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

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

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

instability in shales 1.4 Poor cementing jobs .5 Lost circulation .2 Logging and interpretation difficults .chemical.effects .3Resulting of hole instability Stuck pipe .3 Rock properties (strength. and physical . or reduced production Numerous factors cause the well-bore to become unstable after the :borehole is drilled. the possibility of losing part of the hole .Thermal effects . modulus of elasticity. .or the entire well.2 (Well trajectories (inclination and azimuth .4 (permeability Shale/fluid interactions . these two aspects of instability.3 Difficulty running casing .1 Sidetrack . such as In-situ stress state conditions .6 All contribute to increased costs. Poisson ratio.1 (Well types (vertical or directional .6 These factors can be classified as mechanical. the last one mainly oriented to .5 .

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

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

4Mechanical instability Mechanical rock instability can occur because the in-situ stress state of equilibrium has been disturbed after drilling. borehole-fluid invasion into shale 2. fine sand. silt. Shale types range from clay-rich gumbo (relatively weak) to shaly siltstone (highly cemented). osmotic pressure. The drilling cost attributed to shale-instability problems is reported to be in excess of one-half billion U.(pressure diffusion. and cause most wellbore-instability problems. Figure (2. ranging from washout to complete collapse of the hole.2): Mechanical wellbore instability 2. in some cases.S dollars per year. Shales are fine-grained sedimentary rocks composed of clay. shale strength environment) and chemical (shale/fluid interaction—capillary pressure. .3shale properties Shales make up the majority of drilled formations. and have in common the characteristics of extremely low permeability and a high proportion of clay minerals. The cause of shale instability is two- fold: mechanical (stress change vs. The mud in use with a . and.

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

borehole fluid is forced to flow into the formation (fluid-loss phenomenon). This pressure change is caused by the compression of the native pore fluid by the borehole-fluid .to sonic velocity The instability and shale/fluid interaction mechanisms. Moisture content relates • . 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. To mitigate this problem. which may cause chemical interaction that can lead to shale instabilities. and the osmotic pressure. 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.off micro fractures 2. pos Borehole fluid invasion into shale In conventional drilling. As a result. coming into play as drilling fluid contacts the shale formation. Austin. a positive differential pressure (the difference between the borehole-fluid pressure and the pore-fluid pressure) is always maintained.6Shale/Fluid interaction mechanisms Analysis of the available experimental data (O’Brien-GoinsSimpson Associates and University of Texas. can be summarized as :follows Mechanical stress changes as the drilling fluid of certain density . clearly shows that the shale strength and the pore pressure near the bore-hole are indeed affected by fluid/shale interaction. an increase of mud viscosity or. in extreme cases. gilsonite is used to seal .pressure.1 . Shell and Amoco sponsored Projects). pwfl.

pressure gradient because of the hydraulic gradient Swelling/Hydration pressure. caused by interaction of moisture . as drilling fluid contacts native pore fluid at . ps.into the hole 2.with clay-size charged particles Pressure diffusion and pressure changes near the wellbore(with time) . Pc.7Borehole-instability prevention Total prevention of borehole instability is unrealistic.6 . and stability analysis tools are . ph.8 a dominant role in shale instability. the drilling engineer can mitigate the problems of borehole :instabilities by adhering to good field practices.7 as drilling fluid compresses the pore fluid and diffuses a pressure front . as large block of fractured shale fall .narrow pore throat interface Osmosis(and ionic diffusion) occurring between drilling fluid and .5 .available Fractured shale . 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  .PM Hydraulic (Advection).Fluid penetration into fissures and fractures and .2 . causing fluid transport under net hydraulic . However. replaces shale in the hole. because restoring the physical and chemical in-situ conditions of the rock is impossible.3 .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).into the formation Fluid penetration in fractured shale and weak bedding planes can play . Mechanical stability problem caused by various factors is fairly well understood.weak bedding planes Capillary pressure. .

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

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