PEH:Fluid Mechanics for Drilling

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The three primary functions of a drilling fluid--the transport of cuttings out of the wellbore, prevention of fluid influx, and the maintenance of wellbore stability--depend on the flow of drilling fluids and the pressures associated with that flow. For example, if the wellbore pressure exceeds the fracture pressure, fluids will be lost to the formation. If the wellbore pressure falls below the pore pressure, fluids will flow into the wellbore, perhaps causing a blowout. It is clear that accurate wellbore pressure prediction is necessary. To properly engineer a drilling fluid system, it is necessary to be able to predict pressures and flows of fluids in the wellbore. The purpose of this chapter is to describe in detail the calculations necessary to predict the flow performance of various drilling fluids for the variety of operations used in drilling and completing a well.

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