has shown that the temperature is relatively constant at any point sufficiently removed from the drill bit. This effect shows that the steady-state assumption appears to be a close enough approximation of this phenomenon. Other simplifying assumptions are that the heat generated by the drill bit is negligible and that a linear geothermal profile exists. The development of the model is depicted in Fig. 1. A slab of thickness dx is used, assuming heat transfer in the radial direction and no significant longitudinal
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The mud circulation temperatures obtained by this simple analytical method can be used to predict logged bottom-hole mud temperatures; they can be used also as initial temperatures in predicting mud column temperature buildup after circulation is stopped. —.——

T. 1 + E/2 [1 – (1 + 4/B]~] . . Circulation rate.0127 applicable form.conduction.) . . . (B/2A) [1 .. . . i 6P(X411X) “ . .. +Gx . 00 PIPE. . 200 1S01 Co E::f:l HEAT cOEFFICIENT Q-’ Zwil(la-lf) SORE. .e”z’ + Gx + T8 – GA .(T.000 69ii 89(( 300 75 (2) The heat balance across the drill pipe is represented by: Qap= 2rr. . 6% q WELL lABL (INCHES) (INCHESI (BBL/FR E I) GEOTHERMAL FR9FILE I /F T?’eF) WELL ORILL MuO — dx *I . Btu/(ft. . .. ft Drill stem OD.O F) Mud density.. .. The heat accumulation of the annular fluidbetween depth x and x + dx is given by L . . .(1 + 4/B)v] . . .! . FORMATION Zbo I 240 220 ----l-!. . . 300 30 q lBTu/Hl? (. .3 0._.. .2—Tem~erature Profiles for the fiuid in the annulus and driii pipe during circulation.>. ?0 FEET OtPTH ~PTP(x+dF. RATE ~TN~A~. OF/ft 110 100 O/l 10.(L+ti) = ~%[~az ‘“ ~lw. = K. . (6) + Gx + T. Substituting Eq..hour) Mud specific heat. C. i . . These are the equations of the linear heat transfer model. lb/(ft.5 0. . f3tu/(ft.o:g~~~sn XEV ANNULLIS [. .0 / . ancl The formation temperature may be approximated as: Tf=T. ‘t’cp dx . 5 into the over-all heat balance for the annulus produces the heat balance for the element across the armulus fluid: dt “p z + 2~rphp(Tp – T. (3) Combining these equations yields the over-all heat transfer through the annulus. . . l—Differential element used to derive model. = = = C. 671 I JUNE. – Gx) .°F. – T. . These are.) = 2~rV(To – T. (7) (B/2A) [1 + (1 + 4/l?)%]. (8) for tlw temperature of the mud in the annulus. . (9) where c.e”l’ + K. . .– TJ dx .= A similar development for the fluid in the drillstem gives the following heat balance: ‘c” dTn _ — – 2~rphp(T1. Fir?.0 F-hour) Formation specific heat.T“) = 2wU(T.ec” . — -t 2zrph. ..hour) Mud thermai conductivity. . in.ecl’ + K. c. . – Tj)dx . .. ... .0 1. Dr[ll. for the temperature of the mud in the drillstem. . ..bit size. . . . .. . in..) Fig...d. 1 + B/2[1 -1-(1 + 4/By4] .. cF Geothermal gradient.N lHOUS. . . . (1) and the steady-state approximation of the heat transferred between the annular fluid and the formation is given by @= 2zrU(T.. A = mcfl/2zrphJ. . (4) Well depth. ..’. bbl/hour Inlet mud temperature. Btu/(ib-°F) Formation density. c.)1..C.. .2 165 59...ORILL ~a/ INLET TEMP z 75*F PIPE i(x+dx)” ~ooti . Btu/(ib.ANOS OF . .hp(Tp – To)dx .. . . . Tp = K. . TABLE l—WELL AND MUD CIRCULATING FOR A GULF COAST WELL PROPERTIES 15. dTt. “F Mud viscosity. . 1970 . B = rU/rphp. lb/cu ft Surface earth temperature. l“””” DATA SUMMARY OIA. (5) . . .&’j TRAM!W’ER (ANNULUS) (SEE c 8%8 . . . The equations are then integrated into their These equations when applied with the proper boundary conditions represent the analytical solution of the mud temperature profiles for the fluid in the drillstem and annulus. ) . . lb/gal Formation thermal conductivity.

