Failure of a Multilateral Well

Application ID: 666

Multilateral wells—those with multiple legs that branch off from a single well—can produce oil efficiently because the legs can tap multiple productive zones and navigate around impermeable ones. Unfortunately, drilling engineers must often mechanically stabilize multilateral wells with a liner or casing, which can cost millions of dollars. Leaving the wellbore uncased reduces construction costs, but it runs a relatively high risk of catastrophic failure both during installation and after pumping begins.

The poroelastic simulations estimate 3D compaction related to pumping by taking subsurface fluid flow with Darcy’s law and coupling it to structural displacements with a stress-strain analysis. This model focuses on elastic displacements brought on by changing fluid pressures when pumping begins.

This model example illustrates applications of this type that would nominally be built using the following products: