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Lost Circulation, an Old Challenge in Need of New Solutions! - Ahmed AmerNov 13, 2021
Lost circulation remains a challenge in mature depleted fields as well as exploratory prospects. While the challenge is the same, the underlying causes are different. Lost circulation can occur while drilling, cementing, completion or work-over operations. The impact of lost circulation varies in severity and likelihood.
From a holistic approach, a change in mindset is required when it comes to field development. One should consider loss zones as an opportunity for controlled disposal of fluids and cuttings as evident in remote locations instead of surface-handling facilities. The evolution of Engineering Solutions such as Managed Pressure Drilling “MPD” among other technologies like Casing Drilling has been significant. That said, fluid design remains critical to the success of the entire operation. A significant challenge to lost circulation prevention and mitigation is selecting the appropriate solutions from those available. Rather than a shortage of such products, the industry suffers from an overabundance of lost circulation materials “LCM”; the majority of which are variations of a few legacy types.
Current research and development efforts focus on novel solutions that deliver results in the field. A solution-based categorization approach that integrates loss rate, loss mechanisms and links them to the solution having the highest probability of success has been developed.
The presentation will highlight novel solutions such as test methods that mimic downhole in-situ conditions, novel chemistries including settable fluids and eutectic metals as well as data science tools including case histories that can challenge the status quo of lost circulation management.
This presentation is from the Distinguished Lecturer 2020-21 season.