Breakouts derived from image logs aid the estimation of maximum horizontal stress: A case study from Perth Basin, Western Australia

Mohammadali Faraji, Alireza Rezagholilou, Mandana Ghanavati, Ali Kadkhodaie, David A. Wood

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In-situ stresses are highly important for wellbore stability studies during drilling, completion and production. Different methods are available to estimate the horizontal stresses especially maximum horizontal stress. Typically, Circumferential Borehole Image Logs can be run to determine the direction and width of breakouts and then stresses at different depths based on the equation developed by Barton et al. (1988). This research focuses on image logs from Harvey-1 well located in the Southern Perth basin to compare the maximum horizontal stresses obtained by various methods. The magnitudes of stresses from the breakout width approach (Barton’s method) exhibit a considerable offset in comparison with elastic methods. Further investigations show that the likely reason for the offset relates to the fundamental assumption of the breakout width approach in which shear failures are considered to be constrained to horizontal planes. Failures within the wellbore are not necessarily horizontal and can be developed in different non-planar trajectories with various angles to the horizontal plane. Furthermore, the possible in-situ stresses from regional studies are constrained by means of stress polygons against which the reliability of results from breakout methods can be checked. Results indicate that due diligence and special care must be exercised for determination of maximum stresses from breakouts and more reliable methods are required than those currently used.

Cited as: Faraji, M., Rezagholilou, A., Ghanavati, M., Kadkhodaie, A., Wood, D.A. Breakouts derived from image logs aid the estimation of maximum horizontal stress: A case study from Perth Basin, Western Australia. Advances in Geo-Energy Research, 2021, 5(1): 8-24, doi: 10.46690/ager.2021.01.03


Circumferential borehole image logs, wellbore breakout, maximum horizontal stress, shear failure, stress polygon

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