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SPE 103159

Modeling Transient Thermo-Poroelastic Effects on 3D Wellbore Stability

H.S. Farahani, SPE, M. Yu, SPE, S. Miska, SPE, and N. Takach, SPE, U. of Tulsa, and G. Chen, SPE,
Chevron Energy Technology Co.

Copyright 2006, Society of Petroleum Engineers

operating under high pressure and temperature conditions and
This paper was prepared for presentation at the 2006 SPE Annual Technical Conference and as a result generate increased wellbore stability problems. In
Exhibition held in San Antonio, Texas, U.S.A., 2427 September 2006.
order to control the instability one needs to understand the
This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE Program Committee following review of
information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper, as
behavior of rock around the wellbore. The behavior of the
presented, have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to rock is defined by the state of stresses and material properties.
correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any
position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or members. Papers presented at Material properties are usually considered to be constants of
SPE meetings are subject to publication review by Editorial Committees of the Society of
Petroleum Engineers. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper
the rock character for the purpose of wellbore stability
for commercial purposes without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is analysis. It is the state of the stresses that is responsible for
prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than
300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous extreme variance in rock behavior. Pressure and temperature
acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper was presented. Write Librarian, SPE, P.O.
Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083-3836, U.S.A., fax 01-972-952-9435.
contribute to the state of the stresses.
There are three major mechanisms that affect the state of
Abstract the stresses in the rock formation around the wellbore:
The temperature difference between the wellbore drilling mud mechanical, thermal and chemical effects. Drilling a well
and the formation, especially in deep wells, causes volumetric causes a stress concentration at the wall of the wellbore as a
expansion of pore fluid and rock matrix. Most existing models result of replacing the drilled-out rock with a drilling fluid of
ignore the effect of convective heat transfer, which is a valid different density from that of the original rock. Inclination
assumption for low permeability formations such as shales. from vertical and deviation from the direction of the maximum
However, convection plays an important role in controlling horizontal stress result in additional stresses around the
wellbore stability in high permeability formations such as wellbore. The redistributed stresses are the tangential stress,
sandstones. the radial stress, the axial stress, and shear components
A 3-D thermo-poroelastic model that accounts for the generated in deviated wells.
effect of convective heat transfer is developed in this study. The formation around a wellbore is considered to be a
Transient coupled pore pressure and temperature equations for porous medium saturated with pore fluid. The effect of the
non-isothermal conditions are developed based on pores should also be considered in analyzing the behavior of
conservation laws. the rock around the wellbore. For this purpose, the concept of
Thermal effects are generated by the temperature effective stress was introduced1 and is defined as the overall
imbalance between the drilling fluid and drilled formations, effects of normal stresses and pore pressure. Pore pressure
and increase as the temperature imbalance increases. Cooling changes will contribute to the state of the effective stresses by
the formation is found to be helpful in lowering collapse two mechanisms: i) redistribution of the pressure profile; and
pressure, resulting in a more stable borehole. However, it is ii) additional stresses on the matrix. Pore pressure changes
also found that a formation is more vulnerable to fracture occur as a result of hydraulic diffusion of the drilling fluid into
because cooling also lowers the breakdown pressure. A higher the formation, chemical effects and thermal effects.
mud weight is required to fracture the formation when hot In shale formations there is additional pore pressure
drilling fluid is used because hotter fluids increase the changes caused by a chemical potential difference between the
breakdown pressure. Also, a higher mud density is needed to drilling fluid and the shale pore fluid. The chemical potential
prevent a wellbore from collapsing when a hotter fluid is being difference will cause fluid flow into or out of the formation
circulated through it. and results in pore pressure changes that are coupled with
The model presented in this study is useful for wellbore hydraulic fluid flow. Chemical effects have been studied by
stability analysis for deep wells and deep water applications Dokhami2 and Yu et al. 3, 4
where mud temperature varies significantly along the well Drilling mud pumped down hole through tubing and up to
path. the surface through the annulus has a different temperature
than the geothermal temperature of the formation, especially
Introduction in offshore operations. Mud is colder than the formation at the
The technology of drilling deeper, deviated and horizontal bottom of the hole right after contacting the formation and
wells has been growing rapidly in recent years. Some of the becomes hotter due to contact with the formation as it rises in
benefits of drilling such wells are lower development costs the annulus. Then it starts to become hotter than the formation
and faster production rates. However, these wells demand as the geothermal gradient of the formation decreases.
2 SPE 103159

