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Title: Geomechanical analysis to predict the oil leak at the wellbores in Big Hill Strategic Petroleum Reserve

Oil leaks were found in wellbores of Caverns 105 and 109 at the Big Hill Strategic Petroleum Reserve site. According to the field observations, two instances of casing damage occurred at the depth of the interbed between the caprock bottom and salt top. A three dimensional finite element model, which contains wellbore element blocks and allows each cavern to be configured individually, is constructed to investigate the wellbore damage mechanism. The model also contains element blocks to represent interface between each lithology and a shear zone to examine the interbed behavior in a realistic manner. The causes of the damaged casing segments are a result of vertical and horizontal movements of the interbed between the caprock and salt dome. The salt top subsides because the volume of caverns below the salt top decrease with time due to salt creep closure, while the caprock subsides at a slower rate because the caprock is thick and stiffer. This discrepancy yields a deformation of the well. The deformed wellbore may fail at some time. An oil leak occurs when the wellbore fails. A possible oil leak date of each well is determined using the equivalent plastic strain failure criterion. A well grading systemmore » for a remediation plan is developed based on the predicted leak dates of each wellbore.« less
  1. Sandia National Lab. (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States