washout | Energy Glossary

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1. n. []

An enlarged region of a wellbore. A washout in an openhole section is larger than the original hole size or size of the drill bit. Washout enlargement can be caused by excessive bit jet velocity, soft or unconsolidated formations, in-situ rock stresses, mechanical damage by BHA components, chemical attack and swelling or weakening of shale as it contacts fresh water. Generally speaking, washouts become more severe with time. Appropriate mud types, mud additives and increased mud density can minimize washouts.

See: drill bitfloat shoeguide shoejet velocity

2. n. []

A hole in a pressure-containing component caused by erosion. A washout is relatively common where a high-velocity stream of dry gas carries abrasive sand. The severity generally decreases with sand content, velocity and liquid content.