Therefore drilling mud has a cooling effect below the neutral Thermo-Poroelastic Model
point and heating effect above it. The temperature difference The phenomenon of heat flow into fluid-saturated porous
between the drilling fluid and the formation induces a media around the wellbore is coupled with fluid flow and
temperature profile in the formation. matrix deformation. Bai and Abousleiman8 demonstrated
A temperature profile affects wellbore stability by two responses of fluid flow and heat transfer for a deformable
mechanisms. Firstly, induced thermal stresses alter the stress formation in a triangle-chain fashion. Changes in solid body
distribution around the wellbore. Secondly, temperature strain, pore pressure, or temperature may result in the
changes affect the pore pressure profile, which in turn is corresponding unequilibrium of mass, momentum and energy
coupled with deformation. systems.
Usually, mechanical, thermal and chemical effects reduce A fully-coupled, thermo-poro-elastic coupling should be
the mechanical strength of the formation and ultimately may applied to study this complex interaction. By applying the
result in compressive or tensile failure of the formation. assumption of strong incompressible pore structure, the
Compressive failure (also known as shear failure or breakout) mechanical effect can be decoupled from the equilibrium
is caused by insufficient wellbore fluid pressure and tensile triangle. Behavior of a fluid-saturated porous media subjected
fracture is caused by excessive pressure of the drilling fluid. to thermal and hydraulic diffusion can be studied under the
The most common problems associated with wellbore failure boundary conditions and the formations characteristics.
are borehole collapse, stuck pipe, lost circulation, poor cement Heat transfer between the wellbore and the formation
job, poor hole cleaning and cuttings transport, unwanted depends on the boundary conditions. Specifically, in the case
fracture of the formation, oversized or shrunken hole, etc. of a permeable wall, both convection and conduction can
Kurashige5 developed a thermoporoelastic model by cause heat transfer into the surroundings. In low permeability
incorporating heat transfer into the modified Biots theory.6 formations, like shale, conduction is the dominant mechanism,
Kurashiges model has been modified and implemented in while in high permeability formations convection has
most wellbore stability studies. However, this model seems to considerable impact. In impermeable wall conditions, there is
overpredict the effect of temperature changes on pore no fluid flow into the formation and heat diffusion is only due
pressure. The unrealistic pore pressure predictions of this to conduction. Pore pressure changes depend on thermal
model could be because of excessive simplifications and its diffusion only in impermeable wall conditions, whereas it is
high level of dependence on material properties that are dependant on both thermal and hydraulic diffusion in the case
difficult to measure. Furthermore, most existing wellbore of a permeable boundary. In low permeability formations,
stability models assume that heat transfer from the wellbore to thermal diffusion is generally much faster than hydraulic
the formation is caused solely by conduction, ignoring the diffusion and the former dominates the pore pressure and
effect of convective heat transfer from fluid flow.7 This stress changes.
assumption is indeed valid in low permeability shale
formations. However, in mid- or high permeability formations Equation of Continuity
(such as sandstone), the effect of convection could be Assuming a stationary volume element as shown in Fig. 1
significant. A well path may go through formations with through which fluid is flowing, mass balance can be written
different permeability properties. Therefore, there is a need to as:
develop a general thermoporoelastic model that accounts for
the effect of convective heat transfer and is valid for = (.vi ) ,......(1)
formations with variable permeability values. Dt
With regard to these points a new approach is used here to
derive coupled pressure temperature equations that include a
convective effect. This model makes use of conservation laws Equation of Motion
along with transport laws. Temperature and pressure are For a volume element such as that shown in Fig. 2, the
coupled through a pressure-temperature dependant density momentum balance may be written in the following form
equation, and unnecessary simplifications are avoided as a
result. vi = (.vi v j ) P (. ij ) + g i ,.........(2)
In this paper, governing equations for the pressure and t
temperature profile are obtained first by following The left side of Eq. 2 indicates the rate of increase of
conservation laws. Next, a pressure-temperature dependent momentum. The first term on the right side stands for the rate
density equation is presented and implemented into the of momentum gain by convection. The second term on the
governing equations to obtain the coupled equations. right side represents the pressure force on the element. The
Boundary and initial conditions are also discussed. A third term is the rate of momentum gain by viscous force. The
numerical method to solve the coupled equations and a last term is the gravitational force the element. Eq. 2 may be
procedure to calculate induced stresses due to temperature rearranged with the help of the equation of continuity to
differentiation are presented. Finally, the effects of obtain:
temperature and pressure changes on wellbore stability are
demonstrated in the results of a simulator developed in this Dvi
= P (. ij ) + g i ,...(3)
study. Dt
SPE 103159 3

