What are the differences between Formation Integrity Test (FIT) and Leak Off Test (LOT).?

You may confuse between Formation Integrity Test (FIT) and Leak Off Test (LOT).

They are different in this following aspect.

Leak Off Test – you pressure test shoe and formation until formation break down.

Let’s I explain more about it: Leak off Test is conducted in order to find the fracture pressure (fracture gradient) of formation and shoe. When conducting the LOT, you will pump drilling fluid to until you see the fracture trend of formation. Once formation is fractured, the first pressure that deviated from a trend is typically called Leak Off Pressure. We use the leak off pressure to calculate LOT.

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Leak Off Test (Procedures and Calcuation)

Leak Off Test is conducted in order to find the fracture gradient of certain formation at casing shoe depth. The results of the leak off test also dictate the maximum equivalent mud weight that should be applied to the well during drilling operations.

Leak Off Test (LOT) guide line procedures are as follows  (note: this is just only guide line.

You may need to follow your standard procedure in order to perform leak off test):

1.Drill out new formation few feet, circulate bottom up and collect sample to confirm that new formation is drilled to and then pull string into the casing.

2.Close annular preventer or pipe rams, line up a pump, normally a cement pump, and circulate through an open choke line to ensure that surface line is fully filled with drilling fluid.

3.Stop the pump and close a choke valve.

4.Gradually pump small amount of drilling fluid into well with constant pump stroke. Record total pump strokes, drill pipe pressure and casing pressure. Drill pipe pressure and casing pressure will be increased continually while pumping mud in hole. When plot a graph between strokes pumped and pressure, if formation is not broken, a graph will demonstrate straight line relationship. When pressure exceeds formation strength, formation will be broken and let drilling fluid permeate into formation, therefore a trend of drill pipe/casing  pressure will deviate from straight line that mean formation is broken and is injected by drilling fluid. We may call pressure when deviated from straight line as leak off test pressure.

5.Bleed off pressure and open up the well. Then proceed drilling operation.

Note:  the way people call leak off test pressure depends on each company standard practices.

Leak off test pressure can be calculated into equivalent mud weight in ppg as formula below:

Leak off test in equivalent mud weight (ppg) = (Leak off test pressure in psi) ÷ 0.052 ÷ (Casing Shoe TVD in ft) + (current mud weight in ppg)

Pressure gradient can be determined from Leak Off Test pressure by the following formula.

Pressure gradient in psi/ft = (Leak off test pressure in psi) ÷ (Casing Shoe TVD in ft)


Leak off test pressure = 1600 psi
Casing shoe TVD = 4000 ft
Mud weight = 9.2 ppg

Leak off test in equivalent mud weight (ppg) = 1600 psi ÷ 0.052 ÷ 4000 ft + 9.2ppg ppg = 16.9

Pressure gradient = 1600 ÷ 4000 = 0.4 psi/ft

Please find the Excel sheet to calculate leak off test

Ref books: Lapeyrouse, N.J., 2002. Formulas and calculations for drilling, production and workover, Boston: Gulf Professional publishing.

Bourgoyne, A.J.T., Chenevert , M.E. & Millheim, K.K., 1986. SPE Textbook Series, Volume 2: Applied Drilling Engineering, Society of Petroleum Engineers.

Mitchell, R.F., Miska, S. & Aadny, B.S., 2011. Fundamentals of drilling engineering, Richardson, TX: Society of Petroleum Engineers.