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Lost Circulation - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780128039168, 9780128039410

Lost Circulation

1st Edition

Mechanisms and Solutions

Author: Alexandre Lavrov
Paperback ISBN: 9780128039168
eBook ISBN: 9780128039410
Imprint: Gulf Professional Publishing
Published Date: 17th March 2016
Page Count: 264
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Lost Circulation: Mechanisms and Solutions provides the latest information on a long-existing problem for drilling and cementing engineers that can cause improper drilling conditions, safety risks, and annual losses of millions of wasted dollars for oil and gas companies.

While several conferences have convened on the topic, this book is the first reliable reference to provide a well-rounded, unbiased approach on the fundamental causes of lost circulation, how to diagnose it in the well, and how to treat and prevent it in future well planning operations.

As today’s drilling operations become more complex, and include situations such as sub-salt formations, deepwater wells with losses caused by cooling, and more depleted reservoirs with reduced in-situ stresses, this book provides critical content on the current state of the industry that includes a breakdown of basics on stresses and fractures and how drilling fluids work in the wellbore.

The book then covers the more practical issues caused by induced fractures, such as how to understand where the losses are occurring and how to use proven preventative measures such as wellbore strengthening and the effect of base fluid on lost circulation performance.

Supported by realistic case studies, this book separates the many myths from the known facts, equipping today’s drilling and cementing engineer with a go-to solution for every day well challenges.

Key Features

  • Understand the processes, challenges and solutions involved in lost circulation, a critical problem in drilling
  • Gain a balance between fundamental understanding and practical application through real-world case studies
  • Succeed in solving lost circulation in today’s operations such as wells involving casing drilling, deepwater, and managed pressure drilling


Drilling Engineers, Drilling Fluid Specialists, Cementing Specialists, Petroleum Engineers-both undergrad and graduate

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The Challenge of Lost Circulation

Chapter 2. Stresses in Rocks

  • 2.1. Stress, Strength, and Failure
  • 2.2. In Situ Stresses
  • 2.3. Pore Pressure
  • 2.4. Depletion-Induced Stress Changes
  • 2.5. Injection-Induced Stress Changes
  • 2.6. Stresses in the Near-Well Area
  • 2.7. Measurement of In Situ Stresses
  • 2.8. Summary

Chapter 3. Natural Fractures in Rocks

  • 3.1. Geological Aspects of Natural Fractures
  • 3.2. Rock Mechanical Properties of Natural Fractures
  • 3.3. Fluid Flow in Fractures
  • 3.4. Particle Transport in Fractures
  • 3.5. Summary

Chapter 4. Drilling Fluid

  • 4.1. Functions of Drilling Fluid
  • 4.2. Properties of Drilling Fluids
  • 4.3. Composition of Drilling Fluids
  • 4.4. Solid Particles: Size, Shape, and Settling
  • 4.5. How Does Drilling Fluid Work?
  • 4.6. Summary

Chapter 5. Mechanisms and Diagnostics of Lost Circulation

  • 5.1. Measuring the Losses
  • 5.2. Losses Caused by High-Permeability Matrix
  • 5.3. Losses in Vugular Formations
  • 5.4. Losses Caused by Natural Fractures
  • 5.5. Losses Caused by Induced Fractures
  • 5.6. Severe Losses, Total Losses, and Borehole Ballooning
  • 5.7. What Should We Choose as the Upper Bound of the Operational Pressure Window?
  • 5.8. Lost Circulation in Depleted Reservoirs
  • 5.9. Lost Circulation and Formation Heterogeneities
  • 5.10. Lost Circulation in Deepwater Drilling
  • 5.11. Lost Circulation in High-Pressure High-Temperature Wells
  • 5.12. Lost Circulation in Deviated and Horizontal Wells
  • 5.13. Lost Circulation in Geothermal Drilling
  • 5.14. Effect of Base Fluid on Lost Circulation
  • 5.15. Identifying Thief Zones Through Measurement While Drilling and Logging
  • 5.16. Interpretation and Differential Diagnosis of Losses
  • 5.17. Summary

Chapter 6. Preventing Lost Circulation

  • 6.1. Identification of Potential Loss Zones
  • 6.2. Mud Rheology, Bottomhole Pressure, and Lost-Circulation Pressure
  • 6.3. Effective Hole Cleaning
  • 6.4. Wellbore Strengthening and Loss Prevention Materials
  • 6.5. Casing While Drilling
  • 6.6. Managed Pressure Drilling
  • 6.7. Air Drilling and Underbalanced Drilling
  • 6.8. Expandable Tubulars
  • 6.9. Preventing Lost Circulation During Well Cementing
  • 6.10. Summary

Chapter 7. Curing the Losses

  • 7.1. Classification of Treatments
  • 7.2. How Does Lost Circulation Material Work?
  • 7.3. Particulate Lost Circulation Materials
  • 7.4. Fibers
  • 7.5. How Does Settable Material Work?
  • 7.6. Cement
  • 7.7. Settable Pills Based on Cross-linked Systems
  • 7.8. Settable Pills Based on Two Fluids
  • 7.9. Curing Losses Caused by High-Permeability Matrix
  • 7.10. Curing Losses in Vugular Formations
  • 7.11. Curing Losses Caused by Natural Fractures
  • 7.12. Curing Losses Caused by Induced Fractures
  • 7.13. Curing Losses of Different Severity
  • 7.14. Laboratory Testing of Lost Circulation Materials and Loss Prevention Materials
  • 7.15. Summary

Chapter 8. Knowledge Gaps and Outstanding Issues


No. of pages:
© Gulf Professional Publishing 2016
17th March 2016
Gulf Professional Publishing
Paperback ISBN:
eBook ISBN:

About the Author

Alexandre Lavrov

Alexandre Lavrov is currently a Senior Scientist in the Rock Mechanics Group at SINTEF Petroleum Research, based in Norway. His main areas of research include petroleum-related rock mechanics, fracture mechanics of rocks, and mechanics of well cementing. Previously, Alexandre has worked as a Research Scientist for the Moscow State Mining University in Russia. He completed a post-doctoral with the Mining Group at the Catholic University of Leuven in Belgium in 2000-2002, before joining SINTEF Petroleum Research in 2003. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, The Society of Rheology, and the British Society for Strain Measurement. Alexandre is active in many publications, conferences, and advisory boards including the Organizing Committee of the SPE Workshop on Lost Circulation (2014). He has been the Technical Editor at the SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering journal since 2007. He won the SPE Outstanding Editor Award in 2008 and has published in many journals. Alexandre earned his undergraduate degree, PhD, and D.Sc. degrees from the Moscow State Mining University and all in Mining Engineering.

Affiliations and Expertise

Senior Scientist in the Rock Mechanics Group at SINTEF Petroleum Research

Ratings and Reviews