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An effective casing weight that exceeds the friction forces is required to run a casing string. Well planning and casing selection require estimation of the resisting loads. In wellbores with high curvature (dogleg severity) or inclination, friction forces can be quite large and cause problems when running casing. Friction forces can cause compressive stresses in the casing that produce plastic deformation and localized buckling of the casing string. Determination of the acceptable hole curvature for a given casing size is proposed as a method to determine loads for well planning. The proposed method has two specific applications: (1) determination of the wellbore curvature that permits setting of the casing with the available slackoff force and (2) determination of the required slackoff force to overcome the friction force generated by the hole curvature.

Because the friction force is proportional to lateral-load magnitude, a relatively small slackoff force is needed to produce casing motion. As the casing passes through the curved section, the friction force increases as the lateral load increases because of casing weight and stiffness. The casing stops moving when the sum of the friction force and bottomhole force is equal to the axial compressive force. When this occurs, additional slackoff force is required to move the casing. If the hole curvature or hole-inclination angle is high, the additional slackoff force may not be adequate to move the casing and other measures may be necessary.

This article is a synopsis of paper SPE 38614, Modeling of Acceptable Hole Curvature for Running Casing Strings: Preliminary Study, by A.J. Lagreca, SPE, S.Z. Miska, SPE, and J.R. Sorem Jr., U. of Tulsa, originally presented at the 1997 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas, 58 October.

Bottomhole Force, lbs

As it is run, the casing interacts with the hole as it slides along the wellbore trajectory. Hole curvature and deviation, as well as hole irregularities and such obstacles as cuttings cause force interactions between the casing and wellbore. Casing is in tension above and is compressed below the neutral point. The force required to overcome the effect of casing/hole contact is the axial compressive force ( slackoff force) acting on the casing section that is below the neutral point. Tension is measured at the surface as a hook load and is the total casing weight in fluid minus the axial compressive force. Before reaching setting depth, the casing is in a vertical or slightly deviated section with little contact between the hole and casing, resulting in a small lateral load on the casing.

The full-length paper presents equations and their solutions for force on the casing shoe for short- and long-dogleg models and for the case where the casing is in continuous contact with the wellbore. Both shortand long-dogleg models comprise two hole sections: a straight section and a curved section. In the short-dogleg model, the casing string is in contact with the low side of the hole from the neutral point to the point of tangency located in the inclined section. In the long-dogleg model, the point of tan-

gency is located in the curved section. The casing assumes an unknown shape between the casing shoe and the point of tangency without contacting the hole. Modification of existing differential equations produced the equations used to predict acceptable hole curvature. These equations are solved by use of approximating functions that satisfy their geometric boundary conditions and represent the casing elastic line between the casing shoe and point of tangency. They provide a method to predict forces acting below the neutral point. These models use the following assumptions. Slender-elastic-beam theory applies. Two-dimensional analysis is adequate. Casing deformation does not exceed the elastic limit. Buoyancy is the only fluid effect. Critical buckling force is not exceeded. The casing has no connections and is a continuous pipe. There is no bending moment at the casing shoe.

Mechanical integrity of the casing was evaluated by calculating the stresses for the casing section described by the approximating func-

Dogleg Severity, /100 ft

Fig. 1Effect of hole curvature on bottomhole force.

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Bottomhole Force, lbf

Hole-Inclination Angle, degrees

Fig. 2Effect of hole angle on bottomhole force.

tions. Axial, bending, radial, and hoop stresses are calculated in the full-length paper. Contact occurs when the casing touches the upper side of the wellbore. Because most of the casing is lying in the lower part of the hole, the only section that can contact the upper part is the section between the casing shoe and point of tangency. Therefore, for a specific loading condition and radius of curvature, if the casing touched the upper part of the wellbore, the solution was disregarded and only those solutions where no contact occurs were used.

Effect of Hole Angle. Fig. 2 compares the long-dogleg model (Model II) and the continuous-contact model (Model III). Slackoff forces from 10,000 to 70,000 lbf are applied. Hole conditions are the same as in Fig. 1, and the radius of curvature is 400 ft. Both models predict a decrease in bottomhole force as the hole angle increases except for the case of 10,000 lbf slackoff force. The rate of decrease is different for each model, and their difference increases with increasing inclination angle.

Effect of Hole Curvature. Fig. 1 shows the bottomhole force as a function of dogleg severity for various hole-inclination angles measured at the casing shoe. The 95/8-in., 53.5-lbm/ft P-110 casing is constrained by a 121/4-in. hole filled with 10-lbm/gal mud. The load applied at the top of the curved section is 30,000 lbf, and the coefficient of friction is 0.3. With a dogleg severity as great as approximately 16.5/ 100 ft, the casing will not exceed elastic deformation or contact the hole for holeinclination angles from 40 to 80. For a 90 inclination, the corresponding dogleg severity is approximately 14.5/100ft. For hole-inclination angles from 40 to 60, an increase in dogleg severity causes the bottomhole force to decrease. At 70 inclination angle, the bottomhole force is almost constant. For 80 and 90 inclination angles, an increase in dogleg severity causes the bottomhole force to increase. For example, if the casing has to be set at a final angle of 90, the bottomhole force is zero for a dogleg severity of 4/100 ft. This indicates that the casing is stuck because the friction forces are equal to the slackoff force.
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1. The maximum hole curvature in which casing can be run depends on the force applied at the top of the curved section, hole-inclination angle, and the coefficient of friction. 2. A large radius of curvature induces larger lateral loads than a small radius of curvature at hole angles greater than 70. 3. Friction forces are greater for larger radius of curvature because the length of casing/hole contact is greater at high holeinclination angles. 4. The magnitude of lateral forces at the casing shoe and of total friction force depends on hole size, radial clearance, radius of curvature, and hole-inclination angle. 5. The models presented in this paper simulate the influence of the hole curvature and inclination angle on the external forces acting on the casing during running operations.

Please read the full-length paper for additional detail, illustrations, and references. The paper from which the synopsis has been taken has not been peer reviewed.




Most failures of drillpipe, measurementwhile-drilling equipment, and bits are caused by whirling. To prevent drillstring failure, it is of prime importance to the drilling industry to detect this phenomenon when it starts. Whirling is described as an abnormal rotation of either the bit or drillstring. It is a complex movement that generates lateral displacements, shocks, and friction against the borehole wall. Drillstring whirling occurs mainly in the bottomhole assembly (BHA) but can occur in the drillstring. The BHA is under compressive loading during drilling and is susceptible to buckling and whirling. The drillstring is in tension and has less tendency to whirl. Drillstring whirling causes lateral movements of the traveling block called whipping. While whipping is easy to detect, it provides no quantitative measure of whirling severity. When BHA whirling begins, components of the BHA are subjected to lateral displacements that generate bending stresses. When these displacements become large, parts of the BHA contact the borehole wall, generating lateral shocks. Occasionally, there is continuous contact with the borehole wall that results in pipe wear. These phenomena increase fatigue of the BHA elements and their connections. Because whirling is difficult to detect, fatigue accumulates, resulting in failure of BHA components that requires a costly fishing job. Before logging-while-drilling (LWD) systems were developed, the driller had no way to detect whirling. A shock counter that counts lateral shocks greater than a minimum value over a period of time can be installed in an LWD system. This count is transmitted to the surface through the stanThis article is a synopsis of paper SPE 38587, Detecting Whirling Behavior of the Drillstring From Surface Measurements, by I. Rey-Fabret, SPE, M.C. Mabile, SPE, and N. Oudin, Inst. Franais du Ptrole, originally presented at the 1997 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Texas, 58 October.

dard mud-pulse telemetry system and indicates the severity of whirling. This system is available only during LWD. This paper describes a method to detect whirling by use of the surface measurements available on most rigs: weight on the hook (WOH), rotary torque, and drillstring rotational speed.

