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Pipe Sticking 2016

Pipe Sticking
Causes & Preventions
A Bachelor Thesis

in the

Department of Drilling and Completion Engineering


Mining University of Leoben
Leoben, Austria
Mai 2016

by

Msahli Ahmed
Supervisors

Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr.mont. Thonhauser Gerhard


MSc. Roohi Abbas

Ahmed Msahli 1
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Abstract

Studying and researching the roots of problems is the only way to better understand processes and
move to solutions.

In order to have better successful drilling operations, the elimination and mitigation of risks and
drilling problem is necessary. And in order to achieve that, a much deeper understanding of the
roots and physical reasons behind these problems in needed.

Having an understanding of the problem will eventually lead to the establishment of solutions and
practices that improve the overall productivity of a drilling operation. Furthermore, Using
mathematical models and methods will lead to having more sophisticated and useful results

The first objective behind this study is to establish a better understanding to pipe sticking and the
physical and mechanical reasons behind every occurrence. Then, to know the possible means of
detection and prevention of the phenomenon based on case studies and realistic results.

Later, this study aim to discuss the most efficient methods of detection and risk estimation via
introducing Artificial Neural Networks and Support Vector Machine, Evaluate their performance and
potential as well as comparing them based on the case study results.

And finally, the study aim to have an idea about further development of the studies and the
upcoming possibilities.

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Table of Contents

Abstract ................................................................................................................................................... 2
Objectives of this study ............................................................................ Error! Bookmark not defined.
List of Figures .......................................................................................................................................... 5
List of Tables ........................................................................................................................................... 6
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION: .................................................................................................................. 7
WHAT IS PIPE STICKING?.......................................................................... Error! Bookmark not defined.
Size of the problem .................................................................................. Error! Bookmark not defined.
CHAPTER 2 : MECHANICAL STICKING : .................................................................................................... 7
2.1 Types of Mechanical Sticking ............................................................................................................ 8
2.2 Freeing Methods for Mechanical Sticking ...................................................................................... 10
CHAPTER 3 : DIFFERENTIAL STICKING : ................................................................................................. 11
3.1 Theory behind DPS .......................................................................................................................... 11
3.2 Elimination of DPS ........................................................................................................................... 13
3.2.1 Practices that help Minimizing contact area ............................................................................... 14
3.2.2 Minimize Still-Pipe time ............................................................................................................... 17
3.2.3 Cake morphology and fluids design ............................................................................................. 18
3.2.4 Modeling ...................................................................................................................................... 21
3.2.5 Results .......................................................................................................................................... 25
CHAPTER 4: SIDE FACTORS CONTRIBUITING IN PIPE STICKING: ........................................................... 27
4.1 Human Factor.................................................................................................................................. 27
4.2 Hole Angle ....................................................................................................................................... 27
4.3 Hole Diameter ................................................................................................................................. 28
CHAPTER 5: CASE STUDY 1: REAL TIME FRICTION ANALYSIS: .............................................................. 29
5.1 Wellbore Friction Modeling ............................................................................................................ 29
5.2 Buoyancy Effect............................................................................................................................... 30
5.3 Contact surface Effect ..................................................................................................................... 31
5.4 Results and Discussion .................................................................................................................... 31
CHAPTER 6: ARTIFICIAL NEURAL NETWORKS: ..................................................................................... 39
6.1 Concept of ANN .............................................................................................................................. 39

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6.2 Database assembly ......................................................................................................................... 40


6.3 Applied Neural Networks ................................................................................................................ 41
6.4 Training and Learning...................................................................................................................... 42
6.5 Evaluation criteria and Limitations ................................................................................................. 44
6.6 Apply Production Datasets.............................................................................................................. 45
6.7 Sensitivity Analysis .......................................................................................................................... 46
CHAPTER 7 : SUPPORT VECTOR MACHINE : .......................................................................................... 48
7.1 Concept of Support Vector Machine .............................................................................................. 48
7.2 Predictor Performance Criteria ....................................................................................................... 51
7.3 Results and Discussion .................................................................................................................... 52
Conclusions ........................................................................................................................................... 57
Bibliography .......................................................................................................................................... 59

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List of Figures

Figure 1: Pipe sticking compared to other drilling problems.................................................................. 7


Figure 2: Cuttings accumulation ............................................................................................................. 8
Figure 3: Borehole Instability .................................................................................................................. 9
Figure 4: Key Seating ............................................................................................................................. 10
Figure 5: Embedment by differential pressure ..................................................................................... 12
Figure 6: Differential pipe sticking ........................................................................................................ 13
Figure 7: Stress and shear development for DPS.................................................................................. 13
Figure 8: Comparison of the contact areas in DP and HWDP ............................................................... 16
Figure 9: Example of wear groove that frequently appears in the 3D images processed from high-
angle wells............................................................................................................................................. 16
Figure 10: Effect of Centralizer position on probability of success ...................................................... 22
Figure 11: FE model schematic apparatus ............................................................................................ 23
Figure 12: Pullout Force between WBM and NAF models ................................................................... 24
Figure 13: Differential Axial stress vs. Axial & Radial strain% ............................................................... 24
Figure 14: Occurrence of DPS between 2004 and 2008 ....................................................................... 25
Figure 15: Freeing success rate vs. hole angle ...................................................................................... 27
Figure 16: Stuck pipe occurrence vs. hole angle ................................................................................... 28
Figure 17:Studied well geometry .......................................................................................................... 32
Figure 18: Friction coefficient over the BHA movement ...................................................................... 32
Figure 19: Buoyancy factor vs. measured depth for drilling, tripping in and tripping out ................... 33
Figure 20: Mud pressure over the wellbore ......................................................................................... 34
Figure 21: Hook load vs. measured depth for tripping in and tripping out .......................................... 35
Figure 22: Frictional force during the tripping out process .................................................................. 35
Figure 23: Overall friction coefficient vs. measured depth during tripping out operation .................. 36
Figure 24: Frictional force during the tripping in process ..................................................................... 37
Figure 25: Overall friction coefficient vs. measured depth during tripping in operation ..................... 37
Figure 26: General structure of ANNs ................................................................................................... 40
Figure 27: Simplified structure of ANNs ............................................................................................... 42
Figure 28: MSE versus a default number of epochs for MLP model..................................................... 43
Figure 29: MSE versus a default number of epochs for RBF model ..................................................... 44
Figure 30: Relative importance of drilling parameters for MLP ........................................................... 46
Figure 31: Relative importance of drilling parameters for RBF ............................................................ 47
Figure 32: Maximum-margin hyperplanes for SVM trained with examples from two classes............. 49
Figure 33: Mapping input space into high-dimentional feature space................................................. 50
Figure 34: Comparison of SVM results , FFBP results and real data from field .................................... 56

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List of Tables

Table 1: Size ranges for D50 bridging particles ..................................................................................... 19


Table 2: Freeing stastics in the studied wells........................................................................................ 25
Table 3: Applied datasets example ....................................................................................................... 40
Table 4: Error of training and cross validation for MLP ........................................................................ 44
Table 5: Error of training and cross validation for RBF ......................................................................... 44
Table 6: Accuracy measurements ......................................................................................................... 45
Table 7: Well data before sticking day .................................................................................................. 45
Table 8: RBF and MLP predictions ........................................................................................................ 46
Table 9: Well parameters used for the study ....................................................................................... 52
Table 10 : Performance of transfer functions ....................................................................................... 53
Table 11: Performance evaluation for Gaussian Kernel function ......................................................... 54
Table 12: Performance evaluation for polynomial Kernel function ..................................................... 54
Table 13: Comparison of Performance for FFBP and SVM ................................................................... 55
Table 14: difference in the efficiency between the best developed SVM and ANN models ................ 55
Table 15: Comparison of SVM and FFBP predictions with real cases ................................................... 56

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CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

During drilling many problems would occur, understanding the physics behind these problems will
help avoiding their occurrence in future operation and thus minimize the costs of the operations and
minimize the drilling time which is beside money costing will decide if projects can stay on schedule.

Pipe sticking is a problem that faces engineers during drilling.


It could occur due to many reasons and consists of having the drilling pipe stuck literally in the
wellbore without being possibly rotated or translated or both in most cases.
The pipe is in this case considered stuck if it cannot be freed without being damaged or without
exceeding the Maximum allowed rig hook load.
Mainly pipe sticking is classified into differential sticking and mechanical sticking. Each of have many
different causes and occurrence scenarios.

