Monitoring of down-hole parameters for early kick detection

Nayeem, Ayesha Arjumand (2016) Monitoring of down-hole parameters for early kick detection. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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The sudden hydrocarbon influx from the formation into the wellbore poses a serious risk to the safety of the well. This sudden influx is termed a kick, which, if not controlled, may lead to a blowout. Therefore, early detection of the kick is crucial to minimize the possibility of a blowout occurrence. There is a high probability of delay in kick detection, apart from other issues when using a kick detection system that is exclusively based on surface monitoring. Down-hole monitoring techniques have a potential to detect a kick at its early stage. Down-hole monitoring could be particularly beneficial when the influx occurs as a result of a lost circulation scenario. In a lost circulation scenario, when the down-hole pressure becomes lower than the formation pore pressure, the formation fluid may starts to enter the wellbore. The lost volume of the drilling fluid is compensated by the formation fluid flowing into the well bore, making it difficult to identify the kick based on pit (mud tank) volume observations at the surface. This experimental study investigates the occurrence of a kick based on relative changes in the mass flow rate, pressure, density, and the conductivity of the fluid in the down-hole. Moreover, the parameters that are most sensitive to formation fluid are identified and a methodology to detect a kick without false alarms is reported. Pressure transmitter, the Coriolis flow and density meter, and the conductivity sensor are employed to observe the deteriorating well conditions in the down-hole. These observations are used to assess the occurrence of a kick and associated blowout risk. Monitoring of multiple down-hole parameters has a potential to improve the accuracy of interpretation related to kick occurrence, reduces the number of false alarms, and provides a broad picture of down-hole conditions. The down-hole monitoring techniques have a potential to reduce the kick detection period. A down-hole assembly of the laboratory scale drilling rig model and kick injection setup were designed, measuring instruments were acquired, a frame was fabricated, and the experimental set-up was assembled and tested. This set-up has the necessary features to evaluate kick events while implementing down-hole monitoring techniques. Various kick events are simulated on the drilling rig model. During the first set of experiments compressed air (which represents the formation fluid) is injected with constant pressure margin. In the second set of experiments the compressed air is injected with another pressure margin. The experiments are repeated with another pump (flow) rate as well. This thesis consists of three main parts. The first part gives the general introduction, motivation, outline of the thesis, and a brief description of influx: its causes, various leading and lagging indicators, and description of the several kick detection systems that are in practice in the industry. The second part describes the design and construction of the laboratory scale down-hole assembly of the drilling rig and kick injection setup, which is used to implement the proposed methodology for early kick detection. The third part discusses the experimental work, describes the methodology for early kick detection, and presents experimental results that show how different influx events affect the mass flow rate, pressure, conductivity, and density of the fluid in the down-hole, and the discussion of the results. The last chapter contains summary of the study and future research.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Item ID: 11738
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references (pages 86-91).
Keywords: Down-hole monitoring, Early Kick detection, blowout, Drilling hazards
Department(s): Engineering and Applied Science, Faculty of
Date: May 2016
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Oil wells--Blowouts--Prevention; Reservoir oil pressure--Measurement; Oil well drilling rigs--Design and construction; Pressure transducers; Wells--Fluid dynamics

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