Because BHA components do not rotate around the center of the well, they come into contact with the borehole wall, generating lateral shocks. Position of the drillstring centerline plotted vs. time has a complex shape. During whirling, the BHA is buckled and has an S-like shape. The drillstring rotates at one speed, v, but the centerline of the drillstring rotates at a different speed, vc (Fig. 1). The direction of vc can be the same as (forward whirling) or opposite (backward whirling) to that of v. Analysis From Downhole Measurements. A real-time data-acquisition system was used to measure downhole stresses associated with whirling. The downhole sub measures the bending stresses along two axes of the BHA, weight on bit, and torque on bit. When WOH and rotary torque are plotted, bending-stress amplitude changes significantly when whirling begins. Analysis From Surface Measurements. Bending vibrations usually are not transmitted to the surface by the drillstring but can be

detected in the WOH measurement. A comparison of standard surface measurements and high-quality sensor measurements made at the top of the drillstring shows that in the 0- to 5-Hz range, standard sensors found on any rig have the same frequency behavior as high-quality sensors. Therefore, WOH measured at the cable dead end can be used to detect whirling. Rotary torque changes drastically when whirling begins. These changes in surface measurements can be used to detect the beginning of BHA whirling.

BHA-whirl detection by use of only surface measurement is based on correlated phenomena that appear simultaneously downhole and at the surface. This was verified by numerous downhole and surface data supplied by a real-time data-acquisition system. Surface torque and WOH are considered random variables in the analysis presented in the full-length paper. The analysis continuously compares their probabilitydensity functions over short- and long-time periods. Analysis of the WOH spectrum provides an estimate of whirling severity but cannot distinguish between backward and forward whirling. Software was designed to recognize a change in mean value of rotary torque and a specific frequency in the WOH measurement by use of advanced signal-processing methods.

1. Advanced signal-processing methods described in this paper allow BHA whirl to be detected from surface measurements. 2. Whirling is indicated by an increase in the mean value of torque and a change in the WOH spectrum. 3. A method was developed to compute a whirling-severity factor that gives the driller an indication of the whirling severity. Please read the full-length paper for additional detail, illustrations, and references. The paper from which the synopsis has been taken has not been peer reviewed.
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Fig. 1Drillstring shape during whirling.




As the number of lateral/multilateral wells increases, there is an increasing need to understand buckling behavior of drillpipe, especially coiled tubing (CT), in a hole of constant curvature. Lateral-/multilateraldrilling techniques have significant potential to reduce well costs and to increase hydrocarbon production. CT drilling plays a substantial role in lateral/multilateral drilling. Well-cost reduction in CT drilling can be achieved by transmitting weight to the bit effectively and preventing CT fatigue/failure and lockup. To achieve this, an accurate buckling model is essential. The buckling behavior of drillpipe in deviated wells has been investigated for many years. Dawson and Paslay1 presented an equation to predict the axial compressive load necessary to initiate drillpipe buckling. Miska and Cunha2 derived new equations for prediction of the axial compressive load required to produce a helical configuration (including rotary torque). Mitchell3 obtained similar results by use of a finite-element method. Recently, Miska et al.4 derived equations to predict the axial compressive load required to maintain a stable sinusoidal configuration. This paper presents a new three-dimensional (3D) mathematical buckling model to analyze buckling behavior of drillpipe in a hole of constant curvature (such as the build section of a horizontal well). Equations are derived to predict the axial compressive force necessary to maintain a stable sinusoidal configuration and the axial compressive force required to produce a helical configuration. These equations This article is a synopsis of paper SPE 39795, Drillpipe-/Coiled-TubingBuckling Analysis in a Hole of Constant Curvature, by Weiyong Qui, SPE, Baker Oil Tools; Stefan Miska, SPE, U. of Tulsa; and Leonard Volk, SPE, BDM Petroleum Technologies, originally presented at the 1998 SPE Permian Basin Oil and Gas Recovery Conference, Midland, Texas, 2527 March.

reduce to equations for a deviated well as the borehole radius becomes infinite.

Major Assumptions. The following assumptions are used in performing drillpipe post-buckling analysis in a constant-curvature borehole. Drillpipe assumes either a sinusoidal or helical configuration on buckling. Drillpipe is sufficiently long so that end conditions do not affect the force/pitch relationship. Dynamic effects and friction caused by drillpipe sliding are ignored. Drillpipe is initially at the low side of the borehole. The borehole is modeled as a cylinder with rigid walls and constant cross-sectional area. Drillpipe is represented by an elastic line of constant properties. The centerline of the borehole is a plane curve. Effects of drilling-fluid flow are ignored. Curvilinear System of Coordinates. As Fig. 1 shows, the drillpipe is initially lying on the low side of the borehole. The origin of the Cartesian system of coordinates (x, y, and z) is at the center of the bottom of the borehole, with x coinciding with the opposite principal axes of the cross section, y pointing into the paper, and z coinciding

with the tangent to the bottom of the centerline. It is assumed that the x-z plane coincides initially with the plane of curvature of drillpipe, that the positive direction of x is away from the center of curvature, that z is positive in the direction corresponding to an increase in Angle , and that Arc s of the centerline is measured from the bottom of the borehole. Ordinate s is a distance measured along the centerline of the hole; u is a radial displacement (opposite to principal normal direction) of the drillpipe elastic line; and v is a displacement of the pipe elastic line opposite to the binormal direction. The transformation between the Cartesian and curvilinear (u, v, and s) systems of coordinates is given by x=(R+u)cos R, . . . . . . . . . . . .(1)

y=v, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(2) and z=(R+u)sin , . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(3) where R is the radius of the borehole centerline and is the angle given by =s/R. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(4) Total-Potential-Energy Change. The change in the total potential energy of the conservative system, Epc, comprises the change in the strain energy of bending, Ub; the potential of the axial force, a, and the potential of the radial force, r. a is equal to the negative work done by the axial force, and r is equal to the work done by the weight component in the radial direction. Ub, a, and r are derived in detail in Appendix A of the full-length paper.

Fig. 1Drillpipe in a constant-curvature borehole: (a) side view and (b) top view.

Sinusoidal Configuration. If an external force acting on the drillpipe constrained within a curved hole exceeds a certain critical value, the pipe starts to buckle and changes its configuration into a sinusoidal shape (Fig. 2). The angular displacement is given by
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Fig. 2Drillpipe in stable sinusoidal configuration: (a) side view and (b) top view.

