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Primary Cementing

Company Use Only


Foreword

This manual contains standards and practices which ExxonMobil Development


Company (the "Company") believes are generally more stringent than those customary
within the industry. The particular circumstances in which these standards and
procedures are applied may differ and care must be taken to ensure that their
application complies with applicable law and is appropriate under the particular
circumstances in which they are applied. THE COMPANY MAKES NO AND
DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES OR REPRESENTATIONS, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED,
OF ANY KIND WITH RESPECT TO THESE STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES,
INCLUDING FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE, AND THE COMPANY, ITS
AFFILIATES, AND THEIR DIRECTORS, OFFICERS AND EMPLOYEES SHALL NOT
BE LIABLE FOR DAMAGES, WHETHER DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL,
EXEMPLARY OR CONSEQUENTIAL, REGARDLESS OF CAUSE, AND ON ANY
THEORY OF LIABILITY WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT LIABILITY OR TORT,
ARISING IN ANY WAY FROM ERRORS OR OMISSIONS IN, OR THE APPLICATION
OR MISAPPLICATION OF THESE STANDARDS AND PROCEDURES, EVEN IF
APPRISED OF THE LIKELIHOOD OF SUCH DAMAGES OCCURRING. The use of
these standards and procedures for work which is under contract with the Company or
its affiliates does not relieve the contractor from any obligations assumed by the contract
or from complete and proper fulfillment of the terms of the contract. Reference in these
standards and procedures to any specific product, process, or service by trade name,
trademark, manufacturer or otherwise, does not constitute or imply an endorsement or
recommendation.

This document is the property of ExxonMobil Development Company.


Unless otherwise noted, no part of this publication may be reproduced or
provided to outside parties without written permission from
ExxonMobil Development Company - Drilling Technical Manager.

Additional copies can be obtained from the Drilling Technical Library.

Acknowledgements

This manual was prepared under the direction of the ExxonMobil Development
Company - Drilling Technical Applications Group.

Questions or recommended changes should be directed to Glen Benge.


Updates/Revisions R
Primary Cementing Manual
Updates/Revisions

Sec. Date Descriptions

All Mar 2004 Replaces EPR Cement Slurry Design, May 1985; Mobil Primary
Cementing Course Manual; and EPR Primary and Remedial
Cementing, December 1984

13.1.2 Oct 2004 ISO 10426-4: Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 4
Methods for Atmospheric Foamed Cement Slurry Preparation and
Testing

October 2004 Company Use Only U/R - 1


Master Table of Contents

Master Table of Contents


Revisions/Updates
Section
1 Cement Basics
2 Cement Additives
3 Cement Testing
4 Service Company Laboratory Responsibilities and
Testing Guidelines
5 Factors Influencing Slurry Design
6 Specialty Cement Systems
7 Gas Migration
8 Lost Circulation
9 Mud Removal
10 Cement Calculations
11 Liner Cementing
12 Plug Cementing
13 Operational Requirements and Specifications For
Cementing Services
14 Cementing Equipment
15 Design Checklist
16 On Location Guidelines
17 Good Cementing Practices
18 Cement Sheath Evaluation
Appendices
A Information Sources
B Glossary of Terms
C Subject Index

March 2004 Company Use Only TOC - i


Section

Primary Cementing
Cement Basics

Scope

This Section covers the manufacturing, chemistry, and classification of cement.


Discussion includes mix water requirements and the relationship of strength
development to the water/cement ratio.

Company Use Only


Cement Basics 1
Table of Contents
Figures ............................................................................................................... 3
Tables................................................................................................................. 4
ExxonMobil Requirements ............................................................................... 5
1. Cement Basics ............................................................................................ 6
1.1. Required References ............................................................................... 6
1.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute.................................................................. 6
1.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization ..................................................... 6

1.2. History....................................................................................................... 6
1.3. Manufacturing .......................................................................................... 7
1.3.1. Manufacturing Processes .............................................................................. 7
1.3.2. Wet Process.................................................................................................. 7
1.3.3. Dry Process................................................................................................... 8
1.3.3.1. Kiln Operations ....................................................................................... 8
1.4. Composition ............................................................................................. 9
1.5. Chemistry................................................................................................ 10
1.5.1. Material Consistency ................................................................................... 10
1.5.2. Reactions .................................................................................................... 10

1.6. Classification of Cements ..................................................................... 10


1.7. API and ISO Standards and Specifications.......................................... 11
1.7.1. API Water Content ...................................................................................... 11
1.7.2. Effects on Water Content on Strength ......................................................... 12

1.8. Additional Considerations..................................................................... 13


1.9. API Cement Availability ......................................................................... 13
1.10. Common Specialty Cements.............................................................. 14

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Cement Basics 1
Figures
Figure 1.1: Wet Process ................................................................................................ 8
Figure 1.2: Dry Process................................................................................................. 8
Figure 1.3: Compressive Strength vs. Water Ratio ...................................................... 13

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Cement Basics 1
Tables
Table 1.1: Kiln Reaction Products ................................................................................. 9
Table 1.2: Composition of Cement ................................................................................ 9
Table 1.3: Water Content ............................................................................................ 12

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Cement Basics 1
ExxonMobil Requirements
Section Number ExxonMobil Requirement

There are no ExxonMobil requirements in this Section.

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Cement Basics 1
1. CEMENT BASICS

1.1. REQUIRED REFERENCES

This Section lists Practices and Standards that are generically referenced and assumed
part of this document. Unless otherwise specified herein, use the latest edition.

1.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute


API Spec 10A Specification for Cements and Materials for Well
Cementing
API RP 10B Recommended Practice for Testing Well Cements

1.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization


ISO 10426-1 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 1:
Specification
ISO 10426-2 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 2:
Testing of Well Cement

1.2. HISTORY

The use of cements or cement-like materials can be traced back to early times in
Greece, Egypt, and Italy. Early brick making relied on forming and drying out clay
materials held together with straw. The straw was used to give the "brick" strength and
resistance to cracking. Between bricks or other building materials, like wood, mortar
was added to seal the buildings. The mortar also consisted largely of clay materials.
During Roman times, it was discovered that by heating the clay, the resulting brick was
much stronger and would last much longer. It was also discovered that by using a
mixture of calcium oxide, silica, and water, the brick would be much stronger. The
calcium oxide was obtained by burning limestone. Pozzolan or flyash was obtained
from near the town of Pozzuli, Italy, thus the origin of the name.
Prior to finding that the heating process increased the strength of bricks, Rome had
laws limiting the height of buildings to no more than one story. Following the discovery,
building surged in Rome to include many structures that are still standing and in use
today. The Roman Coliseum and the Aqueducts are examples of structures
incorporating the newly discovered "cement."
The knowledge of how to make cement died with the fall of the Roman Empire. Mortar
was still in use, but burning brick to improve strength was largely lost.
In 1824, Joseph Aspdin, an English brick mason, filed a patent for a process to
manufacture "Portland Cement." The material he patented was named Portland
Cement after the Isle of Portland, off the coast of England, due to its resemblance to the

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 1 - 6


Cement Basics 1
stone quarried there. Joseph Aspdin knew that Portland stone was highly valued as a
building material, and by calling the new product Portland Cement, he was insinuating
its high value.
Early cement manufacture was a batch operation where the materials were placed in an
oven and heated to the proper temperature. This was a small process, very time
consuming and led to wide variations in the quality of the finished product. There was
little control over the temperature and time the materials spent at temperature.
Fredrick Ransome patented the rotary kiln in 1885. With these two inventions, the
manufacture of Portland Cement began in earnest, and today is globally the widest
used building material.

1.3. MANUFACTURING

The technical definition of cement is "a powder of alumina, silica, iron oxide and
magnesia burned together in a kiln, finely pulverized and used as an ingredient of
mortar and concrete." The manufacture of cement takes limestone (or other source of
lime) and mixes it with clays and iron oxide. The mixture is burned together in a rotary
kiln at temperatures between 2600-3000°F (1427-1649°C). The components literally
melt and as they exit the kiln, cool and form clinker. The clinker is then ground together
with gypsum (to control the setting) and Portland Cement is formed.

1.3.1. Manufacturing Processes


The two processes for the manufacture of cement are wet and dry. Figures 1.1 and 1.2
outline the two processes. The main difference is the preparation of the raw materials
prior to introduction to the rotary kiln. After the clinker is formed, the two processes are
identical.
After the clinker is cooled, it is ground with a small amount of gypsum and sometimes a
grinding aid. The gypsum is required to control the reaction of C3A within the cement.
The grinding process is important to the type of cement being produced. Finer grinds
will tend to set faster, require more mix water, and will have a higher reaction rate than
those with a coarser grind.
The cement must be properly cooled after it is manufactured. This allows for heat
dissipation as well as release and absorption of various gasses. The clinker-cooling
step occurs at a controlled rate to better manage these changes. In peak times, it may
be possible to receive cement that has not been properly cooled, and can arrive on
location at temperatures above 150˚F (66˚C), which will have a major effect on the
reaction rates and the effects of the various cement additives.

1.3.2. Wet Process


In the wet process, the limestone is crushed and stored while the clay and shale is
crushed and mixed with water. This removes impurities and large pieces. The
limestone is added to this mix to form slurry, which is evaluated for proper chemistry
and then fed to a wet grinding mill. The ground mixture is then fed to the rotary kiln.

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Cement Basics 1
The wet process could potentially form a more consistent cement than the dry process.
It requires additional energy to dry the components. This is a costly process and is not
used to a great extent in the manufacture of Portland Cement.

Figure 1.1: Wet Process


C alcareous C rushers S ilica
M aterials

W et C orrection S torage K iln C linker C linker C linker S ilos Packaging


G rinding B asin B asin C ooler H opper G rinding
M ill M ill

A rgillaceous G ypsum G rinding G ypsum G rinding


M aterials H oppers A ids H oppers Aids

1.3.3. Dry Process


In the dry process, all of the components of the cement are ground and stored in
separate tanks. The materials are evaluated, intermixed, ground, and then fed to the
rotary kiln.
It is evident that the wet process could potentially form a more consistent cement, but
requires additional energy to dry the components. This is a costly process and is not
used to a great extent in the manufacture of Portland cement. Most cement
manufacturing is done with the dry method.
As noted, the main differences in the processes are the preparation of the raw materials
prior to introduction to the rotary kiln. After the clinker is formed, the two processes are
identical.

Figure 1.2: Dry Process

Calcareous Crushers Silica


Materials

Proportioner Grinder Rotary Clinker Clinker Cement Packaging


Kiln Cooler Grinding Silos
Mill

Argillaceous Wash Storage Gypsum Grinding


Materials Mill Hoppers Aids

1.3.3.1. Kiln Operations


As the cement moves down the rotary kiln, the temperature of the material increases.
This causes a number of chemical changes to the raw materials. Table 1.1 lists the
chemical changes that occur at each stage.

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Cement Basics 1
Table 1.1: Kiln Reaction Products

Temperature Range Reactions

100°C Evaporation of any unbound water


500°C Dehydroxilation of clay minerals
900°C Crystallization of products of clay dehydroxylation and
decomposition of CaCO3
900 - 1200°C Reaction between CaCO3 or CaO with Aluminosilicates
1250 - 1280°C Beginning of liquid formation
1280+°C Additional liquid formation and generation of cementitious
materials

1.4. COMPOSITION

Cement is composed primarily of four components: C3S, C2S, C3SA, and C4AF.
Table 1.2 lists the composition of cement and the relative concentrations of the
components along with the other minor materials found in a typical cement. The four
major components and their relative reaction rates and contribution to strength is also
included.

Table 1.2: Composition of Cement

Relative Reaction Strength


Chemical Compound % Rate Contribution

C3S - Tricalcium silicate 55 Fast High


C2S - β-dicalcium silicate 22 Slow High
C3A - Tricalcium aluminate 8 Very Fast Low
C4AF - Tetracalcium aluminoferrite 7 Fast Low
Gypsum 1
Sulfates 3
MgO - Magnesium oxide 3
Other 1

In Table 1.2, the abbreviations for the four major components of cement use C as an
abbreviation for calcium. Depending on a number of chemicals and manufacturing
variables, the concentrations of the four main components can vary.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 1 - 9


Cement Basics 1
1.5. CHEMISTRY

1.5.1. Material Consistency


The chemistry of Portland Cement is quite complex, as the raw materials used are not
pure and therefore the final product will vary from batch to batch. Proper testing of the
cement for use on location is critical. When cement is obtained from a single
manufacturer, the variations in the cement will be much less than when comparing
results from different manufacturers or from different manufacturing sites. Because of
the variations in raw materials, cements from different manufacturers or manufacturing
sites cannot be intermixed. This is particularly important if a rig is moving from country
to country, where the cement in the tanks may be taken from one well to another.

1.5.2. Reactions
Cement does not dry out as it sets, but reacts with the water in the system to form a
variety of crystalline structures. This chemical reaction is exothermic (gives off heat),
called the heat of hydration. The heat generated by the chemical reaction can be used
to identify top of cement in a well using temperature logs. Depending on the mass of
the cement and amount of water and other diluents in the cement, the heat generated
can vary from a few degrees to as much as 75°F to 100°F (24°C to 38°C).
C3A is the fastest reacting of the constituents of cement. This reaction is controlled
through the addition of gypsum in the manufacturing process. The reaction of the small
amount of gypsum with the C3A forms ettringite crystals that control further hydration of
the C3A. Adding more gypsum to the cement can result in high concentrations of
ettringite, which leads to thixotropic behavior in cements.

1.6. CLASSIFICATION OF CEMENTS

Cements are classified by how finely the material is ground, and to a lesser extent, the
chemistry of the cement. The American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM)
classifies cement by Type, from Type I to Type V. Type I is the most common
construction cement. Type III is more finely ground, and is often considered the winter
grade cement because of the faster setting times. The API uses letter designations for
cements (currently from Class A to Class H).
Most ASTM Type I cements will meet the requirements for Class A cement. Type III
cements correspond somewhat to Class C, although there can be slight chemistry
differences. There are no ASTM types corresponding to API Classes D through H.
These classes are specifically manufactured for the oilfield.
Oilfield cement is also classified within API based on the chemistry of the cement. A
component known as C3A (tricalcium aluminate) is one of the fastest reacting materials
in cement. This compound is linked to gel strength - the ability for a cement to be
thixotropic, and resistant to sulfate attack. Cements with a C3A content less than 3%
are considered to be high sulfate resistant (HSR). Cements with less than 8% C3A are
classified as moderate sulfate resistant (MSR) cements. The majority of Class G and H

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 1 - 10


Cement Basics 1
cements fall in this category. Ordinary grade (O) cements are available as Class A or
C, with Class C having up to 15% C3A.
C3A content becomes important in two specific applications. For wells requiring
thixotropic cement, often the C3A content should be above 6% for the system to function
properly, particularly if the thixotropic property is being obtained from a reaction with
gypsum (calcium sulfate hemihydrate). For deepwater applications, using cement with
a C3A content of at least 6%, and preferably 8%, will produce cement that reacts faster,
giving higher early strength. This can be critical in the high cost operational
environment of deepwater.
Virtually, all of the cement used in the oil industry are Classes A, C, G, and H.
Classes D, E, and F are cements with retarder blended into them, and have not been
manufactured for several years. Class B cement is similar to Type II, which limits the
amount of C3A in the cement for sulfate resistance, but is not usually available.

1.7. API AND ISO STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS

The API and ISO specifications for cement are found in API Spec 10A or ISO 10426-1.
These specifications list the tests to be performed on neat cement with no additives.
The purpose of the specification test is to evaluate the "raw" cement for specific
chemical and performance requirements. It is through this testing that cement is
classified as Class A, Class G, etc. The tests are highly specific and no variance from
the testing protocol is allowed. Specification testing is only performed on the base
cement with no additives. There is no one test used for a particular well.
Most day-to-day cement testing is based on testing standards developed by API. The
standards are found in API Recommended Practice for Testing Oil Field Cements, API
RP 10B. This same document has been adopted as an international standard through
ISO (ISO 10426-2). These documents contain standard recommended testing
procedures for evaluating cements and cement slurries. The test methods differ
considerably from specifications for cement because they allow the use of cement
additives, encourage changes to the test, and make some attempt to follow field
conditions.
It is not the intent of API to simulate well conditions. The goal of the API is to develop a
standard set of test procedures to allow comparison of results between various labs.
API procedures may be modified to match the particular well conditions and mixing
methods used. While the tests outlined in the API and ISO publications are applicable
to field work, it is the responsibility of the engineer to determine the applicability of a
particular test and to determine if the results have meaning to a particular well.

1.7.1. API Water Content


All API and ISO cements are manufactured to meet a certain set of chemical and
performance specifications, as found in API Spec 10A and ISO 10426-1. These
specifications call for mixing each class of cement with a particular amount of water for
the performance testing. It is this amount of water that is the basis for the "normal"
density of the API cement slurries. When a service company mixes a cement system at
a particular density, they are falling back on the API water content. The API
recommended mixing water for specification testing is shown in Table 1.3.

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Cement Basics 1
Table 1.3: Water Content

Slurry Density
API Class % Mix Water (lb/gal)

A 46 15.6
C 56 14.8
G 44 15.8
H 38 16.4

Table 1.3 does not imply that Class H cement cannot be mixed at a density other than
16.4 lb/gal. It states that for specification testing, the cement must meet the
performance criteria when mixed with that amount of water. It further means that
cements mixed at the API water content will have some free water development, unless
treated with an additive to eliminate the free water.
Mixing an API cement with more mix water (thus reducing the slurry density) will result
in the following:
• Increased free water
• Slightly reduced strength
• Increased pumping time
None of these effects are necessarily bad, depending on the well requirements.
Sufficient strength to perform any well operation can easily be obtained from slurries
mixed at below the above densities, provided appropriate additives are used to modify
the slurry properties.

1.7.2. Effects on Water Content on Strength


The ultimate strength development of any cement is determined by the concentration of
the following components:
• Inert filler
• Cement
• Water
Inert fillers are largely a dilution effect and as the concentration of the filler increases,
there is a corresponding reduction in strength. Water content follows a similar trend,
but does not act solely based on dilution. A minimum of 23% - 25% water is required to
hydrate the cement. Without this minimum amount of water, the cement reactions
cannot take place.
At higher concentrations of water, the cement will begin to settle out, and excessive
water separation will occur. Figure 1.3 is a representation of the relationship of ultimate
(28 day) strength to water content of the slurry. For this figure, solids settling in the
cement were prevented.

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Cement Basics 1
Figure 1.3: Compressive Strength vs. Water Ratio

1.8. ADDITIONAL CONSIDERATIONS

A cement that meets API or ISO specifications should serve as the base for all of the
slurries pumped by ExxonMobil. This gives the assurance that at least the base starting
material has been manufactured to a set of standards. It also provides the operations
with a base material that will require fewer additives and should be more predictable.
Most Service Companies do not list API cements, but rather generic terms such as
"Standard, Premium, or Premium Plus." These generic terms can be linked back to a
particular cement. A Premium cement at one location will not necessarily be the same
Class of cement at another location. The Service Companies, as a legal method to limit
liability, have adopted these generic terms. If a service company offers an API cement,
then the cement would be required to meet the API specifications at their facility. This
cannot always be assured, so generic classifications have been incorporated to limit
this liability.
Note: There is nothing wrong with the cement, simply the service company is not
guaranteeing the material will meet the API specification at the time of sale. This is not
of particular concern - the concern is for performance of a cement system that has been
designed for the well rather than the base cement performance.

1.9. API CEMENT AVAILABILITY

API cements are available globally, though not all cements are available in all locations.
API Class A cement is usually available globally, as it is usually manufactured as a
construction Type I cement. Class C cement is found primarily in West Texas. Class H

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Cement Basics 1
cement is primarily located in the Gulf Coast of the United States, though it may be
found manufactured in Germany and distributed from there.
The most common API oilfield cement is Class G. It is manufactured globally and found
in almost every location except the Gulf Coast of the United States. The Class G
cement used in West Africa is usually brought in from Europe. One major manufacturer
of Class G cement is Dykerhoff. The cement from this plant is exported throughout
Europe, Africa, and even into South America.

1.10. COMMON SPECIALTY CEMENTS


There are two cements available that do not have an ASTM or API designation: high
alumina cement and commercial lightweight.
High alumina cement is highly resistant to CO2 attack and can survive extremely high
temperatures. These cements are similar to those used to manufacture the bricks used
in fireplaces. This cement is highly specialized and requires special additives to allow it
to function in the field environment. It is further discussed in Section 6.6.
A common cement available in the United States Gulf Coast area is TXI Lightweight.
This cement is a special blend of Portland Cement and pozzolans that are inter-ground
at the cement plant. The cement is designed to be mixed at a base density of 14.8
lb/gal. TXI Lightweight cement offers a number of advantages over other oilfield
cements.
TXI Lightweight, when mixed at the design weight, has superior strength development
to a conventional oil well cement mixed with pozzolans or other extenders. As a
manufactured lightweight cement, it is not subject to the blending inconsistencies
associated with more conventional blended cements. This cement has been used
alone, as a blend with API Class H cement, and as a basis for foamed slurries.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 1 - 14


Section

Primary Cementing
Cement Additives

Scope

This Section covers the various families of cement additives. Specific service
company's additive names have not been included, but where appropriate, a
generic classification of the additive family is noted.
This section is intended to give an overview of common additives, usage, and
interactions with other additives. Important points are made when to use silica in
slurry design (see Section 2.13).

Company Use Only


Cement Additives 2
Table of Contents
Figures ............................................................................................................... 4
Tables................................................................................................................. 5
ExxonMobil Requirements ............................................................................... 6
ExxonMobil Recommended Practices ............................................................ 6
2.1. Required References........................................................................................ 7
2.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute .............................................................. 7
2.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization .................................................. 7
2.2. General ............................................................................................................ 7
2.3. Cross-Reference Tables................................................................................... 8
2.4. Accelerators ..................................................................................................... 8
2.4.1. Calcium Chloride (CaCI2) ........................................................................... 8
2.4.2. Sodium Chloride (NaCI) ............................................................................. 9
2.4.3. Seawater.................................................................................................... 9
2.4.4. Sodium Silicate .......................................................................................... 9
2.5. Other Methods of Acceleration ......................................................................... 9
2.6. Retarders ....................................................................................................... 10
2.6.1. Lignosulfonate Retarders ......................................................................... 10
2.6.2. High Temperature Retarders.................................................................... 11
2.6.3. Retarder Response with Temperature...................................................... 11
2.6.4. Cellulose Materials................................................................................... 11
2.6.5. Specialty Retarders.................................................................................. 11
2.6.6. Other Retarders ....................................................................................... 12
2.7. Dispersants .................................................................................................... 12
2.8. Fluid Loss Additives........................................................................................ 12
2.8.1. Bentonite.................................................................................................. 13
2.8.2. Cellulose .................................................................................................. 13
2.8.3. Synthetic Polymers .................................................................................. 14
2.8.4. Effects of Salt........................................................................................... 14
2.8.5. Other Fluid Loss Considerations .............................................................. 14
2.9. Extenders ....................................................................................................... 14
2.9.1. Bentonite.................................................................................................. 15
2.9.2. Attapulgite ................................................................................................ 15
2.9.3. Chemical Extenders ................................................................................. 15
2.9.4. Pozzolan .................................................................................................. 16
2.9.5. Fume Silica .............................................................................................. 16
2.9.6. Hollow Microspheres and Ceramic Spheres............................................. 16

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Cement Additives 2
2.9.7. Nitrogen ................................................................................................... 16
2.10. Weighting Agents ........................................................................................ 17
2.10.1. Barite ....................................................................................................... 17
2.10.2. Hematite and Ilmenite .............................................................................. 17
2.10.3. Sand ........................................................................................................ 17
2.10.4. Micromax ................................................................................................. 17
2.10.5. Specialty Systems.................................................................................... 18
2.11. Free Water/Settling Control ......................................................................... 18
2.12. Gas Migration Control ................................................................................. 18
2.13. Lost Circulation ........................................................................................... 19
2.14. Silica ........................................................................................................... 20
2.15. Antifoams & Defoamers............................................................................... 21
2.15.1. Antifoams................................................................................................. 21
2.15.2. Defoamers ............................................................................................... 21
2.16. Salt (NaCl)................................................................................................... 21
2.17. Latex and Latex Stabilizers ......................................................................... 22
2.18. Other Additives............................................................................................ 22
2.19. Liquid Additives ........................................................................................... 23
2.19.1. Metering ................................................................................................... 23
2.19.2. Density Control ........................................................................................ 23
2.19.3. Storage .................................................................................................... 24
2.20. Dry Additives ............................................................................................... 24

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Cement Additives 2
Figures
Figure 2.1: Additive Response..................................................................................... 11
Figure 2.2: Cement Fluid Loss..................................................................................... 13

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Cement Additives 2
Tables
Table 2.1: Additive Function Overview ........................................................................ 26

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Cement Additives 2
ExxonMobil Requirements
Section # Topic ExxonMobil Requirements
There are no ExxonMobil requirements in this Section.

ExxonMobil Recommended Practices


ExxonMobil recommended practices for additives and materials are found in the
following:
Section # ExxonMobil Recommended Practice
2.9.3 For job planning purposes, a cement slurry containing a silicate
extender should be designed to be in place before reaching the point of
departure on the thickening time curve.
2.12 1.0 - 1.5 gal/sk latex is sufficient to prevent gas migration.
2.19.1 Metering of liquid additives on location should not depend on a pump
stroke counter. Use of a dump tank or mass flow meter is preferred.

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Cement Additives 2
2. CEMENT ADDITIVES

2.1. REQUIRED REFERENCES

This Section lists Practices and Standards that are generically referenced and assumed
part of this document. Unless otherwise specified herein, use the latest edition.

2.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute


API RP 10B Recommended Practice for Testing Well Cements

2.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization


ISO 10426-2 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 2: Testing of Well
Cement
ISO 10426-3 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 3: Testing of
Deepwater Well Cement Formulations
ISO 10426-4 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 4: Methods for
Atmospheric Foamed Cement Slurry Preparation and Testing

2.2. GENERAL

Basic cements have limited properties. Depending on the water ratio, the cement will
have a fixed thickening time and strength development. Modifying the properties of the
cement to meet the requirements of the well is basic to the design of a cement job.
There is considerable mystique generated by the service companies around cement
additives. Knowing the "code names" of the various additives is not important, but
understanding the general function of the various materials should improve the
understanding of why a particular additive is being used.
Regardless of the additive, there must be a technical reason to use the material in
a cement slurry. There are some situations when one material may be required to aid
the functionality of another. An example of this would be the use of a dispersant with a
fluid loss additive. The two materials have a synergistic effect when used together,
allowing for a reduction in the amount of each to achieve a particular property.

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2.3. CROSS-REFERENCE TABLES

A cross-reference table of cement additive names and general function category is


maintained by World Oil. It is available at the following website: www.WorldOil.com.
The tables can be found under "Engineering Data Tables," under References. The site
maintains the following cross-reference tables:
• Acidizing
• Casing
• Cementing
• Drill Bits
• Fluids
• Fracturing
• Tubing

2.4. ACCELERATORS

Accelerators function to shorten the thickening time of a cement slurry and can aid in
early strength development. Accelerators do not have any effect on the ultimate
strength of a cement. In general, almost any inorganic salt will accelerate the set of
cement. The exact mechanism is not well understood, but it is believed the salts act as
a catalyst rather than being incorporated into the chemical reactions of the cement.

2.4.1. Calcium Chloride (CaCI2)


The most widely used and most common accelerator in cement is calcium chloride
(CaCI2). It is generally used at concentrations from 1% to 3%. Concentrations above
3% can cause gellation problems and unpredictable results.
Calcium chloride should not be used with silicate extenders. The system will form
a calcium silicate gel structure that is highly thixotropic. If the cement stops moving, the
slurry will gel immediately and terminate any further pumping.
Calcium chloride is available in two dry forms: 77% grade and anhydrous 96% grade.
On a per pound basis, the 77% grade has only 80% of the calcium chloride as the
anhydrous 96% grade. Service companies should have the two grades separately
labeled and coded to prevent confusion between the laboratory and bulk plant. Calcium
chloride can also be pre-hydrated in the mix water. This will increase the temperature
of the water. This temperature increase should be pre-tested in the laboratory.
Dry calcium chloride will also increase the temperature of the slurry. One pound of
material will increase the slurry temperature of a barrel of slurry approximately 1°F
(0.6°C).

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Calcium chloride is also available in liquid form at a concentration of approximately
33%. When used in the liquid form, there is no temperature increase in the mix water
and very little increase in the slurry temperature. A concentration of 0.4 gallons per
sack is equivalent to approximately 2% dry calcium chloride.

2.4.2. Sodium Chloride (NaCI)


When used at concentrations below 5%, sodium chloride (NaCl) will act as an
accelerator. From 5% - 10%, NaCl is essentially neutral with respect to thickening time.
Above 10%, it will act as a retarder. The maximum acceleration from NaCl occurs at
approximately 3% concentration by weight of water (BWOW).
Sodium chloride is not as strong an accelerator as calcium chloride. This can be
beneficial when small changes in CaCl2 concentration make a large difference in the
thickening time of the slurry.

2.4.3. Seawater
Most seawater reacts much like a 3% NaCl solution. Seawater contains more salts
than just NaCl. Seawater salinity can change seasonally due to increased runoff from
nearby rivers. It is always advisable to obtain a sample of seawater from the rig for
cement testing. Seawater will also vary dramatically depending on the source. For
example, the water in the Caspian Sea has a much lower salt content than found in the
open oceans. The water in the North Sea tends to have a higher magnesium content
than found in more southerly areas.
For offshore work, it is often useful to use seawater in combination with calcium
chloride. The resulting slurries will have a short thickening time and rapid strength
development.
Using seawater at higher temperatures will require the addition of excess retarder. This
situation can be avoided by using drill water or freshwater at temperatures above 150°F
(66°C). Note: NaCl concentration is based on the weight of water rather than by weight
of cement (BWOC).

2.4.4. Sodium Silicate


Both the liquid and solid versions (sodium silicate and sodium metasilicate) will act as
accelerators. This is a secondary property of the material as the primary action is as an
extender.

2.5. OTHER METHODS OF ACCELERATION

Heating the mix water will accelerate the set of the cement. This can be necessary in
cold climates where the dry cement temperature may be below freezing and the
resulting slurry temperature is too cold to properly hydrate. Hot mix water can be a
hazard in warmer climates if the water temperature has not been taken into account
during testing.

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Mix water temperature is particularly important in overall cement testing on a seasonal
basis. During the summer months in the Gulf of Mexico, the seawater temperature can
be as high as 80°F (27°C). In the winter, the water temperature drops into the 55°F
(13°C) range. This temperature variance must be taken into account during testing.

2.6. RETARDERS

Retarders will extend or lengthen the thickening time of a cement slurry. These
materials are critical for proper placement of cements in most wells. The retarders can
effect the early strength development of a cement.
Retarders are broken into several general classes. These include the following:
• Low temperature - used generally below 200°F (93°C)
• High temperature materials - for use above 200°F (93°C)
• A variety of other retarders designed for a specific purpose
Usually, retarders are sugars or lignin-type materials. Other retarders include NaCl in
concentrations exceeding 25%, many organic compounds, fluid loss additives,
dispersants, and some gelling agents. Newer synthetic retarders allow for long pump
times while still obtaining compressive strength. This can be especially important when
cementing long liners when the temperature at the top of the liner may be less than the
bottomhole circulating temperature.
Retarders will act in synergy with many other additives and care must be exercised
when designing the slurry to account for all of the interactions of the various additives.

2.6.1. Lignosulfonate Retarders


Calcium lignosulfonate is one of the most common retarders. It is used primarily at
lower temperatures. Calcium lignosulfonate is closely related to sodium lignosulfonate,
which is used as a dispersant for drilling fluids. In cements, the calcium form is more
effective and predictable.
Lignosulfonates are byproducts from paper manufacturing during the separation of
cellulose from wood pulp. The lignin that holds the wood together is degraded and
dissolved with a hot-acid sulfate solution. Depending on the wood, time of year
harvested, and degree of reaction, the quality of the lignosulfonate will vary.
There can be considerable variation in different lots of lignosulfonate retarders. This is
one reason the absolute concentration of retarder can vary from lot to lot, even though
the cement remains the same.
A characteristic of lignosulfonate retarders is the exponential increase in retardation
with small increases in retarder concentration. Figure 2.1 demonstrates above a
certain threshold, a small increase in retarder will greatly increase the thickening time.
This effect will vary at different temperatures, and with various retarders, but is common
to all lignosulfonates.

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Figure 2.1: Additive Response

Thickening Time

Additive Concentration

2.6.2. High Temperature Retarders


High temperature retarders are modified sugars, blends of sugars and other materials,
or organic acids. Calcium glucoheptonate is a common high temperature retarder,
derived from glucose. The same cautions for usage of lignosulfonate retarders apply to
the high temperature retarders.

2.6.3. Retarder Response with Temperature


It can be difficult to obtain reproducible retardation at certain temperature ranges. At
approximately 212°F (100°C), the change is made from using a low temperature to a
high temperature retarder. At this temperature, either very high concentrations of low
temperature retarder are required, leading to unpredictable behavior, or low
concentrations of high temperature retarder are required, again leading to unpredictable
behavior. Diluting the high temperature retarders to make them less sensitive at this
temperature range is one method used by service companies to reduce these effects.

2.6.4. Cellulose Materials


Most cellulose fluid loss additives will retard cement. As these materials often require
the addition of a dispersant, the synergistic effects of the two materials can retard
cement.

2.6.5. Specialty Retarders


Some specialty retarders allow for retardation at high temperature, yet still provide good
strength development at lower temperatures. These retarders are designed for use in
long liner situations, or areas where long columns of cement are required.

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Cement Additives 2
2.6.6. Other Retarders
Many contaminants found in water can retard cements. In the fall, decaying vegetation
will add tannins and lignins to the water, resulting in retardation. Many weed killers
used will retard cements. It is important to know the water source for mixing the
cement, and evaluate the water during cement testing.

2.7. DISPERSANTS

Dispersants modify the rheology of the cement by reducing the viscosity of a cement
slurry. This allows mixing a system with less water, thereby increasing the density of
the system. Dispersants are often referred to (incorrectly) as turbulence inducers.
Cement rarely is placed in turbulent flow, and dispersants should not be used to attempt
to modify the slurry viscosity to allow turbulent flow.
Several materials act as dispersants, such as salt, and lignin-type retarders. The
primary dispersant used in cements is a formaldehyde condensate of lignosulfonic acid.
Dispersants can enhance the effectiveness of fluid loss additives and can reduce the
amount of fluid loss additive needed. These materials also act synergistically with
lignosulfonate retarders.
Unless reduced water, as with a kick off plug, or fluid loss is needed, dispersants are
usually not required. Dispersants are one of the most over used cement additives, and
are generally sold to make the cement mix easier. Many service providers will sell
dispersants as giving the ability to mix a particular slurry at a higher rate. While this
may accomplish that goal, excessive dispersant usage will result in high free water and
solids settling in the cement.

2.8. FLUID LOSS ADDITIVES

Fluid loss additives are used to reduce the flow rate of water out of a slurry into a
permeable zone. This helps prevent slurry dehydration, which can lead to a buildup of
cement particles across from a permeable zone. Depending on the application, fluid
loss values can range from 1,200 (no control) to less than 50 mL/30 min.
Fluid loss additives are very expensive, and are one of the most over sold materials in
cementing. A common mistake with fluid loss control is the design of a lead slurry with
no fluid loss control, followed by a tail slurry that contains very good fluid loss control.
Unless there are concerns over gas migration, or other technical design considerations,
this practice should be avoided. Except in the case of gas migration, there is no benefit
to very good fluid loss control in a tail system, if there was no need for it in the lead
slurry.
Polymeric fluid loss additives have been developed that require much lower
concentrations, and can have a minimal effect on slurry rheology. These fluid loss
additives are usually run in combination with a dispersant.
Figure 2.2 is an illustration of cement fluid loss across a permeable zone, illustrating
the build up of cement filter cake.

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Figure 2.2: Cement Fluid Loss

Primary Cementing

Permeable
Zone

Heavy Cement
Filter Cake
Thin Impermeable
Cement Filter Cake

Low Fluid Loss Uncontrolled Fluid Loss

2.8.1. Bentonite
A very common fluid loss additive is bentonite. While bentonite is used primarily as an
extender, when used in lightweight slurries it will also impart some fluid loss control. A
system containing 4 - 6 % bentonite will have an API fluid loss below 400 mL/30 min. If
the same slurry were extended with a silicate extender, the fluid loss would exceed
1,200. The advantage of fluid loss control in bentonite extended slurries is often
overlooked in favor of more convenient silicate extenders. If fluid loss is required,
additional materials must be added, increasing both the cost and complexity of the
slurry.

2.8.2. Cellulose
Cellulose derivatives are common fluid loss additives. These materials will lower the
fluid loss, but will viscosify the cement and will also retard the set of the slurry.
Cellulose derivatives such as hydroxyethyl cellulose (HEC) or other long-chained
polymers derived from cellulose are widely used. These materials function by

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viscosifying the water phase in the cement, thus slowing the filtration rate. They may
also act as pore blocking agents in the cement filter cake.

2.8.3. Synthetic Polymers


Several recent advances have been made in the area of synthetic polymers used as
fluid loss additives in cement. These materials are very long chain polymers and
function to plug the pores of the filter cake and inhibit fluid movement. Synthetic
polymers can be manufactured to close tolerances, are more expensive than other
materials, but are generally more effective at lower concentrations. They do not tend to
over retard the cement or adversely effect the rheology of the slurry.
Latex is a common synthetic polymer that will provide excellent fluid loss control, along
with many other properties such as increased flexibility of the slurry and prevention of
gas migration. Latex concentrations should be in the 0.75 - 1.0 gal/sack range, and
should be based on fluid loss results. Some service companies base latex
concentrations on other parameters, and generally recommend concentrations much
higher, approaching 1.5 - 3.5 gallons per sack.

2.8.4. Effects of Salt


Salt (either calcium or sodium chloride) will adversely effect most fluid loss additives.
Most of the fluid loss additives are sensitive to salt concentrations, and will not function
as well, or at all in high salt slurries.

2.8.5. Other Fluid Loss Considerations


Because of the retarding action of many polymeric fluid loss additives, use of the
additives at low temperatures will result in a slurry that will not set in a reasonable
period of time. This can be a particular challenge in deepwater, low temperature
environments. Specialty materials have been developed to address this specific area.
Fluid loss additives often need a dispersant to be effective. The addition of a dispersant
to most polymeric fluid loss additives will increase their effectiveness, and may increase
the effective temperature range. Only a minimal amount of dispersant should be
required to obtain the desired results.
Fluid loss control can also be achieved by the introduction of gas or foam to the slurry.
This results in a three-phase system (cement, water, and gas) that will have a lower
fluid loss rate than the original slurry. There is insufficient data as to the degree of
control obtained from introducing the gas to the system, but in all of the testing to date,
the fluid loss is lower with gas entrained systems.

2.9. EXTENDERS

Extenders are materials and systems that allow the cement slurry to be mixed at a
lower density without excessive free water development. They also function to increase
the yield of the slurry, thus requiring less cement for a given volume. Because using
extenders essentially "dilutes" the cement, properties of strength development, fluid
loss, thickening time and free water will be effected.

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Extenders can be broken into two distinct groups, ones that extend through absorbing
water, and ones that extend through having an intrinsic lower density.

2.9.1. Bentonite
The most common extender is bentonite, which functions by taking up excessive water
in the system. This will reduce the slurry density, but will also result in lower strength
and longer pump times. Fortunately, bentonite can impart fluid loss control, thus
reducing the effect on fluid loss. Bentonite can be used as a dry material blended with
the cement, or can be pre-hydrated and used in the mix water. If pre-hydrated, the yield
obtained from the bentonite is greatly increased. As a general rule, 1% pre-hydrated
bentonite is approximately equal to 4% dry blended. Bentonite should be pre-hydrated
in fresh water to obtain the full yield from the material. Use of salt or seawater is not
recommended for pre-hydrating bentonite.
Not all bentonite sources are the same. Some bentonites will not meet the API
requirements and have additional materials added to improve the water absorbing
ability of the bentonite. These are called beneficiated bentonites, and should not be
used in cement. The small amounts of beneficiating agents can adversely effect
cements, and have led to cement failures in some systems. Only non-beneficiated
bentonite should be used in cementing.

2.9.2. Attapulgite
Also called saltwater gel, attapulgite can be used as an extender in cements.
Attapulgite does not absorb water like bentonite, and obtains viscosity by shearing into
thread-like pieces. The yield of attapulgite is independent of salinity, but is highly
dependent on shear. Unlike bentonite, attapulgite will not impart fluid loss control to the
slurry.

2.9.3. Chemical Extenders


Sodium metasilicate works by forming a gel structure with the calcium in the cement.
This also absorbs water, but will not impart any fluid loss control to the system. These
materials can be used at much lower concentrations than bentonite, typically in the 1 -
2% range, giving an operational advantage in some operations. Silicates are also
available in liquid form, which can eliminate the need to dry blend the system.
There are special considerations with the use of silicate extenders with respect to
thickening time testing. Silicate extenders build a unique gel structure in the cement. If
the gels are broken during placement, it can effect the strength development of the
cement. The point at which the gel structure begins to form is called the point of
departure (POD) on the thickening time curve. If pumped past this point, the cement
strength will reduce, but also the cement will severely gel if pumping is stopped.
The POD is defined as the point where the cement begins to set. On the thickening
time curve, it is the point where the viscosity begins to increase off of the baseline. The
laboratory should report the POD and the time to 30 Bc. For job planning, the cement
should be in place before the POD. See Section 3, Figure 3.3.

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Cement Additives 2
2.9.4. Pozzolan
Pozzolan materials are commonly used as extenders because their density is much
less than cement. Pozzolans are available either as a natural pozzolan, or as a flyash,
that is a byproduct of burning coal. In either form, the material is a finely ground powder
having some cement-like properties. Pozzolans typically contain high concentrations of
silica, and allow the use of lower concentrations of added silica in high-temperature
applications (see Section 2.13).

2.9.5. Fume Silica


Extremely fine silica, termed fume silica, is collected as a waste product in pollution
control systems in some industrial operations. Some sources of fume silica are
extremely fine, to the point of being almost a smoke-sized particle. This extreme
fineness requires very large amounts of water to wet the material. Fume silica has also
been recommended as a preventative for gas migration, as its small size can fit into the
pores of the setting cement, thus blocking the advance of gas through the matrix.

2.9.6. Hollow Microspheres and Ceramic Spheres


Specialty extenders, with densities less than the density of water, make up a special
class of extenders. While the materials serve to lower the density of the slurry, they do
not require the addition of large amounts of water. They function by reducing the
density through their very lightweight. Two ultra-lightweight materials available are
hollow ceramic spheres and hollow glass microspheres. The hollow glass
microspheres are a manufactured product, while the ceramic spheres are obtained by
separating very lightweight portions of flyash through flotation. Both materials have a
pressure limit above which the sphere will collapse, releasing the trapped gas inside.
This will cause a rapid increase in slurry density if this occurs. The glass microspheres
are available in a variety of pressure ranges. The higher the pressure resistance, the
thicker the wall of the microsphere. This increases the density of the material, requiring
more of the additive to obtain very low densities. Also, as the wall thickness increases,
the cost of the material increases. Coupled with the need for additional material, these
slurries can be very costly.
Care in design and application of these materials is essential. The slurry must be
designed for bottomhole conditions of pressure, which can require the surface mixing
density be less than the final in-place density. This lower density at surface takes into
account the crushing of the beads under downhole conditions.

2.9.7. Nitrogen
The final extender in the group is nitrogen or other gas. While used for a variety of
other purposes, introducing gas into a slurry will reduce the density and extend the
slurry. The complexity of design and other properties of these systems are covered in
Section 6, Specialty Cement Systems.
The specialty extenders and foam offer several advantages because they do not require
additional water, and thus do not dilute the base cement as much as conventional
extenders. Because of this, compressive strength development will be much better with

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these materials. Because of their very lightweight, slurries can be made much lighter
than with conventional materials. Densities as low as 8 lb/gal can be readily obtained.
The lower limit for conventional extenders is approximately 11.5 lb/gal.

2.10. WEIGHTING AGENTS


Weighting agents are materials that have a high density and when added to cement will
increase the density of the slurry. These materials have varying particle sizes, and care
must be exercised in design to assure there is no settling of the weighting agent in the
slurry.
Weighting agents normally only aid in increasing slurry density, and then only if well
conditions merit (such as cementing in high-density environments). Weighting agents
do nothing to enhance drilling capacity with kick-off plugs, and in fact will serve only to
dilute the cement and can result in lowering the strength of the plug.

2.10.1. Barite
Most commonly used to weight mud systems, barite has limited use in cements. Barite
requires large amounts of water to wet the surface, and therefore has limited use in
cement slurries. Barite can be used in combination with other weighting agents to help
limit free water development and settling.

2.10.2. Hematite and Ilmenite


Both hematite and ilmenite are heavy iron ores that have large particles. This makes
the materials more efficient than barite for weighting cement slurries. Hematite has a
higher specific gravity than ilmenite, but ilmenite has a larger particle diameter, making
it easier to mix very high-density slurries.

2.10.3. Sand
Sand, not silica flour, can increase slurry density up to one (1) lb/gal without adverse
effects. At high temperatures, the incorporation of 35% sand will aid in prevention of
strength retrogression.

2.10.4. Micromax
Micromax is essentially a liquid weighting agent. Consisting of very finely ground
magnesium oxide, the material is sold in liquid form and can be used to weight cement
slurries. This material has been used successfully in many remote locations where dry
blending is not available, and on exploration wells where slurry density had to be
increased unexpectedly.

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2.10.5. Specialty Systems
Covered in more detail in Section 6.4, these include Schlumberger's DensCRETE*
systems. These are not casual additives or systems and require close control of
blending and field mixing.

2.11. FREE WATER/SETTLING CONTROL


Free water or free fluid is caused by a separation of the water and other liquids in a
cement slurry. This can lead to a channel on the high side of an inclined wellbore,
problems with solids separation, gas migration, etc. Free water control agents help
prevent this problem by either viscosifying the slurry or complexing the water within the
cement matrix. Normally, viscosifying the slurry results in a system that can be difficult
to mix at surface. Additives are available that do not take effect until a specific
temperature has been reached. These materials allow free water control without
sacrificing surface mixing.
Similar to free water, solids settling will cause a segregation of the solids in the slurry,
resulting in pockets of lightweight slurry within the cement column. There can be solids
settling without the generation of free water. Normally, settling agents function by
increasing the viscosity of the system. As with free water control, many additives are
available that have a delayed hydration allowing for improved surface mixing.
Often the use of a free water control or settling control agent can be eliminated by
proper slurry design. These materials become unnecessary if the slurry has not been
over-dispersed, and has the proper combination of other materials. As with
dispersants, simply mixing the slurry at a slightly different density may eliminate these
materials.

2.12. GAS MIGRATION CONTROL


Gas migration following slurry placement is responsible for much of the sustained
casing pressure found in wells throughout the world. Gas migration may be prevented
through a number of mechanisms, and there are additives to address each of the
mechanisms. Gas migration is not well understood in cementing and there are a
number of conflicting theories as to the reason gas migrates through cement. Of all the
different materials available, it appears those that reduce the fluid loss of the cement,
and minimize the period of time the slurry remains fluid before setting are the most
effective.
There are few additives more expensive than gas migration materials. Latex is one of
the most common additives available, and works by reducing the fluid loss of the slurry,
plugs pore throats, and interacts with any gas entering the system. Generally, 1.0 - 1.5
gal/sk of latex is sufficient to prevent gas migration in any application. Many
designs call for the addition of 2.5 - 3.0 gal/sk of latex. These designs are excessive
and not necessary. The latex concentration can be based on the concentration of latex
required to obtain less than 50 cc of fluid loss, and generally this concentration comes
out at .75 - 1.0 gal/sk.

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Gas generating agents that react with the cement to produce hydrogen gas are highly
effective at preventing gas migration. These materials are finely ground aluminum
powder and generate the gas as the cement is placed. Care must be exercised to not
batch mix any gas generating material at surface. This can result in the generation of
hydrogen gas in the batch mixer. As with the gas generating agents, foamed cement
has been shown to prevent gas migration.
Other materials that reduce the shrinkage of cements have been shown to be effective
as gas migration control. These materials function in combination with other
mechanisms like fluid loss control to maintain slurry volume. An example of systems
that have a reduced "shrinkage" are Schlumberger's CRETE* designs.
A more detailed discussion of these materials is found in Section 7, Gas Migration.

2.13. LOST CIRCULATION


Major lost returns occurs when the wellbore pressure exceeds the integrity and a
fracture is created. The integrity is equal to the rock stress holding the two faces of the
fracture closed (minimum stress). Integrity is built by pressing the fracture wider to
increase the closing stress, then packing the fracture with solids to sustain the width. If
the width achieved is adequate so the increased stress exceeds equivalent circulating
density (ECD), losses stop. If not, the ECD will press the fracture wider and losses
continue.
Cement is not effective in stopping losses unless the required increase in integrity is
small. Cement particles are essentially the same size as barite so it flows into the
fracture as freely as mud. In contrast, lost circulation materials (LCM) pills become very
resistant to flow down the fracture because of their high fluid loss rate. As the pill
dehydrates, the solids remaining in the fracture become unpumpable and the fracture
trip cannot grow. Fluid loss is the key to this process. The fluid loss of most cements is
low enough that it does not dehydrate greatly as it flows down the permeable face of the
fracture, and does not become resistant. The small amount of width that is achieved
may result in only a 100 - 200 psi increase in closing stress.
In field operations, returns often increase when the circulating cement arrives at the loss
zone. However, this only occurs when the ECD is only slightly higher than the integrity
and the 100 - 200 psi of stress that can be built with cement is adequate to support the
ECD. The loss zone must also be permeable so the cement can dehydrate. If a
significant increase in integrity is required, or if the loss zone has low permeability, the
losses should be treated with more effective procedures prior to running casing. Since
the effectiveness of cement cannot be predicted, pretreatment with LCM is preferred if
cement returns are critical.
The effectiveness of the cement may also be enhanced slightly by adding LCM to the
slurry. Lost circulation materials in cement are typically larger than those used in drilling
fluids because particle size is not constrained by nozzles or other restrictions.
Cellophane flake is the most common material, though ground coal and gilsonite are
also used. Because cement slurries are already crowded with solids, it is not possible
to add a significant concentration of LCM and yet remain pumpable. Cellophane is
usually mixed at only 2 - 3 ppb (0.25 lb/sk), which does not greatly improve its
effectiveness in stopping losses. Higher concentrations of granular materials may be
used in lower weight cements (70 ppb), but the slurry will still not be as effective as an

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LCM pills due to the low fluid loss created by the pore throat plugging efficiency of fine
cement particles.
Schlumberger is marketing a material called CemNet used as either a pre-spacer
additive, or placed in the cement. The fibrous material cannot be dry blended into the
cement as it will plug the transfer lines. It is added directly to the mixing tub, by hand, in
concentrations of approximately 0.5 - 0.75 lb/sk. Because of the hand addition method,
precise concentrations cannot be controlled. The material is being sold on a cost per
barrel treated, and in some markets can be quite expensive. Results to date indicate
good results with the material.

2.14. SILICA
At temperatures exceeding 230°F (110°C), the crystalline structure of cement changes.
The resulting structure will be higher in permeability and have lower strength. This
reaction is called strength retrogression. To prevent strength retrogression, silica is
added to cement, which reacts to form more stable crystalline forms at high
temperatures.
Many sources quote 230°F (110°C) as the initiation temperature for strength
retrogression. Many cements do not exhibit strength retrogression problems until well
above 260°F (127°C), while others may show signs of degradation below 230°F
(110°C). For the purposes of design, a 230°F (110°C) is used, however, specific well
conditions and designs that reduce the water content of the cement can be successfully
used up to 250°F (120°C).
Silica sand (70 - 140 mesh) and silica flour (less than 200 mesh) are used to prevent
strength retrogression. Silica flour will react faster due to the higher surface area of the
material. For most systems, a concentration of 35% is required to prevent strength
retrogression. The 35% concentration will give a calcium-to-silica ratio in the final
cement of approximately 1:1. For systems incorporating pozzolans, the silica
concentration can be dropped to 20%. This is because the pozzolan contains silica.
Below 230 - 250°F (110 - 120°C), silica acts as a filler, diluent and slight weighting
agent. At one time, silica was added to cement for kick-off plugs, but it has been
determined this gave no benefit to the cement, and in many cases resulted in a more
friable system.
Strength retrogression does not necessarily cause operational problems due simply to
the loss of compressive strength. Over time, the cement strength may retrogress from
3,000 psi to as low as 500 psi, but even this low strength is sufficient to maintain casing
support. The problem begins to arise due to the increase in the permeability of the
cement. Permeability can increase from 0.001 mD in a standard cement, up to 0.5 mD
in a fully strength retrogressed slurry. This can lead to problems with zonal isolation,
fluid movement and other well problems.

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Cement Additives 2
2.15. ANTIFOAMS & DEFOAMERS
Two general classes of materials aimed at reducing the air entrainment of cement
slurries are antifoams and defoamers. The two materials are not interchangeable and
have different functions. Rarely are the two used in the same slurry, and rarely are they
both available on location.

2.15.1. Antifoams
An antifoam works by changing the surface tension of the water and preventing foams
from forming. As such, it is added to the mix water, or dry blended into the cement prior
to mixing. The materials will prevent the formation of a foam, but once a foam is
generated in a system, will do little to disperse or eliminate an existing foam. Most of
the agents used in cement are antifoam materials.
If not used properly, antifoam agents can become foam stabilizers at high
concentrations. As noted, an antifoam will do little to eliminate a foam that is in place.
The tendency in the field is to add large amounts of antifoam directly to the mixing tub
to eliminate a foaming problem. The high concentration in the mixing tub can result in
stabilization of the existing foam. One of the reasons the foam appears to reduce is no
new foam is being generated in the tub, and the existing foam is gradually dispersed.

2.15.2. Defoamers
Defoamers work by eliminating existing foams. As noted, these are not readily
available and not normally used. In the event of a severe foaming problem, a SMALL
spray of diesel onto the surface of the foam will generally result in elimination of the
foam.

