Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 8

SPE 159102

SPE 159102 Wellbore Pressure Management in Un stable Shales: It’s Not Just About Rocks Terry Hemphill,

Wellbore Pressure Management in Unstable Shales: It’s Not Just About Rocks

Terry Hemphill, Halliburton

Copyright 2012, Society of Petroleum Engineers

This paper was prepared for presentation at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition held in San Antonio, Texas, USA, 8-10 October 2012.

This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE program committee following review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s). The material does not necessarily reflect any position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright.

must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright. Abstract Much of the drilling in unconventional resource
must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of SPE copyright. Abstract Much of the drilling in unconventional resource

Abstract Much of the drilling in unconventional resource plays occurs in unstable shales, which are usually fractured and can be easily destabilized. Drilling through them successfully can be difficult at best, and many high-angled holes in these plays are often lost due to mechanical instability. This paper examines the problems of shale gas drilling from the theoretical perspective of Wellbore Pressure Management (WPM) and keys in on the effects of equivalent circulating density (ECD) while drilling and on the effects of equivalent static density (ESD) when there is no circulation. In this paper the following questions pertaining to drilling a typical fractured shale or highly-laminated weak zone are addressed from the WPM perspective:

What mud density do I need to drill a fractured shale?

Why can a typical shale gas play well be drilled with no drilling problems, yet becomes very unstable on the last trip out of the hole before wireline logging or running casing?

Why are drilling problems especially acute in laminated shales or similar weak zones?

Why is the wellbore unstable while the drilling density is within the range demarcated by the Safe Drilling Window?

Why does shale instability often not improve significantly when drilling fluid density levels are increased?

Which tools in the driller’s toolbox are often used that actually make the wellbore stability issue more problematic?

By using a Wellbore Pressure Management approach to understanding instability in fractured shales, the reader can readily see how to best deal with the problem in the field and hopefully improve stability in future wells.

Introduction Drilling problems in unstable shales wells typically occurs in fractured or laminated shale zones. These formations are by their nature weak, and susceptible to pressure fluctuations that occur during the normal course of drilling. They are usually not chemically-active, as described using Cation Exchange Capacity (CEC) tests (low amounts of smectite present) and have low water content. When they become unstable, cavings begin to appear in the wellbore, often becoming severe to the point of near total well collapse. Hole cleaning of these wells becomes nearly impossible with the cavings’ large diameters and packoffs result. To deal with the instability issues, drillers will often rely on backreaming, which often produces more pack- offs and additional pressure spikes in the circulating wellbore. As a result of the instability, hole intervals are often lost and a sidetrack or abandonment of the drilling operation often follows. An outcrop of a typical unstable shale of the type discussed in this paper is seen in Fig. 1.

Description of Unstable Shales Over the years, many researchers have studied the areas of unstable shales and how to drill them efficiently, usually from geological and rock mechanics perspectives. In their study of Green River and Permian Basin shales, Chenevert and Gatlin found in their study of Green River and Permian Basin sedimentary shales were laminated and/or fractured and the rocks exhibited strength anisotropy (1965). In particular, they found these shales to be weaker in compression and tension and that shear failure occurred along the shale bedding planes rather than normal to the bedding planes. They also found that their failure could not be well described by a single plane of weakness, as is usually used in conventional rock mechanics modeling.

2

SPE 159102

In their 1996 study of unstable shales, Økland and Cook concurred that the problem shales were highly-laminated and exhibited strength anisotropy. Barton and Zoback found that the weak fractured rocks were made mechanically weaker at the wellbore wall as they were penetrated in the drilling process (2002). Warren and Root found that these rocks contained what they called ‘dead-end’ or ‘storage’ pores or discrete volumes of low-permeability matrix rock combined with natural fissures (1962). These rocks have been characterized as having microfractures, weak bedding planes, and laminations that contributed to their weakness (Al-Bazali 2009). Lastly, Lorenz found that the fractures within these shales were ‘mismatched’ or ‘unmated’, and that when they closed, large openings were left between the two sides (1999). These fractures also contained asperities (debris) which served as temporary points of stress concentration when the fractures closed.