=A sin(2s/), . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(5) where A is the amplitude of the sine curve and is the wavelength of the sinusoid. Epc of the system and the axial compressive load necessary to maintain a stable sinusoidal configuration are derived in detail in Appendix B of the full-length paper. The minimum axial compressive force needed to initiate drillpipe buckling in a constant curvature hole is .

Numerical Examples. Fig. 3 shows the effect of the borehole radius of curvature and pipe size on the maximum permissible compressive axial load to maintain a stable sinusoidal configuration in a constant-curvature borehole. As borehole radius increases, the maximum permissible load decreases. For a moderately small radius of curvature (a few hundred feet), doubling the radius of curvature reduces the compressive load by half. As would be expected, the maximum permissible axial load increases as the pipe size increases for a fixed borehole size. As the borehole size increases for a given pipe diameter, the axial load drops because of the additional room in the wellbore for the pipe to deform. Helical Configuration. Fig. 4 shows the angular displacement of drillpipe in a helical configuration. The full-length paper derives the force/pitch relationship in detail in Appendix C. The axial compressive force required to produce a helical configuration is .

. . . . . .(8)


Drillpipe constrained inside a constant-curvature borehole takes one of four configurations: straight, sinusoidal, transitional (unstable sinusoidal), or helical. Fig. 5 shows how pipe configuration changes as axial compressive load increases for different wellbore sizes. One important observation is the limited range of axial load required to pass from the sinusoidal configuration, through the transition stage, and into the helical configuration. If the pipe size is only somewhat smaller than the hole size, the pipe remains in the sinusoidal configuration through a larger range of axial loads. This is significant because lockup does not occur until after the pipe assumes a helical configuration.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(7) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .(6) As the radius of curvature of the borehole approaches infinity, Eq. 6 reduces to Dawson and Paslays1 equation. For practical applications, r/R is a very small value and Eq. 6 can be simplified. If the radius of curvature of the borehole approaches infinity, Eq. 7 reduces to Miska and Cunhas2 and Mitchells3 equation for deviated wells. For practical field applications, r/R is a very small value and Eq. 7 can be written as

1. New equations are derived that predict the maximum permissible axial compressive load for stable sinusoidal configuration and the axial compressive load necessary to produce a helical configuration in a constant curvature borehole . 2. Numerical results indicate that the radius of curvature, borehole size, and bending stiffness of drillpipe are the dominant parameters in pipe buckling in curved wells. 3. The results can be used to select appropriate drillpipe to avoid buckling during drilling and well-completion operations.

Axial Compressive Load, 104 lbf

E= Youngs modulus, m/Lt2, psi Epc= total potential energy of the conservative system, mL2/t2, lbf-ft F= axial compressive force, mL/t2, lbf I= inertial moment of drillpipe, L4, in.4 R= radius of curvature of borehole, L, ft
(To Page 77)

Radius of Curvature of a Hole, ft

Fig. 3Radius of curvature vs. maximum permissible axial compressive load.


Fig. 4Drillpipe in helical configuration: (a) sideview and (b) top view.
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Torque and drag commonly are considered to be the critical drilling issues for extended-reach drilling (ERD). Drilling loads must be sustained by the drillpipes torsional, tensile, and combined torsional/tensile capacities. Torque and drag constraints can be significant but are not the governing drillpipedesign constraints for ERD operations. Hydraulic limitations usually are more restrictive. A typical 51/2-in. drillpipe for ERD is 21.9 lbm/ft S-135 with either a standard American Petroleum Inst. (API) tool joint or a proprietary high-torque tool joint. This string can sustain 787 kips in tension and 33 to 45 ft-kips in torsion, which is adequate for a deep 121/4-in. ERD borehole. However, hydraulic-pressure losses would be excessive for the high flow rates (approximately 900 to 1,000 gal/min) required to clean high-inclination-angle, 121/4-in. holes. In addition to hydraulic and strength issues, operational efficiency is a significant factor in developing a drillpipe strategy for ERD. When Arco evaluated the feasibility of conducting ERD operations on a space-constrained rig on an offshore platform, the company found that use of 65/8-in. drillpipe created a difficult logistics problem before and after running 95/8-in. intermediate casing. This larger drillstring required more space in the derrick and increased platform loading when casing-running loads were at a maximum. The 65/8-in. drillpipe also would have to be laid down and offloaded while a string of smaller drillpipe was picked up. This process would result in significant downtime and introduce substantial risk of weatherrelated delays. Limitations of standard 51/2and 65/8-in. drillpipe and operational constraints imposed by ERD operations (particularly those that are offshore, and space or weight constrained) created a need to develop an optimized purpose-built drillpipe. This article is a synopsis of paper SPE 39319, Purpose-Built Drillpipe for Extended-Reach Drilling, by M.L. Payne, SPE, Arco E&P Technology, and E.I. Bailey, SPE, Stress Engineering Services, originally presented at the 1998 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference, Dallas, 36 March.


In many cases, drillpipe design means taking the existing string configuration and verifying that it is adequate for a proposed well. In more critical cases, it means developing a specific configuration for a drillstring on the basis of the casing/hole program, predicted well loads, and hydraulic requirements. Even this approach selects from a list of standard drillpipe. This paper approaches drillpipe design by identifying the critical performance properties for drillpipe and existing technical and manufacturing capabilities that can generate the optimal drillpipe design. High-Strength Metallurgy. Compared with conventional-grade tool joints with 120-ksi yield strength, a 165-ksi tool joint provides a 38% increase in tool joint torque and tension capacities. Because of strict metallurgical requirements and the need for careful field handling, 165-ksi drillpipe has failed and practical application of these grades has been limited. Metallurgical advances make high-strength grades more reliable, and test joints manufactured by use of these new metallurgical techniques recently have been field tested successfully. Instead of applying high-strength metallurgy to standard-sized drillpipe, custom ERD drillpipe must be considered to improve hydraulics. Because application of 165-ksi material to standard drillpipe and tool joint sizes results in higher load capacities than required and does not improve weight or hydraulic considerations, drillpipe design should be optimized with new weights and dimensions. The 165-ksi drillpipe tube should be designed to provide specific torsional and tensile strengths with a maximized inner diameter (ID) for a given outer diameter (OD). The tool joint should be optimized with a suitable material strength. For example, 150-ksi tool joints made from 150-ksi material may provide the strength necessary for a specific application while providing greater ductility and toughness than 165-ksi material. Drillpipe with 15 to 30% less weight and 10 to 25% less hydraulicpressure loss than conventional drillpipe

can be manufactured from 165-ksi material. The more efficient hydraulics impact ERD hole cleaning, while the weight savings affect torque and drag. Both significantly improve drilling efficiency. High-Torque Tool Joints. Double-shouldered and wedge-threaded tool joints are available from multiple sources. These products offer two or more torque shoulders in the same dimensional space where API tool joints provide only one torque shoulder. High-torque tool joints provide higher-strength and -dimensional efficiency and are better designs. These products represent mature technologies and should be considered standards for ERD.

