Feb. 11, 2004


Thermal effects on wellbore stresses can have a significant impact on effective fracture gradients. Changes in wellbore temperatures caused by various drilling operations provide for these thermal effects. For example, circulation on bottom usually results in lower bottom hole temperatures than the static geothermal temperature. This cooling effect reduces the wellbore stresses resulting in lower effective fracture gradients. These lower effective fracture gradients result in costly lost circulation events in many cases. Minimizing the cooling effect reduces the potential for these lost circulation events. In addition, increasing wellbore temperatures can increase effective fracture gradients and the corresponding pore pressure/fracture gradient margin avoiding costly lost circulation events. Wellbore temperatures are influenced by many factors related to the drilling operation. This presentation presents test results from leak-off tests at various temperatures and examines the effects of operational factors on wellbore temperatures to minimize the cooling effect and/or increase effective fracture gradients. Software developed for thermal simulation of various drilling operations was used to perform the analysis.

Featured Speakers



Steve Broussard

Date and Time

Wed, Feb. 11, 2004

11:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.
(GMT-0500) US/Central

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Houston Petroleum Club, 800 Bell, Houston, Texas