Equation of Energy P KT
Consider a stationary unit volume element, Fig. 2, through = (v m )( ) = m K T ,...(11)
which a pure fluid is flowing, and then we write the law of T V v
conservation of energy for the fluid contained in this volume
at any given time as: Where m is Thermal Expansion Coefficient, and K T is
Rate of accumulation of internal and kinetic energy = Rate Isothermal Bulk Modulus. Writing Eq. 8 in a cylindrical
of internal and kinetic energy in by convection - Rate of coordinate system after substituting Eq. 11 into it and
internal and kinetic energy out by convection + Net rate of dropping the viscous term yields:
heat addition by conduction - Net rate of work done by system
T T 1
on surroundings,.(4)
Eq. 4 includes kinetic energy which is interpreted as
CV + vr = (rqr )
t r r r
energy associated with the fluid flow. Unsteady behavior is
also allowed in the equation. This equation may be written
mathematically as: T m K T (rvr ) ,.(12)
r r
1 1
(U + v 2 ) = [.vi (U + v 2 )] (.qi ) Conductive heat transfer qr is given by Fouriers law as:
t 2 2
+ (vi .g i ) (.Pvi ) [.( )] ,.......(5) qr = K ,......(13)
After rearrangement, Upon rearranging Eq. 12 after substituting Eq. 13 into it,
following equation is obtained:
= (.qi ) P (.vi ) ( ij : vi ) ,..(6)
Dt T K 2 T 1 T T K T v v
= + vr T r + r
Internal energy may be considered as a function of volume t CV r 2
r r r CV r r
and temperature,
( A) (B ) (C )
U U ..(14)
dU = dV + dT ,..(7)
A: Heat conducted to the formation
By substituting Eq. 7 into Eq. 6 the following equation of B: Heat added by convection
energy in terms of temperature (T) is obtained, C: Heat added to the formation as the result of fluid flux
C v = (.qi ) T (.vi ) ( ij : vi ) , The term vr can be interpreted as volumetric fluid flux into
Dt T V the formation, which is a function of pressure gradient based
....(8) on Darcys law. Fluid flux and pressure gradient are related by
coefficient K1 as follows:
This equation states that the temperature of a moving fluid
changes because of heat conduction, expansion effects and P
vr = K1 ,.....(15)
viscous heating. The term ( ij : vi ) is called the viscous r
dissipation effect and can be ignored for the purpose of this Coefficient K1 has the dimension of L3tm and reflects the
study. By assuming a constant volume for the element through effect of permeability, porosity and viscosity. Substituting
which fluid is passing, the effects of temperature changes on Eqs. 13, 14, and 15 into Eq. 12 will give us one of the coupled
pressure can be expressed as material constants, bulk modulus equations as:
and thermal expansion. If
T K 2T 1 T
V V = +
dV = dT + dP = 0 ,...(9) t CV r 2 r r
P T m K T 2 P 1 P
+ K1 + T + ,.....(16)
P V P r r CV r 2 r r
= ,...(10)
For impermeable formations the hydraulic conductivity K1
takes the value of zero and the temperature will be due solely
or to heat conduction.

Temperature-Pressure Dependent Density

Following the method developed by Eirik Karstad et al.,9 a
relationship for density as a function of both pressure and
4 SPE 103159

temperature is presented in this section. The detailed (rw , t ) = w ..(20e)

mathematical derivation can be found in Reference 9. The
resultant equation of state is given by:
(r , t ) = 0 ...(20f)
= 0 [1 + P (P P0 ) + T (T T0 )] ,.(17)
Numerical Solution to the Coupled Equations
Coupled Temperature-Pressure Equations The transient coupled Eqs. 16 to 18 can be solved using a
Eq. 16 is one of coupled equations, and it can be seen that finite difference method corresponding to the given initial and
temperature and pressure are coupled with each other. Two boundary conditions. A fully-explicit method with small
more equations are needed to calculate the coupled increments in both distance and time is used. Central and
temperature-pressure-density profile. Eq. 17 serves as the backward finite difference methods are used to differentiate
second coupling equation. Another relation for pressure the second order and first order partial derivatives,
changes is required. For this purpose, the continuity equation respectively. Therefore, the numerical algorithm can be
can be used. Rewriting the equation of continuity, Eq. 1, in written thusly:
terms of compressibility in cylindrical coordinates for a porous
media will give: Ti n +1 Ti n T 2Ti + Ti 1 1 Ti Ti 1
= c 0 i +1 +
t r 2
rw + i r r
P K1 2 P 1 P 1 P ,....(18)
= + +
t C t r 2
r r r r Pi Pi1 Ti Ti1 P 2Pi + Pi1 1 Pi Pi1
+ K1 + c0Ti i+1 + ,
A system of equations consisting of Eqs. 16 to 18 can be r r r 2
rw + ir r
solved simultaneously to obtain the coupled transient density, (21a)
pressure and temperature profiles.
Pi n +1 Pi n Pi +1 2 Pi + Pi 1 1 i i 1 Pi Pi 1
Initial and Boundary Conditions =c +
A semi-infinite geometry, Fig. 3, was adopted for solving t r 2 i r r
the above system of equations. Pressure at the wall for each n
depth is considered to be equal to the hydrostatic pressure of 1 Pi Pi 1
+ ,.(21b)
the column of mud inside the wellbore. Temperature at the rw + ir r
wall can be measured or considered to be equal to the
calculated annulus temperature at the desired depth. Numerical i = 0 [1 + P (Pi P0 ) + T (Ti T0 )] ,........(21c)
and analytical methods to calculate annulus temperature under
steady state and transient state conditions are available.10, 11
Density at the inner boundary is equal to the density of the Where c is called the hydraulic diffusion constant, c0 is
drilling fluid. With the semi-infinite assumption the outer thermal diffusivity and c0 is the coupling term, given as:
boundary conditions will remain undisturbed and equal to the K1
initial conditions. c= ,......(22)
Initial Conditions
P(r ,0 ) = Po ,...(19a) c0 = ,...(23)
T (r ,0 ) = T0 ,...(19b)
m KT
c0 = ,........(24)
(r ,0 ) = 0 ,...(19c) CV

