Prediction of Surge and Swab Pressure Profile for Flow of Yield Power Law Drilling Fluid Model through Eccentric Annuli
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Surge and swab pressure computation is very important in drilling hydraulics. Most blowout problem in oil wells have been as a result of surge and swab pressures developed from running or pulling of tubular goods in liquid-filled bore hole.
Excessive surge pressures can fracture the geological formation, while excessive swab can result in blowouts.
In this work the analysis of steady state, laminar couette flow of non-Newtonian yield power law drilling fluid model (Herschel-Bulkley) is used to compute the surge and swab in Eccentric annuli.
A slot flow model was first of all developed for a yield power law fluid in a concentric annulus, this model equation formed the basis of this work. And in solving for an eccentric annulus, the mathematical concept of conformal mapping was applied.
A suitable mathematical bilinear function was applied in mapping the original eccentric plane, for a particular eccentricity ratio, to a concentric (zero eccentricity ratio) plane.
There is much relevance in the study of surge and swab in bottom hole while drilling. A surge is an increase in the bore hole hydrostatic pressure as a result of increasing velocity of the drill string down hole.
This can create a pressure that can fracture the formation, that is, if the resultant hydrostatic pressure exceeds the fracture pressure of the formation. In lowering the drill string in a mud filled hole, great care is taken so that a surge doesn’t occur.
A surge can lead to lost circulation, whereby mud used in drilling is lost into the formation. On the converse, a swab can occur while pulling out the drill string or tubular goods.
As a result of pulling, a partial vacuum is created and as “Nature abhors a Vacuum” formation fluid from the pores of the formation would take up place to replace the vacuum. This can result to a Kick and if not controlled can result to a blowout, which is an uncontrollable outpour of formation fluid and drilling mud fluid from the hole.
As a result of the phenomenon of surge and swab, great care has to be taken to prevent the adverse effects of it. The question then becomes, what are the best ways surge and swab can be quantified? At what values of pressure is it going to fracture the formation? And also, at what values can a kick occur? And also, at what values of velocity?
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