Design objectives and constraints for purpose-built drillpipe must be established initially. Design parameters used for optimizing the dimensions of the pipe include the following. 1. Maximum tool joint OD is limited to 7 in. to facilitate overshot fishing inside 95/8in. casing and 81/2-in. open hole. 2. Torsional strength must match that of high-torque top-drive systems in low gear. 3. Collapse resistance must be approximately 8,000 psi to allow this shut-in pressure below the blowout preventers with 24,000 ft of pipe in tension. 4. Elevator bearing stress on the tool joint is limited to 100 ksi at 500 tons maximum load. 5. Tension capacity must allow 20,000 ft of string weight plus 400,000 lbf overpull. These five constraints cover the key aspects of the drillpipes torque and tensile capacities and handling requirements. The objective is to maximize drillpipe OD and ID to optimize the hydraulic carrying capacity of the string (i.e., provide the highest flow rates at the lowest pressure loss). Condition 4 restricts the maximum OD of the pipe to 515/16 in., meaning that 53/4-, 57/8-, and 515/16in. sizes are feasible. As the pipe OD increases (with a 7-in.-OD tool joint), the projected area resting on the elevator becomes smaller and the stress exceeds 100 ksi. Table 1 in the
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full-length paper shows the results of drillpipe design calculations for 53/4-, 57/8-, and 515/16-in.-OD pipe. Design calculations reveal that the well-control constraint (Condition 3) is more restrictive than the tension-design constraint (Condition 5) and dictates the minimum wall thickness. Because the wall thickness determines pipe weight as well as hydraulic efficiency for a certain OD, well-control scenarios should be examined. For example, if the maximum anticipated shut-in pressure is less than 5,300 psi, 53/4- x 0.324-in.-wall drillpipe would be adequate. This pipe provides a 14% increase in flow area relative to standard 51/2-in. drillpipe and would provide a substantial improvement in flow rates for deep ERD hole sections while reducing pipe weight by 5%. This can be achieved by use of 140-ksi metallurgy. Use of higher metallurgical-strength materials would increase these percentages. Additional Equipment. Pipe manufacturers have agreed that production and application of 150-ksi-grade tubes does not present any problems for 53/4-, 57/8-, and 515/16-in.-OD pipe. Tool joints will be slightly longer than standard and have a makeup torque of approximately 45 to 52

ft-kip. Handling equipment will have crossover subs to fit proprietary connections on the drillpipe. Much of the equipment on the drilling rig would not require any modifications.


Detailed drillpipe specifications were sent to a number of manufacturers to verify manufacturing viability and commercial feasibility for purpose-built drillpipe. Yield strength and detailed design of the tool joint were left to the discretion of the manufacturer provided that functional and dimensional specifications were met. On the basis of their responses, the cost for these purpose-built drillpipe products is competitive with that for standard drillpipe. Drillpipe lead times are currently approximately 12 months, including break-in, assembly, hardfacing, and coating. Timing should be considered in long-range planning for major ERD projects. Informal discussions were held with rentaltool companies concerning the purchase of purpose-built ERD drillpipe. Purchase of this equipment is viewed more favorably when a number of operators and drilling contractors express an interest in its rental.

For conventional 20x133/8x95/8-in. ERD well programs, currently available standard-size drillpipe is not optimal. Standard 5-in. drillpipe is inadequate for ERD because of hydraulic and torsional limitations. Standard 51/2-in. drillpipe is marginally adequate for some ERD but has hydraulic-pressure loss limitations in long, high-inclination-angle 121/4-in. sections. Standard 65/8-in. drillpipe is overdesigned structurally, dimensionally inefficient, and cannot be used after 95/8-in. casing is set. Study of important design parameters identified purpose-built 53/4- or 57/8-in. drillpipe as optimal drillstrings for ERD. Its design is optimized by use of high-strength metallurgy and specific design criteria for handling, hydraulics, tension, torque, and collapse. Use of existing 7x4-in. hightorque tool joints for 51/2-in. drillpipe permits the new ERD drillpipe to be manufac-

Please read the full-length paper for additional detail, illustrations, and references. The paper from which the synopsis has been taken has not been peer reviewed.

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Drillpipe tool joints have been in use for many years, but their pressure capacity has not been a major concern until recently. As hydraulic horsepower increases, higher drilling pressures are experienced. This paper presents a theoretical approach to this problem and verification of test results obtained in a laboratory. It is now possible to predict pressure capacity of tool joints when selecting a drillstring for a well.

effect on sealing capacity; therefore, they were not evaluated. Internal-Pressure Effects. The full-length paper presents equations for the tensile force in the pin connection and the compressive force acting between the box and pin sealing shoulders. The authors then incorporate a force caused by internal pressure and present equations for the pressure required to initiate yielding of the pin connection, the pressure equal to the face stress in the box, and the pressure that will cause the box to fail as a result of hoop stress. External forces simulating the hook load are introduced into the equations for pressure required to initiate yielding of the pin connection and pressure equal to face stress in the box. Failure Modes. There appear to be three ways that internal pressure causes the connection to fail, resulting in leakage. The first is when longitudinal force causes the pin to yield. This occurs under high makeup torque. The second is when makeup torque is low, causing the box to leak when the internal pressure becomes equal to the face stress in the box. The third occurs when hoop stress causes the box to fail.

Historically, wells have been drilled with moderate-pressure hydraulics. Connection leakage at these pressures usually was attributed to face damage. When this occurred, the operator tripped out of the hole, laid down the joint, and continued drilling. As wells become deeper and hydraulic horsepower increases, the old methods cannot be relied on for well planning. Not only is cost an issue, but safety becomes a critical factor at high pressures.

Formulas used to calculate tensile and torsional strengths are well documented in American Petroleum Inst. (API) publications. One recent addition specifies methods for calculating the combined tensile and torsional capacity for shouldered rotary connections but does not include the effects of internal pressure. Besides connection geometry and material properties, influential variables include thread lubricant, fluid type, and sealing-face condition of the connection. Lubricants currently available range from the recommended petroleum base with zinc solids to newer, environmentally safe compounds. Thread compounds are thought to have a minimal This article is a synopsis of paper SPE 39324, An Investigation of Pressure Capacity of Rotary Shouldered Connections, by T.E. Winship, SPE, Grant Prideco, and B. Vinson, SPE, Sub-Surface Tools Inc., originally presented at the 1998 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference, Dallas, 36 March.

A computer program was written that simultaneously solves the pressure equations for varying hook loads. The program iterates on hook load with the tensile capacity of the pipe as its upper limit. For a constant hook load, pressure is incremented until one of the failure modes is reached. Failure pressures were calculated for a NC38 tool joint with 211/16-in.-innerdiameter (ID) drillpipe and 60,000-psi makeup stress. Verification of Results. Mathematical results were verified by use of a new joint of 31/2-in., 13.3-lbm/ft S-135 drillpipe and an NC38 tool joint with a 43/4-in. outer diameter (OD) and 211/16-in. ID. A 60,000-psi makeup stress was applied.

