Numerical study of cuttings transport of nanoparticle-based drilling fluid

Mortatha Al-Yasiri, Amthal Al-Gailani, Dongsheng Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Cuttings transportation from the drill bit, through the annulus, to the surface is one of the most important functions performed by drilling fluid. The prediction of drilling fluid's performance to transport cuttings in the annulus is very complex task due to the presence of numerous parameters. Nanoparticles (NPs) have been recently introduced into drilling fluid to engineer its properties and enhance its performance. Nevertheless, the lifting capacity has not been sufficiently investigated. The understanding of the influence and the mechanisms responsible for the improvement in cuttings transport process can further advance the application of NPs for drilling fluids. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is widely used as a numerical technique in handling complex multiphase flow problems in different operational conditions. The present work has taken the advantages of CFD to computationally analyze the influence of NPs and the effects of various parameters such as drilling fluids rheology, flow rate, pipe rotation, cuttings density, shape, concentration, and drilling fluids-cuttings particle coupling regimes on the cuttings transport in a vertical wellbore. The CFD simulation is carried out by using transient solver of ANSYS-FLUENT commercial code. The dense discrete phase model is used to overcome the main shortcomings of previous Eulerian based approaches. Good agreement has been achieved between the simulation and the published experimental results. It showed that the fluid viscosity and cuttings transport process can be significantly enhanced by adding nanomaterials to the fluid, and the process is highly influenced by cuttings characteristics such as in situ concentration, shape, and density.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere12154
JournalEngineering Reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1 May 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • CFD
  • cuttings transport
  • drilling fluids
  • multiphase flow
  • nanoparticles
  • rheology
  • wellbore


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