Drilling with excessive mud weight may cause undesirable tensile failure of the wellbore and costly events of lost circulation. Particulate drilling mud additives, known as lost circulation materials (LCM), have been commonly used to treat this problem. Despite their operational success, estimation of the related gain in extending the drilling margin (fracture gradient) of a fractured wellbore has been lacking in the literature or industry practice of the technique. The research covered in this presentation has led to developing a theoretical framework, implemented analytical solutions, and a standard LCM selection workflow for engineered fracture gradient design. The method has been successfully applied to pre-drill planning and/or post-drill analysis of several wells in the Gulf of Mexico, Latin America, and Mediterranean Sea. This work is documented through three SPE Journal papers in 2015, 2016, and 2017 (SPE 185945, 180910, and 174088), and presented at 2017 IADC/SPE Drilling Conference and Exhibition (SPE 184609).
Dr. Amin Mehrabian is an Assistant Professor of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering at Energy and Mineral Engineering Department of Pennsylvania State University (PSU). Prior to joining PSU, he was a Principal R&D Engineer at Houston Technology Center of Halliburton Energy Services. Mehrabian’s research interest is Mechanics and Physics of Porous Media, primarily applied to drilling and completion operations of the oil and gas industry. He holds a US patent on Managed Pressure Drilling. Mehrabian has a Ph.D. degree in Petroleum Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, and a M.Sc. degree in Mechanical Engineering, as well as two B.Sc. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and in Petroleum Engineering, all from Sharif University of Technology.