Table of Contents

ABSTRACT

INTRODUCTION

CHAPTER 1
1.1WELLBORE STABILITY…………………………………………………………..………………………………1
1.2IMPORTANCE OF WELLBORE STABILITY ..............................................................
RESULTING OF HOLE INSTABILITY………………………………………………………..........3 1.3
CHAPTER 2........................................................................................ 4
INTRODUCTION……………….……………………………………………………………………………5 2.1
SHALE INSTABILITY…………………………………………………………………………………..……6 2.2
SHALE PROPERTIES………………………………………………………………………………..……..7 2.3
MECHANICAL INSTABILITY……………………………………………………………………………8 2.4
CHEMICAL INSTABILITY………………………………………………………………………….……..9 2.5
CAPILLARY PRESSURE……………………………………………………………………………………....10
OSMOTIC PRESSURE…………………………………………………………………………………………11
PRESSURE DIFFUSION……………………………………………………………………………………….12
BOREHOLE FLUID INVASION INTO SHALE…………………………………………………………..13
SHALE/FLUID INTERACTION MECANISMS…………………..……………………………14 2.6
BOREHOLE INSTABILITY PREVENTION……………………………………………………15 2.7
CHAPTER 3…………………………………………………………………………………………………….16

or occurring at a rate relative to geologic time (millions of years).and increases mud and cementing costs Estimated cost to the drilling industry for hole stability problems range .Prior to drilling . fracture. Chapter 1 1. the rock surrounding the wellbore undergoes changes in tension. The chemical action is also balanced.drilling fluid Under these conditions. compression. Hole squeezing mobile formations produce tight hole problems and stuck pipe.from 600 million to 1 billion dollars annually . Rocks under this balanced or near-balanced state are . Chemical reactions also occur with exposure to the . the rock surrounding the wellbore can become unstable. Cavings from failing formation makes hole cleaning more difficult . and shear loads as the rock forming the core of the hole is removed. and cave into the wellbore or . begin to deform.dissolve into the drilling fluids Excessive rock stress can collapse the hole resulting in stuck pipe.1WELLBORE STABILITY Wellbore stability is the prevention of brittle failure or plastic deformation of the rock surrounding the wellbore due to mechanical stress or chemical imbalances . the mechanical stresses in the formation are less than the strength of the rock.stable After drilling.

These events lead to an increase of drilling costs The causes of instability have been classified into either mechanical or chemical effects.2IMPARTANCE OF WELLBORE STABILITY Well-bore stability analysis has been the subject of study and discussion for a long time. In severe situations .bore . or changes .1) : Wellbore stability problems 1. A significant amount of research has been focused on . Figure (1. Problems involving well-bore stability occur principally through changes in the original stress state due to removal of rock. interactions between rock and drilling or completion fluids. The integrity of the well-bore plays an important role in many well operations during drilling.of differential pressures as draw down occurs For the particular drilling case. support provided originally by the rock is replaced by hydraulic drilling fluid pressure. this creates perturbation and redistribution of stresses around the well-bore that can lead to mechanical instabilities . temperature changes. and production. completion.hole closure can cause stuck pipe and loss of the well- .These instabilities can cause lost circulation or hole closure in the case of tensile or compressive failure respectively.

4 Poor cementing jobs . modulus of elasticity.1 (Well types (vertical or directional .3Resulting of hole instability Stuck pipe . .5 .3 Difficulty running casing .instability in shales 1.chemical.2 (Well trajectories (inclination and azimuth .3 Rock properties (strength. such as In-situ stress state conditions .Thermal effects .1 Sidetrack . the possibility of losing part of the hole . and physical .6 These factors can be classified as mechanical.or the entire well.effects . or reduced production Numerous factors cause the well-bore to become unstable after the :borehole is drilled. these two aspects of instability.2 Logging and interpretation difficults .6 All contribute to increased costs. the last one mainly oriented to . Poisson ratio.4 (permeability Shale/fluid interactions .5 Lost circulation .