2.16. SALT (NACL)


Sodium chloride salt is a unique additive because it changes in how it effects cement
depending on the concentration. At concentrations below 5% by weight of water
(BWOW), salt acts as an accelerator. This will hold true whether the salt is added to the
cement slurry, or is used as part of the mix water as in the case of mixing a cement with
seawater.
At concentrations from 5 - 10%, salt has very little effect on cement properties. It acts
as neither an accelerator nor retarder. Many service companies have sold salt in this
range for properties ranging from expansion to durability.
Above 10%, and up to saturation at 37%, salt will act as a retarder, with the retardation
effects increasing with concentration.
Salt is used for acceleration at low concentrations, primarily in the form of seawater.
Because calcium chloride is more effective and predictable, sodium chloride is rarely
used as an accelerator in its place.
At concentrations around 10%, salt can be used as a dispersant and expansive
additive. The expansion obtained from salt is low, and is dependent on how the

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Cement Additives 2
laboratory test is performed. If a cement system containing 10% salt is cured in a fresh
water bath, the system will show expansion due to the uptake of water through osmotic
pressure. Conversely, the same system when cured in a bath containing salt water will
not show appreciable expansion, and can show shrinkage if cured in a salt saturated
water bath. There is no reason to pay for 10% salt to get an expansive property.
Higher concentrations of salt are used primarily for salt formations. Salt zones will not
bond to fresh water slurries, as these slurries will tend to dissolve the salt at the cement
formation interface. Adding approximately 24% salt to the slurry will prevent dissolution
of the interface. It is not necessary to salt saturate the cement to prevent dissolution of
the interface to salt formations.
Large amounts of salt, above 24%, will adversely effect most common cement
additives. Fluid loss additives do not function well in high-salt environments, and
typically to get good fluid loss control, large amounts of additive were required. These
materials tend to be retarders, resulting in an over-retarded slurry. By using lower
concentrations of salt, less fluid additive may be required, which results in a better slurry
design. Several additives have been developed that work better in high-salt
environments, but still benefit from the lower concentration of salt.

2.17. LATEX AND LATEX STABILIZERS


Latex is one of the few additives that can have a long-term effect on the set cement
properties. When used at high concentrations (exceeding two gallons per sack), latex
can change the flexibility of the cement and will effect the Young's Modulus of the set
cement. Latex has use in preventing gas migration and functions very well for long-
term isolation of the well.
The normal recommended concentration for latex is 1.0 - 1.5 gallon per sack.
Concentrations above this level should only be run if specific, long-term mechanical
properties are required.
Latex often requires an additional stabilizer, particularly at high temperatures or in
systems containing salt. The stabilizer extends the effective range of the latex, and if
used properly, can reduce the amount of latex required for a particular application.

2.18. OTHER ADDITIVES


There are several additives while used in special situations, are not part of usual slurry
design. These materials include:
• Gypsum - Added in high concentrations (50 - 60%) for slurries to be exposed to
a Permafrost formation. May also be used at concentrations from 10 - 12% to
impart thixotropic properties or give positive expansion of the slurry.
• Surfactants - Used for foamed cement, surfactants are also recommended in
some gas applications for entraining formation gas as it enters the annulus.
Shell evaluated the use of surfactants in cement for gas migration prevention
and found the technique to be very effective provided a number of design criteria

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Cement Additives 2
were met. With the development of improved gas migration materials, this
practice is now rarely used.
• Fibers - Used to aid in tensile strength or cement stability. These materials
cannot be dry blended, as they will plug the bulk line. They must therefore be
added by hand at the mixing tub. Normal usage range is 0.25 - 1.25 lb/sk.
Fibers have been put into cements that are used for temporary wellbore lining.
This involves setting a cement plug in the open hole that contains the fibers,
then drilling a hole through the center of the plug. This acts to stabilize the
formation and allow further drilling. The fibers do not prevent cracking of the
cement during drill out, but hold the pieces together, preventing them from falling
into the hole.

2.19. LIQUID ADDITIVES


Cement additives are generally available in either liquid or dry form. Liquid additives
are often used for offshore and remote locations that may lack blending facilities.
These materials may also be used where the mix water will be premixed with the
required additives. This reduces the variability in dry blending, and can improve quality
control on location. The convenience of liquid additives must be weighed against two
operational concerns - metering and density control.

2.19.1. Metering
Liquid additives, when used in a continuous mix operation, must be properly metered
into the mix water. This is accomplished either through dump tanks, where a given
volume of additive is added to a tank of mix water, or through metering the additive
directly into the water as it is mixed with the cement.
The liquid additive pump systems must be properly calibrated and checked prior to the
job. Many service companies depend on a pump stroke counter from the additive
pump to calculate additive flow rate. This method of metering is not acceptable
in ExxonMobil operations. Experience in Eastern Canada offshore showed this
method of additive metering can be off by as much as 30%, due to the limitations of
counting pump strokes on a pump. If the line is plugged, additive viscosity is too high,
or the suction of the pump is plugged, there will by no indication to the operator that the
additive is not being delivered to the mix water. The pump will continue to cycle, but no
material will be delivered.
The preferred method is to use either a dump tank, where the additive is seen
going into the water, or by using a mass flow meter to measure the additive flow
when the additives are being directly pumped into the mix water line.

2.19.2. Density Control


Because the additives are in the mix water, density control on jobs using liquid additives
is critical. If the slurry is mixed light (too much mix water), the amount of additives per
sack is also increased. In the case of a retarder, not only will the cement run long
because of the lower density, it will also have more retarder in the slurry, further

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Cement Additives 2
increasing the retardation. If mixed heavy, there will be a lack of retarder that can lead
to premature setting of the cement.

2.19.3. Storage
Liquid additives need to be protected from cold temperatures. Depending on the
additive, freezing of the additive can destroy the function. This is particularly true with
latex type materials. Other additives can crystallize out and settle in the container.
Very high temperatures can lead to additional reactions within the liquid additive,
especially if it is a mixture of several components. In one instance, the manufacture
temperature of the additive was 110°F (37°C), but the location temperature exceeded
125°F (51°C). (The additives were stored near a flair on a platform.) This resulted in
continued polymerization of the additive, rendering it too viscous to remove from the
drums.
Liquid additives, if stored in buckets, should be regularly mixed to prevent settling. A
better alternative to small buckets is to store the material in a larger tote that can be
circulated with a small pump.

2.20. DRY ADDITIVES


Most land and many offshore operations use dry additives, which require dry blending.
All systems using silica for temperature stability must be dry blended before being sent
to location. Depending on the local operations, the dry blending operation will take
place at the service company facility, at the cement manufacturing plant, or a
centralized blending facility. Blending at the manufacturing plant is common practice in
Norway, and centralized blending at a facility in France is used by Schlumberger to pre-
blend their CRETE* systems for use throughout Europe, West Africa and parts of the
Middle East. The most common operation is dry blending at the site.
Systems with dry blended additives will be more consistent when mixed outside the
design density. Because the additives are blended with the cement, changes in water
content will not alter the relative concentration of the additive. It is important to obtain a
consistent blend, and proper dry blending techniques are essential.
The service company should have a quality procedure in place for control of the dry
blending process. The procedure should include:
• Proper storage of additives - Sack additives should be protected from humidity
and condensation.
• Isolation of additives - The lot number of the additives being used for a single job
should be identical if possible. It is common practice to isolate additives for
critical cement jobs.
• Weights and scales - The additives must be weighed properly. This requires the
use of a calibrated scale.
• Blending process - The bulk plant operation should have a process where the
additives are layered or sandwiched into the cement. The best method of
obtaining a quality blend is to place one-third of the cement in the weigh batch

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Cement Additives 2
blender followed by one-half of the additives. This is followed by another one-
third of the cement, the remainder of the additives and finally the remainder of
the cement.
• Blending and blend movement - The process should include a minimum of three
bulk moves of the cement. This means the cement must be blown from the
weigh batch tank to a separate holding tank, then back to the weigh batch
blender (or a second tank) and finally to the truck or transport. This would
constitute the three-move minimum.
• Sampling and sample retention - There should be a process in place for
sampling the blend on the last movement through an in-line sample device. The
process should also include a written retention time for the samples. Typically,
samples of blends are retained for 30 days.
• Labeling - Proper labeling of the cement samples is equally important. The
labeling should include the blend composition, lot numbers of additives and any
other identifying information. The additives in the blend must be traceable back
to an identifiable lot.

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Cement Additives 2
Table 2.1: Additive Function Overview
= = Major Effect; x = Minor Effect

Extenders (Bentonite,

Free Water Control

Weighting Agents
Pozzolans, etc.)

Gas Migration
Accelerators

Dispersant
Retarder
Effect

Sand

LCM

Salt
Density Increase = = = x
Decrease =
Water Requirement More = = x

Less =
Viscosity Higher x x = x

Lower x = = x

Thickening Time Longer x = = = x x

Shorter = x
Early Strength More = x

Less = = x = x x
Ultimate Strength More =
Less = x

Durability Better = =
Worse x x

Fluid Loss Improved x x x =


Worse = = x x
Free Water Less x x =
More = = x

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 2 - 26


Section

Primary Cementing
Cement Testing

Scope

This Section provides an overview of basic cement testing. Individual cement


tests are identified, and a brief discussion of how the test is performed, required
information needed to perform the test; data interpretation and test limitations are
included.

Company Use Only


Cement Testing 3
Table of Contents
Figures ............................................................................................................... 5
Tables................................................................................................................. 6
ExxonMobil Requirements ............................................................................... 7
ExxonMobil Recommended Practices ............................................................ 7
3. Cement Testing ........................................................................................... 8
3.1. Required References ............................................................................... 8
3.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute.................................................................. 8
3.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization ..................................................... 8

3.2. Introduction .............................................................................................. 8


3.3. API and ISO Standards and Specifications............................................ 8
3.4. Cement Testing Overview ....................................................................... 9
3.5. Thickening Time....................................................................................... 9
3.5.1. Information Needed to Perform the Test...................................................... 10
3.5.2. Test Description .......................................................................................... 10
3.5.3. Data Interpretation....................................................................................... 10
3.5.4. Test Limitations ........................................................................................... 12
3.5.5. Considerations ............................................................................................ 13

3.6. Compressive Strength ........................................................................... 13


3.6.1. Information Needed to Perform the Test...................................................... 13
3.6.2. Non-Destructive Sonic Strength .................................................................. 14
3.6.3. Destructive Test .......................................................................................... 14
3.6.4. Strength Testing Overview .......................................................................... 15
3.6.5. Test Limitations ........................................................................................... 15
3.6.6. Considerations ............................................................................................ 16

3.7. Cold Temperature Testing..................................................................... 16


3.7.1. Information Needed to Perform the Test...................................................... 16
3.7.2. Test Description .......................................................................................... 16

3.8. Free Water............................................................................................... 17


3.8.1. Information Needed to Perform the Test...................................................... 17

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Cement Testing 3
3.8.2. Test Description .......................................................................................... 17
3.8.3. Data Interpretation....................................................................................... 18
3.8.4. Test Limitations ........................................................................................... 18
3.8.5. Considerations ............................................................................................ 18

3.9. Fluid Loss ............................................................................................... 19


3.9.1. Information Needed to Perform the Test...................................................... 19
3.9.2. Test Description .......................................................................................... 19
3.9.3. Data Interpretation....................................................................................... 20
3.9.4. Test Limitations ........................................................................................... 21
3.9.5. Cost Versus Performance ........................................................................... 21
3.9.6. Considerations ............................................................................................ 21

3.10. Settling ................................................................................................. 21


3.10.1. Information Needed to Perform the Test...................................................... 21
3.10.2. Test Description .......................................................................................... 22
3.10.3. Data Interpretation....................................................................................... 22
3.10.4. Test Limitations ........................................................................................... 22
3.10.5. Considerations ............................................................................................ 22

3.11. Density ................................................................................................. 22


3.11.1. Information Needed to Perform the Test...................................................... 22
3.11.2. Test Description .......................................................................................... 22
3.11.3. Data Interpretation....................................................................................... 23
3.11.4. Test Limitations ........................................................................................... 23
3.11.5. Considerations ............................................................................................ 23

3.12. Gas Migration/Gas Tightness............................................................. 23


3.12.1. Information Needed to Perform the Test...................................................... 24
3.12.2. Test Description .......................................................................................... 24
3.12.3. Data Interpretation....................................................................................... 24
3.12.4. Test Limitations ........................................................................................... 24
3.12.5. Considerations ............................................................................................ 24

3.13. Transition Time ................................................................................... 24


3.13.1. Information Needed to Perform Test............................................................ 24
3.13.2. Test Description .......................................................................................... 25
3.13.3. Data Interpretation....................................................................................... 25

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Cement Testing 3
3.13.4. Test Limitations ........................................................................................... 25
3.13.5. Considerations ............................................................................................ 25

3.14. Wettability ............................................................................................ 26


3.14.1. Information Needed to Perform Test............................................................ 26
3.14.2. Test Description .......................................................................................... 26
3.14.3. Data Interpretation....................................................................................... 26
3.14.4. Test Limitations ........................................................................................... 26
3.14.5. Considerations ............................................................................................ 27

3.15. Rheology.............................................................................................. 27
3.15.1. Information Needed to Perform Test............................................................ 27
3.15.2. Test Description .......................................................................................... 27
3.15.3. Data Interpretation....................................................................................... 27
3.15.4. Test Limitations ........................................................................................... 28
3.15.5. Considerations ............................................................................................ 29

3.16. Compatibility ....................................................................................... 29


3.16.1. Information Needed to Perform Test............................................................ 29
3.16.2. Test Description .......................................................................................... 29
3.16.3. Data Interpretation....................................................................................... 30
3.16.4. Test Limitations ........................................................................................... 30
3.16.5. Considerations ............................................................................................ 30

3.17. Additional Compatibility Tests........................................................... 30


3.18. Strength Development at Top of Liner .............................................. 30
3.18.1. Information Needed to Perform Test............................................................ 30
3.18.2. Test Description .......................................................................................... 31
3.18.3. Data Interpretation....................................................................................... 31
3.18.4. Test Limitations ........................................................................................... 31
3.18.5. Considerations ............................................................................................ 31

3.19. Test Timing .......................................................................................... 31

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Cement Testing 3
Figures
Figure 3.1: Slurry Cup ................................................................................................. 10
Figure 3.2: Thickening Time Curve (2 Slurries) ........................................................... 11
Figure 3.3: Point of Departure ..................................................................................... 12
Figure 3.4: Free Water ................................................................................................ 18
Figure 3.5: Fluid Loss Test .......................................................................................... 19
Figure 3.6: Cost Versus Performance.......................................................................... 21
Figure 3.7: Viscometer ................................................................................................ 28
Figure 3.8: Viscometer Data ........................................................................................ 28

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Cement Testing 3
Tables
Table 3.1: Representative Compatibility Data.............................................................. 29
Table 3.2: Testing Summary........................................................................................ 32

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Cement Testing 3
ExxonMobil Requirements
Section # ExxonMobil Requirement
There are no ExxonMobil requirements in this Section.

ExxonMobil Recommended Practices


ExxonMobil recommended practices for testing that deviate from standard API and ISO
protocols are found in the following:
Section # ExxonMobil Recommended Practice
3.5 Thickening times should be reported as time to 70 Bc.
3.5.4 The API tables should not be used to determine heat up rate. The
actual time to bottom should be calculated.
3.5.4 The maximum heat up rate for thickening time testing is one hour.
3.6.4 The recommended method for determining strength development is
with a ultrasonic cement analyzer (UCA).
3.13.4 The transition time cannot be measured or determined from a
thickening time curve, regular Fann 35 rheometer, or other high shear
device.

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Cement Testing 3
3. CEMENT TESTING

3.1. REQUIRED REFERENCES

This Section lists Practices and Standards that are generically referenced and assumed
part of this document. Unless otherwise specified herein, use the latest edition.

3.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute


API Spec 10A Specification for Cements and Materials for Well Cementing
API RP 10B Recommended Practice for Testing Well Cements

3.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization


ISO 10426-1 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 1: Specification
ISO 10426-2 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 2: Testing of
Well Cement
ISO 10426-3 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 3: Testing of
Deepwater Well Cement Formulations
ISO 10426-4 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 4: Methods for
Atmospheric Foamed Cement Slurry Preparation and Testing

3.2. INTRODUCTION

This document attempts to take the aspects of common cement testing and presents
them in a simplified format. The document is not intended to be a definitive treatise on
cementing or cement testing, but as an informative resource on testing.

3.3. API AND ISO STANDARDS AND SPECIFICATIONS

API and ISO specifications for cement are found in API Spec 10A or ISO 10426-1.
These documents present the tests that are to be performed on neat cement with no
additives. The purpose of the specification tests is to evaluate the "raw" cement for
specific chemical and performance requirements. It is through this testing that cement
is classified as a Class A, Class G, etc. The tests are highly specific, and no variance
from the testing protocol is allowed. Specification testing is only performed on the base
cement with no additives. These are no tests used for a particular well.
Most day-to-day cement testing is based on a set of testing standards developed by the
American Petroleum Institute (API). The standards are found in the API Recommended
Practice for Testing Oil Field Cements, API RP 10B. This same document has been
adopted as an International Standard through ISO as ISO 10426-2. These documents

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Cement Testing 3
contain standard recommended testing procedures for evaluating cements and cement
slurries. These test methods differ considerably from specifications for cement because
they allow the use of cement additives, encourage changes to the test, and attempt to
follow field conditions.
It is not the intent of the API to simulate well conditions. The goal of the API is to
develop a standard set of test procedures to allow comparison of results between
various labs. API procedures may be modified to match the particular well conditions
and mixing methods used. While the tests outlined in the API and ISO publications are
applicable to field work, the engineer is responsible for determining the applicability of a
particular test and determining if the results have meaning to a particular well.

3.4. CEMENT TESTING OVERVIEW

Using the API standards as a base, performance testing determines if the properties of
a particular slurry meet the requirements of the well. As well conditions merit, it may be
necessary to modify or custom design a test to properly evaluate a slurry for a particular
application. A test example would be stirring a slurry at atmospheric conditions for
some period of time to simulate batch mixing on surface.
Several tests outlined in the API Recommended Practices are reviewed. Each test
identifies the information required to properly run the test, a description of the test, test
limitations, data interpretation and important considerations. Also included are some
tests, while not having an API or ISO procedure, are common enough to be included in
the table. This information is not meant to limit any specialty testing required for actual
well conditions.
Description of Individual Cement Tests - A more detailed description of individual
cement tests follows. Each explanation includes a brief description of the purpose of
the test, the required information needed to perform the test, and a detailed description
of the test. Limitations of the test are described along with a summary of important
factors.

3.5. THICKENING TIME

The thickening time of a cement is the time required for a slurry to no longer be
pumpable at a particular temperature and pressure. This test is required for every
slurry to be pumped. A slurry that has obtained 70 Bc should be considered set. A
Bearden Unit of Consistency (Bc) measures of the consistency of a cement slurry when
determined on a pressurized consistometer (see Section 3.5.2).

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Cement Testing 3
3.5.1. Information Needed to Perform the Test
Well depth (MD and TVD)
Bottomhole Static Temperature (BHST)
Bottomhole Circulating Temperature (BHCT)
Casing size and pump rates (or time for cement to reach TD)
Required Job Time

3.5.2. Test Description


The thickening time test is a dynamic test, meaning the slurry is moved or stirred for the
duration of the test. The only other dynamic test performed on cement is a rheology
test. All other cement testing is done in a static condition. The thickening time test is
performed on a consistometer, which utilizes a stainless steel slurry cup placed in an oil
bath. The sample is heated to temperature and pressure while continuously stirring.
Inside the cup is a stationary paddle attached to a spring mechanism. The outer portion
of the cup turns, and as the slurry begins to thicken or set, maintaining the paddle in a
stationary position requires increasing force (see Figure 3.1). This force is measured
as a deflection of the spring and converted into Bearden Units of Consistency (Bc)
according to the requirements of API Spec 10A.

Figure 3.1: Slurry Cup

Slurry Cup

Paddle

3.5.3. Data Interpretation


Figure 3.2 is a graph representing the thickening time curves for two slurries. Both
slurries have a thickening time of 120 minutes (2:00) to 100 Bc, but exhibit considerable
difference in the thickening time curve. One slurry remains very thin for the entire run,
and sets in a very short period of time. The second slurry begins to gel shortly after the
test has begun, and continues to thicken gradually over time. The second slurry should
be redesigned, as it can cause considerable problems during placement.

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Cement Testing 3
Figure 3.2: Thickening Time Curve (2 Slurries)

120

100

80
Bc

60

40

20

0
0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120
Time (min.)

The laboratory personnel are the only ones that routinely see the thickening time curve,
and are, hopefully, sufficiently skilled to recognize a slurry that gels with time. The
graph is normally not included in any of the laboratory reports. To address the problem,
it is preferred the lab report the time to 30, 50 and 70 Bc. In this way, an approximation
of the thickening time curve can be made. The shorter the time between these values,
the more "right angle" the set of the cement is said to be. Most labs report the time to
70 Bc as the thickening time. Some laboratories will take the test to 100 Bc, which is in
line with the specification test of neat cement. For ExxonMobil operations, the time
to 70 Bc should be reported as the thickening time.
During the thickening time test, the motor may be turned off for 5 -10 minutes after the
cement reaches test conditions. This is to simulate the dropping of the plug and can
indicate if there is a gellation problem with the slurry. Following the shut-down period,
the viscosity of the slurry should not go above 50 Bc. The shut down is not part of the
standard test, is not contained in the API procedure, but is part of the standard
ExxonMobil testing procedure given to the service companies. The shut-down period
need only be applied where applicable during the job. For example, when pumping a
tail cement, the cement will not have reached test conditions when the plug is dropped.
Including a shut-down period in this test would not be necessary.
Lightweight slurries, particularly those containing silicate extenders, may have a very
long thickening time. The true thickening time of these slurries is related to the point in
time when the slurry begins to thicken, called the point of departure. The point of
departure is where the viscosity of the slurry begins to move away from the baseline.
With silicate slurries, it is possible to continue to pump the slurry beyond its "thickening
time" because the crystals formed in the cement are not strong enough to prevent
breakage by the consistometer blade. The results of pumping one of these slurries well
beyond the point of departure will be a reduction in the strength development. An
analogy to this would be in making whipped cream. Initially, the system will be thick,
but if mixing continues, butter will be formed and the remaining liquid will separate. If a
silicate extended system is mixed too long, the resulting slurry will have the consistency
of cottage cheese. The slurry will also be very thixotropic, and any shut down of the

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Cement Testing 3
pumps on location after the point of departure could result in an early termination of the
job.
Figure 3.3 illustrates a silicate slurry that has a point of departure at approximately 50
minutes. The time required for the slurry to reach 70 Bc is in excess of 2-1/2 hours.
This can be critical on location because if the pumps are shut down for any reason after
50 minutes, the slurry will gel very rapidly and end the cement job.

Figure 3.3: Point of Departure

120
100
80
Point of Departure
Bc

60
40
20
0
10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120 130 140 150 160 170 180

Time (Min)

Note: The point of departure is only critical for slurries containing silicate extenders.

If the job calls for batch mixing the slurry, the thickening time test can be modified to
simulate surface mixing of the slurry. The test is performed in the same instrument, but
for the anticipated mixing time, no heat or pressure is applied to the cement. The
surface mixing time is not figured into the thickening time. The thickening time is
reported as the time the temperature and pressure is applied to the slurry until it sets.

3.5.4. Test Limitations


The thickening time test is performed by taking a slurry and heating it to the test
temperature at a particular rate. The heat-up rate should be determined by the
anticipated pump rate on location, and the amount of time it will take to get the slurry to
the bottom of the well. The same schedule will also control the pressure placed on the
slurry.
It is critical the tables in API RP 10B not be used for this determination. The API
tables took an average of about 500 wells surveyed between 1986 and 1989 and
determined an average time to bottom and the average mud weight. These are the
averages that appear in the tables. Many service company lab programs simply
extrapolate the temperature, time, and pressure based on the tables. For many wells,
the heat-up rate is too slow, and can lead to a cementing failure if used.
When calculating the heat-up rate, use the actual time to bottom, or one hour,
whichever is less. This is part of the ExxonMobil requirements found in Section 4.3.2.

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Cement Testing 3
After the cement reaches the test temperature and pressure, the slurry remains at these
conditions for the duration of the test. In an actual well, the cement would be going up
in the annulus to a lower temperature and lower pressure. A standard thickening time
test does not take this into consideration, and tends to make the test slightly
conservative.

3.5.5. Considerations
1. Temperature, pressure, and heat-up rates are very important for a valid test.
Always calculate the rate to bottom and do not depend on the API tables.
2. Request the time to 30, 50 and 70 Bc from the lab.
3. Use caution with silicate extended slurries. Request the point of departure be
reported.

3.6. COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH

This Section covers "normal" strength testing for wells with static temperatures at or
above ambient temperature. Additional consideration is given to cold temperature
testing and is covered in Section 6, Specialty Cement Systems.
The compressive strength test determines the force required to break an unconfined
cement sample after it has been cured at temperature for a given time-period. The test
may also be performed in an ultrasonic cement analyzer that utilizes sonic signals and
calculates an equivalent strength from the signal. This is referred to as the sonic
strength, but in field practice there is normally no distinction made between the two test
results. Because of the difference in the conventional compressive strength test and
the non-destructive test, the description that follows is in two parts. The non-destructive
test has become more common. Normally, the test is performed by field laboratories,
except where cooling of the slurry below room temperature is required.
Strength testing of cement has the largest standard deviation of any cementing test.
The variability in the test results can be as much as +/-75% and normally runs about
50%. Due to this variance, performing a direct comparison of two slurries based only
on strength development is highly suspect, and is not recommended.

3.6.1. Information Needed to Perform the Test


Well depth (MD and TVD)
Bottomhole Static Temperature (BHST)
Top of liner temperature
Top of tail cement
Mud weight

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Cement Testing 3
3.6.2. Non-Destructive Sonic Strength
This test is performed on a device called an ultrasonic cement analyzer (UCA). The
UCA consists of a slurry container housed in a heating jacket. The slurry is heated to
the test temperature in four hours, and held at a pressure of 3,000 psi. The UCA is
capable of curing samples at pressures up to 20,000 psi if desired, but pressures other
than 3,000 must be specifically requested.
The test cell contains an ultrasonic transducer and receiver. The transducer sends a
signal through the cement and the time required for the signal to travel through the
sample is measured. Based on a set of computer algorithms, an equivalent
compressive strength is calculated. The UCA will give the user a plot of strength versus
time, and is very useful in determining WOC times. (The signal sent through the
cement is essentially the same signal used for the ultrasonic cement evaluation logs,
like the CAST V, USIT, or other ultrasonic tools.)
The UCA depends on the computer algorithms to calculate strength based on the
transition time of the sonic signal. The algorithms change with cement density and to
some extent additives in the cement. The UCA appears to give a lower strength
number by about 20% than a comparable destructive test, but is more reproducible than
the destructive test.

3.6.3. Destructive Test


The conventional compressive strength test is a destructive test where a 2" x 2" x 2"
cube is prepared by pouring a slurry into a mold. The mold is placed under water in an
autoclave and heated to the test temperature in four hours. The test is performed at a
curing pressure of 3,000 psi. The sample remains at the temperature and pressure for
a predetermined time period, typically 8, 12, or 24 hours. The sample is removed from
the mold and crushed on a hydraulic press. The force to crush the sample is divided by
the cross sectional area of the sample and the result reported as the compressive
strength in psi.
This test is a destructive test and requires multiple samples of data in more than one
test period. The test also relies on the calibration of the hydraulic press, loading rate,
and the expertise of the press operator.
Because of the variability in equipment and the cement itself, the reproducibility of
compressive strength testing is very poor. Each of the molds on a destructive test can
make two cubes. The cubes are next to each other, poured out of the same mix of
cement. Due to the variance in the test, the force required to crush each cube can vary
by 75% or more. A compressive strength number will only give an indication of the
order of magnitude of the strength. A cement slurry with a reported compressive
strength of 1,200 psi has the same strength as one with a 1,800 psi strength. The
accuracy of the test is not sufficient to distinguish between these results. There is no
benefit in paying more for incremental compressive strength gain.

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Cement Testing 3
3.6.4. Strength Testing Overview
Strength testing is a static test normally performed at a single temperature and
pressure. The curing pressure most commonly used for the test is 3,000 psi. This
pressure does not correspond to the pressures actually seen in the well, and merely
serves as a standard for testing. Curing pressure can have an effect on the rate of
strength development, but is normally not a concern except in cold temperature testing.
Temperature is the most important variable in determining strength development, and
usually the test is performed at too high a temperature. It is common lab practice to test
all slurries at the BHST of the well. For lead cement slurries, the cement will never be
exposed to the BHST, and testing at this temperature gives overly optimistic results.
Additionally, the tail slurry will not see the BHST of the well for some time, and thus test
results, if performed at BHST, will be optimistic as well. (See Section 4.3.3 for
calculation methods.)
• For general testing purposes, it is recommended that tail cement slurries be
tested at 85% of the BHST.
• Lead slurries should be tested at the temperature at the midpoint of the lead, or
at the highest point covered by the lead if strength at the top of the lead slurry is
critical.
Strength tests should always be performed at the top of liners. This is important in
determining when the cement has set and the liner top can be pressure tested. If the
cement has set at the top of the liner, it should be set at the higher temperatures further
down the well.
There are very few areas where specific strength numbers have any importance. One
specific place is where some regulatory body has set a requirement for strength
development over a given period of time. The second area is with plug cementing
where high strength gives an advantage for kick-off plugs. Depending on well
conditions, any strength in excess of 2,500 is acceptable for a kick-off plug. It is
generally accepted that any strength over 500 psi is adequate for continuing any well
operation such as drilling out the casing shoe, casing testing, etc. Data at one time
suggested a need for at least 2,000 psi for perforating casing, but subsequent work has
shown higher-strength cements tend to crack, and lower-strength cements give
improved results.
While specific strength numbers are of little importance except for regulatory
compliance, the development of strength is very important to well design. It is more
important to determine when the cement gains sufficient strength to continue
operations, than it is to determine the strength at a particular point in time. Because of
this, the use of the UCA is the recommended method for strength determination.

3.6.5. Test Limitations


Strength tests measure unconfined strength, which will vary considerably from values of
confined strength that will be present in the well. Data has shown that lower strength
slurries will have up to 8 - 10 times more strength if tested in a confined environment.
High strength samples, those having unconfined strengths of 4,000 or more, will show

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Cement Testing 3
an increase of 3 - 5 times. The difference is the high strength material is too brittle to
gain from the load transfer to the surrounding material.

3.6.6. Considerations
1. Test the tail slurry at 85% of BHST. Do not use BHST (see Section 4.3.3).
2. Test the lead at the temperature of the midpoint of the lead, or at the top of the lead,
if strength development at the top of the lead cement is important.
3. If strength development is a problem, consider performing the test following a
preconditioning period on a consistometer at the BHCT of the well following API/ISO
procedures.
4. Do not pay more money for incremental strength gain.
5. Always request a strength test be performed at the top of a liner.

3.7. COLD TEMPERATURE TESTING

Conventional strength tests are performed at a single temperature. For cold


applications, such as deepwater, the use of a single temperature can give unrealistically
pessimistic results. This is because the test procedure does not account for the thermal
mass of the cement, and does not allow for the heat of hydration of the slurry to aid in
strength development.
ISO 10426-3 procedures include a specific testing protocol for use in cold temperature
environments. The procedures call for very similar testing to the strength testing, with
additional consideration given to the temperature profiles of the test.
API RP 10B also contains test protocols that address arctic testing. The procedures
call for cycling the cement through several freeze-thaw cycles to determine slurry
stability. This specialty test is only used in permafrost environments. Test details for
this protocol are found in the API text.

3.7.1. Information Needed to Perform the Test


Water depth
Temperatures
Casing and hole size

3.7.2. Test Description


Testing in cold environments utilizes the same equipment as other testing, but the
equipment is cooled to temperatures below room temperature. This creates a number
of challenges for the equipment as condensation can cause electrical problems with
some test equipment. Additionally, the equipment has not been designed to simulate a
cool down ramp, so temperature control may be a problem.

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Strength development is most effected by cold temperatures. The thickening time of
the slurry will be longer, fluid loss will not change, and free water will be unaffected.
The procedures outlined in the API and ISO documents recommend testing after
running some type of temperature simulator to estimate temperature recovery in the
wellbore. The temperature profile for the strength test can be modified to simulate the
recovery of the formation, and in some cases, the heat generated from the hydration of
the cement.
The thermal gain from the heat of hydration of cement is not accounted for in
conventional cement testing. The size of the sample in comparison to the test cell is
insignificant, and it is easy to withdraw heat from the sample during the test. When
testing at cold temperatures, it is recommended the UCA cell be chilled to the test
temperature and then the cooling water turned off to allow the cell to warm as the
cement sets.
The normal testing for cold temperature tests involves setting cubes in a refrigerator or
cold bath. The samples are then crushed and the strength determined. While this will
give an indication of the strength at that point in time, it will not tell the user when the
cement began to set. In cold temperature testing, it is often more important to know
when the cement begins to set than the strength at some point in time. The preferred
method for testing cement in cold temperatures is the UCA if there is a need to reduce
WOC time on the rig. An example where this can be critical is where the casing string
must be held in position until the cement sets. If there is no rig time tied up in waiting
on cement, then conventional testing will work well. Cases where this is applicable
involve long runs of risers, where it can take up to three days to be back on the well.

3.8. FREE WATER

Also known as free fluid, the test is an indication of water separation from a slurry. This
test is particularly important for higher angle wells where gas migration may be
encountered. The free water test will give an indication of the slurry stability under
static conditions.

3.8.1. Information Needed to Perform the Test


Well Angle
Temperature

3.8.2. Test Description


The test consists of taking a cement slurry that has been conditioned on a
consistometer to BHCT and placing it in a 250 mL graduated cylinder for two hours.
The fluid separated from the cement slurry at the end of the two-hour period is
measured and reported as percent free water (see Section 4.3.6).
Free water tests should be performed at either a 0° or 45° angle. For deviated wells, a
test angle of 45° is the standard. Slurries may show free water when tested at 45°, even
if the 0° test showed no free water development. This is due to a phenomenon called

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Cement Testing 3
the "Boycott Effect," that shows solids settle faster at angle, with 45° being the most
severe angle. Figure 3.4 shows the set up with the graduated cylinder deviated at 45°
from vertical for the test.

Figure 3.4: Free Water

3.8.3. Data Interpretation


Test data will be reported as a percentage. For slurries across nonproductive zones,
free water should be less than 2.5% for lead slurries, and for tail slurries, less than 1%.
For any slurry across a productive interval or any gas zone, the free water at angle
should be zero (0). To obtain zero free water, even a neat cement slurry will require the
addition of some additive, or a reduction in the amount of mix water. An API cement will
have free water when mixed at the recommended water content.

3.8.4. Test Limitations


The test does not measure solids settling directly. The results can show zero free water
and the slurry can still settle. The test is performed at atmospheric pressure and a
maximum temperature of 180°F (82°C).

3.8.5. Considerations
1. Request zero free water for any slurry across a productive interval.
2. Test at well angle or 45° from vertical for high-angle wells.

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3.9. FLUID LOSS

The fluid loss test measures the amount of fluid (mL) that can be forced out of a cement
slurry at 1,000 psi differential pressure across a 325-mesh screen at the bottomhole
circulating temperature of the well.

3.9.1. Information Needed to Perform the Test


BHCT

3.9.2. Test Description


The test is performed in a pressurized cell that has a small opening in the top and
bottom (Figure 3.5). The top opening is used to introduce nitrogen to the cell. The
bottom opening has a 325-mesh screen across the ID of the cell to prevent the cement
from being pushed out of the lower opening. After conditioning the slurry at BHCT for at
least 20 minutes, the slurry is placed in the fluid loss cell and 1,000 psi differential
pressure is applied across the 325-mesh screen.

Figure 3.5: Fluid Loss Test

1000 psi Nitrogen

Cement
Slurry

325 Mesh Screen

Filtrate

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Cement Testing 3
The test is begun and the filtrate from the slurry collected for 30 minutes or until the
cement "blows dry." Because the surface area of the test cell is one-half (1/2) of a
standard mud fluid loss test, the volume of filtrate is doubled to give the API fluid loss. If
the test blew dry, then the 30-minute equivalent fluid loss is calculated by the equation:
5.477
Calculated API Fluid Loss = 2 Qt *
t
Where Qt is the volume (mL) of filtrate collected at the time t (min) of the blowout

For example, if 50 mL is collected in 16 minutes and the test blows dry at that point, the
API fluid loss is calculated as:
5.477
2 * 50 * = 547.7 ÷ 4 = 137 mL
16
The cement fluid loss test is very different from the mud fluid loss test. While both tests
measure the amount of filtrate from a fluid sample, the standard mud fluid loss test is
done at room temperature against filter paper and 100 psi differential pressure. There
is a mud test that is performed at a higher temperature and 500 psi differential, but still
uses filter paper as the filter medium. The cement fluid loss test is performed at 1,000
psi differential against a 325-mesh screen and is performed at the bottomhole
circulating temperature of the well.
Fluid loss additives are second only to gas migration materials as the most expensive
additives used in cement. It is common to see tail cement slurries with very good fluid
loss control following a lead slurry with little or no fluid loss control. The practice should
be avoided. Fluid loss is important for gas migration control, squeeze cementing, and
narrow annular gaps.

3.9.3. Data Interpretation


Fluid loss values will be reported in mL. Check to be sure that the test was performed
at temperature. Depending on the cement job being planned, the acceptable range for
fluid loss will vary. In general, the tighter the annular clearance, the lower the fluid loss
should be. The test is not exact, so a range of fluid loss is given:
Surface pipe - no control required
Intermediate - 250 - 500 mL
Long String - 200 - 350 mL
Liner - less than 200 mL
Gas Migration - 50 mL or less
The table lists general guidelines, not fast requirements. A cement system with no
control will have an API fluid loss value of approximately 1,200 - 1,400 mL.

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Cement Testing 3
3.9.4. Test Limitations
The test does not take into account the effects of the mud filter cake, which will tend to
reduce the fluid loss from a cement slurry. This is why recommendations for fluid-loss
control ranges may be higher than those of service companies or other operators.

3.9.5. Cost Versus Performance


Figure 3.6 represents the relative cost for fluid loss control. The data shows that to
obtain the 200 - 400 mL fluid-loss is relatively inexpensive when compared to trying to
reduce the fluid loss from 100 - 50 mL. At very low, fluid loss values, the incremental
gain in fluid loss compared to the increase in cost is often not beneficial.

Figure 3.6: Cost Versus Performance

1400

1200

1000

800

600

400

200

0
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Increasing Cost

3.9.6. Considerations
1. Check to make sure the test is run at circulating temperature.
2. Fluid loss below 100 mL is quite expensive and usually not necessary. It should
only be specified if technically required, as with liners, some squeeze work, or gas
migration control.

3.10. SETTLING
This test measures slurry stability by taking a sample of cement and allowing it to set in
a standard cylinder. The sample is removed, sectioned, and the density of each section
measured. The data is reported in lb/gal for each section.

3.10.1. Information Needed to Perform the Test


Well Temperature

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3.10.2. Test Description
This test is also called the BP settling test, as the test was originally developed by BP.
The test consists of setting up a cement in a long tube, sectioning the set cement
sample and measuring the density variance from the top to the bottom. The tube is
designed to be placed in an autoclave, so the test can be performed at temperature and
pressure. The cement is normally conditioned in a consistometer prior to being put into
the tube.
This test is not a routine part of cement testing, but should be run when evaluating new
high-density slurries and slurries used for high angle and extended reach work.

3.10.3. Data Interpretation


The data from the test is presented as density versus sample. Variations in density,
from the top to the bottom of the sample in excess of 0.3 lb/gal, are a sign of settling
and slurry stability problems. The average density of all of the samples is often higher
than the design density. This is due to the intrinsic error in the test where the total
volume of the sample is not accounted for in the calculations. This is not a problem as
the test is designed to evaluate changes in density within a single sample.

3.10.4. Test Limitations


The test does not account for free water development.

3.10.5. Considerations
Watch for excessive density variations from top to bottom of the sample. Temperature
can have a major effect on the test. This test is primarily a screening test used for high-
density slurries and those being used for high angle and extended reach wells.

3.11. DENSITY
The long-term properties of cement are controlled by the water to cement ratio. The
easiest method to test for this is by measuring the density of the slurry. This test is
most commonly performed in the field to ensure the cement has been mixed to the
proper density. The test should also be performed in the lab if new sources of major
additives are being used. This would include previously unused flyash sources, etc.

3.11.1. Information Needed to Perform the Test


Desired density of slurry

3.11.2. Test Description


The test is performed using a fluid balance. There are two types of balances - an
atmospheric and pressurized balance. For cementing purposes, only the pressurized

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Cement Testing 3
balance should be used. The pressure in the balance reduces the amount of air
entrained in the sample to a negligible amount, thus increasing the accuracy of the
reading.

3.11.3. Data Interpretation


The data is reported as a density measurement. It is important to use a calibrated fluid
balance, and checking the calibration is readily done by measuring the density of a
fresh water sample.

3.11.4. Test Limitations


The scales are not effective for slurries below 11 lb/gal. Slurries with very high water
content, or those containing special ultra lightweight additives may require special
measuring devices to determine proper mixing. If the balance is not pressurized
properly, the measurement will be off. As a comparison, the difference in an
atmospheric and pressurized fluid balance is 0.4 - 0.6 lb/gal.

3.11.5. Considerations
1. Assure the balance is calibrated.
2. Use only a pressurized fluid balance, not an atmospheric balance for measuring
cement density.

3.12. GAS MIGRATION/GAS TIGHTNESS


There is no API or ISO standard procedure for testing a slurry for the ability to prevent
gas migration or exhibit gas tightness through the cement. The industry has developed
a number of tests in an attempt to evaluate a slurry for the ability to control gas. The
most common models test the slurry for fluid loss, and attempt to inject gas through the
matrix of the cement. Cements with very good fluid loss control tend to do very well in
the models.
These tests evaluate the ability of the cement to prevent gas migration through the
matrix of the cement itself. There is no test to evaluate the potential for gas to migrate
at either the interface of the cement and the formation of the cement and the casing.
Gas migration in these areas can be the result of poor mud removal, oil-wet surfaces,
etc.
There is a difference between gas intrusion and gas migration. It is very difficult to
prevent gas intrusion into a cement column. Materials used for gas migration control
must interact with the gas to be effective. The material will thus prevent the gas from
forming a flow channel within the cement, but will do little to prevent invasion into the
cement immediately across from the gas zone. The only material that has shown the
ability to prevent gas intrusion is gas generating additives or foamed cement. The
presence of gas in the slurry tends to maintain the pressure of the cement column on
the gas zone, thus preventing influx. This effect has been shown in the laboratory, but
cannot be demonstrated on cement evaluation logs because the cement will have gas

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entrained in the slurry and there is no way to differentiate between gas from a formation
and that introduced intentionally to the slurry.

3.12.1. Information Needed to Perform the Test


Bottomhole static temperature
Well depth
Depth to gas zone
Gas zone pressure

3.12.2. Test Description


There is no single test for gas migration/gas tightness. The test will vary from company
to company but will normally include some sort of fluid loss test and potentially a gel
strength determination. Most of the industry tests look for gas tightness through the
matrix of the cement.

3.12.3. Data Interpretation


Data presented and interpreted will depend on the test, but will generally include a
review of the gas flow into the cement versus time.

3.12.4. Test Limitations


Most of the tests are performed at BHST, but some are limited to atmospheric pressure
and 190°F (88°C).

3.12.5. Considerations
1. Do not confuse this test with the transition time measurement.
2. Due to variability in the tests, understand how the test is performed and what the
data actually means.
3. See Section 7 for recommendations on techniques to minimize gas migration.

3.13. TRANSITION TIME


This is not an API test. The transition time test is commonly used to identify slurries
that have increased gas migration control. This test determines the amount of time for
a cement to go from 100 - 500 lbs/100 ft2 gel strength when measured at very slow
shear rates. The shear rate applied to the test is less than 0.005 sec-1.

3.13.1. Information Needed to Perform Test


BHCT and BHST

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3.13.2. Test Description
The transition time test is normally performed in a special consistometer that has the
ability to turn the consistometer paddle at rates of approximately 0.25 revolutions/hour.
This means to make one complete rotation of the cup would require four hours. This
extremely low shear rate is used to measure gel strength development. Higher shear
rates break the gel and are not a measure of the transition time. The test can also be
performed on a special rheometer capable of very low shear rates. The standard
rheometer cannot be used for this test.
The test is not an API or ISO test, and the term transition time is one of the most
misused and misunderstood of any cement term. Some personnel have referred to the
transition time as the time for a cement to set on a standard thickening time test. This is
not a transition time, and must not be confused. Only when the slurry is measured at
very low shear rates, can the transition time be measured. For comparison, a
thickening time test is performed at 150 revolutions per minute, with the transition time
test being performed at 0.25 revolutions per hour.

3.13.3. Data Interpretation


The data will be presented as the time for the slurry to go from "zero gel time" to
500 lbs/100 ft2. The zero gel time is the time for the slurry to reach 100-pound gel
strength. Data indicates the shorter the transition time, the less likely gas will migrate
through the cement. The transition time of a slurry is not the only parameter to measure
for gas tightness, but can give an indication of the quality of the slurry. Transition times
for quality slurries will normally be less than one (1) hour and preferably less than 30
minutes.

3.13.4. Test Limitations


Only specialized equipment can measure gel strength development at the very low
shear rates. The lab must use one of these pieces of equipment (e.g., MACS analyzer,
MiniMacs, Vane Rheometer). The transition time will vary depending on the device
used to make the measurement, but all of the devices have in common an extremely
low shear rate. The transition time cannot be measured or determined from a
thickening time curve, regular Fann 35 rheometer, or other high shear device.
Additional testing devices are in development that will electronically measure the
transition time and gel strength development of cement slurries. These tests apply no
shear to the slurry at all and depend on changes in signal travel time through the test
sample. Correlation equations between these electronic devices and mechanical
methods are under development.

3.13.5. Considerations
1. Look for short (less than one hour) transition times.
2. Temperature will have a major effect on gel strength development.
3. Do not confuse the transition time test with high shear measurements from
consistometers or conventional rheometers.

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4. Very few labs have the capability to actually run a transition time. Generally, the
test must be performed at a central lab facility.
5. The test should be requested at the beginning of drilling projects, changing service
companies, or if new additives are being introduced. This test is used as a
screening test to prove out particular slurry design philosophies rather than specific
slurries.

3.14. WETTABILITY
This test attempts to measure the effectiveness of a surfactant system to water wet
metal surfaces. The test evaluates spacer systems mixed with non-aqueous fluids
(NAF) and the ability to remove that fluid from a metal surface, therefore, this test
cannot be performed with water-based drilling muds.

3.14.1. Information Needed to Perform Test


BHCT and BHST
Sample of drilling fluid

3.14.2. Test Description


This test is performed in a modified metal blender cup that has a set of electrodes
mounted in the side. The cup can be heated to 180°F (82°C). A sample of non-
aqueous mud is put in the cup and stirred at constant rpm on the blender. The sample
is then titrated with the spacer, and the electrical resistance between the two electrodes
measured. As the resistance reduces, the electrodes are said to be more water wet.

3.14.3. Data Interpretation


The results of the test are reported in "Hogans," but the interpretation of the test
involves evaluating the curve of the reading versus amount of spacer required. The
less spacer required to effect a water wet change, the more efficient the material. The
test can also be used to test various surfactants, combinations of surfactants, and
surfactant concentrations.

3.14.4. Test Limitations


The test does not evaluate fluid compatibility, nor does it give an indication of the ability
of the spacer to mechanically remove the mud in the wellbore. Separate compatibility
and rheology tests must be performed.

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3.14.5. Considerations
The test does not measure compatibility or the mechanical ability of the spacer to
remove the mud. It is intended to optimize surfactant loading for a particular mud
system and should be requested for new projects or when evaluating the use of a new
NAF mud system.
1. The test is limited to 180°F (82°C) and atmospheric pressure.
2. There are no guidelines developed to determine a good spacer from a bad spacer;
the test is only qualitative.

3.15. RHEOLOGY

3.15.1. Information Needed to Perform Test


BHCT

3.15.2. Test Description


This test utilizes a rotating sleeve viscometer to measure the apparent viscosity of fluids
at various shear rates. The data is curve fit to an equation that can be used to predict
friction pressures in the well during cement placement. The data can also give an
indication of the "mixability" of the slurry on location. Figure 3.7 illustrates the
rheometer. A rotating sleeve turns around a fixed bob that is attached to a spring. As
the sleeve turns, it creates a drag on the bob, and the amount of drag is read as a
deflection of the spring. As the speed of the sleeve changes, the shear placed on the
fluid changes. The data set generated is then evaluated. A typical rheometer used for
cement testing will have readings taken at 300, 200, 100, 6, and 3 rpm. Additional data
points may be available, depending on the manufacturer of the rheometer.
Changing the rotor (sleeve), bob, spring, or any combination of the three, can modify
the test. If some combination other than the standard R1 B1 1X (#1 rotor, #1 bob and
#1 spring) is used, then the calculations must be changed to reflect the new test set up.

3.15.3. Data Interpretation


The calculation of rheological properties of a slurry can be quite complex, but there are
a number of computer programs available to assist in the calculation. The raw data can
be evaluated to determine potential mixing or settling problems on location. If the 300
rpm reading is in excess of 275, the mixing rate on location may be limited because of
the viscosity of the slurry. If the low shear rate viscosity (3 and 6 rpm) readings are
below 5, there is a high potential for settling in the slurry. Be sure to check the settling
test and the free water test.

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Cement Testing 3
Figure 3.7: Viscometer

Spring

Rotating
Sleeve
Bob

Figure 3.8 shows a plot of data from a typical rheology test. Depending on the shape
of the curve, and data interpretation, calculations can be made for estimated friction
pressures, pump pressures, effects on equivalent circulating density (ECD) and any
other calculation related to fluid viscosity.

Figure 3.8: Viscometer Data

300

250

200
Reading

150

100

50

0
0 100 200 300 400 500 600 700
RPM

3.15.4. Test Limitations


Cement rheology testing is limited to atmospheric pressure and 180°F (82°C). The
slurry cannot contain lost circulation materials, as these tend to clog the gap in the

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 3 - 28


Cement Testing 3
rheometer. The data from foamed cements does not appear to be sufficiently accurate
to use for downhole pressure predictions.

3.15.5. Considerations
1. Watch for very high readings at 300 rpm and very low readings at 3 and 6 rpm.
2. Test at room temperature and BHCT or 180°F if BHCT > 180°F (82°C).

3.16. COMPATIBILITY
This test evaluates the rheological compatibility of two or more fluids. Normally, the test
is run on spacer and mud combinations to determine the compatibility of the fluids. The
test can also be performed on mixtures of the spacer and cement, cement and mud,
and all three fluid mixtures.

3.16.1. Information Needed to Perform Test


Sample of drilling mud
Spacer composition
Cement slurry composition
BHCT

3.16.2. Test Description


This test is performed similar to the rheology test for cement and uses the same
instrumentation. Samples of the mud and spacer are mixed at varying ratios to
evaluate the effects of intermixing of the fluids on rheology. The most common ratios
are 0:100, 25:75, 50:50, 75:25, and 100:0.

Table 3.1: Representative Compatibility Data

Fann Viscometer Reading @ RPM

% Mud % Spacer 600 300 200 100 6 3

100 0 87 45 30 18 4 3
75 25 92 52 33 23 6 4
50 50 100 60 42 32 7 5
25 75 107 68 49 35 9 7
0 100 118 73 58 40 12 9

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 3 - 29


Cement Testing 3
The table above shows data from a mud and spacer that are compatible. With the
spacer being the "thickest" fluid, all mixtures of spacer and mud show a lower reading
than the spacer. There is no rheological incompatibility between these two fluids.
When performing the test with mud, spacer, and cement, an equal mixture of
concentrations of all three fluids is recommended (1/3 mud, 1/3 spacer, and 1/3
cement).

3.16.3. Data Interpretation


For two fluids to be compatible, a mixture of the two fluids should not yield a mixture
with a higher viscosity than either of the two individual fluids. Indications of
incompatibility are fluid mixtures that show large viscosity increases, tendencies to gel,
clabbering, etc.
This test should be run whenever a non-aqueous mud is being used.
Hydrocarbon-based muds tend to clabber with water-based spacers.

3.16.4. Test Limitations


The test is limited to atmospheric pressure and 180°F (82°C). The test will not
determine if a spacer will remove a mud in the well, as this is a function of compatibility,
density differential, and rheological properties of the spacer and mud systems.

3.16.5. Considerations
1. Look for large increases in viscosity of the fluid mixtures.
2. Make sure the test was performed at BHCT or 180°F (82°C), whichever is lower.

3.17. ADDITIONAL COMPATIBILITY TESTS


The API protocols also contain tests for compatibility that include effects on thickening
time, strength development, and fluid loss. These tests are rarely run with the
exception of the thickening time test when dealing with non-aqueous fluids. It is
recommended that when dealing with a non-aqueous fluid at high temperature, a
thickening time test of a 50:50 mixture of the mud and spacer be performed.

3.18. STRENGTH DEVELOPMENT AT TOP OF LINER

3.18.1. Information Needed to Perform Test


Temperature at top of liner
Thickening time test schedule

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 3 - 30


Cement Testing 3
3.18.2. Test Description
This test is identical to the compressive strength with two exceptions. The test is run at
the temperature at the top of the liner, and the slurry is preconditioned at BHCT for a
period of time to simulate placement in the well. By preconditioning the slurry, the slurry
is exposed to BHCT for a time, allowing reactions with the retarders to occur. Without
the preconditioning period, strength development testing at the top of the liner would
give results that are too conservative, potentially resulting in loss of rig time due to
excessive WOC time.

3.18.3. Data Interpretation


Same as for strength testing.

3.18.4. Test Limitations


Same as for strength testing.

3.18.5. Considerations
Properly condition the slurry at BHCT before running the test.

3.19. TEST TIMING


When requesting any cement test, sufficient time must be given to the lab to properly
perform the required test. For example, to run a thickening time test, the lab technician
must calculate placement time, determine slurry composition, weigh out the proper
materials, mix the cement, then place it on the machine for testing.
It requires at least one (1) hour to prepare a cement sample for testing. Additional time
is required for equipment clean up and calibration. Also, following a test, the equipment
must be cooled to room temperature prior to beginning the next test.

