Previous Talks

Wednesday, March 10th, 2010

Borehole Triple Breakouts – Fiction or a Reality in Nature?

Javier A. Franquet, Baker Hughes


This talk presents field evidence of triple breakouts occurring around vertical boreholes drilled in a poorly consolidated formation in Kuwait. The breakouts were identified on acoustic and resistivity wireline image logs from three independent imaging tools. The images clearly showed three distinct breakouts at 120-degrees apart. Log-derived formation strength and laboratory core testing suggests that triple breakouts are created mainly in weak intervals; whereas traditional breakouts are formed in stronger rocks. The talk will not fully explain why three breakouts are formed, why they are 120-degrees apart, or how to predict their size and location. Instead the talk shows real examples of this unique and very rare borehole shear failure. In the past, triple breakouts have been reproduced in the laboratory by drilling small boreholes in cubical rock samples under isotropic horizontal stress conditions. These results were controversial in comparison with hollow-cylinder tests results which had created dual “traditional” borehole breakouts under isotropic horizontal stress condition. Furthermore; borehole triple breakout failures have been predicted from discrete element modeling under isotropic horizontal stresses without field evidence of their existence in nature. Borehole triple breakouts have not been properly documented in literature, and no extensive field evidence has been published in the oil industry. The evidence for triple breakouts seen in these acoustic and electrical borehole images were examined in detail to discount other possibilities for the origin of the observed features.

Speaker Biography

Javier A. Franquet has 13 years of Rock Mechanics experience in the Oil and Gas industry, and has a B. Sc. in Mechanical Engineering from Simon Bolivar University – Venezuela, a M. Sc. in Petroleum Engineering from Texas A&M University, and a M. Sc. in Reservoir Geosciences and Engineering from IFP School - France. Javier started his career in 1996 as a Geomechanical Researcher at Intevep, the PDVSA research and technology center in Venezuela. Then, he jointed Baker Hughes in 2004 to develop the Geomechanics business and support advanced acoustic log processing in the Middle East, based in Abu Dhabi. He has been involved in multi-disciplinary projects related to rock mechanics in many regions of the world. Javier has rock mechanics laboratory experience and formation evaluation skills for diverse geomechanical applications in the petroleum industry. He authored several papers in SPE, SPWLA, ARMA, and NARMS. Javier is currently working as Sr. Geoscientist for Baker Hughes Geoscience and Applications Engineering under Drilling & Evaluation product lines in Houston.