Abstract

In this work, we present our advances to develop and apply digital twins for drilling fluids and associated wellbore phenomena during drilling operations. A drilling fluid digital twin is a series of interconnected models that incorporate the learning from the past historical data in a wide range of operational settings to determine the fluids properties in realtime operations. From several drilling fluid functionalities and operational parameters, we describe advancements to improve hole cleaning predictions and high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) rheological properties monitoring. In the hole cleaning application, we consider the Clark and Bickham (1994) approach which requires the prediction of the local fluid velocity above the cuttings bed as a function of operating conditions. We develop accurate computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models to capture the effects of rotation, eccentricity and bed height on local fluid velocities above cuttings bed. We then run 55,000 CFD simulations for a wide range of operational settings to generate training data for machine learning. For rheology monitoring, thousands of lab experiment records are collected as training data for machine learning. In this case, the HPHT rheological properties are determined based on rheological measurement in the American Petroleum Institute (API) condition together with the fluid type and composition data. We compare the results of application of several machine learning algorithms to represent CFD simulations (for hole cleaning application) and lab experiments (for monitoring HPHT rheological properties). Rotating cross-validation method is applied to ensure accurate and robust results. In both cases, models from the Gradient Boosting and the Artificial Neural Network algorithms provided the highest accuracy (about 0.95 in terms of R-squared) for test datasets. With developments presented in this paper, the hole cleaning calculations can be performed more accurately in real-time, and the HPHT rheological properties of drilling fluids can be estimated at the rigsite before performing the lab experiments. These contributions advance digital transformation of drilling operations.

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