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Research Papers: Petroleum Engineering

Stability Analysis of Highly Deviated Boreholes to Minimize Drilling Risks and Nonproductive Time

[+] Author and Article Information
Ahmed K. Abbas

Iraqi Drilling Company,
Basra 61004, Iraq;
Missouri University of Science and Technology,
Rolla, MO 65401
e-mail: akayr4@mst.edu

Ralph E. Flori

Missouri University of Science and Technology,
Rolla, MO 65401
e-mail: reflori@mst.edu

Mortadha Alsaba

Australian College of Kuwait,
Safat 13015, Kuwait
e-mail: m.alsaba@ack.edu.kw

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received August 17, 2018; final manuscript received January 30, 2019; published online February 18, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Gensheng Li.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 141(8), 082904 (Feb 18, 2019) (13 pages) Paper No: JERT-18-1633; doi: 10.1115/1.4042733 History: Received August 17, 2018; Revised January 30, 2019

The Lower Cretaceous Zubair Formation is a regionally extended gas- and oil-producing sandstone sequence in Southern Iraq. Due to the weak nature of the Zubair Formation, the lack of wellbore stability is one of the most critical challenges that continuously appears during the drilling development operations. Problems associated with lack of wellbore stability, such as the tight hole, shale caving, stuck pipe, and sidetracking, are both time-consuming and expensive. This study aimed to construct a geotechnical model based on offset well data, including rock mechanical properties, in situ stresses, and formation pore pressure, coupled with suitable rock failure criteria. Mohr–Coulomb and Mogi–Coulomb failure criteria were used to predict the potential rock failure around the wellbore. The effect of the inclination and azimuth of the deviated wells on the shear failure and tensile failure mud weights was investigated to optimize the wellbore trajectory. The results show that the best orientation to drill highly deviated wells (i.e., inclinations higher than 60 deg) is along to the minimum horizontal stress (140 deg). The recommended mud weight for this selected well trajectory ranges from 1.45 to 1.5 g/cc. This study emphasizes that a wellbore stability analysis can be applied as a cost-effective tool to guide future highly deviated boreholes for better drilling performance by reducing the nonproductive time.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

General workflow for the geomechanical model

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Fig. 2

Stress transformation in polar systems for a deviated borehole

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Fig. 3

Total time analysis for 12 deviated wells: (a) time distribution for twelve deviated wells, (b) total time breakdown for an 8½″, and (c) time distribution of nonproductive time due to wellbore instability incidents for 8½″ section

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Fig. 4

Predicted rock mechanical properties logs and laboratory measurements

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Fig. 5

Pore pressure profile calibrated against the available measured pressure points

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Fig. 6

Estimation of the in situ principal stress magnitudes at a single well location

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Fig. 7

Orientation of the identified borehole breakouts (direction of minimum horizontal stress): (a) Schmidt plot-upper hemisphere, (b) rosette plot of the dip azimuth, and (c) rosette plot of the strike azimuth

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Fig. 8

Minimum mud weight plots using the Mohr–Coulomb failure criterion: (a) borehole breakout mud weight versus well orientation and (b) formation breakdown mud weight versus well orientation

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Fig. 9

Minimum mud weight plots using the Mogi–Coulomb failure criterion: (a) borehole breakout mud weight versus well orientation and (b) formation breakdown mud weight versus well orientation

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Fig. 10

Minimum mud weight plots using the Mohr–Coulomb failure criterion: (a) mud weight window versus deviation and (b) mud weight window versus azimuth

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Fig. 11

Minimum mud weight plots using the Mogi–Coulomb failure criterion: (a) mud weight window versus deviation and (b) mud weight window versus azimuth

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Fig. 12

Evaluation of the accuracy of 1D-MEM using Mohr–Coulomb criteria

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Fig. 13

Evaluation of the accuracy of 1D-MEM using Mogi–Coulomb criteria

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Fig. 14

Wellbore stability forecast for the planned highly deviated well

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