Quantitative Analysis of Mud Losses in Naturally Fractured Reservoirs: The Effect of Rheology
- Reza Majidi (University of Tulsa) | Stefan Miska (University of Tulsa) | Leslie G. Thompson (University of Tulsa) | Mengjiao Yu (University of Tulsa) | Jianguo Zhang (BP America)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- December 2010
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 509 - 517
- 2010. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2 Well Completion, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation, 5.8.6 Naturally Fractured Reservoir, 1.6 Drilling Operations
- yield-power-law, natural fractures, rheology, lost circulation, mud losses
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- 1,385 since 2007
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Significant fluid loss while drilling through fractured formations is a major problem for drilling operations. From field experience, we know that the type and rheological parameters of the drilling fluid have a strong impact upon the rate and volume of losses.
A mathematical model for Herschel-Bulkley [yield-power-law (YPL)] drilling-fluid losses in naturally fractured formations is presented. As a result, the effect of rheological properties of drilling fluid such as yield stress and shear-thinning/-thickening effect (flow-behavior index) on mud losses in fractured formations is investigated. We found that the yield stress can control the ultimate volume of losses while the shear-thinning effect can tremendously decrease the rate of losses. Therefore, mud losses in fractures can be minimized by optimizing the rheology of the drilling fluid properly.
The model also allows for quantitative analysis of losses that take into account fluid rheology to characterize the fractures. Hydraulic aperture of conductive fractures can be obtained by continuously monitoring mud losses and fitting field records of mud losses to the model. The proposed model is very useful not only for drilling applications but also for well-completion design and fractured-reservoir-characterization purposes. To examine the validity of the model, a practical application of the proposed technique is demonstrated through a field example of mud-loss measurements in a fractured well in the Gulf of Mexico.
|File Size||513 KB||Number of Pages||9|
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