CFD modelling and simulation of drill cuttings transport efficiency in annular bends: Effect of particle sphericity

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Accurate prediction of the flow behaviour of drill cuttings carried by a non-Newtonian fluid in an annular geometry is important for the successful and efficient design, operation, and optimisation of drilling operations. Although it is widely recognised that practical drilling operations hardly involve perfectly spherical cuttings, the relative ease in mathematical description coupled with speedy computation are the main reasons for the prevalence of this simplifying assumption. The possibilities offered by the modification of the interphase exchange coefficient of the Syamlal-O'Brien model as well as its scarce implementation in literature have motivated the authors to delve into this area of research as far as the transport phenomena of non-spherical drill cuttings is concerned. Another aspect of this work was influenced by the need to understand the flow dynamics around bends (horizontal to inclined and inclined to vertical sections) during deviated drilling operations using two high viscosity muds (0.5% CMC and 0.5% CMC + 4% Bentonite mud). The Eulerian-Eulerian model was adopted for this study while considering particle sphericities of 0.5, 0.75 and 1 and diameters of 0.002 m, 0.003 m, 0.004 m, 0.005 m and 0.008 m respectively. It was discovered that particle deposition intensifies at the inclined-to-vertical bend compared to other locations in the flow domain. We also observe increased dispersion effects and transport velocities of nonspherical
particles compared to particles of a perfectly spherical geometry. Furthermore, an improvement in the rheological properties of the drilling mud shows a remarkable increase in cuttings transport efficiency especially with the smaller particles. However, increased deposition of larger particles still poses a challenge to the wellbore cleaning process despite this rheological enhancement. The proposed CFD modelling methodology is thus capable of providing critical insight into the dynamics of cuttings transport, and the resulting computational
observations are consistent with relevant experimental investigations.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Early online date19 Jun 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 Jun 2018


Dive into the research topics of 'CFD modelling and simulation of drill cuttings transport efficiency in annular bends: Effect of particle sphericity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this