Geomechanical Laboratory Studies to Mitigate the Wellbore Instability Problems in Nahr Umr Shale Formation in Offshore Abu Dhabi | Schlumberger
Tech Paper
Location
Middle East, United Arab Emirates, Asia, Offshore
Byline
M.A. Shaver, D.P. Yudhia, S.M. Al Ameri, E. Couzigou, and A. Al Marzouqi, ADNOC Offshore; F. Mahgoub, K. Vican, and S. Koronfol, Halliburton; J.W. Martin and E. Muniz, Schlumberger
Society
SPE
Paper Number
203472
Presentation Date
9–12 November 2020
Products Used
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Geomechanical Laboratory Studies to Mitigate the Wellbore Instability Problems in Nahr Umr Shale Formation in Offshore Abu Dhabi



Abstract

Wellbore instability challenges encountered while drilling the Nahr Umr Shale include, but are not limited to, hole collapse leading to hole enlargement. Wellbore instability leads to huge cost increases in the drilling process and in rare cases well abandonment. Observations from drilling data suggest that wellbore stability varies with different wellbore deviations and azimuths, especially in areas of highly laminated formations and anisotropic in-situ field stresses. Accurate information on the rock strength and rock failure behavior in shale has a major impact on the improvement of drilling efficiency. Knowledge of the mechanical properties of shale is essential to implement any 3D shale anisotropy borehole instability model (Crook AJL, et. al., 2002).

Shale mechanical properties were evaluated from laboratory tests. Well-preserved core samples retrieved from the Nahr Umr Shale were put through several tests to describe the mechanical characteristics related to rock strength and in-situ stresses with the aim to determine the effect of the anisotropy and plane of weakness in drilling high-sailing angle trajectories. Strength anisotropy was assessed using the plane of weakness model (Jaeger, J.C., & Cook, N.G.W., 1979) which assumes that the heterogeneous media is composed of a matrix rock and a plane of weakness (e.g., bedding/laminations, interface between lithotypes or laminations). Shear failure occurs once the shear stress acting on the plane of weakness exceeds its shear strength. Laboratory tests include both extremely slow triaxial tests and multistress path testing performed on three orientations. Failure envelopes were created to develop the plane of weakness model to predict the orientation of the weakest plane and determine the magnitude of the strength reduction. Elastic anisotropy data from plugs is combined with advanced sonic logs, enabling a more robust evaluation of the formation anisotropy to improve both stress predictions and the allowable mud-weight windows during wellbore stability assessment.

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