Cement sheath is a critical barrier for maintaining well integrity. Formation of micro-annulus due to volume shrinkage and/or pressure/temperature changes is the major challenge in achieving good hydraulic seal. Expansion of cement after the placement is a promising solution to this problem. Expanding cement can potentially close micro-annulus and further achieve pre-stress condition because of the confinement. Primary aim of this paper is to investigate mechanical integrity of different pre-stressed cement system under loading condition.
To achieve the objectives, finite element modelling approach was employed. Three dimensional computer models consisting of liner, cement sheath, and casing were developed. Pre-stress condition was generated by modelling contact interference at the cement-casing interface. Three cement (ductile, moderately ductile, and brittle) were considered for simulation cases. Wellbore and annulus pressure were applied. Resultant, radial, hoop, and maximum shear stresses were investigated at the cement-pipe interface to assess mechanical integrity. For comparison purpose, similar simulations were conducted using cement sheath without pre-stress and cement system representing uniform volume shrinkage and presence micro-annulus.
For constant wellbore pressure, the radial stresses observed in all three types of cement system were practically similar and decreased as pre-stress was increased. Hoop stress also reduced with increase in compressive pre-load. However, their absolute values were distinct for different cement types. These results indicate that cement system with compressive pre-load can notably reduce the risk of radial crack failure by providing compensatory compressive stress. However, on the contrary, the maximum shear stress developed at cement-pipe interface, increased because of pre-load. This can compromise the mechanical integrity by reducing the safety margin on shear failure. Thus, the selection of expansive cement should be made after carefully weighing reduced risk of radial failure/debonding against the increased risks of shear failure.
This paper provides novel information on expanding cement from the perspective of mechanical stresses and integrity. Modelling approach discussed in this work, can be used to estimate amount of pre-stress required for a selected cement system under anticipated wellbore loads.
Cement is a key element for successful drilling and completing of a well. From oil and gas wells to geothermal applications, cement is a major material ensuring zonal isolation. With an increase in global energy needs and an expected uptick in drilling and plugging and abandonment activities, evaluating and understanding cement properties is crucial, since these properties are used in various engineering designs and calculations. The objective of this paper is to present how Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) can be used to understand the cement hydration process and the development of key properties such as strength and porosity. NMR applications for cement include determination of porosity, water interactions, identification of hydration stages and C-S-H gel development with curing time. Since water is present in all cement slurries, NMR can potentially help to understand microstructural changes in cement during curing. Data from more than 600 cement specimens cured for more than a year are compiled. Standard cement properties such as UCS (unconfined compressive strength) are compared with NMR responses. In this paper, we document cement hydration and porosity changes through NMR measurements in samples with five different recipes. Our study also confirms a strong correlation between NMR response and cement strength.
The key objective of this study was to develop a high resolution wellbore stability model for planned highly inclined development wells of an ultra-deepwater field through integrating geological, geophysical, petrophysical and drilling data to design optimized drilling mud weight window.
This study describes a customized high resolution wellbore stability modelling process for development wells in ultra-deepwater setting, where shale and sandstone have different pore pressure and stress magnitudes. Un-calibrated and calibrated seismic velocities along with offset well data were used to generate the high resolution pore pressure model for the overburden shale section. Laboratory based geo-mechanical tests, petrophysical logs and offset well events were integrated for the estimation of sub surface stresses and rock mechanical properties for overburden shale and sandstone. Subsequently, separate wellbore stability model was built to estimate the shear failure gradient for overburden shale and sandstone.
This study suggests that the mud weight (MW) window in the overburden is primarily governed by two parameters – (i) sand-shale pressure equilibrium state, and (ii) stress anisotropy. The intervals where the sand and shale are not in pressure equilibrium state (i.e. shale pressure > sand pressure), the minimum MW requirement is defined by either pore pressure or shear failure gradient (SFG) of shale formation. Whereas, maximum limit is marked by fracture gradient of relatively less pressured sand formation. Therefore, in such intervals mud weight window becomes much narrower (~1 ppg) than those intervals where sand and shale is in pressure equilibrium (~1.6 ppg). This study also highlights the increase of minimum MW requirement (SFG) in some intervals having relatively higher stress anisotropy. The minimum MW requirement within the main reservoir section having thin intra-reservoir shale is controlled by the SFG of the sand formation, as strength is lower in the reservoir sand than intra-reservoir shale. Results show the importance of high resolution modelling in order to capture pressure uncertainty, thin sands, sand/shale pressure equilibrium state, stress anisotropy and its effects in defining the optimum mud weight window. Based on analysis, further risk zonation was done to highlights intervals prone to wellbore collapse and mud loss.
