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IADC/SPE 98869

Finite Element Analysis Couples Casing and Cement Designs for HP/HT Wells in
East Texas
J. Heathman, Halliburton, and F.E. Beck, Gastar Exploration
Copyright 2006, IADC/SPE Drilling Conference
This paper was prepared for presentation at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference held in Miami,
Florida, U.S.A., 2123 February 2006.
This paper was selected for presentation by an IADC/SPE Program Committee following
review of information contained in a proposal submitted by the author(s). Contents of the
paper, as presented, have not been reviewed by the International Association of Drilling
Contractors or Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to correction by the author(s).
The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any position of the IADC, SPE, their
officers, or members. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper
for commercial purposes without the written consent of the International Association of Drilling
Contractors and Society of Petroleum Engineers is prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print
is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words; illustrations may not be copied. The
abstract must contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper was
presented. Write Librarian, SPE, P.O. Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083-3836, U.S.A.,
fax 1.972.952.9435.

Wells drilled into the deep Bossier formations of the east
Texas Hilltop Field encounter low-permeability, gas-bearing
formations at over 15,000-psi pressure and 400F
temperatures. The wells require high-pressure fracture
stimulations and extreme production drawdown to produce at
economic rates. Wellbore temperature variations occurring
between stimulation and production operations are extreme.
The gases in these formations are also highly corrosive. Two
of the first three wells completed in this area failed from
casing collapse during completion operations or within the
first few weeks of production.
Finite element analysis (FEA) modeling coupled with logderived formation properties confirmed that the extreme
stresses applied to these wells rendered previous casings and
cement sheaths under-designed. Using an approach that
combined formation, casing, and cement mechanical
properties into a system, the wells were redesigned. Detailed
thermal and mechanical modeling of all wellbore operations
resulted in redesigned casings and a cement sheath more
applicable to the extreme loads being exerted. Minor changes
were also implemented to the job placement procedures to
lessen the loads placed on the cement sheath.
High-strength, corrosion-resistant casings and specialty
cement designs were successfully used on the first two wells.
Since those wells have been on production, additional wells
have been drilled and completed using incrementallysimplified designs. All the wells have withstood multiple
stimulations at treating pressures exceeding 14,000 psi,
production test drawdowns at the perforations of over 13,000
psi, and temperature changes estimated at more than 300F.
The wells have withstood these extreme pressure and
temperature changes without failure of either the casing or
cement sheath.

The cement and casing designs employed have proven

competent for the high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT)
conditions encountered. The successful design methodology
couples well-specific casing and cement designs into a system
capable of surviving the extreme pressure and temperature
conditions imparted on the well during stimulation and
production operations of deep, low-permeability HPHT gas
Construction of deep gas wells involves a large capital
expenditure, and they are typically prolific wells. In addition,
remedial work can be very costly, not only in terms of lost
production, but also in the cost of materials and services
needed to perform the work. Catastrophic well failure,
although rare, does occur and can doom remaining reserves in
place when it happens. Hence, there is a large incentive to do
things right the first time.
The traditional focus of the cementing job of designing
adequate slurry properties and getting the slurry properly
placed still applies, but that is only the beginning. As these
wells are completed and produced, the cement sheath is
designed to survive extreme stresses. Wellbore longevity will
depend not only on how the cement sheath is designed to
impart maximum sealing properties, but also on how it
behaves when coupled to the casing and formation during all
well operations. All operations and their associated timing
with respect to the completeness of the cement hydration are
fair game for investigation, including:
Continued drilling operations (in the case of intermediate
Completion operations (e.g. completion fluid
circulations and stimulation treatments).
Well testing (e.g. pressure testing, severe drawdown
tests, etc.).
Access to various annuli for pressure control during
thermal changes.
The effects of gradual drawdown during long-term
Prior well designs in the Hilltop area consisted of what will be
referred to as first-through-third generation designs. The firstgeneration well was completed with a conventional 2-D casing
design. Completion procedures consisted of nothing more than
acidizing the formation and placing the well on production.

