DEA-147 – “STABView” – A Borehole Stability, Lost Circulation, and Sand Production Risk Analysis Software

Patrick McLellan /

Update on: 12 August 2002

DEA Project Number: 147

Project Title: STABView Borehole Stability, Lost Circulation and Sand Production Software

Contractor: Advanced Geotechnology Inc. Manager – Pat McLellan 1540, 521 – 3rd Ave SW Calgary, Alberta CANADA T2P 3T3


World Wide Web Site:

Startup Date: March 2001

Scope of Work: (1) Develop version 2.0 of AGI’s STABView software for well planning and design. New features to be added for multi-zone analyses, interactivity with multiphase flow modeling software, new thermal models for drilling through permafrost and gas hydrates, elastic and plastic borehole deformations, offset well calibration, non-linear rock properties and improved mud-shale interaction (2) Compile a collection of relevant case histories and STABView back analyses (3) Provide technology transfer through datbases, software and hands-on training and (4) evaluate the feasibility of a real-time module for wellbore stability monitoring and forecasting.

Current Status: DEA-147 has been completed and all the project deliverables have been sent to the participants. A third phase to this project, focused on real-time stability monitoring and forecasting, is currently in planning and will be launched in late 2002.

Projected Completion Date: June 30, 2002

Project Cost: $215,000 USD

Participants: ChevronTexaco, Petrobras, Nexen Energy, Weatherford, Baker Oil Tools, Geological Survey of Canada, University of Alberta,

Cost per Participant: $20,000 USD

Comments: This project was also sponsored through the Completion Engineering Association as CEA 127.

Date Submitted: May 9, 2001

Technical Area: Exploration

Sponsor: Chevron Petroleum Technology/Dr. Russ Ewy/925-842-6135/

Title: STABView Borehole Stability, Lost Circulation and Sand Production Risk Analysis Software

Submitted by: Advanced Geotechnology Inc. 1540, 521 – 3rd Ave S.W. Calgary, Alberta, CANADA T2P 3T3

Principal Investigator(s): Patrick McLellan

Business Impact: Wellbore instability and lost circulation while drilling, stuck pipe and tools, unplanned wellbore fracturing, hole collapse during workovers or production, overly conservative completion designs and severe formation damage cost the industry billions of dollars yearly around the globe. This project will provide operators and service companies with a proven software tool, training and a knowledge base to (1) reduce flat-time, (2) reduce service and materials costs, (3) improve well productivity through the selection of optimal well completions that minimize formation damage, and (4)improve safety.

Technical Objectives:  (1)Develop Version 2.0 of AGI’s STABView software for the analysis of all types of borehole instability, lost circulation, sand production and near-wellbore fracturing phenomena. New technical features to be added include: the ability to analyze the entire wellbore through multiple strata possessing varying stresses, pressures and rock properties; compatibility with multi-phase flow software for underbalanced drilling operations; new thermal models for drilling through permafrost and gas hydrates; effects of weak bedding planes and natural fractures; borehole deformations in soft rocks and salt; offset well calibration capabilities; casing point selection; non-linear rock mechanical properties, in-situ stress prediction tools; and an improved mud-shale interaction model. (2) Compile a collection of relevant case histories and STABView back-analyses using data from participants and published literature. (3) Provide technology transfer to participants through databases and a hands-on training session. (4) Test the feasibility of a real-time module for wellbore stability and lost circulation monitoring.
Methodology: The current version of STABView performs 3D elastic and 2D elasto-plastic calculations for a variety of borehole instabilities at a given cross-section along a well’s trajectory. The new version of the software will permit the user to analyze borehole collapse, borehole deformations, fracturing, and sand production risks over multiple zones simultaneously with many more technical options. Participants will have the opportunity to test early versions of the new software and contribute to the algorithms being developed and validated for the project. Feedback from participants including case histories and back analyses will ensure that practical engineering approaches using readily available datasets are incorporated into the software.

Deliverables: (1) Single user license to the current single-zone version of STABView. (2) Single-user license to the beta and final versions of the new multiple-zone release of STABView 2.0. (3) One year of software support and maintenance. (3) One post-mortem wellbore stability or sand production analysis on a well of your choice. (5) Collection of case histories and STABView back-analyses (6) Training courses/workshops with other STABView users. (7) Project and software documentation including a detailed manual and reports.

Startup Date: March 2001

Project Duration: 12 months

Project Cost: $180,000

Cost per Participant: $20,000 (less if current licensee)

Comments: As of April 30, 2001 this JIP had the following committed participants: Chevron Petroleum Technology; Nexen Energy; Baker Oilfield Operations – Baker Oil Tools; Geological Survey of Canada – Gas Hydrate Project; and the University of Alberta. The project workscope and completion date will be adjusted depending upon the final number of participants.