Wellbore stability 600 million to 1 billion dollars is the prevention of brittle failure or plastic deformation of the rock surrounding the wellbore due to mechanical stress or chemical imbalance. Prior to drilling, the mechanical stresses in the formation are less than the strength of the rock. The chemical action is also balanced, or occurring at a rate relative to geologic time (millions of years). Rocks under this balanced or near-balanced state are stable. After drilling, the rock surrounding the wellbore undergoes changes in tension, compression, and shear loads as the rock forming the core of the hole is removed. Chemical reactions also occur with exposure to the drilling fluid.
Written by: Amoco.
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