Leak off Test

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Leak off Test

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Leak-off test

generally performed for two reasons:

1.

2.

To determine the fracture gradient in the first sand below the

casing shoe.

carried out before further drilling is attempted.

contained with the one just set.

So maximum permissible well-bore pressure that can be

imposed on the formation is valuable information for the

operator.

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Leak-off test

total hydrostatic pressure in excess of the test pressure,

he should either retest with the drill string back in the last

casing string or set a liner before drilling ahead.

the operator's objectives. If experience shows the hydrostatic

pressure plus circulating pressures will not exceed 1920 kgm-3

(16 lb/gal.) then there is no need to increase the pressure to the

leak-off point that may reach 2160 kgm-3 (18 lb/gal.)

On the other hand, if the next casing string depends on what can

be contained with the last casing string then maximum advantage

can be obtained from a specific knowledge of the maximum

permissible well-bore pressure that can be imposed on the

formation. Thus, in this case the operator can profit from a

knowledge of the maximum leak-off and rupture pressure.

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Leak-off test

TESTING the well bore for maximum pressure limits can

be easy and accurate if certain specific procedures are

followed.

These procedures include correcting for mud gel

strength, displaying pressure and volume limits on the

test graph, having the proper pump rate, and running the

test long enough. Post-test analysis is also a critical

factor.

A properly run leak-off test (maximum pressure test)

provides the operator with a vital piece of information

the maximum equivalent mud weight his casing shoe

can stand before lost circulation occurs.

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Leak-off test

This must be known in daily operations

such as:

picking casing seats,

weighting up the mud, and

in critical operations such as shutting in a well

when it kicks.

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General procedure

Well-bore pressure testing is achieved by:

pulling the bit into the casing,

conditioning the mud,

closing the BOP,

then slowly pumping mud down the drill pipe

(or annulus) (0,048 to 0,08 m3min-1) until

pressures reach the maximum pressure

specified or the anticipated leak-off pressure

for uncased holes.

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General procedure

psi x 6895 = Pa

point at which the exposed

formation, or cement job, just

starts to fracture as evidenced

by a change in slope of the

pressure-volume graph plotted.

A typical leak-off pressure plot

is shown in Fig. for a well

which has a short section of

open hole exposed.

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bbl. x 0,159 = m3

increase for each determined volume (m3) or

(bbl) of mud pumped so that the points fall on

a relatively straight line.

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below, the "minimum volume" line

calculated (or previously measured) for the

drilling mud in the hole.

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General procedure

psi x 6895 = Pa

until point A where the points bend

to the right.

At point A the formation starts to accept

whole mud since a smaller pressure

increase is seen for the same volume of

mud pumped.

pressure and represents the point

where the formation grains just start

to fracture apart.

This leak-off pressure is corrected for

mud gel strength effects, then used to

figure fracture pressures and equivalent

mud weights.

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bbl. x 0,159 = m3

10

General procedure

psi x 6895 = Pa

record several more points as the

curve bends over to insure that the

fracture limit has been reached.

At point B the pump should be shut

down,

the

instantaneous

shut-in

pressure recorded (point B), and the

well left shut in to observe the rate of

pressure decline.

This pressure decline is an indication of

the filtration rate which is useful

information when evaluating the quality

of the leak-off test.

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bbl. x 0,159 = m3

11

General procedure

After determining leak-off

pressure,

the

formation

fracture pressure can be

calculated by first subtracting

the mud gelation pressure

from the leak-off pressure

and adding the mud-weight

pressure.

(1)

Pff = Plo Pg + Ph

Pff = Plo Pg + m g H

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Where:

Pff - Well bore pressure

next to the formation

at fracture, Pa

Plo - Leak-off pressure,

Pa

Pg = Mud gelation

pressure, Pa

Ph - Hydrostatic pressure

of mud column

- Mud weight, kgm3

g gravitational

constant, ms-2

H - True vertical depth of

formation, m

12

General procedure

In terms of equivalent mud

weight:

(2)

EMW =

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Pff

gH

Where:

EMW Equivalent mud

weight next to the

formation when

fracture occurs, kgm3

13

Equation (3) used to

calculate the mud

gelation pressure

when the leak-off test

is run down the drill

pipe.