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Cement Testing 3
Table 3.2: Testing Summary
Test Name What the test tells What the test Variability Needed Data What to look for
does not tell

Thickening Gives an indication Test does not +/- 15 min. Temperature Rapid set. Time
Time of amount of time measure effects between 30 and 70 Bc
for a slurry to of fluid loss, Pressure should be short.
remain pumpable contamination,
Time to
at test temperature etc. Total time - time to
bottom
and pressure. 70 Bc must be more
Dynamic test - Minimum job than job time.
does not time
normally test gel Lightweight silicate
build up systems should report
point of departure.

Compressive Unconfined crush Cement +/- 50% Temperature 500 psi minimum
Strength strength at a mechanical
particular properties down Time Test temperature for
temperature and hole. lead should NOT be
given time period. BHST.
How the cement
will drill. Tail should be tested
at 85% of BHST.
That the annulus
is sealed.

Sonic Strength based on Same as +/- 30% Temperature At least 100 psi for
Strength sonic velocities. compressive data to be accurate
strength. Pressure

Data is
conservative by
20%.

Free Water Fluid separation Ability to prevent +/- 2%; Hole angle Always below 2.5%,
from the slurry. gas migration. zero for slurries
More with across producing
Settling of solids. higher zones and in angled
values wells.

Fluid Loss Amount of filtrate Effects of mud +/- 10% BHCT Requirements
pressed out of a filter cake depend on type of
slurry. cement job.

Settling Density Does not +/- 0.1 Temperature Require density


segregation measure free lb/gal variance from top to
water. bottom of cell of
0.2 lb/gal or less.
Test is not
normally run at
angle.

Density Density of finished Non-pressurized +/- 0.1 Desired slurry Normally, not run in
slurry. test will not give lb/gal density lab. Check for
proper data. complicated slurries
Confirms validity of or specialty cements.
lab calculations.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 3 - 32


Cement Testing 3
Test Name What the test tells What the test Variability Needed Data What to look for
does not tell

Gas No API/ISO test May not be able Depends Temperature Get explanation of the
Migration/ protocol. to compare on test test and what factors
Gas various service Well pressure influence the results.
Tightness Generally listed as company
pass/fail. systems. Fluid loss will be a
key.

Transition Time for a slurry to Ability for a slurry +/- 20 min Temperature Short transition times
Time go from - to control gas or are generally required
2
500 lbs/100 ft gel fluid migration for gas migration
strength. control.

Must be measured Do not confuse with


at very low (.005) thickening time test.
shear rate.

Wettability Gives an indication Only used with +/- 20% Mud sample Effects of changing
of efficiency of non-aqueous surfactant
surfactant muds. Temperature concentration and
packages for use in type on results.
spacers. Does not
address rheology
effects.

Rheology Determines Mud removal +/- 10% Temperature Very high rheology
viscosity profile of efficiency indicates a problem
the fluids.

Compatibility Tests rheological Does not Generally, Temperature Fluids should not gel
compatibility of address bulk pass/fail or increase in
spacer, muds, and mud removal - test Mud sample viscosity when mixed
cements. only chemical together.
compatibility
Check compatibility of
spacer mud and
cement.

Cold Indication of setting Effects of thermal +/- 50% Temperature Look for when the
Temperature properties of mass and heat of cement sets.
Testing cement at cold hydration are Time to
temperatures. ignored bottom Do not be concerned
about the amount of
strength in a given
time.

Strength Evaluates the Same as +/- 50% on Temperature Look for when the
Development strength compressive actual at TOL cement gains
at TOL development at a strength strength strength at TOL
colder temperature Job schedule temperature.
than BHST.
May need to
precondition cement
at BHCT prior to
running test.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 3 - 33


Section

Primary Cementing
Cementing Service Company
Laboratory Responsibilities and
Testing Guidelines

Scope

This Section discusses the guidelines developed as the standard procedure for
obtaining consistent, reproducible cement results for use on ExxonMobil wells.
Unless otherwise noted, it is the intent of this document to follow the practices
listed in the most recent issue of the API Recommended Practice for Testing of Oil
Field Cement (API RP 10B) or the equivalent ISO 10426-2. For purposes of this
document, reference to API testing procedures shall also include the ISO
equivalent.

Company Use Only


Cementing Service Company Laboratory
Responsibilities & Testing Guidelines 4
Table of Contents
ExxonMobil Requirements ............................................................................... 3
ExxonMobil Recommended Practices ............................................................ 3
4. Cementing Service Company Laboratory Responsibilities & Testing
Guidelines ............................................................................................... 4
4.1. Required References ............................................................................. 4
4.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute.................................................................. 4
4.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization ..................................................... 4

4.2. Laboratory Responsibilities .................................................................. 4


4.3. Cement Testing Guidelines ................................................................... 5
4.3.1. General Requirements .................................................................................. 5
4.3.2. Thickening Time Tests .................................................................................. 6
4.3.3. Strength Testing ............................................................................................ 7
4.3.4. Conditioning of Slurries for Fluid Loss, Free Water and Rheology Testing .... 7
4.3.5. Fluid Loss Tests ............................................................................................ 8
4.3.6. Free Water Tests........................................................................................... 8
4.3.7. Rheology....................................................................................................... 8
4.3.8. Spacer Compatibility ..................................................................................... 9
4.3.9. Specialty Testing ........................................................................................... 9
4.3.10. Deepwater Testing ........................................................................................ 9

4.4. Additional Information ........................................................................... 9


4.4.1. Liner Jobs ..................................................................................................... 9
4.4.2. Liner Top Packers ....................................................................................... 10
4.4.3. Liner Top Compressive Strengths ............................................................... 10

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 4 - 2


Cementing Service Company Laboratory
Responsibilities & Testing Guidelines 4
ExxonMobil Requirements
Section # ExxonMobil Requirement
There are no ExxonMobil requirements in this Section.

ExxonMobil Recommended Practices


ExxonMobil recommended practices for testing protocols are found in the following:
Section # ExxonMobil Recommended Practice
4.3.2 The heat-up ramp found in the API casing and liner tables should not
be used for determining the heat-up rate for thickening time tests.
4.3.2 The maximum heat-up rate for thickening time tests is one (1) hour.
4.3.2 For jobs incorporating cement wiper plugs, the thickening time test
should incorporate a 10-minute shut-down period to simulate dropping
the plug.
4.3.2 The thickening time should be reported as the time to reach 70 Bc.
4.3.2 For extended slurries, the thickening time may be reported as the time
to 50 Bc provided the time to 70 Bc is at least 1.5 hours more than the
time to reach 50 Bc.
4.3.3 Strength testing on tail cement systems should be performed at 85% of
BHST.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 4 - 3


Cementing Service Company Laboratory
Responsibilities & Testing Guidelines 4
4. CEMENTING SERVICE COMPANY LABORATORY
RESPONSIBILITIES & TESTING GUIDELINES

4.1. REQUIRED REFERENCES

This Section lists Practices and Standards generically referenced and assumed part of
this document. Unless otherwise specified herein, use the latest edition.

4.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute


API RP 10B Recommended Practice for Testing Well Cements

4.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization


ISO 10426-2 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 2: Testing of
Well Cement
ISO 10426-3 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 3: Testing of
Deepwater Well Cement Formulations
ISO 10426-4 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 4: Methods
for Atmospheric Foamed Cement Slurry Preparation and
Testing

4.2. LABORATORY RESPONSIBILITIES

Testing of all cement and additives to be used on ExxonMobil jobs is the responsibility
of the service company testing lab. Quality control testing of the cement additives may
be done at the point of manufacture, but the final responsibility for the QA/QC of these
materials lies with the service company.
Quality control of cement testing with liquid additives includes the proper identification of
the additive to be used on the job. As required, this may include sampling of the
additive(s) on the rig, identifying the samples with lot and tank numbers, and the use of
those identifiers on the laboratory test report.
Proper design of the cement systems that best meet the specific requirements of the job
shall be the primary responsibility of the lab. Communication with the service company
coordinator is essential to ensure the design meets the specific well requirements at the
lowest practical cost.
Timely testing of pilot tests and field blend systems is required. No cement system
should be pumped on any ExxonMobil well that has not been laboratory tested unless
specifically agreed by ExxonMobil. Exceptions to this may be granted by the
ExxonMobil Field Drilling Manager or designee.

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Cementing Service Company Laboratory
Responsibilities & Testing Guidelines 4
Testing results should be reported by the lab to the service company coordinator for
communication to ExxonMobil. Final lab tests of field blend results should be
communicated to the appropriate ExxonMobil engineer. This should be accomplished
directly through the service company coordinator.

4.3. CEMENT TESTING GUIDELINES

The goal of these guidelines is to establish a basis for cement testing, and standardize
certain specific tests. It is the intent of these guidelines to establish a basis for
communicating test results and the methods used to arrive at those results. Every effort
should be made to communicate the results and how the results were obtained on the
laboratory report.

4.3.1. General Requirements


All cementing tests for ExxonMobil are to be performed according to the latest API/ISO
testing standards (API RP10B, ISO 10426-2), unless otherwise specified. Deviations
from these standard test procedures is allowed provided the test procedure has been
approved by the ExxonMobil Field Drilling Manager or designee, and is communicated
on the laboratory report. The use of API/ISO standards is not intended to obviate
the need for sound engineering judgment regarding when and where the
standards should be applied.
The temperature of the mix water should approximate that found in field conditions. For
laboratory testing, the mix water may require heating or cooling to the anticipated
temperature on location. Seasonal variations in temperature should be considered. If
other than standard laboratory temperature, the temperature of the water should be
noted on the lab report.
For field blend tests, samples of drill water and/or seawater from the rig should be used
for testing when possible. For general testing with fresh water, municipal tap water may
be used. Depending on the quality and consistency of the fresh water and/or seawater
at the location, it may be necessary to perform all tests with samples of water from the
rig.
All wells require a field blend test of the lead and the tail cement systems unless
approved otherwise by the ExxonMobil Field Drilling Manager or designee.
Proper sampling on location is required, and the samples are to be retained in case of a
well problem. The location sample shall consist of the dry blend cement, mix water, and
any liquid or solid additives added to the water on location. If additives are placed in the
water prior to the addition of the cement, a sample of the mix water with all additives
shall be taken.
Every effort should be made in the laboratory testing to simulate field conditions. If the
field procedure calls for the dissolution of a dry additive into water before mixing the
cement, then this should be done in the lab. Liquid additives should be added to the
water before the introduction of the cement slurry. Order of addition should mirror field
operations. Observations should be made as to any apparent additive incompatibility,
excessive foaming, viscosity increase or any flocculation and should be noted and
discussed on the lab report.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 4 - 5


Cementing Service Company Laboratory
Responsibilities & Testing Guidelines 4
The routine use of liquid antifoams in laboratory testing should be avoided. If a liquid
antifoam is used in the lab test, it should be noted on the lab report.
All slurries should be prepared according to the API mixing procedures. Exceptions to
this will be made for slurries containing ceramic spheres, or other specialty slurries as
required. Non-API standard mixing methods should be reported on the lab report.

4.3.2. Thickening Time Tests


The heat-up rate for the thickening time test shall be determined by taking the casing
volume and dividing it by the anticipated pump rate. The anticipated pump rates should
be at the lower end of the field rates. The heat-up ramp found in the API casing and
liner tables should not be used for this determination. The heat-up rates and
pressure-up rates for squeeze cement testing may use the tables. The pressure used
for the test should be determined from the anticipated mud weight during the job.
The maximum heat-up rate should be 60 minutes. If the calculated time is greater
than 60 minutes, use 60 minutes as the heat-up rate, unless specific well conditions
dictate. If the calculated time is less than 60 minutes, use the calculated time.
The temperature for performing the thickening time test may be determined using the
API calculation method or the API tables. Use of a temperature simulator is
encouraged and the output should be compared to API.
For jobs incorporating cement wiper plugs: 1) after reaching the test temperature on the
consistometer, hold those conditions for 10 minutes, 2) and then turn off the
consistometer motor for 10 minutes to simulate dropping the plug. When the motor is
turned back on, the slurry consistency should not exceed 50 Bc, or the slurry should be
redesigned. In certain situations, the time for dropping the plug may vary considerably
from the time to reach test conditions. In these instances, modifying the shut-down
period to mirror field conditions is preferred and should be noted on the laboratory
report.
The thickening time of a cement slurry is to be reported as the time required for the
slurry to reach a consistency of 70 Bc unless otherwise noted on the lab report. The
time required to reach 30, 50, and 70 Bc should be noted on the lab report.
For lightweight slurries with extended thickening times (greater than five (5)
hours), the time to reach 50 Bc may be reported as the thickening time provided:
• The time to reach 70 Bc is at least 1.5 hours more than the time to reach 50 Bc.

• The lab report reflects the data is reported to 50 Bc.


For slurries containing silicate extenders (sodium silicate, sodium metasilicate), the
point of departure shall be noted on the thickening time report. The point of departure is
the point in time when the slurry begins to thicken.
For slurries that are to be batch mixed, a preconditioning time of one (1) hour (or longer
if field conditions merit) should be applied in the lab. The preconditioning will consist of
stirring the slurry in the consistometer for one hour (or longer) at atmospheric pressure
and temperature. At the end of the preconditioning period, the normal thickening time
test will begin. The preconditioning period should not be counted as part of the
thickening time, but must be noted on the lab report.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 4 - 6


Cementing Service Company Laboratory
Responsibilities & Testing Guidelines 4
4.3.3. Strength Testing
Strength tests should be run at 85% of BHST or at the calculated top of the tail
cement. The strength test temperature should be noted on the laboratory test report
and should not be at the BHST.
For liner jobs, the strength should be determined using the static temperature at the top
of the liner. In the case of long liners and production strings, it may be necessary to
precondition the cement slurry in the consistometer prior to running the strength test.
This may be performed according to the API Procedure of Determining Cement
Compressive Strength at the Top of Long Cement Columns. When this method is used,
it should be so noted in the lab report.
It may be necessary to perform tests at other temperatures depending on individual well
conditions. An ExxonMobil representative will specify these tests.
For lead slurries, the strength should be tested at the minimum static temperature to
which the slurry will be exposed in the annulus or as directed by an ExxonMobil
representative. A lead slurry should not be tested for strength at BHST.
The use of atmospheric pressure testing for strength determination should be avoided
where possible.
Use of an ultrasonic cement analyzer (UAC) or equivalent non-destructive testing
device is preferred to crush tests. If crush tests are used, testing at temperatures above
180°F (82°C) will require the use of multiple curing chambers. Testing 12- and 24-hour
samples in the same chamber is not acceptable for temperatures above 180°F (82°C).
To calculate the temperature (in °F) for compressive strength testing, the following
calculation should be used:
(BHST - 80°F) * 0.85 + 80°F = Test Temperature in °F
(BHST - 27°C) * 0.85 + 27°C = Test Temperature in °C

4.3.4. Conditioning of Slurries for Fluid Loss, Free Water


and Rheology Testing
Pressurized or atmospheric conditioning may be used for slurries being tested below
190°F (88°C). For atmospheric conditioning, the following should be followed:
1. Start with a cold machine - do not preheat to temperature.
2. Heat to the test temperature at whatever rate the atmospheric consistometer will
allow.
3. Atmospheric conditioning is allowed up to 190°F (88°C).
For pressurized conditioning, follow the appropriate heat-up schedule for the well.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 4 - 7


Cementing Service Company Laboratory
Responsibilities & Testing Guidelines 4
4.3.5. Fluid Loss Tests
The fluid loss test is to be performed at 1,000 psi against a 325-mesh screen, at the
BHCT of the well. Data taken at lower temperatures should not be extrapolated to
higher temperatures.
The use of a stirred fluid loss cell is recommended for tests above 180°F (82°C) if the
apparatus is available. This cell is considered safer to operate, and may be used for
these tests.
The API fluid loss should be calculated by the following formula:

API Fluid Loss = ((5.477 * (mL)) / time ^0.5) x 2


Example: Test time = 30 min.
Fluid Collected = 47 mL

API Fluid Loss = (5.477 * 47 / 30^0.5)* 2 = 94 mL

4.3.6. Free Water Tests


Free water (free fluid) tests should be run at vertical or, for deviated wells, at 45°. The
lab report should indicate the angle of the test.
Free water is defined as the fluid that separated from the cementing slurry during the
test. All fluid that separates from the slurry is considered free water, and is not limited
to the clear colorless portion.
Free water is to be reported as mL/250 mL test or as a percentage. The units must be
clearly marked on the lab report. Free water test results of less than 1 mL may be
reported as a trace.

4.3.7. Rheology
The rheology of the slurry should be determined at the BHCT of the well or 180°F
(80°C) whichever is less.
A 12-speed rotational viscometer is the preferred method for measuring the rheology of
the cement slurry. It is not necessary to take readings at rpm's less than three (3) rpm.
An initial rheology should be taken on the slurry immediately after mixing to aid in
determining the mixing characteristics on location. It is not necessary to condition the
slurry for this test. This slurry may be used for the subsequent test at elevated
temperature, provided the second test is initiated as quickly as possible.
Notations should be made following the rheology tests of any settling tendencies of the
slurry. Excessive settling can cause mixing and placing problems. Any slurry design
that indicates settling must be redesigned.
Five and 10-minute gel strengths should also be run for all plug cement designs. This
may prevent problems with pulling out of the plug and/or reversing cement out of the
well.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 4 - 8


Cementing Service Company Laboratory
Responsibilities & Testing Guidelines 4
Data reported on the lab report should include the test temperature, rpm, and dial
readings.

4.3.8. Spacer Compatibility


Unless otherwise requested, testing for compatibility of spacers with muds and/or
cement slurries will be limited to rheological determination of mixtures of the various
fluids. These tests are to be performed at BHCT or 180°F (80°C) whichever is less. A
minimum of three systems should be tested, consisting of fluid ratios of 95:5, 50:50, and
5:95 (95% fluid 1, 5% fluid 2, etc.).
For all spacers used with oil-based or non-aqueous muds, a thickening time of a
mixture of 50% drilling mud, 50% spacer is recommended. The test should incorporate
the shut-down period as with the cement tests previously discussed. The test should be
run for the minimum job time plus one-hour. Other combinations of spacer and mud
may be tested, depending on the results of the rheology testing.

4.3.9. Specialty Testing


In the event specialty tests are required, the laboratory test procedure should be clearly
defined and understood by all parties involved. A clear definition of the meaning of the
results of the test must be established prior to testing. Slurries containing experimental
additives should be carefully tested to identify any potential abnormalities in the slurry
design.

4.3.10. Deepwater Testing


Testing for slurries used in deepwater applications should include the procedures
outlined in ISO 10426-3.

4.4. ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

It is the goal of these guidelines to better simulate field conditions in an effort to improve
cementing results. Modification of the API/ISO recommended practices to mirror field
conditions is considered an integral part of cement testing.

4.4.1. Liner Jobs


Depending on the design situation, consideration may be given to adding an additional
contingency to the job time calculation to account for circulating out excess cement
volume from the top of a liner.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 4 - 9


Cementing Service Company Laboratory
Responsibilities & Testing Guidelines 4
4.4.2. Liner Top Packers
If an integral liner top packer is to be used on a liner job, consideration should be given
to incorporating an additional shut-down period at the end of the job time to simulate
setting the packer. Excessive gel build up at this time could prevent removing the drill
pipe after setting the packer.
If there is a potential for gas migration, a gas migration prevention slurry should be
used. The use of a liner top packer can increase the potential for gas migration when
the packer is set due to the removal of active hydrostatic pressure below the packer.

4.4.3. Liner Top Compressive Strengths


The temperature for the tests can be ramped on the UCA to simulate actual
temperatures at the liner top. Use of a temperature simulator to estimate the heat-up
ramp is recommended.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 4 - 10


Section

Primary Cementing
Factors Influencing Slurry Design

Scope

This Section covers the factors that should be considered when designing a slurry,
including discussions with the service company engineer.

Company Use Only


Factors Influencing Slurry Design 5
Table of Contents
Tables................................................................................................................. 3
ExxonMobil Requirements ............................................................................... 4
5. Factors Influencing Slurry Design............................................................. 5
5.1. Required References ............................................................................... 5
5.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute.................................................................. 5
5.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization ..................................................... 5

5.2. Government Regulations......................................................................... 5


5.3. Temperature ............................................................................................. 5
5.3.1. Temperature Determination........................................................................... 6

5.4. Well Pressures ......................................................................................... 7


5.5. Formation Properties ............................................................................... 7
5.5.1. High Permeability Zones ............................................................................... 7
5.5.2. Salt Zones ..................................................................................................... 8
5.5.3. Lost Circulation ............................................................................................. 8
5.5.4. Gas Migration................................................................................................ 8

5.6. Drilling Fluids ........................................................................................... 8


5.7. Logistics ................................................................................................... 9
5.8. Cement Supply ......................................................................................... 9
5.9. Mix Water .................................................................................................. 9
5.9.1. Seawater ....................................................................................................... 9
5.9.2. Fresh Water .................................................................................................. 9

5.10. Equipment............................................................................................ 10
5.11. Volume ................................................................................................. 10
5.12. Strength Development ........................................................................ 10
5.13. Fluid Loss ............................................................................................ 11
5.14. Free Water............................................................................................ 11

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Factors Influencing Slurry Design 5
Tables
Table 5.1: Correction Factors for Open Hole Logs......................................................... 6

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Factors Influencing Slurry Design 5
ExxonMobil Requirements
Section Number ExxonMobil Requirement
There are no ExxonMobil requirements in this Section.

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Factors Influencing Slurry Design 5
5. FACTORS INFLUENCING SLURRY DESIGN

5.1. REQUIRED REFERENCES

This Section lists Practices and Standards generically referenced and assumed part of
this document. Unless otherwise specified herein, use the latest edition.

5.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute


API Spec 10A Specification for Cements and Materials for Well Cementing
API RP 10B Recommended Practice for Testing Well Cements

5.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization


ISO 10426-1 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 1: Specification
ISO 10426-2 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 2: Testing of
Well Cement
ISO 10426-3 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 3: Testing of
Deepwater Well Cement Formulations
ISO 10426-4 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 4: Methods for
Atmospheric Foamed Cement Slurry Preparation and Testing
To properly design and place a cement slurry for a particular application, a number of
well conditions and design criteria must be known.

5.2. GOVERNMENT REGULATIONS

Most locations have a governing body that sets minimum requirements for well
cementing. Generally, these regulations are present to provide safe drilling parameters,
environmental control of the well, optimize the removal of the hydrocarbons from the
well and ultimately proper abandonment. The requirements for the cement systems
may be simply a minimum volume, or there may be specific slurry performance criteria.
The slurry designs must comply with the specific regulations governing the well.

5.3. TEMPERATURE

One of the most important factors in slurry design is the well temperature. The static
and circulating temperatures are critical for proper slurry design. For upper casing
strings, the production temperatures can also be important.

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Factors Influencing Slurry Design 5
Cement exposed to temperatures above 230°F (110°C) requires the addition of silica for
long-term stability. In the absence of the added silica, the chemical structure of the
cement will begin to change with exposure to high temperatures over time, resulting in
an increase in permeability and a reduction in the strength. The cement will not
disappear, but will have reduced properties over time. This may be acceptable in
certain parts of the well, but should be considered in the design.
Circulating temperatures in the range of 180° - 230°F (82° - 110°C) can be particularly
challenging. Within this temperature range, there is a change from low-temperature to
high-temperature retarders. The design will call for either large concentrations of low-
temperature retarders, which can be detrimental to strength development, or very small
concentrations of a high-temperature retarder. High-temperature retarders in this
temperature range are very sensitive, and small variations in concentration can lead to
extreme changes in thickening time and strength development.
Temperature extremes between the bottomhole circulating temperature and the static
temperature at the top of the cement column can result in lengthy set times for strength
development. There are materials on the market designed to address these extremes,
but are more expensive than the standard retarders. For example, if strength
development at the top of a liner is critical, consideration may be given to using a
material specifically designed to address these needs.
The slurry design depends on an accurate bottomhole circulating temperature for
development of a proper thickening time. The strength development will be governed
by the static temperature of the well. The long-term stability of the set cement is
governed by the producing temperature of the well.

5.3.1. Temperature Determination


Bottomhole static temperature can be determined from offset well information, logs,
Horner plots, etc. If using logs, some correction factor should be applied to the log
temperature depending on how long the well has remained static. Table 5.1 gives a
general guide of correction factors for open hole logs:

Table 5.1: Correction Factors for Open Hole Logs


Time Since Last Circulation (hrs) Correction Factor
0-6 1.2
7 - 12 1.18
13 - 18 1.15
19 - 24 1.12
> 24 1.0

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Factors Influencing Slurry Design 5
Bottomhole circulating temperature is determined from well depth and bottomhole static
temperature. The API and ISO procedures give both calculations and tables based on
the temperature gradient and well depth. Most cementing operations can use the API
or ISO approximations with little difficulty.
For highly deviated wells and deepwater applications, it is recommended a temperature
simulator be used to estimate the circulating temperature. WellCAT is the ExxonMobil
standard temperature simulator and is used by Halliburton. Both BJ Services and
Schlumberger have developed in-house simulators that appear to be very accurate in
temperature estimation. The three simulators give essentially the same results when
using the same input data.

5.4. WELL PRESSURES

Well pressures refer to the pore pressure and fracture pressures in the well. This will
determine the required cement densities that will be used for the job. Generally, most
jobs are designed with a lead cement density at least 0.5 lb/gal higher than the mud
weight, and a tail cement at or near the API water requirement. For jobs with
lightweight muds (less than 11.5 lb/gal), the practical lower limit on cement density
would be 11.5 - 11.8 lb/gal. Lighter densities than this are possible, but require the use
of specialty more expensive additives, or processes such as hollow beads or foamed
cement.
Job pressures must also consider the friction pressures when placing the cement.
These pressures can be checked through the service company placement simulators,
and indicate if there is a potential lost circulation problem during the job.
Changes in the wellbore pressures during the job can be made through the proper use
and selection of spacers, lead, and tail cement volumes. For example, if the mud
weight is less than 11.0 lb/gal, water is recommended as a spacer. Using water will
reduce the hydrostatic pressure in the annulus, which can allow higher density slurries
to be used. At the same time, care must be taken that the reduction in the hydrostatic
does not create an under-balanced situation and allow the well to flow.

5.5. FORMATION PROPERTIES

The types of formations to be cemented are important to slurry design. Depending on


formation properties, various additives or job design changes must be implemented.
The following general categories cover the most common formation problems.

5.5.1. High Permeability Zones


Formations are normally well sealed by the drilling fluid filter cake, and that cake will
control much of the fluid loss from the cement. High permeability zones, those with
permeabilities greater than 100 mD, require additional consideration with cement fluid
loss control. If high permeability formations are to be cemented, the fluid loss of the
cement should be controlled to under 200 mL/30 min. Additional control may be
required depending on annular gap and is discussed in well architecture.

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Factors Influencing Slurry Design 5
5.5.2. Salt Zones
These formations are prone to washout if fresh water systems are placed across the
formation face. To prevent washouts and promote bonding, salt should be added to the
cement. A maximum of 24% salt concentration is recommended. At this concentration,
the amount of salt will allow for bonding, prevent washout of the salt, but is not so high
to over retard the cement. Many other additives will work better at the lower salt
content, which makes slurry design easier. If working offshore, the system can be
designed with 18 - 21% salt, and then mixed with seawater to obtain the required salt
concentration.

5.5.3. Lost Circulation


Formations that cannot support the weight of a cement column may require changing
the job design to incorporate a stage collar or specialty lightweight cement system.
Rarely does the addition of lost circulation materials to the cement prevent lost
circulation while cementing. Thixotropic slurries have been shown to aid in preventing
cement fall back, but do little to prevent lost circulation from occurring while pumping.
Newly developed materials, like Schlumberger's CemNetä are finding some success in
stopping or reducing lost circulation. CemNetä is a fibrous material added to either the
spacer or the initial portion of the cement. Due to the nature of the material, it cannot
be dry blended with the cement, but must be added to the mixing tub.

5.5.4. Gas Migration


A number of wells will encounter productive gas zones where some sort of gas
migration prevention will be required. Most of the materials currently available for this
application lower the fluid loss of the slurry, and will shorten the transition time. The
transition time is the time required for the cement to go from a liquid to a solid, and is
measured at very low shear rates. The transition time cannot be measured on a
conventional consistometer used for thickening time testing (see Section 3.13 and
Section 7).

5.6. DRILLING FLUIDS

The density, viscosity, and type of drilling fluid will have a minor effect on the slurry
design. The main effect is in the selection of spacer systems to remove the mud ahead
of the cement. Rarely does the drilling fluid type have a direct effect on the slurry
design. It is the removal of the mud from the hole, and its replacement with cement,
that is key to cementing success.
A discussion of mud removal, spacer design and application is covered in Section 9,
Mud Removal.

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Factors Influencing Slurry Design 5
5.7. LOGISTICS

The location of the well can effect the base cement available for use, the additive type
and mix water properties. The cement available for use on the well can determine the
amount and type of additives required, and can result in considerable changes to slurry
design.
For many remote operations, cement must be brought in due to either lack of local
supply, or poor quality of local cement. This is typical for West African operations. The
cement is shipped in very large quantities and cement quality may change over time if
not stored properly. Additional laboratory testing of the cement may be required for
these operations.

5.8. CEMENT SUPPLY

In some locations, locally available cement does not lend itself for use in oilfield
applications. These cements can require large amounts of additives to make them
function in the well environments. In these instances, it may be more economical to
import a more consistent cement (related closely to logistics).

5.9. MIX WATER

5.9.1. Seawater
Offshore sites typically use seawater for cement mixing, at least in the upper parts of
the hole. This is less expensive than using fresh water, and allows reducing the amount
of accelerators needed in the upper portions of the well. Using seawater on deeper
casing strings is not recommended as the amount of retarder required to overcome the
accelerating effects of the seawater can be excessive and result in very poor strength
development. Seawater should be limited to mix cement that will not be exposed to a
BHCT of more than 150°F (66°C). At temperatures above this, the acceleration effects
of the seawater make retardation of the cement more difficult and expensive.
The source of the seawater can have an effect on slurry design. Depending on rig
location, the relative concentration of salt in the seawater can vary. Locations near the
mouth of major rivers will change salinity due to seasonal runoff changes in river flow.
Major ocean current changes, as with the Gulf Stream or Labrador Current, can change
the salinity of the water. Small variations in seawater will not have a major effect on
slurry properties, but it is best to obtain a sample of water from the rig for system
design.

5.9.2. Fresh Water


Similar to changes in seawater composition, fresh water changes can effect slurry
design. Water taken from inland waterways and swamps will seasonally change. In the
fall of the year, the amount of organic compounds in the water can increase

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Factors Influencing Slurry Design 5
substantially due to falling leaves. This will also increase the concentration of lignins
and tannins in the water, both of which act as cement retarders. Again, obtaining a
sample of the mix water for cement design is desired.
For land locations, water is often taken from dedicated water wells, ponds, lakes or
streams. The water may also be city water hauled to the location in a transport. The
quality of the mix water should be evaluated well in advance of the cement job, with
attention paid to salinity.

5.10. EQUIPMENT
The equipment used can effect the slurry design. Section 14.3.2.1, Equipment, discusses
if a batch mixer is being used, the slurry design must take into account the time at surface.
In addition, certain additives (like gas generating agents) should never be batch mixed
due to the potential for flammable gas generation at surface.

5.11. VOLUME
The total volume of cement to be used on the well is integral to the determination of job
time. Care must be exercised to remember to recalculate the job time if the cement
volume has been adjusted based on open hole calipers. Increasing the volume of
cement will require additional time for mixing, and may effect the total job time.
Two areas where volume changes can result in cement job failures are: 1) large
increases in cement volume due to hole washout, and 2) changing the job from a "stab-
in operation" to a "conventional displacement." Both of these changes will increase the
required time to do the job, and can effect the minimum acceptable thickening time of
the slurry.
A stab-in operation, typical in large casing strings where the displacement is done down
drill pipe rather than the casing string, will have a much lower displacement volume than
if the job were displaced through the casing. For example, at 1000 ft, a 20-inch casing
stab-in job using 5-inch drill pipe has a displacement volume of approximately 18 bbl,
while displacing down the casing would require 350 bbl.
Associated with cement volumes is the amount of lead and tail cement being pumped.
The volume of slurry may be changed to take advantage of the bulk equipment capacity
available at the location. Small changes in tail cement volumes can often eliminate the
need for additional bulk equipment for lead slurries.

5.12. STRENGTH DEVELOPMENT


Specific situations may require a minimum amount of strength from the cement. For
most applications, 500 psi strength will provide the minimum necessary support for any
well activity. When setting kick-off plugs, the strength requirement will be higher, and
can be obtained by using higher density or reduced water slurries. For the majority of
operations, there is no benefit in paying more for additional strength.

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Factors Influencing Slurry Design 5
For perforating, data indicates that lower strength materials will not shatter as much as
high strength, brittle cements. A lower strength slurry will be more "perforation friendly"
than a high strength slurry. The lower strength (less than 1,500 psi) will tend to be more
elastic and has a much lower tendency to shatter. Studies have shown that very high
strength slurries (in excess of 5,000 psi) can shatter distances of up to 250 ft away from
the perforated interval. This can result in loss of isolation in these areas, especially if
high perforation density and large perforation charges are used.
Strength development for perforation control should be considered at the time of
perforating. If perforation will occur within a short time of setting the casing, most
cement slurries should work. If perforating is to be delayed by weeks or months, and
isolation over a short interval is required, consideration should be given to using a
lightweight slurry, or a system that contains latex.

5.13. FLUID LOSS


Hole size, annular gap, well angle, and casing requirements will all effect cement slurry
design.
As the hole size decreases and the corresponding annular gap decreases, there is a
greater need for fluid loss control in the cement slurry. The following can be used as a
general guide to the amount of fluid loss control required for various situations.
Surface pipe - no control required
Intermediate - 250 - 500 mL
Long String - 200 - 350 mL
Liner - less than 200 mL
Gas Migration - 50 mL or less

5.14. FREE WATER


Higher angle wells require control of free water development. Without free water
control, solids settling can lead to the formation of a water channel on the high side of
the well, which can result in gas and fluid migration and loss of annular seal. Use of
slurries that have zero (0) free water when tested at an angle of 45° is recommended
for deviated wells. Areas where this may not be necessary are where zonal isolation is
not required and cement is being used only for casing support.
Lead Slurries across nonproductive intervals - 1 - 1.5% Maximum
Tail Slurries across nonproductive intervals - < 1%
Slurries through productive intervals - Zero
Slurries in deviated wells (> 25 degrees) - Zero to trace
Slurries across gas zones - Zero
Squeeze Cementing - No Requirement
Plugs - < 1%

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 5 - 11


Section

Primary Cementing
Specialty Cement Systems

Scope

This Section describes the various types of specialty cement systems. These
include foamed cement, available from all service companies, to specialty systems
available through individual companies.

Company Use Only


Specialty Cement Systems 6
Table of Contents
Tables................................................................................................................. 4
ExxonMobil Requirements ............................................................................... 5
6.1. Required References ............................................................................... 6
6.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute.................................................................. 6
6.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization ..................................................... 6

6.2. Introduction .............................................................................................. 6


6.3. Foamed Cement ....................................................................................... 7
6.3.1. Definition and Overview................................................................................. 7
6.3.2. Applications................................................................................................... 7
6.3.3. Other Advantages ......................................................................................... 8
6.3.4. Disadvantages .............................................................................................. 8
6.3.5. Job Design .................................................................................................... 8
6.3.6. Design Considerations .................................................................................. 9
6.3.7. Base Cement Slurry ...................................................................................... 9
6.3.8. Liquid Additive Delivery ............................................................................... 10
6.3.9. Nitrogen Injection ........................................................................................ 10
6.3.10. Equipment Hookup...................................................................................... 11
6.3.11. Example of Foamed Cement Calculations................................................... 12
6.3.12. Calculations................................................................................................. 13
6.3.12.1. Calculation #1 (Surface Conditions) ...................................................... 13
6.3.12.2. Calculation #2 (100 psi) ........................................................................ 14
6.3.12.3. Calculation #3 (1,000 psi) ..................................................................... 15
6.3.12.4. Density of Cement Example.................................................................. 16
6.3.12.5. Density of Foam Cement (2,000 psi)..................................................... 16
6.3.13. 3,500 Ft TD Well Example........................................................................... 17
6.3.14. Calculations and Service Company Computer Programs ............................ 19

6.4. CemCRETE* Cement Systems .............................................................. 20


6.4.1. General ....................................................................................................... 20
6.4.2. What are the "CRETE" Cements? ............................................................... 20
6.4.3. Marketing Points ......................................................................................... 20
6.4.3.1. Higher Strength Development ............................................................... 20
6.4.3.2. Porosity................................................................................................. 21

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Specialty Cement Systems 6
6.4.4. SqueezeCRETE*......................................................................................... 22
6.4.5. Cost Comparisons....................................................................................... 22
6.4.6. Other Related Designs ................................................................................ 23
6.4.7. Summary..................................................................................................... 23

6.5. Acid Soluble Systems............................................................................ 23


6.6. CO2 Resistant Cements ......................................................................... 24
6.6.1. Cement Reactions with CO2 ........................................................................ 25
6.6.1.1. Cement Hydration ................................................................................. 25
6.6.1.2. Carbon Dioxide Reactions .................................................................... 25
6.6.1.3. Reaction Products................................................................................. 26
6.7. Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S) Resistance ...................................................... 26
6.8. High Temperature Cements .................................................................. 26
6.8.1. Preventing Strength Retrogression.............................................................. 27
6.8.2. Alternatives ................................................................................................. 27

6.9. Permafrost Cement Systems ................................................................ 27


6.10. Resins and Plastics ............................................................................ 28
6.10.1. Applications................................................................................................. 28
6.10.2. Limitations ................................................................................................... 28
6.10.3. Job Considerations...................................................................................... 29

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Specialty Cement Systems 6
Tables
Table 6.1: Example Nitrogen Volumes ........................................................................ 15
Table 6.2: SCF per BBL N2 to 5,000 Pressure ............................................................. 30
Table 6.3: SCF per BBL N2 to 10,000 Pressure........................................................... 31

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Specialty Cement Systems 6
ExxonMobil Requirements
Section Number ExxonMobil Requirement
There are no ExxonMobil requirements in this Section.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 6 - 5


Specialty Cement Systems 6
6. SPECIALTY CEMENT SYSTEMS

6.1. REQUIRED REFERENCES

This Section lists Practices and Standards that are generically referenced and assumed
part of this document. Unless otherwise specified herein, use the latest edition.

6.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute


API Spec 10A Specification for Cements and Materials for Well Cementing
API RP 10B Recommended Practice for Testing Well Cements

6.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization


ISO 10426-2 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 2: Testing
of Well Cement
ISO 10426-3 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 3: Testing
of Deepwater Well Cement Formulations
ISO 10426-4 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 4: Methods
for Atmospheric Foamed Cement Slurry Preparation and
Testing

6.2. INTRODUCTION

Specialty cement systems are materials specific to a particular cement service


company, or are not based on conventional Portland Cement. These systems are
normally not considered for use in daily operations but can have specific applications
under certain well conditions.
The systems discussed in this Section range from the very inexpensive system of an
acid soluble slurry made with cement and calcium carbonate, to specialty resin systems
costing several thousand dollars per barrel.
Service companies tend to market many of their specialty systems as having application
in every well. Similar to the "one-size-fits-all" approach, care must be taken that the
extra cost of the system is justified by the well requirements.

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Specialty Cement Systems 6
6.3. FOAMED CEMENT

6.3.1. Definition and Overview


Foamed cement is a stable mixture of a cement slurry and an introduced gas, typically
nitrogen. The gas is held in place using surfactants and stabilizers that prevent the
bubbles from coalescing prior to the cement setting. This will yield a set cement system
with individual pore spaces filled with gas.
This Section gives a basic understanding of foamed cement and the process. The
process of foam cementing involves injecting a predetermined amount of nitrogen into a
base cement slurry to make a stable foam. Several things determine the stability of the
foam and can determine the success or failure of the foam cement treatment.
The basic foam cementing treatment can be divided into three basic parts. These are
the mixing and pumping of the cement, the addition of liquid foaming agent to the
cement slurry, and the addition of nitrogen to the slurry.
For the purpose of job management, there are three operations involved in the job. The
cement operator only needs to worry about mixing a given slurry at a particular density
and a particular rate. The liquid additive operator only needs to worry about how fast he
is putting the surfactant into the slurry. Finally, the nitrogen operator is only concerned
about his nitrogen rate at any particular point in time.

6.3.2. Applications
Foamed cement systems are generally used for one of four applications.
Foamed cement was originally designed as an ultra, lightweight cement system that
allowed for the elimination of stage cementing, by providing high quality, lightweight
cement systems for low fracture gradient wells. Densities below 11 lb/gal were
common with this application.
Due to the presence of the inert gas, foamed cements have a very low thermal
conductivity, and have found use in geothermal and secondary recovery wells. The
density of these slurries need not be low, but the concentration of gas must be high
enough to provide sufficient insulation.
Gas migration and shallow water flow prevention have become major applications for
this technology. Prevention of shallow water flows in offshore applications has
become a major market for foamed cement. A properly designed foamed cement
system is gas tight, thus preventing gas migration in almost any application.
The final area of application has been its use in high-stress environments to prevent
stress failure of the cement sheath. Adding gas to a cement system will have a
dramatic effect on the ultimate rock properties of the set cement. Foamed cement has
been used for this application in high-rate gas wells like those found in Mobile Bay, as
well as gas wells in the Western US, where fracturing treatments are done down the
casing string. (Additional information is found in a 1996 Oil and Gas Journal paper by
Benge, McDermott, Langlinais and Griffith.)

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Specialty Cement Systems 6
The Young's Modulus is reduced effectively through the addition of gas. The amount of
reduction is essentially equivalent to the concentration of gas in the system. It is the
reduction in the Young's Modulus that gives the improved mechanical properties.

6.3.3. Other Advantages


Foamed cement offers a number of technical advantages over conventional cements.
By varying only the gas concentration, the density of the foamed cement can easily be
changed on location. Because the base cement system does not change, the
thickening time of the cement remains unchanged. Altering the gas concentration, and
thus the density of the cement system, is a simple matter of changing the gas rate on
location.
Like any specialty cement system, foamed cement can offer many advantages, but is
not considered appropriate for every application. Operational complexity can be quite
challenging in some applications, and excellent quality control on location is essential.

6.3.4. Disadvantages
Foamed cement is operationally more complex than many other systems. It requires
considerable pre-job planning and on-location coordination of the cement and nitrogen
operations. While these are readily overcome, the complexity in design and application
often requires specially-trained cementing crews be used for foamed cementing
operations. When selecting foamed cement over ultra lightweight additives (see
Section 2, 2.9.6), the cost of the nitrogen equipment and additional operational
complexity must offset the savings in ultra lightweight additive costs. As cement
volumes increase, economics tend to favor foam over the ultra lightweight additives.

6.3.5. Job Design


There are two accepted design methods for foamed cement jobs. One method is to
introduce a constant concentration of gas for the entire job. This is the easiest method,
and results in a cement system in the annulus that will have a lower density at the upper
portion of the well, graduating to a higher density at the bottom. The density variation is
due to the compression of the gas in the annulus.
To compensate for the increased pressure in the well, and yield a constant density in
the annulus, a variable gas ratio is used. More gas is added to the later stages of
cement to compensate for the compression due to hydrostatics; thus, the density of the
cement in the annulus is constant.
The variable gas method can be further broken down into two methods. The first
method is to simply break the well into 500-ft increments or stages. The amount of gas
is calculated for each stage and the nitrogen rate is then changed in steps throughout
the job. This will give a variable cement density within the 500-ft increment, but if done
properly, will give very acceptable results.

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Specialty Cement Systems 6
The other method of employing variable gas design is to utilize computer-controlled
nitrogen addition. The computer is programmed with the required amount of nitrogen
for varying points in the well and then the nitrogen is ramped throughout the job. The
gradual increases in nitrogen rate result in a cement system that is essentially constant
throughout the well.

6.3.6. Design Considerations


1. Unless specifically designed to do so, do not circulate out a foamed cement
slurry. If the job appears to be a total failure, do not attempt to circulate out the
cement. The nitrogen will expand rapidly when it gets to the surface, in the same
manner when dealing with a gas kick. However, there will be cement associated
with the gas, and the cement will get into the choke and kill lines, gas buster and
associated well control equipment. In the event of a total job failure, close the
annular and displace all of the cement. Then, pump enough mud down the annulus
to reach the loss zone.
2. Foam cement is an energized fluid. DO NOT allow personnel near the cementing
lines during a foam cement job.
3. Pressure-test the lines with nitrogen. Not all of the lines can be pressure tested with
nitrogen, but as much of the line as practical should be tested with nitrogen.
4. Confirm there is a check valve between the nitrogen unit and the cement unit. In the
event the cement unit goes down during the job, the check valve will prevent any
nitrogen from backing up in the system and into the cement unit.
5. Bypass for check valve - this will allow pressure from bumping the plug to be bled
back through the cement unit. Without the bypass, pressure on the treating line
cannot be bled off.
6. Check valve in N2 and cement lines - this will prevent nitrogen from going to the
cement unit, or cement from going to the nitrogen unit in the event either unit goes
down during the job.
7. Bleed point for N2 - after pressure testing and at the end of the job, there will be
pressurized nitrogen in the line. A bleed point is needed for safe release of this gas.

6.3.7. Base Cement Slurry


The composition of the base cement slurry is very important, and must contain a
foaming agent and a stabilizer. The foaming agent and the stabilizer can be mixed
together in appropriate concentrations, which results in easier handling. The stabilizer
can vary from simply adding gel to the system to the use of latex and other polymers.
Assuming the slurry composition has been correctly developed, the next key issue is
the slurry density.
Variations in slurry density are not acceptable in foamed cement operations. The
cement must be mixed to a tolerance of ± 0.2 lb/gal. Mixing the cement outside this
range may result in an unstable foam.
The final variable effecting foam quality is the cement-mixing rate. Because the
nitrogen is added on a per barrel basis, the rate of the cement is critical to the final foam

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Specialty Cement Systems 6
density. With the introduction of computer-controlled nitrogen units, this is less of a
concern, however, very low cement-mixing rates cannot be tolerated. This is because
at very low cement-mix rates, the resulting concentration of nitrogen may be too low for
the nitrogen unit to accurately deliver. Conversely, very high rates later in the job can
lead to problems with the upper rate limits on the nitrogen unit.
An automatic density control (ADC) mixer should allow close density control with little
effort. These mixers will require the cement delivery to the cement unit is carefully
monitored, and the bulk system must be in good condition for these jobs. Lacking an
ADC mixing system, the next best choice is to batch mix the slurry. Attempting to
continuously mix a slurry in conventional cement mixing equipment does not give the
quality control required on these jobs. At the very least, the first part of the slurry should
be batch mixed. Job control during the initial stages of the job is the most critical. This
is because nitrogen rates are at the lowest point during the job, and small variations in
any of the job parameters will have a major effect on the final slurry properties.

6.3.8. Liquid Additive Delivery


The surfactant cannot be added to the cement before it is mixed. It is injected into the
low-pressure side of the triplex pump by means of a liquid additive metering pump. The
concentration of surfactant is important for foam stability. If the surfactant pump goes
out, the nitrogen should be stopped and the job continued by mixing either the base
slurry or an alternate, lightweight slurry.
An automated control-liquid-additive pump to inject the surfactant will improve the
quality control of the surfactant addition. The additive pump should be keyed to the
cement-mixing rate and designed to automatically compensate for changes in the
cement pump rate.

6.3.9. Nitrogen Injection


It is important the first part of the cement contain the correct amount of nitrogen. At the
top of the well, the nitrogen content is very low in the cement, and small changes in the
nitrogen rate can cause large changes in the final foam density. (Some example
calculations showing the sensitivity of the slurry density to nitrogen content are found
later in this Section.)
For the density of the final foam cement to be constant, the cement at the bottom of the
well must contain more nitrogen than the cement at the top of the well. This is simply
due to the compression of the nitrogen with increased hydrostatic pressure. Because of
the need for additional nitrogen at the bottom of the well, the nitrogen rate will slowly
increase throughout a foam cement job.
If possible, the nitrogen unit should be tied via automatic controller to the cement rate.
This is often referred to as an automated process controlled system. These systems
automatically control the various pieces of equipment based on the cement pump rate.

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If the automated nitrogen unit fails, the nitrogen can be injected manually following a
normal schedule for nitrogen injection. If the nitrogen unit fails during the job, simply
continue mixing the base slurry or switch to the alternate, lightweight slurry and
continue operations. Do not attempt to circulate foam cement out of the well.

6.3.10. Equipment Hookup


Equipment hookup for a foam cement job involves two key elements. First is the
injection of the foaming agent into the suction or low-pressure side of the triplex pump.
This is accomplished by hooking up the line from the foaming agent pump directly to the
cement at the pump suction. The foaming agent rate is controlled by a direct electronic
feed of the cement rate from the cement unit. As the cement rate changes, the foaming
agent pump automatically adjusts to maintain the correct amount of foaming agent in
the system. If the computer control goes out, the foaming agent can be added at a
constant rate. There should be a backup pump on the liquid-additive-injection system,
which provides redundancy for this system.
The second key element is the injection of the nitrogen. The nitrogen unit is hooked
into the cement line via a 'T' or 'Y' lateral connection. Some companies then go through
a foam generator. Depending on the hookup, the foam generator can be as simple as a
valve, or as complicated as opposing chokes across a frac cross. For most foam
cement jobs, a separate foam generator is not necessary. Tests have shown that
mixing in the line is sufficient to generate a stable foam.
The nitrogen rate is again keyed to a feedback rate from the cement unit. The nitrogen
injection is automatically controlled through the feedback loop that matches the required
nitrogen rate to the cement rate. If this system goes down, the nitrogen operator will
need to follow a preprinted schedule of nitrogen injection. This will key the nitrogen
injection rate to the cement rate and the volume of cement pumped. The nitrogen will
be increased in stages as discussed in the calculation section.
A generalized hookup for the foam cement job is:

Computer
Control
System
Pressure Transducer
Check
Valve Foam Generator
Cement Unit

Check Wellhead
Valve

Nitrogen
Liquid Additive Pump
Skid Skid

Nitrogen
Tanks

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The computer control system has sensors tied to each unit and takes the feedback from
all of the pressure transducers. It is important there be a pressure transducer at the
wellhead to record the entire job including displacement. Because of the check valve in
the cement line, the cement unit cannot record pressures during the entire job.

6.3.11. Example of Foamed Cement Calculations


Calculating the amount of nitrogen to add to a cement slurry and the final yield of the
slurry can be confusing. This Section gives several examples for calculating nitrogen
content, the resulting slurry yield, and other calculations for foam cementing. The
calculations are performed at several pressures to show the effects of pressure and
temperature on the density, yield, and nitrogen content of the slurry.
For a majority of applications, the well is broken up into sections of 200 - 500 ft. The
pressure and temperature at the midpoint of each section is determined, and then the
amount of nitrogen required for that point in the well is calculated. Alternative methods
involve calculating the required nitrogen for each predetermined volume of cement
slurry. For example, the nitrogen is calculated for each 20 bbl of cement slurry. This
effectively is the same calculation since the final location in the well must be known for
each 20 bbl of slurry so the temperature and pressure can be determined.
After the nitrogen requirements for each section of the well have been determined, the
cement job is broken up into stages, with each stage representing a portion of the well.
The nitrogen is then injected at the rate determined for each stage. Since the nitrogen
volume has been calculated for the average pressure and temperature of each section,
the cement at the top of the stage will weigh slightly less than the design. The cement
at the bottom of the stage will be slightly heavier than the design. The smaller the
stage, the smaller the variation in the density across the stage.
For the purposes of these calculations, the weight of the nitrogen will be ignored. The
absolute results will be off by the weight of the nitrogen, and the error will increase with
increased pressure. Only at high pressures (generally over 2,500 psi) does the density
of the nitrogen make a measurable difference. For this reason, these hand calculations
will vary from those received from a computer program by a few SCF/bbl. To properly
correct for the density of nitrogen, the temperature in degrees (°) absolute and the z
factor for nitrogen must be used in the calculations.
These calculations are presented only as a guide to foamed cementing, and to aid
in understanding some of the complexities associated with the process. These
are not designed to be used for foamed cement job design. For actual job
designs, use a service company computer program that determines nitrogen
content that accounts for the density of the gas.

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6.3.12. Calculations

6.3.12.1. Calculation #1 (Surface Conditions)


Calculate the amount of nitrogen required to make a 10 lb/gal slurry using a 14.5 lb/gal
base slurry at surface conditions. If the yield of the 14.5 base slurry is 1.44 cu ft/sk,
calculate the yield of the foam slurry.
The base equation is:
Weight of the base slurry
= Weight of the desired slurry
1+ x

where x is the volume of nitrogen


Note: the volume of nitrogen will be expressed in the same units as are used for the
density of the slurries. If lb/gal is used for the weight, the nitrogen will be in gallons. If
the weight per barrel of slurry is used, then the volume of nitrogen is in barrels.
An example:
14.5 lb/gal
= 10 lb/gal
1+ x
14.5 = 10 (1 + x)
14.5 = 10 + 10x
14.5 - 10 = 10x
4.5 = 10x
.45 = x in gallons
This means that to make a 10 lb/gal slurry, you must take one gallon of a 14.5 lb/gal
slurry and add .45 gallons of nitrogen. The resulting volume of slurry will be 1.45
gallons.
If working with units in barrels, you will need to add 0.45 barrels of nitrogen to a barrel
of cement slurry to get a 10 lb/gal slurry. There are 5.61 SCF per barrel, so the amount
of nitrogen required is 5.61 * .45 = 2.52 SCF of nitrogen.
To get the yield of the foam slurry, multiply the yield of the base (1.44) with the increase
in volume (1.45) to get the new yield of 2.088 cu ft/sk.