BUDDY J. DOMANGUE , Texaco USA : “ After well control , stuck pipe is probably our biggest concern
in the Gulf of Mexico , Between 1981 and 1990 , Texaco drilled 383 wells and experienced 105
incidents of stuck pipe in 95 wells _ a 27.4% frequency . In that period, stuck pipe in GoM cost
Texaco $65.8 million _ an average of about $626.000 per incident. We lost 1122 days of rig time _ an
equivalent of having a rig sit idle for 3.1 years at a daily cost of $58.000.”

Figure 1: Pipe sticking compared to other drilling problems (1)

CHAPTER 2 : MECHANICAL STICKING :

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Mechanical sticking occurs when the pipe is in motion and goes into many scenarios defined based
on the direct cause that gets the pipe to be stuck in the wellbore.

2.1 Types of Mechanical Sticking


 Drilled Cuttings

Because of improper wellbore cleaning during drilling, cuttings may be accumulating in the annular
space, which will end up by causing the drilling pipe to be stuck. Unless the cutting bed is flushed
before tripping out this problem is noticed in deviated well by an increase in torque, drag and
circulating pressure.

Figure 2: Cuttings accumulation (2)

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 Borehole Instability

The well borehole can be unstable due to many reasons, but basically the problem has been noticed
during drilling in shale formations.

Shale sloughing or flowing inward will trap the pipe and cause it sticking and raising the circulation
pressure and probably keep fluids from returning to the surface.

In less common rate, the same problems are caused by drilling with a low weight mud which will
lead to borehole collapse and salt flow inward in case of overburden.

Figure 3: Borehole Instability (2)

The sticking in this case is indicated by a rise in circulating drill-pipe-pressure, increase in torque and
in some cases no fluid return.

 Key Seating

In the case of key seating, the drill string rotation when combined with a lateral (side) force acting on
it will be pushed to create a groove that consists of a small hole on the side of a full gauge hole .

The main conditions to create key seating are either doglegs or undetected ledges. And the
occurrence could be indicated by being able to pull out several stands of pipe before the pipe gets
stuck.

Long bit runs are usually known of causing key seats so as a way to avoid this problem making wiper
trips is recommended.

The lateral force Fl is expressed with:

(1)

Where θ.dl represents the Dogleg severity and T represents the tensile force.

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Figure 4: Key Seating (2)

2.2 Freeing Methods for Mechanical Sticking


For each of the problems causing the pipe to get mechanically stuck an appropriate solution has
been engineered.

To get through cuttings accumulation and hole slaughtering it is suggested to alternate between
rotating and reciprocating the drill string with increasing the flow rate without exceeding the
equivalent circulation density ECD.

As for narrowing , if it is a result of plastic shale behavior then increasing the mud weight would
solve the problem and if it caused by salt when drilling salt domes as an example the use of fresh
water for drilling is recommended .

For the key-seat area, it is recommended to back off below the key seat and go back into the hole
with an opener to drill out the key section.

And finally for fishing operation it would depend on the choice of the operating company, because
choosing between fishing and backing off then plugging is an economical issue basically.

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CHAPTER 3 : DIFFERENTIAL STICKING :

We have differential pipe sticking when the drill string, wireline or other surfaces are held against
the borehole wall by forces that develop in an area of contact with permeable formations.

Differential-Pressure pipe sticking (DPS) goes by a simple rule;


If
Mud Pressure Pm is greater than Formation Pressure Pff
Then
The Pipe is differentially stuck

DPS became a major concern when the rate of sticking increased with the tendency of the industry
to move into abnormal pressure and high overbalance and directional drilling.

3.1 Theory behind DPS


When the pipe become stationary, the pressure within the contact area begins to decline
immediately then this continues as long as there is sufficient differential pressure between the cake
and formation to extract filtrate from the cake. When flow from the cake stops, the pressure within
it will be close to that of formation. As the fluid pressure declines, the differential force across the
pipe is transferred to the solids in the cake. The stress between the solids is the effective stress.

Even the dominant force is usually associated with the pressure differential between the borehole
and formation in the contact area, adhesion and cohesion may also contribute some resistance to
pipe movement.

The general properties of the drilling fluid and mud cake, BHA, still pipe time and differential
pressure between the formation and the drilling mud should be considered to provide a concept of
how they are affecting the DPS.

To free the pipe, two theories exist. The first one is pulling the pipe hard enough to overcome the
shear resistance that exists across the entire contact area and the second is that the effective stress
causes a high sliding resistance and thus overcoming the friction existing across the entire contact
area is needed.

In both theories, the contact area is the dominant factor controlling the BHA, but based on
Laboratory tests shear within the cake is believed to be the dominant mechanism in the field.

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Figure 5: Embedment by differential pressure (2)

Pm is the pressure acting on the outsider wall the pipe, and this pressure is usually higher than Pff
except for the case of underbalanced drilling.

The differential Pressure acting on the stuck portion of the drill pipe is given simply by:

While the pull force is given by:

With : f , friction Factor


Ac , Area of contact

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Figure 6: Differential pipe sticking (2)

3.2 Elimination of DPS


The pullout pressure is believed to be dependent on cake shear strength, then the sticking tendency
can be reduced by practices that reduce this strength.

Figure 7: Stress and shear development for DPS (3)

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As it is seen in the previous graph the pressure decline is time dependent that means the effective
stress and the shear strength that develops from this must be also time dependent. In other words,
even some sticking force develops immediately, time is required for enough filtrate loss to occur
sufficiently for shear strength and pullout force to become high.

Other result of the relationship between filtrate loss, strength development and time is that thin
cakes may develop shear strength much faster than thick ones because the less time required to lose
the internal pressure while thicker cakes tend to have less shear strength despite having a larger
contact area.

Basically the safe pipe stationary time depends on the pressure differential, contact area and
properties of the cake itself, while it does not depend on the permeability of the formation against
which it is lying since the permeability will only affect the rate of decline of the cake’s internal
pressure to end up at the same level eventually.

Initially the studies concerning DPS were in the objective of avoiding differential sticking . Now that
this phenomenon is better understood, the philosophy of the studies is now tending to ensure that
conditions are maintained at all times that allow pulling force to exceed sticking force. This new goal
is proven to be feasible virtually in all operations by field experiences , and with that a modeling
process has been developed and calibrated to allow design of contact areas and BHAs to ensure that
the sticking force can be overcome . If key designs are applied consistently such specific modeling is
used for extreme conditions, unique fluids and unique BHA and completions designs such as swell
packers.

3.2.1 Practices that help Minimizing contact area

 Using Heavyweight Drillpipe (HWDP) for Weight on Bit (WOB) :

Large diameter drill collars (DC) have been used to provide WOB and their stiffness was designed
that the prevent buckling. Being thick-walled, their weight per foot is high and very little length must
be put into compression to achieve the desired WOB . The DCs are prone to sticking , since they have
a very large contact areas , first because the ratio of their curvature may be close to the curvature of
the borehole wall so that the contact area rapidly increase as the cake thickness increases and
secondly because their OD in uniform they make contact along their length 30ft .

From this came the option of using HWDP in compression to provide the WOB, an option able to
reduce the contact area from 30ft to around 6ft per joint and the design allows a wear pad section in
the middle to prevent contact along the tube body. Thus, any use of non-supported DC in directional
drilling is prohibited by operators for the fact that only the contact area of one unsupported DC is
enough to prevent the pipe from being pulled out in many situations.

This is observed in high-angle wells, knowing that it may be impossible to deliver the required force
to the stuck point if even a small amount of DC contact is allowed, regardless of the tensile pull
capacity at the surface.

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There is factor that affects the compression of HWDP is that polycrystalline-diamond bits are often
running on at a low WOB. Generally, bit weights in soft formations are in the range of 5000 to 20000
lbf while a typical BHA assembly get the first 15000 to 25000 lbf of WOB from the DCs, Logging While
Drilling (LWD) tools and other stabilized members in compression before further slackoff would
place the HWDP into compression, in this case the HWDP is never actually compressed.

Generally for this practice the design should lead to a minimum number of stabilized DCs and run
the compression in the HWDP up to the point of helical buckling.

