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research-article

Experimental Investigation on Wellbore Strengthening Based on a Hydraulic Fracturing Apparatus

[+] Author and Article Information
Cheng Cao

State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610500, China; Energy Research Center of Lower Saxony, Clausthal University of Technology, Goslar D-38640, Germany
caochengcn@163.com

Xiaolin Pu

State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610500, China
puxiaolin@vip.sina.com

Zhengguo Zhao

Drilling Engineering Technology Research Institute of Zhongyuan Petroleum Engineering Company, Sinopec Oilfield Service Corporation, Puyang, Henan 457000, China
zhengguo_mcd@163.com

Gui Wang

State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610500, China
wanggui@126.com

Hui Du

State Key Laboratory of Oil and Gas Reservoir Geology and Exploitation, Southwest Petroleum University, Chengdu, Sichuan 610500, China
915029662@qq.com

1Corresponding author.

ASME doi:10.1115/1.4038381 History: Received March 30, 2017; Revised October 27, 2017

Abstract

Lost circulation is a serious problem which is always exists in the petroleum industry. Wellbore strengthening by lost circulation materials (LCMs) is a commonly applied method for mitigating lost circulation. This paper presents a hydraulic fracturing apparatus to investigate the effect of material type, concentration, and particle size distribution of LCMs on wellbore strengthening behaviour. In addition, the characteristics of pressure curves in the fracturing process are analysed in detail. The results showed that the fracture pressure of the artificial core can be increased by LCMs, and there exists an optimum concentration of LCMs for maximum the wellbore strengthening effect. The LCMs with wide particle size distribution can significantly increase the fracture pressure. However, some LCMs cannot increase even decrease the fracture pressure, this is resulting from the LCMs with relatively single particle size distribution make the quality of mud cake becomes to be worse. The representative pressure curve in the fracturing process by drilling fluids with LCMs was divided into five parts, including the initial cake formation stage, elastic plastic deformation stage, crack stability development stage, crack instability development stage, and unstable plugging stage. The actual fracturing curves were divided into four typical types due to missing some stages compared with the representative pressure curve. In order to strengthen the wellbore in effective, good LCMs should be chosen to improve the maximum pressure in the elastic plastic deformation stage, extend the stable time of pressure bearing in the crack stability development stage, and control the crack instability development stage.

Copyright (c) 2017 by ASME
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