Pumping down the drill

pipe:

(3)

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Where:

Pgdp - Gelation pressure in

drill pipe, Pa

L - Length of drill pipe, m

ddp - Drill pipe ID, m

Y - Gel strength of mud, Pa

Pgdp

L Y

= 4

d dp

14

when the test is made

down the annulus.

Pumping down the

annulus:

(4)

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Where:

Pga - Gelation pressure in

annulus, Pa

L - Length of drill pipe, m

Y - Gel strength of mud, Pa

dh ID of hole or casing, m

Ddp - Drill pipe OD, m

L Y

Pga = 4

d h Ddp

15

Pressure charts for Equations are given in Figs. 2 and 3.

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16

The most questionable quantity in Equations 3

and 4 is the gel strength of the mud.

In normal practice the gel strength is measured at the

surface in a rotational viscometer after the mud has

been quiescent for 10 min.

This method has been criticized because it is not

performed at down-hole temperature and pressure

and it does not reflect the properties of any

contaminated mud which may be in the annulus.

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17

The most questionable quantity in Equations 3

and 4 is the gel strength of the mud.

In normal practice the gel strength is measured at the

surface in a rotational viscometer after the mud has

been quiescent for 10 min.

This method has been criticized because it is not

performed at down-hole temperature and pressure

and it does not reflect the properties of any

contaminated mud which may be in the annulus.

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18

One way to take such factors into consideration is to

determine gel strength using field circulation data not

the field viscometer.

After the leak-off test is run, wait 5-10 min and then turn on the

pump with the BOP open.

Measure the pres-sure necessary to break circulation (Pbc)

while pumping at a rate equal to the rate used in the leak-off

test.

The pressure recorded is used to calculate the effective gel

strength, (Ye), of the mud using the equation:

(5)

Ye =

L d dp + d h Ddp

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19

Leak-off graph

Before starting the leak-off test it is

important to prepare a leak-off graph

which contains an "anticipated leak-off

pressure" line and a "minimum volume"

line.

These lines are used as instant guides

while the test is in progress.

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20

Anticipated leak-off

can be evaluated when the curve bends over. It

has been found useful under the following

conditions.

1. Testing the casing for leaks.

Before drilling out, the casing should be tested for leaks.

Maximum test pressure specified will vary according to

which casing string is being tested.

USGS requires that on offshore leases the conductor string

be tested to 13,8105 Pa (200 psi), the surface string to

68,9105 Pa (1,000 psi) and the intermediate, liner, and

production strings be tested to 103105 Pa (1,500 psi) or

0,0138105 Pa/0,3048 m (0.2 psi/ft), whichever is greater.

In other areas the maximum test pressure is usually set by

the operator.

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21

Anticipated leak-off

2.

the open hole should be

at least as high as the

predicted

fracture

pressure value for the

area.

This predicted value is

obtained using data

from nearby wells and

equations presented by

various authors.

One method found most

useful

uses

the

equation:

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(6)

Pff = K S Pp + Pp

'

v

S'v - Total vertical stress, Pa

Pp - Pore pressure, Pa

Pff - Formation fracture

pressure, Pa

22

Anticipated leak-off

(S'v) is often assumed to

be 0,6895105

Pa/0,3048 m (1.0

psi/ft) of depth.

This may not be

accurate, especially

when drilling

offshore in very deep

water.

When possible, it should

be determined using

density logs.

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Pff

= K (S

'

v

Po + Po

(6)

S'v - Total vertical stress, Pa

Po - Pore pressure, Pa

Pff - Formation fracture

pressure, Pa

K=

Pff Po

'

Sv

Po

23

Anticipated leak-off

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Using Equation 6

and field data it is

possible to

determine the

effective stress

ratio, K, as a

function of depth for

a given area.

Fig. 4 shows a

typical plot of such

data.

ft x 0,3048 = m

24

Anticipated leak-off

is in fact Poissons

ratio

Pff =

(Pob Pp ) + Pp

Pob pressure of

overburden formations,

Pa

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25

pressure line is calculated using the equation:

Pa = Pff Ph + Pg

(7)

Where:

Pa anticipated leak-off pressure, Pa

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26

This line provides a guide

for determining if the

pumping rate is fast

enough when testing the

open hole.

