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SPE/lSRM 47304

Modelling of Effects of Drilling Fluid Temperature on Wellbore Stability

S. K. Choi, SPE, CSIRO Petroleum; C.P. Tan, SPE, CSIRO Petroleum

and pore fluid induced by changes in temperature wilI depend

on the thermal expansitivities of the rock matrix and pore
fluid. They will result in changes in effective stresses and pore
pressure in low permeability formations such as shales which
may lead to borehole failure. Hence, thermal effect is a
fundamental factor which needs to be taken into account in
predicting time-dependent wellbore instability and in
designing mud program for minimizing wellbore instability.
A numerical thermo-poro-elasticity model has been
developed which can model the effects of time-dependent
changes in stresses and pore fluid pressure induced by thermal
and fluid difision on stability of wellbore dril}ed in shale
Abstract formations. It forms part of a study to develop a technology to
A numerical thermo-poro-elasticity model which can model design drilling fluid to solve and manage shale instability
time-dependent changes in stresses and pore fluid pressure problems. This paper gives a summary of the theoretical basis
induced by thermaI and fluid diffision has been developed. of the model. The thermo-poro-elasticity model has been
me model results agree well with analytical solutions for the validated by comparing model results with analytical solutions
instantaneous fluid injection of a poro-elastic medium. me and by conducting simple numerical experiments using a
results of some simple numerical experiments show that the single element to simulate a filly saturated cube. A parametric
computed changes in effective stresses, strains and pore study has also been conducted to study the effects of thermal
pressure satis& the constitutive equations for the thermo-poro- difisivity of shale on wellbore stability for permeable and
elastic medium used in the model. impermeable boundary conditions at wellbore wa[l. The results
The model results showed that difference in temperature are presented and discussed in this paper.
between drilling fluid and formation can induce significant
changes in pore fluid pressure and effective stresses around the Theoretical Basis of the Thermo-Poro-Elasticity
weIIbore walI. The extent of the effects vary significantly with Model
thermaI diffisivity of the formation. In general, cooling the The work described in this paper is based on the work by Rice
formation tend to increase the stability of the wellbore while and Clear1y2, Detoumay and Cheng,and Wang et al.4 who
the reverse applies to heating of the formation. The results also have refined and extended Biots pioneering work on the linear
show the importance of considering the geothermal gradient, theory of poro-elastici~S6. A more detailed description of the
md thermaI and fluid transport properties of shales in we Ilbore original theory, its refinement and extension can be found in
stability analysis and development of recommendations to those publications. Only the governing and constitutive
manage instability. equations which form the central part of the model are
Stresses,pore pressure, wellbore pressure, driIIing fluid design Governing Equations. Due to the low permeabili~ of shales,
and formation properties are among the primary considerations generally less than 1 pd, the coefficient of thermal diffisivity
for wellbore stability assessment and development of is at least a few order of magnitude greater than the coefficient
recommendations to manage instability. me drilling fluid of fluid diffisivity. Hence, heat transfer will be dominated by
oh has a temperature different from the formation as a result diffision, and convective transport by the pore fluid may be
of thermal gradient down the borehole, or a borehole may be ignored.
heated up to enhance production in heavy oil exploitation. In
these cases, temperature difference exists between the drilling
fluid and the formatiom As a resuIt, heat transfer between the
two media m-l] occur. Changes in volume of the rock matrix

2 S.K. CHOI and C.P. TAN SPE 47304

The governing equations for conductive heat transfer in the in pore pressure together with the increase in thermal stress
shale are given by: will lead to a less stable wellbore condition. Conversely, -.
cooIing the formation will result in a decrease in pore pressure
and tangential stress which will give rise to a more stable
v (coVT) . ; ................................................................(l) condition. However, the reduction of the tangential stress will
aIso lead to a lower hydraulic ticture gradient and in extreme
case, the tangential stress can become tensile and initiate
k hydraulic ficture.
co= ............................ .. . ......................................@) The model has been integrated with poro-elasticity and
ps drilling fluid-shale interaction models to form the time-
dependent wellbore stability analysis sofhvare. The numerical
The effects of temperature change on pore fluid pressure approaches used in the modeling of initial value problems
are given by: described by non-linear coupled equations have been described
in previous publications.s

Cvzp=;- d ; ................................................................(3) Validation of the Poro-Elastic Model

