Considerations for Thermal Well Design

Course Description

Tubular structures in thermal applications are subject to unique design challenges that cannot be addressed with conventional methods. In conventional design, the structure “fails” when thermally induced loads yield the pipe, but thermal wells often must operate under such conditions and industry experience demonstrates that wells can do so reliably. Designing a structure that remains stable requires knowledge of strain-based design: the distinction between strength and stiffness, the effects of variability in strength and stiffness, load path dependencies, post-yield material behavior, and strain localization. Collateral considerations for resistance to environmental effects, geomechanical loads and production management can also challenge intuition developed in conventional well design. In this course, participants will learn to “think strain, not stress” for well structure design and gain exposure to other aspects of thermal well design.

Learning Objectives:

This course provides an introduction to subsurface well design for thermally stimulated wells, including discussion of why design approaches for thermal wells must differ from conventional approaches. The concept of strain-based design will be explored, focusing first on the design needs for a successful thermal well design and second on raising awareness of other situations where casing loads can exceed yield (e.g. wells passing through unstable geology or producing from compacting reservoirs).


  • Mechanical properties for thermal OCTG
  • Casing and Liner design considerations
  • Connections for thermal stimulation
  • Considerations for environmental exposure
  • Production management topics pertinent to liner design

All topics will include discussion of real-world examples to augment discussion. Participants will leave with an increased understanding of design fundamentals for thermal wells and be able to evaluate the suitability of and required inputs for a design basis for casing in thermal applications.

Learning Level

Beginner to Intermediate

Course Length

1 Day

Why Attend

To gain a basic understanding of the unique design challenges present in thermal well application, the design differences from HPHT, conventional, and other unconventional applications and inform what further training should be considered to develop competencies in thermal well design.

Who Attends

This course is for anyone that would like to expand their knowledge and skill-set in thermal well design. This may include:

  • Executives or management looking to better understand the technical challenges faced by front-line thermal well design staff.
  • Current thermal well designers that wish to improve or refine the design bases they are currently using; and
  • Those with training or experience in conventional design that are new to thermal well design and integrity, either recent graduates or those coming into thermal projects from other applications.


0.8 CEUs (Continuing Education Units) are awarded for this 1-day course.

Special Requirements

None; however, knowledge of conventional casing design practices and basic understanding of the thermal well environment would benefit the participant.

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be received no later than 14 days prior to the course start date. Cancellations made after the 14-day window will not be refunded.  Refunds will not be given due to no show situations.

Training sessions attached to SPE conferences and workshops follow the cancellation policies stated on the event information page.  Please check that page for specific cancellation information.

SPE reserves the right to cancel or re-schedule courses at will.  Notification of changes will be made as quickly as possible; please keep this in mind when arranging travel, as SPE is not responsible for any fees charged for cancelling or changing travel arrangements.

We reserve the right to substitute course instructors as necessary.

Full regional cancellation policies can be found at the Cancellation Policy page within the SPE Training Course Catalog.


Dr. Trent Kaiser has made many contributions to the development of strain-based design methodologies for unconventional resources, including thermal wells, tight gas and oil, and compacting formations. His publishing record includes seven peer reviewed papers and numerous conference papers, and he also holds more than 30 patent grants. Trent served in various roles in the Canadian Heavy Oil Association in the past, including that of President in 2008/2009. He is a lead developer and presenter in industry training courses for the unconventional resource industry on topics ranging from well structures, strain-based design, and flow control and optimisation. During his professional career, he has developed analytical components of connection qualification programs and formulated methodologies to integrate those components with laboratory testing. His work on casing structures has included assessment of formation-induced deformations of casing strings, and development of algorithms to accurately characterize well deformations from casing inspection logs. Trent holds B.Sc. (1983), M.Sc. (1987) and Ph.D. (1991) degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alberta. 

Mark Chartier is the Manager, Consulting Engineering, at Noetic and is responsible for day-to-day operations and leadership of Noetic’s casing design discipline . Leveraging fundamental engineering design principles, numerical analysis techniques, and experimental methods, his work has contributed to significant evolution of strain-based design methodologies in terms of both technical rigour and workflow efficiency. Mark has further led the development of novel evaluation bases for assessing cement structural performance in severe service applications.
Mark is the author of several SPE technical papers, has provided many non-papered presentations at industry events, and co-instructs Noetic’s strain-based design training courses. He was a contributor to Canadian DACC IRP Volume 25 (Recommended Practice for Primary Cementing) and is a current member on the committee for CSA Z624 (Well Integrity). Mark holds a B.Sc. Mining Engineering (2006) and an MBA (2018), with a specialization in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, both at the University of Alberta.