This well started producing drilling mud approximately 3

months later, and was subsequently found to have undergone
casing collapse. This was quickly followed with a second well
for which improved tubular designs were employed. This
design did not collapse, but the well failed because of an
insufficient completion methodology.
The third-generation well was designed with a more robust
and presumably adequate casing and cementing program, as
shown in Fig. 1. This casing design was intended to withstand
full evacuation. The wells were cemented, cleaned out with
KCl water, perforated, and multiple formations were
successfully stimulated down casing at 20 bbl/min at over
13,000-psi surface pressure using high-strength proppant.
During the course of post-stimulation flowback at full
drawdown rate and maximum heating, this well also collapsed
in the lower part of the well.
When the current production company acquired the lease
after the three previous wells had failed, a review of the casing
design using a thermodynamic casing analysis model did not
indicate that the casing for the third-generation well had been
under-designed. This observation resulted in speculation about
causes ranging from a faulty coupling or joint of casing,
formation effects, some sort of cement sheath failure, to a
combination of these factors. It appeared that at least one of
the failures occurred in the tieback string just above the
polished-bore assembly. It was also speculated that a trapped
mud pocket might have existed between the cement above the
PBR and the liner top below that subsequently expanded due
to thermal effects when high-rate flow-back and production
started. However, no definitive evidence indicated that any of
this was the case. Subsequent modeling with casing design
software and FEA was never able to determine a cause.
Following the mechanical failure of this well and the
subsequent lack of an obvious cause, or a consensus regarding
the most likely cause(s), this operator elected to step back and
revisit the entire well design. Before drilling another of these
wells, the plan was to perform a detailed analysis of the casing
and its metallurgy, the couplings, and the cement sheath.
Finite Element Analysis
The coupled wellbore modeling was conducted using a
software that has as its core the DIANA finite elemental
analysis program from the Diana Corporation. This software is
a practical wellbore model in the sense that it takes into
account all forces exerted on the cement sheath, casing, and
formations caused by pressure and thermal changes. This
design software was developed over several years and has
proven itself in numerous situations.1-4
In the model, the system composed of the formation
material, cement, and casing are divided into a finite number
of parts, or elements, so that the governing equations can be
solved. When analyzed, each element must satisfy the
relationships and constraints set forth by the user so that a
solution is found. This can enable not only a diagnosis of the
elements, but also a diagnosis of the boundaries between each
layer. Subsequently, the presence and width of microannuli or
cracks resulting from debonding can be predicted.
The radius of the surrounding formation when modeled is
such that far-field stresses remain unchanged. However, nearfield stresses can affect not only wellbore elements but also

IADC/SPE 98869

the competency of the formation itself. This model

accommodates all wellbore operations, as well as reservoir
changes caused by pressure drawdown and formation
subsidence. Interpretation of modeling results can produce a
range of solutionsranging from simple modifications to
operational procedures or wellbore design to a complex
cement sheath redesign, or any combination thereof.
Problem Setup and Initial Analysis
Table 1 and Figs. 1 through 6 provide a substantial portion of
the initial well design, formation, and operational event data
used in the FEA model. The new casing program, herein
referred to as the fourth-generation design, shown in Fig. 7,
addressed metallurgical and well delivery constraints of the
previous design. Because CO2 and H2S had been observed in
previous wells, with as much as 400 ppm and 14%
respectively. Additionally, a larger production casing diameter
was desired (than had been used previously) to accommodate
more aggressive stimulation treatments and production rates.
Before beginning the FEA work, a careful design analysis of
the casing was performed using a 3-D casing design model to
ensure that the design was robust enough for the intended
severe well testing program. The design limit plot of Fig. 8 is
a result of that work. Heavy-wall casing, premium couplings,
and super-alloy metallurgy became a part of these HTHP
Model Setup and Initial Analysis
Concerns regarding casing design were alleviated because the
new design enabled greater flexibility in withstanding severe
conditions during formation testing and stimulation treatment.
The next step was reinitiation of the cement sheath
examination. Using the new casing design as the basis for all
modeling, the original cement sheath design was first
examined to establish a new baseline case. Mechanical
properties of all cements modeled were determined using a
triaxial load cell at unconfined and various confining loads.
The wellbore was examined at multiple depths, the most
important being in the top of the reservoir sand, just below the
previous casing shoe, and at depths that offset logs indicated
substantial changes in formation lithology, pressures, and insitu stresses. This multiple-depth investigation not only helps
provide an understanding of the cement sheath behavior at
many different conditions, but also can enable a sensitivity
analysis by allowing a review of how the cement is behaving
across the various formations.
Fig. 9 is an example of the remaining capacity summary
associated with each operation. Although numerous depths
were modeled, only the modeling at true vertical depth (TVD)
of 18,000 ft is shown (for brevity). Despite the robust casing
design, multiple failure modes were predicted in the cement
sheath, most noticeably debonding with subsequent
development of a substantial microannulus and shear failure
within the cement matrix. This failure pattern occurred to
varying degrees of severity at all depths of investigation. Even
for those load cases where failure was not predicted, some
remaining capacity predictions could have been interpreted as
being at high risk. Finally, a sensitivity analysis conducted by
varying the values of parameters such as the casing
eccentricity, hole washout, and Mohr-Coulomb parameters

