Você está na página 1de 7

HOW TO IMPROVE DRILLING EFFICIENCY USING THE

CUTTING WEIGHTING TECHNOLOGY


Field Results
Fabrizio Zausa, Fabio Vallorani, Antonio Concas, Giorgio Cavallaro, Giorgio Maletti and Marco Cesaro from ENI and Carlo Bezzola,
Fabrice Angleraux, Joseph Kerherve from GEOLOG.

ABSTRACT
To solve the serious problems experienced drilling
deviated wells, ENI started experimenting with the
cutting weight sensors two years ago.
One such device is installed in front of each shale
shaker, and connected to the mud logging data
acquisition system. A real time engineering software
transforms the weight of cuttings measured at the shale
shakers into volume and the results are graphically
displayed on the rig floor.
The field results confirm that the cutting weight
sensors provide an accurate real time detection of
cuttings volume taken out from the hole.
This information correctly analyzed together with other
drilling data, can be extremely useful to understand the
different phenomena occurring while drilling. In
particular the cuttings machine data are evaluated both
versus depth and versus time in order to obtain the
instantaneous picture of wellbore behaviour during
drilling, tripping and circulating.
As a result, the drilling crew knows exactly what is
happening downhole, e.g. when caving occurs or when
cuttings remain in the hole and additional circulation is
required. Furthermore, additional information is
provided to the fluid engineer to better evaluate the
mud efficiency.
In this paper the analysis method is presented together
with some case histories from wells drilled in the South
of Italy .

FIG.1

BOREHOLE
STABILITY

CAVINGS

CUTTINGS
BOREHOLE
CLEANING

C
U
T
T
I
N
G
V
O
L
U
M
E

FIG.2
THE CUTTING WEIGHT SENSORS
Principle of Cutting Weighting Sensor
The cutting weight sensor (Fig-1) consists of a tray,
positioned in front of each shale shaker, to measure the
weight of the cuttings coming out of the hole. The
sensor width (40 cms) allows to have it installed on
most rigs, without any modifications to the rig.
An engineering application software transforms the
cutting weight into cutting volume. The comparison
between the measured cutting volume and the expected
cutting volume automatically detects caving and or
borehole stability situations as shown on Fig-2.

Page 1 of 7

Improvements To Prototype
In the final version (Fig-1), the early days limitations
have all been overcome by extensive modifications to
the initial prototype .
1.

To accurately measure the weight of the cuttings


the cutting weight sensor tray rests on four
extremely sensitive strain gauges. (Fig.-3) .It
does not matter anymore when we recover one

OMC 2005 OFFSHORE MEDITERRANEAN CONFERENCE


POSTER SESSIONS

kilo of cuttings whether the one kilo of cuttings


falls on the end, the middle, the side, or the
center of the tray . The four sensors ensure full
linearity and repeatability of the measurement.

2.3

3.

FIG.3
2.

2.1

2.2

To transform the weight into volume, we need to


manually enter several parameters. These critical
parameters are measured, evaluated, using a
precise methodology, developed over two years
in the field .
The density of the cuttings coming out of the
hole, is measured in the mud logging unit, at
regular intervals, with the equipment initially
used to measure the shale density. When
available, the density measured by the ENI
laboratories on large amounts of cuttings can
also be used.
On the cutting weight sensor tray, we measure a
mixture of cuttings and mud stuck to the
cuttings. To determine the percentage of mud,
large samples of cuttings covered with mud are
taken are regular intervals and weighted (W-1) .
The mud is then washed out and the cuttings

weighted again (W-2). The difference W1-W2


represents the percentage of mud which needs to
be substracted from the cutting weight sensor
measurement.
The fine cuttings ( generated by PDC bits ) are
lost on the shale shaker with the mud, and not
measured by the cutting weight sensor. At
regular intervals, a MBT test (Methylene Blue
Test ) is performed on mud samples to measure
the quantity of solids ( grams per cubic meters )
which is contained in the mud and lost on the
shale shakers.
The volume of cuttings measured by the cutting
weight sensors is displayed per phase and per
day, for an immediate visualization of the status
of the bore hole stability & cleaning. (Fig.- 4).