The pumping rate should

stay equal to, or a little

below this line.

The line represents the

pressure

necessary

to

compress the mud in the

well bore until leak off

occurs.

It can be calculated with

Equation 8.

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(8)

Vi = Cm Vw P i

Where:

Vi - Volume of mud injected, m3

Cm - Compressibility of mud, Pa-1

Vw - Volume of well bore (drill

pipe plus annulus), m3

Pi - Injection pressure, Pa

27

The

compressibility

of the mud

can

be

calculated with

the equation:

Where:

Cw - Compressibility of water, Pa-1

Cs - Compressibility of solids, Pa-1

Cm = Cw % water + Cs % solids

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(9)

28

Fig. 5

correction which must be subtracted

from each curve when drill pipe is in

the hole.

Curve A is for 4-in. drill pipe and curve B is

for 5-in. drill pipe.

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Fig.

5

presents the

volume

of

fluid

(Vi)

required

to

pressure up

various size

casings and

open

holes

containing

water

for

each 7 MPa

injected

pressure.

29

Fig. 6

A

further

correction

must

be

applied if a

weighted

mud is in the

hole.

Fig. 6 shows

the volume

percent

correction to

be used as a

function

of

mud weight.

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30

As an example

It takes 0,36 m3 (2 bbl) of water to pressure

3048 m (10,000 ft) of 9 5/8-in. casing to 70105

Pa (1,000 psi).

If 5 1/2-in. drill pipe is in the casing, 0,04 m3 ( bbl)

must be subtracted from the 0,36 m3 (2 1/4 bbl),

leaving 0,32 m3/ 70105 Pa (2 bbl/1,000 psi).

6. shows that it takes only 85% of this volume,

or 0,32 m3/ 70105 Pa x 0.85 = 0,272 m3/

70105 Pa.

This value was used to construct the "minimum

volume" line of Fig. 1.

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31

general guidelines which

have been useful in

running the leak-off test.

Fig. 1

Fig. 1. The dashed lines

indicate

the

"minimum

volume" line and the

anticipated

leak-off

pressure line.

2. While coming out of the

hole, position the bit in the

casing above the shoe.

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3. If the mud is not of

a known, uniform

density it should be

circulated until it is.

Two

common

causes

of

nonuniform density are

barite slugs in the

drill

pipe

and

formation cuttings

in the annulus.

4. Close

the

ram

preventer

above

the drilling spool.

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Fig. 1

33

5.

cementing

pump)

begin

pumping mud down the drill

pipe at a constant rate of 0,04

to 0,24 m3min-1.

6.

The

rate

depends

on

conditions. With no open hole

use 0,04 to 0,053 m3min-1.

With sandstone formations

exposed use 0,12 to 0,24

m3min-1 depending on the

amount of open hole.

Data obtained should fall very

close (within 0,08 m3min-1. )

to the "minimum volume" line

at leak-off.

pressure after each 0,04 or

0,08 m3 increment is pumped.

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Fig. 1

34

7.

curve bends over, or until the

anticipated leak-off pressure

line is exceeded.

8.

caused by only shale being

exposed in the open hole.

keep the well shut in and read

an instantaneous pressure.

each minute for about 10 min.

These should also be plotted

on the graph as shown in Fig.

1.

Fig. 1

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35

Fig. 1

9.

record the volume of

testing fluid recovered in

the trip tank if one is

available.

The

volume

of

fluid

recovered

should

approximate the volume of

fluid pumped.

typical plots to be sure it

is a good test.

After the test is run the leak-off pressure is picked off the graph as that

point where the curve starts to bend over. Using this leak-off point,

correct for mud gelation effects then calculate the equivalent mud

weight which the casing seat can hold.

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36

following drilling conditions.

drill out with the bit positioned in the float collars.

Pump rates should be 0,04 to 0,053 m3min-1 (0.250.33 bbl/min) and continued until the maximum test

pressure required is reached.

Hold the pressure for the designated period of time.

USGS requires a 30-min test in OCS waters.

This volume-pressure plot can be used as the

"minimum volume" line when running a leak-off test

in open hole.