IADC/SPE 98869

indicated the modeled well was extremely sensitive to

relatively small variations in these key variables.
Scenario Improvement
The analysis process at this point consisted of altering the
operational and completion parameters to look further at
model sensitivity and for ways to offset the cement failures
predicted. Improvements were seen by (1) reducing the prefrac pressure drawdown, (2) performing the frac job through
tubing and packer rather than down casing, and (3) altering the
completion plan such that the cement job would be displaced
with brine instead of the previous procedure of displacing it
with the heavy drilling mud and later replacing it with a light
completion brine. While all these changes provided
incremental improvements, only the last change was feasible
for the design of this well.
Fig. 10 provides the remaining capacity summary of the
best-case completion scenario using the existing conventional
cement design. While displacing the cement job with 3% KCl
water would have been the most desirable plan from a
mechanical standpoint, the resulting surface pressures while
displacing the cement would have been substantial. After
working both job simulation models and the FEA program
congruently, it was decided that the best tradeoff for a
displacement fluid was a completion brine no heavier than 13
lb/gal. But this maximum brine density value was contingent
upon the accuracy of the data being placed in the model; thus,
the general idea was still: the lighter the better.
Another advantage of displacing with brine rather than oilbasesd mud (OBM) is that it eliminates the rig time and
expense of cleaning the OBM from the casing prior to
perforating. However, this still placed an allowable limit of no
less than 5,500 psi during the prestimulation drawdown test;
therefore, while improvements would have been gained, shear
failure and debonding were still predicted.
To achieve all the desired goals of this well, the only
alternative was to modify the mechanical properties of the
cement sheath. The positive modifications that were
logistically and economically feasible (as shown in Table 2 as
third-geneation completion procedures) were implemented
from this point forward to minimize the changes required to
the cement sheaths mechanical properties.
New Cement Design
Sensitivity analysis indicated that any new cement design
would have to possess much lower values for Youngs
Modulus and friction angle and higher values for cohesion,
tensile strength, and Poissons ratio. Also, it was obvious that
bulk shrinkage from cement hydration could not be allowed.
Achieving these goals in a lightweight cement is relatively
simple. However, the high solids content of a 19-lb/gal slurry
does not lend itself to becoming essentially an elastic
cement. Foamed cement would have been the easiest cement
in which to achieve the desired mechanical properties, even at
a final downhole density of 19 lb/gal, but foamed cement is
not conducive to an environment that might reach more than
395F bottomhole circulating temperature (BHCT) during
slurry placement. Another option, ground-up recycled tire
rubber, used for many years as a lost-circulation material, was

