Abstract

One of the major problems encountered during drilling operations is lost circulation. Lost circulation can lead to differential stuck pipe, wellbore instability and well control events. Field observations show that lost circulation can be avoided. For example, wellbore strengthening techniques can be utilized to reduce mud loss by increasing the safe mud weight window in depleted reservoir sections. The aim of this study is to use an integrated geomechanical tool based on analytical models to analyze different strengthening mechanisms. Non-fracture-based wellbore strengthening mechanisms (i.e., mud-cake and temperature effects) and fracture-based wellbore strengthening mechanisms (i.e., fracture propagation resistance, fracture closure stress and stress cage) are investigated using analytical parametric analyses. The parametric analyses quantify (i) impact of different wellbore strengthening mechanisms (ii) effect of uncertainty in input parameters.

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