Assessment of Wellbore Stability of Deep Wells

Assessment of Wellbore Stability of Deep Wells in the Ruhr Metropolitan Area for Potential Geothermal Energy Utilization

Mohamed Moursy1,2,3, Michal Kruszewski1, Erik H. Saenger2,1

1Fraunhofer IEG, Germany; 2Hochschule Bochum; 3RWTH Aachen

Compressive, shear or tensile wellbore failures occur when the stress exerted on a rock exceeds its strength. These failures, if left unattended, can cause wellbore instability, resulting in blowouts or lost circulations. Hence, Mechanical Earth Models (MEM) are established to help understanding how such failures are initiated and how they can be prevented. To construct these models, information about the in-situ principle stress magnitudes and orientations is required along with knowledge of the rock strength properties. This study aims at building 1D MEMs for various wells to avoid the onsets of failures in future wells drilled in the Ruhr area in western Germany, using wireline logging data. COMSOL® software is used to model the stress state around the wellbore and its potential failure. Thus, prompting better decision making in measures that will improve wellbore stability. These measures include, adjusting mud densities with depth, designing well paths that will minimize failure onsets, and deciding upon appropriate casing setting depths.

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