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37

3,048 m (8-10 ft) below the casing shoe and

pulling the bit up above the shoe run the leak-off

test pumping at 0,04 to 0,053 m3min-1 (0.250.33 bbl/min).

a leak-off pressure at least as high as the expected

leak-off pressure for the area.

Failure of the cement job to hold such pressures may

require the casing shoe be squeeze cemented.

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will have a plot

similar to Fig. 7. Note

the departure from

the

"minimum

volume" line and the

low leak-off pressure

which is repeatable.

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39

after setting casing, a test should be made on

the first trip for a new bit after drilling a sand

section. Procedures are the same as listed

above.

(0.50-0.75 bbl/min).

The higher rate should cover the filtration loss to the

formation and thereby keep the volume-pressure

curve near the "mini-mum volume" line. Fig. 1 is an

example of this type of test.

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40

problems may be anticipated which would

suggest running the leak-off test to

determine if the well bore has become

weakened since the last leak-off test.

mud weight increase.

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41

might suspect a failure of the cement job which would

require squeeze cementing, or a weaker formation has

been exposed which may require a liner.

stratigraphy and suggest a solution.

rate may need to be increased to as high as 0,24

m3min-1 (1.50 bbl/ min).

Before leaving a dry hole it is useful to run a leak-off

test to get additional formation fracture information

which will be useful in defining fracture gradients for

that area.

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42

An

example

various steps perform the leakoff test.

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casing is set at 3048 m (10,000 ft),

and the hole is then deepened to

3057 m (10,030 ft) after the

primary cement job has been

tested.

Mud weight is 1560 kgm-3 (13

lb/gal), and the mud has a 10-min

gel strength of 4,788 Pa (10 lb/100

sq ft).

Before the test, 3048 m (10,000 ft)

of 139,7 mm (5 1/2 in.) drill pipe is

in the hole.

A sand is exposed from 3048 m to

3054 m (10,000 ft to 10,020 ft) and

it has a pore pressure, P0, of

358,5105 Pa (5,200 psi).

43

An example

to pump down the drill pipe when running the

leak-off test.

with 4,788 Pa (10 lb/100 sqft) gel strength value

then reading 4,83 105 Pa/3048 m (7 psi/ 1,000

ft) of pipe.

apply 4,83 105 Pa (70-psi) extra surface pressure

to overcome gelation forces.

apply 4,83 105 Pa (7 x 10 or 70 psi). Equation 3

gives a similar answer.

annulus he would have needed 6,9 105 Pa (100

psi) extra surface pressure to overcome the

gelation forces.

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44

An example

sqft) and an annulus of 244,48 mm (9 5/8 in.)

casing x 139,7 mm (5 in.) drill pipe gives 0,69

105 Pa/304,8 m (10 psi/1000 ft) of annulus. For

a 3048 m (10000-ft) annulus, apply 6,9 105 Pa

(10 x 10 or 100 psi).

Equation 4 gives similar results.

pipe.

always, take the path of least resistance and flow

only down the drill pipe when leak-off occurred.

No major benefit is achieved by pumping down the

annulus and the drill pipe simultaneously.

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45

An example

psi x 6895 = Pa

This line, as plotted in Fig.

1, was determined earlier to

have a slope of 0,272

m3/68,95105

Pa

(1,7

bbl/1000 psi) for the hole

conditions given above.

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bbl. x 0,159 = m3

46

Pff = K

'

Sv

Po + Po

data for the area (such as that in Fig.

4) the effective stress ratio, K, is

found to be 0.85 at 3048 m (10000

ft).

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An example

assumed to be 0,069 105 Pa/0,3048 m

(1,0 psi/ft) therefore S'V = 689,5 105 Pa

(10000 psi.)

calculated with Equation 6 is 639,86

105 Pa (9280 psi).

Pff = 0.85 (689,5 105 - 358,54 105 )

+ 358,54 105 = 639,86 105 psi.

47

Pa = Pff Ph + Pg An example

determined using Equation 7.

3048 + 4,83 105 = 178,6 105 Pa

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48

Leak-off data

positioned in the casing just above the

shoe, and the mud circulated until 1560

kgm-3 (13 lb/gal) mud was going in and

coming out.

closed and mud was pumped down the

drill pipe at a rate of 0,08 m3/min (0,50

bbl/min).

