Differential Pressure Sticking

Definition - What does Differential Pressure Sticking mean?

Differential Pressure Sticking is the problem that occurs when a well is drilled with a higher wellbore pressure than the formation pressure. For most of the drilling organizations, if such a problem occurs, it involves great amount of financial cost and time. The sticking force which gets applied on the drill string is the product of differential pressure between the reservoir & wellbore, and the area on which differential pressure is acting.

Petropedia explains Differential Pressure Sticking

Consider the diagram below to understand the condition of Differential Pressure Sticking during drilling through drill string or drill pipe in a wellbore. The small black arrows in the diagram show the pressures acting on the drill pipe from the wellbore and the red arrows show the pressure exerted on the drill pipe from the reservoir formation and the larger black arrow represents net force on the drill pipe which is pushing it into the walls of the wellbore and creating a Differential Pressure Sticking situation.

During the Differential Pressure Sticking condition, a driller experiences:

  • Increased torque and drag on rotation of drill pipe.
  • Increased forces, pressure reading and noise levels during rotation.
  • Drilling fluid is demanded by the machines continuously without interruptions.

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