Removal of Magnetic Metallic Contamination – Improved Drilling Fluid Performance

Saasen, Arild (University of Stavanger) | Pallin, Jan Egil (JAGTECH AS) | Ånesbug, Geir Olav (JAGTECH AS) | Lindgren, Alf Magne (Schlumberger Oilfield Services) | Aaker, Gudmund (Schlumberger Oilfield Services) | Rødsjø, Mads (AkerBP)

OnePetro 

Abstract

Different logging operations can suffer from presence of metallic particles in the drilling fluids. Directional drilling in Arctic areas can be a challenge because of magnetic contamination in the drilling fluid. This is a challenge especially when drilling east-west relative to the magnetic north direction. Magnetic and paramagnetic particles in the drilling fluid will shield the down hole compasses and introduce additional errors to the surveying than those normally included in the uncertainty ellipsoid. The objective of the project is to remove the magnetic particles being the largest contributor to this error.

On many offshore drilling rigs there is mounted ditch magnets to remove metallic swarf from the drilling fluid. These magnets will normally only remove the coarser swarf. In this project we use a combination of strong magnets and flow directors to significantly improve the performance of the ditch magnets. This combination, together with proper routines for cleaning the ditch magnets significantly helps cleaning the drilling fluid.

By the combined use of flow directors and ditch magnets it was possible to extract more than five times as much magnetic contamination from the drilling fluid. This is verified by comparing the ditch magnet efficiencies from two drilling rigs drilling ERD wells. The logging tool signal strengths of several down hole instruments were unusually good and insignificant down times were observed on the logging tools. The results are anticipated to have aided to the directional drilling performance.

Detailed information on how to clean the drilling fluid properly from magnetic contamination is presented. It is also shown that this cleaning is significantly better than conventional cleaning of magnetic debris from drilling fluids.