Table of Contents
Journal of Petroleum Engineering
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3472158, 13 pages
Research Article

Probabilistic Approach in Wellbore Stability Analysis during Drilling

Department of Petroleum and Chemical Engineering, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman

Received 20 April 2016; Accepted 21 July 2016

Academic Editor: Alireza Bahadori

Copyright © 2016 Mahmood R. Al-Khayari et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In oil industry, wellbore instability is the most costly problem that a well drilling operation may encounter. One reason for wellbore failure can be related to ignoring rock mechanics effects. A solution to overcome this problem is to adopt in situ stresses in conjunction with a failure criterion to end up with a deterministic model that calculates collapse pressure. However, the uncertainty in input parameters can make this model misleading and useless. In this paper, a new probabilistic wellbore stability model is presented to predict the critical drilling fluid pressure before the onset of a wellbore collapse. The model runs Monte Carlo simulation to capture the effects of uncertainty in in situ stresses, drilling trajectories, and rock properties. The developed model was applied to different in situ stress regimes: normal faulting, strike slip, and reverse faulting. Sensitivity analysis was applied to all carried out simulations and found that well trajectories have the biggest impact factor in wellbore instability followed by rock properties. The developed model improves risk management of wellbore stability. It helps petroleum engineers and field planners to make right decisions during drilling and fields’ development.