Wet Drilled Cuttings Bed Rheology
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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The cuttings transport efficiency of various drilling fluids has been studied in several approaches. This is an important aspect, since hole cleaning is often a bottleneck in well construction. The studies so far have targeted the drilling fluid cuttings’ transport capability through experiments, simulations or field data. Observed differences in the efficiency due to changes in the drilling fluid properties and compositions have been reported but not always fully understood. In this study, the cuttings bed, wetted with a single drilling fluid, was evaluated. The experiments were performed with parallel plates in an Anton Paar Physica 301 rheometer. The results showed systematic differences in the internal friction behaviors between tests of beds with oil-based and beds with water-based fluids. The observations indicated that cutting beds wetted with a polymeric water-based fluid released clusters of particles when external forces overcame the bonding forces and the beds started to break up. Similarly, it was observed that an oil-based fluid wetted bed allowed particles to break free as single particles. These findings may explain the observed differences in previous cutting transport studies.