Barite Sag is the settling of barite particles in the wellbore (or other weighting materials), which results in undesirable fluctuations in drilling fluid density. A variety of major drilling problems including lost circulation, well control difficulties, poor cement jobs, and stuck pipe can result from uncontrolled barite sag. Study of this phenomenon and how to mitigate its effects has long been of interest. This paper describes a fundamental mathematical approach to analyze the settling of barite particles in shear flow of Newtonian fluids. A set of four coupled partial differential equations to describe dynamic barite sag in Newtonian fluids in pipe flow is obtained by applying mass and momentum conservation for solid and liquid phase. Solid concentration in axial and radial directions as a function of time is calculated by using an explicit numerical method to solve these equations. A number of experiments in a flow loop were conducted to verify the mathematical model. Two mass flow meters were installed at the inlet and outlet of the flow loop’s test section. Differences in the density measurements over time were converted to the solid accumulation, which was compared with results from the modeling. In addition, based on the experimental results, three different stages of barite accumulation due to the settling and bed pickup of barite particles during circulation will be presented. The proposed methodology and results of this study will help drillers have a better understanding in terms of undesirable density fluctuations and barite bed characteristics.
Predicting Dynamic Barite Sag in Newtonian-Oil Based Drilling Fluids in Pipe
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Nguyen, T., Miska, S., Yu, M., and Takach, N. (June 17, 2011). "Predicting Dynamic Barite Sag in Newtonian-Oil Based Drilling Fluids in Pipe." ASME. J. Energy Resour. Technol. June 2011; 133(2): 023102. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4004026
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