deemed undesirable for these conditions because it could

degrade with time at high temperature.
To achieve the desired properties, a copolymer elastomer
bead was chosen as a large portion of the cement blend. This
material, in conjunction with a gas-generating additive and
careful selection of other conventional components, provided
the cement mechanical properties needed for the anticipated
stresses. Fig. 11 provides the remaining capacity summary of
the final well design at 18,000 ft. Note that the remaining
capacity for the cement-to-formation debonding prediction is
very low. While this level of risk may be unacceptable in
some situations, repeated runs of the model showed very little
sensitivity to change. In addition, this interval was in the
middle of the long lower Bossier sand that was expected to be
perforated and hydraulically fractured. Analysis did not show
a gas/water contact on previous wells at this depth; therefore,
the risk was considered acceptable. The remaining capacity of
the debonding prediction was considerably higher at other
depths under investigation.
To conclude the analysis, the cement design chosen for
this high-stress HTHP application was subjected to a variety
of tests. Because of a great variance in the specific gravities of
the major components of this blend, concerns emerged
regarding the deblending during pneumatic transfer and
trucking to location, and about the slurrys mixability. Table 3
shows the results of specific gravity checks pulled from the
blend at different times during the handling process, indicating
no significant effects. Slurry mixability was indeed found to
be slow, thus the decision was made to batch-mix this blend
on location.
Flow testing through float equipment for 2 hr at 215
gal/min indicated no issues with float equipment erosion or
plugging. The slurry was then mixed for a yard test and
pumped into a wellbore model cured at 420F. This model
was subjected to pressure and thermal cyclic loads while
monitoring the integrity of the cement-to-casing bond. Fig. 12
shows a cross-section of the model after cycling for which no
debonding or sheath damage was observed, based on
longitudinal pressure testing with water and nitrogen. For
comparison, Fig. 13 shows results for a conventional cement
subjected to the same testing. Note the visible cracks and
debonding that occurred.
All the testing was successful, which instilled confidence
in the team that this blend could be placed and would perform
as designed.
Examination of Shallower (Previous) Casing Strings
After the casing, cementing, and completion designs
associated with the 5-in. production casing had been
thoroughly explored, design analysis progressed to the
acceptability of the 7 5/8- and 9 5/8-in. casings and associated
cement sheaths used previously. The 9 5/8-in. casing was a
full casing string that could provide an annular leak path to
surface. The operation was expected to cover potentially
productive intervals up through the Travis Peak formation. On
the other hand, the entire 7 5/8-in. liner would be covered with
cement during the production cementing operation. As a result
of these scenarios, emphasis was placed on the 9 5/8-in. casing
interval. The primary concern, aside from the same long-term
zonal isolation as the production casing, was the possibility of

sustained casing pressure (SCP) on the 9 5/8-in. casing by the

13 3/8-in. annulus. SCP has been a growing concern of
operators and regulatory agencies alike for both land and
offshore installations.5
FEA Model, 9 5/8-in. Production Casing
As before, the base model for the 9 5/8-in. casing was
established using conventional cementing programs. The
model was set up from the shoe of the 13 3/8-in. casing to the
anticipated depth of this intermediate casing. Four key depths
were chosen for investigation: (1) the shoe of the previous
casing, (2) the bottom of the lead slurry, (3) the top of the tail
slurry, and (4) total depth (TD) for this interval. Table 4
provides a summary of the basic assumptions used in the
model, and Figs. 14 and 15 detail the results of this model for
the lead and tail cements. Several modes of failure are
displayed for both lead and tail cements; of most interest is the
unrecoverable plastic deformation in the cement structure. The
cement-to-formation debonding occurred at all depths of
investigation and for all load cases. Both predicted failure
modes could lead to SCP at the surface during the operating
life of this well.
Ensuring the Integrity of the 9 5/8-in. Cement Sheath
As with the production casing, the first attempt to improve the
remaining capacity was to look for (1) events that could be
modified or removed that cause prestressing of the cement
sheath, and (2) potential modifications to the completion
design or order of events that will not significantly change the
cement design. In this case, the drilling program did not allow
for any changes that would prevent cement sheath damage.
Consequently, the cement design would have to be modified.
The obvious first step was to prevent bulk hydration
shrinkage. This modification would be achieved as before by
using a gas-generating additive in both cement blends. Note
that this only prevented shrinkage; no bulk expansion of the
set cement was created nor necessary.
Subsequent runs indicated no further modifications were
necessary for the cement mechanical properties for the initial
conditions assumed. However, because of the possibility of
encountering zones with higher pore pressures, further
sensitivity analysis using the assumed higher values and
associated mud weights indicated that the nonshrinking
version of the recommended water-extended, lightweight lead
cement could be fairly sensitive to shear deterioration.
Imparting bulk expansion was not the solution to this potential
problem. However, minor adjustments were made to the ratio
of primary components in the blend to affect the MohrCoulomb failure variables and the Youngs Modulus. This
final analysis is provided in Figs. 16 and 17.
Finally, unlike the production casing analysis, the goals of
the well-life analysis were carried out for this casing string
through some very simple modifications to the cement blend
using conventional additives.
On-Location Delivery
Refer once again to Table 2 for the operational procedures
applied to the first well. As expected, the slurry mixability was
slow. A sustained rate of over 4 bbl/min while mixing on-thefly would not have been possible; thus, the conservative

