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Simple Charts To Determine Hole Cleaning Requirements

in Deviated Wells
Yuejin Luo, P.A. Bern, B.D, Chambers, and D.S. Kel[ingray, BP Exploration
. .
IADCMembers =
.ePE Members

IADC:6PE Dtilllng Cm femc,,

This Pam was P,ewnd {or Premtatim a! tha 1904 lAOCJSPE Drll!hg CO femma hefd 1 Ddl~ TexM, 7S-18 Fabmr/ $994.

mkpm wa3sel.ctti wpmwmti.m by anlADcffiE mcaram qmnru.e fowk rww.ofi.f.rmtl.nmntahed in.. .b,,~ti Wb.!ned bY th. ..*,, (,). ~.,..s ~ finw,,,
asPresented, hava MI hem revtewed by the sc@y of Pemwm Englmm 0? the I.lmeuonel 8SSOC1.I1O.of Imllng Canmcm and sre.wbloti to Wrrecl]m by the mm(s). The
rMtic,c)d, m PW=3M, dCSS o,. ncws@Iy @ctq PoW,! 0( ,!w IADC 07 SPE, ,8,!, ofncer$, 0, mmbqa PW%IS wwted d lADCfSPE .6+UW am ,ub]ea to pblh!im
retie. by E6ilo,ia Commtflms of tha lMC and SPE. ?wmlwlo b WPY 1, rsstr)cled to MI ab,trac! d .X mm,, than wo wwds. I!l,trel!cm may .0, he c,p!,d, llm sb,,racl should
contain wnspicmm mkmw[edgment o! tire and by whom the paper L1presented. Write Ubmdm. SPE, P.O. BOY.833836, Richardson, TX /5083.9836. U.S.A. Telex, 188245 SPEUT.

ABSTRACT keep fhs the hole deam This minimum flow rate k aelled the
critical flow rate (CFR). If inadequate flow rate is used,
cuffings will seltle on the low-side hole and form a large
Optimization & hole cleaning remains one of the major
afdionery bed whloh may resuk in severe drilling problems
challenges when planning and drilling high angle and
such ss highdrsg awl tcque, hole packing-offand etuck pipe.
extendsd reach wells. In U& papr, a simple rf@ts gmphicsl
All these may subsequently require expensive remedial
technique is presented for determining hole oleaning operations ad thus incurs.ubatmtlsl inweaaas in drillingamt.
requiremenfafor a rsnge of hole sizsa. The method usss a aat
It is efucial to know the CFR when planning and drilling a
of ahaife whkfr have been derived from a computer modei
deviafsd well so that tk adsquate and ecamamicsl drilling
bsssd on both Isboralory and field messuremenb?.
equipment can be selaoted and optimum parameters
determined. This haa beoome increasingly impdsnt over
Access to the technology at the rig-site has been greatly recent years ss the demands of field developments have
improved by the development of the simplified charts. dictated more higher angle snd exferded.reaah wellst
Exsmples sre pressntsd whidr illudrate how tie charfa can
be applied to determine the influence of the major drilling
Hole cleaning ha~ been investigated by numerous
variables on hole cleaning requlremenfa. Mud rheology is
researchers. In the esdy dudie.s[lW}, the effects of a rsnge
shown to b a key varisble for opfimising hole cleaning irr
of variables on cuttings transport and bed formation in
devia~ wdlB,T& ~ar@ ~ alw &e USGS! to quantify fhs
deviated wells were investigated. The later studies havs
effect of hole enlargement which adversely affeofa hole
tended to concentrate upon developing mathematical
modds(&&7c-1 for prsditing the CFR. Most of tfw models
have been bsaad on smail+cale sxpsrlmenfs.
In addition, the paper dieousses the detailed methodology
behind the development of the charts from the original
In a previouspapa$o), a phyaica.llybsssd moddfor predictng
phyaioslly+ased mcffel. The charts presented in the paper
the CFR in deviated wells was pres+ntsd. TMS wsa developed
are valid for the lyplcsl North SSa drillingcocditicms.
baaed on the analysis of forces aceng upon tl-a cuiflngs ad
the associated dimensionless groups. The model was
INTRODUCTION veliiated initiallywith experimental dsfs obfsirwd frcm sn 8-
welibore simulator, and furher validated with actual drilling
data from six cMfelenfSzsd hales from %1/2 up to 17.1)2.
When planning or drilllng a deviatsd well, one of the key
parameters which must bs determined ia the minimum ffcw
rste required to frsnsport drilled cutffngs up to surfa~ an-d In+& psper a ast of dmrfa is prsssnted. Thess can be ussd
byddlllrrgengineers at the rfg.siteto o@rrriaehole clesdng fof
drillingvaous hde eedfons C4a detiated weil. The% ehmfe
Referenms and illustrationsat end of paper
have been dsrived bsssd on the typical North Sea ddling