Validation of the Measurement Methodology


The cutting weight sensor system, originally designed
to detect trends either an excess of cuttings coming out
of the hole (caving situation) or a deficit of cuttings
(bore hole cleaning problem) has become an accurate
measurement of the hole volume.
The comparison between the hole volume measured by
a caliper run by an electrical logging company and the
hole volume measured by the cutting weight sensor
system shows an excellent correlation between the two
measurements.
The comparison validates the cutting weight sensor
measurement accuracy and methodology.
(Fig.-5 and 6)

FIG. 4

Page 2 of 7

OMC 2005 OFFSHORE MEDITERRANEAN CONFERENCE


POSTER SESSIONS

FIG. 5
COMPUTED VOLUME
M

124,50

WELL A - OBJECTIVE to drill 820 m of 17 1/2 to run 16 casing


VOLUME FROM
CUTTING WEIGHT SENSORS
M

193,90

VOLUME FROM
ELECTRICAL LOGGING
M

203,85

FIG. 5

FIG. 6

WELL B - OBJECTIVE to drill 1685 m of 12 1/4 to run 9 5/8 + 10 3/4 casing

COMPUTED VOLUME
M

125,50

VOLUME FROM
CUTTING WEIGHT SENSORS
M

149,80

VOLUME FROM ELECTRICAL LOGGING


M

154,55

FIG. 6

Page 3 of 7

OMC 2005 OFFSHORE MEDITERRANEAN CONFERENCE


POSTER SESSIONS

REALTIME CUTTINGS VOLUME


MEASUREMENT
Properly processed cuttings weight sensors data, allow
to evaluate in real time the volume and flow of cuttings
retrieved from the wellbore, and to correlate it with the
drilling events (e.g.: drilling, circulating, tripping intripping out, BHA drags , BHA overpulls, etc.).
The main curves provided after processing the data are
(INSTANT) CUTTING FLOW: it gives the volume of
cuttings retrieved within a predefined time interval.
When compared with the theoretical flow (also
provided by the logging unit) it allows to detect and
measure the instantaneous deficit or surplus of cuttings
while drilling.
CUMULATIVE CUTTINGS VOLUME: it gives the
cumulative volume of cuttings retrieved from the start
of the drilling phase. When compared to the theoretical
cumulative volume it allows to estimate the total deficit
or total surplus of cuttings retrieved from the start of
the drilling phase.
Cuttings volume data are provided both versus time
and versus depth while cuttings flow data are provided
only versus time . In order to properly interpret these
new types of data, they have to be analysed in both
domains (versus depth and versus time) , and in
conjunction with all the other data acquired at the
wellsite (e.g.: drilling parameters, mudlogging data,
logs, etc.) and, if possible, with a real-time wellbore
stability analysis.
Data analysis versus time allows to correlate the
arrival of cuttings at the shale shaker with the drilling
events that generate them, and to measure the
associated volumes.
In an ideal situation, when drilling a stable formation:
- no cuttings should be retrieved when tripping in hole
- a volume of cuttings equal to the theoretical borehole
volume should be retrieved while drilling
- no cuttings should be retrieved during circulation at
the end of the bit run
- no cuttings should be retrieved while tripping out of
hole
Every deviation from this ideal behaviour has to be
identified and needs to be correctly interpreted. Once
the possible causes of an anomalous behaviour have
been understood, the optimal corrective actions can be
implemented, and the effectiveness of these actions
measured.
If, for example, Cutting Weight Sensors show that the
volume of cuttings retrieved while drilling a deviated
well is much less than the theoretical one, this could be
related to the poor cleaning efficiency of the mud
system. A poor cuttings recovery during circulation at
the end of a bit run would aggravate such a situation.
Page 4 of 7

In order to solve this problem, changes to the mud


should be considered. Moreover, to avoid pack-offs
and related overpulls while tripping out, a viscous pill
should be run.
Data analysis versus depth allows to highlight general
trends in cuttings recovery while drilling. Cumulative
cuttings volume is thus usually analysed from the start
of a drilling phase, from the start of a bit run and on a
daily basis, and compared with the corresponding
theoretical values. This analysis and records provide an
easy detection and evaluation of deficit or surplus of
cuttings while drilling. (Fig. 2 and 4).
In order to achieve a reliable interpretation of cuttings
flowmeter data it is very important to integrate all the
available well data into the analysis.
We stress in particular the importance of running real
time wellbore stability analysis (i.e.: continuous update
of the geomechanical model that provides the safe
mudweight window versus depth).
In fact, our experience has clearly demonstrated that
surplus of cuttings is not always related to
geomechanical instability, and on the other hand, a
deficit in cuttings could be present together with
instability phenomena, thus indicating a very poor
cleaning efficiency of the mud system.
To be meaningful, and to prevent wrong interpretation,
leading to wrong corrective actions, the cuttings
flowmeter data must be integrated into the geochemical
stability model and the analysis must integrate other
available wellsite data.

CASE HISTORIES
During the last two years, cutting weight sensors have
been successfully used to assist drilling operations in
Val dAgri, Southern Italy.
In order to reach the reservoir, wells have to be drilled
through a very complex overburden, made up of three
different overthrown thrusts, strongly folded and
tectonized. This affects the seismic quality and the
resulting seismic data are poor.
With such high geological uncertainties, the formation
tops prognosis becomes very critical. Lithologies vary
from very weak shale (UCS down to 4 Mpa), very
often highly over pressured, to highly fractured cherty
limestones. The overburden pressure is strongly
anisotropic. The field is located in a montaineous area.
Differences of up to 1000 m in ground level elevation
can be present between wells drilled on the mountain
flanks and wells drilled in the valley.
Moreover, the field is within the limits of a natural
park, resulting in many development wells drilled from
the same site (Cluster drilling), leading to highly
deviated trajectories in the overburden (up to 1500 m at
60 deviation in over pressured shales).