IADC/SPE 98869

decision to batch-mix the 19-lb/gal elastomer slurry was

beneficial. Because of the high concentration of copolymer
beads and other components in this blend, rheology
measurement with a rotational viscometer using a
conventional R1/B1 rotor/bob combination was not possible.
A B2 bob was found to work somewhat better, but
experiments showed that the new yield point adapter (YPA)
rheometer kit (shown in Fig. 18) was well suited to this
application.6,7 Additionally, the newly-developed generalized
Hershel-Bulkley (GHB) rheology model was found to provide
an excellent pressure prediction.8 Fig. 19 provides the
regression analysis of the data generated using the YPA
instrument. Fig. 20 provides the predicted vs. actual surface
pump pressures for one of the 19,200-ft wells, illustrating the
good predictive abilities of this new rheological model for
complex fluids.
Cement Evaluation Log of Production Casing
This paper would not be complete without a discussion of the
observations made on the cement evaluation log of the 5-in.
production casing. Although it was desirable to evaluate this
unique cement sheath with an ultrasonic tool, no tool available
will withstand the temperatures of this well, as well as
accommodate both the small ID and large wall thickness of
this production casing. Because the copolymer beads used
imparted elastic properties to this 19-lb/gal cement, the log
was expected to indicate poor attenuation and/or free pipe
much like a foamed cement sheath will behave. This is
because elastic cement sheaths often do not attenuate the
casing as does a conventional cement, thus allowing it to ring
in response to sonic and ultrasonic evaluation tools. However,
Fig. 20 indicated this was not the case.
At the time this log was run, approximately one month
after the cement had been placed, the wellbore still contained
the 13-lb/gal brine that the cement job had been displaced
with, and the casing had already been pressure-tested to
15,000-psi surface pressure. Under these circumstances,
cement-to-casing debonding occurs and a microannulus is
nearly always created, as was the case with the nonelastomeric
lead slurry shown in Fig. 21. Of most interest on this log is the
fact that the elastomer tail slurry deformed without going into
plastic failurejust as it was designed. The lead slurry,
though mechanically-altered, was not designed to prevent
debonding due to the pressure test, thus a microannulus
appeared periodically throughout the lead cement sheath.
Though caution should always be exercised when interpreting
an evaluation log of any designer cement sheath, this case
clearly shows the superior mechanical properties of the
elastomer cement.9
Ongoing Operational Changes and Evolution to Two
Well Designs
One of the goals of this project was to continually evolve the
casing and cement designs as confidence in the data improved
so that the wells become optimized to the conditions. This
continuous process has resulted in simplifications to both the
casing design and the cementing procedure.
The high pump pressures associated with the displacement
program were of enough concern to revisit the brine density.
Further review with the FEA model with improved and greater

