With the evolution of long, deep and hot wells, the design margins have become very small. This motivated the presented study and prompted the investigation for a precise well design model for burst and collapse. Although most well designs are based on one- and two-dimensional mechanics, more recent design packages include a three-dimensional version as well. It will be shown that these models are accurate only for certain conditions.

This paper presents an exact solution to the three-dimensional well design problem. Field examples demonstrate the accuracy of the new and conventional design models. The new model calculates design factors that are exact, thereby offering a tool for optimized well design. The presented theory is based on the von Mises yield criterion and the Lamé thick-walled solution for the pipe.

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