Detournay and Cheng3 have derived analytical solutions for the
case of instantaneous injection in a cylindrical borehole. The
conditions enabled the coupled fluid-stress difision equations
2XGB2(I + V)2 (1 -v) to be uncoupled to solve for pore pressure independently of the
c= .........................................(4) displacement field. The loading conditions were decomposed
91-VU v u -v into three simple modes, and solutions to more general cases
are obtained by superimposing the solutions for the three
modes. Validation of the poro-elasticity component of the
c Za,(vu
-v) +~(~f-a, model has been conducted by comparing the numerical results
..........................(5) with the analytical solutions.
=: [ B(l-v) (l+vu)

Model Description. The outer boundary of the mesh was set

at 10 wellbore diameters from its centre to minimise an>
me pore fluid flow is described by Darcys law : bow.dary effects. To compare with the analytical solutions for
mode 2 Ioading, a constant fluid pressure was prescribed at the
wellbore wall with zero initial stress and pore fluid pressure in
v . (Kv~) = ; ..................................................................(6) the formation. Hence, the stresses and pore fluid pressure
calculated are the changes with respect to the initial
me constitutive equations which describe the changes in undisturbed state.
effective stresses as a result of mechanical deformation and
changes in pore pressure and temperature are given by : Material Properties. The definition of the Biot coefficient, a
used in the analytical model is given by:
2GvA 3(V -v)
Mij = 2GAeij + EM aij a= ....................................................(9)
I-2V B(I - 2v)(1 + Vu)
2G(1 + V
@ij - xl ~v~ sAT6ij Although the definition has its theoretical advantag~ (no
hypothesis on the material matrix), it is susceptible to provide
unreliable values due to potential large errors induced by the
~=l-E small difference between measured v and v.. However, the
....................... ......... ..................................(8) value of a used in the analyses were calculated using Equation
9 to enable direct comparisons between the numerical and
If a transient temperature fieId exists in the saturated rock, analytical results.
the difference in coefficient of thexmal expansion of the pore The properties of the shale used in the modelling are:
fluid and the rock matrix wiI1 induce changes in pore pressure Ku = 8.77 GPa
end stresses. This can lead to thermal induced pore fluid flow G = 3.82 GPa
and deformation of the rock around the borehole. When a v = 0.24
formation is heated up, the Iarger volume expansion of the vu = 0.31
pore fluid will cause an increase in pore pressure in shales due B = 0.78
to its low permeability. In addition, the thermal expansion of a = 0.395 -
the rock matrix under constrained conditions will result in the k = 0.036 Ad
generation of thermaI stress in the tangential direction. The = 0.47 Cp
reduction of effective mud support associated with the increase

U.i .


Parametric Analyses of Thermal Effects on Wellbore

Model ResuIts. The induced changes in pore pressure and Stsbility . .
tangential stress near the borehole wall at different durations
dettied by the model and analytical solutions are shown in ModeI Description. The formation was assumed to be initially
Figs. I and 2 respectively. The pore pressure, tangential stress saturated with pore fluid, and the pore pressure and the
and time shown in the figures are normalised values. temperature were uniform in the formation. The wellbore had
It can be seen that there is a good agreement between the a diameter of 8.5 and the boundary of the mesh was set at
numerical and analytical solution results. However, there are 10 wellbore diameter from its centre. A constant temperature
significant differences in the normalised tangential stress pIots representing the difference in temperature between the drilling
for large time which is attributed to the finite boundary of the fluid and the formation was prescribed at the welIbore wall
model. which remained constant. AIthough the mud temperature at a
given depth will change as drilling progresses, a constant
Validation of Thermo-Poro-Elasticity Model temperature boundary condition was used to enable easier
Analytical solutions of coupled linear heat-fluid-stress interpretation of the results for demonstrative purpose. DriI1ing
*ion equations for some specific boundary or initial value fluids which are 50 C hotter and colder than the formation
problems have been derived by various researchers.41011 were analysed.
However, analytical solutions for general initial value Altogether four different cases have been studied which
problems of the deformation of poro-elastic materiais under include filly permeable wellbore wall (fluid can flow freely
non-isothermal conditions are unavailable. Hence, in order to into and out of the formation) and an impermeable wall
vdldate the model, simple numerical experiments have been (membrane coating which acts as a barrier to flow of pore fluid
conducted to assess whether the induced changes in effective from and into the formation). The analyses conducted were for
stresses, strains and pore pressure for a fully constrained and heating and cooling, and where the principal horizontal
completely free unit cubes will satis~ the constitutive stresses are isotropic.
In-situ Stresses, Wellbore Pressure and Formation Pore
Model Description. A unit cube composed of a finite element Pressure. The values used in the model are :
was used in the analyses. In the fiIIy constrained case, all the
six faces of the cube are fixed. A step change in temperature o. = 32.7 MPa
was assigned to the cube and the changes in effective stresses &h= 23.5 MPa
and pore pressure were computed. The constraint on all the 0. 23.5 MPa
tices were subsequently removed and the cube was aIIowed to w = 35.0 MPa
deform freely. The changes in stresses, strains and pore p.= 29.3 MPa
pressure at equilibrium were computed.
Material Properties. The thermal diffusivity of the rock
Material Properties. The material poro-elastic properties formation were varied within ranges commonly observed in
were the same as those used in the validation of the poro- shales (0.51, 1.055 and 1.60 x 10-s m2 S1)1213. Since thermal
elasticity model. The additional properties required for the diffusivity is related to the specific heat and thermal
thermo-poro-elasticity model are : conductivity, the thermal conductivity was also varied
accordingly with thermal difisivity. The shear strength of the
$ = 14% model material is represented by a Mohr Coulomb failure
co =2.30 W m-l K-l criterion. The effective cohesion and effective angle of internal
s . 0.23 cal g-l K-l friction of the material are 9.45 MPa and 29.5 respectively.
p = 2260 kg/m3 The other properties of the shale used in the modelling are the
~ = 18 ~ 10-6 Oc-1 same as those used in the validation of the thermo-poro-
~= 300 x 10-6 Oc-1 elasticity model.