IADC/SPE 98869

confidence in the formation property data has allowed the job

to be displaced with a 12.8-lb/gal brine. This same review of
improved wellbore data has also enabled the cementing
program to be optimized in the sense that the elastomer slurry
volume has been reduced to cover only those portions of the
wellbore needing it. While this still involves a substantial
portion of the openhole section, inclusion of a nonelastomeric
lead slurry with modified mechanical properties has resulted
in simplified location logistics and reduced job cost. This step
has also resulted in lower ECDs during placement.
Since the start of this project, these wells have encountered
several shallower formations that have proven economically
productive. To speed development field development and cash
flow, these wells at 10,000- to 15,000-ft TVD are being drilled
with a reduced casing program. Because of the shallower
depths and associated smaller pressure and thermal
differentials, these wells have not required any extensive
slurry redesign and associated mechanical property
modifications to date.
To date, six HTHP wells have been drilled in the Hilltop Field.
All have been successfully drilled, cemented, tested, and
subjected to multiple-zone frac jobs down casing. Without
exception, the mechanical integrity of all wells has been
outstanding. Based on tracer surveys, all stimulation
treatments stayed in zone. As each well was drilled and more
formation data was gathered, the FEA model was adjusted to
accommodate the improved data. Since the first well was
drilled and tested, pore pressure/frac gradient confidence in
the area has allowed the operator to simplify the casing design.
Electing to stop performing the severe prestimulation
drawdown testing now that the necessary reservoir data has
been gathered has reduced the stresses subsequent wells have
been subjected to, thus allowing the casing design to be
simplified. However, because of these reduced casing designs,
it has been imperative to maintain the cement sheath designs
as originally planned to maintain wellbore integrity.
This case study shows that, when every facet of a critical
well is incorporated into a total well design, the resulting
structural integrity management process can result in secure
and economical wells.

The authors thank the management of Halliburton and First
Source Gas, LP, and Gastar Exploration, Ltd for permission to
publish this paper. They are also thankful for the hard work
and dedication from all the technical and operations personnel
that made this project a success.
1. Bosma, M., et al.: Design Approach to Sealant Selection
for the Life of the Well, paper SPE 56536 presented at
the 1999 ATCE, Houston, TX, October 3-6.
2. Ravi, K.R., et al.: Safe and Economic Gas Wells through
Cement Design for Life of the Well, paper SPE 75700
presented at the 2002 SPE Gas Technology Symposium,
Calgary, Canada, April 30May 2.
3. Ravi, K.R., et al.: Cement Sheath Design for Deepwater
Applications, paper presented at the 2003 Offshore West
Africa Conference, Windhoek, Namibia ,March 11.
4. Griffith, J.E., and Tahmourpour, F.: Use of Finite
Element Analysis to Engineer the Cement Sheath for
Production Operations, paper presented at the 2004
Canadian International Petroleum Conference, Calgary,
Canada, June 8-10.
5. Information from Current Methods for Analysis and
Remediation of Sustained Casing Pressure, by Staurt
Scott and Adam T. Bourgoyne, Jr., Petroleum
Engineering Department and Louisiana State University.
6. Dealy, S.T., Morgan, R.G., and Johnson, J.W.:
Viscometer for Multi-Phase Slurries, paper presented at
the 2005 DEA/IADC Workshop, Galveston, TX, May 2425.
7. Harris, P.C., Morgan, R.G., and Heath, S.J.:
Measurement of Proppant Transport of Frac Fluids,
paper SPE 95287 presented at the 2005 ATCE, Dallas,
TX, October 9-12.
8. Becker, T.E., Morgan, R.G., Chin, W.C., and Griffith,
J.E.: Improved Rheology Model and Hydraulics
Analysis for Tomorrows Wellbore Fluids Applications,
paper SPE 82415 presented at the 2003 Production and
Operations Symposium, Oklahoma City, OK, March 2225.
9. Frisch, G., et al.: Advances in Cement Evaluation Tools
and Processing Methods Allow Improved Interpretation
of Complex Cements, paper SPE 97186 presented at the
2005 ATCE, Dallas, TX, October 9-12.

IADC/SPE 98869

Table 1Initial Modeling Assumptions, 5-in. Production Casing

18.3-lb/gal Diesel-based OBM
Final mud type (when interval is

Bottomhole thermal gradient

1.81 F/100 ft
19,000 ft
19,000 ft
6.7-inch (to be drilled with 6.5-inch bit)
Estimated drilled-hole size
14,000 ft
Previous casing to TD
Modeled range
Designed casing standoff
Drilling mud
Displacement fluid for cementing job
Sandstone, sandy limestone
Lithology basis for rock properties
Derived by FracProPT curve-matching from mini-frac analysis of
Formation properties
previous well. Will be updated with sonic logs as the well is
18.3-lb/gal OBM plus 15,000-psi surface pressure
Maximum casing test pressure profile
5 MMscf/d, 40 BWPD, 72 hr, maximum drawdown to 2,500 psi
Parameters assumed for early
at perfs, 0 psi on annulus, minimal drawdown in formation
production test
Through casing with 3,580 bbl fluid at 35 bbl/min, 13,000-psi
Frac treatment average parameters
surface pressure
15 MMscf/d and 300 BWPD for 72 hr
Post-frac flowback production
15 MMscf/day and 200 BWPD
Long-term production

