Performance Report: RAPID SWEEP Improves Hole Cleaning, Cuts Costs in Troublesome Zone

Northern Iraq - Kurdistan

Challenge: Previously, the operator had encountered several issues in this particular formation, including two stuck pipe incidents, resulting in significant NPT and added costs. When the well was at 2,287 m (7503 ft) the torque was rising. Consequently, the ROP dropped with frequent tight spots encountered during back reaming for connections. The operator decided to first circulate and condition the hole while back reaming and then evaluate potential solutions.

Solution: After discussions with its drilling team, including the fluids provider and ALPINE SPECIALTY CHEMICALS, the operator decided to employ RAPID SWEEP POLYMER stick to provide viscosity and reduce friction. A technical service engineer was assigned for initial testing and performance monitoring. RAPID SWEEP was couriered to the drill site within four hours. In the meantime, the rig continued to work the pipe and ream a tight spot until the product arrived. Immediately upon arrival, five RAPID SWEEP sticks were pumped down the 5 ½-in. drill pipe. The objective was for some of the sticky clays to be swept to surface and clear the BHA.

Result: RAPID SWEEP helped alleviate solids build up around the bit, under-reamer and BHA. It was observed to have cleaned the hole while having no adverse effect on fluid properties or BHA. Specifically, use of the system resulted in:

  • Immediate hole cleaning improvement with approximately 300% more solids returned to surface at ‘bottoms up’
  • The drilling team noted torque was reduced initially nearly 50% 5k – 9k ft/lbs trend prior to RAPID SWEEP and 3k – 5k ft/lbs immediately following its application
  • Rotary torque slowly increased over the next 20m (66 ft) drilled
  • More than 68% less treatment cost compared to HV / HD Sweeps
  • RAPID SWEEP did not alter fluid properties by attributing to fluid density and rheology fluctuations
  • No plugging of bit or BHA as well as no adverse effects on fluid rheology or density.

The Details

Initially, RAPID SWEEP was applied at a rate of five sticks per connection (5 ½-in. drill pipe @ 930 – 950 GPM). An increase of 250 psi on the stand pipe pressure was noticed as the RAPID SWEEP sticks passed through the bit and BHA, although pressure fell quickly to within normal trend lines. Immediately upon the application of RAPID SWEEP, the crew observed that hole cleaning improved and torque reduced.

Both drilling supervisors were impressed with the benefits of RAPID SWEEP. They decided to utilize four sticks on each additional connection for the remainder of the section and also during hole opening to 16 in after TD. The operator also planned to supplement the RAPID SWEEP treatments with HV / HD Pills, but less frequently and only in the middle of every other connection. It was hoped this would mitigate the stuck pipe issues.

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