Semester of Graduation

Spring 2018


Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering (MSPE)


Craft & Hawkins Department of Petroleum Engineering

Document Type



Well control is one of the most crucial sectors in drilling engineering. Human lives and safety depend on the correct execution of the engineering design. Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) is a new technology that has recently emerged in the oil and gas industry. It has special well control abilities supported by the RCD to continue drilling or carry operations that involve pipe rotation, while circulating out a gas kick. This thesis examines the effect of pipe rotation on casing pressure profiles within MPD kick circulation application. The analysis was carried on real scale kick experiments. These experiments were carried in a controlled environment that mimicked downhole conditions with a gas influx entering the wellbore. Both water based mud and oil based mud were evaluated. Then, the real scale tests analysis was coupled with the effect of pipe rotation through the application of correlations. The correlations estimate the change in frictional pressure loss in the annuls for non-Newtonian fluids with pipe rotation. A study of the effect of a larger size gas bubble breakage into smaller size bubbles on the maximum anticipated casing pressure is also included in this research.

The thesis was divided into three models: (1) dissolved gas model in OBM. (2) single bubble model in WBM. (3) dispersed bubble model in WBM. The first two models studied the effect of frictional pressure changes on the anticipated casing pressure. The dispersed bubble model studies the effect of breaking the gas bubble into many very small bubbles. The practical outcome is to further the precision of the estimation of downhole pressure limits since MPD address narrow fracture-pore pressure window and to find if casing pressure changes would have any effect on the RCD rating selection and if the rotation can be safely conducted.



Committee Chair

Akbari, Babak