.. . .~


2 L4DC/SPE 27486

conditior!sby L@ tie previouscomptidr model[q. cleaning fn deviated wells can b+ improvwd by increasing
drillpipe speed( 1.2A.7.1o). Tfi= i= aISC.supported by field
obsarvaffons( Therefore, Kthe drillpipeis not rotated(e.g.
DERIVATION OF HOLE CLEANING CHARTS during oriented drilling), the model and charts may
umderpradicfhofe cleaning requirements. Under these special
oircum8fance8,Incraasad flow rate or changes In opembnd
practices (e.g. rofatywipertrips) maybe nacessaryto improve
hole cleanlng.
Itwas shown(o that tie hole cleaning model can accurately
predictthe effects of a numbar of drillingvariables. Among the
variables, some can be designed during planning andlor Hole Cleanlng Charts
controlledduringdrilling,whild others can neither be designed
nor controlled The former are called tie mntiollable vatfabl- Based m fh typicaldrilllng conditiotw in the BPs operatfng
which includw are- in h Noti Sea, sendtiviiy andyds was ca.nkal out by
1. Mud tiOWrate wng the fuflmodel to examine tfw key varidk+ whkh can k
2. Rate of penetiaticm(ROP) acjusfed during the planning or drilling etage of a deviated
wall. Basad on tha analysis, the effects of each of the
3. Mud rheology
variables on hole cleaning was established for each of tie
4. Mud flow regime hofe dzes.
5. Mud weight
e: Hole angle For the mud PV ad YP, k was found that a shgle parameter
7. F!& size called ffie Rheolcgy Factor (RF)* ba used to describe their
effects. The higher the RF, the more effective the mud
rheologyfor hde deanlW. In order to determine ftw value of
lhe latter grcup 1scalled tie uncontrollablewmfabfeswhich
the RF from the mud PV and YP, a sat of charts was derivad
for each of tie hole sizes. Tfwse charts we shown in Figs.1a,
1. DrillpipeEcwmtrldty 2a and 3a for 17-112-, 12-114-d 8-W? holes, respetivdy.
2. Cuttings Density
3.. Cuffings size The affect of the hola angle was approximated by a group cd
[n order to keep the hole cleanirrgcharts relatively simple, tie factorscalled the Angle Factw (AF) which are 8hown in Table
above uncontrollable variables have been fixed at default 1. The higherthe hole angle, the lower the AF value, the more
values based on the typical North Sea conditions. difficuiithe hole deaniW. The effect of the mud weight (MW)
was cambined together with the RF and AF to form .ssingle
parameter catled the Transpott Index (Tf~
T,he controllable variables listed above can be fur:har
categorized. by considering whether or not they can be
adjusted easily at rig-ske In order to combat a hole cleaning Tf=RFx AFx MW (1)
problem. The adjustable variables are considered most
impoftantand these indude:fhe flow raw ROR mud rheolcgy
whew MW is in eg w #cms. The RF %d AF are obtainedfrom
and flowregime. The remaining controllable variables are
Figs.1 a, 2a, 3a and Table 1 and can be considered as
rib-thally fixed because they are dlcfated by other drillirig
dimensionless. it can be seanthat, at a given set of drilling
wndderatiom. However, since they have major influence on
mndiions @desize, angle, mud weighfand mud PV and YP),
hole cleaning, they are also ind~ed in the &harts.
. 7f is a direct indication of the hole cleaning condition when
tiiling the well. The higher the Tf, tie easier the hole cleaning,
In the originalmcdal, the mud riwology has been doscdbad by and wceversa.
using the pcwer-law model based on the Farm viscameter
readings. In,the current hole cleaning charts however, the
The remaining controllable variables are the ROP and the
conventional mud plastic viscedfy (~ and yield point (YP)
criticalflow rate (CFR). The interactionbelween the ROP and
have hen mad. ThLmIs based on the considerationfbat PV
ha CFR can be mapped M a chart~ linkage to thi-ll should
and YP tie tfw simplest and mod cummonly used parameters
b+ edabliied in waler to rdlad the effects of all the other
10 describe mud rfmoiogical properties.They are also easiest
vwiable% This has b+en done by a set of chatta for each of the
to @#rOl at fherlg-si@..
hole sizes, which are shown in, 2b ard 3b for 17-1/2-,
12-1/4- and 3-1/2- holes, respectively.
The influence of drillpipe rotation has not been modelled
explicitlyin either the original model[o)or the charts. However
since the field data.used for the validationof the originalmcdei
were gathered under normal rotary drilling conditions, the
Influence of drillpipe rotation has in effect already been
ac~~nted for. Experimental studies I& shown that hole