This paper illustrates how the integrated high resolution wellbore stability modeling would help in optimum mud weight planning for highly deviated / horizontal wells to minimize the drilling risks and non-productive time (NPT), especially for challenging field development settings (deepwater, ultra-deepwater, high stress, High pressure High temperature).
Ibrahim Mohamed, Mohamed (Colorado School of Mines) | Salah, Mohamed (Khalda Petroleum) | Coskuner, Yakup (Colorado School of Mines) | Ibrahim, Mazher (Apache Corp.) | Pieprzica, Chester (Apache Corp.) | Ozkan, Erdal (Colorado School of Mines)
A fracability model integrating the rock elastic properties, fracture toughness and confining pressure is presented in this paper. Tensile and compressive strength tests are conducted to define the rock-strength. Geomechanical rock properties derived from analysis of full-wave sonic logs and core samples are combined to develop models to verify the brittleness and fracability indices. An improved understanding of the brittleness and fracability indices and reservoir mechanical properties is offered and valuable insight into the optimization of completion and hydraulic fracturing design is provided. The process of screening hydraulic fracturing candidates, selecting desirable hydraulic fracturing intervals, and identifying sweet spots within each prospect reservoir are demonstrated.
Lau, Chee Hen (Schlumberger) | Duong, Anh (Schlumberger) | Taoutaou, Salim (Schlumberger) | Kumar, Avinash Kishore (PETRONAS Carigali Sdn. Bhd.) | Ahmad, Khairunnisa Bt Abg (PETRONAS Carigali Sdn. Bhd.) | Jain, Pankaj (PETRONAS Carigali Sdn. Bhd.) | Amin, Remy Azrai M (PETRONAS Carigali Sdn. Bhd.) | Toha, Rozaidi (PETRONAS Carigali Sdn. Bhd.)
In 2018, an operator in Malaysia completed a sidetrack campaign consisting of injector wells. These wells were planned for maximum productivity via sustainable wellbore zonal isolation. The presence of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) in these wells elevated concern about the zonal isolation of cement across the interval. Moreover, for an injector well, the cement must exhibit resilient properties by design of enhanced mechanical properties to provide long-term isolation based on a cyclic wellbore. An advanced slurry system was designed that enabled the set cement to manifest superior properties in three parameters—corrosion resistance against CO2, flexibility against wellbore stress changes, and expansion to mitigate microannuli.
The design of the slag-based flexible cement system with expanding additive (slag-flex) considered all three parameters in the fit-for-purpose application of a resilient and flexible expansive cement system in a CO2-rich well. The system’s mechanical properties, such as Young’s Modulus, Poisson’s Ratio, and tensile strength, were verified with laboratory-scale testing and validation against stress analysis software to confirm on the resilient and flexible properties. The laboratory testing result demonstrated the improved properties of the system, including high tensile strength and low Young’s modulus. Furthermore, the reduced water content of the system decreases the permeability of set cement and thus increases resistance towards corrosive substance such as CO2.
For certain cases in the past, two separate slurry systems had to be designed—a lead slurry with CO2-resistant properties and a tail slurry with flexible and resilient properties. Often, several issues arose from this practice, including complex logistics due to cement silo blend arrangement and complexity during job execution. Hence, this new system presents a novel idea and methodology that will deliver value to the oilfield industry by integrating CO2 resistance, flexibility and expansion properties in a single slurry system.
The system was successfully pumped in wells in Malaysia; no sustained casing pressure has been recorded to date, and wells have been delivered to their intended zonal isolation requirements without compromising well design and overall integrity. This is an innovative application of this type of cement system in the region, and the long-term zonal isolation and well integrity assurance in these and future wells have the potential to save millions of dollars in remedial work. The cement system is currently recognized as the default technology for CO2-rich injector wells in Malaysia.
Saha, Sankhajit (Baker Hughes, a GE company) | Gariya, Bhuwan Chandra (Hindustan Oil Exploration Company Ltd) | Panda, Debabrata (Hindustan Oil Exploration Company Ltd) | Perumalla, Satya (Baker Hughes, a GE company) | Podder, Tuhin (Baker Hughes, a GE company) | Thanvi, Shrikant (Baker Hughes, a GE company) | Deshpande, Chandrashekhar (Baker Hughes, a GE company)
Drilling through the thick shale sequence (Oligocene to Paleocene age) of Cauvery offshore showed severe wellbore instability in the past due to incompatible mud program that increased overall operational cost. While new high-angle sidetrack development wells had been planned, three major challenges need to be addressed. First, proper mud weight recommendation for preventing mechanical instability; second, introduction of a cost-effective mud system preventing time-sensitive failure; and finally, mitigating the environmental impact factor of the mud system.
