Casing deformation turned out to be serious during hydraulic fracturing of shale gas wells in Weiyuan-Channing, where the ratio of casing deformation was more than 30%. Nevertheless, there were no such phenomenon in America and other shale gas producing areas. Why there were so many horizontal wells casing deformation in Weiyuan-Changning, China? There maybe kinds of factors.
The authors mainly analyze the effect to casing deformation from operations factors during well drilling and completion, including dogleg angle, loss of cement sheath integrity and APD effect; as well as effect the geologic characteristics such as faults and natural fracture zones, lithologic interface, shale bedding.
The results show that: Firstly, though the casing strength gradually decreased as the dogleg angle increasing, the casing collapsing strength drops off only 3.8% with average 2.7°/30m dogleg angle in the casing deformation zone, which showed that it can not lead casing deformation directly. Then, though the influence of temperature and loss of cement sheath integrity will significantly reduce the safety factor of the casing, it cannot be excluded that the local cement sheath can be always damaged after hydraulic fracturing, which suggested the APD effect was not the main factor leading to casing deformation. Finally, the original stress balance near wellbore can be destroyed during multistage hydraulic fracturing leading to non-uniform in-situ stress, which can active the fault, natural fractures, lithologic interface, shale bedding to slip. Therefore there were high probability of casing deformation in the formation with faults, natural fracture zones and strong heterogeneity.
The above analysis can be used to explain why there is serious casing deformation in Weiyuan and Changning of China. Perforating far away from the point where casing deformation occurred easily and design the proper fracturing scheme can help us avoid casing deformation rather than simply raising steel grade and wall thickness of casing.