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FLOW OF OIL AND SAND IN A HORIZONTAL WELL

Q. DOAN S.M.F. ALI A. GEORGE

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SS93-3@ PETROLEUM SOCIETY OF CIM AND CANMET PAPER NO. 34 THIS IS A PREPRINT - SUBJECT To CORRECTION FLOW OF OIL AND SAND IN A HORIZONTAL WELL 0. Doan & M. Farouq Ali University of Aborta A. G@ ERL/CANMETtEMR PUBUCATION RESERVED THIS PAPER IS TO BE PRESENTED AT THE FIFTH PETROLEUM CONFERENCE OF THE SOUTH SASKATCHEWAN SECTION, THE PETROLEUMSOCIETYOFCIM,HELDWITHCANMETINREGINAOCTOBERI@.1993. DISCUSSIONOFTHISPAPERISINVITED. SUCH DISCUSSION MAY BE PRESENTED AT THE TECHNICAL MEETING AND WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR
PUBLICATION IN CIM JOURNALS IF FILED IN WRITING WITH THE TECHNICAL PROGRAM CHAIRMAN PRIOR TO THE CONCLUSION OF THE MEETING. ABSTRACT Despite the increasing acceptance of horizontal wells as a potentially productive means of recovering oil and gas from underground reservoirs, the hydrodynamics of flow inside a horizontal well remains incompletely understood - especially for multiphase flow. Sand production into a horizontat well presents a formidable problem as the sand deposits at the bottom of the horizontal wel4 and thus reduces the effective size of the flow conduit. This
study focuses on the flow of oil and sand in a horizontal well. The model developed in this study treats the flow of oil and sand as that of a monodisperse, dilute suspension. 7hefluid phase (oil) is assumed to be incompressible and Newtonian. The particulate phase, composed of spherical sandparticles, is assumed to behave as a continuum. 7he diffusive movement of the particulate phase is controlled by gravity force. The model allows for the determination of the axial velocity of the fluid phase and particulate phase, and the particulate phase density distribution at different
positions along the horizontal well length. Examination of the dimensionless groups allows for an analysis of the dominant parameters controlling the transport of sand in a horizontat well, including condition(s) promoting sedimentation. The rate of sediment bed buildup is correlated with fluid phase flow and interaction between the fluid phase and the particulate phase. INTRODUCTION Solid-liquid niultiphase flows encompass many different areas of science and engineering, ranging from transport of colloids in rain water, sediment @Port in _ river streams, waste nmport in sewers, bed
fluidization, flotation to slurry pipeline mwportation, drill cuttings removal and @port of fracture proppants etc. As more horizontal wells are drilled to recover oil and gas from oil reservoirs, problems associated with sand production into, and their transport inside dme horizontal wells beconie more prominent - particularly for wells drilled in unconsolidated or fracwmd formtions. Deposition of sand and fines inside these horizontal wells could have adverse impact on their productivity, even negating much of the advantages of horizontal dril@g. Few studies investigating the
hydrodynamic @port of sand and fines in horizontal wells are available in current petroleum literature. This paper attempts to identify parameters goveniing the flow of oil and sand inside a horizontal well, including conditions promoting sand deposition, as well as the rate of sedin-ent buildup at different positions along the horizontal well length. Hydrodynamic Fundamentals From a hydrodynamic viewpoint, the most important and fundamntal aspects of solid-liquid multiphase flow are interphase interaction (i.e. interaction between the fluid phase and the particulate phase) and
intraphase interaction (i.e. interaction among solid particles making
5S93-3'1
PETROLEUM SOCIETY OF CIM AND CANMET PAPER NO. 34