poor hole cleaning. in-situ stress calculations. shale becomes unstable when the effective state of the stress near the drilled hole exceeds the strength of the hole. Most of the drilling problems that drive up the drilling costs are related to wellbore stability.The stress-strength imbalance comes about as rock is removed from the hole.The oil and gas industry still continues to fight borehole problems. These problems are mainly caused by the imbalance created between the rock stress and strength when a hole is drilled. porosity) and of the drilling fluid contacting it (e.fracturing.g.The existence and creation of fissures fractures and weak bedding planes can also destabilize shale as drilling fluid penetrates them. Well-bore instability is a complex problem that includes rock mechanics.1INTRODUCTION Shales make up over 75% of the drilled formations. stuck pipe. tight hole .2Shale instability The oil and gas industry sustains financial losses due to well-bore failure of over one billion dollars each year. well control. plastic flow . wettability. and the drilled formations are exposed to drilling fluids . stress analysis. hole enlargement. and over70% of the borehole problems are related to shale instability . lost circulation. Drilling fluids can cause shale instability by altering pore pressure or effective stress-state and the shale strength through shale/fluid interaction.g. CHAPTER 2 2. particularly water.While drilling. density. Shale stability is affected by properties of both shale (e. replaced with drilling fluid. salinity and . The problems include hole collapse. mineralogy. A complicating factor that distinguishes shale from other rocks is its sensitivity to certain drilling constituents .ionic concentration).place over a period of time 2. pore pressure prediction. and shale/fluid chemical . Shale stability is also a time-dependent problem in that changes in the stress-state and strength usually take .

stuck drill pipe .Figure(2. well . mud weight. Hole instability is seen .1 Hole size reductions due to swelling of shales . balance between the stress and strength must be restored and maintained during drilling through control over drilling fluid composition. To prevent the problem. Borehole stability problem occurs when the rock stress exceeds rock strength.1): Mechanical wellbore instability . poor (directional control. (Bradley et al Fractures caused by tensile failure due to excessive well-bore (1 pressure. This causes lost circulation and often results in well control (problems experienced as a kick or an underground blowout . and poor cementing .Figure(2. which causes fill on trips.2 Hole enlargements resulting from compressive failure due to (3 excessively low well-bore pressure. reactions. exposing the formation to drilling mud.most often as sloughing and caving shale The mechanisms of well-bore instability in shales can be grouped into :(three categories.2 Figure (2.trajectory and many other factors Well-bore instability is caused by a radical change in both the mechanical stress and the chemical and physical environments when a hole is drilled. which results in repeat (2 (reaming.Figure(2. or in extreme conditions.

2): Mechanical wellbore instability 2. The mud in use with a . The drilling cost attributed to shale-instability problems is reported to be in excess of one-half billion U. The cause of shale instability is two- fold: mechanical (stress change vs.3shale properties Shales make up the majority of drilled formations. silt.S dollars per year. shale strength environment) and chemical (shale/fluid interaction—capillary pressure. Shale types range from clay-rich gumbo (relatively weak) to shaly siltstone (highly cemented). borehole-fluid invasion into shale 2. . and. and cause most wellbore-instability problems. and have in common the characteristics of extremely low permeability and a high proportion of clay minerals. in some cases. fine sand.(pressure diffusion. ranging from washout to complete collapse of the hole. Figure (2.4Mechanical instability Mechanical rock instability can occur because the in-situ stress state of equilibrium has been disturbed after drilling. Shales are fine-grained sedimentary rocks composed of clay. osmotic pressure.

.. This results in the development of capillary pressure... or chemical potential. To prevent or reduce water movement across this semipermeable membrane that has certain efficiency. To prevent borehole fluids from entering the shale and stabilizing it..therefore. water movement can occur in either direction across a semipermeable membrane as a result of the development of osmotic pressure. certain density may not bring the altered stresses to the original state. an increase in capillary pressure is required.. shale may become mechanically unstable 2..5Chemical instability Chemical-induced shale instability is caused by the drilling-fluid/shale interaction. pcap .. and r is the pore-throat radius. is different from the activity in drilling mud.. am .. μc .. as. it is suggested to increase Em and vice versa. ϴ is the contact angle between the two fluids. The mechanisms that :contribute to this problem include Capillary pressure  Osmotic pressure  Pressure diffusion in the vicinity of the borehole walls  Borehole-fluid invasion into the shale when drilling overbalanced  Capillary pressure During drilling. which can be achieved with oil-based or other .. at least. which alters shale mechanical strength as well as the shale pore pressure in the vicinity of the borehole walls.. pos .. the mud in the borehole contacts the native pore fluid in the shale through the pore-throat interface.organic low-polar mud systems Osmotic pressure When the energy level or activity in shale pore fluid. If am is lower than as.. The mud activity can be reduced by adding electrolytes that can be brought about through the :use of mud systems such as . Em. the activities need to be equalized or. which is expressed as (pcap =2. their differentials minimized....(1 where σ is the interfacial tension...

