Semester of Graduation

Summer 2021


Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering (MSPE)


Department of Petroleum Engineering

Document Type



The study of absorption mass transfer kinetics in non-aqueous base fluids and the investigation of the parameters that influence this process is crucial in the application to gas influx management. While there have been a large number of studies investigating the interaction and solubility of methane in non-aqueous drilling fluids, relatively little attention has been placed on studying the mass transfer kinetics for different scenarios within the wellbore and riser. During the drilling process, there are multiple ways in which the formation gas can come into contact with the drilling fluid via a gas kick. Once the gas influx dissolves into the liquid and is circulated up the wellbore, the gas will come out of solution in the riser due to a decrease in pressure. During managed pressure drilling (MPD), the desorbed gas could potentially be redissolved back into the drilling fluid due to an increase in riser pressure from a MPD choke or backpressure pump manipulation. Absorption mass transfer can also be applied in other drilling or completion applications.

This study investigates several parameters that influence the absorption mass transfer kinetics experimentally, such as operating pressure, superficial gas velocity, fluid type, column diameter and sparger design are investigated. In the analysis of the results and supported by previous literature studies, superficial gas velocity and operating pressure have the most significant influence on the volumetric mass transfer coefficient (kLa). As a result, a correlation has been developed under the ranges of operating conditions for kLa as a function of superficial gas velocity and operating pressure. Following the development of the correlation, an image analysis of the experiments was conducted to separate the kLa values into the liquid-side mass transfer coefficient (kL) and interfacial area (a). This study is expected to help future applications of gas influx management and well control events.

Committee Chair

Chen, Yuanhang