Failure at the Wellbore Wall Yamamoto et al (2002) described the failure of highly-fractured shales in the Arabian Gulf area. Here the Nahr Umr formation is notorious for presenting instability problems to drillers. They found that in deviated wellbores shear stress was induced on the bedding planes while drilling and the resulting failure caused the shale to be displaced at the fracture planes. This in turn led to increased permeability of the fracture itself. The authors also found that the failure of the fractured shales was time-dependent, and with increased exposure time while drilling the hole enlargement worsened. In deviated wellbores there is a relationship between wellbore trajectory and bedding planes, and that the ‘angle of attack’ (the angle of drilling with respect to the angle of the bedding planes) (Al-Bazali 2009). When the angle of attack is low (often less than 30°), more severe stability problems could occur than at higher angles of attack (Willson 1999, Willson 2007). In their study of shale instability in Colombia, Willson et al described the failure mechanism as ‘bedding parallel shear’, in which blocks of shale could fall into the wellbore while tripping or during a swab while pulling out of the hole (1999). A drop in radial tension at the wellbore wall (as occurs when fluid density in the wellbore is reduced) can lead to detachment of the rock at the wellbore wall (Bol 1994). When stability problems occurred in the wellbore, cavings from the fractured shales fall into the wellbore, and that mechanical action at the wellbore wall (drill pipe rotation, BHA design, drilling practices, etc.) can further destabilize weak shale (Fontana 2007).

Fracture Considerations In any study of shale instability in highly-laminated or fractured zones, the characteristics of the fractures need to be considered. With regard to drilling fluid chemistry, a chemical mismatch between the drilling fluid and the shale could exacerbate the stability problems (Al-Bazali 2009). Accordingly the drilling fluid should have a ‘balanced’ chemical activity between the shale pore fluid and the drilling fluid itself. However, in this study, the shales are not considered to be chemically reactive and hence fluid chemistry is not considered a major contributor to the shale instability. With pressure penetration into the fractures, the fractures can dilate and reduced effective stress occurs (Lorenz 1999). Any applied shear stress now can more easily initiate slipping across the bedding planes. Use of rock modeling showed that any pressure penetration from the wellbore fluid into the fractured rock increased the local pore pressure to the point where the pore pressure and the drilling fluid pressure would equilibrate (1994). In poroelastic modeling, this same principle is used to describe rock pore pressures at the wall (Vinh 2009). Any increase in wellbore pressure can increase the pressure in the fracture to increase, thereby allowing fracture permeabilities to increase 10 to 100 times the original in situ value (Warpinski 1991). Any fracture dilatancy near the wellbore wall increases fracture permeability and that this dilation transfers stress to an outer region further away from the wellbore wall that in effect reduces permeability there (McLennan et al 2002). Hence the effect of fracture dilation with increased pressure is limited in distance from the wellbore wall. Fractures and faults are natural pathways or conduits for fluid flow, and this flow in and out of fractures can be determined through interpretation of imaging logs (Barton et al 2002).

Mud Weight and Hydraulic Effects

There is as yet no consensus on the role drilling fluid density plays on stabilizing/destabilizing fractured or laminated shales. Several researchers have made the case that increased drilling fluid density penetrates the fractured shale more easily, and this increase in pressure in the fractures (and the resulting lubrication of the bedding planes) serve to lower the effective stress that leads to shale failure (Last et al. 1995; Labenski et al 2003; Zhang et al. 2008). On the other hand, others have made the case that increases in drilling fluid density increased stability (Santarelli et al. 1992; Gallant et al. 2007; Ottesen 2010). Santarelli also claimed that improved stability was seen when the drilling fluid viscosity was increased. Dowson et al found that in their extended-reach (ERD) wells in Alaska, sometimes increasing the drilling fluid density mitigated stability problems, while at other times it led to more instability (1999). Many researchers have commented on the effects of changes in wellbore hydraulics with regard to unstable shales. As stated earlier, Bol found that wellbore pressure equilibrates with pore pressure in the fractures. With the shale having reduced support pressure, any swab event could make the stability problem worse. Økland and Cook found that problem shales were drilled with an ECD 0.8-1.6 lbm/gal higher than mud density, and rates of penetration were 200 ft/hr at times, yet the failure of the shales could not be explained by neither mud weight nor by use of single plane of failure modeling alone. As

SPE 159102

3

previously mentioned, Willson (1999) attributed wellbore failure to tripping and/or swabbing events. Yamamoto linked wellbore stability problems in the fractured Nahr Umr shale to hole cleaning problems and/or wellbore pressure surges, thus pointing out the need for control over drilling fluid density while drilling. Dowson attributed some of the instability to pressure cycling, or flexing, in the wellbore when the mud pumps were turned on and off. They claimed the fluctuations produced circumferential tensile failure at the wellbore wall. While these authors tried to link hydraulic effects with wellbore instability, they offered neither a thorough nor consistent theoretical explanation for what was happening in the fractured shales.