OMC 2005 OFFSHORE MEDITERRANEAN CONFERENCE


POSTER SESSIONS

CASE A:

MUD RELATED PROBLEMS

Drilling phase: 171/2


Well deviation: vertical
Mud system:
WSIK2 (choosen because of its very
good cleaning efficiency and for its
ability to seal microfractures)
Lithology:
slightly overpressured shales (UCS
ranging from 4 to 20) highly
tectonized
Although the mud weight used was within the safe mud
weight window, a surplus of cuttings was observed,
together with recurrent problems while tripping in and
tripping out.
The analysis of the cuttings flow data showed that the
major part of the cuttings surplus was retrieved while
tripping rather than while drilling. Moreover, after each
trip, a strong bit balling phenomena was observed,
thus highlighting the tendency of the mud to aggregate
cuttings.
From a detailed analysis of the cuttings flow data
versus time it was evident that major peaks in cuttings
flow were related to peaks in SPP induced by packoffs.(caused by bit balling)
The interpretation was then that the sudden increases in
ECD measured by SPP peaks were responsible for
the squeezing of mud into formation, which caused
drilling induced borehole collapses (caving), not
related to geomechanical (formation) instability.
For this reason the mud system was changed to
FWPOGL.
The mud change allowed to minimize the induced
instability, as measured by the cuttings weight sensors
and clearly confirmed by the electrical calipers
recorded at the end of the drilling phase.
On the other hand, the new mud showed a lower
cleaning efficiency, thus requiring viscous pills at the
end of each bit run in order to remove all the cuttings
present in hole (Fig-7 and 8)
CASE B:

BOREHOLE INSTABILITY AND


HOLE CLEANING PROBLEMS

Drilling phase: 81/2


Well deviation: 60
Mud system:
FWPOGL
Lithology:
overpressured shales (UCS ranging
from 4 to 20) highly tectonized,
interbedded with hard limestones,
fractured.
This was the most critical section of the entire well.
In fact, wellbore stability analysis indicated that a
minimum mud gradient of 1.3 kg/l was needed for
stabilizing overpressured shaly intervals.
On the other hand, due to the presence of highly
fractured limestones layers, the maximum allowed
mud weight before total loss of circulation in fractures
was around 1.2 kg/l.

Page 5 of 7

For this reason the whole section was drilled knowing


that the shaly intervals would be in slightly unstable
conditions with a mud weight of 1.2 kg/l, an that
borehole collapse (caving) and consequently hole
cleaning would be a critical issues.
This was clearly demonstrated by the analysis of
cutting flow data.
Due to the high well deviation (60) and to the
instability of the shaly intervals, cuttings tend to
accumulate on the low side of the hole.
If not properly removed a the end of the bit run (e.g.:
using viscous pills), these cuttings accumulations when
dragged by the BHA may cause pack-offs during
tripping.
In Fig.-9 a RIH is shown. Whenever pack-offs
occurred, the associated SPP peaks were responsible
for sudden increases in ECD which in turn induced
instability, probably due to mud being squeezed into
formation. This is clearly visible by the sudden peaks
(increases) in cuttings flow.
We would like to stress that although the well
behaviour was similar to that of well A, the driving
mechanisms that led to the instability were completely
different, and thus the different corrective actions.
At the end of the bit run, great attention was given to
ensure a good hole cleaning by circulating viscous pills
and measuring the cuttings volume coming out .
For the data regarding the next RIH refer to (Fig-10)
The data show that, due to the lower amount of cuttings
present in hole, no pack-offs were observed. The
absence of SPP peaks resulted in a very low cutting
flow and a smoother trip.

CONCLUSIONS
After two years of field work we may assess that an
accurate real time measurement of cuttings flow is
essential to correctly evaluate the borehole behaviour
while drilling, in combination with geomechanical
borehole stability analysis and all other available
drilling information and data.
A thorough , reliable, understanding of what is really
happening downhole during drilling , tripping, allows
to take the most appropriate operational decisions to :
- optimise drilling efficiency
- prevent getting stuck
- modify RIH and or POH procedures
- improve cementation when electrical logging
caliper is not available to estimate cement
volume.
- modify mud program and measure the
effectiveness of the change.

OMC 2005 OFFSHORE MEDITERRANEAN CONFERENCE


POSTER SESSIONS

Page 6 of 7

OMC 2005 OFFSHORE MEDITERRANEAN CONFERENCE


POSTER SESSIONS

Page 7 of 7

OMC 2005 OFFSHORE MEDITERRANEAN CONFERENCE


POSTER SESSIONS