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Table 2Summary of Operational Changes Before Changing Cement Design


Original Second-Generation
Well Design Completion Procedures
Displace cement job with drilling mud.
No specifications on when continued operations
are allowed.
Pressure test casing and wellhead to 15,000 psi.
RIH with workstring and scrapper and circulate
out with KCl water.
Perforate and perform production testing to
maximum drawdown possible.
Perform fracturing treatment down casing,
20 bbl/min and 14,000-psi surface pressure.
Forced-closure flowback and flow to tanks until
cleaned up.
Kill well, run tubing, and put on pipeline.



Final Procedures Used on First Well

1. Displace cement job with 10 lb completion brine.
2. WOC for minimum specified time to ensure
mechanical property development.
3. RIH with workstring and circulate out with 3%
KCl water.
4. Pressure test casing and wellhead to 15,000 psi.
5. Run cement evaluation log.
6. Perforate and perform production test. Maximum
allowable drawdown of 2,500 psi at perforations.
7. Perform fracturing treatment down casing;
35 to 38 bbl/min at 14,500-psi pressure at
8. Forced-closure flowback and flow to tanks until
cleaned up.
9. Kill well, run tubing, and put on pipeline.

Proposed Third-Generation
Well Design Completion Procedures
Displace cement job with completion brine.
WOC for minimum specified time to ensure
mechanical property development.
Run cement evaluation log.
Pressure test casing and wellhead to 15,000 psi.
RIH with workstring and circulate out with KCl
Perforate and perform production testing.
Maximum allowable drawdown of 5,500 psi at
Perform fracturing treatment down casing,
20 bbl/min and 14,000-psi surface pressure.
Forced-closure flowback and flow to tanks until
cleaned up.
Kill well, run tubing, and put on pipeline.

Procedures Used Today

1. Displace cement job with 12.8 lb completion
2. WOC for minimum specified time to ensure
mechanical property development.
3. RIH with workstring and circulate out with 3%
KCl water.
4. Pressure test casing and wellhead to 15,000 psi.
5. Run cement evaluation log.
6. Perforate and perform fracturing treatment down
casing; 35 to 38 bbl/min at 14,500-psi pressure
at surface.
7. Forced-closure flowback and flow to tanks until
cleaned up.
8. Kill well, run tubing (when applicable), and put on

Table 3Results of Deblending Check after 300 Miles of Travel

Specific Gravity
Initial sample caught at bulk plant
Samples Caught after Approximately 160 Miles
4 in. from bottom of tank
10 in. from bottom of tank
14 in. from bottom of tank
20 in. from bottom of tank
25 in. from bottom of tank
31 in. from bottom of tank
41 in. from bottom of tank
Standard Deviation
Final sample caught from pneumatic line during mixing

IADC/SPE 98869

Table 4Initial FEA Modeling Assumptions, 9 5/8-in. Casing

Final mud type (when interval is complete)
Estimated drilled-hole size (from offset calipers)
Assumed casing standoff
Displacement fluid for cementing job
Lithology basis for rock properties
Maximum casing test pressure profile

14 lb/gal WBM

360 F (1.76 F/100 ft)

16,500 ft
16,500 ft
13.25-in. (drilled with 12 1/4-in. bit)
5,200 ft
14-lb/gal WBM
Sandstone, sandy limestone
14 lb/gal WBM plus 3,000-psi surface pressure

IADC/SPE 98869

20-in., 133-lb K-55 BTC

2,901 ft

13 3/8-in. 68-lb HCK-55 BTC

7,195 ft


7-in. Tie-back string

010,000 ft, 7-in. 41-lb HCQ-125
10,00014,381 ft,
7-in. 41-lb HCQ-125 STL

Top of 7-in. liner

14,381 ft

9 5/8-in. 53.5-lb HCP-110 BTC

14,910 ft

Bossier "C"

18,516 ft

Bossier "D"

18,735 ft

Top of 4 1/2-in. liner packer

18,833 ft

7-in. 41-lb Q-125

19,023 ft

Bossier "K"

Bossier "L"

4 1/2-in. 18.80-lb Q-125 STL

Fig. 1Original well design.

