# Kick Tolerance Concept and Calculation for Well Design

Kick tolerance is the maximum gas volume for a given degree of underbalance which the circulation can be performed without exceeding the weakest formation in the wellbore. This article is the extended version of Kick Tolerance Calculation  which will explain more on this topic. It is very critical that drilling personnel understand its importance to well design and drilling operation.

There are two important factors used for determining the kick tolerance

• Kick Intensity – It is the different between the maximum anticipated formation pressure and planned mud weight. For example, the planned mud weight is 13.0 ppg and the possible kick pressure is 13.5 ppg. Therefore, the kick intensity is 0.5 ppg (13.5 – 13.0).

A zero kick intensity (swabbed kick scenario) should be used for a know area where you have less uncertainty about an overpressure zone.

• Kick Volume – It is a gas influx entering into the wellbore from the formation. Gas kick is always used for well control calculation because it is the worst case scenario. The kick volume should be realistic figure which personal can detect the influx on the rig. In a larger hole, it allows bigger influx volume than a small hole.

Maximum Allowable Annular Surface Pressure (MAASP) and Kick Tolerance

Weakest formation point in the open hole is assumed to be at the shoe depth of the previous casing. The well bore will be fractured if a summation of hydrostatic and surface pressure exceeds the weakest pressure (Leak Off Test pressure). The maximum surface pressure before breaking the formation is called “Maximum Allowable Shut In Casing Pressure” (MASICP).

Make it simpler for your understanding. MASICP is the total of kick tolerance budget. It consists of pressure from kick intensity and hydrostatic pressure loss due to gas.

Kick Tolerance Example Calculation

Previous casing shoe (9-5/8” casing) at 6,000’ MD/ 6,000’ TVD

Predicted formation pressure at TD (10,000’MD/10,000’TVD) = 14.0 ppg

Pore pressure uncertainty = 1.0 ppg

Planned mud weight = 14.5 ppg (0.754 psi/ft)

LOT = 16.0 ppg

Hole size = 8-1/2”

Drill Pipe = 5”

BHA + Drill Collar = 7”

Length of BHA+Drill Collar = 400 ft

Annular capacity between open hole and BHA = 0.0226 bbl/ft

Annular capacity between open hole and 5” DP = 0.0459 bbl/ft

Calculation Steps

Maximum anticipated pressure = 14.0 + 1 = 15.0 ppg

Maximum Allowable Shut In Casing Pressure (MASICP) = (LOT – MW) x 0.052 x Shoe TVD

Maximum Allowable Shut In Casing Pressure (MASICP) = (16 – 14.5) x 0.052 x 6,000 = 468 psi

Kick Intensity = 15.0 – 14.5 = 0.5 ppg

Underbalance due to kick intensity = 0.5 x 0.052 x 10,000 = 260 psi

As you can see, when the well is in underbalance condition (260 psi), the shoe will not be broken because the MASICP is more than underbalance pressure (468 > 260).

We know that 0.5 ppg kick intensity we will have 208 psi (468 – 260 = 208 psi) before shoe broken.

It means that gas bubble can replace mud in equivalent to 208 psi before fracturing the shoe. With this relationship, we can determine height of gas kick by the following equation.

Height of gas kick = remaining pressure, psi ÷ (mud gradient, psi/ft – gas gradient, psi/ft)

Height of gas kick = 208 ÷ (0.754 – 0.1) = 318 ft.

Determine gas kick volume base on height of gas kick

We need to separate into two cases and compare the smallest volume.

1st case – Gas at the bottom

Volume of gas kick = Annular capacity between open hole and BHA x Height of gas kick

Volume of gas kick (bbl) = 0.0226 bbl/ft x 318 ft = 7.2 bbl

2nd case – Gas right below casing shoe

For this case, we need to convert gas at the shoe to the bottom condition by applying Boyle’s Laws.

Volume of gas kick = Annular capacity between open hole and 5” DP x Height of gas kick

Volume of gas kick (bbl) = 0.0459 bbl/ft x 318 ft = 14.6 bbl

Convert to the bottom hole condition

Volume at the bottom = (volume of gas kick at shoe x Leak off test) ÷ formation pressure

Leak off test = 0.052 x 16 x 6,000 = 4,992 psi

Formation pressure (gas kick condition) = 0.052 x 15 x 10,000 = 7,800 psi

Volume at the bottom = (14.6 x 4992) ÷ 7800 = 9.3 bbl

We can compare the kick volume from two cases like this.

1 st case : kick volume = 7.2 bbl

2nd case : kick volume = 9.3 bbl

The smallest number must be selected to represent maximum kick volume therefore kick volume is 7.2 bbl.

Share the joy

Working in the oil field and loving to share knowledge.

### 6 Responses to Kick Tolerance Concept and Calculation for Well Design

Thank you for every thing, it’s really useful topics.
This topic ” Kick Tolerance Concept and Calculation for Well Design” is great one and every thing was clear except the last concept ” The smallest number must be selected to represent maximum kick volume therefore kick volume is 7.2 bbl.”

Would you please explain it … why the smallest number is represent the maximum kick volume??

Thank you Again

• Hanid,

The smallest number is the most conservative figure from the possible cases in the calculation.

2. Hi,
My name is Pablo, Chemical Engieneer.- Nice too meet yuu in the knolowge of oil ingineer.- Iwould like to know how to interchange tecnichal information in this fiedl.

Thank very much,

Pablo

3. michael igbori says:

it will help a lot of people in the oil and gas industry.i like it and i would love to improve on it..too

4. Ralph says:

What about temperature that is included in Boyle’s Laws. I guess it would matter for long vertical sections?

R

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.