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IADC/SPE 77255

The Legendre Field Development and Geomechanical Program:
From Exploration to Drilling to Production
David Castillo, SPE, GeoMechanics International, Inc., and Phil Ryles, and Kirsty John, Woodside Energy Limited

Copyright 2002, IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Drilling Technology
This paper was prepared for presentation at the IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Drilling Technology
held in Jakarta, Indonesia, 9–11 September 2002.
This paper was selected for presentation by an IADC/SPE Program Committee following
review of information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the
paper, as presented, have not been reviewed by the International Association of Drilling
Contractors or the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the
author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any position of the IADC or
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Abstract
Designing a development drilling program for the Legendre
Field required a systematic approach that incorporated the
lessons learned during the exploration and appraisal drilling
phase. A significant part of the planning endeavor focused on
arriving at a geomechanical solution that would prevent many
of the instabilities and lost circulation events from being
repeated. Detailed image analysis for wellbore failure, and a
systematic stress and rock strength analysis was performed to
identify the optimal well trajectories and mud weights to
successfully drill and complete the production wells. The
results of this geomechanical analysis indicated that the stress
state in the Legendre Field area is associated with a strike-slip
stress regime. Horizontal wells drilled sub-parallel to the
maximum principal stress are optimally oriented to ensure
wellbore stability in the overburden, while using a lower mud
weight within the reservoir reduces the risk of massive lost
circulation.
Introduction
Developing a production program for any hydrocarbon field is
a complicated process. In many cases, the most successful
execution of a development plan involves an integrated
approach between geologists, geophysicists, reservoir
engineers and drilling/completion engineers, with each
discipline contributing information that hopefully generates an
accurate description of the reservoir to design a sound
development program. There will always be risks; however,
by integrating information from a multi-disciplinary team it is

possible to assess these risks and build into the development
program a mechanism for managing these risks.
An important component of this multi-disciplinary
approach to field development design involves constructing a
geomechanical model for the asset. In the case of the
Legendre Field, a geomechanical model was constructed to
provide valuable information for identifying appropriate
wellbore trajectories and to design an optimal mud program in
order to reach the reservoir target and minimize drilling
problems. The anticipated risks associated with drilling these
development wells are wellbore stability and lost circulation
through natural fractures and possibly faults. Quantifying the
mechanical behavior of the natural fractures seen in the wells
can be accomplished using the same geomechanical model.
The objective of this paper is to illustrate how the analysis of
geologic and engineering information from the exploration
and appraisal wells in the Legendre field was used to build a
geomechanical model, which was then used to design four
development wells and one injection well.
Geologic Setting and Structural Framework
The Legendre Field is compartmentalized into the Legendre
North and Legendre South Fields which are situated in the
southeastern part of the Dampier Sub-basin of the offshore
Carnarvon Basin of Western Australia, about 100 km north of
Dampier (Fig. 1). Located on the continental shelf in water
depths of 50 to 60 metres, the Legendre Field represents the
most significant hydrocarbon accumulation along the
Legendre Trend adjacent to the Rosemary Fault System. The
Rosemary Fault System is one member of many NE-SW
trending fault systems, presumed active up until the Early
Cretaceous, which are predominately responsible for the
hydrocarbon-bearing basins in the area. A more detailed
description of the depositional and structural framework,
depositional setting, and hydrocarbon generation of the
Dampier Sub-basin can be found in Refs. 1-3.
The Legendre reservoir rocks (B. reticulatum) are
Berriasian to Barremian aged sandstones that were deposited
during the Early Cretaceous and are oil-sourced from the
underlying Tithonian to Oxfordian claystones (Late Jurassic)
and gas-sourced from the underlying Bajocian (Middle
Jurassic). Detailed 3D seismic mapping, seismic migration,

