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Research Papers

A Numerical and Experimental Study of Kick Dynamics at Downhole

[+] Author and Article Information
Rakibul Islam

Centre for Risk, Integrity and
Safety Engineering (C-RISE),
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science,
Memorial University of Newfoundland,
St. John's NL A1B 3X5, Canada

Faisal Khan

Centre for Risk, Integrity and
Safety Engineering (C-RISE),
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science,
Memorial University of Newfoundland,
St. John's NL A1B 3X5, Canada
e-mail: fikhan@mun.ca

Ramchandran Venkatesan

Centre for Risk, Integrity and
Safety Engineering (C-RISE),
Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science,
Memorial University of Newfoundland,
St. John's, NL A1B 3X5, Canada

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received April 6, 2017; final manuscript received December 11, 2017; published online March 2, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Alba Sofi.

ASME J. Risk Uncertainty Part B 4(2), 021010 (Mar 02, 2018) (9 pages) Paper No: RISK-17-1054; doi: 10.1115/1.4039016 History: Received April 06, 2017; Revised December 11, 2017

The early detection of a kick and mitigation with appropriate well control actions can minimize the risk of a blowout. This paper proposes a downhole monitoring system, and presents a dynamic numerical simulation of a compressible two-phase flow to study the kick dynamics at downhole during drilling operation. This approach enables early kick detection and could lead to the development of potential blowout prevention strategies. A pressure cell that mimics a scaled-down version of a downhole is used to study the dynamics of a compressible two-phase flow. The setup is simulated under boundary conditions that resemble realistic scenarios; special attention is given to the transient period after injecting the influx. The main parameters studied include pressure gradient, raising speed of a gas kick, and volumetric behavior of the gas kick with respect to time. Simulation results exhibit a sudden increase of pressure while the kick enters and volumetric expansion of gas as it flows upward. This improved understanding helps to develop effective well control and blowout prevention strategies. This study confirms the feasibility and usability of an intelligent drill pipe as a tool to monitor well conditions and develop blowout risk management strategies.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Framework of numerical simulation (transient state)

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Fig. 2

Flow diagram of experimental setup

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Fig. 3

Pressure cell and computational domain

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Fig. 4

Change in downhole pressure with respect to kick

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Fig. 5

Change in mass flow rate at outlet during a kick

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Fig. 6

Structured hexahedral mesh of computational domain: (a) isometric view, (b) cut plane showing the conformal mesh, and (c) enlarged view showing the O-grid

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Fig. 7

Air flow rate during experimental study: (a) Air flow rate during steady and transient part of the simulation and (b) Air flow rate in lb/s for the 10 s of the transient simulation

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Fig. 8

(a) Air water volume fraction at mid plane and (b) volume rendering of air volume fraction

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Fig. 9

Comparison of numerical and experimental results

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Fig. 10

Percentage of error in numerical prediction

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Fig. 11

Velocity profile at outlet section

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Fig. 12

Volumetric expansion of air

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Fig. 13

Traveling time of air into the pressure cell

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