 Using stabilized BHAs

Slick assemblies are common in the industry especially in hard formations drilled with bent-housing
motors, and for many reasons directional drillers prefer slick assemblies first that they believe the
stabilizers hang up and reduce the ability to slide the motor when drilling and secondly because with
changing the WOB they become able to adjust the build rate to allow them to catch up with the
planned trajectory if they get behind the desired rate or to slow down in case ahead, but this
variability in WOB is resulting in larger doglegs and more bit whirl.

Even they are common, slick assemblies are not recommended in any type of application. Instead all
BHAs must be fully stabilized in a way that the spacing and the number of the stabilizers are ensuring
no contact between the DCs and formation wall.

First Guidelines allowed on or two DCs above the top stabilizer for vertical wells since no significant
wall contact in the first 60ft was assumed, but sticking events occurred anyway. In recent years this
allowance is reduced to maximum one DC. And in directional well it is recommended that the HWDP
be made up directly to the top stabilizer so there are not unsupported DCs.

 Eliminate HWDP at higher angles and Extended-reach sections

Though HWDP has significantly less contact area than DC, the 6ft borehole contact length is reduced
to less than 3ft per feet with the use of conventional drillpipe (DP) with shorted tool joints as shown
in the figure below, especially used for intermediate and high-angle wells.

Conventional drillpipe can be used at low angles but with a limited reach because of the low force at
which it buckles helically. However at intermediate to higher angles buckling is supported and a
significantly greater compression can be out into the thinner tube body of the conventional pipe
(Dawson and Paslay 1984).

For this the use of conventional DP instead of HWDP in higher angles will help reducing the contact
area while being buckling risk-free.

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Figure 8: Comparison of the contact areas in DP and HWDP (3)

 Use Standoff Subs with Jars

A single jar has been found as the root cause in many sticking events. Thus a drilling jar poses the
same risk in terms of differential sticking potential as an unsupported DC.

For this standoff subs are recommended on all jars to prevent wall contact, the design of the subs
depends on the vendor.

 Manage Risks Associated with the Groove in High-Angle Boreholes

It has been thought that the progressive sticking of the tool joints during the time the pipe did not
move is the cause of pipe sticking at high angles while the stuck point is defined in the drillpipe
above the BHA. This assumption did not relate to the speed and the resistance associated with some
of these sticking events.

After 3D high-resolution images became available, they showed the development of a groove in the
bottom on high-angle wells, created by the rotation of the tool joints or the tube body against the
bottom of the hole as shown in the figure below.

Figure 9: Example of wear groove that frequently appears in the 3D images processed from high-angle wells (3)

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The severity would depend on the rock hardness, normal force, string rotation, and roughness of the
tool joints. The groove persists for thousands of feet with no mechanical resistance that has been
noted.

The grooves eventually create a high differential-sticking risk because of the very close curvature to
the tool joints that created it and this increase in contact area result in a dramatic increase in the
pullout force. For example, a 5 ½’’ tool joint with a common 7’’ OD might normally have a contact
arc of 1’’ to 2’’. If the tool joint is lying in the groove and has 60° of contact, such as the figure on
top, the arc increases to more than 6’’.

Beside the contact area, the differential sticking may occur more quickly and the shear strength of
the cake may be higher. If the pipe is rotated in place the tool joint may wear the cake down until it
is thinner or completely gone, also reaming the stands allows the tool joints above the BHA assembly
to wear down the groove just before the pipe stops to make a connection, even this is unproven, it
explains two facts, the speed of strength development and the high pullout force.

When multiple tool joints are stuck, mechanical shear strength in the wall cake may grow
immediately above the tool joint and this additional resistance make it a combination of differential
and mechanical sticking.

Yet the groove cannot be eliminated but the impact minimization is possible, by reducing the vertical
load, wear on the bottom of the hole and the groove development rate by replacing HWDP by
conventional pipe and also by using shorter tool joints to reduce the contact area along the groove
by 50 to 70% . Beside these solutions , other measures exists such as higher drill rates , lower whirl
levels ( detrimental condition where a bit bites into a part of the hole off center and forms a pivot
point that creates impact of the bit and some of the string with the borehole part ) and less
backreaming on connections .

3.2.2 Minimize Still-Pipe time


Actual strength development versus time cannot be predicted, but the time dependence of
differential sticking has been reported by many researchers. As the figure (one) * showed, the cake
has little shear strength until fluid is lost and its internal pressure drops.

Field methods have been developed to alert the crew when changes in the fluid properties occurred
and increasing the risk of sticking (Reid et al. 1996) and a real-time surveillance process has been
developed to address it . This test; Progressive sticking test, is conducted before making a
connection in case of high risk. It consists of letting the pipe sit still and measuring the force required
to move it back again. The still-pipe time is increased to enough to make a connection (5 to 10
minutes) and if the trend in the pullout force is acceptable then the crew proceeds to making
connection.

The progressive sticking test is required when there is potential for tool-joint sticking , then if the
pullout force is seen to increase it is assumed because of the engagement of tool-joint contact area
above BHA with the possibility of have wear groove.

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3.2.3 Cake morphology and fluids design


There are two desired designs in the filter cake, first that the cake should be thin in order to
minimize the contact area and the second is to have a slow rate of filtrate loss to the formation to
allow greater still-pipe time.

Effective cakes have both blocking solids to prevent other solids from entering the formation pore
throats and filtration control to prevent the fluid phase from passing through the blocking solids.

Barite is the primary blocking solid in the majority of fluids, but barite particles may be too small to
effectively block pore throats in higher permeability which may lead to both solids and filtrate to
enter the formation. Low-weight fluids may have very little barite presence but in either case the
cake thickens and the sticking risk increases. Thus, the cake quality is both dependent blocking solids
and filtration-control design. (Fisk et al. 1990)

Recommended practices 13B1 and 13B2 by the American Petroleum Institute (API) describe testing
protocols for fluid loss (FL) in WBF and OBF and include low pressure FL tests, high-
temperature/high-pressure (HT/HP) tests and particle-plugging tests (PPTs). The filtration test can
achieve real low values of 1 to 2 μm in pore size which correspond to sandstone with less than 5 md
of permeability while the majority DS risk is in higher permeability range, usually 500 to 7,000 md. As
a consequence relying on these tests resulted in high treatment costs because field personnel had to
continuously add filtration control material to drive down the FL values, as the continued to
experience pulls on connections or high drag while tripping, while the actual issue is lack of solids
and that does not show up in FL or HT/HP tests.

Thus, it is recommended to use the PPTs that simulates the local permeability and expected
differential pressure and temperature through a filtration medium.

Depending on the PPTs results other blocking solids in addition to barite are used in cases where
low-weight muds are used, permeability is above 1 or 2 d or where field experience shows cake
regrowth occurrence and not just in order to block pore throats but also to block the interstitial
spaces in the cake itself, these particles are from ranges of 5 to 50 μm and most commonly used
ones are calcium carbonate and the D50.

As example of additional bridging particles, Safe-Carb is preferred since it is generally harder and
purer than limestone and this purity provides a nearly complete acid solubility, more than 98% in
15% HCL at 24.4°C (76° F).

As for size ranges for D50 are shown in the table below

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Table 1: Size ranges for D50 bridging particles (4)

 Stabilizers and Cake Remediation

Stabilizers serve an important role in cake conditioning beside in minimizing contact area. Initial cake
quality is very poor and would contain quantities of undesired particles in all cases, if it is built by
drill solids in lightweight fluids and high drill rate or even if it is built by barite in high mud weight
and low drill rate.

While rotating, the stabilizers shear the cake to a diameter equal to the diameter of the stabilizer
which is nearly equal to the diameter of the hole. As this shear remove the larger particles, with time
the size of the blocking solids in the cake surface will become finer so the remaining gaps are more
easily scaled by filtration-control material. This leads the permeability of the surface of the cake to
decline progressively.

The degree of conditioning achieved by rotating stabilizers depends on many factors. One factor is
the drill rate, as it increases any given foot will be wiped fewer times. Another factor, the number of
stabilizers directly affect the conditioning efficiency as it is interpreted as the number of blades to
the point that if a slick assembly is used the only conditioning will be the one done by the gauge area
of the polycrystalline-diamond-compact bit. Else, cakes built from lightweight fluids require more
conditioning because of lack in barite.

If unfavorable conditions such as cake regrowth in a tight hole on trips, the interval may be reamed
while clean mud is circulated before making each connection.