Key Factors After review of previous work in this area, the following are seen as key factors in understanding the instability of fractured and laminated shales:

There has to be a zone of weak rock, either a fractured shale or laminated zone. These reports of instability generally do not occur in intact shale. Moreover, this zone of weak rock can lie anywhere in the open hole, not necessarily at the bottom of the wellbore.

The shales are not chemically reactive, and hence have low smectite content and low water content. These shales are not plastic and show relatively little interaction with water.

The existence of bedding planes exacerbates the problem, especially if the borehole is drilled at a low angle of attack in reference to the bedding planes.

There has to be a microfracture or fracture network in the shale zone through which drilling fluid filtrate, and especially pressure, can be transmitted.

Pressure fluctuations are required to destabilize the shale. These fluctuations can come from several sources: swab events, turning the mud pumps on and off, mud weight increases/decreases, etc.

Drilling Fluid Density Prediction and Geomechanical Modeling Typically, before a well is drilled, the operator engages in a wellbore stability study in order to identify the ranges of the Safe Drilling Window. This window describes the density required to maintain stability in an interval for a given hole angle and azimuth, if the downhole formation pressures in the drilling plane are anisotropic in magnitude. Wellbore stability modeling is usually done using the downhole formation pressures (maximum and minimum horizontal stresses), pore pressure, and rock mechanical properties for a formation at a known True Vertical Depth (TVD). In Fig. 2, a polar chart is shown from a typical wellbore stability scenario for compressive shear failure of a formation at a given TVD. Here the overburden was greater than the maximum horizontal stress as is common in relaxed sedimentary rocks. Hole angles are shown in 10° increments from the center toward the outer edge, and azimuthal direction starts from 0° north clockwise around to 360° back at true north. From this kind of modeling, the density required to maintain a borehole stable with compressive shear is identified for all possible hole angle and azimuthal combinations. A second simulation can be easily done for pressures required to initiate fractures. Multiple scenarios for the range of hole angle from 0–90° deviation from vertical can then be run to produce a typical Safe Drilling Window for an unstable shale near interval total depth (TD). As Fig. 3 shows, the Safe Drilling Window is bound on the top by pressure to initiate a fracture and on the low side (usually) by the pressure required to initiate hole collapse. In vertical/near-vertical wellbores, the formation pore pressure can exceed the hole collapse pressure, and thereby can serve as the lower bound on the Safe Drilling Window for these type wells. It can be also seen from Fig. 3 that the magnitude of the Safe Drilling Window narrows with increasing hole angle, and, as in this particular North Sea case, can become quite narrow in a horizontal / near-horizontal drilling case. At 30° deviation, the window width is approximately 6 lbm/gal equivalent, while at 85° deviation, it is only 0.4 lbm/gal equivalent. Hence in order to avoid hole instability while drilling this shale, it should be drilled keeping the downhole pressures within this Safe Drilling Window. The densities predicted by the Safe Drilling Window can be converted to pressure in field units (lbf/in 2 ) by:

P = 0.052 · MW · TVD………………………………………………………………………………………………………

In 1963, problems with laboratory testing of highly-fractured rock were identified. Cores from fractured reservoirs usually had poor recovery percentages, and their testing in the laboratory was very complicated (Warren 1962). Over the years, rock specialists have concentrated more on the testing of mechanics parameters of intact shales, not the highly- fractured ones. In a recent work, the strength of fractured shale in particular was discussed. It was shown that fractured or laminated shale should not be modeled using peak Uniaxial Compressive Strength (UCS) value, but rather its ‘residual’

strength value, which can be significantly lower in magnitude (Ottesen 2010). Because of the inherent weakness of laminated and fractured shales, laboratory strength tests are usually done on intact rock, which gives elevated strength values. Use of a ‘residual’ strength however implies some borehole compressive shear failure (breakout) is acceptable. If no breakout

is allowed, then mud densities higher than the residual strength value will be required to stabilize the shale.

