Best Practices in Managing Lost Circulation Events in Shuaiba Formation, South Rumaila Field, Iraq in Terms Preventive Measures, Corrective Methods, and Economic Evaluation Analysis


Fluid loss in the Shuiaba formation leads to greater expenses from mud loss, difficulty in well control and zonal isolation, and NPT. This paper will provide a comprehensive statistical work, preventive measures, and corrective actions of lost circulation events in the Shuaiba zone, where this problem is significant. The work will provide an integrated analysis regarding the best ranges of key drilling parameters, which have the greatest chance of avoiding or mitigating lost circulation consequences. The most significant drilling parameters (e.g. MW, ECD, Yp, RPM, SPM, and ROP) at the time of each event are recorded along with lost circulation remedies attempted, and outcomes of those remedies. Practical information from Rumaila field and range of sources are reviewed and summarized to develop an integrated methodology and flowchart for handling lost circulation events in this zone. This paper will be extended work along with previous comprehensive statistical study and sensitivity analysis models about the Shuiaba formation. In addition, economic evaluation analysis is conducted for partial, severe, and complete losses to obtain the best field procedures. Proactive approaches are made prior entering the Shuaiba formation to prevent or mitigate the occurrence of the lost circulation. A broad statistical work, primitive mechanisms, typical drilling fluid properties, and recommended operational drilling parameters are estimated to use during drilling through this zone. Moreover, corrective actions are determined for each kind of the mud losses to provide efficient remedies, minimize non-productive time, and reduce cost. The best lost circulation strategy to the Shuaiba formation is concluded and summarized depending on a comprehensive statistical work, the most prevalent industry practices, technical papers, textbooks, and economic analysis evaluation to determine successful remedies for each type of the losses. These treatments are classified by relying on the mud losses classifications to avoid unwanted consequences due to inappropriate actions. In addition, engineered solutions and practical techniques are developed, which will contribute to give clear image and coherent understanding in regard this complicated and costly problem in the Shuaiba zone. This study provides a unique compilation of information regarding traditional approaches and the latest approaches for lost circulation control. The work provides useful guidelines and possible solutions for all situations in terms preventive measures, remedial methods, and analytical economic study. In addition, due to the lack of published studies in regard the Shuaiba formation, this work can serve as a vigorous resource for drilling through this zone.

Meeting Name

SPE Russian Petroleum Technology Conference 2017 (2017: Oct. 16-18, Moscow, Russian Federation)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Drilling fluids; Petroleum analysis; Petroleum engineering; Sensitivity analysis, Coherent understanding; Drilling fluid property; Economic evaluations; Integrated methodology; Lost circulation control; Non-productive time; Preventive measures; Traditional approaches, Economic analysis

Geographic Coverage


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type




Language 2



© 2017 Society of Petroleum Engineers, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Oct 2017

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