Model Results. For a step change of 50 C, the induced Model Results. The model results for thermal difisivity G =
change in principal stresses was 5.5 MPa (compressive), and 1.055 x 104 m2s-1and permeable wellbore wall condition are
the induced change in pore pressure was 29.8 MPa. On shown in Figs. 3 to 12. Key aspects of the model results are
removal of the constraints, the cube expanded and the discussed in more detail in the following sections.
principal stresses and pore pressure at the new equilibrium
state were 11.8 MPa (tensiIe) and 29.7 MPa respectively. Evolution of Tangential and Radial Stresses, Pore
These values agreed with those determined using Pressure, and Safety Factor. As thermal and induced pore
Equations 3,4,5 and 7 with the material properties used in the fluid diffusion proceeded, the effective stress and pore
anaIyses. For the case where the step change was -50 C pressure distributions changed with time. Figs. 5 to 12 show
(cooling), the induced changes in stresses and pore pressure evolution of the tangential and radial stresses, and pore
were of the same magnitude of the heating case but opposite in pressure due to the processes, and the factor of safety with
sign as _ed. respect to plastic yielding.
The results show that for permeable wall condition, cooling

4 S.K. CHOI and C.P. TAN SPE 47304

dted in a sharp decrease in pore pressure near the wellbore time-dependent changes in stresses and pore fluid pressure
wall after a short elapsed time. The peak of the pore pressure induced by thermal and fluid diffision has been developed.
decrease moves away from the wellbom wall with time and the The model results of the validation analyses agree well with
shape becomes flatter, indicating that the thermal effect has analytical solutions for the instantaneous fluid injection of a
apreaded out. Heating resuIted in the pore pressure increasing poro-elastic medium. The results of the simple numerical
slightly above the weIlbore pressure which moved further into experiment show that the computed changes in effective
the formation with time. It is found that cooling improves the stresses and pore pressure satis~ the constitutive equations for
stability of the weIIbore while heating reduces the factor of the thermo-poro-elastic medium used in the model.
safety with respect to plastic yieIding, and can induce weIlbore The results of the parametric study showed that difference
instability. Due to the boundary condition at the wellbore wall, in temperature between drilling fluid and formation can induce
the effective radial stresses are very simiIar for both cooling significant changes in pore fluid pressure and effective stresses
and heating. However, afier less than 690 seconds, the around the wellbore wall. The extent of the effects vary
difference in effective tangential stress is about 6 MPa. significantly with thermal diffusivity of the formation. In
Depending on the stress state in the region around the well general, cooling the formation tend to increase the stability of
wail, such changes in effective stresses may lead to shear or the wellbore while the reverse applies to heating of the
tensile failure of the rock. formation. The results also shows the importance of
In general, drilIiig fluid which is cooler than the formation considering the geothermal gradient, and thermal and fluid
tend to improve the stability of the wellbore while heating of transport properties of shales in wellbore stability analysis and