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6.3.12.2. Calculation #2 (100 psi)
Calculate the amount of nitrogen in SCF/bbl required to make a 10 lb/gal slurry using a
14.5-base slurry at 100 psi. The temperature at 100 psi is 100°F (38°C).
Again, using the same equation, this time we will base the calculations on the amount of
nitrogen that should be added to a barrel of base slurry.
1 bbl of 14.5 lb/gal cement weights 609 pounds
1 bbl of 10.0 lb/gal foam cement weighs 420 pounds
609
= 420
1+ x
609 - 420 (1 + x)
609 = 420 + 420x
609 - 420 = 420x
189 = 420x
189
=x
420
.45 = x in barrels
That means for a barrel of slurry, it will take 0.45 bbl of nitrogen. As can be seen, since
we are ignoring the density of the nitrogen, the required concentration (percentage) of
nitrogen will not change. All that remains is to determine the amount of SCF of nitrogen
are in 0.45 bbl of nitrogen at 100 psi and 100°F (38°C). Looking in a nitrogen table, it
shows that at these conditions there are 35 SCF/bbl. (Nitrogen tables are found at
the end of this Section.)
The amount of nitrogen required for this part of the job will be:
35 * 0.45 = 15.75 SCF
Therefore, if you take a barrel of 14.5 cement slurry and inject 15.75 SCF of nitrogen
into it, it will weigh 10 ppg at 100 psi and 100°F (38°C). Notice too the yield of the slurry
does not change. The base slurry has a yield of 1.44 cu ft/sk and the addition of the
nitrogen has increased the yield by a factor of 1.45.
In the previous two examples, the density of the slurry did not change, but because of
the pressure, the amount of nitrogen required changed considerably. To make a 10
lb/gal slurry at surface, the nitrogen requirement was 2.52 SCF, but at 100 psi, it
required 15.75 SCF.

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6.3.12.3. Calculation #3 (1,000 psi)
Calculate the amount of nitrogen required to make a 10 lb/gal slurry using a 14.5 base
slurry at 1,000 psi and 100°F (38°C).
Using the same equations as the above two examples, the amount of nitrogen required
will be 0.45 bbl. From the nitrogen tables, at 1,000 psi and 100°F (38°C), nitrogen
requires 353 SCF per barrel. Therefore the required amount of nitrogen per barrel of
cement will be:
353 * 0.45 = 159 SCF / bbl of slurry
Notice that with a tenfold increase of pressure, the nitrogen requirement increases by
approximately the same amount.
The other factor that will effect the amount of nitrogen is temperature. As can be seen
from the nitrogen tables, as the temperature goes up, the amount of nitrogen in a barrel
goes down simply due to the expansion of the nitrogen. In the above example, the
amount of nitrogen at 1,000 psi and 100°F (38°C) was 159 SCF/bbl of slurry. The same
calculation for 1,000 psi at 160°F (71°C) will yield:
316 * 0.45 = 142 SCF / bbl of slurry
If the above calculations are made for several pressures and temperatures, the nitrogen
requirements are:

Table 6.1: Example Nitrogen Volumes

SCF Nitrogen / bbl Cement Slurry

Pressure 100°° 140°° 180°° 200°°

0 2.52 - - -
100 15.75 14.85 13.95 13.5
1.000 159 148 137 133
2.000 311 288 267 258
3.000 449 415 386 373
4.000 567 527 491 475

A remaining question in foam cementing is "what happens if a foam cement that was
designed for one depth actually winds up in a different part of the well"?

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Specialty Cement Systems 6
6.3.12.4. Density of Cement Example
What is the density of a cement slurry that contains 159 SCF/bbl of nitrogen at 100 psi?
The base slurry is 14.5 lb/gal.
In this example, the slurry that was originally designed for 1,000 psi has been circulated
in the well to where the pressure is only 100 psi. From the nitrogen tables, at 100 psi
and 100°F (38°C), it takes 35 SCF of nitrogen to make a barrel. The amount of nitrogen
is:
159 SCF/35 SCF/bbl = 4.52 barrels
The resulting slurry density is :
Original slurry = 14.5/gal * 42 = 609 pounds
Total volume = 1 bbl (from the slurry) + 4.52 bbl (from the expanded nitrogen)
Density = 609 lb/5.52 bbl = 609 lb/231.84 gal
Density = 2.83 lb/gal
If the same slurry is circulated to the surface, the total volume will occupy :
159
= 28.34 barrels
5.61
28.34 + 1 = Total volume of 29.34 barrels
609
Density = gallons
1232
Density = 0.49 lb/gal
This calculation shows the reason foam cement should not be circulated out of the hole.
One bbl of slurry that was designed to weigh 10.0 lb/gal at 1,000 ft will occupy 29 bbl of
space at the surface and have a "density" of 0.49 lb/gal.

6.3.12.5. Density of Foam Cement (2,000 psi)


Calculate the density of a foam cement that has 159 SCF/bbl added to a 14.5 lb/gal
base at 2,000 psi and 100°F (38°C). This is the same calculation used to determine the
density of the foam cement as it rounds the shoe of the casing.
From the nitrogen tables, at 2,000 psi and 100°F (38°C), a barrel of nitrogen has
692 SCF. Therefore, the volume of nitrogen at this point is:
159
= 0.23 bbl
692
The total slurry volume is 1 (from the cement) + 0.23 (from the nitrogen) = 1.23 bbl
609 lbs 609 lbs
=
1.23 bbl 51.66 gal

Density = 11.79 lb / gal

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Specialty Cement Systems 6
Therefore, the cement slurry will weigh approximately 11.8 lb/gal at the shoe, and when
it is in place it will weigh 10.0 lb/gal.

6.3.13. 3,500 Ft TD Well Example


A well is 3,500 ft TD. The casing is 9-5/8 inches to be cemented in a 14-inch open hole.
No excess is to be run. The job calls for using a 10 lb/gal foam cement from 1,500 -
3,000 ft, followed by 500 ft of tail slurry. The base slurry is a 14.5 lb/gal slurry with a
yield of 1.44 cu ft/sk and will be foamed to 10.0 lb/gal.
The mud weight is 9.5 lb/gal; the temperature gradient is 1.1°F/100 ft. The spacer used
for the job will be a 9.5 lb/gal spacer. The surface temperature is 80°F (27°C).
Calculate the required nitrogen injection rates, the amount of nitrogen, and the amount
of cement required for the foam portion of the cement job.
The first step is to divide the foam section into stages. The total amount of foam
cement is 1,500 ft. If the well is broken into 500 ft stages, there will be three stages:

Stage Top Bottom Average

1 1500 2000 1750


2 2000 2500 2250
3 2500 3000 2750

Hydrostatic pressure and temperature at midpoint:

Stage Cement Rate (bpm) Nitrogen Rate

1 871 99
2 1131 105
3 1391 110

From the nitrogen tables, the SCF of nitrogen per barrel for each stage is:

Stage SCF Nitrogen Per Barrel

1 319 (300 psi and 100°F (38°C))


1 388 (400 psi and 100°F (38°C))
1 483 (1,400 psi, average between
100° and 120°F (38° and 49°C))

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From earlier calculations, we know that 0.45 bbl of nitrogen must be added to each
barrel of cement to produce a 10 lb/gal slurry:

Stage SCF Nitrogen Per


Barrel of Cement

1 144
2 175
3 217

From the above information, a table of nitrogen rates can be generated:

Stage Cement Rate (bpm) Nitrogen Rate

1 144
2 288
1 3 432
4 576
5 720
1 175
2 350
2 3 525
4 700
5 875
1 217
2 434
3 3 651
4 868
5 1085

The annular volume for a 9-5/8 inch casing in a 14-inch open hole is 0.1004 bbl/ft, thus
for each 500 ft interval we need 50 bbl of foam slurry. Since each barrel of cement
pumped will occupy 1.45 bbl of space after the nitrogen is added, the volume of cement
required for each stage will be:
50
= 34.6 bbl
1.45

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Volume of nitrogen per stage is calculated by taking the volume of cement times the
SCF per barrel of nitrogen for each stage:
e

Stage Total Nitrogen


Per Stage

1 4,982
2 6,055
3 7,508
Total 18,545

The yield of the cement is 1.44 cu ft/sk, so the amount of cement per stage will be
135 sacks of cement. The total amount of cement will be 3 * 135 = 405 sacks for the
foamed cement portion only. (The cement for the tail slurry has not been included.)
Therefore, for the foam cement portion of the job, it will require:
405 Sacks of cement
18,545 SCF of nitrogen

6.3.14. Calculations and Service Company Computer


Programs
In the above examples, the weight of the nitrogen has been ignored. When the weight
of the nitrogen is included in the calculations, the amount of gas will increase to
compensate for that weight. This means when the hand calculations are compared to
those from service company computer programs, the hand calculations should yield a
lower amount of nitrogen for any given stage. The relative error will increase with
increasing pressure.
Some of the service company programs will also calculate the friction pressure while
the foam is being placed. The friction pressure will act the same as back pressure on
the well, and if included in the calculations, will result in more nitrogen being needed for
any given point in the well. While the physics are correct that the friction pressure does
indeed tend to compress the foam, the problem with using this pressure in the
calculations is that now the foam density in the well is also rate dependent. This is
essentially the same as using ECD to control the well while drilling. While this can
certainly be done, if the pumps are shut down, or the rate is not what was predicted,
there will be a problem with backside control.
It is recommended only the final static conditions be considered when determining the
nitrogen content of foamed cements.

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6.4. CEMCRETE* CEMENT SYSTEMS

6.4.1. General
The CemCRETE* cement systems are heavily marketed specialty systems from
Schlumberger. These systems are marketed as having superior compressive strength,
improved mechanical properties, and lower rheologies.
While many of the claims may be valid, these systems can be considerably more
expensive than the alternatives, and must be justified on a cost per cubic foot basis. It
is very rare that paying more money for additional compressive strength is justified, and
the high added cost of these systems requires very careful evaluation of the well needs.
As with any cement additive, the use of the system should be justified through well
requirements, not marketing by the service company. With the CemCRETE* systems,
the engineer must realize there are more cement additives than cement in the
"CRETE*" systems.
*Service mark of Schlumberger

6.4.2. What are the "CRETE" Cements?


The "CRETE*" slurries are marketed cement blends available from Schlumberger. The
base of the blends is normal Portland Cement used on all wells. Schlumberger adds
two essentially inert materials to "optimize the particle size distribution" of the system.
The system must be dry blended and blown back and forth at least five (5) times to
assure blending. This will give a basic "CRETE*" blend.
If no additional materials are blended, the system is called CemCRETE*. Adding hollow
ceramic spheres, marketed by Schlumberger as LiteFill*, will reduce the density of the
cement, and make LiteCRETE*. Adding weighting agents to the base system makes
DensCRETE*. Designing the system for deepwater will result in a DeepCRETE*
design. Leaving out the cement, and just using the micro-fine particles, makes
SqueezeCRETE*.
Much like adding a minimum concentration of GasBLOK* to any cement will make a
GasBLOK* slurry, adding the special particle-sized materials to a cement will make a
CRETE* slurry.
There is quite a bit of technology in the development of the CRETE* line of slurries, and
the systems can fill niche applications in normal operations. These slurries should not
be considered as daily use systems due to their much higher cost.

6.4.3. Marketing Points

6.4.3.1. Higher Strength Development


Most of the CRETE* cements are marketed as having higher strength development or
as having the properties of a slurry that is much denser than the one being used. While
strength development is important, the absolute value of the strength is unimportant.

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Specialty Cement Systems 6
Tests have shown the compressive strength measurement to be one of the least
reproducible tests that is done on cement. Even with neat cement, and very controlled
conditions, strength values obtained typically vary by as much as 50%.
LiteCRETE* is marketed heavily as giving superior strength at very lightweights. The
system will live up to that claim, and it is possible to get a 12 lb/gal system that has
3,000 psi compressive strength. Comparable conventionally extended systems, those
containing bentonite, pozzolans, etc., will have strengths in the 500 - 750 psi range at
that density. The key is to determine why there would be any need for a very high-
strength lightweight cement.
There is rarely any need to pay more for strength development. One case where
strength is important is kick-off plugs, but in primary cementing, the interest is in when
the cement sets, and when it gains some minimum strength, like 500 psi. There is no
need to have a lightweight filler cement that has high strength.
One argument to the strength question would be the ability to perforate and perform a
fracturing treatment through the lightweight cement. Work has clearly shown that the
cement does not require high strengths to keep the fracture from extending through the
cement sheath. The compressive strength of the cement need only be greater than the
tensile strength of the rock, which is typically less than 100 psi. (Tensile strength of
cement can be estimated conservatively as 10% of the compressive strength.)
There is a point where strength development can have an economic impact and that is
not how much strength, but when the slurry begins to develop strength. In high cost
environments, if the rig is waiting on the set of the cement, then slurries that gain
strength faster can give an advantage.
There has been very little comparison of LiteCRETE*, and a cement slurry of the same
density that does not contain the CRETE* additive package, yet still contains the
lightweight hollow spheres. This would be the equivalent of a Schlumberger system
with just the LiteFill* as the lightweight additive.
If very lightweight cement is needed, consider using only the hollow spheres system as
an alternate. The strength development will be less, but well within most well
requirements. Compare cost per cubic foot of the two systems. Foamed cement may
also be considered as an alternative for very lightweight slurries. Foam has many
technical advantages, but like any high-tech system, carries its own set of operational
challenges.

6.4.3.2. Porosity
Schlumberger has coined a term "porosity" to define the amount of "open" space in a
cement slurry. This is NOT the same as the porosity commonly defined to describe
rocks, or set cement. The porosity calculation made is only applicable to the slurry
when in a liquid state. This is only a calculation and no physical measurements are
made to determine slurry porosity. The theory is by putting the smaller particles in the
cement, the porosity of the slurry is less, and fewer additives may be needed. Further,
it will push water out of the pore spaces, making the rheology less.

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The rheologies of the LiteCRETE* slurries may or may not be less than comparable
hollow sphere slurries. The viscosity of these slurries must be sufficiently high to
prevent particle segregation and the floating out of the hollow spheres. Because of this
requirement, the slurry will probably have a very similar rheology.
DensCRETE* does appear to benefit from lower rheologies at the higher densities.
Care must be taken to select the base cement carefully as this will have a major effect
on the final slurry rheology. Work in South Texas has shown the DensCRETE* slurries
used in the area to be easily mixed with good rheological properties, while work in the
Gulf of Mexico yielded slurries that were quite difficult to mix. The expertise of the
laboratory personnel in the slurry design has a direct effect on the efficiency of this
system.

6.4.4. SqueezeCRETE*
Using only the very fine particles and leaving out the Portland Cement will yield
SqueezeCRETE*, which is being marketed as a material that will allow slurry placement
into extremely small openings. Because of the very small particle size, standard fluid
loss cannot be performed, as the material will pass through the API fluid loss screen.
SqueezeCRETE* fluid loss tests are run against filter paper and cannot be
compared to conventional cement fluid loss tests. Cement fluid loss against paper
will always be considerably lower than API tests. For example, a cement with 1,200 mL
API fluid loss will have approximately 25 mL of fluid loss when tested against filter
paper.
Another characteristic identified in the use of SqueezeCRETE* has been poor strength
development. The material does not gain strength quickly and has created some
additional rig problems. Efforts have been made to tail in a SqueezeCRETE* job with
more conventional cement to gain a squeeze pressure and to obtain some type of
strength development.

6.4.5. Cost Comparisons


Care must be taken to evaluate the cost per cubic foot of the system being considered,
and to make appropriate comparisons with current systems.
The CRETE* systems are sold as being less expensive than comparable systems. This
is particularly true when GasBLOK*, Schlumberger's anti-gas migration additive, is part
of the design. Schlumberger bases the concentration of GasBLOK* on a chart that is
related to temperature and the porosity calculation, and is normally sold in the 2.5 - 3.5
gallons per sack range. With the CRETE* systems, the relative concentration of
GasBLOK* is reduced, and because of the high cost of the GasBLOK*, the added cost
of the CRETE* is negated.
ExxonMobil does not recommend the high concentrations of GasBLOK* typically
recommended by Schlumberger. GasBLOK* concentrations should not exceed 1-
1.25 gals per sack except in extreme cases. Using the lower concentration as a
baseline for cost comparison, the CRETE* cost advantage may quickly disappear.

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6.4.6. Other Related Designs
Additional slurries are being marketed that utilize the "optimized particle size
distribution" concept with additional additives to further change the properties. These
include DuraSTONE* and FlexSTONE*. These systems supposedly have more
durability, lower Young's Modulus or other properties that reportedly help the system
seal the wellbore for the life of the well. There are no identified cement properties
directly related to long-term sealing ability of the cement, and current claims are made
based on mathematical simulators only.

6.4.7. Summary
The CRETE* slurries can have application in ExxonMobil's operations. These slurries
are more expensive, and require much higher levels of quality control while blending.
As with any cement additive, the use of the system should be justified through well
requirements, not marketing by the service company. If there is justifiable need, the
systems fill a niche and have application. The engineer must be aware that on a per
pound basis, the CRETE slurries have more additives than cement in the system.
Unless specifically required for well conditions, do not pay more money simply for
strength development. High compressive strengths are rarely required, especially with
lightweight slurries.

6.5. ACID SOLUBLE SYSTEMS

Many times, there is a need for a cement to be acid soluble. While cement itself is
readily soluble in acid, there is a surface reaction between Portland Cement and
hydrochloric acid (HCl) that forms a gel structure and does not allow the live acid to
continue to react with the cement. Since the live acid can no longer come in contact
with the un-reacted cement, the reaction stops. This is why the cement in wells does
not dissolve out during acid treatments.
To make a cement acid soluble requires either changing the base cement system to a
non-Portland cement, or increasing the reaction sites on the cement by improving the
live acid penetration.
Cements that change the base chemistry to a non-Portland cement include systems
that have a very high magnesium content (like Magne Plus* available through BJ
Services). These systems work well, but cost more than conventional cement.
* Mark of BJ Services

A good alternative to acid soluble cement is to mix 100-200 % calcium carbonate in with
conventional cement. This will reduce the density of the slurry somewhat, but the
addition of the calcium carbonate will make the total system acid soluble. The mixture
consists of one sack of Portland Cement and one to two sacks of calcium carbonate.
Caution must be taken to properly choose the size grade of the calcium carbonate.
Using only the coarse material may not give sufficient acid solubility, and using too fine
a material can lead to mixing problems. To address this issue, the service company lab

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Specialty Cement Systems 6
should use mixtures of fine, medium and coarse calcium carbonate to optimize the
rheology of the slurry.
The effect of adding these large amounts of calcium carbonate will be to reduce the
compressive strength of the cement. Essentially, the calcium carbonate is non-reactive,
and acts as a diluent. Because the material is added on a 1:1 ratio, strengths can be
expected to be reduced by at least 50%. Higher concentrations of calcium carbonate
will further reduce the strength, but as previously noted, that is rarely a problem.
The relative solubility of these systems in HCl will be on the order of 90 - 94%,
depending on the purity of the calcium carbonate and other additives. The reaction rate
will be less than with pure calcium carbonate, so soak times may need to be extended.
Performing pre-testing in the lab is recommended for the specific application.

6.6. CO2 RESISTANT CEMENTS

CO2 will react with Portland Cement and convert the cement into a calcium carbonate
material. The strength of the system will reduce, but will still retain sufficient strength
and low permeability to provide isolation. The problem in most CO2 applications is the
well eventually is treated with an acid, and this will dissolve the cement from behind the
pipe. This is common in CO2 flood areas and leads to severe problems with loss of CO2
into unwanted zones.
To prevent carbonate conversion of the cement, the solution is to use a system that
does not contain Portland Cement. Another method that has been applied is to attempt
to lower the permeability of the cement to as low a value as possible, thereby delaying
the eventual conversion of the Portland Cement. Depending on the well life and
economics of the field, the later solution will be less expensive, but will not provide a
long-term (>10 year) solution. Because of the chemical reactions, Portland Cement in a
CO2 environment will eventually convert and become acid soluble, regardless of the
permeability.
ThermaLock™ cement is available from Halliburton as a CO2 resistant cement. The
cement is made up of high alumina cement that does not contain any Portland Cement.
The material can be difficult to use, and care must be taken when blending to not have
any Portland Cement contaminate the system. Portland Cement contamination will
accelerate the ThermaLockä to the point it will "flash set."
The high alumina cement is essentially the same material used to make the bricks that
line the fireplace in most homes. Conventional Portland Cement cannot withstand the
high temperatures and harsh chemical environment of a fireplace, and the high alumina
cement has been found resistant to those conditions.
The ThermaLockä slurries are normally mixed at densities between 14 and 15 lb/gal.
Higher densities are available, but will require addition of weighting agents.
In areas where ThermaLockä is not available, an alternative would be the use of a very
low permeability cement. Schlumberger's CRETE* line of slurries would fit in this
category. The CRETE* systems are Portland Cement based, but have very low-cement
content and very low permeability. The Portland Cement content in these systems is
typically 30% by volume. The system will react with the CO2, but at a much lower rate

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 6 - 24


Specialty Cement Systems 6
due to the low permeability, and low concentration of Portland Cement. The low-
cement content will reduce the effects of the reaction, but it will ultimately react to
convert the cement in the system to carbonate.
To further enhance gas resistance, latex can be added to the CRETE* system. This
can help reduce attack by the CO2 by further reducing system porosity and permeability.
Regardless of the cement system used, it is important the Production Company realize
if a Portland Cement has been used in a CO2 application, the cement behind the pipe
will ultimately become acid soluble. If the well is repeatedly treated with acid, there is a
potential for loss of annular seal due to the dissolution of the Portland Cement.

6.6.1. Cement Reactions with CO2


The basic cement reactions of cement with CO2 are outlined below. (No attempt has
been made to chemically balance the equations.) The abbreviations used in the
formulas are:
C3S - Tricalcium Silicate - A basic component of cement
C2S - Dicalcium Silicate - A basic component of cement
CSH - Calcium Silica Hydrate - A reaction product forming part of a set
cement matrix
H2O - Water
CO2 - Carbon Dioxide
Ca(OH)2 - Calcium Carbonate
Ca(HCO3)2 - Calcium Bicarbonate
CO3-2 - Carbonate ion
H+ - Hydrogen Ion

6.6.1.1. Cement Hydration


C3S + H2O → CSH + Ca(OH)2
β - C2S + H2O → CSH + Ca(OH)2

6.6.1.2. Carbon Dioxide Reactions


CO2 + H2O → H2CO3 → H+ + HCO3-
HCO3- → CO3-2 + H+

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Specialty Cement Systems 6
6.6.1.3. Reaction Products
Ca(OH)2 + H+ + CO3-2 → CaCO3 + H2O
CO2 + H2O + CaCO3 → Ca(HCO3)2 + H2O
Ca(HCO3)2 + Ca(OH)2 → CaCO3 + H2O
After a time, all of the calcium hydroxide in the cement system will be converted to
calcium carbonate in the presence of carbon dioxide. Note this also requires the
presence of water in the system. In a completely dry environment, no reaction will take
place directly with the cement. All cement contains some amount of unbound water,
and the presence of this water will allow some minor conversion. It is the presence of
the CO2 over the long term that will ultimately convert the cement to a soluble system.

6.7. HYDROGEN SULFIDE (H2S) RESISTANCE

Coupled with CO2 resistance, wells often contain H2S or will have H2S as part of a gas
injection process.
Studies have shown H2S does not react with Portland Cement; therefore, it is not
necessary to pump any specialty type of cement system. However, if the gas injection
stream contains CO2, then protection from the CO2 is required.
One exception is systems containing salt. High-salt systems tend to be more
susceptible to H2S attack, and should be avoided if H2S is expected.

6.8. HIGH TEMPERATURE CEMENTS

Portland Cement with no additives will maintain stability up to 230°F (110°C). Above
this temperature, the cement structure will begin to change with time, and the crystals in
the cement will begin to degrade and/or react to form new species. This results in
higher permeability and lower strength. The process is called strength retrogression.
Strength retrogression does not necessarily cause many operational problems due
simply to the loss of compressive strength. Over time, the cement strength may regress
from 3,000 psi to as low as 500 psi. Even this low strength is sufficient to maintain
casing support. The problem begins to arise due to the increase in the permeability of
the cement. Permeability can increase from 0.001 mD (in a standard cement) up to 0.5
mD (in a fully strength-regressed slurry). This can lead to problems with zonal isolation,
fluid movement and other well problems.
Cement systems can experience this temperature at any point in time, not just when
being placed in the well. High production rate wells can have wellhead temperatures
exceeding 300°F (149°C), and because of the high heat at the wellhead, all of the
cement must be stabilized not just the cement in the lower parts of the well.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 6 - 26


Specialty Cement Systems 6
6.8.1. Preventing Strength Retrogression
Silica flour should be added to cements that will be exposed to temperatures exceeding
230°F (110°C). This temperature may be due to BHST of the well, later steam injection,
or high producing temperatures. Adding 30-40% by weight of silica to a Portland
Cement will prevent strength retrogression. Normally, 35% silica is added to the
cement, and usually in the form of silica flour. Fine silica sand may also be used, but
because of the larger surface area, will not be as effective, and will have a slower
reaction rate.
The addition of the silica will stabilize Portland Cement systems up to approximately
600ºF (316ºC). Above this point, standard Portland Cement can no longer be
stabilized, and the system will fail. These very high temperatures are normally only
seen in very high-pressure steam injection wells, or with continuing fire floods. Note the
temperature must be above 600ºF (316ºC) for some time period (in excess of seven
days) to do significant damage to a standard stabilized cement.

6.8.2. Alternatives
For wells requiring very high temperature cements, using non-Portland cements is the
simplest solution. These cements are high alumina cements, commonly used to
manufacture the bricks used in fireplaces. These cements are also applicable to CO2
resistance (see Section 6.6).
Care must be exercised when using these specialty cements in the field.
Contamination of these cements with Portland Cement will result in extremely short
pumping times, and can result in a job failure. Care must be taken by the service
company to assure all of their tanks and storage systems are completely cleaned of
Portland Cement before introducing these materials to the system.

6.9. PERMAFROST CEMENT SYSTEMS

When cementing sections of casing traversing permafrost formations, special


consideration must be given to the cold temperatures, controlling the heat of hydration
of the slurry to prevent formation thaw, and temperature cycling of the cement during
production.
Permafrost cements address the challenges by incorporating large concentrations of
gypsum. Permafrost cement slurries will contain from 40 - 60% gypsum by weight of
cement. The high concentration of gypsum serves several purposes:
Early Strength Development - Below 45°F (7°C), cement does not hydrate. The
gypsum will set below this temperature and is responsible for the early strength of the
slurry.
Low Heat of Hydration - Unlike cement setting, gypsum does not have a large
exothermic reaction upon setting. This prevents melting of the permafrost around the
casing.

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Specialty Cement Systems 6
Freeze/Thaw Stability - During the production life of the well, the cement will be
exposed to freezing temperatures alternately with the warm wellbore temperatures.
The cement must be capable of surviving several freeze-thaw cycles. Standard
Portland Cement is subject to failure from internal ice crystalline growth. This is
eliminated with the use of the high gypsum concentration.
Some deepwater designs also utilize high gypsum cement systems, because of the low
sea floor temperatures. This allows for more rapid strength development, but can lead
to problems of retardation of the cement. In Permafrost conditions, the slurry mix
temperature is usually low because of surface temperature conditions. In deepwater
applications, surface conditions can be quite warm, requiring over-retardation of the
gypsum to allow placement. Modifying the concentration of gypsum in these systems
has been used to address this problem.

6.10. RESINS AND PLASTICS


The most expensive, specialty use "cement" slurries are the resins and plastics. These
systems are used in wells to combat acid corrosion and extreme chemical
environments. While these systems are marketed as synthetic cement, or plastic
cement, there is no cement in the system. They are made entirely of organic resins or
plastics. Any solids in the systems are from fillers such as silica flour or sand.

6.10.1. Applications
The plastic and resin systems have application in wells used for the disposal of live
acid, or caustic. These systems have found primary use in disposal wells used by
chemical plants and some refineries due to their resistance to many acids and some
organic compounds. Some testing has indicated long-term cracking or embrittlement of
these systems, which could lead to loss of seal.
The systems are solids free, with a base density of approximately 9.5 lb/gal. The
density can be increased by incorporating silica flour, sand, or barite. The solids free
systems have been used to attempt to squeeze casing collar leaks and temporarily seal
wellhead valves.

6.10.2. Limitations
The plastics and resin systems have limits to their use in oilfield operations:
• Placement Temperature Limits - The systems cannot be placed at high
temperatures. The reaction of the resins and plastics is accelerated by
temperature and will set quickly at higher temperatures. This limits the
application to wells with bottomhole circulating temperatures under 150°F
(66°C).
• Application Temperature - Even if the systems can be placed at low
temperatures, the set materials will begin to soften at temperatures exceeding
250°F (120°C). This softening can lead to extrusion of the resin into the

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 6 - 28


Specialty Cement Systems 6
perforation or other opening. If the production is flowing past the resin, the
material can be stripped off the walls.

6.10.3. Job Considerations


• Environmental - These systems are organic based, and will require disposal of
excess material and special clean up of the pumping equipment. Often the
cleaning and disposal charge for using these systems exceeds the job costs.
• Health and Safety - The catalysts and base resins are often hazardous to
personnel, requiring special personal protective equipment. This must be
considered as part of the job plan, and all personnel involved in the operation
must be aware of the potential health risks.
• Cost - These systems can cost in excess of $3,000 per barrel. The volume
used for the job must be preordered, and is not refundable. Job volume control
is essential. Any excess material must not only be paid for in advance, but will
require proper disposal if not used in the well.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 6 - 29


Specialty Cement Systems 6
Table 6.2: SCF per BBL N2 to 5,000 Pressure
Temperature
40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260 280 300
100 39 38 36 35 34 33 32 31 30 29 28 27 26 26
200 79 76 73 70 68 66 64 62 60 58 56 55 53 52
300 119 114 110 106 102 99 96 93 90 87 85 82 80 78
400 158 152 147 141 136 132 128 128 120 116 113 110 107 104
500 198 190 183 177 171 165 160 155 150 146 141 137 134 130
600 240 230 221 212 204 197 190 184 178 173 168 163 158 154
700 280 268 258 248 238 230 222 214 208 201 195 189 184 179
800 320 307 294 283 272 262 253 245 237 229 222 216 210 204
900 360 345 331 318 306 295 284 275 266 257 250 242 236 229
1000 400 383 367 353 339 327 315 305 295 285 277 269 261 254
1100 440 421 404 388 373 359 346 334 323 313 304 295 287 279
1200 480 459 440 422 406 391 377 364 352 341 330 321 312 303
1300 519 498 476 457 439 423 407 393 380 368 357 346 337 328
1400 558 534 511 491 472 454 438 423 408 395 383 372 364 352
1500 597 571 547 525 504 485 468 452 436 422 409 397 386 376
1600 636 608 582 559 537 516 498 480 464 449 435 422 411 400
1700 674 644 617 592 569 547 527 509 492 476 461 447 435 423
1800 712 681 652 625 601 578 557 537 519 502 487 472 459 447
1900 749 717 686 658 632 608 586 565 546 528 512 497 483 470
2000 787 752 720 691 663 638 615 593 573 554 537 521 506 493
2100 823 787 754 723 694 668 643 621 600 580 562 545 530 516
2200 860 822 787 755 725 697 672 648 626 606 587 569 553 538
2300 895 856 820 787 755 727 700 675 652 631 611 593 576 561
Pressure

2400 930 890 853 818 785 756 728 702 678 656 635 616 599 583
2500 965 923 885 849 815 784 755 728 704 681 659 640 622 605
2600 999 956 916 879 845 812 782 755 729 705 683 663 644 627
2700 1033 989 948 909 873 840 809 781 754 729 707 686 666 649
2800 1066 1021 978 939 902 868 836 806 779 753 730 708 688 670
2900 1098 1052 1009 968 930 895 862 832 803 777 753 731 710 691
3000 1130 1083 1038 997 958 922 888 857 828 801 776 753 732 713
3100 1161 1113 1068 1025 986 948 914 882 852 824 798 775 753 733
3200 1192 1143 1096 1053 1013 975 939 906 875 847 820 796 774 754
3300 1222 1172 1125 1081 1039 1000 964 930 899 869 842 818 795 774
3400 1251 1200 1153 1108 1065 1026 989 954 922 892 864 839 816 795
3500 1279 1228 1180 1134 1091 1051 1013 978 945 914 886 860 836 815
3600 1307 1255 1207 1160 1117 1075 1037 1001 967 936 907 880 856 834
3700 1334 1282 1233 1186 1142 1100 1060 1024 989 957 928 901 876 854
3800 1361 1308 1258 1211 1166 1124 1084 1046 1011 979 949 921 896 873
3900 1386 1334 1284 1236 1190 1147 1106 1068 1033 1000 969 941 915 892
4000 1411 1359 1308 1260 1214 1170 1129 1090 1054 1020 989 961 935 911
4100 1457 1395 1337 1284 1236 1191 1149 1111 1075 1042 1011 982 955 930
4200 1482 1419 1361 1307 1258 1213 1171 1132 1096 1062 1031 1001 974 949
4300 1506 1442 1384 1330 1280 1234 1192 1153 1116 1082 1050 1020 993 967
4400 1530 1466 1407 1352 1302 1256 1213 1173 1136 1101 1069 1039 1011 985
4500 1554 1489 1429 1374 1324 1277 1234 1193 1156 1121 1088 1058 1029 1003
4600 1577 1512 1452 1396 1345 1298 1254 1213 1176 1140 1107 1076 1048 1021
4700 1600 1534 1474 1417 1366 1319 1274 1233 1195 1159 1126 1095 1066 1038
4800 1622 1556 1495 1439 1387 1339 1294 1253 1214 1178 1144 1113 1083 1056
4900 1645 1578 1517 1460 1408 1359 1314 1272 1233 1197 1163 1131 1101 1073
5000 1667 1600 1538 1481 1428 1379 1334 1292 1252 1215 1181 1149 1119 1090

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 6 - 30


Specialty Cement Systems 6
Table 6.3: SCF per BBL N2 to 10,000 Pressure
Temperature
40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 220 240 260 280 300
5100 1688 1621 1559 1501 1448 1399 1353 1311 1271 1234 1199 1166 1136 1107
5200 1710 1642 1579 1522 1468 1419 1373 1330 1289 1252 1217 1184 1153 1124
5300 1731 1663 1600 1542 1488 1438 1392 1348 1308 1270 1235 1201 1170 1141
5400 1752 1683 1620 1561 1507 1457 1410 1367 1326 1288 1252 1218 1187 1157
5500 1772 1703 1640 1581 1527 1476 1429 1385 1344 1305 1269 1236 1204 1174
5600 1792 1723 1659 1600 1546 1495 1447 1403 1362 1323 1287 1252 1220 1190
5700 1812 1743 1679 1619 1564 1513 1466 1421 1379 1340 1304 1269 1237 1206
5800 1832 1762 1698 1638 1583 1532 1484 1439 1397 1357 1321 1286 1253 1222
5900 1851 1782 1717 1657 1601 1550 1501 1456 1414 1374 1337 1302 1269 1238
6000 1871 1800 1736 1675 1620 1568 1519 1474 1431 1391 1354 1319 1285 1254
6100 1890 1819 1754 1694 1638 1585 1537 1491 1448 1408 1370 1335 1301 1269
6200 1908 1838 1772 1712 1655 1603 1554 1508 1464 1425 1387 1351 1317 1285
6300 1927 1856 1790 1730 1673 1620 1571 1525 1482 1441 1403 1367 1333 1300
6400 1945 1874 1808 1747 1690 1638 1588 1542 1498 1457 1419 1382 1348 1316
6500 1963 1892 1826 1765 1708 1655 1605 1558 1515 1473 1435 1398 1363 1331
6600 1981 1909 1843 1782 1725 1671 1621 1575 1531 1489 1450 1413 1379 1346
6700 1999 1927 1861 1799 1742 1688 1638 1591 1547 1505 1466 1429 1394 1361
6800 2016 1944 1878 1816 1758 1705 1654 1607 1563 1521 1481 1444 1409 1375
6900 2033 1961 1894 1833 1775 1721 1670 1623 1578 1536 1497 1459 1424 1390
7000 2050 1978 1911 1849 1791 1737 1686 1639 1594 1552 1512 1474 1438 1404
7100 2067 1995 1928 1865 1807 1753 1702 1654 1609 1567 1527 1489 1453 1419
7200 2083 2011 1944 1882 1823 1769 1718 1670 1625 1582 1542 1504 1468 1433
7300 2100 2027 1960 1898 1839 1785 1733 1685 1640 1597 1557 1518 1482 1447
Pressure

7400 2116 2043 1976 1913 1855 1800 1749 1701 1655 1612 1571 1533 1496 1461
7500 2132 2059 1992 1929 1870 1816 1764 1716 1670 1627 1586 1547 1510 1475
7600 2147 2075 2007 1944 1886 1831 1779 1731 1685 1641 1600 1561 1524 1489
7700 2163 2090 2023 1960 1901 1846 1794 1745 1699 1656 1615 1576 1538 1503
7800 2178 2106 2038 1975 1916 1861 1809 1760 1714 1670 1629 1590 1552 1516
7900 2194 2121 2053 1990 1931 1876 1824 1775 1728 1685 1643 1603 1566 1530
8000 2209 2136 2068 2005 1946 1890 1838 1789 1743 1699 1657 1617 1580 1543
8100 2228 2156 2086 2021 1960 1904 1851 1801 1755 1711 1670 1630 1594 1559
8200 2246 2170 2100 2035 1974 1917 1864 1815 1768 1724 1682 1643 1606 1571
8300 2259 2183 2113 2048 1987 1930 1877 1828 1781 1737 1695 1656 1619 1583
8400 2272 2196 2126 2061 2000 1943 1890 1840 1794 1749 1708 1668 1631 1596
8500 2285 2209 2139 2074 2013 1956 1903 1853 1806 1762 1720 1681 1643 1608
8600 2298 2222 2152 2087 2026 1969 1916 1866 1819 1775 1733 1693 1656 1620
8700 2311 2235 2165 2099 2039 1982 1928 1878 1831 1787 1745 1705 1668 1632
8800 2323 2248 2177 2112 2051 1994 1941 1891 1844 1799 1757 1718 1680 1644
8900 2336 2260 2190 2124 2064 2007 1953 1903 1856 1811 1769 1730 1692 1656
9000 2348 2272 2202 2137 2076 2019 1965 1915 1868 1823 1781 1741 1704 1668
9100 2360 2284 2214 2149 2088 2031 1978 1927 1880 1837 1793 1753 1715 1679
9200 2372 2296 2226 2161 2100 2043 1990 1939 1892 1847 1805 1765 1727 1691
9300 2384 2308 2238 2173 2112 2055 2001 1951 1904 1859 1817 1776 1738 1702
9400 2396 2320 2250 2185 2124 2067 2013 1963 1915 1871 1828 1788 1750 1713
9500 2407 2332 2262 2196 2135 2078 2025 1974 1927 1882 1840 1799 1760 1725
9600 2419 2343 2273 2208 2147 2090 2036 1986 1938 1894 1851 1811 1772 1736
9700 2430 2355 2284 2219 2159 2101 2048 1997 1950 1905 1862 1822 1783 1747
9800 2441 2366 2296 2230 2170 2113 2059 2009 1960 1916 1873 1833 1795 1758
9900 2452 2377 2307 2242 2181 2124 2070 2020 1972 1927 1885 1844 1805 1769
10000 2463 2388 2318 2253 2192 2135 2081 2031 1983 1938 1896 1855 1816 1779

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 6 - 31


Section

Primary Cementing
Gas Migration

Scope

This Section briefly covers some of the theories on the causes of gas migration
and proposed slurry and job designs to address gas migration. This is not an
exhaustive discussion of the causes of gas migration, nor the myriad of mitigation
techniques. Rather this Section covers the most common forms of gas migration
and the most common prevention and mitigation methods.

Company Use Only


Gas Migration 7
Table of Contents
ExxonMobil Requirements ............................................................................... 3
ExxonMobil Recommended Practices ............................................................ 3
7.1. Required References ............................................................................. 4
7.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute.................................................................. 4

7.2. Types of Gas Migration.......................................................................... 4


7.2.1. Immediately After Placement of the Cement.................................................. 4
7.2.2. Influx After the Cement Has Been in Place for Several Hours ....................... 4
7.2.3. Presence of Gas Days or Weeks After the Cement is in Place ...................... 5
7.2.4. Gas Seen Following Fracture Treatments, Production or Drilling Deeper ...... 5

7.3. Under-balance of the Well ..................................................................... 5


7.4. Gas Influx After Several Hours.............................................................. 6
7.4.1. Theory........................................................................................................... 6
7.4.2. ExxonMobil Recommended Practices ........................................................... 9
7.4.2.1. Latex....................................................................................................... 9
7.4.2.2. Energized Fluids ..................................................................................... 9
7.5. Gas Present After Days or Weeks......................................................... 9
7.6. Gas Present After Fracturing Treatment, Production or Drilling
Deeper ................................................................................................... 10
7.7. Summary ............................................................................................... 10

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 7 - 2


Gas Migration 7
ExxonMobil Requirements
Section # ExxonMobil Requirement
There are no ExxonMobil requirements in this Section.

ExxonMobil Recommended Practices


Section # ExxonMobil Recommended Practice
7.4.2 In general, gas resistant slurries are recommended for:
1. Gas zones with pore pressure greater than 13 ppg.
2. Any gas zone in the surface hole, regardless of pore pressure.
3. Any gas zone below a liner top packer. LTPs remove the head
early in the set process, resulting in a reduction in final effective
stress.
7.4.2.1 The recommended latex concentration is 1 - 1.5 gallons per sack.
Additional material has not been shown to be necessary for gas
migration prevention.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 7 - 3


Gas Migration 7
7. GAS MIGRATION

7.1. REQUIRED REFERENCES

This Section lists Practices and Standards that are generically referenced and assumed
part of this document. Unless otherwise specified herein, use the latest edition.

7.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute


API RP 65 Cementing Shallow Water Flow Zones in Deep Water Wells

7.2. TYPES OF GAS MIGRATION

There are four general types of gas migration distinguished by when the problem is
seen at surface. Summarized here, each type will be examined in detail with slurry and
job design suggestions for the prevention of each type.

7.2.1. Immediately After Placement of the Cement


This type of gas migration is characterized by gas to surface immediately after placing
cement in the well. The cause of the gas to surface is usually the result of an under-
balance situation in the well, or the well has been swabbed in while moving pipe. The
under-balance situation can be caused by running too much lightweight preflush ahead
of the cement, mixing the slurry too light for well conditions, or taking a gas influx while
cementing.

7.2.2. Influx After the Cement Has Been in Place for


Several Hours
This is one of the most common occurrences of annular gas flow, and is of great
concern, because it often occurs when the diverter is being rigged down, or the surface
stack has been lifted to drop slips. The flow during this period most likely occurs either
at the cement/casing interface or cement/borehole interface, and is due to the loss of
effective stress in the cement as it sets. This phenomena is the one most commonly
addressed by a number of specialty products. Flow during this period may also be
brought on by excessive free water development in the cement slurry, particularly in
deviated wells where a mobile channel may form on the topside of the hole.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 7 - 4


Gas Migration 7
7.2.3. Presence of Gas Days or Weeks After the Cement
is in Place
This can be the result of dehydration of the mud filter cake, leading to a flow path
between the cement and the formation. This can also be brought on by the formation of
a microannulus between the pipe and cement, most often the result of changing the
fluid density inside the casing.

7.2.4. Gas Seen Following Fracture Treatments,


Production or Drilling Deeper
This is generally the result of stress cracking of the cement due to large wellbore
stresses. The cement no longer maintains a seal in the annulus because of cracking of
the cement sheath.

7.3. UNDER-BALANCE OF THE WELL

An under-balance situation in the well can be the result of either swabbing in the well
during pipe reciprocation, or by pumping excessive amounts of low-density preflush
ahead of the cement.
Performing surge and swab calculations prior to the job can minimize swabbing in the
well. If the margins are very close, pipe reciprocation should be avoided, though the
situation where this is a problem is rare.
Using a cement job simulator will help predict if the hydrostatics in the well does not
allow using water or other low-density wash ahead of the cement. These calculations
should always be made prior to cementing.
In situations where gas is seen at the surface immediately following the cement job, the
annulus must be immediately shut in and the pressures monitored. At this point, there
are three options:
1. Maintain pressure on the well until the cement sets: If no fluid is bled off the
annulus, no additional gas can enter the wellbore. This may help prevent further
channeling of the gas.
2. Circulate out the cement and associated gas: This can only be done with sufficient
pumping time on the slurry; will result in cement slurry in the choke manifold and
BOP equipment on the rig. This is usually the least desirable approach.
3. Pressure up on the annulus and displace sufficient mud to sweep the annulus to the
previous casing shoe. This will ensure a flow path from the surface to at least the
last casing shoe, allowing later placement of high-density mud or additional cement
squeeze jobs.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 7 - 5


Gas Migration 7
7.4. GAS INFLUX AFTER SEVERAL HOURS

This situation is one of the most common forms of gas migration, and is the situation
most addressed by specialty gas migration additives.

7.4.1. Theory
Annular gas flow is most commonly caused by a combination of cement gellation,
volume reduction, and lack of total system elasticity. In the end, these result in low
stress between the cement and casing, and/or the cement and borehole. Because of
the low stress, the gas pressure is able to push the two surfaces apart and a
microannulus is created.
When a column of cement begins to set, the chemical bonding between the solids starts
to create gel strength. Simultaneously, the volume of the cement begins to shrink due
to fluid loss to the formation and the uptake of water in the chemical reaction. As
shrinkage occurs, gellation in the column prevents the cement column from moving
downward to maintain hydrostatic pressure.
The loss of hydrostatic pressure was noted in the 1970's. Commonly cited papers are:
SPE 5701, "An Investigation of Annular Gas Flow Following Cementing Operations,"
published in 1976 by J. A. Garcia and C. A. Clark; and SPE 8266, "Annular Gas Flow
After Cementing: A Look At Practical Solutions," by Levine, Thomas, Besner and Toole
in 1979.
These early works noted the pressure loss problem, but did not identify shrinkage as a
contributing factor for the loss of internal column pressure. It was assumed that as the
cement hardened, the solids began to support their own weight. Because the liquid
phase no longer carried the weight of the solids, the pressure would revert to that of the
mix water gradient. This resulted in the operational practices recommended in
SPE 8266, which included the use of a 9-ppg-gradient line to predict the occurrence of
annular gas flow.
Field data presented in the August 1983, JPT, "Field Measurements of Annular
Pressure and Temperature During Primary Cementing," written by Cooke, Kluck, and
Medrano of Exxon showed this assumption to be incorrect.
The pressure in the fluid phase does fall, but not to a water gradient. Cement lacks the
vertical permeability to be able to transmit pressure over long distances. Because the
interstitial water is not connected vertically, the internal pressure can theoretically fall to
zero (0) psi as the column sets and the water is drawn out of the interstitial spaces by
the hydration process. In reality, field data shows the pressure falls until it equals that
of the adjacent rock, whether it is normally pressured, abnormally pressured, or drawn
down. The pressure can fall no further because the water phase in the cement is in
communication with the fluids in the rock. There may actually be no measurable flow,
only fluid-on-fluid pressure at the interface. In one interval where a sensor was placed
across from a shale, the pressure fell well below formation gradient. This can also
occur in a liner overlap where the cement is between steel strings.

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Gas Migration 7
As the process was better understood in the late 1990's, it became apparent the
pressure level in the pore spaces of the cement is relatively unimportant. The flow
rates observed during annular gas flow are not due to gas flowing through the
matrix of cement. Even lightweight cements do not have adequate permeability to
allow significant matrix flow. This early theory moved the industry to focus on products
that attempted to maintain the internal pressure of the cement. However, even during
lab testing, flow was consistently seen only between the cement and contact surfaces.
Researchers attributed this to their inability to fully simulate field conditions, but in fact
the same phenomena occurs in boreholes. Flow occurs due to inadequate contact
force between the solid grains of cement and the casing or borehole wall.
The contact force between the solid grains is referred to as "effective stress," and the
term is used in the same manner as in rock mechanics. As the cement sets, it becomes
a two-phase material consisting of solid grains and fluid. If the net sum of the force is
such that the grains are in contact with the casing, there can be no gap and no flow.
The pressure of the fluid between the grains does not effect the contact force because it
acts equally on all sides of the grain. The contact force between the grains is
determined by the elastic behaviors of the solid components of the system; which are
the casing, cement grains, and formation. The first rigorous modeling of a fully elastic
system was developed in 2000. This finite element work was published in
SPE/IADC 59137, "New Model of Pressure Reduction to Annulus During Primary
Cementing," by Desheng Zhou, and Wojtanowicz at LSU. This yielded the first
successful hind casting of the field pressures published 17 years earlier by Exxon in
1983.
The development of models to predict the loss of internal head due to gellation and
volume reduction were critical first steps in the development of annular gas flow theory
because these factors determine the starting stress in the elastic system. However,
they did not accurately predict field measurements until the elastic effects were added.
As the cement sets and shrinks, the casing and borehole expand due to the loss of
pressure acting on their surface (casing OD increases, hole ID declines). The casing,
cement, and borehole also expand thermally as the well heats back to thermal gradient.
The Modulus of Elasticity and Thermal Expansion Coefficient of each material
determines its contribution to maintaining the stress as the cement contracts. After the
cement sets and the system comes to thermal equilibrium, the stress between the
cement and casing or cement and borehole will determine whether there is a seal.
The sequence of events that determines if annular gas flow will occur are:
1. As the cement sets, water volume is lost due to fluid loss and the hydration reaction.
The loss of volume causes a drop in internal column pressure.
2. Simultaneously, the setting process creates gel strength in the column so that it
does not move downward efficiently to recompress the remaining fluid (hydrostatic
head is not transmitted).
3. The internal pressure of the fluid phase falls until it equals the adjacent formation
pressure. This does not result in measurable influx because there is no void in the
annulus space to allow influx. The solids are not moving, the interstitial spaces are
simply pressuring up.

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Gas Migration 7
4. As the effective stress falls and the system heats up, the casing, cement, and
borehole respond elastically. The pressure of the fluid phase within the cement is
not a factor in determining the grain contact force (effective stress) at the surfaces
because it acts equally on all sides of the grains.
5. After the cement sets, annular gas flow can occur if the contact stress between the
grains and surfaces is less than zero (0) psi, which is to say, if a gap has been
opened.
Although they were developed along other lines of thought, many of the gas-resistant
products on the market fit into this concept. The dominant products, which are latex
and foamed cements, address many of the key issues.
• Low fluid loss results in less shrinkage, which reduces the loss of effective stress.
This is the basis for recommending FL < 50 cc's for all gas-resistant slurries,
regardless of the mechanism for achieving the fluid loss control.
• Although gas cannot travel long distances in the matrix of the cement, low fluid loss
also helps to ensure the vertical permeability is sufficiently low that the gas cannot
travel short distances through the matrix to nearby zones.
• Latex and foam both increase the modulus of elasticity of the set cement, allowing
expansion when the effective stress drops due to shrinkage or movement in the
casing OD.
• Gas-resistant systems have a "right-hand set." The rapid set minimizes the time
during which fluid loss can occur, which reduces shrinkage.
The effective stress model of annular gas flow also explains many operational
behaviors that are observed. For example, annular gas flow often develops following
cementing after heavy mud is replaced with light completion fluid in the casing. The
reduction in internal pressure allows the casing OD to decline, which reduces the
effective stress. This is addressed by using a more elastic cement (foam or higher
concentrations of latex). Cement evaluation logs are often run under pressure in order
to be able to "see the cement." Applying internal pressure expands the casing OD,
which increases the effective stress that attenuates the signal and improves the sonic
coupling. Tools that estimate bonding are measuring effective stress more than an
actual adhesion of the cement to the casing. If adhesion were being measured, the
signal would not improve by raising the internal pressure.
There are no tools available to predict the onset of annular gas flow based on the loss
of effective stress. The service industry has computer simulations that provide some of
the key data, but they do not currently handle the complex elastic movements of all of
the components of the system.

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Gas Migration 7
7.4.2. ExxonMobil Recommended Practices
The ExxonMobil recommended practices, such as FL < 50 cc's, are based on years of
successful experience in high-pressure gas and there are few situations in which these
guidelines are not adequate. In general, gas-resistant slurries are recommended for:
1. Gas zones with pore pressure greater than 13 ppg.
2. Any gas zone in the surface hole, regardless of pore pressure.
3. Any gas zone below a liner top packer. LTPs remove the head early in the set
process, resulting in a reduction in final effective stress.

7.4.2.1. Latex
The preferred product for normal and higher density slurries is latex at 1.0 - 1.5 gps. A
concentration of 1.0 - 1.5 gal/sk will normally yield a FL < 50 cc's, regardless of BHT.
Schlumberger will recommend latex concentrations of 2.5 - 3.5 gal/sk based on the
"porosity" of the slurry. This porosity number is a calculation of the amount of solids
and liquids in the liquid slurry, and is not related to porosity of a set cement. Latex has
been used in ExxonMobil operations for over 18 years and field results do not support
these higher levels of latex.
If latex is not available, other systems designed to achieve a fluid loss less than 50 cc's
will normally be effective. This can be accomplished by using several different
materials, the more common being polyvinyl alcohol (PVA) based additives. While
these materials have been effective, latex is preferred in more severe situations
because it provides elasticity in addition to fluid loss control.

7.4.2.2. Energized Fluids


Other methods of gas migration control include the use of gas generating agents and
foamed cements. Both incorporate gas at varying concentrations into the cement.
They have inherently low fluid loss, low matrix permeability, and high elasticity to
maintain effective stress. The use of a low concentration of latex is the economic
solution in most wells. Foam is more effective than latex in very challenging situations
where extreme changes in effective stress are anticipated due to changes in thermal or
stress loads. The elasticity of foam allows it to maintain effective stress over a larger
range of dimensional changes. It can also be compressed further without developing
radial stress cracks, another avenue for annular gas flow (see Section 7.5).

7.5. GAS PRESENT AFTER DAYS OR WEEKS

Gas migration following several days or weeks can be due to a number of reasons, from
dehydration of the mud filter cake to the formation of a microannulus. Changes in
wellbore stresses, as discussed above, play an important role in this type of gas
migration. The elasticity of the cement is a key parameter in resolving this situation.
Often, this type of gas problem presents itself as pressure on the annulus that cannot
be bled off, or will bleed down to zero and return in a few days. Generally, attempts to

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Gas Migration 7
pump into the annulus are ineffective as no fluid can be placed in the annulus. There is
very little that can be done with conventional cementing materials and equipment to
resolve this problem once it has occurred. Prevention of a large microannulus is
best accomplished during primary cementing.
Remediation techniques for this type of gas flow have ranged from lubrication of heavy
brines into the microannulus to perforating the casing at the influx zone and attempting
squeeze operations. The most radical approach has been to enter the well, mill the
casing at the influx zone and under-ream the remaining hole and attempt to set plugs to
shut off the flow. This is most often required when the well is to be abandoned.