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D.A. CASTILLO, P. RYLES, K. JOHN

semblance analysis, and well results were used to characterize
the structure and fault architecture for the Legendre area.
Underlying the Legendre area is a Triassic to Jurassic northsouth trending fault system providing compartmentalization of
depocentres along the northeast-southwest trending Rosemary
Fault System for the Oxfordian to Tithonian reservoirs. This
variation in regional fault system trends has had an impact on
the deposition and distribution of the Berriasian reservoir. The
Mio-Pliocene transgressive phase in the Dampier Sub-basin
lead to widespread strike-slip tectonics resulting in associated
folding, fault generation and fault reactivation along the
Rosemary Fault System, which is responsible for the majority
of faults seen within the Legendre North and Legendre South
Fields. The dominant fault patterns within the Legendre area
are the northeast-southwest fault fabric in Legendre North,
and the east-west to east northeast-west southwest fault
pattern in Legendre South.
Variations in the Oil-Water-Contact (OWC) and residual
columns between the Legendre North and South
compartments imply that these reservoirs have been breached.
The higher OWC in the Legendre South Field may have
resulted from preferential leakage along a series of reactivated
faults, which appear to be more pervasive than in the
Legendre North area.
Exploration and Appraisal Drilling Experiences
Between 1968 and 1998, there were six exploration and
appraisal wells drilled within or in the vicinity of the Legendre
structure. Three of these wells (Legendre-1, Jaubert-1 and
Legendre South-1) encountered oil column heights ranging
from 13 to 37 meters. In particular, Legendre-1 represented
the first offshore oil discovery in Western Australia. Although
the other three wells (Legendre-2, Titan-1 and Samson-1) did
not encounter oil-bearing reservoirs, the information acquired
in these wells contributed to a greater understanding of the
lateral extent of the reservoir. The drilling of the Legendre-1,
Jaubert-1/ST1, Titan-1 and Legendre-2 wells clearly defined
the Legendre North compartment while only the Legendre
South-1 well was used in the discovery of the Legendre South
compartment.
With the exception of the Legendre-2 well, all the wells
drilled along the Legendre structure encountered drilling and
HSE (Health, Safety and Environmental) hazards which
included gas kicks, excessive cuttings, borehole instabilities
(such as bridging, tight hole and stuck bottom-hole-assembly,
which later required a side-track), and partial to total losses of
circulating fluids. A detailed description of the drilling
hazards encountered in these wells is outlined in Table 1.
Determining the appropriate mud weight for ensuring well
control in intervals suspected of being over-pressured for
future development wells proved to be problematic. Data from
Legendre-1, Legendre South-1, Titan-1 and Jaubert-1 wells
was used to calibrate a Woodside in-house (DISCO) pore
pressure prediction profile for the Legendre Field within the
Early Cretaceous to Early Tertiary claystones. It was
determined that future development wells could encounter a

IADC/SPE 77255

maximum predicted pore pressure between 1.19 and 1.20 SG
over the interval 1100-1450 mTVDss. However, there were
anomalous experiences such as the 20% gas kick in Legendre
South-1 at about 1,580 m (Muderong Shale), that required a
mud weight between 1.25 and 1.30 SG, implying a formation
pore pressure between 1.25 and 1.30 SG to regain pore
pressure balance (Table 1). Jaubert-1 also encountered a high
gas reading in Muderong Shale with a mud weight of only
1.15 SG. Interestingly, Titan-1 did not encounter any
significant gas despite a Dxc analysis indicating a pore
pressure increase to about 1.20 SG within the Muderong
Shale. Direct pore pressure measurements within the B.
Reticulatum reservoir sandstone and the Angel Formation
indicated a normally pressured reservoir.
A preliminary Woodside analysis of the drilling
experiences from Jaubert-1/ST1, Titan-1 and Legendre
South-1 indicated that insufficient mud weight and prolonged
exposure to the Early Tertiary to Early Cretaceous claystone
in the overburden intervals contributed to the wellbore
instabilities encountered in these wells. Although future
drilling through the overburden section using a mud weight of
at least 1.30 SG could prevent some wellbore failure in the
planned development wells, there was concern that these high
mud weights would enhance the likelihood of lost circulation.
Circulation losses were a serious problem in the Legendre
exploration and appraisal wells (Table 1). The pervasively
fractured and faulted nature of the Legendre Field (Fig. 1) was
believed to be responsible for these circulation losses. Also,
the unexpected gas kicks indicating differences in pore
pressure in some of the wells suggested that some faults are
sealing while others are not. A preliminary assessment of this
pore pressure variability within the field suggested that the
non-sealing faults may be critically-stressed with respect to
the present-day stress state, and therefore prone to fault slip
which could lead to seal failure and circulation losses. In
addition to well control issues, the mechanical instability of
some of these faults and natural fractures in the hydrocarbon
reservoir pools in the Legendre South and Legendre North
compartments may explain the presence of gas in the
overburden above present day oil accumulations (Jaubert-1
and Legendre South-1), the residual oil columns observed in
Jaubert-1 and Titan-1, and the difference in observed oil water
contacts for the two compartments (Legendre North, 1,900
mSS; Legendre South, 1896 mSS).
To better assess the risks associated with the well
development designs for the Legendre Fields, particularly
with respect to wellbore stability, directional drilling and well
control, a geomechanical study was performed using data
collected in the exploration and appraisal wells. Before using
this geomechanical model to predict wellbore stability during
the drilling of the planned development wells, it was
imperative that the geomechanical model specific to the
Legendre field first explains the drilling experiences from the
existing wells. An additional intent of this study was to
quantify the mechanical behavior of the natural fractures and
faults.

