The Dichotomy of Stresscage versus Frac-Pack

Recorded On: 10/19/2016

Frac-Pack completions, in the Gulf of Mexico, are a standard sand control completion method and have proven popular and reliable across many Gulf of Mexico wells and fields. More recently, Wellbore Strengthening has become common practice as a method to overcome challenges drilling through depleted zones. The relative success of these drilling and completion approaches and their rapid and widespread application has resulted in ever more depletion. However, their compatibility remains in question; after all one technique relies on breaking down the rock for fracturing whereas the other relies on plugging/blunting fracture and increasing fracture breakdown pressure.

So while these two techniques independently represent uniquely optimal solutions to their challenges, there is growing evidence that their combined application within the same wellbore has created a number of issues. The Wellbore Strengthening application is associated with the plugging of small fractures which have been induced in the wellbore wall, thereby increasing the effective fracture gradient, which allows for the drilling of substantial depletion effect. However, the presence of a range of widely distributed particle sizes in the mud system, as well as increased general solids loading, may result in deep and invasive plugging of the permeable formations and any smaller fractures within the same open-hole sections. When these plugged formations are then the target for subsequent hydraulic fracturing operations, not unsurprisingly there is a significant potential to create near wellbore problems that can complicate or bring into question the ability to install a Frac-Pack completion.

This Webinair will provide a number of examples of the application of Wellbore Strengthening, where resulting frac operations appear to have been hampered or complicated by the use of the Wellbore Strengthening approach and/or associated mud conditions. These examples will provide some evidence of the interactions, but more importantly, demonstrate the contradiction that these two techniques potentially represent. In addition to the case histories, the Webinair will outline various engineering approaches that should be considered, including geo-mechanical analysis of well placement, identification of near wellbore issues prior to and during the fracturing operations, careful management of stress caged solids makeup, mud management and Frac-Pack design in order to avoid or overcome these challenges.

All of this helps ensure that we do not create the paradox of being able to drill through the conventionally undrillable but then create the unfraccable as a result.

This webinar is categorized under the Drilling discipline.

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Martin Rylance

Senior Advisor for Fracturing & Stimulation, BP

Martin Rylance has worked with BP, their partners and JVs (SOHIO, Maxus, TNK-bp, VICO … etc), for 30 Years, since graduating with a BSc (Hons.) in Pure Mathematics. During his time with BP, his positions in the Company have included; the Head of Fracturing and Stimulation for BP Worldwide, the Interventions Team-Leader with BPX in Colombia, the Chief Engineer with TNK-bp in Moscow and Project Manager with BP in a number of frontier areas.

Technically, he has been involved in all aspects of pumping operations, well-control, well interventions and pressure service, hydraulic fracturing, snubbing, stimulation, coiled-tubing, PWRI and cuttings re-injection.

In more recent Years he has specialised in tight and unconventional resource development, hydraulic fracturing in tectonic regimes and HPHT environments. During his career with BP he has been responsible for the implementation of numerous campaigns, pilots and exploration programmes. Having lived in 10 Countries, pumped in more than 30, he has been responsible for Teams delivering 10's of 1,000's of fracturing & stimulation treatments around the world.

He has numerous papers and publications to his name with the SPE, IPTC and various Numerical and Geological Societies, Articles, Reports and Patents; an active Member of the SPE, (SPE Distinguished Member and Distinguished Lecturer Hydraulic Fracturing 2007/2008 and 2013/2014), he is also a Fellow of the Institute of Mathematics in London.

SPE Webinars are FREE to members courtesy of the


10/19/2016 at 9:30 AM (EDT)   |  90 minutes
10/19/2016 at 9:30 AM (EDT)   |  90 minutes Scheduled for 90 minutes.
0.15 CEU credits  |  Certificate available
0.15 CEU credits  |  Certificate available CEU Credit