Modified failure criteria for shales

M. N J Al-Awad, B. G D Smart

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Most shale rocks which contain an appreciable fraction of reactive clays (e.g. montmorillonite) will adsorb mud filtrate (water+ions) and cause unstable hole conditions. When contacted with the mud filtrate, these shales will swell, creating a soft, swollen zone around the wellbore, therefore, the natural mechanical properties or the strength of the swollen shales will decrease causing serious hole problems such as undergauge hole, stuck pipe, overpull on trips, and several other problems. Thus swelling stresses and rock strength reduction must be included in any attempt to effectively model shale mechanical properties after interaction with drilling fluid filtrate. In this study shale swelling stresses were integrated into the prominent Mohr-Coulomb failure criterion and therefore a new form of this criterion has been introduced which combined the natural mechanical properties with swelling stresses to predict the in-situ strength of shales when invaded by the drilling fluid filtrate. The modified failure criterion was verified experimentally.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)77-94
    Number of pages18
    JournalArabian Journal for Science and Engineering
    Issue number1B
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 1997


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