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The drilling conditions described above have led to the following practices, which are reasonably uniform, in the geothermal drilling industry. Because of the hard, fractured formations, roller-cone bits with tungsten-carbide inserts are almost universally used for geothermal drilling. The abrasive rocks mean that bit life is usually low (50 to 100 m), but many bits are also pulled because of bearing failures caused by rough drilling and high temperature. Polycrystalline diamond compact (PDC) bits have the dual advantages of more efficient rock cutting and no moving parts, but experience with PDC bits in geothermal drilling is both scant and unfavorable. Much research and development in hard-rock PDC bits is under way, so it is possible that these bits will come into wider use in geothermal drilling.
Casing and tubing strings are the main parts of the well construction. All wells drilled for the purpose of oil or gas production (or injecting materials into underground formations) must be cased with material with sufficient strength and functionality. Casing is the major structural component of a well. The cost of casing is a major part of the overall well cost, so selection of casing size, grade, connectors, and setting depth is a primary engineering and economic consideration. Conductor casing is the first string set below the structural casing (i.e., drive pipe or marine conductor run to protect loose near-surface formations and to enable circulation of drilling fluid).
The jackup-type mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) has become the premier bottom-founded drilling unit, displacing submersibles and most platform units. The primary advantage of the jackup design is that it offers a steady and relatively motion-free platform in the drilling position and mobilizes relatively quickly and easily. Although they originally were designed to operate in very shallow water, some newer units, such as the "ultra-harsh environment" Maersk MSC C170-150 MC, are huge (Figure 1) and can be operated in 550 ft in the GOM. This type of unit can be commercially competitive only in the North Sea and in very special situations. Figure 1--Maersk's giant jackup (largest in the world) designed for deepwater use (550 ft in the GOM) and harsh North Sea environment.
The table also includes an indication of the primary uses and benefits, along with the cements that they can be used with. The primary effects of the cement admixtures on the physical properties of the cement, either as a slurry or set, are presented in Table 2. This is a quick reference, and individual additives in a given category may not agree in total with the effects as given. It is also typically defined for individual additives, the properties and effects of which can be modified when additive combinations are used.
Cement is used to hold casing in place and to prevent fluid migration between subsurface formations. Cementing operations can be divided into two broad categories: primary cementing and remedial cementing. The objective of primary cementing is to provide zonal isolation. Cementing is the process of mixing a slurry of cement, cement additives and water and pumping it down through casing to critical points in the annulus around the casing or in the open hole below the casing string. Zonal isolation is not directly related to production; however, this necessary task must be performed effectively to allow production or stimulation operations to be conducted.
In overbalanced drillng (OBD), a mud weight is selected that provides a hydrostatic pressure of 200 to 1,000 psi above the reservoir pressure. In UBD, we select a fluid that provides a hydrostatic pressure of around 200 psi below the initial reservoir pressure. This provides a good starting point for the selection of a fluid system. During the feasibility study, this drawdown is normally further refined, depending on the expected reservoir inflow and other drilling parameters. This first look provides an indication if the fluid should be foam or gasified or if the well is drilling with a single-phase fluid (Figure 1).
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines simulate as assuming the appearance of without the reality. Simulation of petroleum reservoir performance refers to the construction and operation of a model whose behavior assumes the appearance of actual reservoir behavior. The model itself is either physical (for example, a laboratory sandpack) or mathematical. A mathematical model is a set of equations that, subject to certain assumptions, describes the physical processes active in the reservoir. Although the model itself obviously lacks the reality of the reservoir, the behavior of a valid model simulates--assumes the appearance of--the actual reservoir. The purpose of simulation is estimation of field performance (e.g., oil recovery) under one or more producing schemes. Whereas the field can be produced only once, at considerable expense, a model can be produced or run many times at low expense over a short period of time. Observation of model results that represent different producing ...
Historically, reservoir simulation has accounted for rock mechanics by simple use of a time-invariant rock compressibility cR, spatially constant or variable. In reality, rock mechanics is intimately coupled with fluid flow. Rock mechanics is coupled with fluid flow in two aspects. Therefore, rigorous reservoir simulation should include simultaneous solution of multiphase flow and stresses as well as the appropriate dependencies between these processes. While these couplings physically exist to some extent in all reservoirs, they can be often ignored or approximated when the reservoir behaves elastically.