(1)

4

SPE 159102

Downhole Pressures Since pressures from the wellbore have been identified as pertinent to the understanding of instability of fractured shale, some explanation of the types of downhole pressures is warranted. While drilling, the circulating mud system is exerting pressure on the wellbore wall. For a given drilling or fracturing fluid density (MW), the fluid is circulated through the wellbore, consuming extra pressure as needed to push the fluid up the annulus. This extra pressure is frictional pressure, and at the bottom of the hole is added to the system MW to give equivalent circulating density (ECD). If a compressible drilling fluid (oil-based or synthetic-based fluid or the like) is being used, then the fluid compressibility and thermal expansion should be taken into account, depending on the downhole circulating temperature and pressure profiles, in order to determine the actual downhole MW, or what is usually called the equivalent static density (ESD). The resulting ECD is the pressure exerted by the mud column on the wellbore wall while circulating, and the ESD is the pressure exerted by the mud column when the fluid is static. There is always a differential between ECD and ESD caused by the friction at the conduit walls during circulation. These two pressure parameters exact value at a given TVD can be easily read from output of downhole annular pressure tools. In Fig. 4, the consequences of ECD on the Safe Drilling Window shown in Fig. 3 are demonstrated. With an ECD level of approximately 13.5 lbm/gal equivalent, circulating pressures would be high enough to initiate fractures if the formation were drilled at an angle of 70° from vertical or higher. Hence any plans to drill a horizontal well in this formation would not be successful, and the wellpath would have to be redrawn to enter the formation at a lower angle of inclination than 70°.

Wellbore Pressure Management In order to better analyze the observed failure of inherently-unstable shales while drilling, it is necessary to understand the role of pressure fluctuations in fractured and/or laminated formations. Here the term ‘Wellbore Pressure Management’, or WPM for short, is used to describe the process. Key to the scenarios proposed to explain the instability are the ECD and ESD of the drilling fluid while the mud pumps are on and off respectively. In Fig. 5 and Fig. 6, the proposed scenarios for the instability in these shales are drawn. The laminations and/or bedding planes fractures are drawn horizontally in the two diagrams (but do not have to be necessarily horizontal in the field). Fig. 5 represents the normal drilling scenario when the mud pumps are operating. While drilling ahead, the ECD from the circulating system is the pressure the wellbore wall and a short distance beyond experience. Filter cake and any available sealing materials have been deposited at the borehole wall where there is permeability, thereby reducing the volume of mud filtrate into the wall. Over time, any fluid in the fractures or between the bedding planes becomes pressurized equivalent to the ECD. Any ‘dead end’ or ‘storage pores’ referred to earlier 4 are also now pressure-activated. As a result of the ECD, the fractures are slightly more dilated compared to the static case, as indicated by the heavy black lines. After the initial uptake of pressure into the fractures, there are no changes in pressure that the wellbore hoop experiences until the ECD level changes to a new level. The hole appears stable while drilling. Things can change dramatically with deliberate changes in wellbore pressure, as is drawn in Fig. 6. When the mud pumps are stopped, as while making connections or during long trips out of the hole, the pressures in the microfractures and fractures equilibrate over time with the open system, and the bulk of the extra pressure returns to the wellbore given sufficient time. In short, the pressure takes the path of least resistance, a consequence of the fractured shales’ permeability anisotropy. Admittedly, some of the pressure in the fractures may dissipate into the far field. In this scenario, the excess pressure that was in the fractures now equilibrates given enough time with the ESD. This change is primarily a high pressure/low volume pressure change. The release of excess pressure in the fractures causes the fractures to return to their lower pressure state, as indicated by the smaller black lines in Fig 6. This pressure reversal happens every time a connection is made when the mud pumps are turned off, but the short time to make connections often masks the effect. On long trips out of the hole, especially after the first hour of tripping, the pressure reversals manifest themselves in terms of tight hole, pack- offs, etc. The asperities or debris that can accumulate in the dilated ‘mismatched’ or ‘unmated’ fractures can act to delay the transfer of pressure from the fractures to the wellbore, but eventually the pressures will equilibrate. In addition, accumulated pressure in ‘dead end’ pores will take some time to drain. If the ECD/ESD differential is kept within tight limits, the resulting ΔP will be fairly small. The magnitude of the overall pressure change can be calculated with Eq. 1 using the ECD/ESD differential value and TVD for a particular depth. On some ERD wells, the calculated ΔP can be as high as 1000 - 2000 psi. With the pressure reversals, any weak rock at the wellbore wall is subject to increased pressure from behind by the ΔP as it pushes toward the wellbore. As Willson stated, the tangential hoop stress can help to push the rock in the wellbore, but now the weak rock also has pressure pushing from behind. In Fig. 7, a portion of the laminated rock in Fig 1 is magnified with a circulating system superimposed on the side. It is not hard to envision the deteriorating process of instability in these types of rock. If any small pieces of weak rock are present at the wellbore wall, large pressure reversals can dislodge them. Any piece falling into the wellbore creates a larger throat in the fracture opening that increases fracture permeability, which facilitates subsequent pressure and fluid invasion. With time and more pressure fluctuations, other pieces begin falling, and the instability becomes more serious, as is drawn in Fig. 8. Any rock that is pushed into the wellbore destabilizes the rock lying immediately above it on the wellbore hoop, as this rock has now lost its mechanical support from underneath. Over time the