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stood full and no "U-tube" action of the

mud was observed.

pumped, the pump pressure was plotted

on the leak-off graph.

49

Leak-off data

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the curve started bending over.

This was the leak-off pressure of the

sand exposed.

Pumping continued until point B,

then pressures were plotted each

minute for 10 min (point C).

At this time the fluid was bled from

the well into the trip tank and 0,96

m3 (6 bbl) of mud was recovered.

The volume recovered checked with

the amount injected.

50

Leak-off data

mud was pumped (after waiting 5 min)

down the drill pipe at 0,08 m3/min (0,50

bbl/min) and the amount of pressure

needed to break circulation was

measured as 17,9 105 Pa (260 psi).

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pressure (Fig. 1, point D) measured

before the pressures fell back.

Using the 17,9 105 Pa (260 psi) gelation

pressure and Equation 5 the average gel

strength of the mud was calculated to be

7,22 Pa (15.1 lb/100 sq ft).

51

Leak-off data

This value is higher than the value

measured with the viscometer.

Pgdp is therefore 7,6 105 Pa (110

psi).

Ye =

L (d dp + d h Ddp )

=

= 7,22 Pa

3048 (0,122 + 0,232 0,1397 )

5

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52

Leak-off data

Formation fracture pressure was

determined using Equation 1.

As equivalent mud weight, the

formation

fracture

pressure

becomes (Equation 2):

Pff = Plo Pg + m g H =

= 175,13 105 7,6 105 + 9,811560 3048 =

= 633,65 105 Pa

Pff

633,65 105

EMW =

=

= 2119 kg m -3

g H 9,81 3048

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53

In the example, drilling mud started to leak off

when surface pressures reached 175,13 105 Pa

(2540 psi).

A better understanding of what is happening in the

formation as well-bore pressures increase helps to

dispel the belief that once the leak-off test is run the

formation fracture strength cannot be regained.

formations significantly.

This belief is false.

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54

Stress theory

It has often been thought that a well-bore

fractures much like a pipe bursts when too

much internal pressure is added.

This is not so.

The fracture pressure of a pipe is determined

by tensile strength of the pipe, but the

fracture pressure of a formation is determined

primarily by overburden and tectonic

compressive loads on the rock grains.

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55

Stress theory

The tensile strength of most rocks such as

sandstone is small relative to the compressive

loads.

In this article, the tensile strength of the formations is

treated as equal to zero.

the well bore causes the rock grain stress to be

decreased from high-compressive stresses to

zero.

At this point, additional pressure causes a fracture to

form, and mud can flow into the fracture.

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56

Stress theory

Using the same well conditions as in the

example, and assuming the original

horizontal stress in the sandstone is 496,4

105 Pa (7200 psi), the rock stresses

around the well bore before and during

the leak-off test can be calculated.

To do this, first consider stress conditions in

the sand before the well was drilled.

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57

the rock stresses change

to those shown in Fig.

8b.

It is the horizontal stress

tangential to the borehole

wall, S't, which is of

primary concern when

rock rupture is being

considered.

The symbol S't describes

the

horizontal

stress

"tangential" to the well

bore wall, and S'r is the

horizontal stress radial to

the

well

bore.

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

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Stress theory

58

Stress theory

In Fig. 8a a block of

3048 m

sandstone is shown

with

a

vertical

689,5 10 Pa

stress S'v of 689,5

358,5 10 Pa

5 Pa (10000 psi)

10

496,4 10 Pa

on top and two

496,4 10 Pa

equal

horizontal

stresses, S'h, of

689,5 10 Pa

466,45 10 Pa

496,4 105 Pa (7200

466,45 10 Pa

psi).

5

526,8 105 Pa

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

geolokoko-naftni fakultet

59

Well-bore fracture is imminent when

the rock grain stress decreases to zero.

In this example, rock grain stress (Sh) is

137 105 Pa (2000 psi) before the well is

drilled and 168,2 105 Pa (2440 psi) (St)

after the well is drilled. Sh and St are "grain

stress" or "effective rock stress, calculated

by:

Sh=Sh-Po and St=St-Po

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

geolokoko-naftni fakultet

60

Because

of

the

presence of the well

bore, the horizontal

stress S't is not

constant but varies

relative

to

the

distance from the

well bore.

