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Freeing Stuck Drill Pipe

The Industry Challenge:

Drilling cuttings accumulate in the borehole which increase the torque required to drill, eventually leading to shut down due to high torque.

Once shut down occurs, additional drill cuttings settle around the bottomhole drilling assembly, making it difficult to restart drilling.

When this occurs, drillers have a number of options, including: rotating, pushing/pulling, circulating and changing the properties of the drilling fluid to try and free the stuck drill pipe.

The difficulty lies in selecting which combinations of these parameters are the most effective at freeing stuck drill pipe in various real-world scenarios.

How We Help:

C-FER constructed a flow visualization wellbore that could be operated at different inclinations to develop procedures for freeing bottomhole assemblies impacted by drill cuttings.

The testing apparatus featured a hydraulically controlled drill string that could be advanced, withdrawn and rotated and included a variety of mock bottomhole assemblies such as drill bits and reamers.

Tests were run to visualize deposition and resuspension of cuttings and other solids at various wellbore inclinations with various flow regimes and fluid properties.

The results of the tests were used to develop a recommended practice for freeing stuck drill pipe in various scenarios.

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