API Casing Design Safety Factors Guide

Table of Contents

In General, The API Casing design safety factors range from 1.1 to 1.6. This article will discuss their values considerations for Collapse, tension, Burst, triaxial, and compression. This article is a part of Our Casing Design Guide For drilling Engineers.

API Casing Design Safety Factors
API Casing Design Safety Factor

Exact loading values are challenging to predict throughout the life of the well. For example, if mud of 75 PCF is on the outside of the casing during the running of the casing, this value cannot be expected to remain constant for the entire life of the well. The mud will deteriorate (check this paper about mud deterioration) with time and will reduce this value to perhaps a saltwater value of 64 PCF.

Therefore, calculations of burst values assuming a column of mud at 75 pcf are not realistic throughout the life of the well. If the initial casing design is marginal, then the casing may burst over some time in the event of a gas leak.

Why We Need a Safety Factor?

Casing Design is not an exact technique because of the uncertainties in determining the actual loadings ( which is related to Casing Design Loads Cases) as well as the deterioration of the casing itself due to corrosion and wear. We use API Casing Design Safety factors to allow for such uncertainties and to ensure that the rated performance of the casing is always greater than any expected loading.

In other words, a chosen safety factor value always downrates the casing strength.

API Casing Design Safety Factors Determination

The safety factor is determined by the ratio of the body resistance to the magnitude of the applied pressure. Below is the API SF for collapse, tension, burst, Triaxial, and Compression calculations.

  • API SF for Casing Collapse Pressure design: 1.125
  • API Safety factor for Casing Tension Strength design: 1.6
  • API SF for Casing Burst: 1.1
  • API Safety factor for Casing Triaxial Design: 1.25
  • API SF for Casing Compression Design: 1.2

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