IADC/SPE 77255

THE LEGENDRE FIELD DEVELOPMENT AND GEOMECHANICAL PROGRAM

Geomechanical Approach
Constraining the geomechanical model for any particular asset
provides valuable information for better characterizing the
reservoir and formulating a development plan that optimizes
drilling and production operations. These benefits include
predicting wellbore stability in deviated and extended-reach
boreholes, minimizing the use of excessive mud weights for
preventing formation damage and circulation losses, and
understanding the role of natural fractures.
To accomplish the study goals, a broad suite of geologic,
geophysical and engineering data was analyzed to map in
detail the magnitudes and orientations of the in situ stress
across the field. The methodology requires characterization of
drilling-induced wellbore failures through analysis and
interpretation of available wellbore image data. Least
principal stress values (S3) inferred from available leak-off
tests, the vertical stress (Sv) from density logs, and pore
pressure (Pp) data from direct measurement or inferred from
drilling data, are used along with the observed wellbore
failures to constrain the full stress tensor in the reservoir,
including the magnitude and orientation of the maximum
horizontal stress (SHmax).
Observations of wellbore failure within any well provides
an important diagnostic tool for constraining the in situ state
of stress because they reflect the interplay between the stress
concentration around the wellbore (due to the stress state and
borehole trajectory) and rock strength. For instance, stressinduced wellbore breakouts reflect compressional wellbore
failure along the borehole wall where the maximum stress
concentration around the wellbore exceeds the compressive
strength of the rock. In vertical wells, such as those in the
Legendre Field (Fig. 2), borehole breakouts form at the
azimuth of the minimum compressive horizontal stress (Shmin).
Hence, breakouts are direct indicators of stress orientation. In
contrast, tensile wall fractures form where the stress
concentration around the wellbore is minimal and exceeds the
tensile strength (T0) of the rock. While these drilling-induced
fractures only occur in the skin of the wellbore wall and do
not present a risk for drilling, they are diagnostic of both
stress orientation and magnitude. In vertical wells, they form
90 degrees from breakouts at the azimuth of SHmax. For a more
detailed description of the stress analysis methodology used in
this study, the reader is referred to several theoretical and case
study examples (Refs. 4-13).
Geomechanical Modeling
In order to construct a well-constrained geomechanical model
for the Legendre Field a wide suite of geologic, geophysical
and engineering information was analyzed. Drilling-induced
tensile wall fractures (fine-scale vertical fractures on opposite
pads of FMI data) and wellbore breakouts (poor resistivity
resolution on opposite pads of FMI data) were pervasive in
the Titan-1 well. Similar wellbore failure was also seen in
Jaubert-1 and Legendre South-1 wells. Observations of
wellbore failure (breakouts and tensile wall fractures) in the
Jaubert-1, Legendre South-1 and Titan-1 wells (Figs. 3 and 4)

