The paper presents the results of modeling the steady-state flow of drilling fluid with cuttings in an annulus for the flow regimes typical for horizontal drilling. The studied parameters include effects like fluid rheology, drillstring rotation and eccentricity on flow regime, pressure drop and cuttings bed.
It has been demonstrated that increasing the drilling fluid’s effective viscosity increases the pressure drop, but it decreases the cuttings bed area, while drillstring rotation significantly changes the flow structure, improving cuttings transport and reducing the pressure drop. The considered flow structure can change abruptly due to changed drill string positioning and rheological fluid properties. Such structural changes are followed by abrupt changes in the pressure drop and cuttings bed area.