State-Of-The-Art Review of Lost Circulation Materials and Treatments - Part I: General Trends and Uses


One of the major problems facing the oil and gas industry is the problem of lost circulation. Millions of dollars are spent every year to treat this problem. Lost circulation can be occurred due to high permeability, natural fractures, induced fractures, or caves and vugs. Many major oilfields in the world are susceptible to lost circulation while drilling troublesome formations. The aim of this work is to understand the current trends and uses of lost circulation treatments worldwide. This work will be the first part which only focuses on the trends and uses. The other part (Part 2) will be focusing on probability and cost analyses.

Lost circulation treatments data were collected from more than 2000 wells around the world. Various sources were utilized to gather data such as daily drilling reports, technical reports, petroleum literature, etc. The data were clustered based on the type of loss (e.g. partial, severe, and complete), the reason for lost circulation, and the location where the treatments applied. An interactive dashboard was created to better understand the trends and uses of the lost circulation treatments worldwide. The created dashboard is adaptive for the user's preference and can be utilized easily.

The results showed that the pill of LCM treatments was the highest treatments used to treat partial loss worldwide with a good probability of success. While the high concentration acid soluble LCM treatment showed the highest use among other treatment to treat severe loss with a good probability of success. Moreover, cement plug + high viscosity (HV) mud treatment had the highest uses to treat complete loss with an acceptable probability of success. In addition, cement plug was the leading treatment used to treat partial, severe, and complete loss with a good probability of success. Nonetheless, it is not a usual practice to use cement plug to combat partial loss since there are other cheaper alternative treatments. Finally, this work will give clear insights into the current trends and uses of lost circulation treatments worldwide.

Meeting Name

Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference 2019, ADIP 2019 (2019: Nov. 11-14, Abu Dhabi, UAE)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Research Center/Lab(s)

Center for Research in Energy and Environment (CREE)

Keywords and Phrases

Cements; Gas industry; Gasoline; Infill drilling, Acceptable probability; High permeability; Lost circulation materials; Lost circulation treatment; Oil and Gas Industry; Probability of success; State-of-the art reviews; User's preferences, Probability

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


File Type





© 2019 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Nov 2019