Comprehensive wellbore stability analysis utilizing Quantitative Risk Assessment

Daniel Moos*, Pavel Peska, Thomas Finkbeiner, Mark Zoback

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

186 Scopus citations


A comprehensive geomechanical approach to wellbore stability requires knowledge of rock strength, pore pressure and the magnitude and orientation of the three principal stresses. These parameters are often uncertain, making confidence in deterministic predictions of the risks associated with instabilities during drilling and production difficult to assess. This paper demonstrates the use of Quantitative Risk Assessment (QRA) to formally account for the uncertainty in each input parameter to assess the probability of achieving a desired degree of wellbore stability at a given mud weight. We also utilize QRA to assess how the uncertainty in each parameter affects the mud weight calculated to maintain stability. In one case study, we illustrate how this approach allows us to compute optimal mud weight windows and casing set points at a deep-water site. In another case study, we demonstrate how to assess the feasibility of underbalanced drilling and open-hole completion of horizontal wells utilizing a comprehensive stability analysis that includes application of QRA.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-109
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Petroleum Science and Engineering
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Quantitative Risk Assessment
  • Underbalanced drilling
  • Wellbore stability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Fuel Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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