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TECHNOLOGY

EQUATIONS
PART B: Reverse Circulation
In many drilling and well workover situations, operations may necessitate af(tD)
circulation down the annulus and back up the tubing or drillstring. Therefore, dbh = }} (C-3)
analytical solutions for the reverse circulation case are desirable. 1 + f(tD)b
These are easily obtained by reversing the fluid flow on the differential el-
ement, using the forward circulation procedure as a guideline. Noting that Using Equations C-1a and C-1b provides:
the flow direction is reversed, an energy balance yields:
a = 2d1 (C-4)
qt (z + dz) – qt(z) = –qat (B-1) and
qa(z) – qa (z + dz) = qat –qF (B-2)

1 2
d1
Again, using Equations A-3a through A-4, Equations B-1 and B-2 may be ln } – 1
rewritten as: (d4
b = —————— (C-5)
ˆ ln4
ˆ ˆ dTt
Ta = Tt – B } (B-3)
dz and using the BHT in the expression of d.
ˆ Equation 14 defines the explicit solution for the outlet return mud line tem-
dTa ˆ ˆ ˆ A
A } = (Te – Ta) – (Ta – Tt) } (B-4) perature as follows:
dz B
ˆ 1 + rf(tD)
Combining Equations B-3, A-5, and B-4 to eliminate Ta, we obtain dout = 1 – }} (C-6)
1 + f(tD)p
ˆ ˆ
dTt2 dTt ˆ
AB } + B } – Tt + gGz = 0 (B-5) Again, by using Equations C-1a and C-1b we get
dz2 dz
r = 1 – 2d1 (C-7)
Note the similarity of Equation B-5 and Equation A-9. This linear second
and
order differential equation is solved in a straight forward manner. The
ˆ ˆ

1 2
boundary conditions are as follows; at the wellhead (z = 0), Ta = Ti, and at 5 – 8d1
ˆ } –1
ln
the bottom hole (z = D), dTt  dz. The general solution is given by:
1 – d4
ˆ p = ————————– (C-8)
Tt (z,t) = he–l1z + je–l2z + gGz – BgG + Ts (B-6) ln4
ˆ
Ta (z,t) = (1 + l1B) he–l1z + (1 + l2B) je–l2z + gGz + Ts (B-7)
and using the mud outlet temperature in the expression of d.
Where
PART D – DIMENSIONLESS TIME FUNCTION, f(tD)
(Ts – Ti) l2e–l2D + gG (1 + l2B) Assuming that there is radial heat transfer in the formation surrounding the
h = }}}}} (B-8) borehole, the heat conduction from the well bore/casing to the surrounding
l1 (1 + l2B) e–l1D – l2 (1 + l1B) e–l2D formation is given by:15

(Ts – Ti) l1e–l1D + gG (1 + l1B) 2pke


j = }}}}} (B-9) dQ = } (Te – Twb)dz (D-1)
l1 (1 + l2B) e–l1D – l2 (1 + l1B) e–l2D f(tD)

and (1 and (2 are given by Equations A-12 and A-13. Where f(tD) is a dimensionless time function, depending on the formation-
borehole heat transfer boundary conditions. Thus, the function f(tD) de-
PART C – MODEL CONSTANTS scribes how the transient heat flow from the formation to the well bore
The constants in the explicit solutions derived in this work are summarized changes with time.
here. To determine sufficiently accurate values of the dimensionless time func-
To be valid for short time frames, the model had to be fitted to low values tion, a rigorous treatment of the transient heat flow from the formation to the
of f(tD). Using the Hasan and Kabir model,8 8 hr of circulation yields f(tD) < well bore is required.
1.1. Therefore, it was necessary to produce a good agreement for f(tD) with Though many different models exist which can be used to estimate f(tD),10
15-17
values close to 1. there is still room for improvement. In these field applications, the au-
However, in order for the explicit solution to be valid beyond the drilling thors have used the Hasan and Kabir model,8 which assumes a constant
phase of the well, where at times the well is circulated for weeks or months, heat flux and cylindrical source at the wellbore/formation interface:
f(tD) values of three to four for f(tD) were required.
Therefore, the explicit solution is fitted to the implicit solution for both short f(tD) = (1.1281 Ïw
tD) 3 (1 – 0.3 Ïw
tD) if 10–10 # tD # 1.5 (D-2a)
and long time frames.

1 2
0.6
dexplicit = dimplicit f(tD) = 1 (C-1a) f(tD) = (0.4063 + 0.5ln tD) 3 1 + } if tD . 1.5 (D-2b)
dimplicit = dexplicit f(tD) = 4 (C-1b) tD

As all the explicit solutions contain two constants to be determined, there Where the dimensionless time, tD, is given by:
are now two equations with two unknowns. In the following expressions the
following notation is used: aht
tD = } 3 3,600 (D-3)
dj = dimplicit f(tD) = j (C-2) rw2

Note that these solutions are valid for both the forward and the reverse cir- (3,600 is to make the units consistent), The thermal diffusivity is given by:
culation case. Just remember to use the respective temperature expres-
sions. ke
The explicit solution for the BHT case is given by Equation 13 as follows: ah = } (D-4)
pe ce

80 Oil & Gas Journal • Sept. 14, 1998