Possible Kick (wellbore influx) Indications Part1

Possible Kick Indications mean that there is possibility to get influx into wellbore. The indications can be either kick or just formation react while drilling. You need to remember that just only a single possible indicator cannot may not good enough to identify underbalanced condition in wellbore and the possible kick indicators must be used collectively. Therefore, drilling team on the rig needs to closely monitor the well and prepare appropriate action plans.

The possible kick indications are as follows;

• Change in drilling breaks (ROP change) – If the differential between formation pressure and hydrostatic pressure created by drilling mud decreases, there is possibility to increase rate of penetration because the hold down effect is decreased.

Increase drag and torque – Increasing in drilling torque and drag are usually noticed while drilling into overpressured shale formation because underbalanc hydrostatic pressure exerted by drilling fluid column cannot to hold back the formation intrusion into wellbore. Shale normally has low permeability so formation fluid will not come into wellbore. Anyway, if we drill ahead pass high shale pressure into overpressured high permeability zones such as sand or carbonate, the formation fluid will flow into wellbore resulting in kick. This is very important to record frequently drilling torque and drag because it could be your well control indicator.

Decrease in Shale Density – Typically, shale density will increase as we drill deeper. If we see decrease in shale density, it may indicate that your well is in underbalance condition because high pressure zones (abnormal pressure) develop within large shale section. Practically, density of shale must be measured frequency and plot against drilling depth. You can see from a chart if there is any deviation in trend that could be an indication of change in pore pressure.

Increase in cutting size and shape – Pieces of formation may break apart and fall into wellbore because of underbalance situation. Because rocks pieces broken by underbalance condition are not ruined by bit, they will be more angular and bigger than normal cutting. Larger of cutting size will be result in difficulty to circulate them out of wellbore, hence, there will be more hole fill and torque and drag will increase. In addition, without a proportional increase in ROP (rate of penetration), cutting volume coming over shale shakers will increased noticeably.

Reference book: Well Control Books

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