End caps with 9-in. Acme-type threads were welded to the end of the pipe. The threads were necessary for application of a tensile load in the 500-ton load frame. The pipe was placed in the load frame, and water lines were connected to apply pressure to the inside of the pipe. A rubber boot was glued around the junction between the box and pin to collect any leakage and convey it to a collection bottle. Applied pressure was limited to 20,000 psi so that drillpipe burst pressure would not be exceeded. The test sequence comprised the following. 1. Apply loads from 0 to 400,000 lbf in 100,000-lbf increments. 2. Apply pressure. 3. Hold pressure for 5 minutes, then bleed off pressure. 4. Increase load and repeat Steps 2 and 3. Test results were as expected until a tensile load of 200,000 lbf was applied. When the pressure reached approximately 18,500 psi, the digitized display indicated that something was happening to the test pipe. Initially, it was thought that the connection had failed, but there was no fluid to indicate leakage. Examination revealed that longitudinal force had caused the pipe to yield. Yielding occurred in the weld area on each end of the drillpipe where the tube end caps were attached. The weld had probably tempered the pipe locally, lowering its yield strength.

1. The derived equations appear to offer a conservative approach to the prediction of pressure capacity of shouldered rotary connections. 2. The effects of shoulder condition and lubricants should be investigated. 3. Pipe-burst pressures at high tensile loads should be studied. Please read the full-length paper for additional detail, illustrations, and references. The paper from which the synopsis has been taken has not been peer reviewed.
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The objective of drillstring management is to reduce drilling-project costs by reducing the probability of downhole drilling-tool failure. Drillstrings are not part of an operators core business as they are for drilling contractors, rental companies, inspection companies, and repair facilities. However, in the absence of a shared-risk or turnkey contract, the risk of a drillstring failure is borne by the operator. While even the most inexpensive failure results in lost rig time, more severe failures can junk the well. There is considerable incentive for operators to manage their use of drillstrings by working productively through tool and service providers whose core business is drillstrings. Management of drillstrings includes the following. 1. Understanding business drivers of the various suppliers to establish win-win working agreements. 2. Assessing the technical requirements and drilling risks of the drillstring application. 3. Assigning responsibility and accountability for drillstring components to qualified suppliers.

package or as a stand-alone item. Because they were rented equipment, drillstrings traditionally have been the contractors responsibility. Drilling contractors and rental companies have maintained servicable drillstrings to stay in business. An average drilling rig has approximately U.S. $1 million in drillstring inventory. Typical day-rate contracts require the operator to pay any costs resulting from drillstring failures and associated losses. The drilling contractor is usually responsible for most downhole wear and any handling damage. The true costs incurred for drillstring usage are often hidden within other costs.

infrastructure, difficult logistics, and insufficient planning time. As exploration operations continue to move into frontier regions, lost time on an average development well can be expected to double or triple because of drillstring failures. Approximately 70% of drillstring failures in exploratory wells and 88% in development wells involve 30 hours or less of lost rig time. This time is usually spent on recovery activities ranging from a simple round trip for a washout to a fishing job where the fish is recovered on the first attempt. A small percentage of drillstring failures (approximately 4% for development wells and 8% for exploratory wells) resulted in more than 300 hours of lost rig time. Technical Challenges. Many drilling operations use conventional API drillstrings in applications on the frontiers of technology. These applications include very-high-curvature wells where the drillstring experiences large torque-and-drag forces. The drillstring is an integral part of the circulation, rate-of-penetration, and well-control drilling subsystems. In todays drilling-team environments, however, specification of drillstring components often extends no further than stabilizer placement or bent-housing setting on the motor. Detailed string requirements are specified from the top drive to the bit in only the rarest of applications. Without these requirements for comparison, whether the string supplied by a prospective drilling contractor or rental company has adequate capacity for the anticipated loads in the well cannot be determined. The majority of drilling tools placed in drillstrings are used, meaning that the tool probably has less capacity to handle loads than when it was new. The string should be demonstrably adequate for the project. Too often, drillstrings are acquired as a part of the rig equipment and are not designed to meet the demands of the well. All drillstring components should be specified, inspected, and selected on the basis of the performance properties required by the well.

The assumption is made that, while operators want to mitigate the risk of drillstring failure, they do not want to be in the drillstring business. Therefore, the success of the drillstring-management effort depends on business relationships that provide correct incentives to all participants and the sharing of various technical responsibilities. Business Challenges. Imbalances in supply and demand for drilling rigs are driving up day rates for all types of rigs, increasing well costs. Higher well costs increase risk to the operator, who therefore uses newer drillstrings to reduce risk. As with many drilling tools, demand for drillstrings increases as drilling activity intensifies. Inadequate production capacity in the suppy chain causes much longer lead times and higher costs for replacement strings. The current inventory of drillstrings is the result of a peak of drillpipe production in the early 1980s followed by a dramatic slowing of purchases in the early 1990s. The age of some of the most popular 5-in. drillpipe is more than 9 years. It is clear that drillstring-inventory replacement will be a major priority for the next few years as this pipe continues to age. The shortage of experienced drilling personnel and increased activity in remote and logistically critical areas of the world presents a second series of business challenges. Exploratory wells consistently have more lost time than development wells. This is probably caused by less familiarity with exploratory drilling conditions, poor local

During the 1970s and 1980s, operators spent significant engineering time optimizing casing- and tubing-string designs, including metallurgy, heat treatment, and connection styles. This was well-spent time because these tubular goods represent a large portion of the expenditures on a well. However, drillstrings have not received similar attention from operators since the development of the current American Petroleum Inst. (API) specifications and recommended-practice documents. A reason for this may be that operators historically have not been the owners of drillstrings, as is the case with most casing and tubing. Operators rented drillstrings for use when needed either as part of a contract-drilling This article is a synopsis of paper SPE 39325, Drillstring Management To Reduce Drilling Risks, by M.A. Summers, SPE, PetrEX Intl. Inc., and S.R. Crabtree, Technical and Quality Solutions Inc., originally presented at the 1998 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference, Dallas, 36 March.

Current Inventory. The first step to protect the current drillstring inventory is to design a drillstring on the basis of the well requireMAY 1998



ments. Sound design requires the consideration of several drilling subsystems to find an optimum configuration. This may include modeling of torque and drag, casing wear, hydraulics, and hole-cleaning performance. The result of the drillstring-design process is a set of required string-component specifications, both mechanical and dimensional. An inspection program must be in place to verify that these specifications are met. Recent joint-industry efforts have produced a drillstring design and inspection guideline that allows design questions to be addressed efficiently and appropriate inspection programs established quickly. A group of qualified vendors is required to support the inspection and verification program. An auditing process is recommended for all vendors supplying equipment or machining services. Inventory Acquisition. Several mechanical, metallurgical, and dimensional attributes must be specified when acquiring new API drillstring components for future operations. Several components, such as heavyweight drillpipe and stabilizers, have no governing

API specification. Manufacturing design assumptions of these components may need to be reviewed. API specifications adequately address several of the most important mechanical and dimensional properties for normal drillpipe. However, certain properties for some grades might benefit from more detailed specification by the purchaser. Material toughness is the mechanical property that slows growth of fatigue cracks and allows the material to sustain a larger crack before it fails. Higher toughness values in both drillpipe tube and bottomholeassembly (BHA) component material can be a very cost-effective investment in extending fatigue life of these tools. API specifications do not address alignment of the BHA bore except through verification of the bore with a drift mandrel. The purchaser should verify the amount of variation allowed by the manufacturers specification for centralization of the bore and body-wall thickness. This provides a more balanced BHA and reduces drilling vibrations. Although stress-relief features are optional, they are recommended to reduce fatigue stresses in BHA connections.