Boundary Conditions Induced Stresses

Stresses induced as the result of pressure and temperature
P(rw , t ) = Pw ,.....(20a) changes can be calculated by the following equations.3
(1 2 ) 1 r f
P(r , t ) = Po ,.....(20b) r = P (r , t )rdr
1 r 2 rw
T (rw , t ) = Tw (t ) ,....(20c)
E m 1 r rw2
+ T f (r , t )rdr + Pw ,(25a)
T (r , t ) = T0 ,..(20d) 3(1 ) r 2 rw r2
SPE 103159 5

(1 2 ) 1 r r
= P f (r , t )rdr P (r , t ) z = ( xz sin + yz sin )(1 + w2 ) ,..(27f)
1 r2 rw

E m 1 r rw2 Failure Criteria

T f (r , t )rdr T f (r , t ) Pw , Failure criteria determine the amount of stress that can be
3(1 ) r 2 rw r2
tolerated by a formation before failure. In other words, it
....(25b) defines the limit of deformation before a rock fails. If the
induced stresses are grater than the formation compression or
(1 2 ) f E m tensile strength then the rock under stress fails. When stresses
z = P (r , t ) + T f ( r , t ) ,...(25c)
1 3(1 ) at any point around the wellbore are calculated, it is possible
to compare the computed stresses against the formation
Where strength. At points where the Failure Index (FI, see Eq. 41) is
P f (r , t ) = P(r , t ) P0 ,...(26a) less than zero failure is considered to have initiated. The
Failure Index defines whether or not the stress state has
T f (r , t ) = T (r , t ) T0 ,....(26b) exceeded formation strength. Most failure criteria are
expressed in terms of principal stresses. The principal stresses
Complete Thermo-poroelastic Model at the wellbore wall can be calculated using the following
The complete thermoporoelastic model is obtained by equations after the stress tensor around the wellbore is
superimposing mechanical (in-situ), thermal and hydraulic obtained.
induced stress effects. After including the thermo-pressure 1 = rr ,..(28)
induced stresses the resultant equations are as follows.
xx + yy xx yy + z z
2 = + z ,(29)
2 4 2

rr =
(1 w2 ) +
r r
1 + 3 w4 4 w2 cos 2 +
2 r 2 r r 2 2
rw2 r4 (1 2 ) 1 r
+ z z
+ 1 4 + 3 w4 xy sin 2 + P f ( r , t ) rdr
r 2
r 1 r2 rw 3 = + z ,(30)

2 2
E m 1
r r max = Max( 1 , 2 , 3 ) ,.(31)
+ T f ( r , t ) rdr + Pw w2 ,..(27a)
3(1 ) r 2 rw r
min = Min( 1 , 2 , 3 ) ,..(32)
xx + yy rw
yy r
Boreholes may fail in tensile (fracture) or compression
= (1 + 2
) xx 1 + 3 w4 cos 2 (breakdown) modes depending on the pressure inside the
2 r 2 r
wellbore. The rock will behave differently under tension than
under compression and therefore different failure criteria are
rw4 (1 2 ) 1 r required to describe each type of failure.
1+ 3 xy sin2 P f (r, t )rdr P f (r, t )
r 4
1 r2 rw
Tensile Failure Criteria
E m 1
r r Rock tensile failure will occur when the effective
T (r , t )rdr T (r , t ) Pw w2
f f
minimum stress exceeds the tensile strength of the formation.
3(1 ) r 2 rw r ,(27b)
Thus tensile failure takes place when
2 2 min
t ,...(33)
r r
z = zz 2 ( xx yy )( w2 ) cos 2 4 xy ( w2 ) sin 2 Where t is the tensile strength of the formation, and can
r r
be obtained from lab data or well logs. Bradley12 and Aadnoy
(1 2 ) f E m et al.13 argued that because it is assumed that a fracture
+ P (r, t ) + T f ( r , t ) ,(27c) initiates in a flaw or joint, tensile strength of a rock is zero. In
1 3(1 )
this study it is assumed that compression is positive and tensile
has a negative value. Once the minimum stress is calculated
xx yy rw
from Eq. 32 the effective stress is given by the summation of
r = 1+ 2 3 sin 2
2 r2 r4 the total stress and pore pressure as given by Terzaghi.1

r2 r4 min
= min ij Po ,......(34)
+ 1 + 2 w2 3 w4 xy cos 2 ,.(27d)
r r Where ij is the Kronecker delta. A modification of
Terzaghis theory was given by Biot4 as:

2 min
= min ij Po ,...(35)
rz = ( xz cos + yz sin )(1 w2 ) ,(27e) Where is Biots constant and takes values in the range of
r < <1, where is porosity. Eq. 35 is used in this study.
6 SPE 103159