and the osmotic pressure. an increase of mud viscosity or. can be summarized as :follows Mechanical stress changes as the drilling fluid of certain density . Shell and Amoco sponsored Projects). borehole fluid is forced to flow into the formation (fluid-loss phenomenon).to sonic velocity The instability and shale/fluid interaction mechanisms. This pressure change is caused by the compression of the native pore fluid by the borehole-fluid . in extreme cases.1 . Basic :results confirmed by this analysis can be summarized as follows Activity imbalance causes fluid flow into/or out of shale • Different drilling fluids and additives affect the amount of fluid flow in • or out of shale Differential pressure or overbalance causes fluid flow into shale • Fluid flow into shale results in swelling pressure • The moisture content affects shale strength. Moisture content relates • . gilsonite is used to seal .off micro fractures 2.6Shale/Fluid interaction mechanisms Analysis of the available experimental data (O’Brien-GoinsSimpson Associates and University of Texas. Austin. a positive differential pressure (the difference between the borehole-fluid pressure and the pore-fluid pressure) is always maintained. seawater  Saturated-salt/polymer  KCl/NaCl/polymer  Lime/gypsum  Pressure diffusion Pressure diffusion is a phenomenon of pressure change near the borehole walls that occurs over time.pressure. which may cause chemical interaction that can lead to shale instabilities. pos Borehole fluid invasion into shale In conventional drilling. As a result. clearly shows that the shale strength and the pore pressure near the bore-hole are indeed affected by fluid/shale interaction. pwfl. To mitigate this problem. coming into play as drilling fluid contacts the shale formation.

These practices include Proper mud-weight selection and maintenance  Use of proper hydraulics to control the equivalent circulating  (density (ECD Proper hole-trajectory selection  Use of borehole fluid compatible with the formation being drilled  :Additional field practices that should be followed are Minimizing time spent in open hole  (Using offset-well data (use of the learning curve  .8 a dominant role in shale instability.with clay-size charged particles Pressure diffusion and pressure changes near the wellbore(with time) .7Borehole-instability prevention Total prevention of borehole instability is unrealistic.4 shale native pore fluid (with different water activities/ ion concentrations) across a semi-permeable membrane (with certain membrane efficiency) due to osmotic pressure (or chemical potential).narrow pore throat interface Osmosis(and ionic diffusion) occurring between drilling fluid and .into the hole 2.PM Hydraulic (Advection).2 .3 . ph. and stability analysis tools are . causing fluid transport under net hydraulic .weak bedding planes Capillary pressure. the drilling engineer can mitigate the problems of borehole :instabilities by adhering to good field practices. ps. caused by interaction of moisture . Pc.Fluid penetration into fissures and fractures and . as large block of fractured shale fall . Mechanical stability problem caused by various factors is fairly well understood.5 .into the formation Fluid penetration in fractured shale and weak bedding planes can play . However.6 . because restoring the physical and chemical in-situ conditions of the rock is impossible. as drilling fluid contacts native pore fluid at .pressure gradient because of the hydraulic gradient Swelling/Hydration pressure.7 as drilling fluid compresses the pore fluid and diffuses a pressure front . replaces shale in the hole.available Fractured shale . .

Presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference. M.org/10. M. drag. http://dx.Monitoring trend changes (torque.WELLBORE INSTABILITY:CAUSES AND CONSEQUENCES -3 .R. 1990. Houston. Wellbore Stability Analysis: A Review of Current Methods -1 of Analysis and Their Field Application. .Wellbore Stability in Shale -4 .A.2118/19941-MS . 27 February-2 March. and Addis. circulating pressure. fill-in  (during tripping Collaborating and sharing information  References McLean.Texas.doi. SPE-19941-MS.AMOCO-Wellbore-Stability-2 .

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