Table of Contents
Journal of Fluids
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 4931426, 10 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/4931426
Research Article

Effect of Yield Power Law Fluid Rheological Properties on Cuttings Transport in Eccentric Horizontal Narrow Annulus

Petroleum Engineering Department, Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS, Bandar Seri Iskandar, 32610 Tronoh, Malaysia

Received 8 March 2016; Revised 5 May 2016; Accepted 6 June 2016

Academic Editor: Bhim C. Meikap

Copyright © 2016 Titus Ntow Ofei. 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.

Abstract

Narrow annular drilling such as casing-while-drilling technique is gaining popularity due to its ability to mitigate nonproductive time during oil and gas drilling operations. However, very little is known about the flow dynamics in narrow annular drilling. In this study, the Eulerian-Eulerian two-fluid model was used to examine the influence of Yield Power Law fluid rheological properties on cuttings transport in eccentric horizontal narrow annulus. The flow was assumed as fully developed, laminar, and transient state. The present simulation model was validated against experimental data, where a mean percent error of −1.2% was recorded. Results revealed an increase in the radial distribution of cuttings transport velocity in the wide annular region as the consistency index, , and the flow behavior index, , increase. Nonetheless, increasing the yield stress, , had insignificant effect on the cuttings transport velocity. Three-dimensional profiles showed how cuttings preferred to travel in less resistant flow area, whereas cuttings concentration builds up in the narrow annular region. Furthermore, annular frictional pressure losses also increased as , , and increased. This study serves as a guide to properly optimize drilling fluid rheological properties for efficient cuttings transport and equivalent circulating density (ECD) management in narrow annular drilling.