Compressive Failure Criteria Table 1- Basic Input Data

There are several compressive failure criteria used in
wellbore stability models. Mclean and Addis14, 15 categorized Variable Symbol Value
and compared some of these criteria and analyzed the effects Max. horizontal stress gradient SH 0.9 psi/ft
of some parameters such as intermediate principal stress. Min. horizontal stress gradient Sh 0.78 psi/ft
Various failure criteria proposed in the literature can give
different results in predicting the minimum mud weight Overburden stress gradient Sv 1 psi/ft
requirements. A criterion may prove successful in one Pore pressure gradient Po 0.433 psi/ft
situation, but give unrealistic predictions under another Azimuth d 30 degree
situation.14 Some of the criteria are said to be more Youngs Modulus E 1E+6 psi
conservative such as Mohr-Coulomb as compared to Drucker-
Poissons ratio 0.22
Prager. The most commonly used criteria in the field of
wellbore stability are implemented in our simulator so that the Vertical depth Z 10000 ft
user can have the option of which criteria to choose according Borehole radius rw 4.9375 in
to the situation. The Drucker-Prager criteria are used in this Cohesion factor C 890 psi
paper and presented below.
Friction angle 30 degree
(J 2 ) 2 = AJ 1eff + B ,...(36) Biots constant 0.9

+2 +3 Tensile strength t 0 psi

J 1ef = 1 p o (r , t ) ,..(37) Compressibility of the fluid Cf 1E-6 psi
Compressibility of the rock matrix Cr 3.8E-6 psi-1
J2 = 1
( 1 2 ) 2
+ ( 2 3 ) + ( 3 1 )
2 2
, Earth specific heat Cv 0.2 btu/lbm-F
.(38) Diffusion factor K1 1.13E-18 m3s/kg

2 2 Sin Isothermal Bulk Modulus KT 7E+9 m2/s

A= ,...(39)
3 Sin Earth conductivity K 1.3 btu/hr-ft-F
Density of pore fluid 8.33 ppg
2 2cCos
B= ,..(40) Geothermal gradient Tg 1.1 F/100ft
3 Sin Temperature at the wall Tw 30-90 C
FI = ( J 2 )1 / 2 + AJ 1 + B ,....(41) Empirical constant p 3.18E-10 pa-1
Empirical constant t -4.1E-4 C-1
Results and Discussion Volumetric thermal expansion m 2.7E-5 1/F
The model developed here can be used to study the effect of
Porosity 0.34
mechanical, thermal and pressure changes as well as the
impact of constraining parameters on wellbore stability. The Increment in time t 1s
effect of both pressure and temperature changes on wellbore Increment in r direction used r 0.2165 inch
stability can be studied. Sensitivity studies of the controlling in numerical method
parameters in relation to the state of stresses and wellbore Increment in direction used 1 degree
stability can be conducted with this model. in numerical method
Based on the model a simulator was developed that is Increment in mud weight m 0.1 ppg
capable of performing the above-mentioned parametrical Total time totalt 3600 s
studies. This model (together with the simulator) can be used
Failure criteria F.C. Drucker-Prager
to select the required mud weights to prevent compressive or
tensile failure. The consequences of heating or cooling the Model Mode Thermoporoelastic
formation can be studied. The simulator can also perform a
sensitivity study on the constraining parameters that are Thermo-poroelastic Effect on Wellbore Stability
involved in wellbore stability studies. Results of cases based Fig. 4 shows the predictions of mud weight windows for
on the data obtained from papers by Yu3, 4 and Chen16-18 are pure elastic model, poroelastic model and thermo-poroelastic
discussed in this section. The input data are shown in Table 1. model. In this case temperature difference between wellbore
and formation is considered zero for the pure elastic and
poroelastic cases and there is a -40 C (cooling effect)
difference for the thermoporoelastic case. In fact, the pure
elastic model is a case of the thermo-poroelastic model where
thermal and pressure values at the impermeable wall are
considered to be the same as that of formation and the
poroeleastic model is an isothermal condition with pressure
effect only. For this case, the pure elastic model gives the
widest operational mud window and thermoporoelastic gives
SPE 103159 7

