Design and Application of a New High Performance Lightweight Thermal Cement

Taylor, Jared (Sanjel Energy Services Inc.) | Iremonger, Simon (Sanjel Energy Services Inc.)


Lightweight cements offer significant performance benefits over conventional higher density cement blends, including; improved mechanical properties and stress resilience, lower thermal conductivity, lower ECDs and improved returns to surface and potentially lower risk of casing collapse due to trapped annular pressure. However, a number of challenges exist in developing lightweight blends for thermal applications specifically concerning achieving short wait on cement at low bottom hole static temperature while also ensuring long-term chemical and mechanical stability at high temperatures. Here we report the development of a new lightweight thermal cement by utilizing hollow glass microspheres. Further fine-tuning of the desired slurry properties including controllable thickening times, zero free water, low fluid loss and short WOC was achieved through cost-effective additive adjustment, and the mechanical properties of the cement we validated by long term curing at both ambient and high temperaures (340 °C). To ensure that the high performance achieved in the controlled lab environment was maintained once deployed at full-scale field level an extensive QA/QC program was undertaken. This process involved collecting dry bulk field samples and confirming performance (thickening time, free water, rheology and fluid loss) prior to every job. After initial optimization of the blending process, a 100% success rate was achieved over the course of a more than a twenty jobs. Overall, a high quality lightweight thermal cement with excellent long-term mechanical properties was successfully developed and deployed.