Data Analysis of Lost Circulation Events in the Hartha Formation, Rumaila Field, Iraq


Lost circulation is a complicated problem to be prevented or combatted during drilling through the Hartha formation. Hence, Mud losses remedies are determined to stop or mitigate losses using remedial methods or to prevent mud losses using proactive measures. Lost circulation events are analyzed in more than 300 wells drilled in the Rumaila field to determine the best ranges for the key drilling parameters, which have the greatest chance of minimizing or prohibiting lost circulation issues. Key drilling parameters (e.g. MW, ECD, Yp, RPM, SPM, ROP) at the time of each event are extracted along with the lost circulation remedies attempted, and the outcome of those remedies. Practical field information from the Rumaila field and range of sources are reviewed and summarized to develop an integrated methodology and flowchart for handling lost circulation events in this formation. This paper will be an extended work along with previous comprehensive statistical study and sensitivity analysis models about the Hartha formation. In addition, economic evaluation is conducted for partial, severe, and complete losses to obtain the best field procedures. Proactive approaches are made prior entering the Hartha formation to prevent or mitigate the occurrence of the lost circulation. A broad statistical work, typical drilling fluid properties, and recommended operational drilling parameters are estimated to use during drilling through this formation. Moreover, corrective actions are determined for each type of the mud losses to provide effective remedies, minimize non-productive time, and reduce cost. The best lost circulation strategy to the Hartha formation is concluded and summarized depending on a comprehensive statistical work, the most important courses of the international oil companies, technical papers, textbooks, and economic analysis evaluation to determine the successful remedies for each type of the losses. In addition, engineered solutions and practical techniques have been developed, which will contribute to give a clear image and a coherent understanding in regard this complicated and costly problem in the Hartha formation. This study will present a typical compilation of information regarding traditional and the latest approaches to the lost circulation control. This work attempts to provide useful guidelines and effective solutions for all situations in terms preventive measures, remedial methods, and analytical economic study. In addition, due to the lack of published studies about the Hartha formation, this work can serve as a substantial resource for drilling through this zone.

Meeting Name

SPE Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Annual Technical Symposium and Exhibition 2018, SATS 2018 (2018: Apr. 23-26, Dammam, Saudi Arabia)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Drilling fluids; Infill drilling; Sensitivity analysis, Coherent understanding; Drilling fluid property; Drilling parameters; Economic evaluations; Integrated methodology; International oil companies; Lost circulation control; Preventive measures, Economic analysis

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2018 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2018

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