leak off

1. vb. [Drilling]
The magnitude of pressure exerted on a formation that causes fluid to be forced into the formation. The fluid may be flowing into the pore spaces of the rock or into cracks opened and propagated into the formation by the fluid pressure. This term is normally associated with a test to determine the strength of the rock, commonly called a pressure integrity test (PIT) or a leakoff test (LOT). During the test, a real-time plot of injected fluid versus fluid pressure is plotted. The initial stable portion of this plot for most wellbores is a straight line, within the limits of the measurements. The leakoff is the point of permanent deflection from that straight portion. The well designer must then either adjust plans for the well to this leakoff pressure, or if the design is sufficiently conservative, proceed as planned.
Alternate Form: leakoff