THIS IS A PREPRINT - SUBJECT TO CORRECTION

FLOW OF OIL AND SAND IN A HORIZONTAL WELL

Q. Dcan
S. M. Farouq Ali
Universily of Alberta
A. George
;.
ERUCANMETJEMR

PUBUCATION RIGHTS RESERVED


THIS PAPER IS TO BE PRESENTED AT THE FIFTH PETROLEUM CONFERENCE OF THE SOUTH SASKATCHEWAN SECTION, THE
PETROLEUM SOCIETY OF CIM. HELD WITH CANMET IN REGINA OCTOBER 18-20, 1993. DISCUSSION OF THIS PAPER IS INVITED.
SUCH DISCUSSION MAY BE PRESENTED AT THE TECHNICAL MEETING AND WILL BE CONSIDERED FOR PUBUCATION IN CIM
JOURNALS IF FILED IN WRITING WITH THE TECHNICAL PROGRAM CHAIRMAN PRIOR TO THE CONCLUSION OF THE MEETING.

ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION

Despite the increasing acceptance of horizontal wells as Solid-liquid multiphase flows encompass many
a potentially productive means of recovering oil and gas different areas of science and engioeering, ranging from
from underground reservoirs, the hydrodynamics of flow transport of colloids in raio water, sediment transport io
inside a horizontal well remains incompletely understood - river streams, waste Ir3DSport io sewers, bed fluidization,
especially for multiphase flow. Sand production into a flotation to slurry pipelioe transportation, drill cuttings
horizontal well presents a formidable problem as the sand removal and transport of fracture proppaots etc. As
deposits at the bOllom of the 11Orizontal well. and thus more horizonlal wells are drilled to recover oil and gas
reduces the effective size of the flow conduit. This study from oil reservoirs, problems associated with sand
focuses on the flow of oil and sand in a horizontal welL production into, and their transport ioside these
horizonlal wells become more promioent - particularly
The model developed in this study treats the flow of oil and for wells drilled in unconsolidated or fractured
sand as that of a monodisperse. dilute suspension. The fluid formations. Deposition of sand and fioes ioside these
phase (oil) is assumed to be incompressible and Newtonian. horizonlal wells could have adverse impact on their
The particulate phase, composed of spherical sand particles, productivity, even negating much of the advantages of
is assumed to behave as a continuum. The diffuSive horizonlal drilling. Few studies investigating the
movement of the particulate phase is controlled by gravity hydrodynamic transport of sand and fines in horizonlal
force. The model allows for the determination of the axial wells are available in current petroleum literature. This
velocity of the fluid phase and particulate phase. and the paper attempts to identify parameters governing the flow
particulate phase density distribution at different positions of oil and sand inside a horizonlal well, including
along the horizontal well length. conditions promoting sand deposition. as well as the rate
of sediment buildup at different positions along the
Examination of the dimensionless groups allows for an
horizontal well length.
analysis of the dominant parameters controlling the
transport ofsand in a horizontal well, including condition(s) Hydrodynamic Fundamentals
promoting sedimentation. V,e rate of sediment bed buildup
is correlated with fluid phase flow and interaction between From a hydrodynamic viewpoint, the most important
and fundamental aspects of solid-liquid multiphase flow
the fluid phase and the particulate phase.
are interphase interaction (i.e. interaction between the
fluid phase and the particulate phase) and intraphase
interaction (i.e. interaction among solid particles making
up the particulate phase)~ Interphase interaction
between the fluid phase and the particulate phase is F = F"(911/2a'p p )/[I+(Pr /2p p )] (2)
mcmifested mainly in the drag force exerted on the where
particles by the fluid stream and the transfer of
momentum from one phase 10 another. 500 [I] reported F" = (Cd /24)[2aprl v - v pl/ll] (3)
equations formulated by Newton and Stokes to
determine the magnitude of the drag force exerted by accounts for any deviation from Stokes' law, and is
the fluid phase on a solid sphere at different fluid flow calculated using the diameter of the solid sphere and the
regimes~ Newton' s equation accounts mainly for the velocity difference. The drag coefficient, Cd, accounts
inertia effect of the fluid phase (turbulent flow), whereas for the effects of turbulence and spheres in a cloud of
Stokes' law is applicable when the viscous effects particles~
predominate over inertia effects (laminar flow)~ Intraphase interaction between solid particles is
Substituting lhese two drag forces into standard drag characterized mainly by the frequency of particle-
coefficient definition resulls in a Cd (drag coefficient) particle collision~ This is defined as the root-mean-
value of 0.44 for Newton's turbulent flow regime; and square velocity of the particles divided by the mean free
for Stokes ' laminar flow Cd = 24/(Re), with the path between collisions. For a suspension with volume
Reynolds Number being defined in terms of the diameter fraction of the particulate phase less than 8%. the effect
of lhe spherical particle. 500 [I] also presented a log- of particle-particle interactions is negligible due to the
log plot correlating the drag coefficient of a sphere with fael that the mean free path between particle-particle
a wide range of sphere Reynolds Numbers. collision is much larger than the interaction length
Meyer [2J developed a generalized drag coefficient between a particle and the surrounding fluid phase.[l)
correlalion applicable for all flow regimes for 000-
Newtonian, power-law fluids. It was compared with Flow 01 Solld"L1quld Suspensions
experimental data and other empirical correlalions La
predict the drag coefficient and terminal sellling Van Deemter and Van der Laan [3] formulated
velocity for fracture proppanls of various mesh sizes. differential equations to describe the mass, momentum
This correlation filled experimental data much closer and energy balance for the flow of a homogeneously
than 5 tokes' law which was found to underestimate the dispersed solid-liquid suspension~ The derivation. which
drag coefFicient and overestimate the terminal settling was based on integral volume elements containing
velocity at large Reynolds Numbers. In addition, the sufficiently numerous particles that it was valid to usc
seWing velocity was deemed to be independent of continuous variables to describe local properties of the
power-law fluid rheological properties such as the fluid system, took into account the effect due 10 differences
consistency index and fluid flow behaviour index at in velocity between the fluid and Ihe particles. The
large flow Reynolds Numbers. stress tensors appearing in the momenLum and energy
500 [I]. based on a correlation of pressure drop versus balance equations were not. however. explicilly defined.
height in a fluidized bed. presented the following Hinze [4] utilized a different approach to derive the
equation for the drag coefficient of a cloud of umform same differential equations for the momentum and
size particles mechanical energy balance. In this case, the
momentum and mechanical energy balance equations

