Computational fluid dynamics study of yield power law drilling fluid flow through smooth-walled fractures.
Islam, Sheikh Zahidul
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AHAMMAD, F., MAHMUD, S. and ISLAM, S.Z. 2019. Computational fluid dynamics study of yield power law drilling fluid flow through smooth-walled fractures. Journal of petroleum exploration and production technology [online], Latest Articles. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1007/s13202-019-0646-5
Presence of natural fractures in sub-surface makes an oil well drilling operation very challenging. As one of the major functions of drilling mud is to maintain bottomhole pressure inside a wellbore to avoid any invasion of unwanted high-pressure influx (oil/gas/water), drilling a well through these fractures can cause severe mud loss into the formation and subsequent danger of compromising the wellbore pressure integrity. The aim of this paper is to carry out a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) study of drilling fluid flow through natural fractures to improve comprehensive understanding of the flow in fractured media. The study was carried out by creating a three-dimensional steady-state CFD model using ANSYS (Fluent). For simplicity and validation purpose, the model defines fracture as an empty space between two circular disks. Moreover, it is considered that single-phase fluid is flowing through fractures. By solving the flow equations in the model, correlations to determine the fracture width and invasion radius have been developed for specific mud rheological properties. Prior to onset of drilling and at the end of lost circulation, similar correlations can be developed by knowing rheological properties of drilling fluid which will be very much helpful to take an instantaneous action during lost circulation, i.e., determining lost circulation material particle size and also be useful in the well development stage to determine the damaged area to be treated.