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Advances in Numerical Analysis
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 2672438, 20 pages
Research Article

Numerical Simulation of Barite Sag in Pipe and Annular Flow

Department of Drilling Engineering, China University of Petroleum (East China), Qingdao 266580, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Mingbo Wang

Received 15 April 2017; Accepted 14 May 2017; Published 10 August 2017

Academic Editor: Guillaume Galliero

Copyright © 2017 Patrick Kabanda and Mingbo Wang. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


With the ever increasing global energy demand and diminishing petroleum reserves, current advances in drilling technology have resulted in numerous directional wells being drilled as operators strive to offset the ever-rising operating costs. In as much as deviated-well drilling allows drillers to exploit reservoir potential by penetrating the pay zone in a horizontal, rather than vertical, fashion, it also presents conditions under which the weighting agents can settle out of suspension. The present work is categorized into two parts. In the first part, governing equations were built inside a two-dimensional horizontal pipe geometry and the finite element method utilized to solve the equation-sets. In the second part, governing equations were built inside a three-dimensional horizontal annular geometry and the finite volume method utilized to solve the equation-sets. The results of the first part of the simulation are the solid concentration, mixture viscosity, and a prediction of the barite bed characteristics. For the second part, simulation results show that the highest occurrence of barite sag is at low annular velocities, nonrotating drill pipe, and eccentric drill pipe. The CFD approach in this study can be utilized as a research study tool in understanding and managing the barite sag problem.