7.6. GAS PRESENT AFTER FRACTURING TREATMENT,


PRODUCTION OR DRILLING DEEPER

This problem is the result of the sealing ability of the cement, brought on by stress
failure of the cement sheath. The stress can come from the pressurization of the casing
through a fracture treatment, or an increase in the mud weight for drilling deeper.
Temperature changes have a major effect on the stress environment of the well.
Increasing the temperature will place radial loads on the cement sheath as the casing
attempts to expand, and can lead to tensile failure of the cement. This will lead to the
loss of isolation, but casing support will still remain.
Prevention of the failure of the cement to maintain isolation has centered on
development of more flexible cement systems. These have included latex slurries,
foamed cements, Schlumberger's FlexStone, and the incorporation of flexible fibers into
the system.
One of the least expensive techniques to increase the flexibility of cement is to simply
reduce the cement density. Diluting the cement, in this case with water, reduces the
rigidity of the set cement, and will improve its resistance to cracking.

7.7. SUMMARY

It is important to understand the full life-cycle requirements for the well for proper
cement design. The best way to prevent long-term problems is to properly address gas
migration in the initial design.
Gas migration prevention should be considered with:
• Gas zones with pore pressure greater than 13 ppg.
• Any gas zone in the surface hole, regardless of pore pressure.
• Any gas zone below a liner top packer.
These conditions are arbitrary, and experience in a particular area, or knowledge of
future operations can dictate the use of gas migration prevention slurries on any
particular well.

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Gas Migration 7
It is equally critical that the cement be properly placed. It does not matter how good the
slurry design, if the slurry is not placed properly in the annulus. Gas migration
prevention does not center around a cement additive, or group of additives, but on the
entire system of slurry design and placement.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 7 - 11


Section

Primary Cementing
Lost Circulation

Scope

This Section covers the use of lost circulation materials in primary cementing, how
the materials work, and the limits of the systems. It is specific to primary
cementing operations, and is not intended to supercede or replace the lost returns
response plan.

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Lost Circulation 8
Table of Contents
ExxonMobil Requirements ............................................................................... 3
8. Lost Circulation........................................................................................... 4
8.1. Required References ............................................................................... 4
8.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute.................................................................. 4
8.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization ..................................................... 4

8.2. General...................................................................................................... 4
8.3. Additives and Systems ............................................................................ 5
8.4. Flakes ........................................................................................................ 5
8.4.1. Cellophane Flakes......................................................................................... 5

8.5. Granular Materials.................................................................................... 6


8.5.1. Ground Coal.................................................................................................. 6
8.5.2. Gilsonite ........................................................................................................ 6

8.6. Fibers ........................................................................................................ 6


8.6.1. CemNet* ....................................................................................................... 6

8.7. Cement Systems ...................................................................................... 6


8.7.1. Thixotropic Cement ....................................................................................... 6

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Lost Circulation 8
ExxonMobil Requirements
Section Number ExxonMobil Requirement
There are no ExxonMobil requirements in this Section.

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Lost Circulation 8
8. LOST CIRCULATION

8.1. REQUIRED REFERENCES

This Section lists Practices and Standards that are generically referenced and assumed
part of this document. Unless otherwise specified herein, use the latest edition.

8.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute

8.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization

8.2. GENERAL

Controlling lost circulation with cement is often a futile effort. Depending on the cause
of the losses, the response to the losses is several-fold. The lost returns response plan
is intended as the basis for lost circulation response. This plan should be followed for
lost circulation response, with cement playing a minor role in that response.
The current edition of the Lost Circulation Response Plan can be found on
GlobalShare (located in the library folder of the Drilling Technical Share) and the
EMDC Drilling Technical Intranet website.
Major lost returns occurs when the wellbore pressure exceeds wellbore integrity and a
fracture is created. The integrity is equal to the rock stress holding the two faces of the
fracture closed (minimum stress). Integrity is built by pressing the fracture wider to
increase the closing stress, then packing the fracture with solids to sustain the width. If
the width achieved is adequate so the increased stress exceeds ECD, losses stop. If
not, the ECD will press the fracture wider and losses continue. For more information,
refer to other ExxonMobil documentation on Fracture Closure Stress.
Cement is not effective in stopping losses unless the required increase in integrity is
small. Cement particles are essentially the same size as barite so it flows into the
fracture as freely as mud. In contrast, LCM pills become very resistant to flow down the
fracture because of their high fluid loss rate. As the pill dehydrates, the solids
remaining in the fracture become unpumpable and the fracture tip cannot grow. Fluid
loss is the key to this process. The fluid loss of most cements is low enough that it does
not dehydrate significantly as it flows down the permeable face of the fracture. Cement

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Lost Circulation 8
is more likely to propagate the fracture rather than arrest it. The small amount of width
that is achieved may result in only a 100-200 psi increase in closing stress.
In field operations, returns often increase when the circulating cement arrives at the loss
zone. However, this only occurs when the ECD is only slightly higher than the integrity
and the 100-200 psi of stress that can be built with cement is adequate to support the
ECD. The loss zone must also be permeable so the cement can dehydrate. If a
significant increase in integrity is required, or if the loss zone has low permeability, the
losses should be treated with more effective fracture closure stress (FCS) procedures
prior to running casing. Since the effectiveness of cement cannot be predicted,
pretreatment with LCM is preferred if cement returns are critical.
The effectiveness of the cement may also be enhanced slightly by adding LCM to the
slurry. Lost circulation materials in cement are typically larger than those used in drilling
fluids because particle size is not constrained by nozzles or other restrictions.
Cellophane flake is the most common material, though ground coal and Gilsonite are
also used. Because cement slurries are already crowded with solids, it is not possible
to add a significant concentration of LCM and yet remain pumpable. Cellophane is
usually mixed at only 2-3 ppb (0.25 lb/sk), which does not greatly improved its
effectiveness in stopping losses. Higher concentrations of granular materials may be
used in lower-weight cements (70 ppb), however, the slurry will still not be as effective
as an LCM pill. This is due to the low fluid loss created by the pore throat plugging
efficiency of fine cement particles.
If lost circulation materials are used in the cement, there is an increased chance the
material can settle out, or otherwise concentrate as the cement is being pumped down
the casing. This can result in a large concentration of LCM hitting the float collar at one
time. This has led to plugging of the float collar valves, and plugging the valve. This
results in a premature end to the cement job.

8.3. ADDITIVES AND SYSTEMS

Discussed briefly in Section 2.13, Additives, most LCMs for cement are large flakes or
large granular materials. It should be noted that because of the dimensions of most
laboratory test equipment, cement blends are not tested with lost circulation additives
present.

8.4. FLAKES

8.4.1. Cellophane Flakes


Cellophane flakes are approximately 0.25-inch square. The normal concentration for
this material is 0.25 lb/sk. Higher concentrations do not blend well, and can cause
problems with cement transfer through the bulk system. They do not require additional
water for mixing.

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Lost Circulation 8
8.5. GRANULAR MATERIALS

8.5.1. Ground Coal


Ground coal was used extensively through the 1980's, marketed by Dowell as Kolite.
The particle size of the material is ≤ 0.125-inch. The material is still in use, though only
in limited areas. Typical concentrations for the ground coal are 10 - 12.5 lb/sk.

8.5.2. Gilsonite
More common than ground coal, Gilsonite is the other common granular lost circulation
material. It is used in similar concentrations of 10 - 12 lbs/sk. One limiting factor to
Gilsonite is the material will begin to soften at temperatures above 180°F (162°C).

8.6. FIBERS

8.6.1. CemNet*
Marketed by Schlumberger, CemNet* is a fiber that is added at a concentration of 1 - 2
pounds per barrel. (Note the concentration is in pounds per barrel and not pounds per
sack.) The material cannot be dry-blended, as it will not allow bulk transfer of the
cement. The material can also be added to the spacer ahead of the cement.
CemNet* is added to the mixing tub by hand, therefore the actual concentration will vary
with addition rate and pump rate. Care must be taken to prevent adding too much
material, as this will cause mixing problems.
Of the currently available lost circulation materials for cement, it appears fibers are
more effective at preventing lost circulation. ExxonMobil experience is quite limited for
CemNet* fibers. The operations that have utilized the material have had success,
though the high cost has limited the use.

8.7. CEMENT SYSTEMS

8.7.1. Thixotropic Cement


The most common cement system used to combat lost circulation is a thixotropic slurry.
Thixotropic slurries will build gel strength very quickly as the shear on the slurry is
reduced.
The theory behind the use of a thixotropic system is that as the cement enters a fracture
or loss zone, the leading edge velocity will reduce, allowing for gel strength
development. This in turn self limits the amount of cement that can be lost to the zones.

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Lost Circulation 8
Thixotropic cement systems are most commonly made by adding 8 - 10% gypsum to a
cement. The cement chosen should have a C3A content of at least 3 - 6%, with the
higher C3A content giving a better slurry. In the absence of C3A, gypsum will not react
to form a thixotropic slurry. Because of this, use of a Class C cement for these systems
are not recommended.
The use of thixotropic cements is limited to shallower wells because of the difficulty in
maintaining the thixotropic behavior at higher temperatures. At elevated temperatures,
retarders are required, and most retarders act as dispersants, thus destroying much of
the thixotropic behavior of the cement. There are specialty retarders available for
thixotropic cements, but the resulting slurry remains marginally effective.
The primary application for thixotropic cements is with low temperature, shallow wells.
Wells that experience cement fall back, where cement may come to surface, but falls
back down the annulus, benefit greatly from thixotropic cements. The major areas for
application of these cements have been Western Canada and the Western US.

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Section

Primary Cementing
Mud Removal

Scope

This Section covers the main considerations for optimizing mud removal. Included
is discussion on spacer selection, compatibility evaluations, and chemical
compatibility. Mechanical aspects of mud removal covered include centralization,
pipe movement, spacer volumes, and fluid velocities.

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Mud Removal 9
Table of Contents
Tables................................................................................................................. 3
ExxonMobil Requirements ............................................................................... 4
ExxonMobil Recommended Practices ............................................................ 4
9. Mud Removal............................................................................................... 5
9.1. Required References ............................................................................... 5
9.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute.................................................................. 5
9.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization ..................................................... 5

9.2. Introduction .............................................................................................. 5


9.3. Fluid Considerations ............................................................................... 6
9.3.1. Mud Conditioning .......................................................................................... 7
9.3.2. Separating the Mud and Cement................................................................... 7
9.3.2.1. Definitions ............................................................................................... 8
9.3.3. Spacer/Pre-Flush Selection Criteria............................................................... 8
9.3.4. Spacer Usage Guide ..................................................................................... 8

9.4. Mechanical Considerations..................................................................... 9


9.4.1. Pipe Movement ............................................................................................. 9
9.4.2. Centralization .............................................................................................. 10
9.4.3. Pump Rates ................................................................................................ 10
9.4.4. Pressure Considerations ............................................................................. 11
9.4.5. Wellbore Considerations ............................................................................. 11
9.4.5.1. Borehole Stability .................................................................................. 11
9.4.5.2. Annular Gap.......................................................................................... 11

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Mud Removal 9
Tables
Table 9.1: Mud Removal Considerations ....................................................................... 6

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Mud Removal 9
ExxonMobil Requirements
Section # ExxonMobil Requirement
There are no ExxonMobil requirements in this Section.

ExxonMobil Recommended Practices


Section # ExxonMobil Recommended Practice
9.3.3 Spacer selection criteria aids in design of a spacer based on three
criteria: type, density and viscosity.
9.3.4 Spacer usage guide contains recommendations on volumes, rates, etc.,
for spacers and washes.

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Mud Removal 9
9. MUD REMOVAL

9.1. REQUIRED REFERENCES

This Section lists Practices and Standards that are generically referenced and assumed
part of this document. Unless otherwise specified herein, use the latest edition.

9.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute


API RP 10B Recommended Practice for Testing Well Cements

9.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization


ISO 10426-2 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 2: Testing
of Well Cement

9.2. INTRODUCTION

The process of mud removal is central to a successful cementing operation. Without


replacement of the drilling fluid with cement, zonal isolation cannot occur. Mud
contamination of cement results in delayed set or no set, lower-strength development,
dilution of the cement, potential for fluid and gas migration, and loss of isolation in the
well.
Mud removal is not limited to primary cementing. The need for mud removal also
applies to squeeze and plug cementing. The same practices that give a good primary
cement job will enhance the success rates of plugs and squeeze work.
Table 9.1 lists some of the considerations for mud removal. Each of these parameters
must be considered in every cement job design to some degree. All of the
recommendations and considerations may not be possible in every well; thus, the
design should optimize those that are possible.

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Mud Removal 9
Table 9.1: Mud Removal Considerations

Parameter Consideration

Type of drilling fluid Hydrocarbon, water, brine


Drilling fluid properties Viscosity, solids content, presence of cuttings,
density
Hole size Washed out areas, velocities
Pipe size Annular gap, velocities, internal fluid displacement
Well architecture Angle, previous casing strings
Casing movement Rotation, reciprocation, no pipe movement
Centralization Amount of centralization, where applied
Spacer and wash volume Contact time, dilution volumes
Spacer chemistry Compatibility with drilling fluid and cement
Density differentials Density of mud, spacer and cement
Pump rates Flow profiles, annular velocities, ECD
Temperature Fluid rheology, compatibility

General characterization of mud removal involves two areas: fluid systems and
properties, and mechanical actions to be taken. Fluid systems and properties deal with
mud properties and conditioning, spacer selection and usage, volumes and chemistry.
Mechanical actions include pipe movement, centralization, casing hardware and flow
rates.
While not a controllable factor during the cement job, the annular gap in the well will
effect the annular velocities, flow regimes and centralization.

9.3. FLUID CONSIDERATIONS

Primary fluid considerations center around the physical removal of the drilling mud,
chemical compatibility of the selected spacer with the mud and the cement, and the
maintenance of pressure control in the well.

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Mud Removal 9
9.3.1. Mud Conditioning
Circulating the mud after the casing is on bottom serves a number of purposes prior to
the cement job:
• By circulating at least one casing volume, it is confirmed at least that volume of
fluid can be pumped through the float equipment. This is an indication there are
no foreign objects in the casing string.
• Circulation lowers the well temperature from the bottomhole static to the
circulating temperature. In wells that have not been circulated for some time,
this can be particularly important.
• Removal of remaining cuttings - Hopefully, the wellbore is clean prior to running
casing. There will be some formation knocked off while running the casing, and
if the wellbore is not completely stable, there can be a build up of solids at the
bottom of the well from hole sloughing.
• Lowering the rheology of the mud by circulating will make the mud more fluid,
mobile and aid in its subsequent removal. Circulation will break up mud gels
that develop when the mud is quiescent.
• The final well circulation should be at a rate as fast as practical without losing
returns. This will put the maximum amount of energy into the system and
maximize mud movement.
• The well should be circulated until the mud properties in and out are the same.
Lacking the ability to do this, a minimum of one casing volume or annular
volume, whichever is more, should be pumped.

9.3.2. Separating the Mud and Cement


Some sort of spacer or pre-flush should be run ahead of the cement. The spacer
functions to separate the mud and the cement, clean the wellbore and pipe, and
prepare the well for the cement. Most drilling fluids and cement are not compatible.
The calcium in the cement tends to flocculate the bentonite in the mud, making it a
gelled mass. The gelled mixture is either bypassed by fresh cement, leaving a non-
cemented section in the well, or the mixture is sufficiently large that it begins to move,
increasing friction pressure in the annulus, and resulting in lost circulation. In either
case, the cement job will not perform as designed.
The newer non-aqueous fluids (NAF) have a much higher tolerance to water-wet solids
than the more traditional oil-based muds. Historically, it was the water-wet solids in the
cement that resulted in the incompatibility between oil mud and cement. With the
advent of newer surfactants, emulsifiers, and oil-wetting agents, the rheological
incompatibility between oil or non-aqueous systems has been largely eliminated.
While the fluids may mix well together, causing no problems in displacement,
incorporating NAF systems into cement can result in little or no strength development of
the cement. This has resulted in failures of cement plugs and lack of zonal isolation on
many wells. When dealing with NAF systems, extreme care must be exercised to
remove the mud.

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Mud Removal 9
9.3.2.1. Definitions
Two general categories of fluids used to separate mud and cement are a pre-flush or
wash, and spacers. Pre-flushes are typically thin, unweighted fluids that are pumped in
turbulent flow. A pre-flush can be simply water, seawater, or base oil. Additionally, a
pre-flush may contain surfactants and fluid loss additives.
Spacers are more viscous as they are capable of being weighted to a desired density.
Depending on the well requirements, the spacer may be designed to be displaced in
either turbulent, laminar or plug flow. Spacers designed for turbulent flow have a
complex chemistry to allow for suspension of the weighting agent, while still allowing for
turbulent flow. These materials should be evaluated at both surface-mixing
temperatures and the circulating temperature of the well (or 190°F (88°C)), whichever is
less).

9.3.3. Spacer/Pre-Flush Selection Criteria


• When possible, use water or seawater.
• Type - The spacer should be water-based, but if it is being used to remove a
non-aqueous fluid, it should contain surfactants and possibly mutual solvents to
leave the pipe water wet.
• Density - Maintenance of well control is essential, and must take precedence
over any other considerations. If well conditions allow, and the mud weight is
less than 12.0 ppg, water or seawater is the recommended spacer. Convention
calls for the spacer to be 0.5 ppg higher than the mud weight when possible, but
until the differential density between the mud and spacer exceeds 1 ppg, the
incremental effect of the higher density is minor. If necessary, the spacer
density can be identical to the mud density.
• Compatibility - The spacer should be compatible with both the mud and the
cement slurry. Testing should be done to determine the rheological interaction
of the spacer with the mud and the cement (see Section 3.17).
• Viscosity and Yield Point - Depending on the computer model employed, a
viscosity hierarchy is employed to determine optimum mud-removal efficiency.
The theory being the spacer must have a higher yield point than the mud, and
the cement must be higher than the spacer to effect mud removal.
The service company models ignore the value of water as a spacer; often the
viscosity of water entered into the program is increased from one (1) to as high
as five (5). This falsely indicates poor mud removal with water.

9.3.4. Spacer Usage Guide


• Volume - Run at least 500 annular feet of spacer, more if well conditions merit.
The 500-ft volume can be either all water or a combination of water and
viscosified spacer.
• Many service companies are recommending at least 10 minutes contact time or
1,000 annular feet. Field data has not shown large gains in mud removal when

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Mud Removal 9
following these recommendations. While larger volumes of spacer may be
applicable in high-risk situations, the general recommendation is for 500 annular
feet of spacer.
• Flow Regime - Regardless if the spacer is designed for turbulent, laminar or plug
flow, do not sacrifice compatibility with the mud and cement in favor of a
particular flow regime. Volume and compatibility have been shown to be more
critical factors than flow regime.
• Turbulent flow is emphasized in the cementing literature, as the flat viscosity
profile and internal eddies are purported to improve mud displacement. Work by
Haut and Crook indicated that regardless of the flow regime, mud displacement
was improved with increasing rate.
• Do not add materials to enhance turbulent flow to the cement slurry to improve
mud removal. As noted, cement and mud are generally not compatible, and as
such, will viscosify on contact. This eliminates any advantage from the
dispersant. Chemical additives used solely to introduce turbulent flow are
unnecessary and are not recommended.
• The Schlumberger displacement model recommends a 10% increase in density
between the mud and spacer, followed by another 10% increase between the
spacer and cement. This practice leads to the use of very high fluid densities,
increases the risk of lost circulation, and is not recommended.
• Non-aqueous muds require the use of multiple spacers, depending on the base
fluid used. Multiple spacer systems can include base oil followed by spacers
containing solvents followed by water-based systems.
• It may be necessary to use an intermediate spacer to change the wettability of
the wellbore to allow the surfactants to function. These systems are available
from wellbore cleaning companies that specialize in fluid displacements on
completions. These materials are blends of solvents and gelling agents and by
themselves will not leave the wellbore water-wet, but will function to clean the
wellbore in advance of a water-based spacer containing a surfactant. (Much like
using a hand cleaner will remove oil and grease if used prior to washing.)
• Recommendations have been made by some service companies to run spacer
"trains." These are systems that use a thin spacer, followed by thick, followed
by thin, etc. The train can also start with the thick spacer. There has been no
information published to justify alternating viscosities of the spacer systems. No
advantage has been shown when pumping additional stages.

9.4. MECHANICAL CONSIDERATIONS

9.4.1. Pipe Movement


If at all possible, incorporate pipe rotation into the cement job design.
Considerable data has shown pipe rotation greatly improves cementing results,
regardless of other factors involved. Use of scratchers, cable wipers, or other devices
to enhance the mechanical movement of the mud can improve the results.

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Mud Removal 9
The pipe should be rotated at 10 - 20 rpm where possible. The torque on the pipe must
be monitored and kept below the make-up torque of the casing connections. The
anticipated displacement pressure must also be considered when designing for pipe
rotation. On wells where the displacement pressure will be very high, as occurs when
displacing a heavy mud with a lightweight brine, the pressure on the rotating head may
be too high to allow for pipe rotation. In situations where the displacement pressure
exceeds 5,000 psi, pipe rotation may not be advisable and alternates should be
considered.
If rotation is not possible, consideration should be given to reciprocation. While not as
effective, any pipe movement will aid in mud removal. The effects of reciprocation can
be enhanced by the proper selection of centralizers, which is covered in Section 14.4.1,
Cementing Equipment.
When reciprocation is employed, the surge and swab pressures should be calculated to
prevent breaking the well down, or swabbing in a formation. These are the same
calculations that were made for running the casing. Also, note the changes in hook
load during the cement job. As cement fills the casing, the hook load will increase, then
begin decreasing as the cement enters the annulus. Calculations with the casing full of
cement, and at the end of the job, with cement in the annulus, should be made.

9.4.2. Centralization
Discussed in more detail in Section 14, Cementing Equipment (Centralizers), moving
the pipe toward the center of the hole will improve cementing success. Good
centralization becomes more important in the absence of pipe movement. At least 80%
standoff is recommended where isolation is required in the well.
Selection of centralizer type (bow spring or rigid/solid) should be made based on well
requirements, side loads, and casing running parameters. For vertical wells, bow spring
centralizers are recommended.

9.4.3. Pump Rates


Putting energy into the wellbore will enhance fluid movement. With all else being equal,
higher rates will improve results. Maximizing the displacement rate of the cement
should be used whenever possible.
The maximum displacement rate can be determined using cement service company
simulators. The displacement rate chosen should not cause lost circulation in the well,
but should maximize mud displacement. Note - it is ONLY the displacement rate that
should be controlled. The mixing rate may be limited by the ability to mix cement to the
proper density.
On many jobs, the cement is still being mixed when the spacer or cement rounds the
shoe and enters the annulus. The mixing rate will determine early mud removal at the
bottom of the well, and these rates should not be increased if density control will be
sacrificed. Careful simulation of the job with placement programs should take into
account realistic mixing and pumping rates.

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Mud Removal 9
9.4.4. Pressure Considerations
The limiting factor to pump rate will be the pressure induced by the friction in the
wellbore, and the potential for initiating lost circulation. Loss of circulation can lead to
bridging in the annulus in some wells, and will result in a lowered top of cement.
At any given depth, the pressure exerted on the wellbore will be a combination of the
hydrostatic pressure exerted by the fluids in the well and the associated frictional
resistance of that fluid column. Cementing simulators take into account the friction
pressures in the well. These simulators should be run to evaluate the pressures at
various points in the wellbore. Simulators should take into account the full pressure
profiles, and not simply those at TD. This is particularly important for wells with weak
zones.

9.4.5. Wellbore Considerations

9.4.5.1. Borehole Stability


The wellbore should be stable with no gas or fluid intrusion. This implies the well is
being cemented with full pressure control. If not possible, the well should be shut-in as
soon as possible after cement placement. The well should be left shut-in until the
cement has had sufficient time to set. The practice of bleeding off some pressure to
"check for flow" must be avoided, as this merely allows more intrusion into the well, and
can lead to channel formation and loss of isolation.

9.4.5.2. Annular Gap


Annular gap (clearance) should be maximized, if possible, to increase the amount of
flow area and cement coverage. For casing strings less than 7 inches, a minimum
annular gap of 3/4-inch (pipe size 1.5-inch less than hole size) can normally be
cemented with little trouble. Smaller annular gaps have been shown less successful.
This is due to the higher friction pressures seen in these annuli, and the resulting limits
on displacement rates. In addition, with small annuli, eccentering of the casing has a
more pronounced effect than larger annular gaps.
The use of small casing in very large annuli can give mixed results. Centralization,
though at times not as effective in tighter annuli, is less of a concern with smaller
casings in large holes. Minor eccentering of the casing has less effect on differential
annular velocities between the wide and narrow sides of the annulus than with smaller
gaps.
Displacement simulations can readily demonstrate the effects of eccentering on
differential flow around casing. As the annular gap reduces, there is less room for
eccentering, and minor changes have a large affect on the differential velocities from
the wide to the narrow side of the annulus. For example, in an 8-1/2-inch open hole,
running a 7-inch casing with 20% eccentering will result in a channel on the narrow side
of the annulus. Running the same simulation but with a 4-1/2-inch casing shows good
mud removal throughout the entire interval.

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Mud Removal 9
Annular velocities can be limited in very large annular gaps. Care must be exercised
during cleanup trips to remove all of the drill cuttings from the wellbore, as there will be
little or no annular velocity with the casing in the well to effect any cuttings removal. In
these situations, consideration should be given to use viscous spacers to displace the
mud in plug flow, or what is also deemed effective laminar flow. The spacer should be
more viscous than the mud, and the cement more viscous than the spacer. This will
improve the cleaning efficiency of each fluid as it enters the annulus.
When using small pipe in large hole sizes, pipe movement can be essential. If pipe
rotation can be used, there is a high potential for a high-quality cement job.

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Section

Primary Cementing
Cement Calculations

Scope

This Section contains a description of various cement calculations related to slurry


and job design. Calculations are presented that relate to cement slurry properties,
primary cement job design, squeeze cement job design, and cement plug design.
Foamed cement calculations are found in Section 6, Specialty Cement Systems.

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Table of Contents
Tables................................................................................................................. 4
ExxonMobil Requirements ............................................................................... 5
10. Cement Calculations................................................................................ 6
10.1. Required References ............................................................................ 6
10.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute.................................................................. 6
10.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization ..................................................... 6

10.2. Terms ..................................................................................................... 6


10.3. Cement Slurry Calculations ................................................................. 7
10.3.1. API/ISO Mix Water ........................................................................................ 7
10.3.2. Cement Specific Gravity ................................................................................ 7
10.3.3. Absolute and Bulk Volume ............................................................................ 8
10.3.4. Reporting Additive Concentrations ................................................................ 8
10.3.5. Calculation of Slurry Density, Water Content and Yield ................................. 9
10.3.6. Slurry Calculations ........................................................................................ 9
10.3.6.1. Example 1............................................................................................. 10
10.3.6.2. Example 2............................................................................................. 11
10.3.6.3. Example 3 - Silica Calculation............................................................... 12
10.3.6.4. Example 4 - Seawater Calculation ........................................................ 13
10.3.7. Special Cement Blends ............................................................................... 14
10.3.7.1. Example 5 - Pozzolan Calculation......................................................... 14
10.3.7.2. Salt - NaCl ............................................................................................ 15
10.3.7.3. Example 6 - Salt Calculation ................................................................. 16
10.3.7.4. Liquid Additives..................................................................................... 16
10.4. Cementing Job Calculations .............................................................. 17
10.4.1. Annular Volume........................................................................................... 18
10.4.2. Cement Volume .......................................................................................... 19
10.4.3. Water Volume ............................................................................................. 19
10.4.4. Pressure Calculations ................................................................................. 20
10.4.5. Displacement Volume ................................................................................. 20
10.4.6. Job Time ..................................................................................................... 20
10.4.7. Maximum Allowable Rates for 2-Inch Line................................................... 20
10.4.8. Job Time Safety Factors.............................................................................. 21

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10.5. Operational Calculations .................................................................... 22
10.5.1. Pressure to Lift Casing ................................................................................ 22
10.5.2. Directional Force ......................................................................................... 23
10.5.3. Calculation While Pumping.......................................................................... 23
10.5.4. Balanced Plug Calculations......................................................................... 24

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10

Tables
Table 10.1: Mix Water ................................................................................................... 7
Table 10.2: Absolute Volumes of Salt Concentrations (By Weight of Water) ............... 15

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ExxonMobil Requirements
Section Number ExxonMobil Requirement
10.4.7 The maximum rate through a 2-inch treating line is 8 bpm.
Rates above this require multiple lines to the wellhead.
Note:
Rates above 8 bpm exceed the erosion velocity for a 2-inch treating line.
Extended pumping above this limit can lead to line erosion and failure of
the treating line. Exceptions to this requirement require approval by the
Operations Manager.

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10
10. CEMENT CALCULATIONS

10.1. REQUIRED REFERENCES


This Section lists Practices and Standards that are generically referenced and assumed
part of this document. Unless otherwise specified herein, use the latest edition.

10.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute


API Spec 10A Specification for Cements and Materials for Well Cementing

10.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization


ISO 10426-1 Cements and Materials For Well Cementing - Part 1:
Specification

10.2. TERMS
Sack - A sack of cement weighs 94 pounds and has an absolute volume of 3.59
gallons.
Yield - The yield is expressed in cubic feet per sack of cement. This volume includes
all of the additives and mixing fluid.
Water Requirement or Water Ratio - This is the amount of water required to prepare
one sack of cement slurry to the design density. It is measured in gallons per sack.
Density - Calculated as the final weight in pounds per gallon of the slurry when mixed
with all additives and mixing fluids.
Percent Additive - This is the amount of dry additive added to the cement, expressed
as a percentage based on the weight of the cement (BWOC). For example, 1% additive
would equate to 0.94 pounds of additive added to a sack of cement:
0.01 * 94 = 0.94 lbs
Gallons per Sack - Liquid additives are expressed as gallons of additive added per
sack of cement.
Total Fluids - This is the total volume of water plus liquid additives used to mix the
cement.
By Weight of Water - Salt (NaCl) is normally expressed as a percentage based on the
weight of the mix water (BWOW) rather than as a percentage by weight of cement.
Cubic Foot - Standard volume used for reporting cement yields - equal to 7.48 gallons.

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Bulk Volume - The total volume occupied by a solid including the surrounding air. In
the case of cement, one sack of cement (94 pounds) has a bulk volume of 1 cubic foot
or 7.48 gallons. Bulk volumes are used to determine the amount of storage required at
surface for a particular cement job.
Absolute Volume - The volume occupied by a solid with no air or void spaces present.
The absolute volume for cement is equal to 3.59 gallons per 94-pound sack. The
absolute volume is used in the calculation of slurry volume.

10.3. CEMENT SLURRY CALCULATIONS

10.3.1. API/ISO Mix Water


The API Specification 10A and ISO 10426-1 specify a particular amount of mix water for
the various classes of cement. These API water contents as well as the corresponding
weights are based on cement with a specific gravity of 3.15 and are a function of the
surface area for the various cement classes.

Table 10.1: Mix Water

Slurry Density

Class Mix Water (lb/gal) (g/cm3) Yield


(% BWOC) (ft3/sk)

A 46 15.6 1.87 1.18


C 56 14.8 1.77 1.32
G 44 15.8 1.89 1.15
H 38 16.45 1.97 1.05

When additives are used in the system, the water concentration may change. For
cement calculations, the important considerations are the slurry density, the yield, and
the amount of water required per sack of cement. All of these values are related to the
amount of water in the system, and will reflect in the water to cement ratio. As this ratio
changes, the permeability, strength, and other properties of the cement will change.

10.3.2. Cement Specific Gravity


The specific gravity of Portland Cement will vary from approximately 3.10 - 3.25, and is
a function of the raw materials used to manufacture the cement. For cement
calculations to be exact, the specific gravity of the cement and all additives should be
considered in the calculations. While many service companies calculate the specific
gravity of the various additives in their designs, a 3.15 specific gravity of Portland
Cement is normally assumed.

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10.3.3. Absolute and Bulk Volume
The absolute volume of a material is the volume occupied by only the substance. There
is no air surrounding the material. This volume is used for cement calculations for slurry
design, and is normally stated in gallons per pound.
The bulk volume is the volume of the material including all of the surrounding air. In
cement calculations, the bulk volume is used to determine the amount of bulk storage
required on location to hold a particular volume of cement.
For example, the absolute volume of a sack of cement is 3.59 gallons, while the bulk
volume is equal to 7.48 gallons. As various additives are added to the cement, the bulk
volume will increase. Adding 35% silica to a system will increase the bulk volume of a
sack of this blend by approximately 2.25 gallons, while increasing the absolute volume
by approximately 1.5 gallons. The absolute volumes of many cement additives are
found in the respective service company cement books, and are readily available.
Additives that dissolve in water do not add much volume in their absolute form as they
are used at very low concentrations. Additives like dispersants, retarders, and fluid loss
agents are normally used at such low concentrations (< 1%) that their contribution is
negligible, and may be left out of the calculations with very little error. Salt, however, is
used at high concentrations, and is always considered in the calculations, regardless of
concentration.

10.3.4. Reporting Additive Concentrations


Additive concentrations are denoted in one of four ways, depending on the
concentration of the additive, the additive form, and the base slurry design.
Most dry additives are added as a percentage by weight of cement (BWOC). This
method is also used as a calculation for the amount of water in the system.
NaCl is calculated as a percentage based on the weight of water in the slurry (BWOW).
This is because the contribution of the salt to the density and volume of the slurry is
dependent on the volume increase of the dissolved salt.
Weighting agents (e.g., barite and hematite) are often added in pounds per sack.
Liquid additives are calculated as gallons per sack, or for low concentration additives,
as gallons per one hundred sacks. It is critical the report of the slurry composition be
very clear as to the designated units for the liquid additive.
For pozzolan-containing slurries, the base cement composition is calculated as a ratio
of the cement to pozzolan. A mixture designated as 50:50 pozzolan, Class A, will
contain 1/2 sack of pozzolan and 1/2 sack of cement. The resulting weight of the blend
is considered an equivalent sack, and all materials are calculated from this equivalent
sack weight.

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10.3.5. Calculation of Slurry Density, Water Content and
Yield
There are two basic methods of slurry design. The first method uses the API water
requirement, then changes to the slurry density is based on the additives used and the
water requirements for each of the additives.
Normally, the density of the slurry is set and the slurry properties modified with additives
to meet the requirements of the well. Once the additives are selected, and their
concentrations determined, the final slurry yield and water requirement are determined.
This method of slurry calculation is the most common, and will be utilized throughout
this Section.

10.3.6. Slurry Calculations


All cement slurry calculations are based on the ratio of the weights of the cement,
additives, and water to the volumes of each of these materials. The formula can be
summarized as:

Density =
åWc + Wa + Ww
åVc + Va + Vw
Where:

Wc = Weight of cement
Wa = Weight of all additives
Ww = Weight of water
Vc = Volume of cement
Va = Volume of additives
Vw = Volume of water

Note: Volumes are absolute volumes, not bulk volumes.

Note: Often the absolute volume may not be known, but the specific gravity is known or
can be measured. To convert from specific gravity to absolute volume, the following
formula can be used:
1
Absolute Volume =
Specific Gravity * 8.33

The actual units of the calculation for density are not important as long as they are
consistent throughout the formula. Weight can be in pounds, grams, or kilograms.
Volume can be in gallons, liters, cubic meters, etc., but must be an absolute volume
value. The final answer of density will be in a weight/volume ratio.

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The yield of the slurry is calculated by the formula:

Yield =
åVc + Va + Vw
7.48
For this equation, the yield is expressed in cubic feet/sack, and the volumes must be
expressed in gallons. The 7.48 constant is a conversion factor of gallons to cubic feet.
There are no conversion constants required for metric calculations if the units are
consistent. For the purposes of most of the examples, fresh water is used in the
calculations, and an assumed weight of water is 8.33 lb/gal.

10.3.6.1. Example 1
Absolute
Component Weight Volume Volume
(lbs) (gal/lb) (gal)

Cement 94 0.0382 3.59


Water 43.82 0.120 5.26
Total 137.82 8.85

137.82 8.85
Density = = 15.6 lb / gal Yield = = 1.18 cu ft/sk
8.85 7.48
In Example 1, the components are known, including the water. In most of the
calculations, the density is known along with the required additives, but the amount of
water and the yield must be determined.

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10.3.6.2. Example 2
For the following example, determine the water requirement and yield for a 15.8 lb/gal
slurry containing 0.2% retarder.
Step 1 - As noted in the discussion, the contribution of the retarder will be very small,
and will normally be ignored. For the purpose of this calculation, the only two
components will be cement and water. (Note for the weight of water, a value of 8.33
lb/gal is used.)

Absolute
Component Weight Volume Volume
(lbs) (gal/lb) (gal)

Cement 94 0.0382 3.59


Water 8.33 * X 0.120 X
Total 94 + 8.33X 3.59 + X

94 + 8.33X
Density = 15.8 =
3.59 + X
Solving for x :

15.8 * (3.59 + X) = 94 + 8.33X


56.722 + 15.8X = 94 + 8.33X
7.47X = 37.278
X = 4.99 gallons
Therefore, to mix the slurry at 15.8 lb/gal, a total of 4.99 gallons of water must be used.
The yield is calculated by:
3.59 + 4.99
Yield = = 1.15 cu ft/sk
7.48

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10.3.6.3. Example 3 - Silica Calculation
Using this same calculation method, any number of dry additives can be figured into the
slurry, and the resulting water and yield requirement calculated. Most additives are
added in very small concentrations will have a minor effect on the cement density or
yield, and can be largely ignored in the calculations with little effect. Materials added in
large amounts will have an effect and must be used in the calculations. Silica sand is
an example of a material that is added in large amounts. Using the previous example,
the same slurry will be calculated with the addition of 35% silica sand by weight of
cement (BWOC). Note in the calculation, after the addition of the silica, one sack of
blend now weighs 126.9 pounds. The weight of a sack of cement does not change.

Absolute
Component Weight (lbs) Volume Volume
(gal/lb) (gal)

Cement 94 0.0382 3.59


35 % Silica 32.9 0.0456 1.5
Water 8.33 * X 0.120 X
Total 126.9 + 8.33X 5.09 + X

126.9 + 8.33X
Density = 15.8 =
5.09 + X
Solving for x :

15.8 * (5.09 + X) = 126.9 + 8.33X


80.4 + 15.8X = 126.9 + 8.33X
7.47X = 46.5
X = 6.22 gallons
Therefore, to mix the slurry containing 35% silica at 15.8 lb/gal, 6.22 gallons of water
must be used. The yield becomes:
5.09 + 6.22
Yield = = 1.51 cu ft/sk
7.48

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10.3.6.4. Example 4 - Seawater Calculation
To this point, only fresh water has been used. Using the information in Example 3, if
the system were mixed with seawater, the resulting cement properties become:

Absolute
Component Weight Volume Volume
(lbs) (gal/lb) (gal)

Cement 94 0.0382 3.59


Water 8.5 * X 0.1176 X
Total 94 + 8.5X 3.59 + X

94 + 8.5X
Density = 15.8 =
3.59 + X
Solving for x :

15.8 * (3.59 + X) = 94 + 8.5X


56.722 + 15.8X = 94 + 8.5X
7.3X = 37.278
X = 5.11 gallons
Therefore, to mix the slurry at 15.8 lb/gal with seawater, 5.11 gallons of water must be
used as opposed to 4.99 if the system were mixed with fresh water. The yield for the
fresh water system was 1.15 and with the seawater system is:
3.59 + 5.11
Yield = = 1.16 cu ft/sk
7.48

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10.3.7. Special Cement Blends
Blends containing pozzolans require a different calculation basis. While the formulas
are identical, the blend of pozzolan and cement is calculated on an equivalent sack
basis rather than only on the weight of the cement.
For example, a 50:50 Poz:Class H cement system contains 1/2 sack of pozzolan and
1/2 sack of cement. Typically, pozzolans come in one cubic foot sacks, so the volume
of the equivalent sack will remain constant. Pozzolans are lighter than cement, and the
resulting sack will weigh less than 94 pounds.
The following example calculates a 50:50 Poz:Class H slurry with 2% bentonite and
54% water. The pozzolan being used is supplied in a 74-pound sack and has a specific
gravity of 2.48.

10.3.7.1. Example 5 - Pozzolan Calculation


Absolute
Component Weight (lbs) Volume Volume (gal)
(gal/lb)

Cement 47 0.0382 1.795


Pozzolan 37 0.0483 1.795
Bentonite 1.68 0.0454 0.076
Water 45.36 0.12 5.45
Total 131.04 lbs 9.12 gallons

131.04 pounds 9.12


Density = = 14.4 lb/gal Yield = = 1.22 cu ft/sk
9.12 gallons 7.48

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10.3.7.2. Salt - NaCl
Sodium chloride, NaCl, requires other calculations because it is measured based on the
weight of water. This is because the absolute volume of the salt varies with
concentration and the solubility in water. Table 10.2 lists the absolute volume of
various concentrations of salt when added by weight of water.

Table 10.2: Absolute Volumes of Salt Concentrations (By


Weight of Water)

Absolute Volume

Concentration (gal/lb) (M3/T)


(% BWOW)

2 0.0371 0.310
4 0.0378 0.316
6 0.0384 0.321
8 0.0390 0.326
10 0.0394 0.329
12 0.0399 0.333
14 0.0403 0.336
16 0.0407 0.340
18 0.0412 0.344
20 0.0416 0.347
22 0.0420 0.351
24 0.0424 0.354
26 0.0428 0.357
28 0.0430 0.359
30 0.0433 0.361
34 0.0439 0.366
37.2 (saturated) 0.0442 0.369

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10.3.7.3. Example 6 - Salt Calculation
This example will demonstrate how to calculate the amount of salt and water required
for a cement system consisting of cement + 18% NaCl (BWOW) mixed at a density of
16.0 lb/gal. (From Table 10.2, the absolute volume of 18% salt is 0.0412 gal/lb.)

Component Weight (lbs) Volume (gal)

Cement 94 3.59
18% Salt 0.18 * (8.33X) 0.0412*(0.18(8.33X))
Water 8.33X X

Total Weight = 94 + .018 * 8.33X + 8.33X


94 + 1.5X + 8.33X
94 + 9.83X

Total Volume = 3.59 + 0.0412 * 0.18 * 8.33X + X


3.59 + 0.062X + X
3.59 + 1.062X
Given a density of 16.0 lb/gal, the solution for X is:
94 + 9.83X
16.0 lb/gal =
3.59 + 1.062X
Solving for X

16.0 * (3.59 + 1.062X) = 94 + 9.83X


57.44 + 16.99X = 94 + 9.83X
16.99X - 9.83X = 94 − 57.44
7.16X = 36.56
X = 5.11 gallons
5.11 is the amount of water in gallons
The amount of salt needed for the slurry will be:
5.11* 8.33 * 0.18 = 7.66 lb/sk

10.3.7.4. Liquid Additives


A number of slurry designs call for the addition of liquid additives. These materials are
generally added as gallons per sack or gallons per one hundred sacks. Many liquid
additives have a specific gravity close to water, and for most calculations, assuming the
material has the same weight as water will not effect the calculations. Most service
company laboratories use the actual specific gravity of each liquid additive for their

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calculations. This may become significant only when calculating lifting weights for
offshore marine transport tanks.

10.4. CEMENTING JOB CALCULATIONS


Cement jobs require a common, basic set of calculations. These include:
• The amount of cement required for the job
• The amount of mix water
• Differential pressures to land the top plug
• Differential pressures at the top of a liner
• Lift pressures for large casing sizes
• Displacement volumes
• Job times
Other calculations may also include the amount of bulk space required, the amount of
liquid additives needed, etc. This Section covers many of these basic calculations with
examples given for each.
As a basis for the calculations, a single set of well conditions and a single cement slurry
will be used. The basis numbers are:
Depth 10,000 ft
Drilling Mud 13.5 lb/gal
Casing 9 5/8" 53.5 ppf
Float Collar 9920 ft
Open Hole 12 1/4"
Previous Casing 13 3/8" 54.5 ppf
Previous Casing Depth 4,000 ft
Desired top of cement 5,000 ft
Cement Excess 25%
Cement System:
Density 15.8 lb/gal
Yield 1.15 cu ft/sk
Water Requirement 4.99 gal/sk

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10.4.1. Annular Volume
Annular volumes are calculated to determine how much cement will be required to
obtain a desired fill in the annulus. Usually, the volume is calculated using the bit size
and adding a predetermined amount of excess to account for hole washout. This
volume is then used to calculate the amount of time required to mix and place the
cement. This calculation will then be used to determine the necessary thickening time
of the slurry.
After reaching casing point, a caliper may be run to determine the annular volume.
Volumes calculated from one, two, or three arm calipers are inherently unreliable.
Using a four-arm caliper is preferred.
Fluid calipers may also be used on some wells. The calculated hole size can vary
depending on the amount of circulation and the amount of fluid moving in the wellbore.
If fluid calipers are being used, more than one caliper should be used with the results
compared. Calipers should be run until the hole volume does not significantly change,
which can result in long circulation times prior to cementing. Fluid calipers can consist
of dyes, loss circulation materials, carbide or any other material that can be picked up
on surface. The choice of fluid caliper will depend on the mud system in use.
Excess volumes are added to most annular volume calculations. When cementing a
casing x casing annulus, no excess is required. When cementing in an open hole, the
amount of excess to add will depend on the type of job and the operational risks of
having too much or too little cement.
Surface Casings - These casing strings usually require cement to surface to allow for
stabilization of the surface equipment, support of subsequent casings, and to potentially
cover freshwater sands. The consequence of not having cement returns can range
from performing a top job, to needing to log the pipe and then perforate the casing and
circulate above the top of the cement. In either case, the additional cost of excess
cement is small compared to the additional operational costs to correct the problem.
Most surface-casing jobs will utilize at least 100% excess. Depending on area
conditions, as much as 300% could be required. Offset information is important in
deciding the amount of excess for these casing strings.
Below surface casing, the amount of excess cement is dependent on the particular well
requirements. The main selection point is to minimize the risk of either too much or too
little cement in the annulus.
Liner Jobs - Liners can pose an additional operational risk with regard to cement
excess. For production liners, it is important to get cement through the overlap and
above the top of the liner. Too much cement on top of the liner can result in problems
reversing or circulating out the excess cement. In these cases, choice of excess
volumes will be dependent on the amount of time required to clean out the excess
cement. For most liner operations, 10% over caliper appears to be an appropriate
amount of cement excess.

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As a reminder, the generic calculation for annular volume in bbl/ft is:

OD 2 − ID 2
Annular Volume =
1029.4
Where :
OD = Outside Diameter (inches) :
ID = Inside Diameter (inches)

10.4.2. Cement Volume


Based on the annular volume determined either through calculation or from a caliper
log, the amount of cement required for the job is determined. The excess percentage is
determined and the total volume corrected to that amount.
Using the example basis:
12.25 2 − 9.625 2
Annular Volume = = 0.05578 bbl/ft
1029.4
Annular Volume = 0.05578 bbl/ft ∗ 5000 ft = 280 bbl
Desired Excess = 25%
Cement Volume = 280 bbl ∗ 1.25 = 350 bbl
Cement Volume = 350bbl ∗ 5.61cuft/bbl = 1964 cubic feet
Sacks of Cement = 1964 cu ft ÷ 1.15 cu ft/sk = 1708 sacks
Seventeen hundred and eight (1,708) sacks will be required to place 5,000 ft of cement
into the annulus. The volume of the casing shoe track must also be added to this
volume. This is because cement will need to fill the volume inside the casing from the
float collar to the end of the casing. (In this case, the last 80 ft of casing.)

8.535 2
Csg Volume = ∗ 80 ft = 5.66 bbl
1029.4
5.66 bbl = 31.8 cu ft = 28 sacks

Total cement required for job = 1736 sacks

10.4.3. Water Volume


For each sack of cement in the example, a total of 4.99 gallons of water must be used
to mix the cement to the proper density. The total amount of mix water required for this
example will be:
Water Volume = 1736 ∗ 4.99 = 8663 gallons

Water Volume = 8633 gallons ÷ 42 gal/bbl = 206 bbl

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The minimum water volume required on location will need to have some safety factor to
allow for pump suctions, wash up, etc. For most applications, at least 50 bbl of excess
water volume should be ready for the cement job.

10.4.4. Pressure Calculations


Assuming the casing is displaced with mud, and the only fluids in the annulus are either
mud or cement, the differential pressure on the casing shoe at the end of the job will be:
Annular Pressure = (5000 ∗ .052 ∗ 13.5) + (5000 ∗ .052 ∗ 15.8) = 7618 psi
Internal Pressure = (9920 ∗ .052 ∗ 13.5) + (80 ∗ .052 ∗ 15.8) = 7030 psi
Differential Pressure at Shoe = 7618 - 7020 = 588 psi

10.4.5. Displacement Volume


The displacement volume for the job is based on displacing the column of cement to the
bottom of the casing string.

8.535 2
Displacement Volume = ∗ 9920 ft = 702 bbl
1029.4

10.4.6. Job Time


Job time is the amount of time required to mix and pump all of the cement, plus the time
to displace the cement into the well. Estimation of job time requires assuming a
particular mixing rate as well as a displacement rate.
As a rule of thumb, the mixing rate for most cement slurries can be estimated at 5 -
6 bpm. High-density slurries may require lower rates, but the time difference will
normally be quite small. For example, to mix 100 bbl of cement at 4 bpm takes 25
minutes, and 17 minutes at 6 bpm.
Displacement rates will depend on the casing size, friction pressures in the well and
pump capabilities. Maximum displacement rates are approximately 6 - 8 bpm, and for
most jobs, a minimum rate would be 3 bpm. Displacement rate can have a major effect
on calculated job time because of the large volume required. The selection of
displacement rate will normally govern the job time.

10.4.7. Maximum Allowable Rates for 2-Inch Line


For a single 2-inch treating line, the maximum rate is approximately 8 bpm. This rate is
stated in all of the service company's safety manuals. Above this rate, the fluid will
erode the metal in the treating line. If high mixing or displacement rates are anticipated,
multiple lines should be used on location.

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10.4.8. Job Time Safety Factors
After determining the job time, a safety factor is added to account for uncertainties on
location. Depending on the length of the job, the safety factor can vary from as short at
30 minutes to several hours. Engineering judgment must come into play with the
selection of an appropriate safety factor.
Some service companies have assigned an arbitrary safety factor or minimum
additional time whichever is greater. For example, the company may require the
minimum acceptable thickening time for cement will be the job time times 1.4, or job
time plus two hours, whichever is longer. Using these criteria, a job that will take 4
hours to place, would have a minimum thickening time requirement of 6 hours. (This is
because 1.4 times the 4-hour job time would be 5:36, which is less than 6 hours.)
Calculating longer times can result in exceedingly long requirements for thickening
times. Large and/or long casing strings may require job times of 8 to 10 hours. Using
this same 1.4 criterion, the minimum acceptable thickening time would be on the order
of 11-1/2 to 14 hours.
Trying to set arbitrary standards for minimum safety factors can result in unrealistic
thickening times. The following table can be used as a guideline for determining safety
factor. This table does not take into account specific field limitations or well
conditions, and should be used ONLY as a guide.

Calculated Job Time Minimum Safety Factor

Less than 2 hours 1 hour


2 - 4 hours 1 - 1.5 hours
4 - 8 hours 1.5 - 2 hours
8 - 12 hours 2 - 3 hours
> 12 hours 3 - 4 hours

Using the example, the job time for this cement job would be:
Cement volume 356 bbl
Mixing rate 5 bpm
Time to mix cement 71 min
Displacement volume 702 bbl
Displacement rate 6 bpm
Time to displace 117 min
Total job time 188 min (approximately 3 hours)
Safety factor 1 - 1.5 hour
Requested thickening time 4 - 4.5 hours
The requested thickening time for the cement design incorporates the job time, plus the
safety factor. A wider range for thickening time is given to allow the cement service

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company more latitude in slurry design. Because of the variations in cement,
requesting a narrow window for thickening time may not be realistic or wise.

10.5. OPERATIONAL CALCULATIONS


Two additional calculations that will be required for specific jobs include pressures to lift
large casing sizes and plug placement.
Some job designs can result in the buoyed weight of the casing being such that the
casing can be pumped out of the hole. Ensuring this does not occur is critical.
Operations where this can occur include:
• Lightweight pipe
• Short pipe lengths
• Large diameter pipe
• High density cement slurries
• Lightweight displacement fluids
These conditions are often encountered when cementing surface or conductor casings.

10.5.1. Pressure to Lift Casing


The pressure required to lift the casing out of the well will be a function of the following:
Pipe weight
Cross sectional area of the pipe calculated from the outside diameter
Cross sectional area of the interior of the pipe
Weight of fluid in the annulus
Weight of fluid inside the pipe
The calculation for determining lift pressure is:
∆F = ( Ph ∗ A) − (Wc + Wd )
where :
∆F = Directional force
Ph = Hydrostatic pressure in the annulus (psi)
A = Cross sectional area of casing OD (in2)
Wc = Casing weight (lbs)
Wd = Weight of fluids inside casing (lbs)

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10.5.2. Directional Force
The directional force, if negative, will indicate the casing will not move out of the well
during the operation. A positive force value indicates the casing can be pumped out of
the hole, and additional steps must be taken. These can include chaining down the
casing, changing the density of the displacing fluid, or reducing the annular fluid density.

10.5.3. Calculation While Pumping


When pumping, the pump force must be included in this equation. The pump pressure
will act only on the ID of the casing.
While pumping, the force calculation will be:
∆F = [( Ph ∗ A) + ( Pp ∗ a )] − (Wc + Wd )
where :
Pp = Pump Pressure (psi)

a = ID cross section area (in 2 )


Example:
Depth: 800 ft
Casing Size: 13 3/8 61 lb/ft (ID = 12.525 in)
Cement Density: 14.8 lb/gal
Mud Density: 8.33 lb/gal
The casing is to be cemented to surface.
Pp = 800 ft * 0.052 * 14.8 lb/gal = 616 psi
A = (13.375 2 * π/4) = 140.5 in 2
Wc = 800 ft * 61 lb/ft = 48,800 lbs
Wd = 800 ft * .052 * 8.33 lb/gal * 12.515 2 * π/4 = 42, 627 lbs
∆F = (616 psi * 140.5 in 2 ) - (48,800 lbs + 42,627 lbs)
∆F = 86,548 lbs - 91,427 lbs = - 4,879 lbs
This means that in a static state, the casing weight will be pulling down with a force of
approximately -4,900 lbs.
During the job, pump pressure will be required to place the cement. The force
calculation using the pump pressure will be:
Pp = (14.8 * .052 * 800) - (8.33 * .052 * 800) = 616 - 346 = 270 psi
(The calculation of Pp is the calculation of differential pressure at the shoe when the
plug bumps as discussed earlier.)