 Drill-and-Seal (D&S) Procedure

After gas prices increase in the mid-90s, deeper reservoirs became economic which increased the
wells drilled through the severely depleted reservoirs. As a result pressure of 2,000 to 5,000 psi
became common in regions of Texas and the Gulf of Mexico. With these well, obtaining pressure

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tests is necessary and led to wireline sticking problems.

D&S was developed back then to reduce the occurrence of wireline differential sticking, but its use
expended to eliminate drillstring sticking. In this process stabilizers ream the original cake in the
presence of a pill that is rich in the appropriate blocking solids for the given formation as well as the
needed filtration-control material.

The D&S procedure consists of pumping the pill with timing it to arrive at the bit as the next stand of
drillpipe is drilled down. As the pill enters the annulus, the pump rate is reduced to a very low rate,
and the string is reciprocated and rotated as the pill is pumped up the annulus. As the stabilizers
rotate, they strip the original cake and the rich content of the D&S pill accelerates the fine-particle-
selection process at the re-exposed cake surface. At the end, a low-porosity, low-permeability cake
is formed in a short period of time and after the pill has passed across the BHA the connection is
made and the drilling is resumed.

One pill can treat the length of the stabilized BHA plus the stroke in the derrick while reciprocating
(150 to 180 ft).

After proven to be a successful process, D&S process is now a routine across the global organization
when overbalance is expected to exceed 2,000 psi or where there has been a history of chronic cake
regrowth. Also, the process is considered economical for some situations where instead of treating
the entire mud system with blocking solids and higher concentrations of filtration-controls additives
it became possible to treat a short interval.

The cases where the D&S process did not prevent sticking, the sticking point was found in the HWDP
above the stabilized zone and usually suspected the presence of a wear groove.

 Fluid Selection and Design

Since the stuck-pipe-avoidance practices were implemented, there have been no DS events in water-
baser mud as the recommended practices were followed. All the sticking events with compliant BHA
designs have been in nonaqueous fluids (NAF), referred to as oil-based mud. While NAF is known to
reduce sticking having the facts that NAF filter cakes are thin to minimize the contact area and they
also have relatively low shear strength under a given effective stress. So this can be explained that in
each case of sticking in NAF the stuck point was found to be in HWDP and that the cumulative-
contact-area wear groove may have been the root cause.

The effect of additives such as surface-active agents, polymers and emulsified oil was also reported
beside other early studies on the pullout force associated with various water-based muds. However,
none of these results has been incorporated as a standard component in the sticking-avoidance
practices.

So, wells with highest sticking risk are usually drilled with NAF. Else, a combination of minimized
contact area, the use of appropriate blocking solids and D&S operations in specific sands with severe
overbalance is used for challenges with water-based mud.

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 Mitigation of Mechanical Cake Sticking

Distinguishing between differential sticking and mechanical sticking in a high-strength cake is


necessary because the mitigations differ. With drilling the thickness of a previously established cake
continues to grow and the shear strength increases as the cake loses fluid and the effective stress
increases. If this cake has significant thickness, drag will be observed when the top stabilizer in the
BHA arrives at the permeable formation while tripping out and if the driller keeps on increasing the
pull, the stabilizer will shear farther into the cake and eventually become stuck. This will end up with
the stabilizer being differentially stuck but the event main cause is the mechanical resistance of the
high shear strength cake.

Mechanical cake sticking occurs while the pipe is moving while differential sticking occurs while the
pipe is still. But both events are affected by cake and fluid design thus any practice that reduces the
cake thickness and shear strength will always be beneficial.

Mechanical sticking is easily avoided by stopping when only a low level of drag is observed, lowering
the string, engaging the top drive and reaming slowly up through the sand to remove and condition
the filter cake. That is why training the drillers is essential in order not to pull too far into the cake
before stopping and to know the potential trouble zones.

Regrowth suggests that the blocking solids or filtration control is not properly designed as the cake
was not there after the initial drilling. There, the full fluid system may be modified, or a D&S
treatment may be used if only one area is proven to be problematic.

 Reduce Overbalance

If the total shear resistance can be reduced below the force that be delivered to the stuck point, the
pipe may be pulled free. As overbalance is reduced, the effective stress in the contact area declines
and the shear strength declines also. But reducing the MW is not linear so there is no value in
reducing the MW unless it can be reduced to the critical level required.

Overbalance is required to control pore pressure and borehole stability and by drilling with a lower
MW the risk may be shifted from a problem to another. As a result, it is more practical to reduce
contact area than to drill with a lighter MW since contact area is easier to manipulate with a little
shifting of risk. In a typical high-angle well in low-strength formation, 2 to 3 lbm/gal of overbalance is
required to maintain stability and just to eliminate the effect of the unsupported DCs in many
assemblies it might come to reducing MW by more than 2 lbm/gal.

So as a result when the pipe gets stuck, very little reduction in the MW may be required to reduce
the pullout force to below the critical level and the greater the contact area, the more MW
reduction will be but without exceeding the limits of reduction.

3.2.4 Modeling
To better understand the influence of different variables on DPS and then to become able to predict
the sticking force for a particular design, a numerical model was developed. This dynamic FE model
incorporates coupled deformation and fluid-flow elastoplastic filter-cake behavior, BHA and

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drillstring bending, torque and drag, and models pressure-drop and shear strength development of
the filter cake. Then, applying incremental axial displacements at the pipe wall, the force per unit
length of embedded pipe required to free the drillstring is calculated.

The BHA and drillstring-bending model is used to estimate potential contact area, and the torque-
drag model in used to estimate available downhole pulling force at the stuck point. Then the results
of this analysis are presented as probability of success as a function of MW.

Below in the figure, and example from stochastic model is showing the improvement of success
probability in centralizers are moved from adjacent to a midpoint position related to the casing joint
from 75% to almost a 100%.

Figure 10: Effect of Centralizer position on probability of success (3)

The apparatus shown the figure below, define the mechanical properties and time-dependent
behaviors of various fluids for use in the FE model for small-scale DPS and pullout tests.

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Figure 11: FE model schematic apparatus (3)

The test apparatus consists of a chamber that accommodates a 4in diameter cylindrical core with a
2in hole made from sandstone or ceramic of known permeability.

Once a steady-state filter cake has been established, the aluminum rod situated within the simulated
wellbore is embedded into the filter cake and the DPS force is allowed to develop and then recorded
after the desired stationary time. Pressure transducers on the rod allow the pressure drop in the
filter cake between the rod and the wellbore wall to be mentioned and recorded so that the
relationship between effective stress and strength development can be characterized as an input to
the FE model. At the end of the test, the filter-cake thickness and the location of the shear failure
within the cake are determined.

A comparison of FE-model-predicted pullout force vs. actual tests performed using 13.0-lbm/gal
water-based and NAF mud is shown the figure below. In these tests, the geometry of the test
apparatus was modeled to be the same as in real application and the dimensions and boundary
conditions for the actual wellbore are used.

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Figure 12: Pullout Force between WBM and NAF models (3)

The results of triaxial tests on filter-cake material that were performed to determine the mechanical
properties of cakes built from various fluids for input into the FE model are shown below in the
figure. This figure illustrates, through the percentage of the axial and radial strain to the differential
axial stress, the elastoplastic behavior of the filter cake that must be modeled.

Figure 13: Differential Axial stress vs. Axial & Radial strain% (3)

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3.2.5 Results
In the period from 2004 to 2008, according to ExxonMobil, after the training on these stuck-pipe-
avoidance practices started in 2003, the operators drilled 3.476 wells. The wells were drilled by 20
geographically independent drilling teams. The statics in the table below were recorded.

Compliant BHAs Non-Compliant BHAs


Stuck but Freed Stuck not Freed Stuck but Freed Stuck not
Freed
Number of events 0 3 14 3

Table 2: Freeing stastics in the studied wells (3)

There were only three stuck-pipe events in wells with BHA designs that complied with the practices
and 17 incidents with non-compliant BHAs that only three of which were not freed.

Practices such as D&S are critical to success but are only applied when appropriate for the specific
situation while recommendations for the allowed length of unsupported DCs apply to all wells
because it is believed to be the dominant risk factor.

For the non-compliant BHAs, they tended to have only one to two unsupported collars beyond the
recommendations which led to having a limited contact area that is believed to contribute in the
events where the pipe was freed. As for the case where the pipe was not freed, they were all in NAF
and the stuck point was determined in the HWDP which highly suggest that wear groove may have
been a significant factor.

Over the same period of time, the histogram in the figure below shows the variation in stuck pipe
events.