Effects of Mud Rheology and Flow Regime l%e effect of ROP on hole deanlng has been shcwn as cm of
the key parameters in the hole deanirig charts. From the ROP
charts (, 2b and 3b), it can b -en that the rdafionsMp
It has been disc&%sed[n the previous paper{lq tiaf cutlfngs
between the ROP and CFR is approximately linear. ff can k
removal in deviated wells occurs through a mmblnafion of
also seen hat, at a given ROP, lnmeadng the Tratqott Index
salfation twd bed slldlng. l%e driving mechanism resuhsfrom
11- will reduce the CFR and ffierefore lmprwe hole cleaning.
the flu~ lift and the drag_f.yces which act m t% cuffings bed.
At a given maximum mud flow rate, as is oflen the casn when
In Iaminar flow, the drag fora dominates, whereas in turbufmf
drilling a deviated well, increasing TI will Increase the
flow flw tiff for- is more-important. Thii determines Ihat the
maximum allowable ROP at which the well can be safely
effects of the mud rheology and the flow.mgirnbare rngually
drll[ed.Therefore, ROP charts can be used as a usefultool for
dependent. his is illustratedin Fig.4. In turbulentflaw, a lower
opffmidng hofe cleaning and at the same time maxlmising
YP results In a Mgher turbulent intensity and thus a higher Iii
force for transportiW cuttings by salfafion. 2-a reducing YP In
tutbulent flow will reduce tie CFR and improve hole cfeanlng.
In Iaminar flow, however, a higher YP ~responds fa a higher Effect of HoIe Washout
fluid drag,force w~ch remove cuttings as didkW bad. Emhigh
VP Muds are pfeferred in Iarnlnarflow fw hole deanlng.
The hole cleaning chats have been dmived fcf Uweedflemnt
hole sizes. However, ft is %xmdlmes the case that the part of
Based on the above discusdon$ if becomes clear that the YP the open hole saction is enlarged (washed out) and to
value c.arresfmrdiig to the flow regime Iminsitionprovidesthe frar+a-t cuttingsthroughthis washout, a higher mudflow rate
worst hole cleaning and therefore should b avoided. Solh will be required. Eg.5 shows the CFRs when an &l& hole is
increasing or reducing YP from this point will improve hole washed out to various sizes. ft can be seen that, if we are
cleaning. For the ~ shown in Rg.4, this is around a VP of drilling an 2-1/2 hole but transport cuttings through a 14
17lbf/100#.. As conditionschange, this point will shift either wash-auf,the flow rate for hole cleaning will increaas from 33o
to a lower or a higher YP. For example, as the hole size to about 970 gpm. This 8hows the impottan~ of minimizing
increases, the flow will b-e more and more doml.nafedby the risk of an enlarged hole.
laminar flow under normal drillingocmdfions,so tie worst YP
point muves towards the left.
In order to determine the hole ckaaningrequirementwhen the
hole is washed out, a group of oarrectionfactors have been
This effect of the mud rfwolcgy has ~en accurately depicted derived for various gauge hole sizes based on the +id
in the rheology factor (RF) chart% From Fig.3a for 2-1/2- model predicdoma Table 2 fists these cc.tmctlcn factors. To
holes, for example, it can be seen that tiere Is a minimum RF obtainh flowrate for a washout section, the flow rate fur the
line frcin which both lncfe~cg or reddng YP will iweasa gauge hole!dbe multipliedby the correctionfacfoc
theRF value and thus Improve hole cleadg. A similar effect
can be als.aseen in Fig.Za for 12-1/4 holes. Fort7-1/2 holes
c~ -ax CF~. (2)
however, the annular flow Is dominated by Iamlnar flow under
normal drillingccmditicns.Here the RF increases confinucus[y
fmm a YP of about 16 lbf/1OGff(as shown In Fig.1a) and there where a is the mrrection factor as obtained from Table 2.
is no minimum RF limaIn this range of YP.