Fig. 9 is a plot of S't

for the 200,03 mm

(7 7/8 in.) hole.

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

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61

from 466,45 105 Pa Rock grain stress

(7640 psi) at the well

bore to near original

conditions of 497,7

105 Pa (7218 psi) 508

mm (20 in.) from the

center of the hole.

Likewise, if the pore

pressure is subtracted,

grain stress goes from

168,2 105 Pa (2440

psi) at the well bore

wall to 139,1 105 Pa

(2018 psi).

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

geolokoko-naftni fakultet

62

given in Fig. 9 can be

calculated

by

the

equation:

St = Sh [1 + (a2/r2)] - [Pw

- Po] a2/r2)

(11)

and

S't = St + Po

Where:

a = Radius of well bore, m

r = Radius under consideration, m

(Pw) is increased during

a leak-off test, horizontal

grain stress (St) is

decreased.

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

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63

stress distribution when

the

total

well-bore

pressure

has

been

increased to 634 105 Pa

(9200 psi) with the leakoff pressure of 175 105 Pa

(2540 psi) shown in Fig. 1.

Rock grain

stress

2540 psi needed to initiate

leak-off is much higher than

the pressure required to

form a long vertical fracture.

Such a fracture is evidenced

by a large drop in pump

pressure and large volumes

of mud loss.

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

geolokoko-naftni fakultet

64

If this occurs the remedy is simple. Bleed off

pump pressure.

This allows the fracture to close.

After a mud filter cake is formed across the

fracture on the borehole wall, it will have

regained the stress effect of the well bore, and

can again accept 175 105 Pa (2540 psi) pump

pressure.

as practiced in regaining lost circulation.

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

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65

below surface casing at

914,4 m (3000 ft).

Leak-off

examples

hole was made below the

surface casing.

Thus this test is primarily a

test of the cement job.

In this example the leak-off

occurred at 45,2 105 Pa (655

psi), the rupture pressure was

518,5 105 Pa (7520 psi), and

the propagation pressure was

43,8 105 Pa (635 psi).

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

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66

pressure

as

the

maximum

permissible,

results in a maximum

mud weight of 1656

kg/m3 (13,8 ppg) as

shown below:

max

Leak-off

examples

45,2 105

= 1152 +

= 1656 kg/m 3

914,4 9,81

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

geolokoko-naftni fakultet

67

Leak-off examples

This does not prove that all formation below

the surface casing will hold 1656 kg/m3 (13,8

lb/gal) mud.

It does show that no more than 1656 kg/m3 (13,8lb/gal) mud should be used unless a retest shows

an increase in strength.

An increase in strength has been noted in many

cases after several days of drilling.

It is uncommon for a zone which held only 1656

kg/m3 (13,8 lb/gal) as shown in Fig.1 to hold 1200

kg/m3 (10 lb/gal) later.

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

geolokoko-naftni fakultet

68

Leak-off examples

A knowledge of this increase in strength might

be very helpful in many cases when drilling

into a pressure-transition zone.

The increase in strength, when it occurs, is

probably due to plugging of pore spaces by drill

solids.

It should be emphasized that this strength increase

may or may not occur.

It is not something the operator can assume will

happen.

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

geolokoko-naftni fakultet

69

Leak-off examples

Open hole test Fig. 2 is a leakoff test where the drill string is

back in the surface casing, but

there is 1829 m (6000 ft) of

open hole.

It is noted that the leak-off

occurred at about 45,2 105 Pa

(655 psi).

Also it is noted that 4,16 m3 (26

bbl) of mud were required to reach

this point while in Fig. 1 only

0,608 m3 (3,8 bbl) of mud where

required for the casing-seat test in

Fig.1.

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

geolokoko-naftni fakultet

70

Leak-off examples

The primary difference is

the amount of open hole.

In Fig. 1 only 3,048 m (10 ft)

of hole had been opened

below the casing seat.

In Fig. 2, 1829 m (6000 ft) of

hole had been opened.