1. Maintaining low drillstring-failure risk can prove difficult because the controlling functions are performed by several different disciplines working for different companies over a long time frame. 2. Win-win relationships are indispensable in successful drillstring management. 3. Average cost of drillstring failure is greater in exploratory drilling than in development-drilling projects. 4. Improving drillstring-inspection practices and handling during rig operation can help protect the drillstring components currently in inventory. 5. Several cost-effective enhancements can be made to drillstring-purchase specifications to improve the performance of the tools.

Please read the full-length paper for additional detail, illustrations, and references. The paper from which the synopsis has been taken has not been peer reviewed.

(From Page 68)



= angular displacement of drillpipe, radians = defined by Eq. 4

Axial Compressive Load, 104 lbf

Subscripts b= bending h= helical s= sinusoidal

1. Dawson, R. and Paslay, P .R.: Drillpipe Buckling in Inclined Holes, JPT (October 1984) 1734. 2. Miska, S. and Cunha, J.C.: An Analysis of Helical Buckling of Tubulars Subjected to Axial and Torsional Loading in Inclined Wellbore, paper SPE 29460 presented at the 1995 SPE Production Operations Symposium, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 24 April. 3. Mitchell, R. F .: Effects of Well Deviation on Helical Buckling, paper SPE 29462 presented at the 1995 SPE Production Operations Symposium, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, 24 April. 4. Miska, S. et al.: An Improved Analysis of Axial Force Along Coiled Tubing in Inclined/

Hole Size, in.

Fig. 5CT-buckling patterns.

r= radial clearance between borehole and drillpipe, L, in. Ub= total potential energy of bending, mL2/t2, lbf-ft u,v,s= curvilinear coordinates w= unit weight of drillpipe, m/L, lbm/ft
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x,y,z= Cartesian coordinates = average inclination angle of a borehole, degrees = wavelength of a sinusoidal configuration or pitch of a helix, L, ft

Please read the full-length paper for additional detail, illustrations, and references. The paper from which the synopsis has been taken has not been peer reviewed.




The McElroy field comprises two distinct rodpumping applications. In one, artificial-lift systems are operating beyond recommended design ranges, pumping at high stroke per minute settings and substantial loads. Failures caused by rod wear and corrosion are common and difficult to prevent in these high-volume, high-water-cut wells. Downtime from failures is costly because of lost production and well-servicing costs. Wells in the second category, marginal producers, are subject to rapid pumpoff, resulting in compression and wear in the lower portion of the tubing and rod strings. These wells usually are barely profitable and cannot justify the cost of a wellservicing rig or new tubing string. In both cases, failure caused by corrosion or wear has a substantial impact on operating cost. Highdensity-polyethylene (HDPE) -lined tubing was installed in several candidate wells in an effort to reduce well failure and operating costs. Although HDPE-lined tubing is used regularly to protect tubing in water-injection wells from corrosion, it has limited application in rod-pumped wells. It was thought that the liners would reduce friction between the rods and tubing to reduce wear and that the sealed system would reduce failures caused by tubing-string corrosion.

Liners tested in rod-pumped production-tubing strings are HDPE as defined by the Plastic Pipe Inst.s Spec. PE 4308 that is identical to material commonly used in polyethylene gas and water lines. The liner is extruded to an outer diameter (OD) greater than the internal diameter (ID) of the tubing to be lined. A reduction machine mechanically reduces the polyethylene tube to a smaller OD through a set of rollers and feeds the reducedOD liner into the tubing with approximately 8 in. extending beyond each end. The lined tubing is stored on a rack for a minimum of

24 hours to allow the liner to expand against the tubing wall. The ends are trimmed to a specific length, and the excess liner material is formed over the ends of the tubing pins by use of an infrared oven and hydraulic mold. In the initial field test, an HDPE insert sleeve was placed between the pins to protect the J section from corrosion. Additional field trials determined that the insert was unnecessary and it was eliminated. Corrosion inhibitor is injected to protect the bare rod strings and also protects the J section of the This article is a synopsis of paper SPE 39815, Polyethylene-Lined Tubing in Rod-Pumped Wells, by E.C. Sirgo, SPE, and E.D. Gibson, Chevron U.S.A., and W.E. Jackson, Western Falcon Enterprises, originally presented at the 1998 SPE Permian Basin Oil and Gas Recovery Conference, Midland, Texas, 2527 March.

HDPE-Lined Tubing

Bare Tubing

Fig. 1Days in operation.


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tubing. Elimination of the internal insert sleeve simplifies running the tubing string by eliminating the need for a field technician and improves well-service cycle times.

The reduction in tubing ID caused by the liner requires modifications in the design and installation of downhole artificial-lift systems. Originally, large-bore pumps were installed in the 27/8-in. tubing to produce high fluid rates. In some cases, stroke length or strokes per minute were changed to maintain production rates in the reduced tubing ID. In other cases, insert pumps were replaced with tubing pumps. In some cases, 31/2-in. lined tubing was run instead of 27/8-in. because of its availability. Rod-pump designs had to be revised because 1-in. American Petroleum Inst. (API) rods could not be used in 27/8-in. lined tubing because their 7/8-in. pins required couplings that were too large. API weight bars with a 11/2 in. diameter have a 3/4-in. pin that can have a slimhole coupling.

$1.78 to 0.79/bbl of oil. There have been several pump failures, three corrosion-caused rod failures, and one external-tubing-collar corrosion failure since the pilot project began. Because one unlined-internal-tubing anchor failed because of wear, lined-tubing anchors are now run in new installations. In many cases, improvement in well-failure rates might have been achieved by optimization of the artificial-lift system without installation of HDPE liners. However, it is doubtful that such low failure rates could have been achieved in such a short period of time without them.

HDPE-lined tubing is run in the same way as normal tubing. Thread protectors should be used to protect the ends of the tubing from damage. Excessive wall loss caused the tubing to split in two wells. Specifications called for used tubing with at least 50% of original wall thickness; but, in these two cases, tubing with less than 20% original wall thickness was not eliminated in the quality-control process. In one well, a 23/4-in. big-bore pump was installed inside 27/8-in. lined tubing to reduce strokes per minute and maintain the previous production rate. Excessive discharge pressure from the pump caused failure of a drain plug, and it was replaced with a 13/4-in.-tubing pump.

The absolute roughness and coefficient of friction of HDPE are lower than those of steel. The decline in wear-related failures in these wells may be the result of the lower coefficient of friction. In the three wells that had the same artificial-lift design before and after installation of lined tubing, dynamometer data indicated that peak polishedrod load was reduced by 2 to 9%, balanced torque and its resulting gearbox loading declined 1 to 10%, and bottom minimum stress in the rod string declined 2 to 16%. In these three wells, the unlined 23/8-in. tubing was replaced with HDPE-lined 27/8-in. tubing. This increased tubing ID may have contributed to a reduction in contact-surface area and friction. A change in fluid characteristics, specifically oil cut, could lighten the fluid load and reduce peak polished-rod load. The overall fluid load on the pump increased in one well, declined in another, and remained the same in the third.

