Determination of Safe Mud Weight Window in Rumaila Oilfield, Southern Iraq


  • Walaa Al-Mansory Petroleum Department, College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq
  • Ayad A. Alhaleem Alrazzaq Petroleum Department, College of Engineering, University of Baghdad, Baghdad, Iraq



Geomechanical model, Safe mud weight window, Mogi-Coulomb criteria


The oil and gas industry, wellbore instability plays an important role in financial losses and stops the operations while the drilling which leads to extra time known as non-productive time. In this work, a comprehensive study was carried out to realize the nature of the instability problems of the wellbore in Rumaila oilfield to improve the well design. The study goal is to develop a geomechanical model in one dimension by utilizing Schlumberger Techlog (Version 2015) software. Open hole wireline measurements were needed to develop the model. The model calibrating and validating with core laboratory tests (triaxial test), well test (Mini-frac test), repeated formation test. Mohr-Coulomb, Mogi-Coulomb, and Modified Lade are the three failure criteria which utilized to analyze the borehole breakouts and to determine the minimum mud weight needed for a stable wellbore wall. For more accuracy of the geomechanical model, the predicted profile of the borehole instability is compared with the actual failure of the borehole that is recorded by caliper log. The results of the analysis showed that the Mogi-Coulomb criteria are closer to the true well failure compared with the other two criteria and considered as the better criteria in predicting the rock failure in the Rumaila oilfield. The wellbore instability analysis revealed that the vertical and low deviated wells (less than 40º) is safer and more stable. While, the horizontal and directional wells should be drilled longitudinally to the direction of the minimum horizontal stresses at a range between 140º–150º North West-South East and the mud weight recommended is increased to 10.5 ppg to avoid most of instabilities problems. The results contribute in development plan of the wells nearby the studied area and decreasing NPT and cost.