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The 270-psi force will be acting on the inside of the casing:
Pumping Force = 270 * 12.515 2 * π/4 = 33,214 lbs
∆F while pumping = - 4,879 + 33,214 = + 28,317 lbs
This shows the pump pressure will be sufficient to lift the casing out of the well with a
force of over 28,000 lbs.
This example used a single weight fluid in the annulus and casing. Field calculations
should take into account the weights and pressures of all fluids in the system.
An alternate way to calculate this is to take the surface area of the casing, and divide it
into the downward force. This will be the force required (in psi) to lift the casing. Any
pressure above that value will result in the casing being pumped out of the hole.
For the above example, the downward force was approximately 4,900 psi. The cross
sectional area of the casing was 140.5 square inches.
4900
= 35 psi
104.5
Therefore, any pump pressure above 35 psi will cause the casing to be pumped out of
the well.

10.5.4. Balanced Plug Calculations


See Section 12, Plug Cementing, for example plug calculations.

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Section

Primary Cementing
Liner Cementing

Scope

This Section covers the types and purposes of liners, common liner cementing
problems, design considerations and liner cementing techniques.
Part of this Section contains a separate report on liner top packers. As liner top
packers are commonly used in many liner applications, it is included here as the
use of a liner top packer affects the design of the cement system.

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Table of Contents
Figures ............................................................................................................... 3
ExxonMobil Requirements ............................................................................... 4
11. Liner Cementing....................................................................................... 5
11.1. Required References .................................................................................... 5
11.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute .............................................................. 5
11.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization .................................................. 5
11.2. Types of Liners.............................................................................................. 5
11.2.1. Drilling Liners ............................................................................................. 5
11.2.2. Production Liner ......................................................................................... 6
11.2.3. Scab Liner.................................................................................................. 6
11.2.4. Tieback ...................................................................................................... 6
11.3. Liner Equipment ............................................................................................ 6
11.3.1. Liner Hangers ............................................................................................ 6
11.3.2. Liner Setting Tool ....................................................................................... 6
11.3.3. Liner Wiper Plugs....................................................................................... 7
11.4. Design Considerations .................................................................................. 7
11.4.1. Annular Gap............................................................................................... 7
11.4.2. Cement Contamination............................................................................... 7
11.4.3. Pipe Movement .......................................................................................... 8
11.4.4. Temperature Differences............................................................................ 8
11.4.5. Temperature Determination ....................................................................... 8
11.4.6. Slurry Testing............................................................................................. 9
11.4.7. Centralization ............................................................................................. 9
11.4.8. Liner Overlap ........................................................................................... 10
11.5. Cement Slurry Design ................................................................................. 10
11.6. Liner Cementing Techniques....................................................................... 11
11.6.1. Conventional Liner Cementing ................................................................. 11
11.6.2. Planned Squeeze..................................................................................... 12
11.6.3. Tack and Squeeze ................................................................................... 12
11.6.4. Conventional Planned Squeeze ............................................................... 12
11.6.5. Full Coverage Cementing......................................................................... 13
11.6.6. Liner Top Packers .................................................................................... 13

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Figures
Figure 11.1: Multiple Temperature Gradients ................................................................ 9

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ExxonMobil Requirements
Section Number ExxonMobil Requirement
There are no ExxonMobil requirements in this Section.

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11. LINER CEMENTING

11.1. REQUIRED REFERENCES


This Section lists Practices and Standards that are generically referenced and assumed
part of this document. Unless otherwise specified herein, use the latest edition.

11.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute


API RP 10B Recommended Practice for Testing Well Cements

11.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization


ISO 10426-2 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 2: Testing of
Well Cement

11.2. TYPES OF LINERS


A liner is a string of casing that does not directly connect the bottom of the well with the
surface. Liners typically extend from the bottom of the well to 300 - 500 ft inside the last
casing string. At this point, a liner hanger is installed and the weight of the casing is
hung from the hanger.
A liner tieback is a casing string that extends from the top of a previous liner back to the
surface. It seals in the top of the previous liner through seals set into a tieback
receptacle (or polished bore receptacle (PBR)).
Liners are set for a number of reasons. One major benefit to a liner can be the reduced
costs of setting a liner rather than running a full string of casing back to surface. This is
particularly the case with drilling liners.
A liner can be cheaper than a full string of casing unless there is a need to squeeze the
liner top, etc. Another key advantage of a liner is the ability to case-off the open hole
while maintaining wellhead space. Many wellheads can only accommodate a limited
number of casing strings.

11.2.1. Drilling Liners


Drilling liners are used to allow for deeper drilling by isolating nonproductive intervals,
and to control problem formations. A drilling liner generally does not cover productive
hydrocarbon zones, and formation isolation behind the casing is often not critical. The
cementing objectives of a drilling liner are to obtain a good shoe test and top of liner
seal.

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11.2.2. Production Liner
As indicated by the name, a production liner is set across producing intervals in the
well. It is usually one of the last casing strings set in the well, and successful cementing
of this liner can be critical to the success of the well.
A production liner is typically run to limit the weight of casing being run in the well. This
can be due to rig limitations, excessive drag that would be experienced by a full casing
string, or inability to manipulate a full casing string when at depth.

11.2.3. Scab Liner


A scab liner is a short section of casing set across a problem area in the well that has
previously been cased and cemented. A scab liner is designed to regain casing
integrity over a relatively short section of pipe.

11.2.4. Tieback
A liner tieback is run to connect the top of a production liner back to surface. A tieback
is run to protect previous casing strings that may not be adequate for production loads,
to provide added protection for pressure or corrosion.

11.3. LINER EQUIPMENT

11.3.1. Liner Hangers


A liner hanger is used to hang-off the liner in the previous casing string. It consists of a
set of slips or mechanical holding devices that grip the outer casing and support the
liner. Liner hangers can also have integral liner top packers that are energized at the
end of the cement job.
There are two types of liner hangers, mechanical and hydraulic. Mechanical hangers
depend on physical movement of the running string to set the liner hanger. A hydraulic
hanger depends on pump pressure to actuate the liner hanger. For many extended
reach and high angle wells, a hydraulic liner hanger is preferred. This is because of the
uncertainties in being able to set the proper amount of weight down on the liner to
energize the slips.
A tieback receptacle or polished bore receptacle (PBR) is usually installed on top of the
liner to facilitate tieback of the liner when required.

11.3.2. Liner Setting Tool


The liner setting tool provides the connection between the liner and the running string
(typically drill pipe). The liner setting tool or running tool is provided by the liner hanger
company, and is removed from the well following the cement job. It is usually released
from the liner by mechanical movement of the drill string.

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The setting tool must provide a seal between the tool and the liner. This is usually
accomplished by using a pack-off bushing, swab cups, or some other type of packing
element.

11.3.3. Liner Wiper Plugs


As the liner is run on drill pipe, unlike conventional casing strings, the plugs cannot be
pumped down from surface. Carried in the liner-running tool are special wiper plugs
that are hollow to allow circulation of the liner. A drill pipe dart is released from surface
and will latch into the liner wiper plug, releasing it from the running tool. This provides a
plug to wipe the interior of the liner.
Many liner hangers and liner jobs will use only the top plug. There are double-plug liner
wiper systems available, and if possible, it is recommended a two-plug system be used.
However, there is an additional risk to using a double-plug system due to the
mechanical complexity.

11.4. DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS

11.4.1. Annular Gap


Correlations have been made for cementing success as it relates to annular gap.
Success rates tend to increase with increasing annular gap, with the highest success
being seen at gaps of 1 - 1.5 inches. This correlates to a hole size of 2 - 3 inches larger
than the casing OD.
In liner situations, the clearance between the pipe and hole are rarely as large as
desired. Commonly, there is less than one-inch annular clearance. Because of this,
centralization, pressure control, and mud removal are all more challenging.
When given a choice, from a cementing standpoint, additional annular gap is preferred.
This can be obtained by underreaming the hole, use of smaller casing, or use of bi-
centered bits to drill the interval. Each of these choices carry additional cost, and in the
case of smaller casing, may not allow the well to be drilled to TD, or can limit production
options. Rarely is there an option to change the annular gap for liner cementing.
Faced with reduced annular gaps, the adherence to other good cementing practices
becomes more important in liner cementing.

11.4.2. Cement Contamination


On jobs where there is no bottom plug, there is additional potential for intermixing the
cement and mud inside the casing. This leads to excessive contamination of the
cement that will ultimately be at the top of the liner in the overlap. Running sufficient
spacer and additional excess cement can help reduce this problem.
There is also concern the top plug will pick up a mud film left on the casing and
contaminate the liner shoe, though it is unlikely this is a major source of cementing
problems. While a potential problem, running sufficient shoe track can prevent this from

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becoming a problem on the well. It should be noted that running sufficient spacer
ahead of the cement would also help remove mud from inside the casing and further
reduce any film problem that may exist. The cost of additional spacer and cement
should be weighed against the added cost for drilling out excess shoe tracks.

11.4.3. Pipe Movement


If possible, rotation of the liner during cementing should be attempted. Rotating liner
hangers are readily available and quite reliable. As the liner hanger is set prior to
cementing, reciprocation of the liner is not possible during cementing.
The use of a liner top packer should not restrict rotation of the liner during cementing.
Proper selection of liner hanger equipment will allow rotation. A more detailed
discussion of this topic is found in the LTP report found on the Drilling Technical
GlobalShare and the Drilling Technical Intranet website.
The use of a rotating liner hanger is preferred over a "delayed release technique" where
setting the liner hanger is delayed until after the cement job. While this technique
allows for pipe movement during the job, the added operational risks are usually not
justified.

11.4.4. Temperature Differences


In liner cementing, as with all primary cementing, the cement must be retarded for the
bottomhole circulating temperature (BHCT) of the well. Unlike many primary jobs, of
additional importance in liner cementing is strength development at the top of the liner.
Depending on the length of the liner, the temperature at the top of the liner can be
considerably lower than the BHCT of the well. This can result in very long WOC times
for the top of the liner (TOL).

11.4.5. Temperature Determination


It is common to assume a single temperature gradient in a well. This can cause severe
problems in liner cementing, as many of the liners are set through pressure transitions.
As formations trap pressure, the temperature profile will also change. This can result in
multiple gradients through the wellbore.

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Figure 11.1: Multiple Temperature Gradients

Depth

Temperature

Figure 11.1 is an example of multiple gradients in a well. While the temperature at the
bottom of the well is identical in both situations, assuming a constant gradient
throughout the well would result in over-estimation of the temperatures in the
intermediate portions of the well. As noted above, this can result in over-estimation of
the temperature at the top of a liner.
As with other cement designs, accurate temperature prediction is critical. Use of
temperature data from the well, use of temperature simulators, or other means of
estimating the wellbore temperature will improve cementing results.

11.4.6. Slurry Testing


Static formation temperatures at the top of the liner are commonly used to test for
strength development. Because a well does not return to static conditions for at least
24 hours after circulating, the test temperature should be adjusted to account for the
cool down. As noted in the cement testing section, using 85% of the static temperature
is recommended.
Conditioning the slurry at BHCT prior to performing strength testing at the TOL will allow
the retarders to react, and will give a better indication of strength development. API
RP 10B contains specialized protocols for testing cement for use on long liners.
The cement slurry should always be tested for strength development at the top and
bottom of the liner.

11.4.7. Centralization
Small annular gap calls for good centralization as any offset can prevent placing cement
around the pipe. Centralizers will also aid in preventing differential sticking of the liner
and aid in getting the liner to bottom.

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Centralizers are often left off liners because of fear of excessive drag forces. While the
weight of the casing is supported on a smaller area, the total force remains the same.
What is not considered is the presence of permeable formations, and the reduced
contact area will help prevent sticking of the liner.
Centralization of the casing may not be possible due to the very small annular gap. In
some cases, use of rigid centralizers is preferred. These centralizers cannot provide
100% standoff, but will assure some degree of standoff in the well.
Care must be exercised in running solid centralizers as these can further reduce the
annular clearance and lead to higher displacement pressures, and lost circulation in
some cases.
Rotating the liner will definitely improve cementing results. To aid in liner rotation,
Weatherford has developed a rotating centralizer that can reduce the torque required
for rotation by as much as 65%. Use of these devices is highly recommended if it will
allow for liner rotation.

11.4.8. Liner Overlap


The area in the well between the top of the liner and the previous casing shoe is called
the overlap. In this area, the annulus is a pipe x pipe configuration, and cement in this
area is responsible for giving a seal at the top of the liner.
As the cement that will be placed in the overlap has traveled further in the well than any
other, it has the highest potential for contamination. Because of this, sufficient overlap
should be run to get a seal. A minimum of 100 ft of overlap and preferably 300 - 500 ft
of overlap should be allowed.
Additional factors may dictate the required length of the overlap. These include:
• Collapse loading of the outer casing
• Burst loading of the outer casing
• Consideration of trapped annulus fluids in the overlap

11.5. CEMENT SLURRY DESIGN


The tight annular clearances in liners require the use of fluid loss control. Fluid loss
values of 100 - 150 mL are recommended. If gas migration is a potential problem, the
fluid loss should be dropped to less than 50 mL, preferably with a latex additive.
Lost circulation materials should not be used in liner cement designs.
Dispersants may be required in the slurry design to reduce the frictional pressures from
the cement. Care must be exercised to prevent overuse of dispersants for the sole
purpose of friction reduction. This can lead to excessive free water and settling of the
solids in the slurry.

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Liner Cementing
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The thickening time of the slurry must be sufficient to allow for pulling out of the running
string at the end of the job. This is not usually a problem as the temperature at the top
of the liner is normally less than the BHCT.
If a liner top packer is being set after cement placement, an additional test should be
performed to evaluate the gel strength development at the top of the liner. This test is
performed on a consistometer by taking the slurry to BHCT, holding it at that
temperature for 10 minutes, then cooling the cement to the circulating temperature at
the top of the liner. The cool off rate would correspond to the anticipated placement
time for the cement. When the cement reaches the temperature at the top of the liner,
the motor of the consistometer is turned off for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, restart the
motor and check for excessive gellation.

11.6. LINER CEMENTING TECHNIQUES


Primary cement jobs attempt to place cement into the annulus in a single stage, or as a
single continuous operation. Often liner cementing does not allow for this conventional
approach and requires preplanning for squeezing cement in the overlap at the top of the
liner. From the viewpoint of cementing, there are four main cementing techniques for
liners. It is assumed that for each of the cement job types discussed the liner hanger
has been set prior to cementing.
As noted in the section on pipe movement, some operations in the past have performed
the cement job prior to setting the liner hanger to facilitate pipe movement. This
process is not recommended unless there is a specific technical need for the added
risk.

11.6.1. Conventional Liner Cementing


The liner hanger is set, and then the drill pipe is pulled up a short distance to be certain
the running string is free and the hanger has set. The cement is conventionally pumped
using either one or two plugs, depending on the liner hanger design.
The volume of cement planned for the job should cover the open hole, the overlap, and
some distance above the top of the liner. Three hundred feet (300 ft) of cement should
be placed above the top of the liner. This allows any contaminated cement to be
circulated above the top of the liner, increasing chances for a good seal in the overlap.
(The 300-ft volume should be calculated as the volume without the drill pipe in place.)
After the cement is in place, the running string is released from the liner, and 10 stands
are pulled out of the hole. The well can be circulated at this point to be sure the casing
is clear prior to pulling out of the hole. The pressures should be monitored closely to be
sure the shoe of the previous casing is not broken down during this process.
The circulation path can be through either reverse or conventional circulation. Reverse
circulation takes less time, but does have limitations. Normally, the annular is closed
while reverse circulating, thus limiting, or eliminating the opportunity to rotate the drill
pipe during circulation. In addition, while lining up to reverse, the cement is in a static
state longer than if conventional circulation is used.

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Alternately, the well can be conventionally circulated following the liner job, which offers
several advantages. Conventional circulation will result in lower pressures being
exerted on the well, which can prevent squeezing the liner top, or if the plug did not
bump, reduces potential for placing additional mud out of the bottom of the liner. The
time to line-up to continue pumping is very short, and the drill pipe can be moved during
circulation.
Conventional circulation will take longer, which can be a concern with respect to slurry
pump times. For long jobs, it is recommended the cement be tested at BHCT for the
anticipated job time, the temperature reduced to the BHCT at the top of the liner, and
the test continued for the anticipated circulation time. Normally, there should be
sufficient time for conventional circulation of the cement due to the temperature
differences from the bottom of the well to the TOL. Sufficient pump time may be a
concern with very long cement placement times.
Alternately, the running string can be simply pulled out of the well without circulation.
If there is spacer and cement above the top of the liner (as desired in the design), when
the drill pipe is pulled out of the top of the liner, the well will tend to U-tube up the drill
pipe. The rig crew should be prepared to handle the mudflow at this point.

11.6.2. Planned Squeeze


There are three types of planned squeeze jobs with liner cementing. The types are
Tack and Squeeze, Conventional Planned Squeeze, and Full Coverage Cementing.

11.6.3. Tack and Squeeze


For drilling liners that do not require cement over the entire length of the liner,
performing a job with a planned squeeze can save time and money. The process is the
same as in conventional cementing, except the volume of cement is limited to cover
only the lower portion of the liner. After placement of this cement, the drill pipe is pulled
up above the top of the liner, the annular closed, and a squeeze job performed on the
liner lap.
This process tacks the bottom of the casing, which should give isolation at the shoe,
and isolates the overlap in a second job.

11.6.4. Conventional Planned Squeeze


The difference in this technique and a tack and squeeze is the volume of cement
pumped initially is larger, and generally consists of a full liner annular volume of cement.
The job attempts to cover the entire open hole, as in conventional liner cementing, but
incorporates a planned squeeze job on the liner lap at the end of the primary cement
job.
This involves performing the job conventionally and then following the liner job, a
volume of mud is injected to clear the overlap. There must be sufficient mud injected to
account for the excess cement on top of the liner. At this point, additional cement is
mixed and a squeeze job performed at the top of the liner.

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11.6.5. Full Coverage Cementing
If there is a single loss zone in the well, a technique can be applied that can give full
cement coverage in the liner. With this method, a squeeze packer is run on the drill
pipe above the liner hanger, which can be set after pulling out of the liner top.
The first stage consists of pumping a conventional liner job. The difference is when the
spacer reaches the shoe of the liner, the annular is closed. (Depending on liner
volumes, the annular may be closed prior to this point.) This will bullhead cement into
the lost circulation point of the annulus. The reason for closing the annular is to force
cement into the zone and prevent cement from moving above the loss zone.
Because there is full control of the well, and no worry about lost returns, the job can be
displaced at high rates. This will improve mud removal and cement placement.
After disengaging the setting tool, pump 30 bbls of mud down the annulus to ensure it is
clear of any cement that may have gotten above the loss zone. Then flush the cement
down the fracture so it is less likely to change the stress in the original loss zone. The
drill pipe is then pulled up, the packer set, and another full volume of cement is
squeezed in the annulus. Again, because there is full well control, the cement can be
squeezed at a high rate.
An additional benefit from this technique is in the selection of spacers. Because the
well is always under control, there is no worry about lightweight spacers. This
technique allows for running large amounts of water ahead of both stages of cementing.
This further enhances mud removal and cement placement.

11.6.6. Liner Top Packers


Liner top packers (LTP) seal the annulus between the liner hanger and previous casing
string. This isolates the annulus so that high pressure can be applied to the liner top to
reverse all of the excess cement out from above the liner. This eliminates the rig time
required to drill out cement. High-pressure LTPs also eliminate the potential cost of
liner top squeezes. They may also be used in place of production packers in some
monobore designs.
Cementing designs for LTPs differ from open liner tops in two aspects. One is the
likelihood of microannuli developing is greater due to the early loss of hydrostatic head
and effective stress. The other is the set time at the liner top must be adequate to
accommodate the reversing operations.
The potential for microannuli to develop is addressed by the use of gas resistant slurries
for all strings where an LTP will be set. Annular gas flow is most commonly caused by
the loss of effective sealing stress between the cement and casing or borehole due to
shrinkage of the cement. The cement starts to lose volume as soon as it is in place due
to filtrate loss and the uptake of water in the setting process. In the early stages, the
mud and cement columns shift downward to replace these losses and hydrostatic
pressure is maintained. After the cement sets sufficiently, its gel strength prevents this
movement, the shrinkage is not offset, and effective stress starts to decline. The
introduction of an LTP prevents the column movement and pressure support that would
normally occur in the early set period. In the end, this results in greater loss of effective
stress in the final set material, and increased likelihood of annular gas flow.

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The recommended gas slurry additive for most LTP applications is latex. Latex reduces
the water loss, has a low shrinkage coefficient, and increases the elasticity of the cured
cement. To date, field problems have not been seen where latex is used in standard
quantities (0.75 - 1.5 gps and FL < 50 mL).
The additional pumping time required to set the LTP and reverse out should be included
in the design. This is less than one hour in most cases. The LTP should be set in
under 30 minutes, and because the cement is being reversed up the drill pipe the
volume required to bring it to surface is not great. Over-retardation should also be
avoided because it will increase the likelihood of the development of micro annuli
beneath the packer.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 11 - 14


Section

Primary Cementing
Plug Cementing

Scope

This Section contains design and placement of cement plugs. Included in this
Section are calculations to properly balance a plug in the well.

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Plug Cementing
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Table of Contents
ExxonMobil Requirements ............................................................................... 4
12. Plug Cementing........................................................................................ 5
12.1. Required References ............................................................................ 5
12.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute.................................................................. 5
12.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization ..................................................... 5

12.2. Types of Plugs....................................................................................... 5


12.2.1. Abandonment................................................................................................ 5
12.2.2. Kick-Off or Whipstock .................................................................................... 5
12.2.3. Formation Isolation........................................................................................ 6
12.2.4. Lost Circulation ............................................................................................. 6

12.3. Slurry Design......................................................................................... 6


12.4. Cement Slurry Composition For Specific Types of Plugs ................. 7
12.4.1. Abandonment................................................................................................ 7
12.4.2. Whipstock or Kick-Off Plug ............................................................................ 7
12.4.2.1. Use of Sand and Silica Flour in Whipstock Plugs .................................... 7
12.4.3. Formation Isolation........................................................................................ 8
12.4.4. Lost Circulation ............................................................................................. 8

12.5. Plug Placement Techniques................................................................. 8


12.5.1. Balanced Plug ............................................................................................... 8
12.5.2. Two-Plug Method .......................................................................................... 8
12.5.3. Dump Bailer .................................................................................................. 9

12.6. Job Design............................................................................................. 9


12.6.1. What is Below the Plug ................................................................................. 9
12.6.2. Temperature................................................................................................ 10
12.6.3. Use of a Stinger .......................................................................................... 10
12.6.4. Run a Diverter ............................................................................................. 11
12.6.5. Cement Volume .......................................................................................... 11
12.6.5.1. Plug Length........................................................................................... 11
12.6.6. Mixing.......................................................................................................... 11
12.6.7. Spacers....................................................................................................... 11
12.6.8. Pipe Movement ........................................................................................... 12

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12.6.9. Use of Scratchers........................................................................................ 12
12.6.10. Displacement ........................................................................................... 12
12.6.11. Waiting on Cement (WOC) Time.............................................................. 12

12.7. Balanced Plug Calculations ............................................................... 12


12.7.1. Example Balanced Plug Calculation ............................................................ 14

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ExxonMobil Requirements
Section Number ExxonMobil Requirement

There are no ExxonMobil requirements in this Section.

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12. PLUG CEMENTING

12.1. REQUIRED REFERENCES


This Section lists Practices and Standards that are generically referenced and assumed
part of this document. Unless otherwise specified herein, use the latest edition.

12.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute

12.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization

12.2. TYPES OF PLUGS


Plugs are used in wells for a variety of reasons. Plug cementing is primarily concerned
with strength development. Assuming the plug is placed properly, the definition of
success in plug cementing hinges on strength development. The most common
reasons for setting plugs are abandonment, kick-off or whipstock, or formation isolation,
or lost circulation.

12.2.1. Abandonment
Every well will eventually be plugged and abandoned. There are a number of
regulations that address the proper abandonment of wells, and are generally written to
ensure proper isolation of hydrocarbon zones, protection of fresh water areas, and
pressure isolation of the wellbore. It is imperative that local regulations be checked for
the proper plugging requirements.

12.2.2. Kick-Off or Whipstock


Whether to drill around lost materials in the hole, or for some geologic reason, a
sidetrack plug is used to give a hard base to the well from which to change the drilling
direction. This is accomplished using directional drilling equipment, but usually requires
the use of a high-strength cement plug. A kick-off plug is one of the few cement
designs that call for high strength when possible, and may be one of the few times
where paying more for strength makes economic sense.

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12.2.3. Formation Isolation
Used primarily to isolate different portions of the wellbore, a cased hole plug is
employed to cover perforations, or isolate unwanted zones. This is commonly
performed during workover operations, but is also utilized during drilling operations,
particularly following well testing.

12.2.4. Lost Circulation


In areas of severe lost circulation, cement plugs have sometimes been used with
success to isolate the loss zone. This can include setting a plug, then drilling through
the plug in an attempt to use the cement sheath as an artificial formation. This requires
incorporation of specialty additives to prevent sloughing of the drilled cement.
Depending on the type of lost circulation, the purpose of the cement plug varies. If the
loss is due to vugular formations, the cement is used to fill the voids. For fracture
propagation, cement is used to build fracture closure stress, and should always be
designed for hesitation squeezing to maximize the width achieved. For more
information on use of cement in lost circulation situations, refer to the FCS Workshop
Manual and lost circulation response plans found on the Drilling Technical GlobalShare
or Drilling Technical website.

12.3. SLURRY DESIGN


Depending on the purpose of the plug, the slurry design will vary slightly. Most plug
designs can be accomplished using cement, water, and retarder. Few, if any, other
additives are required. In the event high density and strength are required, then the
judicious use of a cement dispersant may be necessary.
All materials that do not contribute to the development of strength should be deleted
from the slurry design. Unless a plug is required to be stable for very long time periods,
the use of sand or silica flour is not recommended. Usually, these materials only act to
dilute the cement, and can result in a more friable system that will not drill well. For
deviated wells, free water control is essential. Fluid loss control is generally not
required for plug cementing.

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12.4. CEMENT SLURRY COMPOSITION FOR SPECIFIC TYPES
OF PLUGS

12.4.1. Abandonment
BHST < 230°F (110°C)
Slurry: Cement + retarder if required
Thickening Time: Placement time + 30 - 45 min assuming drill pipe can be
extracted in less than 30 min.
Fluid Loss: None Required
Free Water: Zero at BHCT and well angle
Strength: Minimum 500 psi

BHST > 230°F (110°C)


Slurry: Cement + 35% silica flour + retarder
Other properties as above

12.4.2. Whipstock or Kick-Off Plug


Slurry: Cement + Dispersant if required for density
Density: Higher is better without requiring weighting agents.
Thickening Time: As in Abandonment (12.4.1)
Fluid Loss: None Required
Free Water: Zero at BHCT and well angle
Strength: Minimum of 500 psi, if using a mechanical whipstock.
Otherwise, 3,000 psi is acceptable for most operations.

12.4.2.1. Use of Sand and Silica Flour in Whipstock Plugs


Sand and silica flour are added to prevent strength retrogression at temperatures above
230°F (110°C). Below this temperature, the materials act as fillers and do not
contribute to strength development. Silica sand reacts very slowly at elevated
temperatures, and at temperatures approaching 300°F (150°C) may take 2 - 3 months
to react. As the strength of a whipstock plug after this time is irrelevant, the use of sand
is not recommended.

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Silica flour will begin to effect strength development at lower temperatures and within
short periods of time. Therefore, silica flour should be used at temperatures above
230°F (110°C) unless a densified slurry is being used. Densified or reduced water
slurries do not exhibit strength retrogression for long periods of time at temperatures up
to 300°F (150°C).

12.4.3. Formation Isolation


Slurry, Thickening Time, Free Water, strength - as in Abandonment (12.4.1)
Fluid Loss - If slurry is to be squeezed and needs to fill a void or penetrate into a
channel - 150 - 250 mL
Gas Migration Prevention - Not required if squeezing as filter cake will prevent gas flow.
If not, then reduce fluid loss to <100 or incorporate gas migration preventative like latex
or gas generating agent.

12.4.4. Lost Circulation


Slurry: Cement + Extender + potentially LCM
Thickening Time, Free Water: As above
Fluid Loss: No Control - fluid loss may help resolve the loss
problem
Density: Mud weight + 0.5 - 1 lb/gal. Minimize cement
density to aid in drill out. There is no need for high
density or strength in a lost circulation plug.

12.5. PLUG PLACEMENT TECHNIQUES


There are three basic methods to place a cement plug. These are balanced plug, two-
plug method, and dump bailer.

12.5.1. Balanced Plug


The most common method of placing a plug is with drill pipe or tubing. The pipe is run
into the hole to the desired depth and then a specific volume of cement is placed in the
well. The plug is balanced by pumping appropriate volumes of spacer ahead and
behind the plug to achieve the same height inside and outside the pipe.

12.5.2. Two-Plug Method


Use of mechanical plugs makes placing the cement plug easier. Similar to primary
cementing, plugs are run ahead and behind the cement. When the top plug lands,
there is a pressure increase indicating the cement is in place. Continued pumping will
shear out the top plug allowing the pipe to be pulled out of the well.

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12.5.3. Dump Bailer
Used primarily in completions and workover operations, a dump bailer is a wire line
conveyed tool that will place a specific volume of cement at a particular depth in the
well.

12.6. JOB DESIGN


For both the balanced plug and two-plug methods, job design is identical. As dump
bailers are rarely used in drilling applications, reference is given to SPE Paper 24574,
"A Laboratory Study of Cement and Resin Plugs Place with Thru-Tubing Dump Bailers,"
White, Calvert, Barker and Bour, 1992. This paper covers placement and design
elements for dump bailer work.
One of the most common reasons for plug failure is mud contamination. This can be
due to the plug moving down the hole and mixing with the mud, failure to displace the
mud during placement, or leaving the formation or pipe oil wet, preventing bonding of
the cement.
The job design should seek to limit or eliminate mud contamination.

12.6.1. What is Below the Plug


One of the major failure modes of plug cementing is contamination of the plug. This
can be a result of improper displacement or the plug moving downhole after placement.
Gravitational forces tend to allow the plug and mud to swap out, leaving the plug lower
in the well than anticipated and contaminated with mud. Studies have shown the
results of fluid movement after plug placement can result in a plug that ropes or spirals
down the hole. When drilled, the plug will tend to drill hard, then soft, depending on the
amount of contamination.
Because of the density difference, heavy cement plugs may swap places with the lighter
mud beneath and move down the hole. The tendency for this to occur depends on hole
size, hole angle, and viscosity at the interface. Theoretically, a heavy column can be
placed on top of a light one and, if the interface were perfectly flat, the two would not
swap. In reality, the materials are mixed and there is always a small imbalance in the
interface. The swapping process will not begin if the gel strength in the interface is
greater than the initial swapping forces.
The tendency for the interface to be stable depends on: 1) viscosity at the interface,
2) hole size, and 3) inclination. The viscosity at the interface is largely due to
contamination. For example, cement plugs are often balanced in saltwater to squeeze
perforations. When the cement is drilled out, the base is usually found within a few feet
of where it was placed. The cement and water do not swap because the salt in the
seawater tends to flocculate the cement. Water base muds built with bentonite also do
not tend to swap because the calcium in the cement severely flocculates the bentonite
in the mud, creating a very rigid interface. It is rare to take special precautions to
prevent swapping when using a bentonite-based WBM.

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Swapping is of great concern in an non-aqueous fluid (NAF) because there may be very
little reaction between the cement and base fluid. Hole size is also a factor because the
surface tension in the contaminated region must be greater in order to maintain a stable
interface across the larger surface. Hole angle essentially has the effect of creating
greater surface area at the interface, as well, which reduces the stability of the interface.
The recommended practices with NAF muds is to place the cement on bottom
whenever possible. If not, some barrier should be placed in the hole just below the pill.
This barrier can be a high viscosity mud, a mechanical barrier such as BJ's Parabow, or
a chemical reactant that will gel with the cement on contact.
A barrier is usually not required in WBM unless the hole size is large, the fluid has little
bentonite content, or the hole angle is high. In general, drill teams that work vertical
inland wells do not spot pills. Drill teams that work offshore in high-angle programs with
low-bentonite or NAF muds find that it is necessary.

12.6.2. Temperature
The temperature where the plug will be placed will be different than that used to design
a primary cement job. The amount and rate of fluid circulation prior to placing the plug
will effect the temperature, generally reducing it. If possible, run a temperature
simulation to determine the proper temperature for the plug placement.

12.6.3. Use of a Stinger


A cement stinger, typically consisting of tubing, is commonly run on the end of the drill
pipe to place a plug. Stingers are advisable where the final height of cement with drill
pipe is excessive, which can occur in smaller hole sizes. Stingers are recommended for
most plug jobs.
Getting the mud properly displaced in the well can be a concern. The use of drill pipe
alone will improve the mud displacement process because of the increased annular
velocities when using drill pipe rather than tubing. Plugs set in wells drilled with NAF
fluids are particularly prone to contamination due to poor mud displacement, and may
benefit from the use of drill pipe to place the plug. In cases where a plug must be
placed for well control purposes, omitting the stinger may be advisable. Incentives for
eliminating the stinger are:
1. Rig time required to change handling tools
2. Rig time waiting on the stinger to arrive (which is common)
3. Increased annular velocity and displacement efficiency
4. Improved ability for the balanced cement to fall inside the DP due to its increased ID

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12.6.4. Run a Diverter
A flow diverter on the end of the pipe is designed to divert the flow of the cement to the
sides of the well rather than straight down. This improves the mud removal across the
90-ft stroke interval when moving the pipe during plug placement. The diverter can also
reduce the jetting action below the end of the pipe and reduce the amount of cement
and mud contamination.

12.6.5. Cement Volume


The volume of cement should be sufficient to give the required length of plug, plus
200 f, if possible. The additional cement will allow some contamination of the cement at
the top of the plug. Often, the plug is being set in a portion of the well where the hole ID
is unknown due to earlier work on the well. Fishing operations occur at a single depth,
often resulting in considerable washout of the hole. The added hole volume must be
taken into account when setting the plug.

12.6.5.1. Plug Length


Many regulatory agencies set the minimum length for a cement plug. Always check
with the regulations to determine any plug set for abandonment or hydrocarbon isolation
meets the appropriate requirements.
Beyond regulations, most plugs should be designed for a minimum of 500 ft, preferably
750 ft. This allows sufficient cement for contamination at the top and bottom of the
plug, plus sufficient additional cement to dress off the top of the plug. For operational
risk, designing plugs in excess of 1,000 ft is not recommended as the time to pull out of
the plug can be excessive, increasing the risk of leaving pipe in the well.
If longer plugs are required, multiple smaller plugs should be set rather than attempting
a single plug of excessive length.

12.6.6. Mixing
Batch mixing is preferred, and is a simple operation if one of the larger 25-bbl
recirculating units is used. Otherwise, mix as slow as required to assure density
control. Do not batch mix slurries that contain an accelerator. For systems that do not
contain a retarder, the thickening time begins when the cement mixes with the water at
surface.

12.6.7. Spacers
Use an appropriate spacer for the drilling fluid. Plug failures in non-aqueous fluids are
common and a result of failure to remove the mud, or a failure to leave the formation or
pipe water wet. Mud contamination is a major cause of plug failures and is especially a
problem in wells drilled with NAF.

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12.6.8. Pipe Movement
As with primary cementing, pipe movement, specifically rotation will aid in getting a
successful plug. Pipe rotation helps assure cement placement around the pipe, and
more importantly in plug cementing, aids in removing the drilling mud. Pipe
reciprocation is not recommended while placing a plug.
Use of a liner-type-cementing head with a swivel is recommended. This will facilitate
rotation of the string as well as assisting with dropping of plugs or darts. Pipe rotation
should also be employed while circulating bottoms up after placement of the plug.

12.6.9. Use of Scratchers


Scratchers and other mechanical devices to aid in getting the drilling mud moving are
recommended. Scratchers made of wire rope can be very effective in getting fluid
moving in the annulus.

12.6.10. Displacement
When displacing a cement plug, it is common practice to under-displace the plug by a
few barrels to allow the cement to fall out of the pipe as it is being pulled out of the plug.
This practice helps prevent mudflow up the drill pipe in the event the cement was over-
displaced and essentially puts a small slug in the pipe.
This practice is not effective in high-angle or horizontal wells. The angle of the well
does not allow the under-displacement to act as a slug. If the pipe is pulled out of the
plug in a high-angle situation, the cement will not fall out of the pipe, and the plug will
become more contaminated.
To address this problem, it is recommended the pipe be pumped out of the plug. As
each stand of pipe is pulled up, the equivalent pipe volume of mud should be pumped.

12.6.11. Waiting on Cement (WOC) Time


Plan for sufficient WOC time. A minimum time of 12 hours should be used, longer for
shallower wells, due to reduced trip times. If the cement does not drill as expected after
12 hours, waiting an additional six hours may be beneficial. Waiting longer than
18 hours, indicates a problem with the cement design. Depending on rig rates, waiting
longer than 18 hours for a cement plug to set is not advised.

12.7. BALANCED PLUG CALCULATIONS


Cement plugs are normally placed or "balanced" in the wellbore. Balancing a plug is
simply calculating the volumes to equalize the pressures inside and outside the work
string. As the work string will be pulled out of the plug after placement, the length of the
plug with the work string in place is also calculated. (The calculations presented
assume the density of the spacer ahead and behind the cement is equal. If this is not
the case, the calculations should be modified to account for those differences.)

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Volume of Cement (in bbl):

Vcmt = L ∗ Vh

where :
L = Required length of cement plug (ft)
Vh = Volume of hole (bbl/ft)

Length of plug (in ft) with drill string in place:

Vcmt
Lcmt =
Vann + Vws

where :
Vann = Volume of the annulus (bbl/ft)
Vws = Volume of the work string (bbl/ft)
To properly balance the plug, the volume of spacer (in bbl) behind the plug should be
calculated to balance the volume pumped ahead of the plug.
Vsp1
Vsp 2 = *Vws
Vann

where :
Vsp1 = Volume of spacer pumped ahead of the plug (bbl)
Vsp 2 = Volume of space pumped behind the plug (bbl)

The displacement volume (in bbl) for the plug is calculated as:
Vdis = Vws ∗ [ D − ( Lcmt + Lsp 2 )]

where :
D = Depth to the bottom of the plug (ft)
Lcmt = Length of the cement plug (ft)
Lsp 2 = Length of the spacer behind the plug (ft)

Note: in the calculations for cement plugs, the units may be changed to any required
units provided there is consistency in the units throughout the calculation. For example,
if the volumes are calculated in cubic feet, the annular capacities should be converted
to cuft/ft.

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12
12.7.1. Example Balanced Plug Calculation
Place a 500-ft plug in an 8-1/2-inch open hole from 10,000 ft to 9,500 ft. The work
string consists of 5-1/2 inches, 19.5 ppf drill pipe, with a tubing stinger at the bottom.
The stinger is 750 ft of 2-7/8 inches, 6.85 ppf tubing. 20 bbl of spacer will be run ahead
of the plug. Volume of the annulus is 0.0622 bbl/ft, and the volume of the tubing is
0.00579 bbl/ft.

8.5 2
Volume of Cement = 500 *
1029.4
Volume of Cement = 35 bbl
Length of Plug with the work string in place:
35
Lcmt = = 515 ft
0.0622 + .00579
Volume of spacer behind:
20
Vsp2 = * 0.00579 = 1.86 bbl
0.0622
This calculation assumes the top of the spacer in the annulus is below the transition
between drill pipe and tubing. This is not the case in this example because of the
volumes.
Further, the volume of spacer to balance the plug behind will be slightly less than that
calculated. This is because the top of the spacer will be located inside the drill pipe
rather than the tubing.
The length of the spacer in the annulus is actually:
Length of cement: = 515 ft.
Length of tubing string: = 750 ft
Volume of tubing x OH: = 0.0622 * (750 - 515) = 14.6 bbl
Remaining Spacer: = 20 - 14.6 = 5.4 bbl
Length of spacer in drill pipe x open hole: = 5.4 / .0408 = 132 ft
Top of spacer in annulus: = 10,000 - 750 - 132 = 9118 ft.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 12 - 14


Plug Cementing
12
Spacer to balance behind:
The spacer to balance behind the plug must fill the remaining tubing string, plus drill
pipe to 9,118 ft.
Remaining volume of tubing = 0.00579 * (750 - 515) = 1.4 bbl
Length in drill pipe = 10,000 - 750 - 9,118 = 132 ft
Volume in 132 ft of drill pipe = 132 * .01776 = 2.3 bbl
Total space behind = 2.3 + 1.4 = 3.7 bbl
As shown, the change in the work string size must be taken into account for volume
calculations. This will also effect the displacement volumes. If the size change is
ignored, the calculations are:
Displacement Volume:

Vdis = .01776 ∗ [10,000 − (515 + 321)] = 163 bbl

If the volume change is taken into account, the displacement volume is

Vdis = .01776 ∗ [9,118] = 162 bbl


9118 was previously calculated as the top of the spacer
The volume difference for displacement is only one bbl in this case. Actual
displacement on location should be less than the calculated volume to allow the cement
to fall out of the work string. In this example, the actual displacement on the rig should
be between 155 - 160 bbl.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 12 - 15


Section

Primary Cementing
Operational Requirements and
Specifications for Cementing Services

Scope

This Section contains the minimum operational requirements for equipment,


materials, personnel, and service coordination for providing cementing services at
ExxonMobil locations.
This Section contains the expectations for the type of equipment on location, how
that equipment should function, and how it is to be used to properly perform a
cement job. This Section may be used and modified as required to serve as a
template for tender requirements for new projects, as a checklist for existing
installations, or as a tool for operations improvements.

Company Use Only


Operational Requirements/
Specifications for Cementing Services
13
Table of Contents
ExxonMobil Requirements ............................................................................... 3
13. Operational Requirements / Specifications for Cementing Services 4
13.1. Required References ............................................................................. 4
13.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute.................................................................. 4
13.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization ..................................................... 4

13.2. Exceptions .............................................................................................. 4


13.3. Specifications For Cement Unit and Related Equipment.................... 5
13.3.1. Additional Requirements For Liquid Additives ............................................... 6

13.4. Specifications For Foamed Cement Services & Related Equipment. 6


13.5. Cementing Services Equipment, Service & General Requirements .. 7
13.5.1. Additional Requirements For Offshore and Remote Installations................. 11

13.6. Personnel Requirements For Cementing Services ........................... 12


13.6.1. Additional Offshore and Remote Location Requirements ............................ 12

13.7. Service Coordinator Responsibilities................................................. 13

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 13 - 2


Operational Requirements/
Specifications for Cementing Services
13
ExxonMobil Requirements
Section Number ExxonMobil Requirement

This Section contains the technical specifications for equipment, materials, testing, and
personnel for providing cementing services on ExxonMobil wells. Each requirement is
outlined within the Section as it pertains to each of these areas.
Exceptions to these requirements are outlined in 13.2 and may be granted by the Field
Drilling Manager except where safety issues are involved. Exceptions to 13.3 #8 on
pressure relief devices and 13.3 #17, maximum rates through 2-inch treating lines can
only be granted by an Operations Manager.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 13 - 3


Operational Requirements/
Specifications for Cementing Services
13
13. OPERATIONAL REQUIREMENTS /
SPECIFICATIONS FOR CEMENTING
SERVICES

13.1. REQUIRED REFERENCES


This Section lists Practices and Standards that are generically referenced and assumed
part of this document. Unless otherwise specified herein, use the latest edition.

13.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute


API Spec 10 A Specification for Cements and Materials for Well Cementing
API RP 10 B Recommended Practice for Testing Well Cements
API Spec 10 D Specification for Bow-Spring Casing Centralizers
API RP 10 F Recommended Practice for Performance Testing of
Cementing Float Equipment

13.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization


ISO 10426-1 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 1:
Specification
ISO 10426-2 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part 2: Testing
of Well Cement
ISO 10426-4 Cements and Materials for Well Cementing - Part: 4 Methods
for Atmospheric Foamed Cement Slurry Preparation and
Testing
ISO 10427-1 Casing Centralisers - Part 1: Specifications for Bow-Spring
Casing Centralisers
ISO 10427-3 Recommended Practice for Performance Testing of
Cementing Float Equipment

13.2. EXCEPTIONS
Exceptions to these technical requirements are allowed, but shall be documented in
writing by the service company and approved the Field Drilling Manager or designated
representative. Documentation shall include proposed change, reason for exception,
and impact on operations.
Exceptions to the use of pressure relief devices on cementing equipment and maximum
allowable rates through treating lines require approval of the Operations Manager. All
other exceptions can be made by the Field Drilling Manager

October 2004 Company Use Only Section 13 - 4


Operational Requirements/
Specifications for Cementing Services
13
13.3. SPECIFICATIONS FOR CEMENT UNIT AND RELATED
EQUIPMENT

1. The cement unit contracted to perform the cementing work shall be capable of
carrying out all aspects of the proposed work. This includes the cementation of the
proposed casing strings, blowout preventer pressure tests, casing pressure tests,
formation integrity tests, and required well testing operations.
2. The cementing unit is to be a dual diesel or electric-powered design driving dual-
triplex pumps rated to a minimum 10,000 psi working pressure, and having a
recirculating type mixing system.
3. The Recirculating Mixing System (RCM) is to provide density control and slurry
consistency over a wide range of slurry weights and is required to mix cement within
0.2 ppg (plus or minus) of the designed slurry weight. The RCM volume is to be
sufficient to allow continuous or batch mixing and provide for homogeneous slurry.
4. The recirculating mixing system shall have the capability of computer-controlled
mixing for the control of cement density and rate.
5. The displacement tank capacity shall be a minimum of 20 bbls divided into two (2)
10 bbl compartments.
6. The cement unit shall be capable of functioning to full capacity at all times. Regular
maintenance and correction of equipment faults shall be performed. The Contractor
shall operate and maintain the cementing unit, equipment, consumables, and
provide sufficient spare parts.
7. The cement unit shall be outfitted with a downstream densitometer, or equivalent
device for accurately measuring and recording the density of fluids as they are
pumped into the well.
8. The cement unit shall be fitted with an automatic pressure relief device or over-
pressure shut-down capable of being set to the maximum pressure allowed for the
job. Exceptions to this requirement must be approved by the Operations Manager.
9. The cement unit shall be fitted with electronic data and recording equipment to
analyze and record pertinent job parameters for post-job analysis.
10. Real time remote display of electronic data shall be available at the location if
requested. This may be accomplished through a hard-wired remote display located
away from the main work area of the unit.
11. Electronic data shall be captured and recorded at a minimum rate of once every four
(4) seconds. The preferred recording rate is once each second for all parameters.
12. The minimum acceptable data to be recorded shall be time, downstream density,
and liquid additive rate, if applicable, cement pump rates, displacement rates where
displacement is done by the cement unit, and pressure throughout the entire job.
13. Pressure shall be recorded throughout the entire job. If the rig pump is performing
the displacement, this will require the line to the cement unit be left open, or an
additional pressure transducer installed in the treating line to allow pressure
recording for the entire displacement period.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 13 - 5


Operational Requirements/
Specifications for Cementing Services
13
14. The recorded job data shall be capable of being downloaded into ASCII format for
evaluation in Microsoft Excel, or other similar program.
15. The cement unit shall be fitted with calibrated pressure gauges, pen-type recorder,
and pop-off valves.
16. The cement unit (in its final installed position on the rig) shall be capable of
consistently mixing a neat Class G or H cement slurry at 15.8 or 16.4 lb/gal
respectively to ± 0.2 lb/gal at a minimum rate of 4 bbl/min.
17. Maximum rates through a 2-inch treating line shall be limited to 8.0 bpm. Use of
higher rates requires additional lines or larger treating lines. Exceptions to this
requirement must be approved by the Operations Manager.
18. Contractor shall be capable of providing cementing batch mix equipment capable of
mixing and/or holding a minimum of 100 bbl of cement slurry.

13.3.1. Additional Requirements For Liquid Additives


1. Contractor shall provide a liquid additive proportioning system capable of providing
the metered addition of liquid cement additives to the cement unit.
2. For automatic liquid additive systems, Contractor shall provide a method for
monitoring flow of additives through appropriate metering. Monitoring liquid additive
pump strokes is not considered appropriate metering.
3. Contractor shall provide tanks for liquid cement additives. Tanks shall be capable of
being circulated via either an external or self-contained circulation pump or other
mixing device.
4. Liquid additive tanks shall have unique numbering to allow tracking of liquid
additives on location.

13.4. SPECIFICATIONS FOR FOAMED CEMENT SERVICES &


RELATED EQUIPMENT

1. The nitrogen unit and associated equipment shall have the capacity to accurately
deliver nitrogen at rates up to 2,500 scf/min.
2. Nitrogen volume capabilities shall support projected foamed cementing operations
and shall include additional volumes for anticipated storage, equipment cool down,
etc.
3. Contractor shall be able to meter injection of liquid foaming agents and stabilizers
into the suction side of the downhole triplex pump. Contractor shall provide a
method for monitoring flow of additives through appropriate metering. Monitoring
liquid additive pump strokes is not considered appropriate metering.
4. Separate tanks for liquid foaming agents and liquid foam stabilizers are required.
For systems where foamer and stabilizer are supplied as a single material, this
requirement will not be applicable.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 13 - 6


Operational Requirements/
Specifications for Cementing Services
13
5. The nitrogen unit and associated equipment shall be capable of accurately
delivering and metering nitrogen at a minimum rate of 200 scf/min. This will require
the use of a mass-type, gas flow meter or other equivalent approved device or
process. The ExxonMobil preferred nitrogen-metering method is to use a mass flow
gas meter.
6. Contractor shall test all lines downstream of the nitrogen unit with nitrogen prior to
any foamed cement job.
7. It is preferred all nitrogen and related equipment for use on any foamed cement job
be process-computer controlled to allow automatic adjustment of nitrogen and
foamer injection rates.
8. All nitrogen and related equipment shall be fitted with recording equipment capable
of recording relevant parameters for all foamed cement jobs. Minimum data
recording shall include, but not be limited to: time, cement pump rate and density,
nitrogen rate and pressure, foamer injection rate, and wellhead pressure. Note: this
will require the addition of a pressure transducer downstream of the foam generator.
9. Contractor shall demonstrate capabilities to perform detailed computer simulation
and design of foamed cementing operations, and be able to relate simulation output
to operational considerations of the job. This shall include, but not be limited to,
sizing of nitrogen unit to match simulated rates required for the job.
10. Contractor shall provide onsite supervisor experienced in foamed cementing
operations during foamed cement jobs. Qualifications of onsite supervisor will be
reviewed and must be acceptable to ExxonMobil.
11. Laboratory personnel shall be familiar with foamed cement preparation and testing.
Test procedures shall be reviewed prior to initial application. The review shall
include laboratory equipment, stability test methods and all standard slurry tests.
12. If required for the project, Contractor shall confirm foamed cementing capabilities
prior to initial usage of foamed cement on rig. Confirmation may be through prior
approval of equipment and process or actual yard test of equipment. This shall
occur at least 30 days prior to the initial application of foamed cement.