HDPE-lined tubing has been installed in 17 wells with the worst well-failure ratios in the field. Production from these wells varied from 40 to 500 B/D. Used 27/8- and 31/2-in. J55 tubing was lined with HPDE and installed in each well. Fig. 1 compares days in operation of the artificial-lift systems before and after installation of the lined tubing. There have been no failures caused by internal wear or corrosion of the tubing or external wear on the rods. Average operation time between failures increased from 93 to 373 days. Over a 12-month period, average failure rate declined from 4.3 to .49 and operating costs were reduced from U.S.
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1. HPDE-lined tubing extended the operation time between rod- and tubing-wearrelated failure by 400%. 2. Equipment performance proved that used tubing could be run in marginal wells, offsetting the capital cost of the liner. 3. Reduction in the coefficient of friction between the rod string and the HDPE-lined tubing produced a measurable decline in polished-rod loading, balanced torque and its resulting gearbox loading, and bottom minimum rod stress; it also reduced wearrelated failures. 4. Design considerations resulting from reduced tubing ID can affect initial installation cost. Please read the full-length paper for additional detail, illustrations, and references. The paper from which the synopsis has been taken has not been peer reviewed.




Mineral growth, or scale deposition, in producing wellbores is becoming a serious problem in the oil industry with the increase in water production from depleted reservoirs. Initial scale growth changes the surface roughness of the production tubing, increasing the pressure drop caused by friction and reducing the production rate. Additional scale growth reduces the flow area and can prevent tool access into lower tubing sections.

itation form in the jet and implode on the target with considerable destructive force. At downhole conditions, formation of these cavitation bubbles is suppressed and the erosive performance of the jet is reduced. An experimental jetting facility was built to simulate jetting under downhole conditions to quantify the characteristics of water and abrasive jets and to design a jetting system. The facility is powered by a 1,000-hp cement pump and is capable of testing fullsized rock samples and scaled production tubing recovered from existing wellbores.

vol%) has a significant effect on system performance. Fig. 2 shows the results of using a sand-laden slurry on tubing from the same well as shown in Fig. 1. As before, the traverse speed was 2.4 in./min. The scale was removed from the tubing. In the middle of the test, the jet was held stationary for 3 minutes to evaluate steel damage, resulting in a 0.19-in.-deep hole (80% of the wall thickness) being drilled in the tubing. This demonstrates that the integrity of the tubing can be destroyed if a tool becomes stuck during a slurry-laden jetting operation.

Convention scale treatments depend on the type of scale present. Soluble scales like calcium carbonate (CaCO3) can be dissolved with hydrochloric acid even though this requires use of inhibitors to prevent tubing damage and careful cleanout of the well after treatment. If acid cannot be used in the well or if the scale is insoluble, a positive-displacement motor and mill, an impact hammer with a mill, or pure-liquid jetting techniques are conventional solutions for mechanical removal of scale. Motor and mill sections must be able to pass through the smallest restriction in the well and are suitable only for cleaning straight, unobstructed pipe.

A study of jetting characteristics showed considerable difference in jet-cutting performance in tests conducted at atmospheric backpressure and at downhole conditions. Jetting conditions, nozzle size, flow rate, standoff, and pressure drop were the same in both tests. In these tests, performed underwater, the groove cut by the jet at atmospheric backpressure was approximately four times deeper than the one cut at downhole pressure conditions. At atmospheric backpressure, bubbles caused by cavThis article is a synopsis of paper SPE 46026, An Abrasive Jetting ScaleRemoval System, by Ashley Johnson, SPE, Schlumberger Cambridge Research, and David Eslinger, SPE, and Henrik Larsen, SPE, Dowell, originally presented at the 1998 SPE/ICoTA Coiled Tubing Roundtable, Houston, 1516 April.

Tests on various forms of scale and on barium sulfate demonstrated that cleaning the tube with a pure-liquid jet without solvents is not effective. Fig. 1 shows tubing with CaCO3 scale that was jetted with a single water jet at a 2.4-in./min traverse rate. Some of the scale was removed, but a considerable amount remained in place. In a water-jetting system, if the jet is held stationary for a significant length of time, the jet can break behind the scale and peel large chunks of scale away from the tubing surface. Particles of this size are difficult to transport out of the well and can become trapped between the tool and the wall of the well, preventing the tool from being pulled out of the hole. Slurries. An alternative to jetting with pure liquids is the use of abrasive-laden slurries, with sand typically used in the slurry. Addition of a small concentration of sand (1

The interaction between the individual particles and the target surface was studied to select an appropriate abrasive. A particleimpact tester that can fire particles at speeds greater than 450 miles/hr and impact the target surface at angles from 30 to 90 was built to study damage mechanisms. Tests identified particle shape as a critical factor because of the difference in failure mechanisms between ductile steel and brittle scale. A sharp sand particle will erode the substrate of a ductile material by a ploughing action, while a round particle will bounce off the surface creating a crater. Scale exhibits brittle failure, where the impact of a particle initiates fractures that result in substrate failure independent of particle shape. By use of rounded rather than sharp particles, erosive performance is maintained and damage to the steel is reduced but not eliminated. An approximately 0.027-in.-diameter x-0.008-in.-deep crater was formed by

Fig. 1Scaled tubing cleaned with water jet.

Fig. 2Scaled tubing cleaned with a sand-laden abrasive jet.

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Fig. 3Scaled tubing cleaned with an abrasive jet containing glass beads.

Fig. 4Scaled tubing cleaned with an abrasive jet containing beads made from the new material.

impact of a single glass bead on a mild-steel target. Repeated impacts of this type lead to fatigue and failure of the steel surface. Fig. 3 shows the scaled tubing cleaned with a glassbead slurry under the same conditions used before. The scale is removed, but the 0.07in.-deep hole drilled by the stationary jet still represents a risk to tubing integrity. Steel Damage. Steel damage caused by glass beads is a result of the beads hardness being significantly greater than that of the steel. Reducing particle hardness will reduce steel damage. A study was performed to determine the effects on steel of beads with different hardnesses. A stuck tool was simulated by moving mild-steel targets under an abrasiveladen jet, then holding the targets stationary. For a stationary period of 100 seconds, the Abrasive A (Mohs hardness 7) jet drilled a 0.35-in.-deep hole, Abrasive B (Mohs hardness 4) drilled a 0.19-in.-deep hole, and Abrasive C (Mohs hardness 3) drilled a hole 0.07 in. deep. Physical properties of an ideal abrasive for removing scale from production tubing while minimizing damage to the steel

were determined on the basis of this theoretical and experimental study. A special abrasive material was developed to enhance wellbore-scale removal. Performance of beads made from this material has been exceptional. Abrasive slurries containing beads made from this material removed scale successfully from scaled-tubing samples (Fig. 4). When the impacting jet was held stationary for 3 minutes, only 0.004 in. of steel was removed.