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indicate a dominant SHmax stress direction of about N72ºE
(Figs 2 and 4). Although the SHmax stress direction of ~N50ºE
is inferred from limited failure in the Jaubert-1 well, this may
represent a local variation due to faulting in the region.
Considering the more pervasively failed sections of Legendre
South-1 and Titan-1 (Fig. 4), we would infer that the N72ºE is
the dominant SHmax direction.
Figure 5 is a stress and pore pressure profile of the
Legendre Field. The vertical stress (SV) was constrained using
wireline density data, while the least principal stress (S3) was
constrained from leak-off and extended leak-off tests. Because
S3 is less than SV, S3 must be the minimum horizontal stress
(Shmin). Direct pore pressure measurements in the reservoir
indicated near-hydrostatic pressure conditions, while pore
pressure modeling using Woodside’s DISCO pore pressure
program indicated a slight pore pressure increase in the
overburden.
Figure 6 shows how the magnitude of SHmax was
constrained at a depth of about 1700 meters in the Jaubert-1
well. The stress polygon illustrated corresponds to the full
range of permissible Shmin and SHmax stress magnitudes at a
specific depth for the given borehole conditions, where the
vertical stress and pore pressure is known. In this case SV is
about 34.4 MPa and pore pressure is near hydrostatic.
Superimposed on the stress polygon are the Shmin and SHmax
combinations required to induce tensile wall fractures
(inclined blue contours for various tensile rock strength
situated along the left side of the polygon) and wellbore
breakouts (near-horizontal red contours for various uniaxial
compressive rock strength within the interior of the polygon).
The boundary of the stress polygon describes the frictional
limit that stress accumulation can achieve before slip along
optimally oriented faults occur, assuming a coefficient of
sliding friction of 0.75 (Ref. 14). Leak-off tests indicate that
Shmin at this depth is about 31 MPa; and because tensile wall
fractures and wellbore breakouts were seen at this depth, the
SHmax required to develop this style of failure must be in the
54-59 MPa range. Had SHmax magnitudes been less than 54
MPa there would not have been sufficient stress concentration
at the borehole wall to form tensile wall fractures. In order to
be consistent with observations wellbore breakouts at this
depth, the uniaxial compressive strength of the rock should be
in the 73-89 MPa range. Figure 5 shows the results of this
stress analysis for the Juabert-1 and Legendre South-1 wells,
which indicates that the Legendre Field is associated with a
strike-slip stress regime (Shmin<SV< SHmax). This strike-slip
stress state is consistent with other studies along the northwest
sectors of Australia (Ref. 15).
Well Planning and Development Drilling Experiences
The Legendre Field development plan consisted of drilling
four horizontal production wells (Fig. 2). Three development
wells were designed to exploit the Legendre North
compartment (Legendre North-1H, -2H, -3H) while a single
well was designed to exploit the Legendre South compartment
(Legendre South-2H). A gas injector well (Legendre West-1)

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D.A. CASTILLO, P. RYLES, K. JOHN