SPE 159102

5

problem gets worse, and the time-dependent hole enlargement problem becomes more serious, as in the Nahr Umr hole enlargement case described by Yamamoto. With cavings accumulation reaching high levels in the wellbore (especially in the higher angled sections), pack-offs from cavings begin to occur, further exacerbating the pressure spikes that perturb the weaker laminated rock. These pressure spikes can be quite large in magnitude (16-18 lbm/gal equivalent), as measured by downhole annular pressure tools. As a consequence of the accumulation of cavings in the wellbore, the driller often takes action to better clean the wellbore, either by increasing pump rate or by backreaming the problem zone(s). In this proposed scenario, the problem will get worse as the ECD/ESD differential will increase, rather than decrease. In short, the wellbore stability deteriorates, and often increases in mud weight are seen as negative rather than positive. But it is neither the MW nor the ESD that is causing the instability problem, but rather the ΔP (differential between ECD and ESD). In order to reduce the severity of the wellbore instability problem, some way must be found to reduce the ECD/ESD differential. Reductions in excessive flow rates, drill pipe rotation speeds, and/or lower rates of penetration can be investigated, along with secondary tools such as high-density sweeps to remove the larger-sized cavings from the wellbore. Consistent drilling practices must be employed to remove cuttings and cavings from the wellbore without the occurrence of more pressure spikes from pack-offs or use of backreaming as a cleaning tool. Hence effective wellbore pressure management (WPM) is necessary to successfully drill wells in these types of rock.

Conclusions The following conclusions for understanding wellbore instability while drilling weak fractured or laminated shales or those with weak bedding planes can be offered:

The literature is filled with many conflicting causes and conclusions for wellbore instability in mechanically-weak zones. In the scenario presented in this paper, the integrated geomechanics and hydraulic mechanism is outlined. Also, the consequences of overlooking the basic causes of the instability are demonstrated.

The instability in these wells is the result of pressure fluctuations in the wellbore. The greater the pressure fluctuations, the greater the initial severity of the problem.

These pressure fluctuations are the result of pressure differentials between Equivalent Static Density (ESD) and Equivalent Circulating Density (ECD). Increases in mud weight, or ESD, are not solely the cause of or major contributor to the instability.

Any pre-well wellbore stability modeling for these zones should employ the shale residual strength and not the shale intact strength.

These weak shales may not lie at the interval TD, but rather may be further uphole and overlooked by researchers. The weakest exposed zone can be the first to begin destabilizing given sufficient pressure differentials.

Any measurement of mechanical properties of cores taken from fractured or laminated shales should be tested with the fractures intact in order to get better results for use in geomechanical modeling. Admittedly, this is not an easy task.

Understanding the fractured and laminated shale instability problem requires investigation involving rock mechanics as well as hydraulics. Any investigation involving only one of these two components will give only a partial understanding.

Effective wellbore pressure management (WPM) is key to reducing the risks associated with drilling in fractured or highly-laminated zones. Effective WPM involves more than just rocks.

References

Al-Bazali, T., Zhang, J., Wolfe, C., Chenevert, M., and Sharma, M. 2009. Wellbore Instability of Laminated and Naturally Fractured

Shales

Journal

of Porous Media 12 (2), 119-130.

