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EMEC Stress Cage Planning Tool

Drilling practice sometimes dictates an increase in mud weight beyond the fracture gradient margin of a particular interval, which could induce mud losses. Stress Cage method is considered as a preventive technique to enhance the fracture gradient of weak intervals in the wellbore. 

The fundamental principle of Stress Cage Theory is to enhance the hoop stress of the target formation near the wellbore by inducing fractures and then prop them open with extra high crushing resistance bridging materials. 

The EMEC Stress Cage Planning Tool (ESCPT) is an in-house developed software package that is designed to simulate the wellbore strengthening process. The software gives the user the capability to design the appropriate additives blend to prop and seal the induced fractures.   

The induced fracture size can be presented by a log-normal distribution. The cumulative curve for this distribution is considered to be the target curve. The appropriate blend of additives to be added to the drilling fluid should have a cumulative distribution curve that best fits the fracture target curve.

The ESCPT uses the Least Square Method to minimize the deviation between both curves. Numerical techniques are applied to get the percentages of the individual additives within the blend. 

Features & Applications

The ESCPT database provides a broad range of particle size distribution datasets, enabling the program to find the optimum blend. However the software also provides flexible tools so the user can fix additives with predetermined percentages within the blend with a best-fit solution scenario calculated by the program.

EMEC’s software provides flexibility in calculating the fracture width by following minimum, most likely and maximum scenarios for critical input variables. The software allows the user to solve and store multiple solution sets according to the user’s predetermined strategy selections.

The solutions provided by the software are presented both analytically and graphically. The user can generate technical reports for one or all solution sets.

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