Figure 14: Occurrence of DPS between 2004 and 2008 (3)

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The low incident rate in the year 2008 is believed to be reflecting the increased operational
awareness of the risks associated with even small increases in the length of unsupported DCs.

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CHAPTER 4: SIDE FACTORS CONTRIBUITING IN PIPE STICKING:

Beside the Physical reasons mentioned previously as the direct cause of different types of pipe
sticking, studies Identified various factors that are connected to the occurrence of pipe sticking.

4.1 Human Factor

When switching crews usually one drilling supervisor in ready for days off while the other is just give
few minutes’ worth of information by the supervisor being relieved.
A strategy, that have shown efficiency and been used by Texaco and then considered by other
companies such as BP, consist of changing the pusher a couple of days after the rest of the crew.

Some Individuals play a key role and must be released in different times in order to assure the
continuity of information between all, such as the lead pusher, drilling foreman, mud hand and the
cementer.

4.2 Hole Angle

In a study conducted by Texaco USA, 91% of the 105 well that had pipe sticking incident were
directional wells and freeing the pipes was a 66% for straight holes facing 45 % free of the directional
incidents.
So basically, straight holes contain less risk and are more promising in freeing operations.

Figure 15: Freeing success rate vs. hole angle (1)

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4.3 Hole Diameter


Pipes with different diameters are specific for certain using conditions, which will make certain pipes
venerable to more sticking than others.

In the case of the drillings in northern Italy done by AGIP Italy, since the used 8 ½’’ pipes for depleted
reservoirs or reservoirs with high pressure gradient 59% of the sticking cases where in this range of
size holes while 27% where for 12 ¼’’.The following figure shows

Figure 16: Stuck pipe occurrence vs. hole angle (1)

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CHAPTER 5: CASE STUDY 1: REAL TIME FRICTION ANALYSIS:

This case study consists of a real-time wellbore friction analysis to detect onset of drillstring sticking
during extended reach well drilling. As mentioned before for reducing the still pipe time, it is
necessary to understand the behavior of the well while drilling. Wellbore friction modeling is an
important assessment to aid real-time drilling analysis and predicting drilling troubles such as onset
of pipe sticking.

In extended reach drilling, surface measurement of weight on the bit and torque differ from
downhole measurement due to the friction between the drill string and the wellbore. This friction
force can be used for overall friction coefficient measurement which is a well used indicator during
different drilling operations.

This study provided an opportunity to examine the validity of a newly-developed analytical model to
estimate friction coefficient versus measured depth in a deviated well drilled in western Canada
where the drillstring got stuck during drilling operations.

5.1 Wellbore Friction Modeling

For this analysis, an element of the drill string in the wellbore is considered and filled with drilling
fluids. The forces acting on the pipe are buoyed weight, axial tension, friction force, FN,
perpendicular to the contact surface of the wellbore.

The friction force is defined as an acting force against the pipe movement which is equal to the
friction coefficient multiplied by the normal force as shown in the equation (1) , for that calculating
the normal force FN is the first step.

(1)

In straight inclined and horizontal sections the normal force in equal only to the weight of the
element while for curved section as build-up, drop-off, side bends or their combinations, the normal
force depends more on the tension at the bottom end of pipe element than on its weight [ Aadnoy,
B.S. and Anderson, K. 2001 ], The following general equation (2) defines the tension at the top of
each element .

(2)

The plus and minus sign the equation (2) are for the pipe movement either up or down.

The weight and friction force of each element should be calculated and added up from bottom to
the surface. The weight on bit can affect the value of the friction force in the curved section therefor
should be considered during analysis [ Fazaelizadeh et. Al. 2010].

For a straight inclined element, the normal force is weight dominated and is not dependant on axial

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tension at the bottom of the element. The coulomb friction model can be used for friction
calculation as shown in the equation (3).

(3)

Aadnoy et. al. (2010) did the following derivation for a curved section. They assumed that the pipe is
weightless when the friction force was computed, but added the weight at the end of the bend.
They also used the concept of dogleg angle θ in the derivation which depends on both the wellbore
inclination and azimuth. Because the pipe will contact either the high side or the low side of the
wellbore, and the contact surface is given by the dogleg plane.

So, the dogleg is the absolute change of direction and can be determined by equation (4).

(4)

For build-up, drop-off, side bends or their combination, the axial force becomes:

(5)

With the shown calculations, Overall friction for any wellbore shape can be computed by dividing
the well into straight and curved elements. The forces are then summed up starting from the bottom
of the well to the surface.

5.2 Buoyancy Effect


In buoyancy calculations, the principle of Archimedes law is used. The principle states that the
buoyancy force, when a body is submerged into a fluid, is equal to the weight of the displaced fluid.

The drillstring tension in a wellbore filled with drilling fluid is the unit weight of pipe w multiplied by
the buoyancy factor β. For both vertical and deviated borehole, the equation (6) is valid if the inside
and outside if the pipe are submerged into the same fluid.

(6)

The equation (6) gives an estimation of the buoyancy factor when the fluids are incompressible and
temperature effect and the cutting concentration are ignored. Basically this equation can be used for
all overbalanced drilling operations unless tripping.

If there is a density difference between the inside of the string and the annulus like in cementation
and tripping operations, the following equation (7) can be used.

(7)

o and i refers to the inside and the outside of the drillstring

The equation (7) can calculate the buoyancy locally for each element. In tripping in operations, the
annulus is completely full while drilling fluid level varies inside drillstring. The reason is that the

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drillstring is not typically filled after making each connection.

After considering the collapse pressure of the drillstring and risk of fluid loss and flow, the drillstring
will be partially filled for a period of time and then will be completely full after filling the inside every
few hundred of meters of pipe ran by the drill crew.

When the drillstring is full of mud the equation (7) will turn into the equation (6). Else, the equation
(7) will be used to calculate the buoyancy factor calculation of each element.

This approach was integrated into the tripping in friction analysis in the case study presented.

5.3 Contact surface Effect


The correction factor Cs represents an effect of the contact surface between the pipe and the
wellbore due to larger curvature surface contact. To include the contact surface effect in the friction
equations it should be multiplied by friction coefficient as shown in the equation (8) as there is
contact.

(8)

The correction factor varies between 1 and 4/ , depending on the contact surface angle γ which
varies itself between 0° and 90°.

(9)

As discussed by Maidla and Wojtanowicz (1987), because of wellbore swelling, thick mud cake or
cutting accumulation etc. there is a possible reduction in hole size in some portions of the well,
which would show higher friction value when BHA passes through. The increase depends on the
degree of severity of those tight spots. In such cases, it could be required to do some remedial action
such as drillstring rotation to ream the tight area.

5.4 Results and Discussion


The well drilled in western Canada to illustrate the friction analysis has the following geometry in the
figure.

The Kick off point is at 800m and the heavier build section initiated at 2287m. The well reached 30°
of inclination at approximately 2700M and drilled with the same degree to 3231m of total depth.

At that depth the drillstring was tripped out for the purpose of replacing the measuring while drilling
(MWD) tool. Then the drilling process was continued after the tripping in procedure for only 20m.

And even that the drillstring configuration was not changed from 2200m to 3251m, the drillstring
got stuck at the depth of 3251m.

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Figure 17: Studied well geometry (5)

The BHA had a length of 290m from the bit. The BHA has a large effect on the value of friction force
during tripping in and out. As shown in the figure below, in smaller diameter wellbore intervals,
applies a higher friction force against the BHA movement.

Figure 18: Friction coefficient over the BHA movement (5)

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An important factor that did change and thus must be considered is the buoyancy factor. In the
figure below, the buoyancy factors of three operational modes are shown.

Figure 19: Buoyancy factor vs. measured depth for drilling, tripping in and tripping out (5)

During the drilling process, the buoyancy factor had a constant value until the depth of 2485m. At
that point, mud weight was increased as much as 300kg/m3 to prevent gas inflow which led to a
decline in the buoyancy factor.

In the tripping out process, the mud weight was kept constant and the mud level in the annulus
dropped a little. That is shown with a constant buoyancy factor in the figure.

During the tripping in process, the buoyancy factor shows a gradual decrease due to increasing
length of the non-filled pipe. And some jumps in buoyancy are shown in the figure since the drill
string is filled periodically, an increase in the level of the drilling fluid inside the drillstring leads to an
increase in the buoyancy factor.

