Fracture Gradients

1.11- 1
1.11
Fracture Gradients
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 2
Prediction of Fracture Gradients
Well Planning
Theoretical Fracture Gradient Determination
Hubbert & Willis
Matthews & Kelly
Ben Eaton
Comparison of Results
Experimental Frac. Grad. Determination
Leak-off Tests
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 3
Well Planning
Safe drilling practices require that the
following be considered when
planning a well:
 Pore pressure determination
 Fracture gradient determination
 Casing setting depth selection
 Casing design

Fracture Gradients
1.11- 4
Formation Pressure and Matrix Stress
Given: Well depth is 14,000 ft.
Formation pore pressure expressed
in equivalent mud weight is 9.2 lb/gal.
Overburden stress is 1.00 psi/ft.
Calculate:
1. Pore pressure, psi/ft , at 14,000 ft
2. Pore pressure, psi, at 14,000 ft
3. Matrix stress, psi/ft
4. Matrix stress, psi
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 5
Formation Pressure and Matrix Stress
o + = P S
overburden pore matrix
stress = pressure + stress
(psi) (psi) (psi)
S = P +
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 6
Formation Pressure and Matrix Stress
Calculations:

1. Pore pressure gradient
= 0.433 psi/ft * 9.2/8.33 = 0.052 * 9.2
= 0.478 psi/ft
2. Pore pressure at 14,000 ft
= 0.478 psi/ft * 14,000 ft
= 6,692 psig

Depth = 14,000 ft.
Pore Pressure = 9.2 lb/gal equivalent
Overburden stress = 1.00 psi/ft.
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 7
Formation Pressure and Matrix Stress
Calculations:
3. Matrix stress gradient,
psi

psi/ft
o / D = 0.522 psi/ft
o + = P S
D D
P
D
S
or
o
+ =
( ) ft / psi 478 . 0 000 . 1
D
P
D
S
D
., e . i ÷ = ÷ =
o
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 8
Formation Pressure and Matrix Stress
Calculations:

4. Matrix stress at 14,000 ft

= 0.522 psi/ft * 14,000 ft

o = 7,308 psi
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 9
Fracture Gradient Determination
In order to avoid lost circulation while
drilling it is important to know the variation
of fracture gradient with depth.

Leak-off tests represent an experimental
approach to fracture gradient determination.
Below are listed and discussed three
approaches to calculating the fracture
gradient.
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 10
Fracture Gradient Determination
1. Hubbert & Willis:



where F = fracture gradient, psi/ft

= pore pressure gradient, psi/ft
D
P
|
.
|

\
|
+ =
D
P 2
1
3
1
F
min
|
.
|

\
|
+ =
D
P
1
2
1
F
max
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 11
Fracture Gradient Determination
2. Matthews & Kelly:




where K
i
= matrix stress coefficient
o = vertical matrix stress, psi
D
P
D
K
F
i
+
o
=
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 12
Fracture Gradient Determination
3. Ben Eaton:




where S = overburden stress, psi
¸ = Poisson’s ratio
D
P
1
*
D
P S
F +
|
|
.
|

\
|
¸ ÷
¸
|
.
|

\
|
÷
=
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 13
Example
A Texas Gulf Coast well has a pore pressure
gradient of 0.735 psi/ft. Well depth = 11,000 ft.

Calculate the fracture gradient in units of lb/gal
using each of the above three methods.

Summarize the results in tabular form, showing
answers, in units of lb/gal and also in psi/ft.
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 14
1. Hubbert & Willis:


The pore pressure gradient,
( )
F
1
3
1 2*0.735 0.823
psi
ft
min
= + =
|
.
|

\
|
+ =
D
2P
1
3
1
F
min
P
D
0.735
psi
ft
=
Example - Hubbert and Willis
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 15
Also,
|
|
.
|

\
|
=
lb/gal
psi/ft
0.052
psi/ft 0.823
F
min
lb/gal 15.83 F
min
=
Example - Hubbert and Willis
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 16
Example - Hubbert and Willis
|
.
|

\
|
+ =
D
P
1
2
1
F
max
( ) 735 . 0 1
2
1
+ =
= 0.8675 psi/ft

F
max
= 16.68 lb/gal
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 17
2. Matthews & Kelly

In this case P and D are known, may be
calculated, and is determined graphically.

