Private Forums
Heating of drilling mud
28 November 2007
Dear all,

Does anyone out there have any experience of heating mud prior to
drilling into the reservoir, with the intention of minimising
emulsion blocking?

The concern is the formation of waxes and emulsions in the near
wellbore leading to a low PI for the planned welltest.

The prospect is a shallow (+/-3,700ft) heavy oil accumulation in the
UK North Sea. The well is an appraisal well which is to be drilled
from a semi in winter time. reservoir temperature is expected to be
105F. Prior to drilling into the reservoir the drill-in fluid will
be heated in the mud pits to approx 120F by means of deck mounted
steam generators and heat exchangers.

In particular, any experience or advice in temperature and heat flow
modelling for drilling, as well as the practicalities of maintaining
reservoir temperature in the near wellbore region during drilling and
well displacements would be gratefully received.
5 answer(s)
NDSV (Enquest)
SPREAD Associates
Total Posts: 4
Join Date: 25/11/18
Would the drilling fluid need to be heated to maintain 120F?

often drilling fluid can reach this temperature or above and remain so for the drilling section due to friction.  

Just completed a well where the BHT was 108F, no heaters etc and the fluid temperature remained about 110F throughout.  Only time it cooled was running completion.


Mud Engineer
SPREAD Associates
Total Posts: 5
Join Date: 25/10/06
Concerning mud heating I have not actually been on a well that heated
the mud, but was on a rig that they had. They had installed 2" lines
on the bottom of the pit that were feed by steam heater. This in
turned keep active pit at required temperture. On the subject of
temperture profiling my company has a software package that can
calculate changes in fluid temperture in the wellbore, but is only
available to company employees, that being MI. It can calculate the
effect the formation can have on the temperture of the drilling fluid
as it circulates, taking into account flowline verses pit
tempertures. It also can calculate expansion and contration of fluid
as it heats up then cools down. We used the software when drilling
HTHP wells that required the returning fluid to be cooled.

On the cuttings subject. I have actually performed the task of
processing cuttings from another source. You need a device that can
safely tip the full cuttings skip into a collection point. The
cuttings are then transfered to the CRI unit by auger or someother
device to build slurries as normal. We did it years ago on the Geda
platform in Norway, taking cuttings from a semi working in the area.


Performance Coach
SPREAD Associates
Total Posts: 7
Join Date: 19/12/06
I worked on an arctic class semi where all the mud tanks had hot
water heating lines running through them to keep the mud warm.
Simple to control as you could switch the water supply off and on as
I remember the water supply came off the main engine water cooling
line which was hot anyway and meant that instead of going straight
overboard from the engine it passed through these lines.
Operations Manager
Myspread Users
Total Posts: 3
Join Date: 30/10/07
I have not been involved in Mud Heating, but have been involved in
wells where Mud Cooling was required. I found it difficult to get
satisfactory thermodynamic modelling done. Companies like Drillcool
(Mud Cooling Equipment) have software, but its not user-friendly or
flexible. So I am interested if this topic can point towards some
useful, user-friendly software for cooling or heating applications.
Drilling Engr
GulfSlope Energy Inc
Total Posts: 8
Join Date: 05/02/07
Thinking out loud, has heat tracing (HT) & insulating the HP mud
lines been considered as an option? It is easy to install, self-
regulating, no heat wasted & requires no maintenance. HT can even be
extended up the standpipe if necessary to get the mud up to temp to
go downhole.

No boilers, steam, etc, with the inherent upkeep.


Eddie Clark.
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