Performance Report: RAPID SWEEP Improves ROPs and Reduces Hole Conditioning Time, Costs

Krasnoyarsk Region, Russia

Challenge: Drilling with PDC bits always requires proper hole cleaning practices and drilling fluid selection as cuttings accumulation around the BHA while drilling with a high ROP can result in bit balling and, in turn, reduce the penetration rate. A build-up of drilled cuttings also can cause over pulls while tripping, thereby resulting in additional circulation time and hole conditioning. One of the common approaches to eliminating cuttings accumulation is to pump high-viscosity sweeps. However, in some cases, circulating system limitations also may restrict the pumping of high-viscosity sweeps. One of the key operators in Russia requested M-I SWACO recommend a solution for optimizing hole cleaning practices to improve PDC performance and reduce drilling time.

Solution: M-I SWACO recommended the RAPID SWEEP technology. RAPID SWEEP POLYMER sticks comprise a measured quantity of acrylic copolymer contained in a water-soluble package designed to provide viscosity, reduce friction, encapsulate cuttings and provide a limited amount of fluid-loss control in water-base drilling fluids. The stick can be employed in all aqueous fluids, ranging from low solids to weighted muds, using makeup waters from freshwater or saltwater. RAPID SWEEP POLYMER stick is added easily to the drill string during connections and provides a consistent method of cleaning the wellbore.

Result: The application of Rapid Sweep polymer sticks to this project delivered a number of tangible benefits, including:

  • A 47% improvement in ROP in the 8 ⅝ in. section and an 87% increase in the 11 ⅝ in. section
  • Hole conditioning time was reduced by 28% in the 8 ⅝ in. section and 16% in the 11 ⅝ in. section
  • Eliminated the need for high-viscosity sweeps using the more expensive Xanthan-type polymers
  • Cut out the rig crew time otherwise required to mix high-viscosity sweeps.

The Details

RAPID SWEEP POLYMER sticks, each sized 1¼ x 15 in., were used in a KCl polymer drilling fluid. The polymer sticks were dropped into the drillstring at every connection to ensure continuous wellbore cleaning and prevent cuttings from accumulating around the BHA.

In order to perform a representative analysis of RAPID SWEEP technology efficiency, the operator selected two intervals where a standard BHA was used. The following graphs compare the average ROP and the time required for hole conditioning on offset wells.

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