(i) First, determine the pore pressure gradient.
D
K
D
P
F
i
o
+ =
o
i
K
Example
) given ( ft / psi 735 . 0
D
P
=
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 18
Example - Matthews and Kelly
(ii) Next, calculate the matrix stress.
¦
¦
)
¦
¦
`
¹
¦
¦
¹
¦
¦
´
¦
=
=
=
=
ft , depth D
psi , pressure pore P
psi , stress matrix
psi , overburden S
o
S = P + o
o = S - P
= 1.00 * D - 0.735 * D
= 0.265 * D
= 0.265 * 11,000
o = 2,915 psi
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 19
Example - Matthews and Kelly
(iii) Now determine the depth, , where,
under normally pressured conditions, the
rock matrix stress, o would be 2,915 psi.
i
D
S
n
= P
n
+ o
n
n = “normal”
1.00 * D
i
= 0.465 * D
i
+ 2,915
D
i
* (1 - 0.465) = 2,915
ft 449 , 5
535 . 0
915 , 2
D
i
= =
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 20
Example -
Matthews and
Kelly
(iv) Find K
i
from
the plot on the
right, for


For a south Texas
Gulf Coast well,
D
i
= 5,449 ft
K
i
= 0.685
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 21
Example - Matthews and Kelly
(v) Now calculate F:
D
P
D
K
F
i
+
o
=
735 . 0
000 , 11
915 , 2 * 685 . 0
F + =
ft / psi 9165 . 0 =
gal / lb 63 . 17
052 . 0
9165 . 0
F = =
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 22
0.685
5,449

K
i
D
e
p
t
h
,

D
i

Fracture Gradients
1.11- 23
Example
Ben Eaton:
D
P
1
*
D
P S
F +
|
|
.
|

\
|
¸ ÷
¸
|
.
|

\
|
÷
=
? ?
D
S
= ¸ =
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 24
Variable Overburden Stress by
Eaton
At 11,000 ft
S/D = 0.96 psi/ft
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 25
Fig. 5-5
At 11,000 ft
¸ = 0.46
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 26
Example - Ben Eaton
From above graphs,
at 11,000 ft.:
D
P
1 D
P
D
S
F +
|
|
.
|

\
|
÷
|
.
|

\
|
÷ =
¸
¸
46 . 0 ; ft / psi 96 . 0
D
S
= ¸ =
( ) 735 . 0
46 . 0 1
46 . 0
735 . 0 96 . 0 F +
|
.
|

\
|
÷
÷ =
F = 0.9267 psi/ft
= 17.82 lb/gal
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 27
Summary of Results
Fracture Gradient
psi.ft lb/gal
Hubbert & Willis minimum: 0.823 15.83
Hubbert & Willis maximum: 0.868 16.68
Mathews & Kelly: 0.917 17.63
Ben Eaton: 0.927 17.82
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 28
Summary of Results
 Note that all the methods take into
consideration the pore pressure gradient.
As the pore pressure increases, so does
the fracture gradient.

 In the above equations, Hubbert & Willis
apparently consider only the variation in
pore pressure gradient. Matthews &
Kelly also consider the changes in rock
matrix stress coefficient, and in the
matrix stress ( K
i
and o
i
).
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 29
Summary of Results
 Ben Eaton considers
variation in pore pressure gradient,
overburden stress and
Poisson’s ratio,

and is probably the most accurate of
the three methods. The last two
methods are actually quite similar, and
usually yield similar results.
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 30
Similarities
Ben Eaton:
D
P
1
*
D
P S
F +
|
|
.
|

\
|
¸ ÷
¸
|
.
|

\
|
÷
=
Matthews and Kelly:
D
P
D
K
F
i
+
o
=
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 31
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 32
Experimental Determination of
Fracture Gradient
The leak-off test

