Sand-Carrying Experiments with Supercritical CO2 in a Horizontal Annulus

SUN Xiao1 WANG Haizhu2 LI Yingjie3 ZHENG Yong2 LU Qun2

(1.Research Institute of Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum (Group) Co., Ltd., Xi’an, Shaanxi, China 710075)
(2.State Key Laboratory of Petroleum Resources and Prospecting, China University of Petroleum (Beijing), Beijing, China 102249)
(3.CNPC Offshore Engineering Company Limited, Beijing, China 100176)
【Novelty】The study of sand carrying by supercritical CO2 in the horizontal annular space is significant for promoting the development of supercritical CO2 drilling and fracturing technology. Since pressure and temperature are difficult to control during tests of sand carrying by supercritical CO2, most studies are conducted by simulation. However, the influence law of critical parameters on the sand-carrying performance of supercritical CO2 in the wellbore is still unclear due to the limitation by the test device size and performance parameters. Therefore, a test device was designed according to the similarity principle for sand carrying by supercritical CO2 in the horizontal annular space. Then, the effects of injection mass flow, sand concentration, outlet pressure, and fluid temperature on the sand-carrying capacity of supercritical CO2 in the horizontal annular space were studied with the migration velocity of the sand particles and sand bed height in the annular space as the criteria. The experimental results reveal that supercritical CO2 can effectively transport sand particles in the horizontal annular space. As the injection mass flow of supercritical CO2 increases, more sand particles enter the suspension layer, consequently reducing the equilibrium height of the sand bed. Another finding is that increasing the fluid temperature within a reasonable range is beneficial to reducing the accumulation of sand particles in the annular space. The results can provide a theoretical basis for the design of hydraulic parameters during supercritical CO2 drilling and fracturing.

【Abstract】According to the similarity principle, a device for sand-carrying tests was developed to determine the sand-carrying performance of supercritical CO2 in the horizontal annulus and analyze the effects of key operating parameters on the sand-carrying performance. The device was employed to explore the influence of the injection mass flow, sand concentration, outlet pressure, and fluid temperature of supercritical CO2 on the sand migration in the horizontal annulus. The results showed that supercritical CO2 could effectively carry sand in the horizontal annulus by means of suspension transport, and the increase in its mass flow could enhance the turbulence intensity of the fluid in the annulus and improve the sand-carrying effect by suspension transport. In a high sand concentration, sand beds were likely to occur at the bottom of the annulus, which reduced the open area and raised the sand transport velocity. Under the same injection condition, the sand transport velocity in the annulus decreased with the increase in outlet pressure, but the reduction is gradually lowering. In addition, a rise in fluid temperature was conducive to the accumulation reduction of sand in the annulus in an appropriate temperature range. The research results can provide a reference for optimizing the key construction parameter design in drilling and fracturing with supercritical CO2.

【Keywords】 supercritical CO2; horizontal annulus; sand-carrying; similarity principle; drilling; fracturing;

【DOI】

【Funds】 The National Natural Science Foundation of China (51874318) Innovation Capability Support Program of Shaanxi of China ( 2019KJXX-023) The National Natural Science Foundation of China (51922107)

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(Translated by WANG YX)

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This Article

ISSN:1001-0890

CN:11-1763/TE

Vol , No. 03, Pages 17-23

March 2022

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Abstract

  • 1 Sand-carrying test device for supercritical CO2 in the horizontal annulus
  • 2 Test scheme and steps
  • 3 Analysis of influencing factors in sand transport
  • 4 Conclusions
  • References