Critical Mud Weight-Conclusion: Analysis identifies safe mud weights for horizontal wells

For drilling horizontal wells in a typical formation in Saudi Arabia, a sensitivity analysis delineates the boundaries for safe mud weights as a function of different formation stress regimes, well orientation, and depth.This analysis is based on the proposed simplified analytical method discussed in Part 1 (OGJ, Oct. 3, 2005, p. 36) of this two-part series. Both well orientation and the prevailing stress regime are main factors that influence the critical mud weight, above which a formation may fracture and below which a wellbore may collapse.Stress redistributionRotary drilling disturbs the original equilibrium of in situ stresses because the formation surrounding the wellbore has to be...

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