The increase in mud weight to prevent gas influx resulted in an increase in downhole pressure,
shown in the figure below.

The increase in mud weight enhances the differential pressure between the drill spots which
temporarily and instantaneously stick to the formation and applies additional force on the pipe.

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This differential pressure has an effect of larger magnitude than the decrease in the normal force on
the drillstring due to change in buoyancy factor, which increases the frictional force for the spots in
question.

Figure 20: Mud pressure over the wellbore (5)

In any pipe sticking problem, the first remedial action in reducing the mud weight in order to
decrease the differential pressure between drillstring and the formation. This reduction may help
releasing the drillstring from the stuck point in most cases.

The difference in hook load recorded between while tripping out and tripping in the well, were used
to the friction analysis for this case and illustrated in the figure below.

During tripping in, there are periodical shifts in hook load values due to increased buoyancy factor as
the fluid fills for the case.

During tripping out and since the buoyancy factor is almost constant due to filling annulus throught
the fill-up lines, the previous jumps are not observed.

A deviation from the hook load trend may be seen as the build-up section begins at the depth of
2287m due to the friction force increase in the build-up section.

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Figure 21: Hook load vs. measured depth for tripping in and tripping out (5)

The friction force is calculated from the difference between the static weight of drillstring and the
hookload value. The Frictional force during the tripping out process is presented in the following
figure.

Figure 22: Frictional force during the tripping out process (5)

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The friction in the curved section is dominated by tension which shows rapid increase in the friction
force value. As the top of the BHA reached the buildup section, around 2990m, the frictional force
increased and then declined as the BHA passes through the section.

The same effect is seen in the figure below for the overall friction coefficient. The overall pressure by
definition is a single friction coefficient for the entire wellbore.

In the figure the change in friction coefficient is the resulting effect of contact surface between the
borehole and the BHA. The effect disappears gradually as the BHA passes through the buildup
section.
Friction coefficient

Figure 23: Overall friction coefficient vs. measured depth during tripping out operation (5)

The reason that the friction coefficient should be calculated and not only the friction force, is that in
some cases the friction force increases due to change in the well geometry. And with a wellbore
friction model, distinguishing the effect of other factors from the friction coefficient increments is
possible.

For tripping in, the estimated friction force shown in the figure (1) and the overall friction shown in
the figure (2) both show a significant increase as the tight hole occurs during the process.

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Figure 24: Frictional force during the tripping in process (5)

Figure 25: Overall friction coefficient vs. measured depth during tripping in operation (5)

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While figures (7) and (6) do not convey much information on a tight hole, one could possibly detect
the onset of pipe stuck in a well using the two parameters from figures (8) and (9).

The calculated overall friction coefficient during the tripping in process may be applied as an
efficient means to detect a possibly tight hole, as a rapid increase in friction force was seen while the
well geometry had a straight holding angle.

This phenomenon was not observed during the tripping out process because the collapse and tight
hole occurred as a result of lower ECD due to swabbing when tripping out and time effects on the
formation.

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CHAPTER 6: ARTIFICIAL NEURAL NETWORKS:

Differential pipe sticking (DPS) is proven to be the most costing and traditional problem in drilling
operations, therefore early identification of the cause is crucial since every cause will call for
different measures.

Many statistical analyses have been performed in order to identify parameters acting in DPS in
order to minimize or prevent the sticking, until an application of Neural Network Methodology has
been published by Halliburton.

Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) has many advantages compared to conventional statistical methods
such as using no predictions, tolerance to errors, data-driven nature and faster computation.

6.1 Concept of ANN

The main idea of ANNs is based on the biological neural system; similar to the human minds as a
large number of highly interconnected processing elements (neurons) working in union to solve a
specific problem.

So just as the human mind, in ANNs things are learned with the use of examples. To understand and
find out relationships, they deal with input and output parameters and once successfully trained, the
network can be used to process the output according to input that are similar but not necessarily the
same as those used in the training.

The ANN can be summarized as follows:

 Neurons are processing elements of the network.


 The interconnections of the network have their own specific weight that influences
transmission signal. These specific weights determine the relationship between input and
target neurons.
 Each neuron calculates it is total weighted input. to diversify the various processing
elements, a bias is added to the sum of weighted inputs called “net input“ and the after
passing the transfer function output is generated.
 In the training process, weights and biases are adjusted on the basis of learning rules and
competing training; the fixed weights and biases act as the memory of the network

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Figure 26: General structure of ANNs (6)

6.2 Database assembly

The ANN performance is very dependent on the reliability and the precision of the database, which
the collection is considered very time-consuming and challenging.

To have the DPS as an output , many parameters should be provided for input such as parameters
related to drilling and fluid-mud properties ; differential pressure , hole depth , hole size , BHA length
, plastic viscosity , yield point , initial gel strength and 10 minute get strength . In other words, two
groups of parameters needs to be identified as DPS and non-DPS parameters.

The independency of these parameters is what makes it possible to predict the occurrence
conditions leading the a result between zero and one where zero indicates the non-DPS cases and
one the DPS cases while the margin in between is for the level of risk.

In the published study, Data was collected from 63 wells drilled in the Persian Gulf as following, 32
wells that experienced DPS and 31 that didn’t. Most of the wells were either sidetracked or
horizontal and the occurring of DPS was in the reservoir layers with the use of oil based or synthetic
drilling muds.

Here in the table an example of the applied datasets.

Table 3: Applied datasets example (7)

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6.3 Applied Neural Networks

In ANNs, to form the structure of the network the input and output must be somehow connected
and according to the connection method ANNs are divided in two major categories:

 FeedForward Neural Networks (FFNs) :

The representative graph does not contain any loop which makes it static in a way that a given input
can only produce on set of outputs and thus have no memory.

Two popular FFNs are Multi-Layer Perceptron (MLP) and Radial Basis Function (RBF). For the
composition of the MLP, it consists of several layers. The input layer that receives inputs and
basically has no other function but to receive the input signals. The output layer provides the
response of the network to the input. And layers in between, called hidden layers and has no contact
with the external environment. The hidden layers and the output layer contain neurons that execute
the activation function and the transfer functions. The most commonly used transfer functions are
linear, linear sigmoid and hyperbolic tangent.

As for the RBF neural networks, they have a least three layers, the input layer, the output layer and a
hidden layer containing a high number of neurons performing a nonlinear transformation of the
inputs by means of radial basis functions. A radial basis function is defined as a multi-dimensional
function of the inputs and a previously defined center. One very popular RBF is the Gaussian
function which can approximate any continuous nonlinear function.

ANNs like MLP and RBF are trained using an algorithm called Back Propagation of error. Using
supervised learning, the algorithm is provided with the inputs and the outputs that it is meant to
learn and then an error is calculated. The error is the difference between actual and expected results
and the idea behind the back propagation algorithm is to reduce this error by changing weights, until
the ANN learns the training data. And initially the training starts with random weights.

The error of the network (E) is defined as follow for the output neurons ( Nj ).

∑ ( ) (1)

The adjusting of the weights is using the method of gradient following.

(2)

The previously used parameters are shown in the structure following:

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Figure 27: Simplified structure of ANNs (7)

 Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) :

The representative graph contains loops in an architecture that allows memorizing the information
in the networks.

6.4 Training and Learning

The data used is divided into training, cross validation and testing subsets respectively in this study
with the percentages of 85%, 5% and 10%. These are prepared using the tag options available in the
Neuro Solutions Software with a value of 5000 epochs that been factored into the training database.
An epoch is one sweep through all the records in the training set. Then the software starts with
random values for the weights.

As the network learns, the error will drop towards zero. But lower error does not mean a better
network. There is a possibility of over training the network. In this case, instead of a generalized
result the network memorizes the training patters and would not be able to produce reasonable
outputs for inputs not encountered in the training.
To know when to stop the training, Cross validation is one of the most powerful methods used.
When the error in cross validation dataset increases, the training then should be stopped as the best
point of generalization is considered reached.

To test the network performance it is best to apply data that has not been seen yet. It goes by
freezing the weights after the training phase and applying the data. If the training is successful and
the network’s topology is correct, it will apply the past experience to this data and still produce a
good solution. Then the network is considered able to generalize.

Preprocessing is necessary for ensuring the convergence of neural nets. In this stage and in order to
make the process and analysis more effectively with a high degree of precision, noisy incoming data
should be removed. Even this training would cost a lot of time, the result is much better by removing
the noisy datasets.

