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Real Time Retort (Distillation) Testing of Drilling Fluids at the Rig Site

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000245796D
Publication Date: 2016-Apr-08
Document File: 5 page(s) / 933K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Drilling operations today are often deeper and have more complex trajectories than in prior years. In addition to wellbore complexity, the allowable wellbore pressure window; the pressure difference between the pore pressure and the fracture gradient, are often very narrow. These difficulties require that the physical properties of the drilling fluids be accurately known (Stock, Ronaes, Fossdal, & Bjerkas, 2012) to: • Manage wellbore pressure or Equivalent Circulating Density (ECD) • Manage and maintain the desired fluid chemical composition • Treat the fluid with additives to improve or maintain performance • Model the fluid performance to optimize the drilling process o Optimize Rate of Penetration (ROP) o Minimize wellbore stability problems o Avoid Non-Productive Time (NPT) • Manage solids control equipment (minimization of low gravity solids) Many of the most challenging wells today are drilled using invert emulsion (IE) fluids. IE fluids provide some advantages over water base fluids. Generally, they present less torque and drag problems than even the most sophisticated water based fluids and yet are usually much easier maintain. IE fluids management requires that the oil, water and solids content of the drilling fluid be known. Knowing the fluid components content provides the information required to manage the Oil to Water Ratio (OWR) of the fluid as well as the Average Specific Gravity (ASG) of the mud solids (when combined with other physical measurement data). Both of these properties are fundamental measurements used to manage an IE drilling fluid. In addition, real time fluid drilling fluid management is becoming a key component of drilling optimization efforts. Because many of the wells present challenging narrow margins it is essential that the fluid properties be accurately known and maintained to maximize ROP as well as eliminate and mitigate hole-problems such as hole-instability and lost circulation (Magalhaes, 2014). The mechanical designs and methods described herein provide a means to enable these component measurements in an automated and real time system.

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Real Time Retort (Distillation) Testing of Drilling Fluids at the Rig Site

Summary 

Drilling operations today are often deeper and have more complex trajectories than in prior years. In addition to wellbore complexity, the allowable wellbore pressure window; the pressure difference between the pore pressure and the fracture gradient, are often very narrow. These difficulties require that the physical properties of the drilling fluids be accurately known  (Stock, Ronaes, Fossdal, & Bjerkas, 2012) to:

·         Manage wellbore pressure or Equivalent Circulating Density (ECD)

·         Manage and maintain the desired fluid chemical composition

·         Treat the fluid with additives to improve or maintain performance

·         Model the fluid performance to optimize the drilling process

o   Optimize Rate of Penetration (ROP)

o   Minimize wellbore stability problems

o   Avoid Non-Productive Time (NPT)

·         Manage solids control equipment (minimization of low gravity solids)

Many of the most challenging wells today are drilled using invert emulsion (IE) fluids.  IE fluids provide some advantages over water base fluids. Generally, they present less torque and drag problems than even the most sophisticated water based fluids and yet are usually much easier maintain. IE fluids management requires that the oil, water and solids content of the drilling fluid be known. Knowing the fluid components content provides the information required to manage the Oil to Water Ratio (OWR) of the fluid as well as the Average Specific Gravity (ASG) of the mud solids (when combined with other physical measurement data). Both of these properties are fundamental measurements used to manage an IE drilling fluid.  

In addition, real time fluid drilling fluid management is becoming a key component of drilling optimization efforts. Because many of the wells present challenging narrow margins it is essential that the fluid properties be accurately known and maintained to maximize ROP as well as eliminate and mitigate hole-problems such as hole-instability and lost circulation (Magalhaes, 2014).  The mechanical designs and methods described herein provide a means to enable these component measurements in an automated and real time system.

The Conventional Method

The oil, water and solids content of an IE fluid has been used a fundamental measure to properly maintain and manage IE drilling fluids for many years with retort standards maintained and provided by the API (API, August 1, 2014 ) . Retort information can often help to explain hydraulic and rheological performance of the IE fluid and detect drilling problems such as water flows.  Proper management and control of IE fluid can only be affected by measuring the OWR. In the field and laboratory, Oil & Gas professionals currently use manual Retort equipment such as those sold by fann instruments (fann, 2015). This equipment operates at high temperatures (930°F) to perform a distillation of the fluid by evaporating the oil and water content and sep...