the formation can induce faiIure due to thermo-poro-elasticity development of recommendations to manage instability.
effects. Hence, cooling of the driIIing fluid may be used as an
effective option to manage wellbore instability, especially Nomenclature
when the use of high mud weight is not feasible. However, a = radius of wellbore
caution should be exercised in the implementation of the B = Skemptons pore pressure coefficient
process as k needs to be compatible with other aspects of c = fluid difisivity coefficient
welIbore stabifity such as thermaI induced hydraulic fracture. CO= thermal diffisivity
G = shear modulus
Effects of Thermal Diffusivity. The effects of thermal K = drained bti modulus of rock framework
difiivity on weIIbore stabiIity are shown in Figs. 11 and 12. K. = undrained buk modulus of rock
A higher thermal diffisivity wouId imply that heat is going to KS = bulk modulus of mineral constituents
difie faster into the rock formation, hence giving less time k = intrinsic permeability
for the induced pore pressure to dissipate As a result, the p = pore pressure
magnitude of the induced pore pressure and stress changes are p. = mltial formation pore pressure
higher for shales of a given fluid difisivity but with higher pw = wellbore pressure
thermal difiivity. Consequently, it will lead to a reduction in s = specific heat
the effective mud support and hence, a less stable weIIbore T = temperature
condition. t=time
A higher thermal difisivity resulted in a higher increase t*=ctla
and decrease in safety factor for cooling and heating r = radial distance from centre of wellbore
respectively. Wellbore instability is induced by the highest a = Biot coefficient
thermal diffisivity for the permeable wellbore wall whereas ali ay = coefficient of thermal expansion of pore fluid
the thermal diffusivities resulted in instability for the as = coefficient of thermal expansion of solid matrix
impermeable wall condition. A = change with respect to reference state
&j = Kronecker delta
Effects of Fluid FIOWBoundary Condition at WelIbore
Wall. SmalIer changes in safety factor and a much earlier
&ij = strain tensor
rebound are observed for the permeable wall condition ~=i
com~d to the impermeable condition. This is because the
changes in safety factor are caused mainly by changes in pore @= ptrosity
fluid pressure. If the waII is impermeable, pore fluid can only q=~ I-2V
dime into (heating) or from (cooling) the formation driven 2(1 - v)
by the thermal induced pore pressure gradient. However, if the
A = thermal conductivity
wall is permeabIe, pore fluid can also diffuse into or from the
p = viscosity of pore fluid
weIIbore, causing a smaIIer change in safety factor and an
v = drained Poissons mtio
earlier rebound. Thii is especially true if a high pore pressure
vu = undrained Poissons ratio
gradient exists adjacent to the wall.
p = mass density
= effective stress tensor
= Y
Conclusions fY ~ = effective vertical stress
A numerical thermo-poro-elasticity model which can model c h = effective minor principal horizontal stress

->. !


m H= fictive major principal horizontal stress S1 Metric Conversion Factors

m~ = tangential stress
{ = fluid content ft x 3.048 E-01 =m
aaa W @-32)/l.8 = c
V=grad= , ~ @+459.67)/l .8 =K
()axay aZ hp X 7.46043 E+02 = W
Ibm x 4.535924 E+02 =g
Acknow!edgemente psi x 6,894757 E-03 = MPa
The authors wish to express their thanks to the Energy
Research and Development Corporation (Australia) and
Australian Petroleum Cooperative Research Centre for
aup@g the study presented in this paper.