Geomechanical modelling and Hole Stability analysis had been performed based on available dataset. An optimized mud weight (MW) program was developed based on the analysis. Considering the time-dependent failure characteristics of the shale and overall cost effectiveness, just modifying the mud weight does not address all of the challenges delineated above. Consequently, special "high-performance water-based mud system (HPWBM)" was designed instead of oil-based mud (OBM). This HPWBM was formulated based on the nature of shales encountered. While drilling, real-time geomechanics further facilitated controlled drilling conditions and optimized the mud program.
The well-based geomechanical model indicated a hydrostatic pore pressure gradient in the region. The relative magnitude of three principle stresses showed a normal fault stress regime and maximum horizontal stress (SHmax) azimuth appeared to be nearly aligned to the N-S direction. Hole Stability analysis showed that a minimum of 12 ppg mud weight was required to drill the 8½" section. The sidetrack holes had a maximum inclination of 75 to 77 degrees. Different polymers and bridging agents were added to prepare the customized HPWBM in order to address shale instability and formation damage due to overbalance. Real-time monitoring during drilling operation utilized logging while drilling (LWD) log data, drilling parameters and mud logging data to promote smooth drilling operations. Through systematic planning and execution, the high-angle sidetrack holes had been drilled with zero non-productive time (NPT) in terms of well bore stability. More than 50% cost reduction was achieved on the mud system.
An integrated solution that includes pre-drill geomechanics, HPWBM system design and real-time well monitoring helped to reduce the risks due to model uncertainties while drilling high angle wells through the thick shale section. This approach helped to reduce significant operational cost with an improved success rate.
Baghban Salehi, Mahsa (Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Research Center of Iran) | Mousavi Moghadam, Asefe (Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Research Center of Iran) | Jarrahian, Khosro (Heriot-Watt University)
Preformed Particle Gel (PPG) is an appropriate solution for conformance control and managing water production in low permeable reservoirs. Rheological behavior evaluation of these deformable particles is a key factor in designing composition to achieve the best conformance control treatment due to the viscoelastic behavior of these particles along with their swelling. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate the network parameters of PPGs through swelling tests, rheology and determining its role in maintaining their structural strength. Several PPG hydrogels were prepared by varying the concentrations of polyacrylamide and Cr(OAc)3 as copolymer and crosslinker, respectively. The characterization of these hydrogels was performed using Scanning Electron Micrographs (SEM), Electron Dispersion X-ray analysis (EDX), Environmental Scanning Electron Microscopy (ESEM), ThermoGravimetric Analysis (TGA), and Differential ThermoGravimetry (DTG). The correlation between reaction conditions and network parameters of polymer networks such as, molecular weight of the polymer chain between two neighboring crosslinks, crosslink density, and size fraction have been determined. The swelling of the hydrogels was found through the Fickian diffusion mechanism. In this case, the diffusion rate of water in the 3D structure of the hydrogel is less than the relaxation of the polymeric chain, resulting in a significant increase in the PPG particles volume. As PPG was invaded such as in the reservoir by formation water or oil, repeatedly, the sensitivity factor was measured to ensure the swelling in the electrolyte solution. Based on rheological tests, the dynamic modulus of the swelled PPG was strongly dependent on the concentration and consequently network parameters. Also, through the optimization of the network parameters, the appropriate composition from the point of view of strength (complex modulus of 4×104 Pa) and salt sensitivity of 0.5 was presented. In addition, the results of the TGA/DTG test demonstrated the thermal stability of the sample was in temperature range 245 to 340°C. The determination and analysis of the network parameter is the novel technique for predicting the hydrogel performance in porous media and investigating its strength under harsh reservoir conditions. In other words, determination of the network parameter can be a shortcut to ensure the success of the gel performance in porous media.