C =200(1-£) II +~ (I)
for the continuous fluid phase were derived first. The
effects of the suspended discrete particles were treated
d £' 2aw,Pr 3£ as akin to those of external forces acting on the fluid
phase. This approach enabled an explicit definition of
This drag coefficient for a panicles cloud reverts to the the shear stress tensors appearing in both of these
coefficient for a single particle as the void fracLion, E, equations.
Thomas (5) experimentally studied the u-ansport of Iarge-
approaches 0.92 and the interstitial velocity, w"
particle suspensions in cylindrical pipes. It was
approaches the free-stream (unobstructed flow area) determined that there was a minimum fluid phase
velocily. W velocity at which a layer of stationary or sliding
The relaxation Lime constanL for momentum transfer, particles started appearing at the bottom of the pipes.
defined as the ratio of the drag force to the product of This minimum transport velocity, also called the
the panicle mass and the difference between the fluid deposition velocity, was directly correlated with the
velocity and the particle velocity, is used to describe volume fraction of the solids.
the linear momentum transfer between the fluid phase Wasp. Kenny and Gandhi [6] presented several
and the particulate phase due to the drag force~ In the empirical correlations, commonly used in the design of
flow of a dilute suspension. 500 [7-8] defined the pipelines to transport heterogeneous slurries, for
relaxation lime constant for the momentum transfer minimum deposition velociLy as funcLions of particle
between the fluid phase and the particulate phase as size, particle sizes distribution and solid volume
follows. concentration.
500 f71 examined the fullv deveIooed flow of dilute

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