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Drilling Engineering
Lesson 16
Coiled Tubing
Slide 2 of 42
Lesson 16 - Coiled Tubing
 What is Coiled Tubing?
 Uses of Coiled Tubing
 Properties of Coiled Tubing
 Drilling with Coiled Tubing
 Buckling
Slide 3 of 42
Coiled Tubing - cont’d
• Buckling Modes
• Sinusoidal and Helical Buckling
• Buckling in Horizontal or Inclined Sections
• Buckling in Vertical Section
• Buckling in Curved Wellbores
• Prediction of Buckling Loads
• “Lockup” of Tubulars
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Some Applications of Coiled Tubing
• Cementing
• Plug Cementing (e.g. P&A)
• Squeeze Cementing
• Logging
• Drilling
• Producing
• Fishing
• Scale Removal

Ref: SPE Reprint Series NO. 38 “Coiled Tubing Technology”
Slide 15 of 42
• No rig required
• No connections - fast tripping

• Fatigue life limit (cycles)
• Pressure and tension
• Diameter and ovality
Disadvantages
Advantages
Slide 16 of 42
Reference:

“Coiled Tubing Buckling Implication in
Drilling and Completing Horizontal Wells” by
Jiang Wu and H.C. Juvkam-Wold, SPE
Drilling and Completion, March, 1995.


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Sinusoidal Buckling in a Horizontal Wellbore
When the axial compressive load along the coiled
tubing reaches the following sinusoidal buckling
load F
cr
, the intial (sinusoidal or critical) buckling
of the coiled tube will occur in the horizontal
wellbore.
5 0
2
.
e cr
) r / W I E ( F =
r
Slide 22 of 42
Consider:
(steel) psi 000 , 000 , 30 E
ft
lb
2225 . 0
ft
lb
67 . 2
45 . 65
6 . 8
1 07 . 3 W
ft
lb
07 . 3
231
45 . 65 * 12
) 688 . 1 2 (
4
W
mud
gal
#
8.6 ID; 1.688" , OD " 2
e
2 2
=
= =
|
.
|

\
|
÷ ÷ =
= ÷ =
t
in
*
5 0
2
.
e cr
) r / W I E ( F =
Slide 23 of 42
lbf 317 . 3
9375 . 0
2225 . 0 * 3869 . 0 * 10 * 30
2 F Then,
in 9375 . 0
2
2 875 . 3
2
OD D
r
in 3869 . 0 ) 688 . 1 2 (
64
) ID OD (
64
I
5 . 0
6
cr
HOLE
4 4 4 4 4
=
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
÷
÷
=
÷
=
= ÷ = ÷ =
t t
Consider:
,
=
r
W I E
F
e
cr
2 =
Slide 24 of 42
Sinusoidal Buckling Load
A more general Sinusoidal Buckling Load
equation for highly inclined wellbores (including
the horizontal wellbore) is:
u
r
sin EIW
F
e
cr
u
= 2
Slide 25 of 42
Sinusoidal Buckling Load
For the same 2” OD coiled tubing, at u = 45
o
5 0
6
9375 0
45 2225 0 3869 0 10 30
2
.
o
cr
.
sin . * . * *
F
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
F
cr
= 2,789 lbf
r
sin EIW
F
e
cr
u
= 2
Slide 26 of 42
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Helical Buckling in a Horizontal Wellbore
When the axial compressive load reaches the
following helical buckling load F
hel
in the horizontal
wellbore, the helical buckling of coiled tubing then
occurs:
( )
r
W I E
F
e
hel
1 2 2 2 ÷ =
( )
9375 0
2225 0 3869 0 10 30
1 2 2 2
6
.
. * . * *
F
hel
÷ =
F
hel
= 6,065 lbf
Slide 28 of 42
General Equation
A more general helical buckling load
equation for highly inclined wellbores
(including the horizontal wellbore) is:
( )
r
sin EIW
F
e
hel
u
÷ = 1 2 2 2
Slide 29 of 42
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Buckling in Vertical Wellbores:
In a vertical wellbore, the buckling of coiled tubing
will occur if the coiled tubing becomes axially
compressed and the axial compressive load
exceeds the buckling load in the vertical section.

This could happen when we “slack-off” weight at
the surface to apply bit weight for drilling and
pushing the coiled tubing through the build section
and into the horizontal section.
Slide 31 of 42
Buckling in Vertical Wellbores:
Lubinski derived in the 1950’s the following
buckling load equation for the initial
buckling of tubulars in vertical wellbores:
lbf 161 F
) 2225 . 0 * 3869 . 0 * 10 * 30 ( 94 . 1 F
) EIW ( 94 . 1 F
b , cr
3 / 1 2 6
b , cr
3 / 1
2
e b , cr
=
=
=
Slide 32 of 42
Buckling in Vertical Wellbores:
Another intitial buckling load equation for
tubulars in vertical wellbores was also
derived recently through an energy analysis:
1) (Table lbf 212 F Alternate
) 2225 . 0 * 3869 . 0 * 10 * 30 ( 55 . 2 F
) EIW ( 55 . 2 F
b cr,
3 / 1 2 6
b , cr
3 / 1
2
e b , cr
=
=
=
Slide 33 of 42
Helical Buckling in Vertical Wellbores:
A helical buckling load for weighty tubulars in
vertical wellbores was also derived recently
through an energy analysis to predict the
occurrence of the helical buckling:
lbf 461
) EIW ( 55 . 5 F
3 / 1
2
e b , hel
=
=
Slide 34 of 42
Helical Buckling in Vertical Wellbores:
This helical buckling load predicts the first
occurrence of helical buckling of the
weighty tubulars in the vertical wellbore.

The first occurrence of helical buckling in
the vertical wellbore will be a one-pitch
helical buckle at the bottom portion of the
tubular, immediately above the KOP.
Slide 35 of 42
Helical Buckling in Vertical Wellbores:
The upper portion of the tubular in the
vertical wellbore will be in tension and
remain straight.
When more tubular weight is slacked-off at
the surface, and the helical buckling
becomes more than one helical pitch, the
above helical buckling load equation may be
used for the top helical pitch of the helically
buckled tubular.
Slide 36 of 42
Helical Buckling in Vertical Wellbores:
The top helical buckling load F
hel,t
is calculated by
simply subtracting the tubular weight of the initial
one-pitch of helically buckled pipe from the
helical buckling load F
hel,b
, which is defined at the
bottom of the one-pitch helically buckled tubular:
3 / 1
2
e
hel e
3 / 1
2
e t , hel
) 0.14(EIW
L W ) EIW ( 55 . 5 F
=
÷ =
Slide 37 of 42
Helical Buckling in Vertical Wellbores:
The length of the initial one-pitch of
helical buckling or the first order helical
buckling is:
(10) ) W / EI 16 ( L
3 / 1
e
2
hel
t =
Slide 38 of 42
Helical Buckling in Vertical Wellbores:
From Table 1, it is also amazing to find out
that the top helical buckling load, F
hel,t
, is very
close to zero.
This indicates that the “neutral point”, which is
defined as the place of zero axial load
(effective axial load exclusive from the
hydrostatic pressure force), could be
approximately used to define the top of the
helical buckling for these coiled tubings.
Slide 39 of 42
Helical Buckling in Vertical Wellbores:
lbf 12 F
) 2225 . 0 * 3869 . 0 * 10 * 30 ( 14 . 0

) EIW ( 14 . 0 F
t , hel
2 / 1 2 6
3 / 1
2
e t , hel
=
=
=
Slide 40 of 42
Buckling of 2” x 1.688” CT
Horizontal
( )
cr hel
F F 1 2 2 ÷ =
r
W I E
F
e
cr
2 = = 3,317 lbf Sinusoidal:

Helical:

= 6,065 lbf
Slide 41 of 42
Buckling of 2” x 1.688” CT
Vertical
Sinusoidal, bottom:
or
( ) lbf W I E . F
/
e b , cr
161 94 1
3 1
2
= =
( ) lbf W I E . F
/
e b , cr
212 55 2
3 1
2
= =
Slide 42 of 42
Buckling of 2” x 1.688” CT
Vertical

Helical, bottom:


Helical, top:
( ) lbf W I E . F
/
e b , hel
461 55 5
3 1
2
= =
( ) lbf W I E . F
/
e b , hel
12 14 0
3 1
2
= =

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