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  • FPR approach to wellbore strengthening eliminates lost circulation


    E. van Oort, J. Friedheim, J. Lee, M. Sanders and T. Pierce

    A different take on the widely promoted near-Wellbore Stress Augmentation (WSA) approach to strengthening wellbores significantly reduced Non-Productive Time (NPT) related to lost circulation in a number of Gulf of Mexico deepwater wells. Using the Fracture Propagation Resistance (FPR) model, which predates WSA and is based on principles set down by DEA 13, Lost Prevention Material (LPM) was applied continuously in the drilling fluid. The FPR mechanism, which requires no dedicated squeezes or “start-stop” operations that interfere with drilling operations, reduced mud losses up to 80% during drilling, running casing and cementing operations. Furthermore, a specially engineered LPM recovery system resulted in up to 86% efficiency in recovering the LPM not consumed downhole. Consequently, in these applications, the FPR methodology removed lost circulation as being one of the top three causes of costly and time-consuming NPT.

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