A laboratory scale flow loop for drilling applications has been used for evaluating the effect of lubricants on skin friction during drilling and completion with oil based or low solids oil based fluids. The flow loop included a 10 meter long test section with 2″ OD free whirling rotating drill string inside a 4″ ID wellbore made of concrete elements positioned inside a steel tubing. A transparent part of the housing was located in the middle of the test section, separating two steel sections of equal length. The entire test section was mounted on a steel frame which can be tilted from horizontal to 30° inclination. The drilling fluids and additives in these experiments were similar to those used in specific fields in NCS. Friction coefficient was calculated from the measured torque for different flow velocities and rotational velocities and the force perpendicular to the surface caused by the buoyed weight of the string.
The main objective of the article has been to quantify the effect on mechanical friction when applying different concentrations of an oil-based lubricant into an ordinary oil based drilling fluid and a low solids oil based drilling fluid used in a North Sea drilling and completion operation.