The additional mud was

required because of filtration

and loss of mud to very

permeable sands.

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

geolokoko-naftni fakultet

71

Leak-off examples

The leak-off pressure of 45,2

105 Pa (655 psi) in Fig. 2 shows

the formation just below the

casing seat will hold a 1656

kg/m3 (13,8 lb/gal) mud.

Again this does not ensure that all

the open formations below 914,4

m (3000 ft) will hold 1656 kg/m3

(13,8 lb/gal) mud, because 45,2

105 Pa (655 psi) imposed, say at

1829 m (6000 ft) would represent

only a 228 kg/m3 (1,9 lb/gal)

increase in mud weight.

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

geolokoko-naftni fakultet

72

Leak-off examples

Thus the 1829 m (6000 ft)

formation has been tested to

only 1428 kg/m3 (11,9 lb/gal) in

the test shown in Fig. 2.

However, in young sediments

normally associated with most

offshore

and

coastal

area

formations the leak-off test results

taken just below the casing shoe

are generally indicative of the

maximum mud weight that can be

used.

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

geolokoko-naftni fakultet

73

leak-off test for the first sand Leak-off

examples

below protective casing.

It will be noted that the leak-off

occurred when the surface

pressure increase reached 134,4

105 Pa (1950 psi).

This occurred with a 1620 kg/m3

(13,5 lb/gal) mud in the hole,

and the surface pres-sure plus

mud weight represents a

formation resistance equal to a

mud weight of 2070 kg/m3

(17,25 lb/gal):

max

134,45 105

= 1620 +

= 2070 kg/m 3

3048 9,81

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

geolokoko-naftni fakultet

74

Special considerations

Special considerations in running leak-off

tests include:

Pumping rate.

Decision to test to a leak-off pres-sure.

Which pressure to use if there is a difference in

drill pipe and annulus pressure.

Changes in line slope during the test.

Frequency of testing and the effect on formation

resistance.

What is the maximum mud weight relative to

that shown on a leak-off test.

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

geolokoko-naftni fakultet

75

Special considerations

The pumping rate should be kept at a low value,

such as 0,04 to 0,08 m3/min (0,25 to 0,5 bbl/

min).

Tests in Figs. 1, 2, and 3 were run at 0,05 m3/min (0,3

bbl/min).

This means the normal rig pump should generally not

be used.

Exceptions would be with plunger-type pumps where

the suggested low volumes can be attained.

A cementing unit, with pump and volume tank is

generally to be preferred.

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

geolokoko-naftni fakultet

76

Special considerations

If pumping rates are too high,

the leak-off test may follow the

pattern shown in Fig. 4.

There is no indicated leak-off

pressure; the formation suddenly

ruptured, and whole mud was

lost quickly.

Even this type test will probably

have no long-range detrimental

effects.

The primary problem is that the

objective of determining the leakoff pressure has not been

reached.

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

geolokoko-naftni fakultet

77

Some operators are repelled by the concept of

increasing surface pressure until some mud is

lost to the formation.

Others may feel that their drilling conditions do not

justify such tests.

If all the drilling is to be performed in formations with

a normal pore pressure, leak-off tests would not be

necessary.

once the formation is tested to leak-off, it will

never again hold that much pressure is an

out-dated concept.

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

geolokoko-naftni fakultet

78

There may, however, be valid reasons for not

testing to a leak-off pressure.

At times, surface equipment may not permit the surface

pressure necessary to reach the leak-off point.

If the maximum leak-off pressure is desirable under

these conditions a retest may be performed later, after

the mud weight has been increased.

the operator knows based on offset well data or

geologic information that future mud weights will

not be high enough to justify a test to leak-off.

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

geolokoko-naftni fakultet

79

ob-served in some tests.

differences

The pressure leaked off at 41,4

105 Pa (600 psi), continued to

increase to 62 105 Pa (900 psi)

where it leaked off again, and

then continued to increase to

the true leak-off.

However, if the pressure at

which this occurs is substantially

below that anticipated, pumping

should be continued to the

rupture pressure, because in all

probability some type remedial

action will be necessary.

RudarskoRudarsko-geolo

geolokoko-naftni fakultet

80

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