Predictive Data Mining Techniques for Mud Losses Mitigation


Wells drilled in the Rumaila field are highly susceptible to lost circulation problems when drilling through the Hartha formation. This paper presents a comprehensive statistical work and sensitivity analysis models of the lost circulation events for more than 300 wells. Moreover, this study will demonstrate an integrated analysis regarding the most significant drilling parameters, which have a pivotal impact on the lost circulation to provide the greatest chance of mitigating or avoiding lost circulation in the Hartha formation. Lost circulation events are extracted from daily drilling reports, final reports, and technical reports. Key drilling parameters are analyzed using statistical software to understand the relationship between the mud losses and various drilling parameters such as MW, ECD, Yp, ROP, SPM, RPM, WOB, flow rate, and bit nozzles. The sensitivity analysis is conducted to examine the impact of each parameter in all models. In addition, variance inflation factor (VIF) method is used to test for the multicollinearity phenomena in each model to maximize the accuracy and to obtain a solid mathematical model. The volume loss model is conducted to predict lost circulation in the Hartha formation. As a proactive action, this model can be used to estimate the volume loss prior drilling the Hartha formation. Observations that have been made from the volume loss model are MW, ECD, and Yp have a significant impact on lost circulation respectively; however, SPM, RPM, and ROP have a minor effect on the volume loss model. Equivalent circulation density (ECD) model is obtained to estimate ECD in the Hartha formation, and from this model can be deduced that MW, ROP, and Q have a significant impact on ECD respectively; nevertheless, RPM and Yp have a minor impact on the ECD. The rate of penetration model is made to estimate ROP in the Hatha formation. It is concluded that WOB, SPM, and RPM have a significant impact on the ROP respectively, but MW, ECD, and Yp have a minor influence on the ROP. In addition, engineering solutions are developed to give a clear image regarding lost circulation, and it will provide a unique statistical study and coherent sensitivity analysis of all factors which have an essential or a small impact on this issue. Due to the lack of published studies for this formation, this study will provide a unique understanding for lost circulation events, drilling fluid properties, and operational drilling parameters, which have a prominent or a minor impact on the mud losses issue. Lost circulation will be illustrated in terms of causes, consequences, recommendations, and guidelines to reduce or avoid unwanted losses. In addition, this work can serve as a practical resource for drilling through the Hartha formation.

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

Data mining; Drilling fluids; Estimation; Infill drilling; Regression analysis; Respirators, Drilling fluid property; Engineering solutions; Equivalent circulation density; Integrated analysis; Lost-circulation problems; Predictive data mining; Rate of penetration; Statistical software, Sensitivity analysis

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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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