Barton, C. and Zoback, M. 2002 Discrimination of Natural Fractures from Drilling-Induced Wellbore Failures in Wellbore Image Data – Implications for Reservoir Permeability. SPEREE. Bol, G., Wong, S.W., Davidson, C., and Woodland, D. 1964. Borehole Stability in Shales. SPEDC. Chenvert, M. and Gatlin, C. 1964. Mechanical Anisotropies of Laminated Sedimentary Rocks. Paper SPE 890 presented at the 39 th Annual Fall Meeting of the SPE, Houston, Texas, USA, 11-14 October. Dowson, S., Willson, S., Wolfson, L., Ramos, G., and Tare, U. 1999. An Integrated Solution of Extended-Reach Drilling Problems in the Niakuk Field, Alaska: Part I – Wellbore Stability Assessment. Paper SPE 56563 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, Texas, USA, 3-6 October. Fontana, H., Paris, M., and Ong, S. 2007. Borehole Stability (Geomechanics) Modeling and Drilling Optimization Practices Improve Drilling Curves in Naturally-Fractured Shale – A South Argentina Experience. Paper SPE/IADC 107474 presented at the SPE Middle East Drilling Technology Conference and Exhibition, Cairo, Egypt, 22-24 October.

6

SPE 159102

Gallant, C., Zhang, J., Wolfe, C., Freeman, J., Al-Bazali, T., and Reese, M. 2007. Wellbore Stability Considerations for Drilling High- Angle Wells Through Finely Laminated Shale: A Case Study from Terra Nova. Paper SPE 110742 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibitino, Anaheim, California, USA, 11-14 November. Labenski, F., Reid, P., and Santos, H. 2003. Drilling Fluids Approaches for Control of Wellbore Instabilty in Fractured Formations. Paper SPE/IADC 85304 presented at the SPE Middle East Drilling Technology Conference and Exhibition, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 20-22 October. Last, N., Plumb, R., Harkness, R., Charlez. P., Alsen, J., and McLean, M. 1995. An Integrated Approach to Evaluating and Managing Wellbore Instability in the Cusiana Field, Colombia, South America. Paper SPE 30464 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, Texas, 22-25 October. Lorenz, J. 1999. Stress-Sensitive Reservoirs. JPT, 61-63. McLennan, J. and Abou-Sayed, A. 2002. Some Advances in Near Wellbore Geomechanics. Paper SPE/ISRM 78194 presented at the SPE/ISRM Rock Mechanics Conference, Irving, Texas, USA, 20-23 October. Økland, D. and Cook, J. 1996. Bedding-Related Borehole Instability in High-Angle Wells. Paper SPE/ISRM 47285 presented at Eurock ’96, Trondheim, 8-10 July. Ottesen, S. 2010. Wellbore Stability in Fractured Rock. Paper IADC/SPE 128728 presented at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA, 2-4 February. Santorelli, F., Dardeau, C., and Zurdo, C. 1992. Drilling Through Highly Fractured Formations: A Problem, A Model, and a Cure. Paper SPE 24592 presented at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Washington, DC, USA, 4-7 October. Vinh, N., Abousleiman, Y., and Hoang, S. 2009. Analysis of Wellbore Instability in Drilling Through Chemically-Active Fractured-Rock Formations. SPEJ, 286-301. Warpinski, N. 1991. Hydraulic Fracturing in Tight, Fissured Media. JPT. Warren, J. and Root, P. 1962. The Behavior of Naturally Fractured Reservoirs. Paper SPE 426 presented at the Fall Meeting of the SPE, Los Angeles, California, USA, 7-10 October. Willson, S., Last, N., Zoback, M., and Moos, D. 1999. Drilling in South America: A Wellbore Stability Approach for Complex Geologic Conditions”, paper SPE 53940 presented at the SPE Latin American and Caribbean Petroleum Engineering Conference, Caracas, Venezuela, 21-23 April. Willson, S., Edwards, S., Crook, A., Bere, A., Moos, D., Peska, P., and Last, N. 2007 Assuring Stability in Extended-Reach Wells:

Analyses, Practices, and Mitigations. Paper SPE/IADC 105405 presented at the SPE/IADC Drilling Conference and Exhibition, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 20-22 February. Yamamoto, K., Shioya, Y., Matsunaga, T., Kikuchi, S., and Tantawi, I. 2002. A Mechanical Model of Shale Instability Problems Offshore Abu Dhabi. Paper SPE 78494 presented at the 10 th Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Engineering Conference, Abu Dhabi, UAE, 13- 16 October. Zhang, J., Rojas, J., and Clark, D. 2008. Stressed-Shale Design Strategy - Water-Activity Design Improves Drilling Performance.