the narrowest. Collapse failure is more sensitive to pressure Time Dependent Failure
changes in deviated and horizontal wells. Tensile failure is Transient pressure and temperature profiles will induce
more sensitive to pressure and temperature changes in all transient stresses. Transient effects may result in early or late
inclination angles. In this case, pore pressure and stresses at failure times. Chemical effects, for example, will induce
the wall are used to determine wellbore failure. Hence, the pressure build up at the near wellbore region a short time after
time dependent effect is not shown in Fig. 4. drilling and may cause an early failure time.4, 17 The region of
the failure around the wellbore will increase or decrease with
Temperature Profile time as the temperature and pressure increase or decrease.
As a result of drilling operations, drilling fluid circulating Similarly, a time-dependent failure analysis due to thermal
in the wellbore has a different temperature than the geothermal effect was performed and results are presented. Fig. 13 shows
temperature. Drilling mud moving up in the annulus comes tensile Failure Index (FI) in the formation at different time. In
from hotter geothermal zones and has higher temperatures this case mud weight is 12 ppg, and it is 30C cooler than the
than the formation. This results in heating the formation. formation temperature. In this figure, negative FI values
Drilling fluid may also have lower temperatures at the drill bit indicate failure points. Tensile failure propagates into the
than at the formation and cause a cooling effect. Figs. 5 and 6 formation around a horizontal well at the initial time and after
show the temperature profile from wellbore wall to the periods of five and 24 hours, as observed in Figs. 14 through
formation at a distance of four times the well radius at 16. These results emphasize the need of transient wellbore
different times, up to 24 hours after exposure to the drilling stability analysis not only at the wellbore wall but also in the
mud. Fig. 5 presents a case when the formation is heated from formation around the wellbore.
60 C in the initial condition to 90 C. Fig. 6 presents a case
when formation is cooled to 30 C from the initial temperature Effect of Variable Wellbore Temperature
of 60 C. In either case it takes less than two hours for the Keeping a constant downhole mud temperature may be
temperature to propagate to a vicinity of two times the impossible due to drilling operation constraints. Shutting in
wellbore radius. the well during drilling operations is a common practice that
may result in variable wall temperatures. As stated, a
Temperature Effect on Mud Weight Selection temperature change of 30C in drilling mud, if given enough
Once the temperature profile in the wellbore is known, time, will have a significant effect on wellbore stability. One
thermally-induced stresses can be calculated and analyzed for heating scenario is presented as examples of the effect of
their effects on wellbore stability. Thermally-induced stresses variable wellbore temperature on wellbore stability. In this
alter both compressive and tensile failure states around the example, initial circulating mud temperature is assumed to be
wellbore. Tensile failure is more sensitive to temperature hotter than the formation and then drops below the geothermal
changes than compressive failure, as shown in Figs. 7 temperature.
through 9. Although the effects of temperature changes on
compressive failure are minimal, in this case heating the Heating-Cooling Effect
formation will reduce the compressive stress while reducing Consider a geothermal temperature of 61C at a depth of
the mud temperature will increase the compressive stress. For 10,000 feet, and assume that drilling mud will have a
example, at the wall, the hoop stress will be increased if the temperature of 91C when it reaches that depth. If the
formation is heated. Therefore, when concerned with temperature is kept constant for four hours and then decreased
compressive failure preventions, heavier mud is needed when to 31C, Failure Index at a point inside the formation at
the drilling mud is at higher temperatures than the formation r/rw=1.1 is simulated. Temperature changes at this point are
and lighter mud can be used when the drilling mud is at lower given in Fig. 17. The effect of this temperature change on
temperatures than the formation, as shown in Fig. 10. The wellbore stability at the stated point can be seen in Fig. 18.
temperature effect on tensile stress is considerable. Drilling After a peak in failure index a short time after operation, it
mud that is hotter than the formation increases the tensile gradually decreases to about 890psi just before changing the
stress around the wellbore while colder mud will decrease the mud temperature. The failure index drops to about -475psi
tensile stress. As can be seen in Fig. 11, cooling the formation after cooling the mud, thus causing tensile failure.
30C at a distance of 1.08 times the wellbore radius has a
negative tensile Failure Index, which means a fracture type of Effect of Convective Heat Transfer
failure in that zone. Heating the formation by 30C will The effect of convective heat transfer on wellbore stability
prevent the formation from tensile failure. The effect of is shown in Fig. 19. Convection effect can be decoupled from
temperature differences on mud weight selection in case of the temperature equation by assuming K1 is zero in Eq. 16.
tensile failure prevention is presented in Fig. 12. For a vertical Mud weight window for cases with and without convection
well, 17.7 ppg mud is required to prevent fracture when are presented in Fig. 19: Case I- heat transfer is only due to
drilling with mud that is at the same temperature as the conduction (K1 = 0, K=0.1 btu/hr-ft-F); and Case II- heat
surroundings. Increasing mud temperature by 30C will transfer is due to both conduction and convection (K1 =1E-12
increase that limit to 18.7ppg, and decreasing mud temperature m3s/kg and K=0.1 btu/hr-ft-F). In both cases, temperature
by 30C will reduce the limit to 16.5ppg. difference between the drilling fluid and the formation is
assumed to be 30C. Fig. 19 shows that convective heat
transfer plays an important role in controlling wellbore
stability in high permeability formations. Results show that
8 SPE 103159