 Run and cement casing
 Drill out ~ 10 ft
below the casing seat
 Close the BOPs
 Pump slowly and
monitor the pressure
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 33
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 34
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 35
Fracture Gradients
1.11- 36

Prediction of Fracture Gradients
Well Planning Theoretical Fracture Gradient Determination
Hubbert & Willis Matthews & Kelly Ben Eaton Comparison of Results

Experimental Frac. Grad. Determination
Leak-off Tests

Fracture Gradients

1.11- 2

Well Planning
Safe drilling practices require that the following be considered when planning a well:
 Pore pressure determination  Fracture gradient determination  Casing setting depth selection  Casing design

Fracture Gradients

1.11- 3

Pore pressure.11. at 14.000 ft. Matrix stress. psi.000 ft 3. psi/ft 4.2 lb/gal. Calculate: 1.00 psi/ft. Matrix stress.000 ft 2. at 14.4 . Pore pressure. Overburden stress is 1. psi/ft .Formation Pressure and Matrix Stress Given: Well depth is 14. Formation pore pressure expressed in equivalent mud weight is 9. psi Fracture Gradients 1.

Formation Pressure and Matrix Stress S =  P  +  P S overburden stress Fracture(psi) Gradients pore = pressure (psi) + matrix stress (psi) 1.11.5 .

2/8.33 = 0.000 ft = 0.00 psi/ft.433 psi/ft * 9.000 ft. Pore Pressure = 9. 1.2 = 0. Pore pressure gradient = 0.478 psi/ft 2.2 lb/gal equivalent Overburden stress = 1.6 .000 ft = 6.478 psi/ft * 14.Formation Pressure and Matrix Stress Calculations: Depth = 14. Pore pressure at 14.052 * 9.692 psig Fracture Gradients 1.11.

S P psi S P  or   psi/ft D D D  S P i.000  0.    1.11..478 psi / ft D D D  / D = 0. Matrix stress gradient.7 .e.Formation Pressure and Matrix Stress Calculations: 3.522 psi/ft Fracture Gradients 1.

522 psi/ft * 14.000 ft  = 7.11.Formation Pressure and Matrix Stress Calculations: 4.000 ft = 0.8 .308 psi Fracture Gradients 1. Matrix stress at 14.

Leak-off tests represent an experimental approach to fracture gradient determination. Below are listed and discussed three approaches to calculating the fracture gradient.9 .11. Fracture Gradients 1.Fracture Gradient Determination In order to avoid lost circulation while drilling it is important to know the variation of fracture gradient with depth.

Hubbert & Willis: Fmin 1  2P   1   3 D  Fmax where 1  P  1   2  D F = fracture gradient.11. psi/ft P = pore pressure gradient.Fracture Gradient Determination 1.10 Fracture Gradients . psi/ft D 1.

11.11 . psi Fracture Gradients 1.Fracture Gradient Determination 2. Matthews & Kelly: K i P F   D D where Ki = matrix stress coefficient  = vertical matrix stress.

12 .11.Fracture Gradient Determination 3. psi g = Poisson’s ratio Fracture Gradients 1. Ben Eaton: P S P  g  F   *  1 g   D   D    where S = overburden stress.

11.Example A Texas Gulf Coast well has a pore pressure gradient of 0. Summarize the results in tabular form. Well depth = 11. in units of lb/gal and also in psi/ft.000 ft. Calculate the fracture gradient in units of lb/gal using each of the above three methods.735 psi/ft.13 . showing answers. Fracture Gradients 1.

D ft Fmin 1 psi  1  2 *0.823 3 ft 1. Hubbert & Willis: Fmin 1  2P   1   3 D  P psi  0.735  0.11.Hubbert and Willis 1.735 The pore pressure gradient.14 Fracture Gradients .Example .

11. Fmin  0.Hubbert and Willis Also.83 lb/gal Fracture Gradients 1.823 psi/ft  psi/ft  0.052   lb/gal     Fmin  15.Example .15 .