I. Tan, C. P., Rahman, S. S., Richards, B.G. and Mody, F.K. :
Integrated Rock Mechanics and Drilling Fluid Design
Approach to Manage Shale Instability, Eurock 98 - Rock
Mechanics in Petroleum Engineering. (1998), Trondheim,
2. Rice, J.R. and Ciearly, M.P. : Some basic stress-diffusion
solutions for fluid saturated elastic porous media with
compressible constituents, Rev. Geophys. Space Phys. (1976),
3. Detoumay E. and chen~ A.H-D. : PoroeIastic response of a
borehole in a non-hydrostatic stress fieId, Int. J. Rock Mech.
A4in Sci. & Geornech. Abstr.(1988), 25, No. 3, 171.
4. W% Y., Papamichos, E. and Dusseault, M.B. (1996). Thermal
Stresses and Borehole Stability in Rock Mechanics. Proc. 2nd
NARMS, Rock Mechanics Tools and Techniques, pp. 1121-
5. Biot, M. A.: General theory of three-dimensional
consoIidatio& J Appl. P~s.(194 l), 12, 155.
6. Bio4 M.A. : General sohrtions of the equations of elasticity and
consolidation for a porous material,~, Appl, Mech., Trans. Am.
Sm. Mech. Engrs.(1956), ~, 91.
7. Choi, S.K., Chun& WK., Chen, B.K. and Thomson, P.F. (1993)
: Numerical modelling of the non-linear behaviour of materials
with application to metals,. AJvance~ in Engineering Plasticity
and Zts Applications, Lee (eds), Elsev ier Science Publishers,
Amsterdam (1993) 695.
8. Choi, S.K. : FLOMEC - A 3D Coupled Fluid FIow-
Geomechanical Numerical Model, DPR Unrestricted Report
No. 2. CS~O Division of Petroleum Resources, Melbourne
9. CharIe~ P.A. : *Rock Mechanics Volume 2. Petroleum
Applications, Editons Technip, Paris, France, (1997).
10. Booker, J.R. and Savvidou, C. : Consolidation around a Point
heat source, Int. J. Numer. Anal. Method Geomech. (1985), 9,
11. McTlgue, D.F. . ThermoeIastic Response of Fluid-Saturated
Porous Roc~ Journal oJGeophysical Research (1986), 19, No.
B9, 9533.
12. Innaurab, N. and OccelI% E. : Laboratory and In Situ Rock
Thermal property Measurements, Hot Mine. Rock at Great
Depth, BalkemA Rotterdam (1989).
13. Sommerton, W.H. : Thermal Properties and Temperature-
related Behaviour of Rock/Fluid System, Elsevier Science
Publishers (1992).

6 S.K. CHOI and C.P. TAN SPE 4~04

.---r .ool(~
.0,0< (Incdml
=0,1 (mofhl)

OM 1 15 2253

Fig. 4- Iaochrones of temperatufi variation wTth-no%-a~ae~

Fig. f Comparison of model results and analytical solutions of radius (r/a) for drilling fluid 50C hotter than formation.
normanaed Dore praasure (RID.) history with norrnaliaed radius
(r/a) at Wffetirtt normalised time (f= cffa)

, ,:, , ,:. .
I ~-,===>.+
:, .,,-
.-,>,. .
, .-. .

. 4.5 5
I = .a5L 1 1,522S 33.54

I - -nuo ~

.- ..
Fig. 2 Comparison of modef results and analytical solutions of Fig.5- Isochrones of pore preaaure vsriation with normansed
normalised tangential stress (u~omp.) variation at Various radius (r/a) for drilling fluid 50C cooler than formation.
normalised radius (r/a).

..... !=18io.08a

1 t.5 2 25 3 3.5 4 4.5 5

Nmnulind rwhm

Fig. 3- Iaochronea of temperature variation with normalised Fig.6- Isochrones of pore pressure variation with normalised
radius (r(a) for drilllng fluid SOCcooler than formation. radius (r/a) for drilling fluid 50C hotter than formation.



Fig. 10- Isochrones of effective tangential stress variation with

Fig. 7 Isochrones of effective radial stress variation with normalised radius (r/a) for drifling fluid 50-C hotter than formation.
norma[ised radius (r/a) for driIIing fluid 50C cooler than


0 1 z $ 4

Fia. 8 Isochrones of etiectlve radial stress variation with Fig. 11 Temporal variation of factor of safety with respect to
no-maNsed rsdlus (r/a) for drilling fIuid 50C hotter than formation. plastic yielding for formation with different thermal diffusivitles (H
= 1.60. M = 1.055. L =0.51 XIO+ mkf) and Dermeable fluid flow
boundary condition at borehole wall.

.... .

1:. ~.93x

0 i s

2 4 s

Fig. 9- Isochrones of eWectlve tangential stress variation with Fig. 12 Temporal variation of factor of safety with respect to
normslised radius (r/a) for drilling fluid 50C cooler than plastic yielding for formation with different thermal diffusivities (H
tirmation. = 1.60, M = 1.055, L =0.51 x IOA ink) and impermeable fluid flow
boundaW condition at borehole wall.