From the above discuasi~ it can k se~i ihatfhe rhe.d~y
factor (R5 is a direct indication of how effective the mud
rhec.fogyIs in terms of hole deani~ tie higher the RF, tie Procedures of Using the Charts
more effective the mud rheology. So one can maximi~ RF in
order to improve hole dea.nlng. Therefore the RF charts cm Followingsteps can be followed to determine the CFR or the
b used as a useful fool to optimise the mwJ rheolcgy. Froii maximumsafe ROP based on the hole cleaning charfx
the RF charts (, ~ and 3a), it can be afsoseen that the
RF value is much more sensitiveto the change of YP than PV.
This indicates that YP has much greater effect on hole 1. Enter the appropriate Rheokgy Factor chart, Le.;
cleanlng in deviated welfs. This is consistent with in-how % or 3a, WW mud PV and YP, read off the vafue of the
expefimenfs and field experience that if is much more effecfiti rheol~ factor, RR
to adjust mid YP rather thiriPV in walerto prevent or mmbat
hole cleaning problems. ?. Get the Angle Fatir AF frcm Table 1;
.. . . .

3. Cafculate fha Transport Index Tf udng Eq.1 based on
RF, AF ad w

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4 fADCiSPE27488

For other areas however, the error can be significant,

4. Enter ths appropriate ROP cha~, i.e. F@lb, 2b w 3b, depending on the lmaf cordiins. Under ttis ckcumefacee,
with Tl=* the desfred ROP (or maximum flow rate), the charts must be modified based on the local drilling
read off the CFR for hale cleaning (or h maximum safe cardiiorw by using tfw original rmxfel.
5. If the hole is washed out, fit-d tie flow rate correcOon
factor a from Table 2. Then use Eq.2 to calculate the
1. A set of simple hole cleaning charts has ken derived for
CFR for the washout hole eaction.
various hole dz~s based on the original hole cleaning
mcdel. The chartscan be used at fiw rig-dfe to detennina
Example h hole cleardng requirement when drilling a deviated
weli. As the reeult, accesa to the tecfwwlcgyet the rfg-dfe
has been greatly improved.
The followingIllustrateshew to apply tie charts during drilling
operations. Assume a horizontal 3-1/2- hole b drilled wiffr a
1.45 ss mud. Tfw mud PV 1s25 CPand YP Is 18 lbf/100@. We 2. The charkaincludea number of majw contrdlab4edrilling
want to Iumw variables such as hele angle, mud flow rate, ROP, mud
a W Is tie maximum safe ROP if the mud pumps can rfw.dcgy,mud weight and ftcw rsgime. The urcanfrdlabfe
deliver a maximum 450 gpm? variables such as drillpipe eccentricity, cuff@s density