16 .68 lb/gal Fracture Gradients 1.11.Hubbert and Willis 1  P  1   2  D Fmax 1  1  0.735  2 = 0.8675 psi/ft Fmax = 16.Example .

determine the pore pressure gradient. P  0.17 .11.Example P K i 2. (i) First. Matthews & Kelly F   D D In this case P and D are known.  may be calculated. and K i is determined graphically.735 psi / ft D Fracture Gradients (given ) 1.

psi      .Matthews and Kelly (ii) Next.915 psi Fracture Gradients S  overburden.11.0. S=P+ =S-P = 1.265 * 11.735 * D = 0. ft    1.265 * D = 0.00 * D . psi    matrix stress.18 .000  = 2. calculate the matrix stress.Example . P  pore pressure psi D  depth.

Example .535 Fracture Gradients 1.  would be 2.449 ft 0.465 * Di + 2. Di .915 2. under normally pressured conditions.915 Di * (1 .465) = 2. the rock matrix stress.0.Matthews and Kelly (iii) Now determine the depth.915 psi.19 .915 Di   5. Sn = Pn + n n = “normal” 1.11. where.00 * Di = 0.

685 Fracture Gradients 1.20 . Ki = 0.11.Example Matthews and Kelly (iv) Find Ki from the plot on the right. for Di = 5.449 ft For a south Texas Gulf Coast well.

 0.21 0.9165 psi / ft lb / gal 1.Example .052 Fracture Gradients .685 * 2.915 F   0.735 11000 .9165 F   17.63 0.Matthews and Kelly (v) Now calculate F: K i P F   D D 0.11.

685 Fracture Gradients Ki 1.22 .11.449 Depth. Di 0.5.

11.23 .Example Ben Eaton: P S P  g  F   *  1 g   D   D    S ? D Fracture Gradients g? 1.

24 .000 ft S/D = 0.Variable Overburden Stress by Eaton At 11.11.96 psi/ft Fracture Gradients 1.

25 .000 ft g = 0. 5-5 At 11.46 Fracture Gradients 1.11.Fig.

9267 psi/ft = 17.11.96 D psi / ft.96  0.735     0.26 .Ben Eaton From above graphs.: S  0.735  1  0. at 11.  S P  g F       D D  1  g  P   D  g  0.82 lb/gal Fracture Gradients 1.46  F = 0.Example .000 ft.46  0.46  F  0.

ft Hubbert & Willis minimum: 0.63 Ben Eaton: Fracture Gradients 0.Summary of Results Fracture Gradient psi.68 17.11.927 17.82 1.823 lb/gal 15.917 16.83 Hubbert & Willis maximum: Mathews & Kelly: 0.868 0.27 .

so does the fracture gradient. As the pore pressure increases. Matthews & Kelly also consider the changes in rock matrix stress coefficient. and in the matrix stress ( Ki and i ).  In the above equations. Hubbert & Willis apparently consider only the variation in pore pressure gradient. Fracture Gradients 1.28 .11.Summary of Results  Note that all the methods take into consideration the pore pressure gradient.

and usually yield similar results.11. Fracture Gradients 1. overburden stress and Poisson’s ratio.Summary of Results  Ben Eaton considers variation in pore pressure gradient. The last two methods are actually quite similar. and is probably the most accurate of the three methods.29 .

11.Similarities Ben Eaton: P S P  g  F   *  1 g   D   D     Ki P F   D D Matthews and Kelly: Fracture Gradients 1.30 .

11.Fracture Gradients 1.31 .

11.32 .Experimental Determination of Fracture Gradient The leak-off test  Run and cement casing  Drill out ~ 10 ft below the casing seat  Close the BOPs  Pump slowly and monitor the pressure Fracture Gradients 1.

Fracture Gradients 1.33 .11.

11.34 .Fracture Gradients 1.

35 .Fracture Gradients 1.11.

Fracture Gradients 1.36 .11.

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