Mud loss is one of the most common problems in drilling operations. Millions of dollars are spent every year to control or mitigate this issue. The aim of this work is to use mud weight (MW), equivalent circulation density (ECD), yield point (YP), flow rate (Q), plastic viscosity (PV), nozzles total flow area (TFA), weight on bit (WOB), and revolutions per minute (RPM) to predict and assess the risk of lost circulation (partial or complete loss). Data of more than 3000 wells collected from multiple sources. Support vector machine (SVM) with six Kernel functions (linear, quadratic, cubic, fine Gaussian, medium Gaussian, and coarse Gaussian) were tested and the highest accuracy model was selected. 5-fold cross-validation was conducted to ensure a sufficient representation of all data points in the training process. The fine Gaussian Kernel showed the best accuracy (99.3%) among the other models and it was selected to train the final model. The model created in this study can be utilized to assess the risk of lost circulation and help the drilling personnel to mitigate/reduce the risk, or prepare the required remedies to stop the risk. Machine learning and other data-driven methods have a great potential to revolutionize the oil and gas and save time and money.


Lost circulation can be defined as the loss of total or part of the drilling fluid into the formation. The outcome of this problem can range between losing a couple of barrels of fluid into formation to a blowout (Messenger, 1981). Major progress has been made by the oil and gas industry to stop or mitigate this problem.

Mud loss is considered as one of the most common and important issues during the process of drilling a well (Alkinani et al., 2018a; Al-Hameedi et al., 2017c; Al-Hameedi et al., 2018a). Insufficient handing to the problem of lost circulation can lead to many problems including but limited to; increasing the delivery time of the well, formation damage, wellbore instability issues, stuck pipe, etc. (Aadnoy et al., 2007; Yang et al., 2015; Nasiri et al., 2017; Alkinani et al., 2019a). Because of these aforementioned obstacles, millions of dollars are spent every year to mitigate and/or stop lost circulation. As reported by the US Department of Energy in 2010, 10–20% of the total cost of the drilling operation in deep high-temperature and high-pressure wells is spent on mud loss (Mansour et al., 2017). Oil and gas companies spent nearly 7.2 billion dollars in the drilling fluid materials and projected to reach over 12 billion dollars in 2018. (Transparency Market Research, 2013). Drilling fluid is considered as a major cost of the drilling operation (Darley and Gray, 1988).

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