convective heat transfer may significantly narrow the mud ij = Effective stresses, m/ Lt2, psi
weight window. In this case, tensile failure is more sensitive to h = Minimum in-situ stress, m/ Lt2, psi
convection than collapse failure. H= Maximum in-situ stress, m/ Lt2, psi
v= Overburden in-situ stress, m/ Lt2, psi
Conclusions max = Maximum principal stress, m/ Lt2, psi
1. The effects of pressure and temperature changes on mid = Medium principal stress, m/ Lt2, psi
wellbore stability are significant. min = Minimum principal stress, m/ Lt2, psi
2. In high permeability formations, convection is the t= Tensile strength of the rock , m/ Lt2, psi
dominant type of heat transfer and should be rr = Radial stress, m/ Lt2, psi
incorporated into wellbore stability models. = Hoop stress, m/ Lt2, psi
3. Both compressive and tensile failure change as a zz = Axial stress, m/ Lt2, psi
result of temperature variation. Tensile failure is r = Shear stress, m/ Lt2, psi
more sensitive than collapse failure with temperature = Porosity, dimensionless
changes. Heating the formation will reduce the = Friction angle, degree
chance of fracture, and cooling the formation has the
reverse effect. Therefore, some instability problems References
like lost circulation can be treated by controlling the 1. Terzaghi, K. and Peck, R. B., Soil Mechanics in
temperature of drilling fluid. Engineering Practice, John Wiley & Sons (1948).
4. Temperature and pressure-induced failures are time 2. Dokhani, V., "Modeling of Chemically Induced Transient
dependent. Pore Pressure In Shale Formations," Master Thesis (2005),
The University of Tulsa, Tulsa, OK 74104.
5. The critical mud weight window may decrease due to 3. Yu, M., Chemical and Thermal Effects On Wellbore
thermal effects. Stability of Shale Formations, Dissertation (2002), The
University of Texas at Austin.
Nomenclature 4. Yu, M., Chen, G., Chenevert, M. E., Sharma, M. M.,
A = Material constant used in failure criteria Chemical and Thermal Effects On Wellbore Stability of
B = Material constant used in failure criteria Shale Formations, paper SPE 71366 presented at the 2001
C = Cohesive strength, m/Lt2, psi SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New
CV = Earth specific heat at constant volume, L2/t2F, Orleans, LA, 30 September-3 October.
btu/lbm-F 5. Kurashige, M., A Thermoelastic Theory of Fluid-Filled
Porous Materials, Int. J. Solids Struct. (1989), 25(9), pp.
c = Effective diffusion constant, L2/t, in2/s 1039-1052.
cf = Fluid compressibility, Lt2/m, psi-1 6. Biot, M. A., General Theory of Three-Dimensional
cr = Rock compressibility, Lt2/m, psi-1 Consolidation, Journal of Applied Physics (February 1941),
ct = Total compressibility, Lt2/m, psi-1 Vol. 12, pp. 155-164.
E = Young s modulus, m/ Lt2, psi-1 7. Gonzalez, M. E., Bloys, J. B., Lofton, J. E., Pepin, G. P.,
FI = Failure Index, m/ Lt2, psi-1 Schmidt J. H., Naquin, C. J., Ellis S. T., and Laursen P. E.,
K = Earth conductivity, m/t3F, btu/hr-ft-F Increasing Effective Fracture Gradients by Managing
K1= Hydraulic conductivity, L3t/m, m3 kg-1 s Wellbore Temperatures, paper SPE/IADC 87217 presented
KT = Isothermal Bulk Modulus, m/ Lt2, psi-1 at the 2004 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, Dallas, Texas,
P = Pressure, m/ Lt2, psi-1 8. Bai, M. and Abousoleiman, Y., Thermoporoelastic
Po = Initial pore pressure, m/ Lt2, psi-1 Coupling with Application to Consolidation, Intl. Journal
Pw = Pressure at the wall of the wellbore, m/ Lt2, psi-1 for Numerical and Analytical Methods in Geomechanics
P (r,t) = Pore pressure fluctuations, m/ Lt2, psi-1
(1997), Vol. 21, pp.121-132.
R = Radial distance, L, inch 9. Karstad, E., and Aadnoy, B. S., "Density Behavior of
rw = Wellbore radius, L, inch Drilling Fluids During High Pressure High temperature
T = Temperature, C, K, F Drilling Operations," paper SPE/IADC 47806 presented at
= Biot Constant, dimensionless the 1998 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, Jakarta, Indonesia,
7-9 September.
d = Well azimuth, degrees
-1 -1 10. Corre, B., Eymard, and Guenot A., Numerical Computation
m = Volumetric thermal expansion coefficient, C , K ,
-1 of Temprature Distribution in a Wellbore While Drilling,
F paper SPE 13208 presented at the 1984 SPE Annual
= Well inclination angle, degrees Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, Texas, 16-19
p = Empirical constant in density equation, Lt /m, psi September.
-1 -1
T = Empirical constant in density equation, C , K , 11. Garcia, A., Santoyo, E., Espinosa, G., Hernandez, I.,
F-1 Estimation of Temperature in Geothermal Wells During
= Angle measured from the direction of the Circulation and Shut-in in the Presence of Lost Circulation,
maximum horizontal stress, degree Transport in Porous Media (1998), 33: 103-124.
= Poisson s ratio 12. Bradley, W. B., Failure of Inclined Boreholes, J. Energy
Res. Tech. (1979), pp. 232-239, Trans., AIME, 101.
= Fluid density, m/L3, ppg 13. Aadnoy, B. S. and Chenevert, M. E., Stability of Highly
0 = Fluid density at the reference pressure, m/L3, ppg Inclined Boreholes, SPE Drilling Engineering (December
w = Drilling fluid density at the wall, m/L3, ppg 1987), pp. 364-374.
ij = Stress tensor, m/ Lt , psi
SPE 103159 9

