Frequently, shales are treated as isotropic formations. However, organic rich shales are anisotropic due to their laminated structure and chemical properties. In this study, shale mechanical properties with respect to different bedding plane orientations was studied. The goal of this study is to evaluate anisotropic mechanical properties of shale by triaxial tests and to predict these properties by well logging data along with a 3-D transversely-isotropic wellbore stability analysis (WBS) in Bakken formation. Shale samples were prepared with bedding plane angles equal to 0, 45, and 90 degrees. Young's modulus, shear modulus, and Poisson's ratio in different directions were measured. Parameters of stiffness tensor were calculated by mechanical properties. The compressive strength of shale samples was measured under different confining pressures: 0, 500, 1000, and 1500 psi. Simple Plane of Weakness was applied to describe shear failure mechanism. Well logging data was used to connect experimental and field data. Next, a three-dimensional numerical wellbore stability model based on finite difference method was used to evaluate stress and deformation alterations due to drilling of vertical to extended reach wellbores in Bakken formation, Williston Basin, North Dakota. Both anisotropic and isotropic conditions were considered and the Mohr- constitutive relations were implemented in the numerical model. Vertical Young's modulus (perpendicular to the bedding plane) found to be smaller than horizontal Young's modulus (parallel to the bedding plane). Shale is a transversely isotropic rock; which isotropy plane is generally the bedding plane. The result of tests for stiffness tensor showed that the shale can be characterized by only five independent stiffness constants. The Simple Plane of Weakness model is suitable to estimate shale anisotropic compressive strength. The P-wave velocity calculated from the stiffness tensor is a used to connect the experimental data and field data. P-wave velocity is increasing as the bedding inclination angle increases. The predicted compressional wave velocity for a 45-degree inclination angle showed a perfect fit with the field logging data. Steps of inverse sonic log data to stiffness parameters were shown by a flow chart. From the WBS model, the effects of anisptropy on stress distribution and wellbore convergence was investigated for two different constitutive models: isotropic model (IM) and transversely isotropic model (TIM). It was found that neglecting shale anisotropy will lead to erroneous prediction of wellbore deformation.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.