was drilled west of the Legendre Field into a sand unit, which
is situated down-dip of the producing wells.
The geomechanical model described above was used to
help design a mud program for each of the five wells in order
to maximize wellbore stability in the reservoir and in the
overburden. Figure 7 illustrates the mud weight needed to
restrict the development of wellbore breakouts along the entire
Legendre South-2H trajectory (2 plots at left in Fig. 7a) and as
a function of measured depth (center plot in Fig. 7a). It was
important to determine the optimal mud program because the
trajectory was designed to avoid a fault in order to reduce the
risk of lost circulation, as was encountered in the previous
Legendre South-1 appraisal well drilled in the area. The center
plot in Figure 7 shows the mud window (bright green
rectangle on the right) versus depth for the Legendre South2H well. The lower bound of the mud window is defined by
the borehole collapse pressure – the minimum mud weight
needed to prevent excessive compressive failure of the
wellbore wall (red line). The upper bound of the mud window
is defined by the minimum principal horizontal stress (brown
line). The Pp (blue line) and the vertical stress (black line) are
shown. The predicted mud weight for maintaining wellbore
stability along any arbitrary borehole trajectory is shown on a
lower hemisphere stereographic projection corresponding to a
depth of about 1640 mTVD (Fig. 7b) and at about 1920
mTVD (Fig. 7c) in Legendre South-2H. The results shown in
Fig. 7 indicate that a 1.3 SG mud density is required to
maintain stability along the inclined portion of the trajectory
deviated to the southeast. As the trajectory direction changes
to realign with the Legendre South compartment, the final
hole deviation and hole direction is optimally oriented
allowing for a lower mud weight in the reservoir section. The
far right side of Fig. 7a illustrates the relatively small amount
of wellbore failure (indicated by the red region) that likely
occurred while drilling the Legendre South-2H well using a
1.3 SG mud density. The relatively minor amount of wellbore
failure is consistent with the reported good hole conditions
encountered during the drilling of this well.
The Legendre-1H, -2H and -3H wells, generally drilled in
the northeast direction into the Legendre North compartment,
could similarly be drilled with a lower mud weight along the
horizontal portion of the well. Figure 8 shows the predicted
mud weight, mud window and actual casing selection points
for the Legendre-3H well, which was drilled the farthest into
the northeast sector of the field. As in the case of the Legendre
South-2H well, it was possible to use a reduced mud weight
(~1.1 SG) in the reservoir section to maintain wellbore
stability.
Using a low mud weight near and within the reservoir
section was particularly important due to the risk of
experiencing lost circulation events when the wellbore
intersected permeable fractures. The same geomechanical
model for the Legendre Field could be used to assess which
fracture orientations are optimally oriented for shear failure
and therefore prone to permeability enhancement. Figure 9 is
an example which shows the fracture population in the

IADC/SPE 77255

Legendre South-1 well most likely to be critically-stressed
with respect to the present day stress state. Plotted in the
lower-hemisphere projection is the critical fluid pressure (pore
pressure or mud weight) required to induce shear failure along
any arbitrary fracture plane in the near-wellbore region.
Critically-stressed fractures are red dots on the center tadpole
plot based on the stress state shown in the far-left plot. These
same critically-stressed fractures are located along or above
the failure line in the Mohr diagram and are shown as white
dots on the stereographic projection. Using a lower mud
weight in the development wells drilled in the ENE-WSW
direction minimized the risk associated with inducing nearborehole fracture slip on fractures dipping 30º-60º to the
northeast.
There were some mud losses encountered while drilling
the horizontal development wells for the Legendre Field, but
the losses were markedly less using a 1.1 SG mud density as
compared to the serious losses encountered in the Legendre
South-1 well which used up to a 1.35 SG mud density. It was
possible to reduce the risk of shear failure occurring along
fractures that were at the threshold of fault slip by avoiding
the use of elevated mud densities.
Production
During the final commissioning of the facility in the 4th
quarter of 2001 oil production averaged 33,400bbl/d. The
project was completed ahead of the original schedule and
within the approved budget. At the beginning of 2002, after
overcoming initial difficulties with its gas re-injection
compressor, production was steady at 42,000bbl/d. The field
life is estimated to be between 3 and 8 years.
Conclusion
A detailed geomechanical model for the field was used to
design future well plans to avoid, in part, a repeat of the
excessive wellbore instabilities and lost circulation events
encountered in the Legendre Field exploration and appraisal.
It is absolutely essential that a geomechanical model first
explain the drilling experiences in the previous wells before it
is used to predict drilling performances in future well plans. A
geomechanical model is built through the examination of
geologic, geophysical and engineering information analyzed
in an integrated approach to constrain the three principal
stresses, stress directions, pore pressure and rock strength.
Our results indicate that the Legendre Field is associated
with a strike-slip stress regime (Shmin<SV< SHmax) such that a
ENE-WSE trajectory (SHmax stress direction) is the optimal
direction for maximizing wellbore stability and minimizing
the risk related to lost circulation. An elevated mud weight
(~1.3 SG) was required during the build section of each well
to ensure wellbore stability; however, the reservoir rocks were
sufficiently strong to enable a lower mud weight (~1.1 SG) to
successfully drill and complete these development wells. The
use of a lower mud weight near and within the reservoir
section markedly reduced the frequency and magnitude of the
circulation losses.

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THE LEGENDRE FIELD DEVELOPMENT AND GEOMECHANICAL PROGRAM

References
1.

2.
3.

