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Research Papers: Petroleum Engineering

A Comprehensive Wellbore Stability Model Considering Poroelastic and Thermal Effects for Inclined Wellbores in Deepwater Drilling

[+] Author and Article Information
Xuyue Chen, Deli Gao, Jin Yang, Xin Li

MOE Key Laboratory of Petroleum Engineering,
China University of Petroleum,
Beijing 102249, China

Ming Luo

Zhanjiang Branch of CNOOC Ltd.,
Zhanjiang 524057, China

Yongcun Feng

Department of Petroleum and Geosystems
Engineering,
The University of Texas at Austin,
Austin, TX 78705

Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received January 9, 2018; final manuscript received April 2, 2018; published online April 26, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Ray (Zhenhua) Rui.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 140(9), 092903 (Apr 26, 2018) (11 pages) Paper No: JERT-18-1029; doi: 10.1115/1.4039983 History: Received January 09, 2018; Revised April 02, 2018

Exploring and developing oil and gas in deepwater field is an important trend of the oil and gas industry. Development of deepwater oil and gas fields from a platform always requires a number of directional wells or extended reach wells targeting to different depth of water in various azimuth. Drilling of these wells is mostly associated with a series of wellbore instability problems that are not encountered in onshore or shallow water drilling. In the past decades, a number of studies on wellbore stability have been conducted. However, few of the models are specific for wellbore stability of the inclined deepwater wellbores. In this work, a comprehensive wellbore stability model considering poroelastic and thermal effects for inclined wellbores in deepwater drilling is developed. The numerical method of the model is also presented. The study shows that for a strike-slip stress regime, the wellbore with a low inclination poses more risk of wellbore instability than the wellbore with a high inclination. It also shows that cooling the wellbore will stabilize the wellbore while excessive cooling could cause wellbore fracturing, and the poroelastic effect could narrow the safe mud weight window. The highest wellbore collapse pressure gradients at all of the analyzed directions are obtained when poroelastic effect is taken into account meanwhile the lowest wellbore fracture pressure gradients at all of the analyzed directions are obtained when both of poroelastic effect and thermal effect are taken into account. For safe drilling in deepwater, both of thermal and poroelastic effects are preferably considered to estimate wellbore stability. The model provides a practical tool to predict the stability of inclined wellbores in deepwater drilling.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Developing deepwater reservoirs from a platform and typical temperature profile for deepwater drilling: (a) developing deepwater reservoirs from a platform and (b) temperature profile for conventional riser drilling in deepwater

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Fig. 2

The conversion of coordinates and stresses distribution around the wellbore: (a) coorinates conversion for deviated wellbore and (b) principle stresses at the wellbore wall

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Fig. 3

Flow chart for calculating mud weight window for wellbore stability

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Fig. 4

Critical mud weight causing collapse and fracture around the wellbore considering thermal and/or poroelastic effects: (a) critical mud weight causing collapse around the wellbore and (b) critical mud weight causing fracture around the wellbore

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Fig. 5

Wellbore collapse pressure gradients at different inclinations and azimuths considering thermal and/or poroelastic effects: (a) without considering poroelastic and thermal effects, (b) considering poroelastic effect, (c) considering thermal effect, and (d) considering poroelastic and thermal effects

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Fig. 6

Wellbore fracture pressure gradients at different inclinations and azimuths considering thermal and/or poroelastic effects: (a) without considering poroelastic and thermal effects, (b) considering poroelastic effect, (c) considering thermal effect, and (d) considering poroelastic and thermal effects

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Fig. 7

Mud weight causing wellbore collapse and mud weight free of wellbore fracturing: (a) mud weight causing wellbore collapse and (b) mud weight free of wellbore fracturing

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