Due to the uncertainty of formation properties and improper wellbore stability analysis methods, the input parameters are often uncertain and the required mud weight to prevent wellbore collapse is too large, which might cause an incorrect result. However, the uncertainty evaluation of input
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Due to the uncertainty of formation properties and improper wellbore stability analysis methods, the input parameters are often uncertain and the required mud weight to prevent wellbore collapse is too large, which might cause an incorrect result. However, the uncertainty evaluation of input parameters and their influence on safe mud weight window (SMWW) is seldom investigated. Therefore, the present paper aims to propose an uncertain evaluation method to evaluate the uncertainty of SMWW. The reliability assessment theory was introduced, and the uncertain SMWW model was proposed by involving the tolerable breakout, the Mogi-Coulomb (MG-C) criterion and the reliability assessment theory. The influence of uncertain parameters on wellbore collapse, wellbore fracture and SMWW were systematically simulated and investigated by utilizing Monte Carlo simulation. Finally, the field observation of well SC-101X was reported and discussed. The results indicated that the MG-C criterion and tolerable breakout is recommended for wellbore stability analysis. The higher the coefficient of variance is, the higher the level of uncertainty is, the larger the impact on SMWW will be, and the higher the risk of well kick, wellbore collapse and fracture will be. The uncertainty of basic parameters has a very significant impact on SMWW, and it cannot be ignored. For well SC-101X, the SMWW predicted by analytical solution is 0.9921–1.6020 g/cm3
, compared to the SMWW estimated by the reliability assessment method, the reliability assessment method tends to give a very narrow SMWW of 1.0756–1.0935 g/cm3
and its probability is only 80%, and the field observation for well kick and wellbore fracture verified the analysis results. For narrow SMWW formation drilling, some kinds of advanced technology, such as the underbalanced drilling (UBD), managed pressure drilling (MPD), micro-flow drilling (MFD) and wider the SMWW, can be utilized to maintain drilling safety.