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Frontiers in Energy

Front. Energy    2020, Vol. 14 Issue (3) : 635-643
Experimental investigation of multiphase flow behavior in drilling annuli using high speed visualization technique
Alap Ali ZAHID1, Syed Raza ur REHMAN1, S. RUSHD2, Anwarul HASAN1(), Mohammad Azizur RAHMAN2()
1. Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Qatar University, Doha 2713, Qatar
2. Petroleum Engineering Program, Texas A&M University at Qatar, Doha 23874, Qatar
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Imaging with high definition video camera is an important technique to visualize the drilling conditions and to study the physics of complex multiphase flow associated with the hole cleaning process. The main advantage of visualizing multiphase flow in a drilling annulus is that the viewer can easily distinguish fluid phases, flow patterns and thicknesses of cutting beds. In this paper the hole cleaning process which involves the transportation of cuttings through a horizontal annulus was studied. The two-phase (solid-liquid) and the three-phase (solid-liquid-gas) flow conditions involved in this kind of annular transportation were experimentally simulated and images were taken using a high definition camera. Analyzing the captured images, a number of important parameters like velocities of different phases, heights of solid beds and sizes of gas bubbles were determined. Two different techniques based on an image analysis software and MATLAB coding were used for the determinations. The results were compared to validate the image analyzing methodology. The visualization technique developed in this paper has a direct application in investigating the critical conditions required for efficient hole cleaning as well as in optimizing the mud program during both planning and operational phases of drilling. Particularly, it would be useful in predicting the cuttings transport performance, estimating solid bed height, gas bubble size, and mean velocities of bubbles/particles.

Keywords visualization      horizontal annulus      hole cleaning      multiphase flow      image analysis      flow regime     
Corresponding Author(s): Anwarul HASAN,Mohammad Azizur RAHMAN   
Just Accepted Date: 20 July 2018   Online First Date: 06 September 2018    Issue Date: 14 September 2020
 Cite this article:   
Alap Ali ZAHID,Syed Raza ur REHMAN,S. RUSHD, et al. Experimental investigation of multiphase flow behavior in drilling annuli using high speed visualization technique[J]. Front. Energy, 2020, 14(3): 635-643.
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Alap Ali ZAHID
Syed Raza ur REHMAN
Anwarul HASAN
Mohammad Azizur RAHMAN
Fig.1  Schematic presentation of prominent flow regimes of horizontal multiphase flow in an annular pipe
Fig.2  Schematic presentation of experimental setup
Phase components Water flow rate mw/(kg•min?1) Air flow rate Qa/ (l·h?1) System pressure Ps/bar Input solid Cs/% Flow regime /%
Water 160.8 0.1
Water and air 269.6 6.2 0.3 Bubbly 0.039
Water and air 339.8 7.0 0.4 Bubbly 0.035
Water and air 163.2 5.2 0.2 Wavy 0.054
Glass bead and water 267.8 0.3 1.2 Stationary bed
Glass bead, water, and air 268.5 6.47 0.29 1.8 Bubbly flow with stationary bed 0.040
Glass bead, water, and air 163.19 5.31 0.10 1.8 Stratified flow with stationary bed 0.055
Tab.1  Summary of experimental flow conditions and results (annulus orientation: concentric, solid particle size: 2–3mm, temperature: 25°C)
Fig.3  Images illustrating different multiphase flow systems
Fig.4  Presentation of air-water two phase flow experiments
Fig.5  Presentation of flow regimes in two phase (glass beads-water) and three-phase (glass beads-water-air) flow experiments
Figure # Bubble size/mm Thickness of water layer/mm Height of water-air interface/mm Thickness of solid bed/mm Mean velocity of solid particles/ (m·s?1) Mean velocity of gas bubbles/(m·s?1)
4(a) 5.5 0.5
4(b) 5.8 0.2
4(c) 108.2 5.9
5(a) 73.62 1.5
5(b) 5.8 23.03
5(c) 93.6 20.6 12.24 0.7
Tab.2  Values of different parameters calculated using Photron FASTCAM
Figure # Bubble size/mm Thickness of water layer/mm Height of water-air interface/mm Thickness of solid bed/mm
4(a) 4.60
4(b) 5.10
4(c) 106.20 4.60
5(a) 76.56
5(b) 5.90 23.40
5(c) 93.71 20.41 12.25
Tab.3  Values of different parameters calculated using MATLAB
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