4.
5.

6.
7.

8.

9.
10.

11.

12.
13.

14.

Veevers, J.J., Powell, C.M.C.A., and Roots, S.R.: “Review
of Sea Floor Spreading Around Australia. I. Synthesis of
the patterns of spreading,” Australian Journal of Earth
Sciences (1991) 38, 373.
Barber, P.: “Late Jurassic-Early Cretaceous Systems of the
Dampier Sub-basin- Quo Vardis?,” The Appea Journal
(1994) 34 No. 1, 566.
Willetts, J.M., Mason, D.J., Guerrera, L. and Ryles P.:
“Legendre: Maturation of a Marginal Offshore Oil
Discovery to Dvelopment Project,” The Appea Journal
(1999) 39, Part 1, 504.
Bell, J.S., and Gough, D.I.: “Northeast-southwest
compressive stress in Alberta: Evidence from oil wells”,
Earth and Planetary Science Letters (1979) 45, 475.
Moos, D., and Zoback, M.D.: “Utilization of Observations
of Well Bore Failure to Constrain the Orientation and
Magnitude of Crustal Stresses: Application to Continental
Deep Sea Drilling Project, and Ocean Drilling Program
Boreholes,” Journal of Geophysical Research”(1990) 95,
9305.
Zoback, M.D and Healy, J..H.: “Introduction to Special
Section on the Cajon Pass Scientific Drilling Project,”
Journal of Geophysical Research (1992) 97, No. B4.
Castillo, D.A., and Zoback, M.D.: “Systematic Variations
in Stress State in the Southern San Joaquin Valley:
Inferences Based on Wellbore Data and Contemporary
Seismicity,” American Association of Petroleum
Geologists Bulletin (1994) 78, No. 8 1257.
Peska, P. and Zoback, M.D.: “Compressive and Tensile
Failure of Inclined Wellbores and Determination of in situ
stress and rock strength,” Journal of Geophysical Research
(1995) 100 (7), 12, 791.
Barton, C.A., Zoback, M.D., and Moos, D.: “Fluid Flow
Along Potentially Active Faults in Crystalline Rock,”
Geology (1995) 23 (8), 683.
Brudy, M., and Zoback, M.D.: “Compressive and Tensile
Failure of Boreholes Arbitrarily-inclined to Principal Stress
Axes: Application to the KTB Boreholes, Germany,” Int.
J. Rock Mech. Min. Sci. & Geomech. Abstr. (1997) 30, No.
7, 1035.
Castillo, D.A., Barton, C.A., Moos, D., Peska, P., and
Zoback, M.D.: “Characterising The Full Stress Tensor
Based on Observations of Drilling–induced Wellbore
Failures in Vertical and Inclined Boreholes Leading to
Improved Wellbore Stability and Permeability Prediction,”
The Appeal Journal, (1998) 38 Part 1, 466.
Wiprut, D., and Zoback, M.D.: “Fault Reactivation and
Fluid Flow Along a Previously Dormant Normal Fault in
the Northern North Sea,” Geology (1998) 28, No. 7, 595.
Castillo D.A., Bishop, D.J., Donaldson, I., Kuek, D., de
Ruig, M., Trupp, M, and Shuster, M.W.: “Trap Integrity in
the Laminaria High-Nancar Trough Region, Timor Sea:
Prediction of Fault Seal Failure Using Well-constrained
Stress Tensors and Fault Surfaces Interpreted From 3D
Seismic,” Appea Journal (2000) 151.
(Byerlee, J.: “Friction of Rocks,” Pure and Applied
Geophysics (1978) 116, 615.

15.

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Zoback, M.D., and Healy, J.H.: “In-situ Stress
Measurements to 3.5km depth in the Cajon Pass Scientific
Research Borehole: Implications For the Mechanics of
Crustal Faulting,” Journal of Geophysical Research”
(1992) 97, 5039.

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TABLE 1
Well

Depth
(m KB/RT)

Hazard

Description

Legendre-1

To 1,034 m

Lost
circulation

Severe losses requiring seven cement plugs to overcome. Total
of 8,000 bbls of mud were lost.