. + GA] e(”’”(1 – C:.4. OEPTH (N ~ ~~ . } +. vARIES [ INCHES) . —-— TEMP .-’ THOUSANOS W ‘2ET . .. *. 21 z s : “14 % E {20 — —-. OCPTH IN THuuSANDS . DATA -–. The end of each segment represents the bottom-hole temperature at that point in the drilling schedule. 2. . it will be assumed that there was one change in drill-bit size at 11. I. The bottom-hole mud temperatures may be 260. = ~Pi Boundagr Condi~ion 2 at x = H. . ] ~ I ‘ ‘-~ Fig. By drawing a line through the bottom-hole temperature calculated for each profile we can observe any abnormalities produced by each change in the drilling of the well. 0 D MuO RATE z 300 IS8L /MR 1 HEAT TRANSFER . D]A . 4-Effect of varying mud rate on the temperature of the annulus during circulation.. !5-Effect of varying heat transfer coefficient (pipe) on tha temperature of the annulus during circulation. 3 through 6 show the effect of varying the mud rates.--i. 3—Effect of varying diameters on the temperature of the annulus during circulation.—.+ 1)1 TNWSANDS Fig.000 and at 12.. heat-transfer coefficients and wellbore and drill-pipe diameter on the circulating temperatures.fl (1 — C. (SZE ./ .’ model and agrees with profiles obtained from measured mud temperatures during mud circulation. I lF12f *F) 220 — “i Zm — : ~ 180 –—.. V: INLET // —– REF —.) ec. vARIES [ INCHES 1 .3 h 6% TABLE [INCHES] II NCNES) 1) A AORE .../-— -/.F I Fl /:. Fig.) “ These integration constants are applied to Eqs. r —-1 ““”–- ‘-I 1 ‘---’ ~ A WOl. . 7 shows a part of each mud circulation profde for each additional segment drilled.. 672 Fig. the following boundary conditions may be applied to obtain the bottomhole temperature. 300(BBL IHR 1 .1. ~ OEPTH . THP= TH. :.“ 10 15 05 HEAT TRANSFER FFICIENT ‘ “w .500 ft and changes in mud circulation rate at 10.+GA9 GA – [TPi – T.4L WELL WELL f2ATA SORE SUMMARY OIA . ?s0 ?4Y 220 .. DATA SIJMMARy . It appears that the maximum mud temperature 260~ -WELL WELL . . vAR1ES181WHR IFT 21*F I COEFFICIENT [PIPE] HEAT TRANS~R a 10 [BTu/t2i cOEFFICIENT IANNULUSI /F1 ZI*F 1 HEAT TRANSFER .. only the annular temperature profiles are shown. It is possible to calculate how the mud temperature profile is affected by wellbore size changes due to drill-bit changes during various phases of a drilling schedule. WELL W[LL .75. Using a 14. The well was assumed to have no drill-bit size change and no casing set.: BORf ...4) . 2. OD WELL 80+JE . ~ 1 z = 140 & 2 e 120 [w 80 160 - DRILL PNW .~ OF FEET ‘. 30 I elUJHR CRILL PIPE. 75-F i . JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY . VARIESISBL fHR ) HEAT TRANSFER = 34[BTUi HR /F T2/*F COEFFICIENT (PIPE] HEAT TRANSFER * IO[8TUINR cOEFflCIENT (ANNUWSI .---.) Figs. TA8L ~ 1 1 {INCHES) [N4CHE$1 IX OTHi HMAL PROFILE . 8 and 9 in order to calculate the temperature at any point in the well during circulation. OIA P. 260 . --. WELL T-. The solid curve (reference) on each graph is the annular temperature protile from Fig.–7 (SEE 8sla TA8LE (INCHES) ( INCHES) .000-ft Gulf Coast well having properties as listed in Table 1. Boundary Condition 1 at x = O.— —.tCRMAL SUMMARY I SEC TABLZ . . .L.Solution of Equations to Derive Circulating Mud Temperatures Since the annular and drillstem mud temperatures are equal at the bottom of the well. . O 0 MuD RATE 2WI s ?: g q 1s0! HEAT TRANSFER COEFFICIENT [PIPE) . T.- Fig. = Kz– T. For simplicity. . . .4 — [ISLET TEMP . 