Abstract

Synthetic-oil based drilling mud is currently the most commonly used type of drilling fluid for offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, due to the environmental regulation in the area, as well as the numerous operational benefits they provide. However, early kick detection and well control decision-making are more challenging due to the solubility of formation gas in synthetic-based fluids. This partially contributes to the poor understanding of the mass transfer kinetics of formation gas in and out of synthetic fluids during these well control events. The objective of this work was to better understand the mass transfer of gas from a solution by evaluating the influence of viscosifier concentration on the desorption kinetics of methane from pure internal olefin and internal olefin-viscosifier mixture. The desorption coefficients were determined from a custom-built mass transfer apparatus. Different suspentone concentrations ranging from 0 to 5wt% by volume of liquid were used to investigate the influence of viscosifier concentration on the desorption coefficient. It was observed that the presence of suspension agents in the liquid phase decreased the mass transfer coefficient. This decrease could be due to an increase in the resistance to the flow of gas bubbles evolving from the liquid phase.

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