14. McLean, M. R. and Addis, M. A., Wellbore Stability

Analysis: A Review of Current Methods of Analysis and r
Their Field Application, paper SPE/IADC 19941 presented
at the 1990 SPE/IADC Drilling Conference, Houston, TX, Pw ro
February 27 - March 2, pp. 261-274. P0
15. McLean, M. R. and Addis, M. A., Wellbore Stability: The
Effect of Strength Criteria on Mud Weight
Recommendations, paper SPE 20405 presented at the 1990
SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New
Orleans, LA, September 23-26.
16. Chen, G., A Study of Wellbore Stability In Shales Including
Poroelastic, Chemical, and Thermal Effects, Dissertation
(2001), The University of Texas at Austin.
17. Chen, G., Chenevert, M. E., Sharma, M. M. and Yu, M.,
Thermal and Chemical Effects on Shale Stability,
Department of Petroleum & Geosystems Engineering (2001),
The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, Fig. 3- Boundary conditions.
18. Chen, G., Ewy, R. T., Investigation of the Undrained
Loading Effects and Chemical Effects on Shale Stability,
SPE/ISRM 78164, Irving (October 2002), 20-23.

Inclination Angle, degree

Figures 60

(x+ x,y+ y,z+ z) 40


( vx)|x
( vx)|x+ x 0
z 5 7.5 10 12.5 15 17.5 20
Mud Weight, ppg
(x y,z)
y Pure elastic Poroelastic Thermoporoelastic
x Fig. 4-Comparison of mud weight window after including thermal

Fig. 1-Volume of the element through which fluid flows.


zx | z+ z
Temperature, c

(x+ x ,y+ y, z+ z)

xx | x yx | y+ y 60
y xx | x+ x

1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4
(x y,z) r/rw
yx | y
Initial time 0.1 hr 1 hr
zx | z
12 hr 24 hr
Fig. 5-Temperature profile at different times when mud is hotter
than formation.

Fig. 2-Volume element x y z with directions of x-component

of momentum.
10 SPE 103159


Critical Mud Weight, ppg

Temperature, c



30 7
1 1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 -50 -30 -10 10 30 50
r/rw Mud-Form ation Tem perature Difference, c
Initial time 0.1 hr 1 hr
12 hr 24 hr Tensile failure limit Compressive failure limit

Fig. 6-Temperature profile at different times when a cold mud is Fig. 9-Effect of temperature changes on critical mud weight
used. selection for a horizontal wellbore.

Critical Mud Weight, ppg

15 Inclination Angle, degree 60



-50 -30 -10 10 30 50 0
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
Mud-Form ation Tem perature Difference, c
Critical Mud Weight, ppg
Tensile failure limit Compressive failure limit Heating 30c Isothermal Cooling 30 c
Fig. 7-Effect of temperature changes on critical mud weight Fig. 10-Effect of temperature on critical mud weight selection to
selection for a vertical wellbore. prevent compressive failure for different inclination angles.

Tensile Failure Index, psi
Critical Mud Weight, ppg




7 -1100
-50 -30 -10 10 30 50 1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5
Mud-Form ation Tem perature Difference, c r/rw

Tensile failure limit Compressive failure limit Cooling 30 c Isothermal Heating 30c

Fig. 8-Effect of temperature changes on critical mud weight Fig. 11-Tensile Failure Index around the wellbore for different
selection for a 45-degree inclined wellbore. temperatures.
SPE 103159 11

Inclination Angle, degree




0 Fig. 15-Tensile failure index cloud after 5 hrs (grey points indicate
15 16 17 18 19 failure).
Mud Weight, ppg
Heating 30 c Isothermal Cooling 30 c

Fig. 12-Effect of temperature on critical mud weight selection to

prevent tensile failure for different inclination angles.

Tensile Failure Index, psi


900 Fig. 16-Tensile failure index cloud after 24 hrs (grey points
indicate failure).

FI=0 90

-1100 80
1 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5
Temperature, c

r/rw 70
0.1 hr 2 hr 12 hr

Fig. 13-Transient tensile failure index in the formation. 50


0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Tim e, hr

Fig. 17-Temperature changes with time at r/rw=1.1, heating-


Fig. 14-Tensile failure index cloud at initial time (grey points

indicate failure).
12 SPE 103159


Tensile Failure Index, psi




0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Time, hr

Fig. 18-Tensile failure index changes with time at r/rw=1.1, heating-


Inclination Angle, degree




8 10 12 14 16 18 20
Mud Weight, ppg
Convection + Conduction Conduction

Fig. 19-Effect of convective heat transfer on mud weight window.