Experimental Study of Cuttings Transport with Non-Newtonian Fluid in an Inclined Well Using Visualization and Electrical Resistance Tomography Techniques Academic Article uri icon


  • Summary Hole cleaning is a concern in directional and horizontal well drilling operations where drill cuttings tend to settle in the lower annulus section. Laboratory-scale experiments were performed with different non-Newtonian fluids in a 6.16-m-long, 114.3-63.5-mm transparent annulus test section to investigate cuttings transport behavior. This experimental study focused on understanding the cuttings transport mechanism in the annulus section with high-speed imaging technology. The movement of cuttings in the inclined annular section was captured with a high-speed camera at 2,000 frames/sec. Also, cuttings bed movement patterns at different fluid velocities and inner pipe rotations were captured with a digital single-lens reflex video camera. The electrical resistance tomography (ERT) system was used to quantify the cuttings volume fraction in the annulus. Different solid bed heights and cuttings movements were observed based on fluid rheology, fluid velocity, and inner pipe rotation. The mechanistic three-layer cuttings transport model was visualized with the experimental procedure. This study showed that solid bed height is significantly reduced with an increase in the inner pipe rotation. This study also identified that cuttings bed thickness largely depends on fluid rheology and wellbore inclination. The image from the high-speed camera identified a downward trend of some rolling particles in the annulus caused by gravitational force at a low mud velocity. Visual observation from a high-speed camera identified a helical motion of solid particles when the drillpipe is in contact with solid particles and rotating at a higher rev/min. Different cuttings movement patterns such as: rolling, sliding, suspension, helical movement, and downward movement were identified from the visualization of a high-speed camera.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Huque, M. M., Imtiaz, S., Zendehboudi, S., Butt, S., Rahman, M. A., & Maheshwari, P.

citation count

  • 7

complete list of authors

  • Huque, Mohammad Mojammel||Imtiaz, Syed||Zendehboudi, Sohrab||Butt, Stephen||Rahman, Mohammad Azizur||Maheshwari, Priyank

publication date

  • December 2021