Abrasives development work paralleled the development of jetting tools. A new generation of jetting tools was developed with a rotating head and speed-control system. A tool-advancing system was developed that allows weight to be set down on the bottomhole assembly and advance only when the tubing is clean, ensuring optimum system performance. In addition, a software package was developed to aid in design of a field job. On the basis of well and treatment geometry, the software will recommend tool configuration to optimize cleaning performance.

The first test of the system occurred in November 1997. The well had suffered an underground blowout, and a snubbing unit was in place on the wellhead. The objective of the job was removal of wellbore deposits to facilitate the placement and setting of a castiron bridge plug. Gauge-ring runs indicated that the drift inner diameter (ID) of the scaled tubing was 11/4 in. and that the bridge plug required an ID of 13/4 in. Mills, impact drills, and a water-jetting system failed to remove the scale. Conventional acid treatments for scale removal were not considered because of the poor condition of the tubulars. The job design was optimized by use of the newly developed software. The small ID through the scale deposits required use of a 13/16-in.-outerdiameter jetting head, which required the use of a short string of 11/4-in. high-pressure coiled tubing. Two high-pressure fluid pumps were used to achieve a satisfactory fluid flow rate and the required pressure differential across the jetting nozzles. The jetting fluid was formulated with beads from the new material in an aqueous polymer solution. The treatment cleaned the tubing at an initial penetration rate of 30 to 60 ft/hr, as predicted by the software. Following the treatment, the client was able to set a packer at the bottom of the cleaned production tubing and pulled all 1,300 ft out of the well. Fig. 5 shows a sample of the scaled tubing pulled from the well before jetting operations and after cleaning. Visual examination of the tubing joints showed that they were completely free of scale. The plastic lining that originally coated the tubing was left almost completely intact, and there was no damage to the steel.

1. A special abrasive material was developed to enhance scale removal. 2. A new jetting system capable of cleaning the toughest scale from production tubing without damage to the integrity of the wellbore or use of solvents has been developed and demonstrated. 3. Pure-liquid jetting systems are not effective on scale when solvents cannot be used. 4. Scale can be selectively eroded and tubing integrity preserved by careful evaluation of steel, scale, and abrasive-bead material properties. Please read the full-length paper for additional detail, illustrations, and references. The paper from which the synopsis has been taken has not been peer reviewed.
MAY 1998

Fig. 5Scaled tubing recovered from well before and after cleaning.




Internal corrosion of pipelines carrying lift gas for and production from gas-lifted wells is a widespread phenomenon and can be quite severe. Production of water from water-drive reservoirs combined with gas and CO2 is the major cause of corrosion. CO2 dissolved in saltwater forms an acidic brine solution that attacks steel pipes. This corrosive degradation of pipeline material may take the form of weight-loss corrosion or embrittlement. The distinguishing feature of a system attacked by CO2 is heavy localized pitting. High production rates in corrosive, high-water-cut wells accelerates corrosion attack. CO2 and water form carbonic acid, which interacts with iron to form water-soluble iron bicarbonate and waterinsoluble iron carbonate corrosion products.

velocity production with suspended solids or gas bubbles causes erosion/corrosion. High- and low-velocity areas are present in any flow system. Two-phase flow in horizontal pipe exhibits various flow patterns. Stratified flow exists at low-gas- and -liquid-flow rates, where liquid flows at the bottom of the pipe and gas flows at the top. Slug flow occurs at high-gas-flow rates, where frothy slugs of liquid move across the upper portion of the pipe with a wavy layer of liquid at the bottom of the pipe between the slugs. At higher gas-flow rates with a low liquid rate, mist or dispersed flow occurs.

the external surface was unaffected by corrosion. The internal surface of the pipe was heavily corroded. A large number of deep pits were on the internal surface of the pipe, and pipe-wall thickness was reduced. Compositional analysis of the pipe material indicated that it conformed to American Petroleum Inst. specifications. Microscopic examination revealed no significant inclusions or stringers. These studies indicated that the pipeline material conformed to accepted standards and that the cause of failure was internal corrosion that led to thinning of the pipe wall.

Corrosion attack by wet, sweet gas is influenced by the partial pressure of CO2, temperature, flowing conditions, and metallurgical and surface conditions of the metal. Partial pressure of CO2 is used as a predictor of corrosion in transmission lines. As the partial pressure of CO2 rises the rate of corrosion increases. As the fluid moves from the wellbore to the wellhead, both temperature and pressure decrease. Decreased temperature increases the solubility of CO2, and decreased pressure decreases its solubility. Once initiated, corrosion rates accelerate under flowing conditions. Presence of fine sediments in the gas stream destroys any protective film formed by the corrosion process and accelerates corrosion on metal surfaces. Lowvelocity production produces pitting. HighThis article is a synopsis of paper SPE 39536, Internal-Corrosion-Failure Model of Compressed-Natural-Gas Transmission Lines and Efficient Mitigation Program, by A.K. Saxena, V.K. Sharma, S.K. Chugh, S. Velchamy, Ramesh Kumar, Ram Prakash, B.K. Sharma, and R.S. Dinesh, Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd., originally presented at the 1998 SPE India Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibition, New Delhi, India, 79 April.
MAY 1998

A gas-sample analysis indicated that feed gas to the compression plant contains approximately 2% CO2, which is reduced to approximately 0.8% in the compressed gas. The gas is not dehydrated in the compression plant. Analysis of the water indicates that it is acidic with low hardness, salinity, and dissolved solids. Water with these properties can be very corrosive to pipelines because it does not form a protective film on the pipe wall. Microbiological examination of the water indicates that general aerobic-bacteria counts are low but that a significant population of anaerobic sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) is present. The high-gas-flow rate does not form a favorable environment for bacterial growth. However, bacteria can grow in the water layer that moves at a slower rate at the bottom of the pipeline. Water can also remain stagnated in certain areas of the pipeline because of its geometry, and scale and other deposits provide an ideal place for the SRB population to grow. Analysis of corrosion products deposited inside the pipeline confirmed the presence of iron carbonate. Sulfide deposits could not be confirmed. Because the pipeline is not pigged, collection of fresh samples of deposits for analysis was not possible.

Dehydration of the gas before compression is the best way to control corrosion in the pipeline but would require installation of expensive dehydrating columns. Use of an appropriate corrosion inhibitor can also control corrosion in the pipeline. Oil-soluble, water-dispersible amines have been found to be effective corrosion inhibitors for wet-gas corrosion. Amine inhibitors are adsorbed on anodic- and cathodic-metal surfaces by formation of metal nitrogen bonds and coulombic attraction between metal and ammonium cations. In flowing gas streams with entrained water, inhibitor films are not disrupted at mass velocities up to 30 m/s. However, high-velocity solid particles can tear away the film, as demonstrated by corrosion/erosion damage at pipe turns and elbows where solid particles impinge.

1. Injection of a film-forming amine inhibitor is an effective method of corrosion control for a compressed-gas transmission line. 2. The amine inhibitor should be sprayed into the transmission line as a fine mist in the same direction as the gas flow.

Visual inspection of a burst-pipeline sample revealed that the external coating of the pipe was damaged in many places but that

Please read the full-length paper for additional detail, illustrations, and references. The paper from which the synopsis has been taken has not been peer reviewed.