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Insufficient amount of data either for training or for testing can lead to a poor generalization. After
processing, attempts were made to vary the number of hidden layers and the number of neurons
included. The results showed that for this particular training datasets, increasing the number of
hidden layer could not increase the performance of the network while increasing the number of
hidden layer neurons could decrease the error and lead to obtain a better performance.

Finally, a network with one hidden layer with 40 neurons assigned the best weights to the input data
parameters for both MLP and RBF networks. Training curves of the best generalized MLP and RBF
networks released after several runs are shown below.

Although the training error function for MLP network in closer to zero than the training error
function for RBF network, the cross validation error for RBF network is less and this result a network
with better performance in prediction of differential sticking incidents.

Figure 28: MSE versus a default number of epochs for MLP model (7)

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Figure 29: MSE versus a default number of epochs for RBF model (7)

6.5 Evaluation criteria and Limitations


To access the models estimation performance, two quantitative measures for estimation accuracy
and examined for training datasets, the minimum training error (MSE) and the training error at last
epoch (Final MSE).

In the two tables below, the minimum MSE and Final MSE errors for the training and cross validation
are shown.

Best Networks Training Cross Validation


Epoch # 5000 3401
Minimum MSE 0.010645014 0.002225183
Final MSE 0.010645014 0.005474218
Table 4: Error of training and cross validation for MLP (7)

Best Networks Training Cross Validation


Epoch # 6798 4264
Minimum MSE 0.011482671 0.002882395
Final MSE 0.011482671 0.004191717
Table 5: Error of training and cross validation for RBF (7)

It is seen that after 3401 epochs for MLP network and 4264 epochs for RBF network, the networks
are validated and able to approximate the error around 1%.

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All quantitative accuracy measurements values for proposed networks are listed in the tables
following.

Output/ Stuck Non Stuck Output/ Stuck Non Stuck


Desired Desired
Stuck 5 1 Stuck 5 0
Non Stuck 1 7 Non Stuck 1 8
MSE 0.098629911 0.11497561 MSE 0.076746819 0.08127283
NMSE 0.402738803 0.469483739 NMSE 0.313382846 0.331864056
MAE 0.192982043 0.224900055 MAE 0.170898439 0.185877963
Min Abs Error 0.013326439 0.024498626 Min Abs Error 0.002866021 0.009825315
Max Abs Error 0.870987511 0.770815895 Max Abs Error 0.714543252 0.698180125
r 0.797403844 0.762350715 r 0.838218624 0.84052662
Percent Correct 83.33333333 87.5 Percent Correct 83.33333333 100
Table 6: Accuracy measurements (7)

Shown in these tables, both proposed networks could predict correctly five out of six stuck data sets
among testing datasets. And from eight non-stuck sets the RBF network could predict correctly all
while the MLP network predicted seven sets only.

This, results for RBF model are more accurate than the MLP model.

The mean square error (MSE) may represent how well the network output fits the desired output,
but it does not necessarily reflect weather there will be sticking event or not.

6.6 Apply Production Datasets


In order to predict DPS, the stability of ANN is tested by preparing a production dataset with the
actual data from horizontal well F8-0H in Forouzan field. In this well the pipe was stuck at the depth
of 3126m (2826m TVD) and had oil based mud used in the reservoir section.

The data of this well been recorded for three days before beside the sticking day, and it is shown in
the table below.

DP HD M.Fvis. FL Solids PV YP Ini Gel !0minGel Stuck


(psi) (m) (cp) (cc/min) (V%) (cp) (lb/100ft²) (ln/100ft²) (lb/100ft²) Index
505 2826 55 4 15 20 15 6 12 0
505 2826 56 4 15 20 16 6 12 0
505 2826 63 4 16 15 23 8 12 0
505 2826 75 4 16 18 34 8 12 1

Table 7: Well data before sticking day (7)

The results of the prediction are shown in the next table. Both proposed networks were able to
predict correctly the sticking. The MLP network did predict the probability of sticking with 100%
confidence while RBF network predicted it with 70% confidence which is more acceptable and

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reflects the proper training of RBF model and having a low MSE.

And so on, selecting a suitable structure and a proper training of ANNs with enough datasets will
lead to more accurate prediction.

MLP Model RBF Model


Desired Output Predicted Output Desired Output Predicted Output
0 1 0 0.69
0 1 0 0.69
0 1 0 0.76
1 1 1 1

Table 8: RBF and MLP predictions (7)

6.7 Sensitivity Analysis


This method comes after the neural network was trained and is very important. It is a method for
extracting the cause and effect relationship between the inputs and the outputs of the network.
Thus, the effect of every input becomes known.

The network learning has to be disabled during this operation so none of the weights is changed.

The sensitivity for both models, MLP and RBF, is shown the following histograms for mean values of
this study.

Figure 30: Relative importance of drilling parameters for MLP (7)

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Figure 31: Relative importance of drilling parameters for RBF (7)

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CHAPTER 7 : SUPPORT VECTOR MACHINE :

Even with the ANN being a very effective method of prediction and compared to other techniques
like Fuzzy Logic and genetic algorithms, it still has many shortcomings and restrictions. This chapter
studies the notion and the advantages of Support Vector Machine over the other methods.

Support Vector Machine (SVM), developed by Vapnik (1999), can enhance the efficiency of the
prediction performance while pursuing a global optimization solution and becoming a promising
alternative. The SVM is a combination of three ideas, the solution technique from optimal
hyperplanes that allows the expansion of the solution vector on support vectors, the convolution of
the dot-product to extend the solution surfaces from linear to non-linear and the notion of soft
margins to allow errors on the training set.

SVM, else than not keeping the number of features small in order to control complexity, has many
other advantages over the ANNs such as designing classifier with maximum generalization, reaching
the general optimization of the cost function, automatic determination of structure and optimized
topology for the classifier and modeling the non-linear classification functions and the dot-product
concept of Hilbert spaces (symmetric, linear and positive).

7.1 Concept of Support Vector Machine

The way SVM performs is explained in the following training example.

The example is composed of the vector {p1, p2 , .., pi,.., pq}, each p is a “d” dimensional vector that
has the label ti and ti { -1 , +1 }.

These two classes are separated by the use of the classification function and a hyperplane H.

f(x)=sign (W.p+b) (1)

(2)

Weight vector W is a perpendicular vector on the separator plane, and b is the bias value.

The data are linearly separated in a way that the boundary data of the first class are on the
hyperplane H+ and the boundary data of the second class are on the hyperplane H-.

Where, H+ : W . p + b = +1 (3) and H- : W . p + b = -1 (4)

The training data on hyperplanes H+ or H- are called support vectors. And the area in between the
two hyperplanes is called a margin. The Hyperplanes are separated by the distance of ‖ ‖
.

Designing the hyperplanes with the most margin width, which is optimal, is achieved if the pattern’s
classification is proper and the margin width is maximized, which means ‖ ‖ minimized.

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Figure 32: Maximum-margin hyperplanes for SVM trained with examples from two classes (6)

The goal is to classify the training patters correctly so they lay on or out of the margin, and this is
translated in the equation;

ti .(W. pi + b ) 1 , for i=1, 2, .. ,N (5)

Then the optimal design of a hyperplane classifier with margin would be as followed.

MinW ( ‖ ‖² ) (6)

‖ ‖², is the Euclidean norm, with;

W = ( W1 , W2, .. , Wd ) T ( 7)

To find solutions for this equation is found using the Lagrange function, with (αi) being the Lagrange
multiples. The Lagrange equation is expressed as following;

L (W, b, α) = W. W - ∑ (8)

In solution point, the derivation of L from W, B and α is equal to zero. This will result in the following
system.


{ (9)

Using the equations (8) and (9), the problem results in;

∑ ∑ ∑
{ ( 10)

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After solving the dual problem, the Lagrange αi will be obtained. And each pi that corresponds
with αi is called a “support vector” (SVi).

The weight vector and b are obtained by the use of the following equations;


{ ∑ (11)

Then the optimal plane that separates binary decision categories is as follows;

(∑ ) (12)

is the classifier , pi is the training example and ti is the class of training example

The vector p demonstrates the input data and the vector SVi is the support vector. The value of b is
the bias value of the separator hyperplane and αi is a Lagrange multiplier.

