An Eulerian mixture model of the two-phase flow was used for cuttings transport simulation. The model was tested using experimental data for particles transport in pipes. Three types of problem statements were analyzed: steady-state flow, non-stationary flow in a short-length channel with periodic boundary conditions, and non-stationary flow in a long channel.
Simulation of cuttings transport by Herschel-Bulkley fluid through an inclined 21-inch borehole/–6.5-inch drillpipe annulus was performed. All problem statements showed very close results, even for unsteady flow. These results demonstrated the applicability of 2D steady-state problem formulation for cuttings transport simulation.
The unsteady flow was observed for an inclination of less than 20 degrees. Slow downward sliding of cuttings in the lower part of inclined boreholes was observed simultaneously with upstream dunes movement. Drill pipe rotation significantly decreased the cuttings concentration and pressure gradient, and shifted the maximum cuttings transport downward sliding rate from a 20- to 40-degree inclination.