A major geomechanical study was conducted for one of the UAE onshore oil fields with the purpose of studying reservoir rock properties and stress distribution, based on which a 3D coupled reservoir geomechanical model was built. This model was later used for wellbore stability analysis and for analyzing the effect of fractures on future reservoir production performance, including fracture deformation and permeability evolution occurring due to reservoir depletion and resulting changes in local stress field. The subject of this study was a complex fractured Upper Cretaceous carbonate reservoir characterized by high degree of heterogeneity, both vertically and laterally. Wellbore instability related drilling problems were encountered while drilling the wells in this field. The problems were mainly in drilling the horizontal wells, including breakouts and mud losses. Experimental results of laboratory tests used in this study are summarized in Part I of this paper whereas wellbore stability analysis and formulation of a3D geomechanical model that was built for that purpose is summarized herein.

A 3D geomechanical reservoir model was developed, which included natural fractures. The mechanical properties of the reservoir rock, such as Young's modulus, Poisson's ratio, UCS, friction angle and tensile strength were populated based on the correlations established in Part I of this paper and the developed model was then used to simulate the 3D mechanical-property distribution and the evolution of the in situ stresses in the field due to depletion from 1983 to present-day. Based on the full field model, mud weight cubes were developed to predict the safe mud weight windows in different drilling directions. In addition, well stability prediction for two planned wells was performed using a 3D near-borehole model.

Firstly, the computed stress state and mechanical properties simulated in the full field model were extracted along the well trajectory of an existing horizontal well which was drilled recently and then, a 3D near-borehole model was constructed along the well trajectory. The wellbore stability analysis along the well trajectory, including stress state, strain distribution and displacements, was performed to identify the instability events along the well trajectory. It has been seen that the presence of natural fractures is closely related to the recorded borehole instability incidents. The computed plastic strains which indicate the wellbore failure were consistent with the recorded wellbore instability events in the FMI image logs, what provide further verification of the developed model. Then, this 3D near-borehole model was applied to two planned horizontal wells and the wellbore stability analysis for the two wells was carried out.

The results showed that drilling vertically in the reservoir is safer than drilling horizontally. However, the drilling mud weight window in the vertical direction is narrow, being as narrow as 18.7 pcf or 0.299 sg locally. Drilling horizontally is less stable towards the maximum far field stress direction than towards the minimum far field stress direction. The mud weight cubes were used to identify the optimal well placement and well trajectory. For planned well trajectories, this technology can also be used to determine the optimal mud weight.

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