Numerical Modelling for Well Completion and Wellbore Stability
Engineering Honours Degree, 2006
University of Adelaide
This project incorporates the finite element modelling of stress interaction with a wellbore. Knowledge of Itasca’s FLAC software package and the programming language FISH is required to successfully understand and model wellbore instability.
The initiation of a well bore removes rock mass which inevitably changes the orientation and magnitude of stresses. Wellbore interaction with stress continues to evolve through out the life of the producing well until abandonment.
Stability predictions through modelling help to mitigate problems like borehole break out, unwanted fluid loss, casing shear and cement sheath failure. Models presented include “changing mud weight in normal faulting regime”, “vertical wells in different tectonic settings” and “wellbore effects with high internal casing pressures”.
I am hopeful the results will increase industry awareness of wellbore instability issues and the processes available to mitigate these problems. Companies will hopefully recognize the benefit finite difference modelling can have in reducing costs and increasing project net present value.