Lost circulation has been a serious problem while drilling that may lead to heavy financial costs in the form of lost rig time and lost mud fluid. In severe cases, it can lead to well blowout with serious environmental hazards and safety consequences. Despite extensive advances in the last couple of decades, lost circulation materials used today still have disadvantages such as damaging production zones, failing to seal large fractures or plugging drilling tools. Here, we propose a new class of smart expandable lost circulation material (LCM) to remotely control the expanding force and functionality of the injected LCM. Our smart LCM is made out of shape memory polymers that become activated by formation’s natural heat. Once activated, these particles can effectively seal fractures’ width without damaging pores in the production zone or plugging drilling tools. The activation temperature of the proposed LCM can be adjusted based on the formation’s temperature. We conducted a series of experiments to measure the sealing efficiency of these smart LCMs as a proof of concept study. Various slot disk sizes were used to mimic different size fractures in the formation. The API RP 13B-1 and 13B-2 have been followed as standard testing methods to evaluate this product.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||16|
|Journal||Journal of Petroleum Exploration and Production Technology|
|State||Published - Mar 1 2019|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology