Horizontal well usage expanded in the 1990s, and with it, significant hole cleaning problems. Conventional "equivalent hydraulic radius," "slot flow" and "pie slice" annular flow models no longer explained lab data, leaving the industry without remediation tools. Our approach was simple. Cuttings accumulations must correlate with the bottom viscous stresses attempting to remove them - to calculate these, the full non-Newtonian equations are solved on curvilinear meshes offering the needed physical resolution. To remove cuttings, simply increase stress by adjusting pump rate, introducing pipe motion or altering fluids make-up.

Our Borehole Flow Modeling was followed by Computational Rheology and Managed Pressure Drilling - providing key technologies which guided evolving applications in drilling and cementing. For instance, the latter supported key Halliburton OptiCemTM, Displace3DTM and iCemTM products; extensions are used in Brown & Root pipeline wax deposition and hydrate blockage removal methods, and by BakerHughes in its AdvantageTM software. Our rheological models are well known among leading oil companies worldwide.


We solve full Herschel-Bulkley formulations on custom curvilinear grids using accurate finite difference models. Managed Pressure Drilling discusses our latest capabilities: general pipe reciprocation and rotation, unsteady pumping and arbitrary fluid schedules, high ecentricity annuli (with washouts, cuttings beds and fractures), high yield stresses, coupled pipe and annular flow, and so on.

We provide detailed viscous stresses for hole cleaning in horizontal wells, axial velocities for verticals, and apparent viscosity for stuck pipe remediation. And over the years, we've also focused on intuitive user interfaces, numerical stability and speed, and integrated color graphics, e.g., movie displays for transient motions and mixing.

In short, we've addressed most anticipated downhole problems. For example, where porous sandfaces allow fluid influx or outflux, algorithms in Formation Invasion and Quantitative Methods can be used to enhance safety - or to interpret resistivity readings. And when density stratification (due to barite sag) leads to dangerous recirculation zones, we offer creative solutions to remediate plugging problems.

Our drilling and cementing rheology monographs, plus our reservoir engineering and formation testing books, cover the complete spectrum of downhole applications on both sides of the sandface. For these reasons, the author served as Expert Witness in the Deepwater Horizon litigation, deciphering the complex interplay between Darcy pressures in the reservoir and fluid stresses in the well.

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