tmf size, have bsn ignoredfor sfmprlcny.
b. [f il i5 anticipated that we can drill at a ROP of 20 nuhr,
what flow rate will be required to clean tfw hole?
0. If we suspect the hole has been washed out to 10-, what 3. The mud rheolcgylsshown to be one oftiw key variables
floy rate should we pump? in the charts which rmn b-s optimised by maxlmising a
parameter cafied the Rheology Factor (RF). It is afso
shownthatfhe dfectof the mid rheologydepemtsonthe
a. Fr6mthe RF chaif of Fig.3a, N may be found that flow regime.
RF-O.91. From Table 1, the Angle Factor AF-1 .0.20 tfw
tramsportindex n can be obtalnad as:
4. Sas8d on the Rheology Factor charts lt is shcwn that il is
T[_o.91 xl.0Xl.45_l .32
much more effective to adjust the mud YP, ratfwr than
Then frrxn the ROP dlaft of Fig.3b at a TI of 1.32: h CM PV, In order to improve hole cleaning at the rig-site.
be found that, if the maximum flowrate achievable Is 454
gpm, the maximum ROP which can b drilled without
ca.udng hde cleaning problems is shout 23 nuhr. 5. A method Is derived to quantify the hole cleaning
requirement in the hok washout section. h k shown fh~
the tlcw rate fordeaning flw washout can be sigrMcantly
b. If we anticipate we can drillat a ROP of 20 mfnr,then the figher than that for gauge fwle.
flow required to clean the hale is 440 gpm.

o. However; if the hole is suspected belg washed out to
10 and we still plan to drifla.ta ROP 0f26 nvhr, it may be
frond from Table 2 that the flow rate 4WUB IM ccwecfed AF @Ile Factor f%dde 1)
by a factor of a-l .3S, i.e.: CFR CdUcalFlow Rate tcf hole cleanlng ~pm]
CF~ti. 1.38x 440. S07 gpm f.4w Mud Weight [w]
Under Hi circumstance, measures mud k taken either RF Rheology Factor (Figs.1a, 2a, 3a)
to increase the maximum achievable flow rate (e.g. by
TI Transpert Index, ddinwf by Eq.(1)
using larger drillpipe), or to adjust drilling parameters
a Flow rate corredianfactw {.x wadmwta (Table 2)
(e.g. mud YP).


The hale deeming chmt.a have been deri;ed b-d on the

original model preckfions by assuming a set of fixed drilling pmnkdon to publishfhls work. l%nks are 430 dtw to ali the
conditionswhich are comddered typical in the BPS operating operation personnel, bdh BP and its contactars, who have
areas in the North Sea. The charts are CAYapproximationsof providedccnsidwable suppmf throughoutfhlmwodr.
the original mcdel. It is etimatad that the emor of the chat+n
should be wifhii about 457. in terms of CFRS under mod
drillingconditicmsIn the Bi%op+rating areaa inthe NorthSea.

