Enhanced Wellbore Stabilization and Reservoir Productivity with Aphron Drilling Fluid Technology, Quarterly Report: October - December 2003
Description: During this first Quarter of the Project, a team of five individuals was formed to characterize aphron drilling fluids, with the ultimate objectives to gain acceptance for this novel technology and decrease the costs of drilling mature and multiple-pressure formations in oil and gas wells. Aphron drilling fluids are very high low-shear-rate viscosity fluids laden with specially designed microbubbles, or ''aphrons.'' The focus of the Project is to develop some understanding of the aphron structure and how aphrons and base fluid behave under downhole conditions. Four tasks were begun during this Quarter. All of these focus on the behavior of aphrons: (a) Aphron Visualization - to evaluate various methods of measuring bubble size distribution, especially Acoustic Bubble Spectroscopy (ABS), in aphron drilling fluids at elevated pressure; (b) Fluid Density - to investigate the effects of pressure, temperature and chemical composition on the survivability of aphrons; (c) Aphron Air Diffusivity - to determine the rate of loss of air from aphrons during pressurization; and (d) Pressure Transmissibility - to determine whether aphron networks (similar to foams) in fractures and pore networks reduce fracture propagation. The project team installed laboratory facilities and purchased most of the equipment required to carry out the tasks described above. Then work areas were combined to permit centralized data acquisition and communication with internal and external file servers, and electronic and hard copy filing systems were set up to be compatible with ISO 9001 guidelines. Initial feasibility tests for all four tasks were conducted, which led to some modification of the experimental designs so as to enable measurements with the required accuracy and precision. Preliminary results indicate that the Aphron Visualization, Aphron Air Diffusivity and Pressure Transmissibility tasks should be completed on time. The Fluid Density task, on the other hand, has some fundamental problems that may ...
Date: December 31, 2003
Creator: Growcock, Fred
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