Full waveform acoustic data as an aid in reducing uncertainty of mud window design in the absence of leak-off test
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Creating a mechanical earth model (MEM) during planning the well and real-time revision has proven to be extremely valuable to reach the total depth of well safely with least instability problems. One of the major components of MEM is determining horizontal stresses with reasonable accuracy. Leak-off and minifrac tests are commonly used for calibrating horizontal stresses. However, these tests are not performed in many oil and gas wellbores since the execution of such tests is expensive, time-consuming and may adversely impact the integrity of the wellbore. In this study, we presented a methodology to accurately estimate the magnitudes and directions of horizontal stresses without using any leak-off test data. In this methodology, full waveform acoustic data is acquired after drilling and utilized in order to calibrate maximum horizontal stress. The presented methodology was applied to develop an MEM in a wellbore with no leak-off test data. Processing of full waveform acoustic data resulted in three far-field shear moduli. Then based on the acoustoelastic effect maximum horizontal stress was calibrated. Moreover, maximum horizontal stress direction was detected using this methodology through the whole wellbore path. The application of this methodology resulted in constraining the MEM and increasing the accuracy of the calculated horizontal stresses, accordingly a more reliable safe mud weight window was predicted. This demonstrates that the presented methodology is a reliable approach to analyze wellbore stability in the absence of leak-off test.
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