6% MUD NATE . To observe these effects the mud temperature profiles would be calculated for the mud in the annulus and in the drill pipe for each segment of drilling. For these boundary conditions the following integration constants are obtained: K.. Pi. .500 ft... ( sff 8% 6%s . = TPi– K. (This phenomenon was also exhibited by the Crawford et al.. lol BTu/HR/F12/” MEAT TRANSFER COErFICIENT IAFANULUSI A lFT 2J... MuD ! — R:f —. The temperature profiles of the mud in the annulus and mud in the drill pipe are shown in Fig. o D CRILL . Results from the Model The model has been applied to a 15.000-ft well as an example. .1. T5°F 15 J/l. //“ OF FEE1 \ II . . RATE 120 [w 300 80 — S4 o DEPTH IN TWJUSANOS OF FEET INLET TEMP .SUMMARY .) – e“’n (1 – C. DATA — — generally occurs in the annular fluid at some depth above bottom hole. OIA 220 200 ~ : g ? : !40 – 180 1s4 OR(LL PIPE. 6-Effect of varying heat transfer coefficient (annulus) on the temperature of the annulus during circulation.

The equations have been applied to wells and have successfully predicted logged bottom-hole temperatures. In mwt instances where the wellbore diameter is a foot or less.. 8 shows the good agreement between the calculated and actual bottom-hole mud temperatures. These bottom-hole temperatures were then used in conjunction with the line-source solution for the temperature buildup after circulation is stopped. In this processs exact knowledge of circulating temperatures is necessary because of the sensitivity of the recovery mechanism to injection temperature. It provides a rapid meth~d for computing mud temperature profiles and bottom-hole mud temperatures so that appropriate mud and cement properties can be selected. which shows the capability of the model to simulate the apparent physical phenomena. 673 . to approximately the temperature of the formation in the vicinity of the wellbore. 8 9 OEPTH [0 IN 11 THOUSANOS OF FEET Fig. Nomenclature Cp= mud heat capacity.000 15. more rapidly. Since the heat flux to the formation is not accurately known.. 2 were applied with the actual drill-bit size changes made during the drilling of this well. 1970 F’ig.rapidly computed directly from the bottom-hole integration constants and Eqs. The predicted logged bottom-hole mud temperatures to be obtained at the time of logging are given in Table 2. 2. 7—Temperature during drilling interval vs depth for construction of bottomhole temperature curves. Data for the 15.500 12. Using an approximate flux calculated by Eq.350 180 197 208 232 243 Application to Field Problems The mud circulation temperatures obtained by this method have been used to predict logged bottom-hole mud temperatures.HOLE TEMPERATURES FOR 15..350 0.000 0. Fig. JUNE. OF/ft H = depth of bottom of well.. 8-Calculated *JS logged bottom-hole temperature. The bottom-hole temperatures for the various segments drilled were calculated.000 11.hole Wellb. Temperatures from the circulation period are used as the initial temperatures for inclusion into a transient line-source solutionc to predict the transient mud temperature buildup curves. In addition to being used for calculating circulating mud temperatures.508 0.508 0. Adaptation of this analytical model to a solution that more exactly approximates the mud temperature buildup after mud circulation 10.g Size M u~ ~Tgmp. Calculations for other wells have given similar results. this model has been used to obtain a