Improvements in horizontal drilling technology made it possible to drill almost in all types and shapes of reservoirs. No change, however, was made in the design of drill pipes to overcome the high stresses especially for drill pipe rotating in medium or short radius horizontal wells. During drilling of some horizontal wells in the Middle East area, an abnormal amount of tubular failure was noticed in the drill string being used.
This paper presents a field case study of drill string failure during drilling of medium radius horizontal wells.
Investigations as well as a metallurgical evaluation were conducted in an attempt to establish the possible causes of the drill string failures. Other possible reasons for drill string failures and suggestions to minimize the bending stress of drill pipes are also discussed.