The goal was to search for a replacement of CaCl2 which presents the most widely used accelerator for oil well cement used in cold and arctic environments and sometimes in deepwater drilling. For this purpose, novel calcium silicate hydrate (C-S-H) nanoparticles were synthesized and tested. The C-S-H was synthesized by the precipitation method in an aqueous solution of polycarboxylate (PCE) comb polymer which is widely used as concrete superplasticizer. The resulting C-S-H-PCE suspension was tested in the UCA instrument as seeding material to initiate the crystallization of cement and thus accelerate cement hydration as well as shorten the thickening time at low temperature. It was found that in PCE solution, C-S-H precipitates first as nano-sized droplets (Ø ~20 - 50 nm) exhibiting a PCE shell. Following a rare, non-classical nucleation mechanism, the globules convert slowly to nanofoils (HR TEM images: l ~ 50 nm, d ~ 5 nm) which present excellent seeding materials for the formation of C-S-H from the silicate phases C3S/C2S present in cement. Thickening time tests performed at + 4 °C in an atmospheric consistometer revealed stronger acceleration than from CaCl2 while very low slurry viscosity was maintained, as was evidenced from rheological measurements. Accelerated strength development was checked on UCA cured at + 4 °C and under pressure, especially the wait on cement time was significantly reduced. Furthermore, combinations of C-S-H-PCE and HEC as well as an ATBS-based sulfonated fluid loss polymer were tested. It was found that this C-S-H- based nanocomposite is fully compatible with these additives. The novel accelerator based on a C-S-H-PCE nanocomposite solves the problems generally associated with CaCl2, namely undesired viscosity increase, poor compatibility with other additives and corrosiveness against steel pipes and casing.
With the current applications of CO2 in oil wells for enhanced oil recovery (EOR) and sequestration purposes, the dissolution of CO2 in the formation brine and the formation of carbonic acid is a major cause of cement damage. This degradation can lead to non-compliance with the functions of the cement as it changes compressive and shear bond strengths and porosity and permeability of cement. It becomes imperative to understand the degradation mechanism of cement and methods to reduce the damage such as the addition of special additives to improve the resistance of cement against acid attack. Hence, the primary objective of this study is to investigate the effects of hydroxyapatite on cement degradation.
To investigate the impacts of hydroxyapatite additive on oil well cement performance, two Class H cement slurry formulations (baseline/HS and hydroxyapatite containing cement/HHO) were compared after exposure to acidic environments. To evaluate the performance of the formulations, samples were prepared and aged in high-pressure high-temperature (HPHT) autoclave containing 2% brine saturated with mixed gas containing methane and carbon dioxide. Tests were performed at different temperatures (38 to 221°C), pressures (21 to 63 MPa) and CO2 concentrations (10 to 100%). After aging for 14 days at constant pressure and temperature, the samples were recovered and their bond and compressive strength, porosity and permeability were measured and compared with those of unaged samples.
The results demonstrated that adding hydroxyapatite limits carbonation. Baseline samples that do not contain hydroxyapatite carbonated and consequently their compressive strength, porosity, permeability, and shear bond strength significantly changed after aging while hydroxyapatite-containing samples displayed a limited change in their properties. However, hydroxyapatite-containing samples exhibit high permeability due to the formation of microcracks after exposure to carbonic acid at high temperature (221°C). The formation of microcracks could be attributed to thermal retrogression or other phenomena that cause the expansion of the cement.
This article sheds light on the application of hydroxyapatite as a cement additive to improve the carbonic acid resistance of oil well cement. It presents hydroxyapatite containing cement formulation that has acceptable slurry properties for field applications and better carbonic acid resistance compared to conventional cement.
Wenquan, Tang (Sinopec Research Institute of Petroleum Engineering) | Chao, Xiao (Sinopec Research Institute of Petroleum Engineering) | Yuzhi, Xue (Sinopec Research Institute of Petroleum Engineering) | Tian Lu, Zhang Hongbao (Sinopec Research Institute of Petroleum Engineering) | Chengcheng, Niu (Sinopec Research Institute of Petroleum Engineering) | Ruiyao, Wang (Sinopec Research Institute of Petroleum Engineering) | Qingshui, He (Sinopec Research Institute of Petroleum Engineering) | Lingjun, Kong (Sinopec Research Institute of Petroleum Engineering) | Zhifa, Wang (Sinopec Research Institute of Petroleum Engineering) | Haoya, Liu (Sinopec Research Institute of Petroleum Engineering) | Yan, Li (Sinopec Research Institute of Petroleum Engineering)
In order to solve the problem of severe borehole instability while drilling in the S oilfield, technical research on drilling fluids has been carried out. Firstly, the paper analyzes the mechanism and technical difficulties of borehole instability in depth. Aiming at the reasons of borehole instability, the reasonable drilling fluid flowrate was defined by considering hydraulic erosion, drilling fluid plugging property, inhibition, etc, and the anti-sloughing drilling fluid system was optimized by way of strengthening the plugging and inhibiting properties of drilling fluid system. This technology has been applied in more than 40 wells in the S oilfield, the problem of borehole instability in the fractured formation was solved successfully, and the drilling speed was increased by 25.3%, which greatly reduced the downhole complexity and achieved remarkable application effect.