Legendre-1

1,0341,893 m

Tight hole conditions and major cavings were encountered
between 1,034 m KB to 1,893 m KB.

Titan-1

1,983 m

Tight hole
Major cavings
Borehole
instability/
Cavings

Jaubert-1

1,143 m
1,831 m

Borehole
instability/
Cavings

1,891 m

Legendre
South-1

1,583 m

1,660 m

1,946 m

Gas Kick

Lost
Circulation
Total Losses

Large volume of cavings following a 50 bbl pill to assist in hole
cleaning. A wiper trip performed after the first logging run could
not penetrate past 1,952 mRT. A 1.30 SG MW was necessary to
be deepened to 1,990 mRT
Mud weight increased to 1.24 SG after encountering tight hole
and excessive cavings prior to wireline logging.
Bridges
prevented placing the 95/8” casing past 1,798 mRT. 1,800 mRT.
The bottom hole assembly became stuck at 1,311 mRT during
clean up trip requiring the string to be backed off at 1,213 mRT
and a cement plug.
A sidetrack kick-off at 1,133 mRT using a mud weight of 1.30 SG
made drilling to a TD of 2,015 mRT possible. The trip out was
clean and the 95/8” casing was run to 2,005 mRT, with one bridge
encountered at 1,987 mRT. Higher mud weight in Jaubert-1ST
background gas, total gas was reduced and the borehole
condition significantly improved.
At 1,583 mRT while drilling with a 1.25 SG KCl/PHPA mud system
20% gas was recorded at the shakers and a flow check showed
that the well was flowing. An increase in mud weight to 1.35 SG at
1,583 mRT killed the gas flow.
Drilling with a 1.35 SG MW between 1,583 and 1,660 mRT
experienced about 14 m3 of mud losses, reduced only after
lowering the pump rate.
During coring total losses occurred at 1,946 mRT due to
intersecting a fault or fracture network. Pumping numerous LCM
pills, decreasing mud weight to 1.27 SG, and setting a cement
plug between 1,862-1,900 mRT cured the problem.

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THE LEGENDRE FIELD DEVELOPMENT AND GEOMECHANICAL PROGRAM

Figure 1. Regional structure map of the North West Shelf area of Australia. The Legendre North and
South Fields are located on the downthrown side of the Rosemary Fault System that separates the Lewis
Trough to the northwest from the Enderby Trend to the southeast.

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Figure 2. Field development map showing the location of the vertical appraisal wells (Jaubert-1, Titan-1 and
Legendre South-1) and the horizontal development wells (Legendre North-1, -2 and –3, Legendre South –2, and
Legendre West-1) drilled from the same platform. The orientation of SHmax is indicated by the inward-facing
arrows. The base map is the top reservoir structure map

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THE LEGENDRE FIELD DEVELOPMENT AND GEOMECHANICAL PROGRAM

Electrical Conductivity

Titan-1
Tensile
Wall
Fractures
Pad Standoff
likely due to
wellbore breakouts

Figure 3. Example of the FMS image data collected in the Titan-1 well. Observations of drilling-induced wellbore
breakouts and tensile wall fractures were also pervasive in the Jaubert-1 and Legendre South-1 wells.

9

10

D.A. CASTILLO, P. RYLES, K. JOHN

a)

IADC/SPE 77255

Titan-1
1200

1300

Haycock Marl
Tensile Wall Fractures
Wellbore Breakouts

1400

1500

1600
Muderong Shale
1700

1800

1900

Forestier Claystone
Berriasian SS.

2000
0

30

60

90

120

150

180

Compressive and Tensile Failure Orientation (degN)

b)

Figure 4. Analysis results of mapping compressive and tensile wellbore failure in (a) the Titan-1 well. (b) An
overview of the SHmax stress directions inferred from failure seen in the Jaubert-1, Titan-1 and South Legendre-1
wells. The SHmax stress directions inferred from failure seen in the Titan-1 and South Legendre-1 wells appears
to be more representative of the regional stress, although local faulting may be influencing the SHmax stress
direction in the Jaubert-1 well.

