Wellbore ballooning or wellbore breathing occurs where the circulating mud pressure is close to the formation fracture pressure, and fluid is forced into micro-fissures in the rock, without actually fracturing the rock itself. This is common in High Pressure High Temperature (HPHT) wells and in certain formation types.  

When the dynamic friction pressure (also known as ECD) is removed when making a connection, the overburden on the rock forces the fluid back into the wellbore, and often a proper influx can be mistaken for this ballooning flowback profile. It can be difficult to decipher this flowback from a true influx andmis-diagnosing an influx can have severe or disastrous consequences.  

Safe Influx will be designing a Safe Ballooning module that will address this problem, where the dynamic mudweight pressure approaches the fracture pressure, and small amounts of drilling fluid can “leak” into the formation.  

During normal drilling, Safe Ballooning will measure every signature, on every connection, and will use that to predict the expected signature at the next connection. That prediction will take into account the extra amount of Ballooning-prone formation now exposed. 

The module will use Artificial Intelligence to predict the flowback profile due to ballooning for each successive stand drilled. When the mud pumps are turned off, it will then compare the actual flowback profile with that predicted flowback profile, and if that difference meets certain pre-agreed criteria, Safe Influx system will be actioned to shut-in the well.  

This is only possible with automation combined with Safe Influx Automated Well Control process.  

This module could be connected to the Early Kick Detection System (EKDS) module or could standalone.Contact us at info@safeinflux.com for further information.