SPEDC,385-393.

Nomenclature

CEC

=

Cation exchange capacity

ECD

=

Equivalent circulating density of drilling fluid (dynamic)

ERD

=

Extended-reach drilling

ESD

=

Equivalent static density of drilling fluid (static)

MW

=

Mud weight of drilling fluid or fracturing fluid (lbm/gal)

P

=

Calculated hydrostatic pressure

TD

=

Total depth

TVD

=

True vertical depth (ft)

UCS

=

Uniaxial compressive strength

WPM

=

Wellbore pressure management

ΔP

=

Pressure differential between ECD and ESD

SPE 159102

7

Figures

SPE 159102 7 Figures Fig. 1—Outcrop example of unstable shale. Critical Mudweight Polar Charts -- Shear

Fig. 1—Outcrop example of unstable shale.

Critical Mudweight Polar Charts -- Shear Failure -- Collapse

Model: Isotropic; Elastic; Impermeable; Vertical Stress = 7500.0 PSI (1.000 PSI/feet) Max Hor Stress =
Model: Isotropic; Elastic; Impermeable;
Vertical Stress = 7500.0 PSI (1.000 PSI/feet)
Max Hor Stress = 7050.0 PSI (0.940 PSI/feet)
Min Hor Stress = 6525.0 PSI (0.870 PSI/feet)
Distance into formation (r/R) = 1.05
Cohesion = 1600.00 PSI; Friction Angle = 34.
Failure Criterion = Mohr-Coulomb
0
No BreakOut Angle
SHmax
Pore Pressure = 3825.0 PSI (0.510 PSI/feet)
30
330
True Vertical Depth = 7500 feet
Always Stable
(MW < 0.00)
Always Fail
(MW > 19.25)
(lb/gal)
Shmin
60
300
10.068
10.019
9.971
9.922
9.873
Hole Inclination
9.825
270
90
Angle
9.776
9.728
9.679
9.630
9.582
9.533
240
120
Shmin
9.484
9.436
N
9.387
210
150
W
E
9.339
9.290
SHmax
S
180
Hole Azimuth (deg)

© PBORE-3D 7.25, 2010

Fig. 2—Predicted densities required to prevent compressive shear failure for a given scenario.

1 6 1 5 1 4 1 3 1 2 1 1 1 0 9
1 6
1 5
1 4
1 3
1 2
1 1
1 0
9
8
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
M ud W e ight [lbm

Hole An gle [de gre e s ]

Colla ps e Fracture Po re Pr es s

Colla ps e

Colla ps e Fracture Po re Pr es s

Fracture

Colla ps e Fracture Po re Pr es s

Po re Pr es s

 

Fig. 3—An example Safe Drilling Window for a North Sea unstable fractured shale.

1 6 1 5 ECD 1 4 1 3 Safe 1 2 Drilling 1 1
1 6
1 5
ECD
1 4
1 3
Safe
1 2
Drilling
1 1
Window
1 0
9
8
0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
M ud W eight [lbm

Hole An gle [de gre e s ]

Colla ps e Fracture Po re Pr es s

Colla ps e

Colla ps e Fracture Po re Pr es s

Fracture

Colla ps e Fracture Po re Pr es s

Po re

Pr es s

 
Fig. 4—An Example Safe Drilling Window with the effect of ECD inserted. With ECD ∆P
Fig. 4—An Example Safe Drilling Window with the effect of
ECD inserted.
With ECD
∆P
∆P
Fig. 5—Drilling ahead in weak shale with ECD. With ESD ∆P ∆P
Fig. 5—Drilling ahead in weak shale with ECD.
With ESD
∆P
∆P

Fig. 6—Scenario when circulation is stopped, as while making connections or tripping out of the hole.

8

SPE 159102

Wellbore Circulation Weak Rock
Wellbore
Circulation
Weak Rock

Fig. 7—Zoom image of rock in Fig. 1 with annulus schematic.

With ESD ∆P ∆P
With ESD
∆P
∆P

Fig. 8—A scenario of the failure of weak rock caused by pressure fluctuations.