The effect particle size distribution of granular LCM on fracture sealing capability

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Lost-Circulation Materials (LCMs) are used to control and mitigate fluid loss problems by fracture sealing. Without a proper lost-circulation technique, an increase in non-productive time (NPT) and well control problems may occur. A good design in the LCMs to seal fractures and to successfully prevent the occurrence of a serious lost-circulation event can alleviate a heavy drilling budget. Various LCMs exist in the market, of which can be broadly categorized as fibrous, flaky, or granular. Granular LCMs are effective in sealing fractures and are of low cost. A successful bridging and sealing from the LCMs depend on their mechanical strengths, shapes, sizes, and particularly, the particle size distribution (PSD). In this paper, the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and the discrete element method (DEM) are coupled to simulate the sealing capabilities of granular LCMs on different PSDs. A single smoothed fracture is created for the study of such phenomenon. The dynamic process of fracture sealing involves the initiation of bridging from large particles and the effective particle packing to form a seal, thereby reducing the fluid loss. It is found that the LCMs with bimodally distributed sizes can achieve effective fracture sealing. The coarse LCMs should be close to the average fracture size, where accurate measurement is required. The median of the fine to coarse LCM sizes should not exceed 0.67 for fracture sealing to occur. The LCM blend consists of coarse and fine LCMs, where the fine to coarse LCMs by volume is around one third.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationSociety of Petroleum Engineers - SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2020, ATCE 2020
PublisherSociety of Petroleum Engineers (SPE)
ISBN (Electronic)9781613997239
StatePublished - 2020
EventSPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2020, ATCE 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Oct 26 2020Oct 29 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings - SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition
Volume2020-October

Conference

ConferenceSPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition 2020, ATCE 2020
CityVirtual, Online
Period10/26/2010/29/20

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Fuel Technology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology

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