Abstract

The principal function of leak-off tests is to assess casing integrity, but the test data are commonly used beyond this original purpose, for stress estimations in exploration and drilling. The value of leak-off test data for stress estimation is questionable and extended leak-off tests have been proposed as a more appropriate method for stress estimation. The paper for the first time compares leak-off test (LOT) and extended leak- off test (ELOT) data from two areas, the North West Self of Australia and the Norwegian North Sea. Standard LOTs have a characteristically large scatter associated with the leak-off pressures (Plo), minimum stress and fracture gradient estimates in both areas. However, the minimum stress determined from ELOTs are consistent and form a lower bound to the standard fl0 data in both areas. The ELOT takes about an hour to perform, but provides far superior data than that obtained from a LOT, and is recommended where stress data are required.

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