The Previous algorithm gives the margin of two completely linear separate classes. In case the
classes intersect, separating the classes by the use of the linear-decision boundary would always
result in errors. But this can be solved by mapping the data from the input space Rd into high-
dimensional feature space Rm by the use of nonlinear mapping. In the new space the classes have
less intersection with each other, as shown in the following figure.

Figure 33: Mapping input space into high-dimensional feature space (6)

Then in the new space the optimal-decision boundary is calculated by the use of equation (12) and
by substituting pi with φ (pi). φ (pi) denotes the high-dimensional feature space.

The problem now results in finding a solution to the following optimization problem.

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∑ ∑ ∑
{ (13)

C is an additional constraint on the Lagrange multipliers. If C , the optimization problem moves


toward finding an optimal boundary for classes with the most conflicts.

In the equation (13), instead of using φ, a kernel function is used, defined as follows.

K ( pi , pj ) = φ(pi ) . φ(pj ) (14)

After determining a suitable K ( pi , pj ) , the function is replaced in the equation (13) by φ(pi ) . φ(pj )
and the optimization problem is solved.

Eventually the ultimate classifier is obtained by the use of the following equation.

(∑ ) (15)

Two well-known Kernel functions that are mostly used for SVM are the Polynomial degree and the
Gaussian radial basis function.

7.2 Predictor Performance Criteria

The statistical measures of the performance of a binary classification test are Accuracy, sensitivity
and specificity according to Fawcett (2006).

In order to understand the meaning of these statistical measures, the explanation of the following
definitions is needed, true positive (TP), false positive (FP), true negative (TN) and false negative
(FN).

In a scenario where some wells are tested for DPS, the test outcome can be either positive where
DPS occurs or negative where there’s no sticking.

The previous definition would mean:

 TP: DPS sections of the wells correctly diagnosed as DPS.


 FP: Non-DPS sections of the wells incorrectly identified as DPS.
 TN: Non-DPS sections of the wells correctly identified as non-DPS.
 FN: DPS sections of the wells incorrectly identified as non-DPS.

According to those definitions:

Accuracy = (TP + TN) / (TP + TN + FP + FN)

Sensitivity = (TP) / (TP + FN)

Specificity = (TN)/ (TN + FP)

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Specificity of 100% means that the test recognizes all the actual negatives, so the specificity alone
does not explain how well the test recognizes positive cases (TP + FN). Sensitivity of 100% means
that the test recognizes all the actual positives (TP + FN). A high sensitivity is used to rule out the
DPS. The accuracy is the degree of measurement closeness of a quantity to its actual true value
(Taylor 1999).

So the same as ANN, the designed SVM approach follows the priorities accuracy, sensitivity and
specificity in analyzing the performance.

7.3 Results and Discussion

For this study, the same data used in the ANN (FFBP) case study in the previous chapter has been
used in order to compare the results.

The 12 parameters used as input for this study are in following table.

Parameter Minimum Maximum


Differential pressure ( psi) 100 1178
Hole depth (ft) 2624 11713
Mud-filtrate viscosity (cp) 32 180
Fluid loss (cm3/min) 0.5 9
Solid content (vol%) 1.6 24
Plastic viscosity (cp) 9 65
Yield point (lbf/100ft²) 6 51
Initial get strength (lbf/100ft²) 1 23
10-minute get strength (lb/100ft²) 2 51
BHA length (ft) 630 1170
Still-pipe time (seconds) 0 300
Hole size (in) ( fixed sizes) 6.5 17.5
Table 9: Well parameters used for the study (6)

To define the structure, two most popular transfer functions tansig and logsig were tested for
hidden layer. The optimal number of neurons in a single hidden layer is shown in the next two
tables, by the use of the trial-and-error method for FFBP.

It is shown through the network-performance criteria; accuracy 82.81%, sensitivity 84.38% and
specificity 81.25%, that 18 neurons in a hidden layer with the tansig transfer function is the most
effective case in the developed FFBP.

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Table 10 : Performance of transfer functions (6)

As for the SVM, Gaussian and polynomial kernel functions have been evaluated to investigate the
performance. These analyses are listed in the following tables.

The results of these analyses show the values of 92.19% accuracy, 93.75% sensitivity and 90.63%
specificity for the SVM using Gaussian kernel function with C=1 and σ=0.5.

The results of the Gaussian function are reasonable and there is no need to try a different kernel
function.

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Table 11: Performance evaluation for Gaussian Kernel function (6)

Table 12: Performance evaluation for polynomial Kernel function (6)

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Finally, comparing the performance criteria for all the developed FFBP and the SVM implies that
SVM with Gaussian kernel function yields better efficiency in the prediction of DPS as shown in the
table below.

Table 13: Comparison of Performance for FFBP and SVM (6)

Furthermore, to show the difference in the efficiency between the best developed SVM and ANN
models, the prediction results compared to the real data from field are show in the following table
with the figure to show the matches.

Table 14: difference in the efficiency between the best developed SVM and ANN models (6)

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Figure 34: Comparison of SVM results , FFBP results and real data from field (6)

And finally, to more prove that SVM predictions have better agreement with actual states than
ANNs, few examples of real cases have been examined by both methods are present in the following
table.

Table 15: Comparison of SVM and FFBP predictions with real cases (6)

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Conclusions
Sticking potential does not exist in all wells, but still exists in the great majority. Stuck-pipe-
avoidance practices have been developed and implemented in well that do have filtration control
and solids and the objective was not eliminate differential sticking, which is impossible, but in the
objective of maintaining conditions that ensure delivering the pullout force required to the stuck
point, which statistical experience have proven to be achievable.

The proven to be successful DPS prevention practices are the following:

1. Minimize contact area, particularly of DCs.

2. Do not use slick assemblies.


3. Minimize overbalance while insuring borehole stability.
4. Use HWDP in compression for bit weight in vertical and low-angle wells.
5. Use conventional drillpipe in compression in intermediate and high-angle wells (in the limits
of buckling).
6. Use standoff subs on drilling jars above the stabilized BHA.
7. Conduct progressive pipe-sticking tests before connections in high risk wells.
8. Do not use API FL or API HT/HP test as indicator of cake quality except for low-permeability
formations.
9. Conduct API PPTs and use appropriate blocking solids to improve cake quality.
10. Conduct D&S treatments to enhance cake quality in intervals of high differential pressure or
chronic cake growth.
11. Model the differential-sticking risk quantitatively when planning operations that lie outside
of previous experience.
12. Consider the sticking risk associated with a wear groove in high-angle wells when planning
mitigations.

The differential pressure affects the friction force and that result in more forces on the drillstring
spots which instantly stick to the wellbore. This can be seen from higher values of the real-time
calculation of the friction coefficient.

In friction analysis, the buoyancy effect should be treated precisely. In case not and particularly in
tripping in, the results of overall friction coefficient estimation could be wrong.

The use of friction model instead of friction force can allow the detection of the geometry effect on
the friction force value.

While tripping in, an increase in the real-time friction coefficient indicates tight hole that happened
during tripping operations.

The collapse and tight hole in this case study might have been initiated after the drill string was
pulled out due to swabbing and time effects of the collapsed formation

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Neural network has proven to be a very efficient and powerful tool that can provide better and more
accurate solutions for the problems associated with differential pipe sticking events. Prediction of
pipe sticking is possible using two different types of neural networks. Both types have tolerance to
noisy data, but RBF model is more accurate than MLP model. The performance of the network
depends on the database and parameters used for the analysis. The number of hidden layers is
critical to the network. Sensitivity analysis is used to determine the role played by each parameter.

In the study ANN and SVM methodologies to predict DPS have been compared. Both methods can
be of a great use. The performance criteria for both the FFBP and the SVM are very promising, but
the SVM yields better results in the prediction of DPS and not only in well planning but also in a real-
time drilling operation.

The existence or loss of training samples that are not support vectors does not influence the
ultimate classification. Thus, putting aside the training samples with low probability of being support
vectors leads to reducing the classifying time.

Because the SVMs are support-vector-dependent, the ultimate classification will have a better result
than conventional ANNs even if few data are available. Some parameters such as mud properties
can be optimized by SVM in a more efficient and economical way.

The use of artificial intelligence has proven to be beneficial in the understanding of the pipe sticking
but it can be further developed and applied in other aspects of drilling. With the use of lab testing
and simulating machines, research can be focused on more critical factors in the drilling process.

This development in the ANN and SVM can put to question the statement made in beginning that
the sticking can only be mitigated and not eliminated.

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