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An Analytical Thermal-Model for Optimization of Gas-Drilling in Unconventional Tight-Sand Reservoirs

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Drilling wells with gas, or gas-drilling, has recently been adopted to drill unconventional oil and gas reservoirs including tight sands, gas shale and oil shale. However, the performance of gas-drilling is very unpredictable in many areas due to lack of optimization of drilling parameters. Because gas properties are greatly affected by temperature, a reliable thermal model is required for gas-drilling optimization. Such a model is not available and this paper fills the gap. An analytical thermal-model was derived in this study for predicting bottom hole gas temperature under various flow conditions. The result given by the analytical model was compared with that by an existing approximation, showing an accuracy improvement of 14%. Sensitivity analysis with the new model indicates that formation fluid influx dominates the temperature profile inside and outside the drill string, while Joule-Thomson cooling and drill cutting's intrusion affect temperature only at bottom hole. Applications of the model are demonstrated in an example. This paper provides an analytical tool to drilling engineers for optimizing their gas-drilling operations.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 December 2016

This article was made available online on 26 November 2016 as a Fast Track article with title: "An Analytical Thermal-Model for Optimization of Gas-Drilling in Unconventional Tight-Sand Reservoirs".

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