(244c) Filter Cake Formation in a Horizontal Well: CFD Modeling and Simulation

Authors: 
Kabir, M. A. - Presenter, U.S Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory
Gamwo, I. K. - Presenter, U.S. Department of Energy
Brown, J. L. - Presenter, U.S Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory
Thornton, J. D. - Presenter, U.S Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory


Horizontal wells offer greater contact area with the reservoir rocks over vertical wells and generally increase the well productivity. Horizontal drilling often enables successful reservoir development for wells which would have been considered uneconomic. During the drilling process, the multiphase drilling fluid is pumped down into the drilling zone through the drilling pipe. The fluid is expected to perform many functions simultaneously. Some of the most important functions are maintain a favorable pressure difference between the wellbore and the rock formation, transport the drilled particles to the surface, reduce friction and wear on the drilling assembly, and significantly reduce large losses of drilling fluid to the surrounding formation. This is achieved by forming a filter cake at the well wall to seal the wall. The aim of this investigation is to increase the understanding of the deposition process and factors that affect the buildup of the filter cake.

This paper reports computational fluid dynamics (CFD) investigation of filter cake formation in horizontal well at both shallow (30oC; 2000 psi) and ultra deep (170 oC; 25,500 psi) drilling processes. Filter cake formation in both processes are compared. The effect of the drilling fluid particle sizes on the buildup of the filter cake will be presented.