13.5. CEMENTING SERVICES EQUIPMENT, SERVICE &


GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

1. Contractor shall provide Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) for all products to be
used on the well or job.
2. Contractor shall maintain a cement-testing lab in the service area capable of running
required tests with samples of water, cement, and chemicals sent in from the rig.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 13 - 7


Operational Requirements/
Specifications for Cementing Services
13
3. Minimum acceptable laboratory cement-testing equipment shall consist of:
• Two (2) high temperature high pressure (HTHP) consistometers or one dual cell
consistometer
• HTHP cement fluid loss cell. Use of a stirred fluid loss cell is recommended for
safety purposes, but is not required.
• Twelve-speed rotating viscometer (12-speed Fann 35, Chan 35 or other
equivalent)
• Apparatus for free fluid testing (at well angle and/or 45° from vertical)
• Equipment for strength determination under temperature and pressure -
Strength tests may be via crush tests or nondestructive testing (UCA or
equivalent)
• API settling test apparatus
• Constant speed mixer for slurry preparation
4. Where required, lab shall have a closed (capped) blender bowl for use on constant
speed mixer to allow for the atmospheric pressure testing of foamed cement slurries
as defined in ISO 10426-4:2004.
5. For projects having well temperatures below 70°F (21°C), the lab shall have a
circulating chiller and the capability to perform thickening time and strength testing
at temperatures below ambient.
6. All laboratory-cementing tests performed shall be run according to the latest
API/ISO standards unless otherwise specified. Deviations from these standards will
be allowed provided the test procedure has been approved by an ExxonMobil
representative in advance of the testing.
7. In the event no API/ISO or other appropriate standard exists for a particular testing
series, the test protocol will be outlined and approved prior to testing.
8. Use of previous laboratory data in lieu of actual testing must be approved by the
designated ExxonMobil representative on the project. The laboratory report must
clearly indicate the data has come from earlier testing.
9. Pilot tests normally utilize laboratory samples of cement and additives. These tests
shall utilize a current representative sample of cement and additives to be used on
the job.
10. The most meaningful tests to be performed will be those on the field sample. The
field blend is considered the cement and additives pumped on the job. Samples of
cement and additives taken from location shall be used for this test.
11. All wells to be cemented shall require a field blend test of both the lead and the tail
cement systems. Deviations from this requirement may be made only after approval
from the designated ExxonMobil representative on the project.
12. For all field blend tests, the actual water to be used at the rig shall be used for
testing.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 13 - 8


Operational Requirements/
Specifications for Cementing Services
13
13. In the event logistics do not allow for the sampling and testing of samples from the
rig site, samples from the bulk plant may be used provided the tests are
appropriately identified as using bulk plant samples.
14. For land operations, the bulk plant sample is considered the same as the field blend.
Every effort must be made to test these samples with water from the location.
15. The thickening time of the cement field blend shall have a thickening time of no less
than 30 minutes less, nor 60 minutes longer, than that shown on the laboratory pilot
test report.
16. All additives to be added to the cement on location (liquid additives, sack materials
to be dissolved in the mix water, etc.) shall be sampled and the sample identified by
lot number and other identifying mark.
17. If any additive is added to the mix water prior to mixing with cement (e.g., water and
additives are mixed prior to the job), samples shall be taken of the mix water and
additive(s), lot number(s), and concentration(s) identified.
18. Compatibility tests of any spacers with the drilling mud shall be performed. In the
event non-aqueous based drilling fluids are used on the well, additional testing of
the spacer and mud shall be required. This testing shall include, but not be limited
to, a thickening time test of a mixture of 50% mud and 50% spacer.
19. Compatibility tests of spacers and the cement slurry shall be performed.
20. The final lab results for the cement slurries to be used shall be sent to the rig and
communicated to the designated ExxonMobil representative.
21. The complete mixing procedure including order of addition of materials shall be sent
to the rig and communicated to all appropriate personnel.
22. Laboratory shall have capacity for 24-hour operations if required for testing.
23. Contractor shall have additional cement testing facilities available in the event of
laboratory overload. Samples of relevant cement and additives shall be maintained
at the back-up laboratory facility.
24. Contractor shall have a stock point with enough capacity and storage to cover the
operation.
25. Contractor shall provide sample boxes with containers and labels for cement, water,
and additives. Contractor Site Representative shall be responsible for sending
samples to the area laboratory for testing prior to each job, and catching samples
when bulk cement is delivered to the rig.
26. All samples taken from the rig are to be labeled with the sample name, source, lot
number if available, person taking sample, and date.
27. All drums, cans, and bags supplied shall be of sufficient quality to withstand
breakage during shipment to and from the rig. All equipment shall be pre-slung or in
containers before being shipped.
28. Contractor Site Representative shall ensure that all materials and equipment
necessary for the performance of the cement job are present at rig and are in good
working order. This responsibility shall include all equipment essential to the
cement job. Essential equipment includes, but is not limited to, the air system on

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 13 - 9


Operational Requirements/
Specifications for Cementing Services
13
the rig, the rig cement bulk system, and other associated third-party equipment as
required.
29. The final cement formulation shall be known by all affected personnel and
confirmation of all lab tests shall be made prior to all cement jobs. The Contractor
Site Representative shall confirm the formulation and know the proper additives and
the required volumes of cement and all additives are present at the rig.
30. A pressurized fluid density balance shall be used for density measurements on all
cement jobs, and shall be calibrated. The balance shall be calibrated and ready for
use before each cement job by the Contractor Site Representative.
31. A complete mixing and Quality Assurance (QA) procedure for each spacer to be
mixed shall be given to the mud engineer prior to the cement job by the Contractor
Site Representative.
32. Electronic data shall be recorded on the cement job. The minimum items to be
recorded are the downstream density, rate, and pressure. The Contractor Site
Representative shall send this data to the appropriate office for processing where
required. Martin Decker charts shall be properly documented and given to the
ExxonMobil representative at the rig.
33. The Contractor Site Representative shall be responsible for calibrating the pressure
gauges and chart recorder on the cement unit. Proper calibration shall be confirmed
prior to each cement job.
34. Contractor shall perform computerized cement job design and evaluation.
Prediction of job parameters such as friction pressures, U-tube effects, equivalent
circulating density calculations, flow regime determination, and wellhead pressures
are minimum requirements. Actual recorded data from location shall be used for
post-job evaluation.
35. Samples shall be taken using a one-inch sample valve placed in the flow stream of
the cement line.
36. All samples shall be retained for 30 days or until released by ExxonMobil.
37. Each Contractor Site Representative shall be experienced and capable of running
and operating all equipment provided by Contractor.
38. Any unused items returned by ExxonMobil in good condition will be credited to
ExxonMobil's account.
39. All bow-spring centralizers shall meet the specifications as outlined in the most
recent API Specification 10D/ISO 10427-1.
40. Float equipment shall have been tested as set out in API RP 10 F/ISO 10427-3 for
the required class of service noted.
41. Contractor shall provide evidence the cement meets the requirements of the API
specifications used on the project.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 13 - 10


Operational Requirements/
Specifications for Cementing Services
13
13.5.1. Additional Requirements For Offshore and Remote
Installations
1. A running list of the materials at the rig shall be kept current at all times by the
Contractor Site Representative. Volumes and names of all additives at the rig shall
be updated after each cement job, and after each material shipment to the rig. The
Contractor Site Representative shall assist ExxonMobil personnel in reporting the
amounts of materials used on the job and reconciling the final inventory.
2. Contractor shall maintain proper marking of all pallets and containers. All pallets
and materials shall be labeled and shall be checked after each shipment to the rig
by the Contractor Site Representative.
3. All shipments of chemicals (buckets and sacks) shall be palletized and shrink-
wrapped. All other equipment shall be palletized and/or pre-slung.
4. All cement heads shall have been pressure tested to the rated working pressure for
10 minutes before shipment to the rig. Each head shall be supplied with at least two
replacement 0-rings in the event the ring is damaged when stabbing the head.
Further, certification that the head has been tested is required and shall be attached
to the head. The certification document shall accompany the head to the rig
location. Certification can be a signed original chart of the pressure test. The chart
shall include when the head was tested, who performed the test, and where the test
took place.
5. Contractor shall develop a plan, acceptable to ExxonMobil, for optimizing the bulk
system and the transfer program for cement. The plan shall be completed no later
than 30 days prior to the first cementing operation at the rig.
6. Samples of cement shall be taken during the transfer of cement from the dock
facility to the boat(s) and from the boat(s) to the rig. Contractor Site Representative
shall collect the sample during the transfer from the boat to the rig. Contractor shall
be responsible for sample collection at the dock facilities.
7. Contractor Site Representative shall ensure the bulk delivery system for cement at
the rig is functioning properly and sufficient cement delivery rate is maintainable for
all cement jobs.
8. Contractor Site Representative shall ensure the bulk delivery system at the rig is
functioning properly and meets the requirements for the project.
9. The rig air shall be checked by the Contractor Site Representative for excessive
water at least twice a week and prior to any cement job.
10. Contractor confirms and ensures, prior to loading any vessel with bulk material
under Contractor’s control, the vessel tanks are clean and uncontaminated, which
will include visual inspection of the tanks. As a result of these visual inspections,
the vessel operator has the responsibility of opening, cleaning, sealing, and
pressure testing the vessel's tanks.
11. Contractor shall supply equipment in sufficient quantities to support the operation
inclusive of all appropriate back-up equipment to meet requirements.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 13 - 11


Operational Requirements/
Specifications for Cementing Services
13
13.6. PERSONNEL REQUIREMENTS FOR CEMENTING
SERVICES

1. Contractor Site Representative shall be capable of performing all pertinent duties.


2. Contractor Site Representative shall be fully trained and currently qualified for
his/her job in accordance with safety-related regulatory and industry standards.
Personnel present at the rig should be trained in H2S hazards and have a valid
certificate (less than one year old) for all locations having H2S potential.
3. Contractor Site Representative shall have all manuals, gauges, and equipment
required to adequately perform the Work to ExxonMobil’s satisfaction. In the event
Contractor Site Representative is unable to perform the duties adequately, or fails to
provide the proper equipment, Contractor shall replace Contractor Site
Representative, or remedy the situation to ExxonMobil’s satisfaction at the sole
expense of Contractor.
4. All Contractor laboratory personnel shall be fully trained in laboratory operations and
testing. Personnel shall be familiar with API/ISO testing requirements, standards,
and recommended practices as published in the latest editions of the API/ISO
Recommended Practices for testing cement.
5. Contractor engineering support personnel shall be experienced in cement design
and capable of performing computerized job design and evaluation using Contractor
computer programs.
6. Contractor shall provide cementing service management for the term of the
agreement. Project service management shall include the full management of
cementing services provided to ExxonMobil.

13.6.1. Additional Offshore and Remote Location


Requirements
1. Contractor personnel based more than six (6) hours flight time from the rig location
shall have a schedule organized to allow a minimum eight (8) hours rest prior to
starting work.
2. Contractor personnel based more than a six-hour time change from the point of
origin to the rig location shall have a schedule of work organized to allow a minimum
of 12-hours rest prior to starting work.
3. Contractor Site Representative shall certify the ability to mix and pump cement per
the requirements by pumping a maximum of 200 sacks of cement in a certification
test to be witnessed by appointed ExxonMobil personnel.
4. For cementing equipment utilizing automatic density control, Contractor Site
Representative shall perform the certification test with and without the aid of the
automatic computer-control system.
5. ExxonMobil will provide sufficient cement (200 sacks each, maximum of 800 sacks
total) for the certification of a maximum of four Contractor Site Representatives.
6. ExxonMobil will maintain documentation of the certification test at the rig.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 13 - 12


Operational Requirements/
Specifications for Cementing Services
13
7. Contractor shall have a certified Contractor Site Representative at the rig (or
immediately available where appropriate) at all times.
8. Contractor shall provide personnel required to deliver bulk cement to ExxonMobil’s
supply vessel to meet requirements as specified. Contractor shall have the
capability to deliver bulk cement as required by ExxonMobil.
9. Where required, Contractor shall provide two certified Site Representatives per rig,
working a rotational schedule. This would normally apply to locations where
personnel are housed at the rig, e.g., offshore locations.

13.7. SERVICE COORDINATOR RESPONSIBILITIES


1. The service coordinator is the primary contact between ExxonMobil and the service
company. This individual holds the responsibility for all activities and will serve as
the single point contact between the service company and ExxonMobil. The
representative must be familiar with all ExxonMobil requirements, and must remain
up to date on the progress of the particular well(s) being serviced by the service
company.
2. The service coordinator shall be responsible for coordination of all required services
including, but not limited to: engineering, equipment, materials, testing,
transportation, cementing services, quality assurance/quality control, Safety Health
& Environmental (SH&E), personnel and reporting requirements.
3. The service coordinator shall keep abreast of ExxonMobil operations and maintain a
smooth communications interface with ExxonMobil, other contractors and service
company personnel to ensure timely progress and proper application of the
services.
4. The service coordinator shall actively pursue all opportunities for continuous
improvement in the overall performance of the services provided.
5. The service coordinator shall propose the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs),
methods of measurement and performance review procedures to be used, including
pre- and post-job reviews.
6. Agreed recommendations for process improvements shall be implemented prior to
the next similar operation.
7. The service coordinator shall demonstrate the fitness-for-purpose of all materials
through appropriate certification and/or testing.
8. The proposal and acceptance of a quality plan shall not relieve the service company
of any of obligations and ensure the materials being used at the rig site meet the
design requirements.
9. The service company shall provide to ExxonMobil for approval an implementation
plan to ensure the quality of any materials. This shall include, but not be limited to:
all storage, shipping, delivery systems, and any other materials handling systems
(whether provided by the service company or otherwise).
10. The service coordinator shall assist with the design of all cement slurries with the
laboratory and operations.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 13 - 13


Operational Requirements/
Specifications for Cementing Services
13
11. The service coordinator shall remain current with project progress and anticipate
testing required for the well.
12. The service coordinator shall direct the design and testing of all cement slurries
based on the requirements of the well. This may require development of unique
testing for special applications.
13. The service coordinator shall ensure prompt end of job and end of well reporting.
14. The service coordinator shall ensure field personnel are informed of cement design
and pumping requirements.
15. All design results shall be reported to the appropriate drilling engineer by the service
coordinator.
16. The service coordinator shall assist with the resolution of any job problems and
coordinate service company participation.
17. The service coordinator shall assist with the introduction of new materials, services,
and technologies to the ExxonMobil drilling organization.
18. In the event of a job problem, the service coordinator shall be responsible for the
issuance of a failure analysis report.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 13 - 14


Section

Primary Cementing
Cementing Equipment

Scope

This Section broadly defines surface and downhole cementing equipment. It


includes descriptions of bulk handling equipment, mixing systems, float equipment
and centralizers.

Company Use Only


Cementing Equipment
14
Table of Contents
Figures ............................................................................................................... 4
Tables................................................................................................................. 5
ExxonMobil Requirements ............................................................................... 6
14. Cementing Equipment ............................................................................. 7
14.1. Required References ............................................................................ 7
14.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute.................................................................. 7
14.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization ..................................................... 7

14.2. General................................................................................................... 7
14.3. Surface Equipment ............................................................................... 8
14.3.1. Cement Bulk Blending, Transportation and Storage ...................................... 8
14.3.1.1. Blending.................................................................................................. 8
14.3.1.2. Bulk Cement Transfer - Cement Losses ............................................... 11
14.3.1.3. Bulk Cement Storage............................................................................ 11
14.3.1.4. Bagged Cement .................................................................................... 12
14.3.2. Cement Slurry Mixing .................................................................................. 13
14.3.2.1. Batch-Mixing Equipment ....................................................................... 13
14.3.2.2. Continuous-Mixing Equipment .............................................................. 14
14.3.3. Pump Systems ............................................................................................ 18
14.3.4. Density Measurement ................................................................................. 19
14.3.5. Data Recording ........................................................................................... 19
14.3.6. Inventory Control ......................................................................................... 20
14.3.7. Sampling ..................................................................................................... 20
14.3.8. Other Surface Cement Equipment............................................................... 20
14.3.8.1. Cement Plug Containers or Cement Heads .......................................... 20
14.3.8.2. Wiper Plugs .......................................................................................... 21
14.4. Subsurface Equipment ....................................................................... 22
14.4.1. Casing Centralizers and Stop Collars .......................................................... 22
14.4.1.1. Centralizer Performance Standards ...................................................... 22
14.4.1.2. Where to Use a Centralizer ................................................................... 22
14.4.1.3. Where Not to Use a Centralizer ............................................................ 23
14.4.1.4. Centralizer Type - Bow-Spring, Rigid or Solid ....................................... 23
14.4.1.5. Standoff ................................................................................................ 23
14.4.1.6. Flow Diversion ...................................................................................... 25

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14.4.1.7. Which Centralizer to Use ...................................................................... 25
14.4.1.8. Centralizers and Pipe Movement .......................................................... 26
14.4.1.9. Stop Collars .......................................................................................... 27
14.4.1.10. General Comments............................................................................ 27
14.4.2. Casing Float Equipment .............................................................................. 28
14.4.2.1. Float Equipment Performance Standards ............................................. 28
14.4.2.2. API/ISO Test Categories for Float Equipment ....................................... 28
14.4.3. Types of Float Equipment............................................................................ 30
14.4.3.1. Stab-In Equipment ................................................................................ 31
14.4.4. Stage Equipment......................................................................................... 32
14.4.4.1. Types of Stage Equipment.................................................................... 34
14.4.5. Design of Cement Slurries for Stage Jobs................................................... 34
14.4.6. Failure Modes ............................................................................................. 35
14.4.7. Example Equipment .................................................................................... 35

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Figures
Figure 14.1: Cement Bulk Plant..................................................................................... 9
Figure 14.2: Bulk Cement Transport............................................................................ 10
Figure 14.3: Typical Batch Mix Tank............................................................................ 14
Figure 14.4: Jet Mixer.................................................................................................. 15
Figure 14.5: Recirculating Mixer .................................................................................. 17
Figure 14.6: Typical Pump Efficiency Curve ................................................................ 18
Figure 14.7: Double-Plug Cement Head...................................................................... 21
Figure 14.8: Float Valve .............................................................................................. 30
Figure 14.9: Float Shoe & Float Collar......................................................................... 31
Figure 14.10: Stab-In Float Collar................................................................................ 32
Figure 14.11: Typical Stage Job .................................................................................. 33
Figure 14.12: Mechanical Stage Collar........................................................................ 36

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Tables
Table 14.1: Bulk Factors for Common Cement Systems ............................................. 12
Table 14.2: Standoff as a Function of Hole Size .......................................................... 24
Table 14.3: Categories of Flow Durability .................................................................... 28
Table 14.4: Categories of Flow Durability for Casing Fill-Up Equipment ...................... 29
Table 14.5: Categories of Static High-Temperature/High-Pressure Tests.................... 29

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ExxonMobil Requirements
Section # ExxonMobil Requirement

There are no ExxonMobil requirements in this Section.

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14. CEMENTING EQUIPMENT

14.1. REQUIRED REFERENCES


This Section lists Practices and Standards that are generically referenced and assumed
part of this document. Unless otherwise specified herein, use the latest edition.

14.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute


API Spec 10D Specification for Bow-Spring Casing Centralizers
API RP 10D Recommended Practice for Centralizer Placement and Stop
Collar Testing
API RP 10F Recommended Practice for Performance Testing of Cementing
Float Equipment

14.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization


ISO 10417-1 Casing Centralisers - Part 1: Specifications for Bow-Spring
Casing Centralisers
ISO 10427-2 Casing Centralisers - Part 2: Recommended Practice for
Centraliser Placement and Stop Collar Testing
ISO 10427-3 Petroleum and Natural Gas Industries - Performance Testing of
Cementing Float Equipment

14.2. GENERAL
Cementing equipment can be broadly defined as surface equipment (those items
devoted to mixing and pumping in the well), and subsurface equipment (those items
that attach to the casing and will remain in the well following the cement job). The
recommended surface equipment for performing a cement job consists of:
• Appropriately-sized bulk equipment with sufficient dry air for the entire operation
• Computer-aided mixing system (Automatic Density Control (ADC) or equivalent)
• Dual pump cement unit
• Double-plug cement head
• Pressurized mud balance
• Downstream recording densitometer
• Pressure recording through the entire job to include displacement

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14.3. SURFACE EQUIPMENT
Surface cement equipment consists of the equipment to blend the dry cement, mix and
pump the cement slurry into the well, launch plugs, and ultimately displace the cement.
It can also include the launching of various opening and closing plugs for stage
cementing, but these will be considered with the particular downhole tools.
Cement surface equipment must be considered as a system. It is not possible to mix a
quality cement slurry without good delivery of dry cement, mix water, and ultimately
density control. Mixing rates for the cement should be those rates that can achieve and
maintain the desired slurry density.
Only two variables can be controlled on location. While mixing, the density and rate can
be manipulated; and after the plug is dropped, the only controllable variable is the
displacement rate. After the cement enters the casing, it is too late to make any
changes to the slurry, and unless circulated out, that slurry will remain in the well
permanently.

14.3.1. Cement Bulk Blending, Transportation and


Storage

14.3.1.1. Blending
Located at the service company facility will be a bulk blending plant. This will consist of
storage silos and a batch blending tank or weigh batch blender. The weigh batch
blender will be on scales, and is used for dry blending additives into the cement.
Normally, these blending tanks are 350 - 450 cu ft, but are not completely filled to allow
for blending. One method of blending involves adding 1/2 of the cement, introducing
the additives, and then the remainder of the cement is added. A better and preferred
method is to take 1/3 of the cement, 1/2 of the additives, 1/3 of the cement, 1/2 of the
additives, then the remainder of the cement. This method has been shown to give
improved and more consistent cement blends.
Regardless of the blending method, the cement should be transferred a number of
times between an intermediate tank and the weigh batch blender (or the intermediate
tank and the bulk transport). This process of "boxing" or transferring the cement is
critical to quality cement mixing. The cement should be moved at least three (3)
times before going to location to ensure proper cement blending. Some systems
(Schlumberger's CRETE* blends for example) can require at least five (5) transfers to
ensure proper blending.
Figure 14.1 is a picture of a bulk plant. A bulk plant is used both to blend cement and
to confirm the volume of cement loaded. For locations where liquid additives are used,
while no bulk blending is occurring, the cement will still be run through the bulk plant to
confirm the number of sacks of cement being sent to the location. The only change is
multiple moves of the neat cement are not required.

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Figure 14.1: Cement Bulk Plant

Transportation (Bulk Equipment) - Dry cement is conveyed pneumatically with


compressed air to the mixing equipment. All bulk equipment will have some type of air
handling system, a method to fluff or aerate the bulk cement, and pressure relief valves
to prevent over pressurization of the tanks. Most of these systems operate at a
pressure of 40 - 80 psi.
While the actual tanks will vary, the basic design is the same for all cement transfer.
The cement is blown into a tank and transported to the location. The cement is then
blown by air through a 4-inch hose to the mixing unit. At the mixing unit, there will be a
surge can to eliminate most of the air in the system and reduce the pressure for mixing.
In land operations, directly into the mixing head on the cement unit.
Many of the mixing problems with cement jobs can be directly traced to problems with
the bulk system. Inadequate cement delivery can usually be traced to lack of sufficient
supply air, or too much pressure drop in the bulk lines. It may be necessary on
permanent installations to install additional air guns into the line to facilitate better
cement delivery.
Air - Volume and quality of the air used is critical to quality bulk cement delivery. The
air must be dry. The air tanks should be drained of any water prior to any cement job,
and should be checked at least once a week by the cement operator on all offshore
locations.
If there is a cement delivery problem, the quality and quantity of the air should be
checked. This will require using an air flow meter, not simply looking at the compressor
and writing down the compressor rating. Air compressors can change efficiencies with
time; thus confirming the air delivery must be done. Additionally, if possible the bulk

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lines should be inspected for cement build-up, which will reduce the flow area of the
line.
On land operations, where the service company delivers the bulk system for each job, it
is assumed the air system and bulk system are properly designed and maintained by
the service company.
Figure 14.2 is a typical bulk cement transport used on land operations. The two bulk
cans (or pods) in the front portion of the trailer are loaded with the cement and driven to
the location. The air compressor sits at the front of the truck directly behind the cab.
There may also be a tank at the back of the truck used as a surge can and dust
collector. This particular unit is a 400-cuft system and is a single unit. Bulk transports
are also available in 660-cuft units and are hauled by a separate tractor.
Because of load limits, field bin storage units are also used. These units have a 1,400-
cuft capacity; but if loaded, are too heavy to transport to the location. They are normally
spotted at the rig site, then filled from the smaller transport units. This allows for less
equipment on location during the actual cement job. Individual cement silos can also be
spotted on location, each holding approximately 1,100 cuft.
Offshore locations have permanently mounted tanks that range in size from 1,000 -
1,750 cuft. Depending on the rig, these tanks may be located next to the cement unit or
completely across the rig and several decks away. The closer the bulk system is to the
cement unit, the better the cement delivery, and the better control of cement mixing.

Figure 14.2: Bulk Cement Transport

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The same type of bulk equipment is used at all locations. The tanks are removed from
the trailer, put on a skid, and used for barge operations. The tanks can be mounted on
a boat and used as an offshore transport. Offshore rigs use permanently mounted
upright silos that function the same way as those shown in the figure.

14.3.1.2. Bulk Cement Transfer - Cement Losses


On land locations, the amount of cement delivered to the location is approximately what
was ordered for the job. Additional cement is loaded because of problems with
offloading the last 50 sacks from a bulk system. The last remaining sacks of cement in
a bulk system cannot be unloaded without large amounts of air coming with the cement.
This causes slugs of cement to be delivered to the cement unit, making density control
very difficult. Enough excess cement is brought to location to account for the delivery
limitations.
For offshore locations, there are multiple transfers of cement. The cement will be
transported from the bulk plant to a transfer boat, then again blown into the rig tanks.
Since the transfer does not require consistent delivery rates of cement, the tanks on the
boat can be blown down to near empty. The problem with offshore bulk material
transfer is the amount of dust created in the process, which results in losses in total
volume transferred. Often the tanks on the boat are not well maintained, and the
transfer process not closely monitored. Many operations have experienced as much as
a 15 - 20% loss in bulk material transfer. This is excessive, and for most operations,
the material loss should not exceed 10%. High-loss rates can be traced to failure to
empty boat tanks or overfilling rig tanks which leads to raw product being forced out the
vent lines.

14.3.1.3. Bulk Cement Storage


The volume quoted on a cement bulk tank will be the total volume available in the tank;
NOT the volume of cement that can be placed in the tank. Because cement is moved
by air, it requires some space to be able to aerate or fluff. Further, when filling the tank,
it is not possible to completely remove all of the air from the system. Because of this,
the volume of cement in a bulk tank is limited by the bulk volume factor of the cement.
For neat cement, the bulk loading factor is approximately 0.873. This means that in a
bulk tank with a capacity of 1,000 cuft, approximately 873 sacks of cement can be
placed in the tank. Cement additives will change this bulk loading factor. For example,
cement with 35% silica sand has a bulk loading factor of approximately 0.678. Over
time, the cement will settle in the tank and additional cement can be put on top of the
initial load. This works well for one extra "top off" of the tank, but excessive cement in
the tank prevents proper unloading.
Table 14.1 lists several common cement systems, the corresponding approximate bulk
factor, and the number of sacks that can be placed in typical bulk tanks. These figures
vary from one service company to another, but will be within 5%.

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Table 14.1: Bulk Factors for Common Cement Systems

# of Sacks to Fill Various Tank Sizes

Cement System Bulk 200 420 620 1050 1250


Factor

Neat Cement 0.873 175 367 541 917 1091


Cement + 35% Sand 0.678 136 285 420 712 848
Cement + 2% Gel 0.844 169 354 523 886 1055
Cement + 4% Gel 0.817 163 343 507 858 1021
Commercial Lightweight 0.670 134 281 415 704 838
50:50 Poz: Cement + 2% gel 0.712 142 299 441 747 890

Understanding bulk cement storage limitations aids in designing cement volumes for a
particular job. If the calculated cement job requires 2-1/2 bulk tanks of lead cement and
1/2 tank of tail, it may be better to redesign the amount of lead and tail cement allowing
for two tanks of lead and one tank of tail cement. Of course, this would depend on well
requirements and hydrostatics, but often the bulk system can be optimized simply by
changing the relative amounts of cement to be used.
Optimizing the use of the bulk system will improve the results of the cement job. The
operation will be simplified and the quality of the cement mixing improved.
For offshore operations, large jobs may require spotting additional cement bulk tanks on
the rig. When this is required, it is normally best to fill these tanks with lead cement,
and mix from these tanks first. This is due to the lower technical requirement of a lead
cement system, and if there is a mixing problem, normally the lead cement has a longer
thickening time, which could allow more time for problem resolution.

14.3.1.4. Bagged Cement


Cement may also be shipped and handled in sacks or "big bags." Sacked cement is
common in many remote areas that lack pneumatic truck transport. The sacks are cut
on location into bulk silos, and then the cement handling procedure mimics normal
operations. These operations require sufficient time to cut all the required sacks, and
require the sacked cement be properly stored.
An alternative to sacked cement is the use of big bags. These bags usually contain one
metric ton of cement (1,000 kg) and are common in many areas where cement is
shipped great distances. The big bags are easily transported and stored. Again,
storage should be in a protected environment to prevent moisture contamination. The
operations using big bags will normally have a large cutting area where the bag is lifted
with a forklift and set on a hopper that cuts the bag and the cement falls into a tank.
The tank is then closed and the cement moved pneumatically to a holding tank.
Big bag operations are much faster than dealing with sacked cement, but do require the
use of a forklift while loading the cement.

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14.3.2. Cement Slurry Mixing
There are several methods to mix the dry cement with the mix water. The methods fall
into two broad categories of batch mixing or continuous mixing. Batch mixing involves
mixing a large volume of cement prior to pumping it in the well. The density and other
properties of the slurry can be measured and confirmed prior to placement in the well.
Continuous mixing involves mixing cement "on the fly" and pumping it directly into the
well. This requires very good control of cement density while mixing.

14.3.2.1. Batch-Mixing Equipment


As the name suggests, batch-mixing equipment consists of a large tank and a mixing
device to mix a volume of cement. Most batch-mixing equipment consists of two tanks,
each having a 50-bbl capacity. The mix water is placed in the tank and dry cement
blown into the tank and mixed until the desired density is reached. The slurry is
continuously stirred with paddles, and is recirculated with a centrifugal pump. When the
cement is ready to be pumped in the well, the centrifugal pump will feed the triplex
pump on the cement unit. A batch mixer cannot pump a slurry into the well, as there
are no positive displacement pumps on the unit.

Some cement units have very large (± 25 bbl) recirculating tubs that allow for batch
mixing small volumes of cement. This is convenient for setting plugs and squeeze
operations.
Batch-mixing equipment is recommended for some critical cementing operations.
These include production liners, high-density slurries, and other high-risk operations. If
batch-mixing equipment is to be used for the cement job, the cement tests should be
modified to include the mixing time for the slurry. Normally, this is estimated at one
hour and simply involves stirring the cement for the mixing time prior to starting the
thickening time test (see Section, 3, Cement Testing).
Often a single-batch mixer will not be large enough to hold all of the required cement.
In these cases, one tank on the batch mixer can be filled with slurry, and as it is
emptied, additional slurry is mixed in the remaining tank. In this process, the batch
mixer is being used as an averaging tank. The large residence volume of slurry will
even out the swings in slurry density seen in continuous operations. The disadvantage
to this type of operation is if one tank has the wrong density, there is a large volume of
cement that must be dealt with before the correct density can be achieved.
A generic batch-mixing tank is shown in Figure 14.3. A typical unit has two 50-bbl
mixing tanks, an operator station in the middle, and the power system on the end. This
tank allows for mixing the dry cement with the mix water, recirculating the blend until the
cement is at the proper density, then discharging to the downhole pump unit. The
centrifugal pump on the unit is responsible for both mixing and transferring the cement
slurry to the downhole pump.

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Figure 14.3: Typical Batch Mix Tank

Dry Cement Prehydrator

Turbine Agitator

Baffles

Batch-Mixing Tank

Water
Inlet To Displacement Pumps

Centrifugal Recirculating
Pump Cement Suction

14.3.2.2. Continuous-Mixing Equipment


The majority of cement for oilfield applications is continuously mixed. The volume of
cement needed for most cement jobs is simply too large to batch mix, and the additional
time and equipment required to batch mix large cement jobs makes batch mixing
impractical.
Continuous-mixing equipment falls into three groups. The first is jet mixing, which is the
oldest method for mixing cement. The second group is recirculating mixing and has
evolved to the third group, computer-aided mixing. The only place where jet mixing is
still routinely used is Germany. Other locations use either recirculating mixers or the
newer compute-aided mixing.

14.3.2.2.1 Jet Mixer


Erle P. Halliburton invented the original jet mixer in 1920, and the design is still in use
after 80 years. The mixing rate is controlled by the volume of water forced through the
jet, and by the amount of cement fed into the hopper. This is a one-pass system,

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meaning there is no recirculation of the mixed cement, and control of the density can be
very difficult. When these systems are used, it is best to feed the cement into an
averaging or holding tank, and if possible recirculate a portion of the slurry back through
the jet mixer. Figure 14.4 is a schematic of a typical jet mixer.

Figure 14.4: Jet Mixer

Mixing Water
Surge Tank or (from the mixing manifold)
Atmospheric
Slurry
Tank
(to pump(s))

Butterfly Valve Additional


Water Suction Pipe
Sock

Dry Cement
Hopper Gooseneck
Grating
Water Jets
Slurry

Bowl

Mixing Water Slurry Tub

14.3.2.2.2 Recirculating Jet Mixer


The original, jet mixer design was a single-pass system where the finished product was
ejected out of the mixer and pumped into the well. This gave only one opportunity for
the cement to be mixed to the proper density. Advances in mixing led to a recirculating
jet mixer, where a portion of the mixed slurry could be added back into the mixing line
and additional cement added. This allowed for increasing the density of slurries that
had not been properly mixed. The system mixed the cement the same as in
Figure 14.4, but an additional recirculating line was added from the resident tank back
to the mixing line.

14.3.2.2.3 Recirculating Mixer


The majority of the cement mixed in the oilfield today uses some sort of recirculating
mixer. The next generation of mixers increased the amount of shear and mixing energy
at the cement head, and eliminated the use of the jet mixer. The newer cement heads
take cement directly from the surge can under pressure and feed the cement into the
mixing chamber. The water enters the head at high pressure and shear, and the

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cement mixing occurs. A small mixing chamber or premix side, typically 3 bbl, is used
to confirm the density and allow for air escape. The cement then falls over a weir into a
larger recirculating tub where it is homogenized to pump downhole. The size of the
larger tank will vary from 5 - 25 bbl.
Advantages of the recirculating mixer include better density control, and the ability to
mix cement at low rates. With a recirculating mixer, rates under 1 bpm are possible.
With a jet type mixer, very low mixing rates can lead to plugging the gun barrel, backup
of slurry into the dry cement, and plugging the mixing system.
Figure 14.5 is a schematic of a typical recirculating mixer. A key component of the
system is the use of a densitometer in the recirculating line. This allows the operator to
continuously monitor the density of the slurry in the tub, and make appropriate changes
prior to pumping downhole.

14.3.2.2.4 Automatic Density Control (ADC)


A major advance in cement mixing has been the introduction of computer-aided mixing.
During manual mixing, the operator must keep track of the density, rate, mix water, and
tub level. These multiple tasks can be very difficult to perform properly all of the time,
and can lead to large variations in cement density control. Adding the complexity of
inconsistent cement delivery, the job can become extremely challenging.
The ADC systems control cement mixing by measuring the density of the slurry in the
recirculating tub. If the density is too light, the gate valve on the cement line is opened
to allow for more cement. Conversely, too heavy of a slurry would see the valve being
closed on the cement line.
Most of the ADC systems are keyed to the mix water rate. This rate is maintained at a
constant value, and the density adjusted by changing the cement-input rate. This does
not relieve the cement operator from monitoring the system. If the bulk system does not
deliver cement to the unit, the ADC will not shut down pumping, and even with no
cement in the system, will pump mix water directly downhole. The operator must
monitor the system closely.
The best cement density and rate control available is with an ADC system that is
married to an excellent bulk cement system. The total package must work together for
optimum mixing.
For all ExxonMobil operations, the preferred mixing system is automatic density
controlled or computer-aided mixing.

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Figure 14.5: Recirculating Mixer

Bulk Cement

Cement Metering Valve

Mixing Water
Water Metering Valve
Slurry

Centrifugal
Recirculation
Pumps
Line

Mixing Tub
De-aeration
Partition
Slurry
(to pump(s))

14.3.2.2.5 Solids Fraction Monitor


Schlumberger has introduced a density and rate control mixing system called a solids
fraction monitor. The system consists of two flow meters and a tub level indicator. The
primary use of the system is for mixing cement systems below 10.0 lb/gal.
The system works by determining the input rate of water into the mixing tub. An
additional meter measures the slurry flow rate coming out of the system. The final
variable is the tub level, which determines the volume of slurry in the system. By
comparing the flow rate of the water into the tub with the slurry rate out of the unit, the
amount of cement added can be determined. The system depends on an accurate
blend of cement, consistent densities of mix water and accurate tub levels to work
properly.
The slurry fraction monitor is said to control the percentage of mix water to within +/-3%.
This level of control works well for lightweight slurries, but is not sufficiently accurate to
control the density of a slurry exceeding approximately 14.5 lb/gal.

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The use of a solids fraction monitor to control cement density is recommended only for
slurries containing specialty lightweight additives, mixed below 11.0 lb/gal.

14.3.3. Pump Systems


After the cement is mixed, it must be pumped downhole. This is the job of the positive
displacement pumps on the unit. There are single and dual pump cement units, with
one pump serving as a backup for the other on dual pump systems.
For ExxonMobil operations, the preferred pump unit is a dual-pump system. At some
locations, particularly small land operations, some service companies offer a single-
pump cement unit. These units may be acceptable for squeeze and plug operations,
but should not be routinely used for primary cementing operations.
Most cement pumps are equipped with a pump rated to 10,000 psi. The pressure rating
and pump output capacity depend on the fluid end (plunger size) and horsepower of the
pump. Most dual-pump units have two fluid ends, one with 4-inch plungers and one
with 4.5-inch plungers.
An approximation of the rate at pressure capabilities of a pump can be made if the
horsepower of the engine driving the pump is known.
rate( gpm) ∗ Pressure( psi )
Horsepower =
1714 ∗ Efficiency
For average cement pump skids, each pump is assumed to be driven by a 200-
horsepower engine with 95% efficiency. A typical pressure, rate graph is shown in
Figure 14.6.

Figure 14.6: Typical Pump Efficiency Curve

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14.3.4. Density Measurement
The principal objective of cement mixing is to mix the slurry at the designed density.
This assures a consistent slurry with the properties that were designed for the well.
Without good density control, the quality of a cement job is severely compromised.
Measuring density on location should always be performed under pressure. Because
cement is conveyed pneumatically, there will be entrained air in the system. The air
must be compressed to properly measure the density of the cement slurry. Differences
in atmospheric and pressurized density measurements average about 0.5 lb/gal, but
can be as high as 1 lb/gal in some systems.
The cement units will have a densitometer located in the recirculating line, and hopefully
one located in the discharge line to the well. The densitometer on the recirculating line
is used to measure the mixing density of the cement as it is mixed, while the
downstream unit is measuring the density of the slurry as it is being pumped in the well.
Both units are under pressure, with the recirculating densitometer being under
approximately 100 - 150 psi and the downstream unit at the circulating pressure of the
well.
The ExxonMobil standard is to calibrate the densitometer on location with a pressurized
mud balance that has been itself calibrated with water. Samples of the cement from the
mixing tub should be taken during the initial weight-up of the cement to confirm slurry
density and calibrate the densitometer. Periodic checks of the cement density should
be done throughout the job. An atmospheric mud balance should not be used to
measure cement density.

14.3.5. Data Recording


Modern cement units are equipped with recording equipment to record the density, rate,
and pressures during the cement job. The ExxonMobil standard requirement for data
recording on cementing operations is the density, rate, and pressure. This data is
critical to enable evaluation of the cement job in the event of a failure, or for future
improvements to the operation. The data should be collected on a 1-4 second interval,
with preference given to a 1 second recording.
A common problem with data recording on cement jobs is when the rig pumps are used
for displacement. The cement unit operator will record the mixing and pumping of the
cement. However, as soon as the displacement is turned over to the rig pumps, the
valve leading to the cement unit is closed, and no further data is collected. This is done
to allow cleaning of the unit. The cement operator should be instructed to leave the
valve open to the unit to allow for recording of pressures for the entire job. Switching
the valves on the unit will still allow for unit cleanup after the cement mixing, while still
recording the displacement pressures. On some locations, it may be necessary to add
an additional pressure transducer to record the entire job.
Recording the pressures for the entire cement job is an essential part of any job
report.
Additional data to be captured on location includes the density of all mixed fluids and
the downhole pump rate. Often the rates for liquid additives will also be recorded, but at
a minimum, the rate and density should be recorded.

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While not directly related to equipment, inventory control and sampling are an important
part of every cementing operation.

14.3.6. Inventory Control


Following the cement job, a full accounting of all materials should be made. This is
particularly important in offshore operations or operations where liquid additives have
been used. The volume of all additives and mix water should be compared to the
planned volumes.

14.3.7. Sampling
Samples of all cement blends, mix water, and additives should be collected and
retained until the cement job is considered a success. Samples of mix water should
include the mix water with any additives included. Individual samples of liquid additives
should be collected and retained. The service provider should provide appropriate
sample containers for all cement, additives, and mix fluids.

14.3.8. Other Surface Cement Equipment

14.3.8.1. Cement Plug Containers or Cement Heads


Most cement jobs will call for the use of a bottom and top cement plug. The bottom
plug is designed to separate the drilling fluid from the spacer or cement, The top
cement plug separates the cement from the displacement fluid and serves as a volume
indicator for displacement.
Operationally, when using a double-plug cement head, the plugs are launched by
opening a valve directly above the plug to force fluid above the plug and pump it into the
well. A common mistake is to fail to close the valve below the plug, which can allow for
fluid bypass below the plug. This will result in the plug leaving late. After assuring the
plug has dropped, all valves can be opened, but not during the dropping operation (see
also Section 16.2.4.4). Figure 14.7 illustrates the double-plug cement head.
There are three common methods used to determine if the top plug has left the cement
head. Some cement heads have a "flag sub" that will trip a lever and give a visual sign
the plug has moved past that point in the head. These devices are the least accurate
because the flag can be tripped without the plug leaving the head. High velocity fluid
bypassing the plug can trip the flag.
Commonly, a wire is attached to the top plug and the wire run through the top of the
cement head. When the plug leaves the head, the wire is pulled with the plug, thus
confirming the plug has left. This works very well, but the wire must be long enough to
see regardless of the location of the head relative to the drill floor. If the wire detaches
from the plug, the assumption can be made that the plug is still in the head.

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Figure 14.7: Double-Plug Cement Head

Lifting Ring

Hex Plug and Cap

Valve Ball Assembly with Lock Bolts

Bull Plug

Connection to Casing
Flow Line to Cement Units

A final method of determining if the top plug has left the head is through the use of a
radioactive tag placed in the top plug. The radioactive tag can be easily tracked with a
sensor and if the plug hangs up in the cement head, it is easily identified by the sensor.
This is the most reliable method of assuring a cement plug has left the head, though it
does require handling radioactive tags. (Note these tags have a very low level of
radioactivity and do not pose a health problem if handled properly.)

14.3.8.2. Wiper Plugs


Wiper plugs are used to separate the cement and mud both in front of the cement and
behind. On liner jobs, the plugs are loaded into the running tool on the liner, and a drill
pipe wiper dart is used to clean the drill pipe. The dart then latches into the casing plug
and the liner is then cleaned of cement.
It is critical to determine that the dimensions of the plugs, darts and related
equipment are compatible and will work with all of the equipment in the well.
There are several failures due to simply not checking that all of the parts (plugs,
heads and darts) will fit together properly.

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Most cement jobs strive to "bump the plug," which means displacing the top cement
plug to the float collar. The success or failure of a cement job is not measured by
the presence or absence of a plug bump, but it is always reported. Failure to
bump the top plug can result in the need to drill out excessive cement from the casing.

14.4. SUBSURFACE EQUIPMENT


For the purposes of this Section, any piece of equipment that is either attached to the
outside of the casing, or is integral in the casing string (screwed in between two or more
joints of casing) is considered subsurface equipment. This includes centralizers, stop
collars, scratchers and wall cleaners, float equipment, and stage collars. The cement
plugs are integral to the float equipment and are included in the discussion of float
equipment.
This Section does not cover downhole equipment used during remedial operations,
which will be covered in a future manual on remedial cementing.

14.4.1. Casing Centralizers and Stop Collars

14.4.1.1. Centralizer Performance Standards


When using a bow-spring centralizer, the ExxonMobil standard is to utilize a centralizer
that meets the requirements of API Spec 10D, Bow-Spring Casing Centralizers, or the
equivalent ISO 10427-1-2001.
The specification is only for bow-spring centralizers. There are no API or ISO
requirements for rigid or solid centralizers. This does not preclude the use of solid or
rigid centralizers, but the user must be aware there are no industry standards for these
types.
The specification for bow-spring centralizers dictates the minimum requirements for a
centralizer under a specific set of load conditions. There is also a recommended
practice for centralizer placement and stop collar testing, API RP10D (ISO 10427-2).
This recommended practice contains calculations for centralizer placement and test
procedures for evaluating the holding force of stop collars. Centralizer placement is not
part of the API specification for centralizer performance, but simply one recommended
method of calculating standoff, casing sag, and ultimately centralizer placement.

14.4.1.2. Where to Use a Centralizer


1. Centralize where isolation is required: It is important to establish why the pipe is
being centralized. The focus areas should be those requiring zonal isolation.
Centralizers will help obtain that isolation. For long sections of unproductive
interval, with no requirement for isolation, the need for centralization is reduced from
a cementing standpoint. However, this does not eliminate the need for
centralization from a casing running standpoint.
2. Centralize at the shoe: This will improve the chances of a successful shoe test and
isolation at the shoe.

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3. Centralize pipe in pipe: Centralization is generally required at the liner hanger or
other equipment. For tie back strings, centralization is generally not critical.
Calculations of drag depend on surface area in contact with the rock. Calculations
show running centralizers in a horizontal well may require a higher running force in part
due to the restoring force on some centralizers. Solid centralizers do not have a
restoring force and will calculate a lower running force. Running centralizers in a well
with productive intervals open will reduce the contact area subject to differential
sticking, thus making running the casing easier. The user must be very careful to
evaluate the drag calculations being used and the impact of permeable formations.

14.4.1.3. Where Not to Use a Centralizer


1. Be very careful putting centralizers at the top of a casing string, especially rigid
centralizers near a wellhead. If the casing needs to be moved slightly to
accommodate a hanger or wellhead, and a centralizer is keeping it in one place, the
process can become very difficult.
2. Very tight clearances pose unique problems. There may simply not be enough
room for centralization. This may be due to the centralizer itself or the tolerances of
the stop collar.

14.4.1.4. Centralizer Type - Bow-Spring, Rigid or Solid


1. A bow spring is a centralizer with flexible bows that can move in and out. There
are several types available. The tandem-rise type tends to give high restoring
forces with lower running force.
2. Rigid and solid centralizers have a fixed OD and do not have flexible bows. The
difference is all solid centralizers are rigid, but not all rigid centralizers are solid.
The solid centralizer will be a solid piece of material, made of aluminum, steel, high-
impact plastic or other material. A rigid centralizer will be a solid metal band
attached to end rings. The interior of the centralizer will be open.
Weatherford Gemoco manufactures a rigid centralizer with collapsible bows called a
Spiral Glider. The advantage of these centralizers is if the pipe gets into a sufficient
bind, a load of approximately 17,000 pounds will collapse the bow. This is a complete
collapse and the centralizer will no longer be able to provide standoff, but will not bind
the pipe.

14.4.1.5. Standoff
There is no such thing as an API recommended standoff. It is common to quote that
API recommends 67% standoff ratio. The API makes no recommendation as to the
amount of standoff required. The source of the 67% number is for performing a
centralizer specification test. At a 67% standoff, the centralizer has to show a particular
amount of force.
1. For most applications, 80% standoff (when isolation is needed) will give good
cementing results. Above 80%, the incremental gain can become very expensive.
Lower standoff may be acceptable if there is sufficient distance above and below the
area requiring isolation. If isolation is required within a 100 - 200 ft interval, higher

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standoff will be required. If isolation is only required within a 500-ft or greater
interval, lower standoff will probably be sufficient.
2. In the calculation of standoff, there can be different values if the standoff is
calculated at the centralizer or at the sag of the casing. It is recommend the sag of
the casing be taken into account in the equation.
3. The standoff calculations assume a particular hole size, and wash out will effect the
results. Better centralization is obtained from a bow spring in a washout zone than
with a solid or rigid type simply because of the presence of the bow.
4. Casing standoff with rigid centralizers is evaluated at the centralizer. Calculation at
the sag of the casing between the centralizers is more difficult, as it requires the
calculation of the lateral movement of the casing. Table 14.2 evaluates standoff of
a rigid centralizer at the centralizer body for a particular pipe and hole configuration.
Note the standoff at the sag of the casing will be worse than that calculated at the
centralizer. The standoff is calculated by the equation:
IDHole − ODcasing
Annular Clearance =
2
Actual Standoff
Standoff Ratio =
Annular Clearance
Casing: 7"
Centralizer OD: 8.25" (from Manufacturing Catalog)
Open Hole: 8.5"
For this situation, the annular clearance for perfectly centered casing is 0.75 inch. The
centralizer is 0.25 inches smaller than the open hole, and will therefore be offset by
0.25 inch of the difference, or .125 inch on each side. This makes the standoff for this
centralizer:
0.75 − 0.125
Standoff Ratio = = 0.83
0.75

Table 14.2: Standoff as a Function of Hole Size

Hole ID Annular Clearance (in) % Standoff

8.5 0.75 83
8.75 0.875 71
9 1 63
9.5 1.25 50
10 1.5 42
10.5 1.75 36

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As is seen in this table, as the hole size increases, the standoff at the centralizer
becomes worse very quickly. It is apparent solid, rigid centralizers should not be used
in holes that are washed out or have any hole enlargement.

14.4.1.6. Flow Diversion


1. Many centralizers incorporate some sort of flow diversion either through angling the
blades in some particular direction, or incorporating some other type of flow
diversion. Considerable full-scale testing has been done to determine the
effectiveness of these devices; the data indicates the flow diverts for approximately
1 - 2 times the length of the centralizer. Therefore, with a 3-foot long centralizer,
expect a maximum of 6 feet of flow diversion. To get more diversion would require
large pressure drops across the centralizer that would lead to lost circulation or the
inability to circulate the well.
2. Many demonstrations of flow diversion or swirl enhancement tools use water or
other very low viscosity fluids to demonstrate flow diversion. Viscous fluids like
cement do not react like these low viscosity fluids and will not continue the swirling
action, as noted in the full scale tests.
3. If a flow diversion centralizer can be obtained at no additional cost, then the
potential gain from the flow diversion may be appropriate.
4. Flow diversion centralizers can have application where only short intervals require
isolation. This can be true in overlap areas of liners and between production
intervals that are closely spaced.
5. Coupled with pipe reciprocation, flow diversion centralizers can also aid in mud
removal. This is due to the "full wellbore" coverage of the vanes on the centralizer
effectively wiping the entire wellbore face.
6. If there is any wash out, or excessive decentralization of the casing, flow diversion
will be severely compromised. The cement will simply take the path of least
resistance, typically on the wide side of the annulus, away from the flow diversion
area.

14.4.1.7. Which Centralizer to Use


1. Depending on the well, and the location within the well, there may be applications
for both bow-spring and rigid centralizers. Bow-spring centralizers work well in
almost any application where the side loading force can be overcome by the force of
the centralizer bow. Areas where this is usually not the case is in the build or drop
section of the well. In these areas, the side load is so high, a bow-spring centralizer
cannot be used. The main marketing area for solid centralizers has been in
horizontal wells. Every salesman has pointed out that he has been on location
where the bow-spring centralizer has already been put on the pipe and it is
completely flattened. If this is actually the case, the centralizer cannot meet the API
specifications, because the bow must hold up the medium weight of a joint of the
casing for which it was designed. Using a bow-spring centralizer in any well, even
horizontal is not a problem. It is the side load calculation that is important.

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2. It is not possible to ever get 100% standoff with any rigid or solid centralizer. The
centralizer must be smaller than the hole it is going into, and therefore cannot give
complete centralization. In most drilling situations, the smallest portion the
centralizer must pass is the previous casing string, and once in the open hole, the
hole OD increases due to wash out, and should be considered when calculating
stand off. The rigid or solid centralizers will not give as good a standoff as a bow-
spring in these situations. This assumes the side loads are within the limits of the
bow-spring centralizer.
3. Suppliers of solid centralizers often use a marketing fear factor to sell their product.
It is commonly questioned or stated that they have seen a number of centralizers fall
or come apart in the well, causing severe casing running problems, failed casing
running, damage to wellheads, etc. Given enough force, anything can be broken
and bow-spring centralizers can fail. This is very rare and literally thousands of
wells have been successfully cemented with bow-spring centralizers.
4. Suppliers of bow-spring centralizers point to stiffening of the casing by the rigid
centralizer and sticking the pipe because the centralizer plows into the formation.
They point to cases where the casing hung up on the centralizer due to a wellbore
restriction. There are undoubtedly cases where this has occurred, but like bow-
spring centralizers, the vast majority of the wells cemented with rigid or solid
centralizers have worked as expected.
5. With respect to solid centralizers, there is conflicting marketing information on the
use of aluminum, steel, zinc, plastic, etc. There are differences in drag depending
on the friction factor employed. Included with the friction factor is data on wear of
the various materials. Aluminum appears to suffer the most wear, with steel
showing the least, though the data sets are too small to make any conclusions.
6. Small steel centralizers less than 18 inches in length can offer the least desirable
situation. The area of the fin is half or less than half of the larger centralizers, which
increases the point load.
7. Another marketing technique of the solid centralizers is the need to overcome the
starting and running force of the bow spring. It is definitely true if too many bow-
spring centralizers are run on the casing, the casing must be pushed into the well.
The running force numbers should be available for all of these centralizers and the
calculations from the service company will help in determining these numbers.

14.4.1.8. Centralizers and Pipe Movement


Pipe movement can greatly enhance cementing success, particularly in tight annular
clearances. For liner applications, pipe rotation is preferred over reciprocation as it
allows setting the liner hanger prior to beginning the cement job.
Depending on the type of pipe movement planned, centralizer selection can become
important. For casing strings in deviated wells that are to be rotated, a rigid or solid
centralizer is preferred. In highly deviated wells, torque can be excessive. This can be
reduced by using roller type centralizers. These centralizers have been shown to
reduce the effective torque by as much as 67%.
In straight or low angle wells where the pipe is to be reciprocated, bow-spring
centralizers are preferred.

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If rotation is not employed in the drilling plan, consideration should be given to
centralizers that provide 360° coverage around the casing. These centralizers will have
some type of flow diversion. By using full wellbore coverage, the reciprocation action
will still result in moving mud over the entire annulus. Without this coverage,
reciprocation alone may not get mud moving on the narrow side of the annulus.

14.4.1.9. Stop Collars


A majority of failures of centralizers can be traced directly to a failure of the stop collar.
Failure of the collar to hold the centralizer in place can result in bunching up of the
centralizer, or allowing the centralizer to be pushed into the hole rather than pulled into
the hole.
There are a number of stop collars or holding devices on the market, and are available
either as separate items or integral to the centralizer. The most common types and
limitations:
• Friction type devices - Held in place with a nail or other similar device; these
may be available in either slip on (solid ring) or hinge type. These devices will
cause the least amount of damage to the casing, but offer the lowest holding
force (generally less than 10,000 lbs).
• Set screw type - Held in place with set screws tightened against the casing;
generally, only sold as slip on type. This type will result in some minor casing
damage due to contact with the casing. Require the screws be properly
tightened, which is often a problem on location. Quite often, one screw is
tightened completely before engaging the opposite screw. This places the stop
collar off center and will reduce the holding force. Holding force for these type
devices will be 15,000 - 25,000, depending on the number of screws and casing
grade.
• Dogs or other slip type devices - Only available as a slip on device. These
devices offer the highest resistance to movement. They employ a slip type
holding device, and have a holding force up to 50,000 lbs. The OD of the stop
collar will be higher to accommodate the slip area, so they may not have
application in slim hole wells.
• It is recommended that consideration be given to the drag forces that will be
applied to the centralizer. These calculations are readily available from the
centralizer company.

14.4.1.10. General Comments


1. Do not run a solid or rigid centralizer in the open hole of a vertical hole.
2. Do not place a solid or rigid centralizer in close proximity to the wellhead area.
3. There is no such thing as API standoff.
4. Bow springs work very well if the side loads imposed by the casing are within the
operating envelope of the centralizer.
5. Do not buy a particular centralizer based on fear of failure of another type. Select
the centralizer based on required performance in the well.

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6. Flow diversion is fine but do not pay extra for it.
7. If rotation cannot be employed in the casing movement, consideration should be
given to running centralizers that have 360º coverage of the wellbore.
8. There is application for each type of centralizer, often within the same well. It
depends on the side loads, stiffness of the assembly, point loads, etc.
9. Do not purchase a particular centralizer based on "marketing hype." Each
centralizer has its merits and limitations and the selection should be made using
engineering judgment, not marketing.
10. For long, extended-reach casing strings that are to be rotated, roller-type
centralizers provide the best reduction in torque over conventional centralizers.

