It is recognized that there is no single solution to lost circulation, and most treatment and trial-and-error. However, the screening guide presents a high-level ‘go to’ document with coherent guidelines, which engineers can utilize in making decisions regarding lost circulation treatments in major oil fields. The aim of this work is to describe how mud engineers can use the decision tree analysis (DTA) to evaluate and select the best treatments path for mitigating mud losses.
Lost circulation events of Southern Iraq oil fields were statistically analyzed to determine treatment effectiveness. Also, the cost of each treatment, as well as the NPT that is associated with the treatment, is considered in this study. Data from over 1000 wells were gathered from various sources and reports; the
treatments were classified by scenario -partial, severe, and complete losses - as well as cost, efficiency, and formation types. This paper is developed based on probabilities, expected monetary value (EMV), and decision tree analysis (DTA) to recommend the best-lost circulation treatments path for each type of losses.
Traditionally, lost circulation in Southern Iraq area has been treated in a multitude of ways without consistent methodology. This analysis identifies and ranks the most effective treatments to create a "best" method/product recommendation and a flowchart suggesting additional measures in treating losses to optimize success and reduce overall cost and NPT. This paper presents the best treatment for each scenario - partial loss, severe losses and complete losses - both for product selection and engineering.
This paper utilizes probability and economics in the decision-making process. This is the first study that considers a detailed probability and cost to treat the lost circulation problem. Thousands of treatment scenarios for each type of losses are conducted, and the EMVs for all scenarios are calculated. For each type of losses, the lowest EMV treatment strategy- that is practically applicable in the field and makes sense- is selected to be used to treat each type of losses to minimize NPT and cost. If the losses didn't stop after utilizing the proposed treatment strategies, it is recommended to use liner hanger to isolate the losses zone and then continue drilling.
One challenge in drilling wells in Southern Iraq oil fields is the inconsistency of approaches to the lost circulation problem. Therefore, the result of this data analysis provides a path forward for Southern Iraq area lost circulation events and suggests probable methods that can be used in similar formations globally. Additionally, the methodology can be adapted to studying other types of formations and drilling challenges have the same geological properties in any major oil field.