An experimental investigation into the dynamic collapse phase of drilling fluid discharged into a stratified, flowing environment Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/rn301408k

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  • Dumping drilling mud from offshore drilling rigs into the ocean could have a negative impact on the marine environment. Due to this possible impact, the Offshore Operators Committee (OOC) has deemed it necessary to predict the fate of drilling mud discharged into the ocean. Through the funding of OOC and Exxon Production Research Company, a computer program was developed which models the fate of discharged drilling mud for a wide variety of ocean conditions. At present, the program has been through a limited amount of testing and still contains modeling coefficients whose validity have not been established. A laboratory simulation of mud discharging into a flowing, stratified environment was designed and tested in the Mechanical Engineering facilities at Oregon State University. The objective of this experiment was to observe and quantitatively describe the behavior of the dynamic collapse phase of the mud. The primary emphasis was given to the shape and position of mud-plume cross sections as they progressed into the dynamic collapse phase. Using a collimated light source and motor driven camera, each cross section was captured on film. Photographs showed that the behavior of the discharged-mud simulation closely matched actual mud discharges into the ocean. It is considered that the measured results would serve as a good check against the OOC computer program's ability to model the dynamic collapse phase of discharged mud.
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