IADC/SPE 77255

THE LEGENDRE FIELD DEVELOPMENT AND GEOMECHANICAL PROGRAM

11

Stress Profile of the Legendre
0
Sv
Pp (Disco)
Pp (Jaubert-1; DST)

500

Extended LOT (J-1, LS-1)
Shmin (J-1, LS-1)
SHmax (Jaubert-1)
SHmax (Legendre South-1)

1000

Lambert-MiriaWithnell Sh.
Toolonga Calcilutite

XLOT
LS-1

Haycock Marl &
Windalia Radiolite

T-1

1500

SHmax

J-1

Pp

2000

Shmin

FMI/FMS
Image Data

2500

0

10

20

30

40

Muderong Sh.

B. Reticulatum Ss.

Sv

50

60

70

80

Stress and Pressure (MPa)
Figure 5. Stress and pore pressure profile of the Legendre Field. The vertical stress (Sv) is constrained using
density data. Leak-off data indicates that the minimum horizontal stress (Shmin) is less than the Sv, while
wellbore failure analysis indicates that the maximum horizontal stress (SHmax) is greater than Sv.

12

D.A. CASTILLO, P. RYLES, K. JOHN

SHmax
~ 54- 59 MPa

IADC/SPE 77255

Rock Strength
~73 _89 MPa

Jaubert-1
Depth 1700 mTVD

Sv ~ 34.4 MPa
Pp ~ 18.7 MPa

Shmin
~ 31.0 MPa

Figure 6. Stress polygon showing a range of permissible Shmin and SHmax stress magnitudes at a depth of about
1700 meters in the Jaubert-1 well. Results indicate a strike-slip stress regime (Shmin<SV< SHmax).

IADC/SPE 77255

THE LEGENDRE FIELD DEVELOPMENT AND GEOMECHANICAL PROGRAM

13

a)
Vertical
Stress

Map View
1992 MD
1642 mTVD

Minimum
Mud Wt.
for Stability
Least
Principal
Stress
9 5/8” casing

3500 MD
1922 mTVD

Cross-Section

7” liner

Mud
Window
1992 MD
1642 mTVD
3500 MD
1922 mTVD

Pore
Pressure

Mud Weight for Stability

c)

b)

N

N

SHmax

SHmax

W

Legendre South-2H
at 1642 mTVD

E

Sv

S

Shmin
Mud Weight
For Stability,
SG

W

Legendre South-2H
at 1922 mTVD

E

Sv

S

Shmin
Mud Weight
For Stability,
SG

Figure 7. Predicted mud weight program for the Legendre South-2H well. The required mud weight
needed to maintain wellbore stability is shown in a) as a function of location along the wellbore trajectory
and measured depth. The far right side of a) illustrates the expected degree of failure based on the actual
mud density used to drill the well. Shown on a lower hemisphere stereographic projection is the predicted
mud weight for any arbitrary borehole trajectory corresponding to a depth of b) ~1640 mTVD and c)
~1920 mTVD in the Legendre South-2H well. For comparison the actual Legendre South-2H trajectory at
the corresponding depth is also shown.

14

D.A. CASTILLO, P. RYLES, K. JOHN

IADC/SPE 77255

a)
5075 MD
1918 mTVD

Minimum
Mud Wt.
for Stability

Vertical
Stress
Least
Principal
Stress

Map View

Cross-Section

Pore
Pressure

5075 MD
1918 mTVD

9 5/8” casing

Mud
Window

Mud Weight for Stability

b)
N

Legendre North-3H
at 1918 mTVD

SHmax

W

E

Sv

S

Shmin
Mud Weight
For Stability,
SG

Figure 8. Predicted mud weight and mud window for the Legendre North-3H well. A mud weight of 1.1 SG was
used in the Legendre North-3 well where very little wellbore failure or difficulties due to wellbore instabilities
were encountered in the well.

IADC/SPE 77255

THE LEGENDRE FIELD DEVELOPMENT AND GEOMECHANICAL PROGRAM

SHmax

Shmin

Sv

Pp

Figure 9. Stress analysis of the natural fractures seen in the Legendre South-1 well quantifying the state
of stress resolved along the fractures mapped from image data. Results were used to determine the
critical borehole fluid pressure (mud weight) needed to induce shear failure along the natural fractures.

15