On how asymmetric stimulated rock volume in shales may impact casing integrity

Hao Yu, Arash Dahi Taleghani, Zhanghua Lian, Tiejun Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Microseismic data and production logs in our study area have confirmed asymmetric developments of the stimulation rock volume in shales with respect to the wellbore, while severe casing deformation problems have been reported frequently in this area. Here, we propose a systematic methodology to investigate the possibility of casing failure due to strong shear stresses induced by asymmetric stimulated zones. A mechanical earth modeling (MEM) is initially performed to determine the in situ stress field in the target layer before fracturing by incorporating the existing geological features, logging data, and rock anisotropy. Then, we provide a computationally cheap and efficient estimation for stimulated rock volume of each stage by considering the possible overlaps in adjacent stages based on the clustered microseismic clouds. Using this approach, a reservoir-scale 3D coupled model tied to a more detailed near-wellbore part incorporating the casing string and the cement sheath is established to simulate the development of stimulation zones, stress redistribution, and their impacts on casing deformation as each stage fracturing treatment chronologically goes on. Our numerical results indicate that continuous redistribution and re-orientation of stress field near the borehole are tracked during pumping the treatment which reveals formation of some pockets of tensile stresses along and around the wellbore. Asymmetric stimulations are observed to generate strong shear stress on the suspended casing. These shear forces result in deflection and S-shape deformations accompanied with cross-sectional ovality. Some regions receive repeating treatments, which results in intensifying formation stress heterogeneity and worsen casing deformation severity. The calculation results are compared with measurement of multi-finger imaging tool (MIT) to validate the accuracy. Our analysis has indicated that simply increasing the flexural strength by increasing thickness of casing cannot radically mitigate casing deformation problems. This paper presents a novel workflow for a coupled modeling of casing deformation during hydraulic fracturing operations, while current modeling efforts assume symmetric bi-wing fracture geometries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1524-1540
Number of pages17
JournalEnergy Science and Engineering
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • General Energy


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