Slurry Loop Project
During drilling operations, transportation of the cuttings, which is produced due to the rotation of the bit and shearing the rock, to the surface is an important parameter to optimize the drilling efficiency and reduce the non productive time (NPT). The cuttings travel from the bottom of the wellbore, which can reach to over 10,000 ft when at the reservoir interval, through the annulus, the distance between the outside of the drillstring and the wellbore wall, to the surface. Challenges include the variation in velocity of the particles due to their different shape, size and density as well as hitting each other when travelling upward. This makes it difficult to determine which depth the cuttings belong to.
The SLP team will be designing a slurry loop to study the cuttings transportation in the annulus space and understand the effect of the cuttings geometry and density as well as the drilling mud rheological properties and flow rate on different type of the flow profiles that may form in the annulus including: homogenous or heterogeneous suspension, suspension and moving bed, moving bed, moving and stationary beds, dune movement, boycott movement and stationary bed. Different instruments to measure the flow properties and cuttings characteristics will be installed to extract data for the analysis and interpretation purposes.