684%s3%3 -


REFERENCES Ccmferencq New Orleans, Feb.13-21,1962

1. Tormren, P. H., Iyoho, A.W. and Azar, J. J.: An 11. 8t6wwt, c.D. ard Williamson, D.R.: Tlcdzontal drilling
experimental study of cuttings transport in directional sspect6 of the Hekfer fm!d redewlopme~ P8pr SPE
wells,- Paper SPE 12123, presented at the 19S2 SPE 176S6, presented at the 20th Annual Offshore
5sfh Annual Technical *erence and Edibition, San Technology Conference, Houston,Texas, May 2-5,1633
Fr6nci6co,Oct. 5-3, 16S3
12. Abn,T.E., af.aLLPushingthe Iimti fff extmhl m.wh
2. ohajini, s.S. and Azw,JJ.: lle effects ofmt!d theolcgy drilllng New wodd retard frun platform St6ffjordC, Well
on annular hole cleaning in directional wells, SPE C?-,papr SPE 2S350, presented at the 63fh Armu61
DrillingEng. (Aug. 16S6) P297-208 Technical Conferetwa and Exhibiilcmof SPE, Homfon,
mob 3-B, 1393

3. Brown, N. P., Bern, P.A. and Weaver, A.: Cleaning

deviated holes: New experimental and theoretical
studies,paper SPE/lADC 16636, presented at the 1939 TABLE 1:
SPWIADC Drilling Conference, New Orleans, Feb.
Angle Factors for D6vfated Holes
2B-March 3,1689

Hole Angle (deg) Ang16Fa6for6

4. Slfferman, T.R. and Beck6r, T. E.: Hole cleaning in
full-stall inclined wellbores,m paper SPE 20422,
presented at the 199o SPE 85th Annual Technical 25 1.51
Conferenm Z2Exhibhlon,New Orleans, SeptX-28, 1960 30 1.39
35 1al
5. Gavignet, A.A. and Sobey, I.J.: Model aids cuttings 40 124
transpotf prediction,Paper SPE 15417, prsanted at the
46 1.1s
SPE 61st AnnwalTechnical Conference and Exhlbkions,
New Orleans, Oct. 5-3, 19S6 50 1.14
55 1.10
6. Martin, M., et.d: Transport of cuttings in directional so 1.07
wells, paper SPE/fADC 13033, pr686nted at the 16S7 65 1.05
SPE IADC Drilling Conferen66, New Orfeans, March 70+0 1.02
15-1s, 1667
S2-60 1.0

7. Peden, J. M., Ford, J.T. and Oyeneyin, M. B.:

Comprehensive experimental investigations of drilled
cuttingstransport in inclimd wel16includingtie effects of
rc+ationand eccenttidty,- paper SPE 20925, presented TASLE 2
at tie Europec 60, The Hague, Netherlands, 0cL22-24, Flow Rate C+xrection Factors for Washout Holes
ai~ 12-1/4- 17-1/2

8. f-amen, T.1., Pilehvad, AA. and,JJ.: Development
of a new cuttings transport model for high-angle Wasi-?ald Vashoti Washout
wellbc+es including herizonfd wells: paper SPE 25872, Size a siia sizea
presented at the SPE rocky Mountain Regional/Low (ilwh) (inch) (inch)
Permeability Reservoirs Symposium, Denver, April
12-14,1662 9 1.12 13 1.1 Is 1.03
10 1.3s 14 1.24 19 1.09
9. A new MTV computer package for hole cleaning design 11 1.s5 15 1.39 20 1.16
and analysis,- Paper SPE 28217, presented at the SPE
12 1.64 16 1.53 21 122
Petroleum Computer Conference, New Orleans, July
11-14,1693 13 2.24 17 1.s3 22 126
14 2.55 16 1.S2 23 1.24

10. Luo, Y., Bern, P.A. and Chambers, B.D.: Flow rate
Lw6dltions for deanina deviated wells.oaoer IADCXSPE
238S4, presented & the 1992 [ADC;SPE Drilling

SPE27486 - -

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(8-1/2 Hole at 60deg,, ROP=SOnvhr,PV.19 CP and 1.45 sg Mud)
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1 IIubuIcnt FIW ,

kudnar mow

Low Wscou, High VISCOUS
Muds Muds

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Mud Yield Point (lbf/ 100sqft]






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Angle -60 dW
ROP -20 17mr
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