reasonable estimate of the maximum economic depth at which the Frasch process for sulphur recovery can be applied. Conclusions We have shown here that a steady-state analytical model may be developed to determine circulating mud temperature profiles for the annulus and drillstem fluids. The actual bottom-hole mud temperatures recorded during logging are also presented.771 0. TABLE 2-CALCULATED AND LOGGED BOITOM. this solution is an approximation of the actual temperature buildup. by computer. solution of the line-source equation yields a mud temperature at any time after mud circulation is stopped. Btu/(lb-°F) G = geothermal gradient. Results may be obtained by hand calculation or. 7.000 160 187 206 207 226 238 is stopped should give the capability of approximating within a few degrees the formation temperatures and cementing temperatures.000-FT GULF COAST WELL Calculated Boltom.350 0. ft 990 I 80 KEY 870 8507 .500 14. 8 and 9 for any set of conditions. the mud temperature is predicted to return.000-ft well used in the previous section to calculate the mud profiles shown on Fig. thus making it possible to predict downhole temperature effects for any given drilling schedule. within several hours after mud circulation is ceased.

Btu/(sq ft-°F-hour) m = mass flow rate.h. Carslaw. Gwner. = over-all heat transfer coefficient across @= heat flux to formation..: “A Method for Calculating Circulating Temperature”. J. Scott. References 1. S. C.: Conducfio/i of Heat in Solids. Crawford. ‘F T}IP= bottom-hole temperature of mud in drill pipe? ‘F Tp = mud temperature in drill pipe. Oxford at the Clarendon Press (1959). /. Williams. Parkison. B. S.Ott. IL F. 2.. rp = radjus of drill’pipe. Inc.. R. 1968. and Petroleum Engineers. JWT 674 JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY . M. for permission to publish this paper and to E. D.Btu/hour drill pipe. 1963) 1365-1370. ft Acknowledgments We should like to express our appreciation to Cities Service Oil Co. H. Btu/hour = ball d. J. Revised manuscript received Feb. and Jaeger. . 5. New York ( 1950) 834. P. L. @ Copyright 1970 American Institute of Mining. Pet. Papar (SPE 2318) was prepared for SPE 43rd Annual Fall Meeting. ‘F THa= bottom-hole temperature of mud in annulus. O. 1968. J.: “The Effect of Vertical Fractures on Transient Pressure Behavior of Wells”. H. Sept. (Dec. D. M. Farris. “F TPi = inlet temperature T. (April. Btu/hour radius of well drill U = over-all heat transfer coefficient across wellbore face. Tex. H. McGrawHilI Book Co. lb/hour & = heat flowin the annulus. ft T.: Process Heat Transfer. Btu/(sq ft-°F-hour) x = depth. (Nov. J. 1962) 416-426.. 6. R.. Heam for their helpful suggestions and criticisms. Btu/hour heat flowin the~t pipe. A. Inc. 1967) 1507-1512. Prac. and Crawford.: “A Practical Evaluation of Cements for D Oil Wells”’.. held in Houston. Tragesser. H... J. 29.. rill.: “Calculation of Formation Temperature Disturbances Caused by Mud Chculation”. 5. Tech. Pet. C. = Original of mud in drill pipe. Glass and C.. 2. 17. Tech. 3. D. F. ‘F T~ = temperature of formation. 4. and Matthews..: heat flow across drillpipe. Metallurgical.. Edwardson. Pet. Kern. 2nd cd. Tech.. 1st cd. ‘F temperature of earth’s surface recalvadin Societyof PetroleumEngineem manuscript afflce Aug. and Prod. C. 1970. API (194]) 283. Q.. = mud temperature in annulus.

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