20,022 ft

20,422 ft

20,940 ft


IADC/SPE 98869


TVD, ft

Frac Pressure, lb/gal
Pore Pressure, lb/gal











Pressure Gradients, lb/gal

Fig. 2Pore pressure and fracture gradient estimates.





IADC/SPE 98869


Fig. 3Thermal simulator results for cementing operation.

Fig. 4Thermal simulator results, post-cementing thermal recovery.


IADC/SPE 98869

Fig. 5Thermal simulator results, completion operations summary.

Fig. 6Completion operations pressure summary.

IADC/SPE 98869


24 3/4-in. Wall conductor

70 8.4 10.0





16-in., 84-lb J/K-55 BTC

131 9.5
8.3 11.0


14 3/4-in.
2 7/8-in., 8.7-lb Tubing
14.5 lb/gal Inhibited packer fluid



258 10.0
9.5 14.0


10 5/8-in.

11 7/8-in., 71.8-lb TCA-140 and Q-125




9 5/8-in., 53.5-lb Q-125 liner

315 14.5 18.5

8 1/2-in.

7 5/8-in., 39-lb P-110 liner

18.0 19.5



6 1/2-in.


5-in. Production casing

0-6,000 ft, 23.2-lb C-110
6,00019,000 ft, 23.2-lb P-110


408 18.5

Fig. 7Final well design.



IADC/SPE 98869

Fig. 8Design limit plot of new HTHP casing design.

Fig. 9Remaining capacities, new casing and completion loads with conventional cement design. Risk of damage
over load phases; depth along well=18,000 ft; cement material=19.0-lb/gal conventional Class H cement.

IADC/SPE 98869

Fig. 10New casing and optimum completion plan with conventional cement. Risk of damage over load phases; depth along
well=18,000 ft; cement material=19.0-lb/gal conventional Class H cement.



IADC/SPE 98869

Fig. 11Remaining capacity summary, final HTHP casing and cement sheath design. Risk of damage over load phases;
depth along well=18,000 ft; cement material=19-lb/gal elastic system.

IADC/SPE 98869


Fig. 12Elastic cement after pressure cycling.

Fig. 13Conventional cement after cycling.


IADC/SPE 98869

Fig. 14Remaining capacities and plastic deformation; original lead cement at 10,500 ft. Risk of damage over load phases; depth along
well=10,550 ft; cement material=12.7-lb/gal water-extended cement.

Fig. 15Remaining capacities and plastic deformation; original tail cement at 16,500 ft. Risk of damage over load phases; depth along
well=16,500 ft; cement material=16.4-lb/gal conventional cement.

IADC/SPE 98869

Fig. 16Remaining capacities of new lead cement design for 9 5/8-in. casing at 16,500 ft. Risk of damage over
load phases; depth along well=10,550 ft; cement material=13.2-lb/gal Class H cement and pozzolan blend.



IADC/SPE 98869

Fig. 17 Remaining capacities of tail cement for 9 5/8-in. casing at 16,500 ft. Risk of damage over load phases;
depth along well=16,500 ft; cement material=16.4-lb/gal Class H nonshrinking cement.

Fig. 18FYSA adapter kit for rotational rheometer.

IADC/SPE 98869


Fig. 19Regression analysis of YPA data.




Fig. 20 Job placement summary.


IADC/SPE 98869

Fig. 21CBL of elastomeric tail slurry after 15,000-psi casing pressure test.

IADC/SPE 98869


Fig. 22CBL of non-elastomeric lead slurry after 15,000-psi casing pressure test.