14.4.2. Casing Float Equipment

14.4.2.1. Float Equipment Performance Standards


The ExxonMobil standard is to utilize casing float equipment that has been
manufactured and tested per the API Recommended Practice, API RP10F, or the
equivalent ISO 18165-2001. Both of these standards refer to a recommended practice.
There is no API specification for casing float equipment.
The recommended practice divides float equipment into service categories depending
on the severity of the application. The equipment used in a well need only meet those
requirements that are expected for the particular application.

14.4.2.2. API/ISO Test Categories for Float Equipment


The standard API/ISO nomenclature for float equipment identifies equipment based on
flow durability and temperature application. Flow is performed in the forward direction,
and the sealing ability of the float valve checked by back-flowing the fluid. This
determines the ability of the float valve to withstand erosion and remain capable of
sealing the well at the end of the cement job. These categories are tested without the
use of any cementing plugs.
The tables outlining the test categories from the API follow:

Table 14.3: Categories of Flow Durability

Category Flow Durationa Max. Sealing Pressureb


(Hours) (psi/kPa)

I 8 1500 (10,300)

II 12 3000 (20,700)

III 24 5000 (34,500)

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a 3
Circulation rate is 10 bbl/min (1.6m /min) for float equipment larger than 3-1/2 inch
3
(88.9 mm) and 6 bbl/min (1.0 m /min) for 3-1/2 inch (88.9 mm) and smaller float
equipment
b
The maximum test pressure should be the lesser of the values shown or 80% of the
manufacturer's rated burst or collapse pressure for the float equipment casing,
whichever is applicable.

Table 14.4: Categories of Flow Durability for Casing Fill-Up


Equipment

Category Flow Duration (Hours) Max. Pressurec


(PSI/kPa)
Reversea Forwardb

I 2 8 1500 (10,300)

II 4 12 3000 (20,700)

III 6 24 5000 (34,500)


a 3
Circulation rate for all categories is 3 bbl/min (0.5m /min)
b 3
Circulation rate is 10 bbl/min (1.6m /min) for float equipment larger than 3-1/2 inch
3
(88.9 mm) and 6 bbl/min (1.0 m /min) for 3-1/2 inch (88.9 mm) and smaller float
equipment
c
The maximum test pressure should be the lesser of the values shown or 80% of the
manufacturer's rated burst or collapse pressure for the float equipment casing,
whichever is applicable.

Table 14.5: Categories of Static High-Temperature/High-


Pressure Tests

Category Temperaturea ºF (ºC) Max. Sealing Pressureb


(psi/kPa)

A 200 (93) 1500 (10,300)

B 300 (149) 3000 (20,700)

C 400 (204) 5000 (34,500)


a
Duration at temperature is eight (8) hours for all categories.
b
The maximum test pressure should be the lesser of the values shown or 80% of the
manufacturer's rated burst or collapse pressure for the float equipment casing,
whichever is applicable.

Float equipment will be designated as III-C or I-B, depending on how it has been tested.
Generally, larger casing sizes are not tested to III-C requirements, as they will not be
used under these extreme conditions.

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If very long circulation times are anticipated, it is recommended a higher grade of float
equipment be used. In many cases, the change may be accomplished by simply
changing the type of valve used in the equipment.
Care must be taken in critical applications to be assured the float equipment, and not
just the valve, have been tested to the reported category.

14.4.3. Types of Float Equipment


The two main categories of float equipment are float collars and float shoes. Both
pieces of equipment have some type of check valve. The float collar has threads on
each end and is placed between two joints of pipe. The float shoe is placed on the end
of the casing string, and is the first thing in the hole. Figure 14.8 is a typical spring-
loaded valve. The fluid flow is from the top down, and as the fluid moves through the
valve, the spring is depressed, allowing fluid flow. When the fluid flow stops, the spring
returns the valve to the closed position, preventing back flow.

Figure 14.8: Float Valve

Courtesy of Weatherford Gemoco

Other types of float valves include flapper or ball type. These valves depend on the
fluid flowing back up into the casing, to keep the valve closed. These types of valves
are not recommended for high-angle or horizontal wells because the valve may not
close properly.
Figure 14.9 shows a typical float shoe on the left. The valve has been pre-cemented
into the casing, and the end threaded to allow screwing it onto the casing string. The
shoe has a rounded nose to ease running into the well.
Figure 14.9 also shows a typical float collar. Much like the float shoe, the same valve is
pre-cemented in place, but in this case, the equipment has been threaded on each end
to allow for placement within the casing string.
The distance from the float shoe to the float collar is typically two to four joints of pipe
(80 - 160 ft). This area is called the shoe track. At least one joint of casing should

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separate the float collar and float shoe. The reduced ID of the valve in the float collar
will accelerate the fluids flowing through it. Depending on the design, the jetting action
immediately below the valve can wash out the valve on the float shoe if the two pieces
of equipment are screwed directly into each other. There are double float cement
shoes that have two valve systems in one shoe if required.
Both a float collar and float shoe are typically run for several reasons. The use of a float
collar reduces the risk of over-displacement and a wet shoe. If only a float shoe was
used, any mud pushed ahead of the top plug would contaminate the area around the
shoe.
By using both a float shoe and float collar, there is also redundancy in the float valves,
greatly reducing the chance of failure. If the floats do not hold, it is necessary to hold
pressure on the casing until the cement sets to prevent the cement from U-tubing back
up the casing. When this pressure is released, a microannulus can form, potentially
eliminating isolation in the well.

Figure 14.9: Float Shoe & Float Collar

Float Shoe Float Collar

Courtesy of Weatherford Gemoco

14.4.3.1. Stab-In Equipment


On large casing jobs 20 inches and greater, the displacement volume can be excessive,
requiring considerable changes to the cement system to compensate for the long
displacement time. For these jobs, the float equipment can be modified to allow the drill

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pipe to be stabbed into the top of the collar. This allows displacement down the drill
pipe, greatly reducing the displacement volumes and the likelihood of cement
contamination. Figure 14.10 illustrates a stab-in type float collar. The drill pipe is
threaded into the top of the collar prior to the cement job. At the end of the job, the drill
pipe is removed, and the casing circulated inside.

Figure 14.10: Stab-In Float Collar

Courtesy of Weatherford Gemoco

When performing a stab-in job, care must be exercised to calculate the collapse loads
on the pipe. As cement is brought up the annulus, the casing x drill pipe annulus is not
exposed to pressure and will experience a collapse load. It may be necessary to fill the
casing with weighted mud to prevent excessive collapse loads during a stab-in cement
job. As a precaution, after stabbing into the collar, the drill pipe x casing annulus should
be filled and monitored to detect any leaks in the stinger seals.

14.4.4. Stage Equipment


Stage cementing equipment allows a wellbore to be broken up into multiple sections to
allow each section to be cemented individually. This equipment is most often used in
wells where it is not possible to perform a single cement job due to lost circulation and
low fracture gradients. Stage cementing was used extensively before the development
of quality foamed cements or specialty ultra, lightweight cement additives. It is a low
cost, often lower risk alternative to specialty cementing.

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Figure 14.11 is an illustration of a stage cement job. The first stage is pumped
conventionally followed by a wiper plug. After the first stage plug bumps, the stage
collar is opened by either pressure, as in the case of hydraulic equipment, or via a
"bomb" dropped from surface. The bomb seats in the stage collar and pressure is
applied to open the tool.

Figure 14.11: Typical Stage Job

Centralizer Opening Closing


Bomb Plug

Stage
Collar

Cementing
Basket

First-Stage
Plug
Float
Collar

Shoe

First Dropping Second Tool


Stage Opening Stage Closed
Bomb

With the tool open, the well can now be circulated from the stage collar up, effectively
isolating the bottom portion of the well. The second stage is then performed, and the
closing plug pumped behind the cement job. When this plug lands, pressure is applied
to close the stage collar. After the cement sets, the stage collar is drilled out and
operations continued.
If necessary, more than one stage collar can be run in a single well. Generally, the
bottom tool will be a hydraulic opening tool, with the upper collar being mechanical.
Running more than one hydraulic tool in a single casing string is not recommended.

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14.4.4.1. Types of Stage Equipment
There are two classes of stage collars, hydraulic and mechanical. The difference in the
two is in the opening mechanism for the tool. Both collars require bumping a plug to be
closed.

14.4.4.1.1 Hydraulic Opening Tools


Hydraulic stage collars operate by the application of differential pressure across the tool
to open. The advantage of these tools is that there is no time required waiting for a
bomb to be dropped from surface, then fall to the tool. These tools are normally used
deeper in the well where waiting on the bomb drop could be excessive, or in highly
deviated wells where the bomb would not fall to the tool.
Care must be exercised when running these tools. The main failure mode of a
hydraulic stage collar is premature opening due to pressure surges while running in the
hole or during circulation.

14.4.4.1.2 Mechanical Opening Tools


Mechanical stage collars require dropping an opening "bomb" that seats in a landing
profile. Pressure is then applied to the bomb and the tool opens. Alternately, drill pipe
can be run in the casing and the tool shifted to the open position. These tools are
commonly used as the upper stage tool in wells where more than one stage collar is
used, or in low deviation wells.

14.4.5. Design of Cement Slurries for Stage Jobs


When designing the cement slurries for use in stage jobs, the primary concern will be
the development of strength at the stage collar. This will be particularly important in the
design of the first stage cement system. The design needs to take into consideration
the time required for the cement at the stage collar to set. This will allow performing the
second stage cement job without concern of lost returns below the collar.
The lead cement for the first stage should be tested by preconditioning the cement at
the bottomhole circulating temperature, then allowing the cement to set at the
temperature found at the stage collar, similar to a liner top. The time required for the
cement to gain 100 psi strength should be determined. After this time has elapsed, the
second stage job can be performed.
Additionally, if a mechanical stage collar is being run, the gel strength of the lead slurry
for the first stage should be checked to ensure excess cement can be circulated out of
the well after the tool is opened.
While not required, often there is a small amount of tail cement placed at the stage
collar on the second stage to place high-strength cement at the collar.

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Cementing Equipment
14
14.4.6. Failure Modes
Stage equipment is subject to three mechanical failures: premature opening, failure to
open, and failure to close. Hydraulic tools are more prone to premature opening than
mechanical tools. Care must be taken with these tools when running into the well and
circulating prior to cementing. As differential pressure opens the tool, if at any time
during the running in and circulating process, differential pressure exceeds that required
to open the tool, the tool will open and circulation to the bottom of the well will be lost.
If the stage collar is set in a dogleg, or is otherwise subject to lateral loads, it may be
difficult to open the tool. If this occurs, pulling some tension on the casing string may
relieve enough of the load to allow the tool to function properly.
Failure of the tool to close properly is generally caused by lack of sufficient closing
pressure. The tool will close due to differential pressure, thus the differences in
hydrostatics from the annulus to the inside of the casing must be added to the required
closing pressure to properly close the tool. Additionally, gel strength of the mud can
effect the transmission of the pressure. This can be readily overcome by simply
pressuring the tool to at least 500 psi over the recommended closing pressure.
If the tool does not close, most of the stage collars can be closed with the drill string.
On drill out, weight set down on the closing plug will cause the tool to shift to the closed
position. This requires sufficient weight be placed on the plug to close the tool. This
can be readily done by simply running in the hole to the stage collar and setting down
weight on the tool prior to beginning the drill out.
Another failure mode for stage cementing is the inability to circulate the well after
opening the stage collar. This is generally caused by excess cement being placed on
top of the stage collar, and the cement either setting up or generating sufficiently high
gel strengths to prevent circulation.

14.4.7. Example Equipment


Figure 14.12 illustrates the function of a typical mechanical stage collar. The left
picture demonstrates the tool as it is being run in the hole in the closed position. Note
the ports in the side of the tool are closed (at the bottom of the blue inner sleeve).
After pumping the first stage, an opening bomb is dropped which seats in the tool
allowing pressure to be applied, which shifts a sleeve (shown in blue) and opens the
ports in the tool. At this point, there is now a flow path through the open ports. The
opening bomb also acts as a barrier and no fluid can be pumped past the bomb to the
bottom of the well. Following the opening of the tool, the well is circulated for the
second stage.
At the end of the second stage, the cement is followed by the closing plug, which lands
in the top of the tool. The closing plug acts the same as a top plug on a conventional
cement job, with the exception that the nose fits into a profile on the stage collar.
When the plug lands, pressure is applied to again shift the sleeve, closing the ports on
the tool. The system is now closed. Note to close the tool, the plug must bump. If this
does not occur, the tool must be closed by running drill pipe down and pushing the plug
and sleeve to the closed position.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 14 - 35


Cementing Equipment
14
To continue well operations, the plugs and internal workings of the stage tool are drilled
out. The closing sleeve remains and provides the long-term seal to the casing.

Figure 14.12: Mechanical Stage Collar

Port Port Port


Closed Open Closed

Courtesy Weatherford Gemoco

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 14 - 36


Section

Primary Cementing
Design Checklist

Scope

This Section lists items for consideration in cement design. Not all items will be
applicable to all jobs or all wells.

Company Use Only


Design Checklist
15
Table of Contents
Tables................................................................................................................. 3
ExxonMobil Requirements ............................................................................... 4
15. Design Checklist ...................................................................................... 5
15.1. Required References ............................................................................ 5
15.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute.................................................................. 5
15.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization ..................................................... 5

15.2. Planning ................................................................................................. 5


15.2.1. Regulatory Compliance ................................................................................. 5
15.2.2. Field History .................................................................................................. 6
15.2.3. Drilling History ............................................................................................... 6
15.2.4. Formation Properties..................................................................................... 7
15.2.5. Well Architecture ........................................................................................... 7
15.2.5.1. Well Location .......................................................................................... 7
15.2.5.2. Well Profile.............................................................................................. 8
15.2.5.3. Casing to be Cemented .......................................................................... 8
15.2.5.4. Previous Casings .................................................................................... 9
15.2.5.5. Other Considerations .............................................................................. 9
15.2.6. Future Operations ....................................................................................... 10

15.3. Cementing Design............................................................................... 10


15.3.1. Purpose of the Job ...................................................................................... 10
15.3.2. Cement Excess ........................................................................................... 10

15.4. Material Design.................................................................................... 10


15.4.1. Spacers....................................................................................................... 10
15.4.2. Cement Design ........................................................................................... 11

15.5. Cement Evaluation .............................................................................. 11


15.6. Recommended Cement Tests ............................................................ 12

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 15 - 2


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15

Tables
Table 15.1: Recommended Cement Tests .................................................................. 12

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 15 - 3


Design Checklist
15

ExxonMobil Requirements
Section # ExxonMobil Requirement
There are no ExxonMobil requirements in this Section.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 15 - 4


Design Checklist
15
15. DESIGN CHECKLIST

15.1. REQUIRED REFERENCES


This Section lists Practices and Standards that are generically referenced and assumed
part of this document. Unless otherwise specified herein, the latest edition and any
addendum of the appropriate standard should be used.

15.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute

15.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization

15.2. PLANNING
The document is broken into sections dedicated to various parts of the design. While
not exhaustive, each section should have some application to most wells and cement
jobs. As noted in Section 5, in a slurry design, there are a number of generalized areas,
such as regulatory compliance, that apply to all wells.

15.2.1. Regulatory Compliance


Virtually every location has some regulatory agency governing the drilling and
abandonment of a well. Depending on the location, the regulations can vary
considerably. For example, wells drilled on state-owned land in Colorado fall under the
regulations of the State Oil and Gas Board. Those wells drilled on Bureau of Land
Management land fall under federal jurisdiction, and follow a different set of rules. In
this area, wells drilled within one mile of each other may have completely different
regulations. Some key areas for regulatory compliance are:
• Top of cement must cover required zones
• Cement strength development must meet requirements
• Check for minimum required WOC times
• Check placement of any cement plugs against regulations

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 15 - 5


Design Checklist
15
15.2.2. Field History
Identifying recurring problems from offset information can improve cementing results.
Problem identification should not be limited to drilling issues, but include production and
even abandonment problems.
• Gas Migration - Presence in offset wells or history of annular pressure indicates
need for prevention. Also, need to evaluate cost of prevention against offset
cost of managing the existing wells.
• Lost Circulation - Cases of severe lost circulation will require additional work
on design for density and possibly additional additives in the cement.
• Reservoir Depletion - Risk of lost circulation is higher due to reservoir
depletion, even if it was not in earlier wells. Fluid loss control across these
zones will be important.
• Flowing Zones - Water flows are especially difficult to address. Mainly a
problem offshore.
• Poor Shoe Tests - Indicate a potential need to change operational procedures
when cementing.
• History of Squeeze Work - Indicates goals of cement jobs not being met.
• Production Problems - Excess water production indicates isolation does not
meet requirements.
• Annular Pressure Problems at Wellhead - Indication of gas or fluid migration -
need to establish when in the life of the well this occurred.
• Formation Collapse Issues - Not a cementing issue, but can effect top of
cement designs.

15.2.3. Drilling History


Drilling history identifies variables and problems that occurred prior to running casing.
This is more real-time information.
• Mud Weight - Can effect spacer selection, and densities of spacers and cement
• Mud Type - Effects spacer selection
• Mud Rheology - Can effect displacement rates and ECD control
• Hole condition - If the hole is not stable, it will be extremely difficult to get an
effective cement job. Need to evaluate expected results of job in light of hole
problems.
• Lost Circulation - Cure if possible before cementing. May need to plan for
additional mud on location for displacement.
• Coal Seams - A source of lost circulation and potential gas.
• Water Flow - Critical to design. Especially critical in deepwater applications.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 15 - 6


Design Checklist
15
• Presence of Excessive Gas - May require gas migration prevention additives.
• Wash Out Zones - Effects cement volumes and job time.
• Problems with Ballooning - Hole stability issues.
• Salt Zones - May require adding salt to system. Will effect efficiency of other
additives.
• Sensitive Shales - May need to reduce fluid loss or salinity of cement system.
In some cases, adding 2% KCl to cement system will resolve the problem.

15.2.4. Formation Properties


Identify the pertinent properties of the formation to be cemented:
• Bottomhole Pressure - Effects fluid densities in well.
• Fracture Gradient - Important to fluid densities and rate calculations.
• BHST - Important for strength development and determination of BHCT.
• BHCT - Used for all testing - determine via API or simulators.
• Permeability - Helps identify gas migration potential, need for fluid loss, etc.
• Hydrocarbon Zone Locations - Effects TOC and can be a regulatory issue.
Can effect cement volume and thus job time.
• Formations Requiring Isolation - Either from each other or from surface.

15.2.5. Well Architecture


Well architecture is defined broadly to include basic information about the structure of
the well. Items such as number, size, and location of casing strings are included.

15.2.5.1. Well Location


• Land
• Water Source - Purity, volume available and temperature.
• Location Size - Can effect type of equipment on location - may limit
availability of batch equipment.
• Offshore
• Water Depth - Effects mud line temperature. For deep water can identify
need for cold temperature testing.
• Water Source - Fresh or seawater - have sample sent to testing lab.
• Drill Pipe Size - Effects hook up and displacement.
• Rig Size - Can effect ability to spot additional equipment - bulk availability
can effect volume of lead and tail cement.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 15 - 7


Design Checklist
15
15.2.5.2. Well Profile
The well profile effects free water requirements, centralization, and ability to move pipe.
For deviated wells, the well profile will also assist in determining if free water testing
should be done at 45° or vertical. The profile will also effect the centralizer selection
and placement calculations.
• Kick off point
• Build rate
• Dogleg severity
• Final angle of casing
• Average well angle

15.2.5.3. Casing to be Cemented


Key in the design of the cement job is what type of pipe is being cemented in the well.
This will effect cement volumes, displacement volumes, ability to move pipe, etc.
• Size
• Weight
• Grade
• Thread - This can effect centralizer selection and placement. Some threads will
not allow placement of the centralizer across the casing collar. Flush joint pipe
requires use of stop collars.
• Float collar or landing collar depth
• Length of shoe track
• Type of string
• Full string
• Liner - Additional testing is required for liners - i.e., strength at TOL
• Temperature at top of liner
• Drill pipe size
• Use of liner top packer - This can effect the slurry design if gas zones are
present in the area below the packer. See also the liner top packer
report on GlobalShare and the Technical intranet website.

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Design Checklist
15
15.2.5.4. Previous Casings
The presence of additional casing strings in the well can effect annular volumes. In
addition, consideration should be given to the chances of trapped pressure in the upper
annulus. This can have an effect on the selected top of cement.
• Depth
• Size
• Weight
• BHST
• Leak off results - Should be used in job simulations to be sure lost circulation is
not induced at this point. Particularly important in liner cementing because of
restrictions around the liner hanger.

15.2.5.5. Other Considerations


Cement design will also depend on future activities planned for the well. These may
include later recompletions planned for the well to change zones, conversion from
production to injection, etc.
• Trapped Annular Pressure - Will the design result in a trapped annulus that can
cause problems during production?
• Plans for Injection - May require that cement not be circulated above previous
casing shoe.
• Type of injection material
• Gas - Type, temperatures and pressures are important
• Steam - Temperature and pressure
• Water - Type and rate
• Perforating - How long until the well will be perforated? Longer times may
require use of special cement systems or lower density cements to be more
perforation "friendly" slurry designs.
• Distance to Nearest Recompletion Zone - How critical is isolation between
adjacent zones and how far apart are they? The closer this separation, the
more consideration should be given to mechanical properties of the cement.
Will probably require use of lightweight, lower strength cements IF well
conditions allow.
• Fracturing - Down casing or work string and pressures involved. Can result in
stress failure of the cement sheath if the pressures are high. The design will
need to incorporate lower-strength cements or specialty cements like foam to
withstand the stress environment.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 15 - 9


Design Checklist
15
15.2.6. Future Operations
• Drill Deeper - Temperature and pressure increases may effect the isolation in
the well through additional stress on the upper casing.
• Temporary Abandonment - Will effect time to perforate (see above).
• Well Life - Can effect the need to evaluate subsidence, stress failure, etc.
Usually, not a consideration for a single well, but may be considered for large
projects in the same field. Note - well life calculations are only valid for a given
set of well conditions and formations.

15.3. CEMENTING DESIGN


The cementing requirements will depend on the previous information to aid in designing
the required additives for the cement.

15.3.1. Purpose of the Job


• Isolation Requirements - Is there only a need for a shoe test or is there a need
for extensive zonal isolation in the interval?
• Support Requirements - Casing support for prevention of buckling may dictate
top of cement and strength properties.

15.3.2. Cement Excess


• Primary Jobs - Evaluate risk of low top of cement against cost of additional
cement.
• Liner Jobs - Excess cement on top of liner must be either circulated out or drilled
out later. Make sure the pump time is sufficient to be able to circulate out.
• Stage Cementing - Risk of excess cement above stage collar versus the risk of
TOC in the first stage being too low.
• Subsea - Evaluate risk of cement in the wellhead and riser area.

15.4. MATERIAL DESIGN


Material design is defined as the design of the spacers and cement system itself.

15.4.1. Spacers
• Density - If mud weight is above 11 lb/gal, use a weighted spacer. Otherwise,
use water if well hydrostatics allow.
• Volume - Sufficient for 500 annular feet.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 15 - 10


Design Checklist
15
• Compatibility - Must be rheologically compatible with the mud and cement. Be
sure to check if using an NAF mud.
• Use of Pre-flush - For NAF fluids, use a base oil. In many situations, a
combination of water and spacer can be used if hydrostatics allow.

15.4.2. Cement Design


• Lead Cement
• Density
• Volume
• Thickening time
• Strength development
• Other properties - Fluid loss, free water, settling, gas migration prevention,
etc.
• Tail Cement
• Density
• Volume
• Thickening time
• Strength development
• Other properties - Fluid loss, free water, settling, gas migration prevention,
etc.
• Cement Volumes - Will effect thickening time requirements - must figure in total
volume to be pumped including excess. If hole size changes from original
design, recheck thickening time requirements.

15.5. CEMENT EVALUATION


How the cement job will be evaluated, should in part, depend on the expectation from
the job. If all that is required of the cement is a shoe test, then a simple leak off test is
required for the cement evaluation.
If the requirements for the cement include isolation of very closely spaced zones, then
the cement evaluation methods must be sufficiently sophisticated to demonstrate that
isolation. Standard sonic cement evaluation logs are not appropriate in these
situations, and the evaluation should include the use of ultrasonic logs. See Section 18,
Cement Sheath Evaluation, for additional information on logs.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 15 - 11


Design Checklist
15
15.6. RECOMMENDED CEMENT TESTS
Table 15.1 contains a summary of recommended cement tests that should be
requested for various cement jobs. If the requirements for a particular job change, the
testing requirements would reflect those changes. For example, if fluid loss is required
for a particular job, then a fluid loss test should be requested. Alternately, if no fluid loss
is needed in the design (as is the case with most conductor-casing strings), then no
fluid loss test is required.

Table 15.1: Recommended Cement Tests


Thickening Time

Transition Time
Gas Migration

TOL Strength
Compatibility

Temperature
Free Water

Wettability
Fluid Loss

Rheology
Strength

Settling
Casing

Cold
String or Job
Parameter

Conductor R R X X
Surface R R X X
Intermediate R R R R X
Long String R R R R X
Liner R R R R X R
NAF Mud X R
Mud > 10 ppg R
Gas Migration R X X X
Deepwater R
Deviated Well R X
R - Required Test X - Recommended Test

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 15 - 12


Section

Primary Cementing
On Location Guidelines

Scope

This Section outlines the items that should be checked prior to performing a
cement job. The assumption is that the design requirements for the cement
system will meet the requirements of the job and no additional design work is
required to develop a cement slurry or spacer system.

Company Use Only


On Location Guidelines
16
Table of Contents
ExxonMobil Requirements ................................................................................ 2
16. On Location Guidelines ............................................................................ 3
16.1. Required References ............................................................................. 3
16.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute................................................................... 3
16.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization ...................................................... 3

16.2. On Location Guidelines ......................................................................... 3


16.2.1. Cementing Materials....................................................................................... 3
16.2.1.1. Mix Water................................................................................................. 3
16.2.1.2. Cement .................................................................................................... 4
16.2.1.3. Additives .................................................................................................. 4
16.2.1.4. Spacers.................................................................................................... 5
16.2.2. Cement Accessories....................................................................................... 5
16.2.2.1. Float Equipment....................................................................................... 5
16.2.2.2. Centralizers.............................................................................................. 5
16.2.3. Cement Plugs and Heads............................................................................... 5
16.2.3.1. Liners ....................................................................................................... 5
16.2.4. Operations...................................................................................................... 5
16.2.4.1. Mechanics................................................................................................ 6
16.2.4.2. Job Parameters........................................................................................ 6
16.2.4.3. Job Plan................................................................................................... 6
16.2.4.4. Personnel................................................................................................. 6
16.2.4.5. Contingency Plans ................................................................................... 7
16.2.5. Calculations.................................................................................................... 7
16.2.6. Sampling ........................................................................................................ 7
16.2.7. Records.......................................................................................................... 8

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 16 - 1


On Location Guidelines
16
ExxonMobil Requirements
Section Number ExxonMobil Requirement
There are no ExxonMobil requirements in this Section.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 16 - 2


On Location Guidelines
16
16. ON LOCATION GUIDELINES

16.1. REQUIRED REFERENCES


This Section lists Practices and Standards that are generically referenced and assumed
part of this document. Unless otherwise specified herein, use the latest edition.

16.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute

16.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization

16.2. ON LOCATION GUIDELINES


These guidelines outline the items that should be checked prior to starting cementing
operations. Also included are items for sampling, and required paperwork to be
collected on location.

16.2.1. Cementing Materials


The goal is to be certain there are sufficient materials on location to perform the cement
job, and those materials are "fit for purpose."

16.2.1.1. Mix Water


• Volume - There must be sufficient volume to mix the cement, pump any wash
ahead or behind the cement, plus at least an additional 20 bbls for equipment
clean up.
• Source - Confirm the mix water is from the same source as the cement lab tests.
Do not substitute seawater for fresh or drill water as this will accelerate the set of
the cement.
• Delivery Rate - Water feed rate to the cement unit must be sufficient to meet
demand. If water is being fed into a tank while mixing cement, confirm the feed-
in rate is sufficient to meet the requirements of the job.
• Temperature - Be cautious of mix water that has been sitting in a tank for
several days, particularly in summer months. High water temperatures will
accelerate the cement setting.
• Salinity - The service company should confirm that no change has occurred from
time of initial testing. Important for land locations that use trucked-in water.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 16 - 3


On Location Guidelines
16
16.2.1.2. Cement
• Lead
• Composition - Does the composition of the blend match what is on the lab
test report?
• Volume - Sufficient for job.
• Location - Are the tanks containing the lead properly identified and the order
for use known?
• Mix Water Type - Confirm if needed - offshore operations often use seawater
on the lead and drill water for the tail cement.
• Mixing Density - Confirm with lab reports.
• Mixing Rate - Determine anticipated rate - compare to job time calculations.
• Thickening Time - Confirm there is sufficient pump time for the job.
• Tail
• Composition - Does the composition of the blend match what is on the lab
test report?
• Volume - Sufficient for job.
• Location - Are the tanks containing the tail properly identified and the order
for use known?
• Mix Water Type - Confirm if needed - offshore operations often use seawater
on the lead and drill water for the tail cement.
• Mixing Density - Confirm with lab reports.
• Mixing Rate - Determine anticipated rate - compare to job time calculations.
• Thickening Time - Confirm there is sufficient pump time for the job.

16.2.1.3. Additives
• Liquid
• Identified and proper lot numbers - Should match lab report.
• Order of addition - May be important if water is batch mixed - otherwise liquid
add goes directly into mix water and is not a concern.
• Volume - Sufficient for job.
• Confirm liquid additive pump can meet job requirements.
• Solid - Normally, will be either spacer mix, bentonite or calcium chloride.
• Identified and lot number checked.
• Volume sufficient for job

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 16 - 4


On Location Guidelines
16
• Mixing procedure

16.2.1.4. Spacers
• Mixing procedure given to responsible person - Offshore, this will normally be the
mud engineer.
• Density
• Volume sufficient for job including any required for loss in tanks
• How pumped - By rig or service company

16.2.2. Cement Accessories


These materials are run with the casing string.

16.2.2.1. Float Equipment


• Installed on proper joints
• Correct shoe track distance

16.2.2.2. Centralizers
• Proper installation location

16.2.3. Cement Plugs and Heads


• Top and bottom plugs
• Witness loading into head and confirm head is the proper size for the job
• Confirm the size of the plug matches that of the head. The plugs should not
require excessive force to be placed in the cement head.
• Confirm compatibility with float equipment - some non-rotating plugs will not
properly land out on competitor equipment. In addition, if non-rotating plugs are
run on standard equipment, the advantage of non-rotation is lost.

16.2.3.1. Liners
• Darts and balls correct and in proper order
• Witness loading head

16.2.4. Operations
There are several operational checkpoints before and during the cement job. These can
be included in the pre-job operational meeting to assure the job is properly executed.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 16 - 5


On Location Guidelines
16

16.2.4.1. Mechanics
• Pipe movement
• Rotation - rpm and max torque, when to start and stop
• Reciprocation - distance and rate, when to start and stop - note that hook load
will increase when cement is in pipe.
• Test pressures for lines to cement head
• Pressure limit of cement head

16.2.4.2. Job Parameters


• Circulation prior to job - volume and rates
• Job Sequence
• When to drop plugs
• Fluid sequence
• Fluid volumes
• Reconfirm displacement volumes and maximum displacement volume
• Reconfirm maximum pressures - note maximum allowable pressure may be
lowest when cement is in pipe and can increase as cement is displaced into
annulus.

16.2.4.3. Job Plan


• Mixing rates for lead and tail
• Displacement rates
• Displacement volumes - calculated and maximum
• Who will be performing displacement - rig or service company
• Assure the pressure, rate and density can be recorded throughout the entire job.
This is especially important if the rig is displacing the job as it may require an
additional pressure sensor or leaving a line open to the cement unit.

16.2.4.4. Personnel
• Identify person dropping plug - Assure when plugs are dropped with a two-plug
head that the top valve is opened, then the bottom valve closed to drop the plug.
After the plug dropped, it is acceptable to open both valves, but not before the
plug leaves the head.
• Identify person monitoring returns

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On Location Guidelines
16
• Identify person in charge of job - Who will make decisions if job problems occur?
• Identify person responsible for switching cement tanks.
• Identify persons responsible for weighing cement and taking samples during job.

16.2.4.5. Contingency Plans


• Minimum cement volume needed to be mixed - If less than the minimum amount
of cement has been mixed, can it be circulated out of the well?
• Pressure limits - As above, confirm pressures.
• Lost circulation - Is there sufficient mud to displace if lost circulation occurs?

16.2.5. Calculations
There are several calculations that should be confirmed.
• Double check the yield of the cement used for the volume calculations matches
that on the lab reports and other documents.
• Cement volumes - Compare to volume on location.
• Water volume - Sufficient for cement mixing, spacers and clean up.
• Displacement - Confirm with at least two other people.
• Job time - Confirm and check that slurries have sufficient pump time.
• Pressures
• Check differential pressure at the shoe at end of job.
• Check that casing will not be pumped out of the hole - particularly important
on large casing strings.
• Differential pressure at top of liner at end of job - Will determine if well will U-
tube when stung out of liner top.

16.2.6. Sampling
Samples should be taken in the event of a well problem. The samples can be discarded
once it is determined the job was a success.
• Dry cement - Collect at least 1 gal or 20 lbs
• Mix water with no additives - 1 gallon
• Liquid additives - 1 quart
• Mix water with all additives - 1 gallon (only if adds are put into the water)
Throughout the job, several samples of cement are normally taken from the mixing tub.
These may be useful in estimating when the cement is set if the slurry was not retarded.
Cement systems designed for high well temperatures will not normally set at surface

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 16 - 7


On Location Guidelines
16
conditions in a reasonable time period. If surface-mixed cement samples are taken, they
should be kept in a container with a lid and some water placed on top of the cement prior
to storage. Dehydration of the cement can lead to incorrect assumptions that the
cement has set.

16.2.7. Records
Good records of the activities during the cement job are invaluable in the event of a
cementing problem. Most of the pertinent records from the job should be available from
the service company. The service company should record the density, rate and
pressures throughout the job.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 16 - 8


Section

Primary Cementing
Good Cementing Practices

Scope

This Section covers operational practices that can enhance primary


cementing results. Several practices outlined in this Section are covered in
more detail in other portions of this manual.

Company Use Only


Good Cementing Practices
17
Table of Contents
ExxonMobil Requirements ................................................................................ 2
17. Good Cementing Practices ...................................................................... 3
17.1. Required References ............................................................................. 3
17.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute................................................................... 3
17.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization ...................................................... 3

17.2. Pipe Movement ....................................................................................... 3


17.3. Centralize the Pipe ................................................................................. 3
17.4. Condition the Mud.................................................................................. 4
17.5. Use a Float Shoe and Float Collar ........................................................ 4
17.5.1. Use an Adequate Shoe Joint .......................................................................... 4

17.6. Use a Bottom and Top Plug .................................................................. 4


17.7. Use a Double-Plug Cement Head.......................................................... 5
17.8. Check Equipment Dimensions.............................................................. 5
17.9. Run a Spacer or Wash ........................................................................... 6
17.10. Mix the Cement to the Proper Weight................................................... 6
17.11. Use Enough Cement .............................................................................. 6
17.12. Select the Appropriate Displacement Technique ................................ 6
17.13. Record all Job Parameters for the Entire Job ..................................... 7

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ExxonMobil Requirements
Section # Topic ExxonMobil Standard
17.12 Job Parameters It is an ExxonMobil requirement the cement
service company record the pressure during the
entire cement job.

Note:
Exceptions to this requirement may be made by the Field Drilling Manager
or designee.

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17. GOOD CEMENTING PRACTICES

17.1. REQUIRED REFERENCES


This Section lists Practices and Standards that are generically referenced and assumed
part of this document. Unless otherwise specified herein, use the latest edition.

17.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute

17.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization

17.2. PIPE MOVEMENT


If possible, incorporate casing movement; particularly pipe rotation into the cement job
design. Work by Garcia (see references on liners) demonstrated the improvements in
mud removal when the design incorporated pipe rotation. Rotate the pipe at 10 - 20 rpm
if torque allows. Always keep the torque when rotating pipe below the make-up torque
of the connections (see Section 9.4.1).
In this study, enhancement in cement placement using pipe rotation outweighed any
other practice. The improvement was independent of fluid rheology, flow regime, or
centralization.
Incorporating pipe reciprocation with pipe rotation can improve results, but the
incremental gain is small compared to rotation alone. If only pipe reciprocation is used,
it must be coupled with proper centralizer selection to attempt to improve mud removal.
Calculations should be made for pipe stretch while reciprocating with the pipe full of
cement to avoid ramming the float shoe into the bottom of the hole potentially damaging
or plugging the float.
Pipe movement should be maintained while conditioning the mud and during cementing.
Changes in hook load and torque due to cement should be taken into account in the
calculations, and planned for in the operation.

17.3. CENTRALIZE THE PIPE


Getting the casing off of the formation wall will allow cement to be placed between the
pipe and formation. Proper centralization enhances the ability to get the pipe to bottom
as well as cementing results.

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Proper centralization includes not only the placement of the centralizers, but also proper
selection of the centralizer and stop collar. Many of the failures of quality centralizers
are due to failure of the holding device or stop collar rather than the centralizer.
Centralizer selection and standoff is covered in Section 14, Cementing Equipment.

17.4. CONDITION THE MUD


Mud conditioning enhances fluid flow, cools the wellbore, and lowers the gels in the
mud. The drilling mud should be conditioned at least one bottoms-up or one casing
volume, whichever is greater.
Thinning the mud while conditioning will aid in mud removal. Moving a thinner fluid is
easier than a thick one. While conditioning the mud, maintain pipe movement. The mud
should be conditioned at the maximum rate possible, which should be at least to the
maximum U-tube rate determined from the displacement simulation of the well. The U-
tube rate may be much higher than the pump rate, depending on the density differences
of the mud and cement.

17.5. USE A FLOAT SHOE AND FLOAT COLLAR


Use of both a float shoe and float collar is highly recommended. If both floats fail,
pressure must be held on the casing while the cement sets. This will cause a
microannulus when the pressure is released. This can lead to gas migration and
annular pressure that cannot be repaired.

17.5.1. Use an Adequate Shoe Joint


Use at least one casing joint between the float shoe and the float collar. Placing the float
collar directly on top of the float shoe risks swashing out the valve on the float shoe
because of the high velocity fluid coming out the bottom of the float collar valve.
Use of very long shoe tracks (four (4) or more joints) has been used in some operations
that have experienced problems associated with wet shoes. When longer shoe tracks
have been used, hard cement is drilled toward the bottom of the shoe track. While rare,
longer shoe joints may be effective in certain operations.

17.6. USE A BOTTOM AND TOP PLUG


Isolating the cement from the mud while in the casing will reduce contamination of the
leading edge of the cement by the spacer. This will place quality cement at the shoe
when the bottom plug lands.
Concern of a thin mud film left inside the casing that could be wiped off if only a top plug
is used, is often cited as a necessary reason for running two plugs. This could
potentially leave mud-contaminated cement in the shoe, leading to a failure.

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Calculations of mud film typically assume either 1/32 or 1/64-inch film for the length of
the casing. Using a top plug only could lead to a wet shoe if sufficient mud film is
removed from the interior of the pipe.
Field observations do not normally support a film on the inside of the pipe if sufficient
cement has been pumped ahead of the top plug. There are also considerations of
density differentials from the cement to the mud. For most applications, use of two plugs
is recommended, but may not be required depending on casing size, cement volumes,
etc.
Beyond simple mud film is the displacement efficiency of cement inside casing,
particularly large diameter casings of 13-3/8 inches and larger. Most cement slurries are
higher density than the drilling mud, and will tend to rope or finger through the mud
inside the casing. This is more likely a source of contamination at the shoe than a thin
mud film left on the casing. Using a bottom plug can eliminate this problem in large
casings.

17.7. USE A DOUBLE-PLUG CEMENT HEAD


A double-plug cement head allows loading the bottom and top plugs and launching the
plugs without the need to remove the cement head. This allows faster plug dropping,
and prevents large amounts of air from being put into the well. A double-plug cement
head allows for a safer, more efficient operation.
When dropping the top plug from a double-plug cement head, the top valve should be
opened and the bottom valve closed. This assures that mud is flowing only above the
plug. If both valves are left open, the plug can be bypassed with mud. After the plug
has left the head, both valves can be opened, but not before the plug launch. This
applies to both cement jobs with conventional plugs and liner jobs that utilize similar
double plug heads.

17.8. CHECK EQUIPMENT DIMENSIONS


Confirm the size and dimensional compatibility of all wiper plugs, darts, balls and other
equipment. Several failures have occurred by overlooking this and simply assuming the
correct equipment has been ordered and arrived on location. Pay particular attention to
sizes of cement plugs and cement heads or plug launching heads. While a cement plug
should fit snugly into the head, and many come with a special tool to "tap" or hammer
the plug into the head, excessive force should not be required to load a plug into the
head. Beating the plug into the cement head will damage the fins, making the plug
useless.
Make sure the effected parties understand the order in which multiple plugs are to be
dropped on multi-stage jobs. Check dimensions of all darts and balls used on liner jobs
(see also 14.3.8.1).

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17.9. RUN A SPACER OR WASH
Drilling muds and cements are generally not compatible. Running a compatible wash or
spacer ahead of the cement will aid in pushing the mud out of the hole and replacing it
with a quality cement slurry.
At least 500 annular feet of spacer or wash should be run. Section 9 on mud removal
further discusses spacer selection.

17.10. MIX THE CEMENT TO THE PROPER WEIGHT


All of the design work and laboratory testing is of little value if the cement slurries are not
mixed to the design density. Too low a weight will result in excessive free water,
increased fluid loss, lower strength, potential solids settling, and poor cement quality.
Too high a density can lead to lost circulation, reduced pump times, and difficulty in
displacing the cement.
The cement operator should not sacrifice density control for rate. While the newer
computer-aided mixing systems may be able to control both density and rate, the
cement-mixing rate should be secondary to density control.
While seemingly obvious, mixing cement to the wrong density or with poor density
control is one of the most common cementing problems on location. Proper density
control is essential.

17.11. USE ENOUGH CEMENT


Base the cement volume required on a caliper if possible. Offset information can also be
useful in determining the minimum amounts of cement required for a particular job.
The amount of excess cement to use should be risk-based. If the consequences of
insufficient cement are dire, such as requiring perforating the casing and circulating
additional cement, then running additional excess cement makes economic sense. If the
top of the cement being too high would cause other well problems, limiting the amount of
excess cement is prudent.

17.12. SELECT THE APPROPRIATE DISPLACEMENT


TECHNIQUE

Putting energy into the wellbore by maximizing pumping and displacement rates will
enhance mud removal. This appears to be independent of flow regime. Most wells
benefit from maximizing the displacement rate.
There are situations where fluid velocity is ineffective in displacing the mud. In some
areas, displacing the cement at slower rates may enhance the results. In these areas,
special consideration must be paid to the viscosity of the various fluids and the density

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17
differentials between the mud, spacer, and cement. These displacement techniques
were first described in a paper by Parker, et al (SPE 1234); and more recently have
been rediscovered by Schlumberger and incorporated into their displacement modeling.

17.13. RECORD ALL JOB PARAMETERS FOR THE ENTIRE


JOB

Recording the density, rates and pressures during the entire job will enhance job
evaluation and any problem resolution. The data can be essential in the event of a job
problem.
It is critical the pressure be recorded for the entire job, including the displacement,
regardless of which pump system is displacing the cement job. On many jobs, the rig
pumps are used to displace the cement. If the cement unit is isolated from the well, the
pressures during displacement cannot be recorded.
It is an ExxonMobil requirement the cement service company record the pressure
during the entire cement job.

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Section

Primary Cementing
Cement Sheath Evaluation

Scope

This Section covers cement evaluation through use of sonic and ultrasonic logs.

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Table of Contents
Figures ................................................................................................................ 3
Tables.................................................................................................................. 4
Log Examples..................................................................................................... 5
ExxonMobil Requirements ................................................................................ 6
18. Cement Sheath Evaluation ....................................................................... 7
18.1. Required References ............................................................................. 7
18.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute................................................................... 7
18.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization ...................................................... 7

18.2. Introduction ............................................................................................ 7


18.3. Cement Bond Logging Principles......................................................... 8
18.4. Waveforms ............................................................................................ 10
18.4.1. Common Log Signal Examples..................................................................... 11
18.4.2. Interpretation - Track 3 (Microseismogram) .................................................. 13
18.4.3. Interpretation - Track 2 ................................................................................. 15
18.4.3.1. Transit Time ........................................................................................... 17
18.5. Log Examples ....................................................................................... 19
18.6. Types of Evaluation Tools ................................................................... 24
18.6.1. Fluid-Compensated Bond Tools ................................................................... 24
18.6.2. Ultrasonic Evaluation Tools .......................................................................... 26
18.6.3. Schlumberger's USIT* Tool .......................................................................... 30
18.6.4. Halliburton's Cement Evaluation and Casing Inspection (CAST-V) Tool ....... 32

18.7. Interpretation of Ultrasonic Logs........................................................ 34


18.8. Quality Control - Sonic Logs ............................................................... 41
18.9. Extenuating Circumstances in Cement Evaluations......................... 41
18.9.1. Microannulus ................................................................................................ 42
18.9.2. Tool Eccentering .......................................................................................... 43
18.9.2.1. Conventional and Compensated Bond Logs .......................................... 43
18.9.3. Eccentering of Ultrasonic Tools .................................................................... 44

18.10. Testing Recommendations ................................................................. 46

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18.10.1. Cement Testing......................................................................................... 46
18.10.1.1. Operational Thickening Time .............................................................. 46
18.10.1.2. Static Time.......................................................................................... 46
18.10.2. Log Scaling and Parameters ..................................................................... 47
18.10.2.1. Bond Logs .......................................................................................... 47
18.10.2.2. Segmented Bond Tool ........................................................................ 47
18.11. Tool Selection....................................................................................... 47
References........................................................................................................ 49

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Figures
Figure 18.1: Tool Configuration ...................................................................................... 9
Figure 18.2: Waveform Nomenclature ............................................................................ 9
Figure 18.3: Waveforms ............................................................................................... 11
Figure 18.4: Free and Fully Cemented Pipe ................................................................. 12
Figure 18.5: Intermittent Cement Coupling to Casing and Formation............................ 12
Figure 18.6: Microseismogram ..................................................................................... 14
Figure 18.7: Amplitude vs. Cement Thickness.............................................................. 16
Figure 18.8: Eccentering Effects................................................................................... 17
Figure 18.9: Transit Time.............................................................................................. 18
Figure 18.10: Critical Transit Time................................................................................ 19
Figure 18.11: Basic Configuration of Tool..................................................................... 24
Figure 18.12: SBT Configuration .................................................................................. 25
Figure 18.13: SBT Presentation.................................................................................... 26
Figure 18.14: Signal Path (Part 1) ................................................................................ 28
Figure 18.15: Signal Path (Part 2) ................................................................................ 28
Figure 18.16: Acoustic Impedance of Mud.................................................................... 29
Figure 18.17: Acoustic Impedance of Cement .............................................................. 30
Figure 18.18: CAST-V Segmentation............................................................................ 33
Figure 18.19: Liquid in the Annulus .............................................................................. 36
Figure 18.20: Cement in the Annulus............................................................................ 37
Figure 18.21: Cement in the Annulus #2....................................................................... 38
Figure 18.22: Lightweight Cement ................................................................................ 39
Figure 18.23: Gas Cut Cement in the Annulus.............................................................. 40
Figure 18.24: Eccentering............................................................................................. 43

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Tables
Table 18.1: Typical Sonic Velocity Values .................................................................... 10
Table 18.2: Acoustic Impedance................................................................................... 29

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Log Examples
Log Example 18.1: Free Pipe ....................................................................................... 20
Log Example 18.2: Log Run with Zero Pressure........................................................... 21
Log Example 18.3: Run with Pressure.......................................................................... 22
Log Example 18.4: Free Pipe ....................................................................................... 23

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ExxonMobil Requirements
Section # Topic ExxonMobil Requirement
This Section does not contain any ExxonMobil requirements.

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18. CEMENT SHEATH EVALUATION

18.1. REQUIRED REFERENCES


This Section lists Practices and Standards that are generically referenced and assumed
part of this document. Unless otherwise specified herein, use the latest edition.

18.1.1. API-American Petroleum Institute

18.1.2. ISO-International Standards Organization

18.2. INTRODUCTION
The objective of a cement sheath analysis is simply to confirm the cement has been
successfully placed around the casing so it will provide support for the casing and
assure all zones of interest are hydraulically isolated. Casing support requires the
presence of any solid material in the annulus, but not necessarily 100% circumferential
coverage of the casing. Sand, borehole collapse, barite, hematite, or any similar solid
material will provide casing support providing it fully occupies the annulus. Hydraulic
isolation, however, requires 100% annular fill of an ultra-low to non-permeable material.
Some of the factors that create a good cement job include:
• Adequate circulation and cleaning of the hole prior to cementing
• Centralization of the casing
• Casing movement during circulation and cementing
• Use of a cement slurry that exhibits no free water separation or solids
segregation
• Placement of the cement in the entire annulus without losing circulation
The high-quality cement mixed at the surface does not always yield what is perceived as
correspondingly high-quality cement in the annulus. This apparent loss of cement
quality can be a result several factors:
1. Contamination of the cement with mud and/or gas decreases density and strength,
which creates a corresponding decrease in the acoustic properties of the cement.
These events decrease the ability of the cement sheath (by decreasing the shear
strength) to control the "ringing" of the casing during cement evaluation logging
which relates to increases in bond log amplitude (or decreases in bond log
attenuation rates).

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2. The perception of "no cement" or poor cement in the annulus can be caused by:
• Over-estimation of a well's bottomhole temperature
• Over retardation of the cement slurries
• Under-estimation of the length of time required for the wellbore to heat up to
bottomhole temperature after cement placement
• Neglect of the cooler temperatures and weaker cements (filler cements) up
hole with paralleling slowness to set and develop strength
It is important to understand once cement is placed in the annulus and set, it cannot be
removed and replaced with a more desirable cement regardless of its "compressive
strength." If the annulus were filled with sand, barite, formation solids, etc., it would not
be possible to remove any of these materials or replace them with cement. What
remains is to recognize the cement sheath for what it is, and be able to differentiate
between a solid and a liquid using a cement evaluation device.
Throughout the industry, as well as this Section, the term bond is used to indicate some
sort of coupling between the cement and the formation or pipe. Bond is not strictly the
correct term as tools can indicate a "bond" when in fact no chemical bond between the
materials exists. The logs are identifying sonic coupling, or the ability of sound waves to
traverse the interface between the two materials. A sonic log can show "bonding" to a
formation when in fact the casing is simply laying against the formation, thus making a
path for the sound. It is cement sheath evaluation and identification of formation
isolation that should be the ultimate goal.
Progress continues in the development of more effective cement sheath evaluation
techniques. Correct application of these newer techniques, incorporated with a clear
concept of cement strength development mechanisms, can lead to fully recognizable
cement sheath quality and quantity. Correct application of the available cement
evaluation tools and techniques requires a clear understanding of the measurement
principles involved and the developmental stages of the cement sheath's crystalline
structure.

18.3. CEMENT BOND LOGGING PRINCIPLES


The sonic cement bond logging tool emits an omni-directional acoustic energy pulse.
The sonic pulse travels through the borehole fluid as an expanding circular wave. When
the wave strikes the casing ID, it is refracted according to Snell's law:
V1 V2
=
sin ξ 1 sin ξ 2
where
Zeta (ξ) is the angle of incidence and refraction and V is the velocity of sound in the
respective materials. Calculations show the wave front striking the casing at a given
angle will refract directly downward, parallel with the casing ID. This angle is typically
referred to as the "critical angle" and is approximately 17°. Passage of the wave pulse
down the inside (and outside) of the casing acts as a pressure pulse, causing the steel in

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the thickness of the wall to cycle through compression and tension. The pulse loses
strength as it travels down the casing because the pressure pulses in the casing wall
create sonic waves in the casing fluid. The acoustic energy pulse travels down the
casing fluid, down the casing wall, as well as down the tool. The signal is refracted
through the casing and cement, then is refracted back through the casing and fluid to a
signal receiver mounted in the tool a fixed distance away from the transmitter
(Figure 18.1). The strength (amplitude) of the received signal is proportional to the
percentage of the casing circumference touched by the cement, the wall thickness of the
casing, as well as the density, thickness, and shear strength of the cement. The paths
that the signal travels from the transmitter to the receiver, depending on the quality of the
acoustic coupling of the cement to the casing and the formation, are also illustrated in
Figure 18.1. Since the casing wave generally arrives at the receiver first, we can
measure its energy level (amplitude) and the transit time of the signal. Figure 18.2
illustrates the common waveform nomenclature. The first positive peak (E1) is the wave
measured for the casing signal. The amplitude and the transit time of the signal are
generally recorded on the 3 ft receiver.

Figure 18.1: Tool Configuration

Figure 18.2: Waveform Nomenclature


mV

Travel Time

E1 E3 E5
Amplitude

E2 E4

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Table 18.1 illustrates the velocity of sound in the casing is generally higher than in any
other borehole material. Therefore, the first part of the composite wave (Figure 18.2) is
composed only of the sonic wave that passed downward through the casing. In certain
carbonates, the velocity of sound can be greater than the velocity in steel. This situation
constitutes a "fast formation" to be discussed later.

Table 18.1: Typical Sonic Velocity Values

Material ∆T (µ
µ sec/ft) Vel. (ft/sec) Miles/Hour

Anhydrite 50 20,000 13,636


Dolomite/Calcite 43 to 70 23,256 to 14,286 15,856 to 9,740
Quartz 52.9 18,900 12,886
Water 208 4,800 3,273
Air (1 atm) 919 1,088 742
Casing 57 17,544 11,962

18.4. WAVEFORMS
The composite waveform detected at the receiver is illustrated in Figure 18.2. In this
composite waveform, the first positive peak is referred to as E1, with subsequent
positive peaks denoted as E3, E5, E7, etc. The first negative peak is referred to as E2,
with subsequent negative peaks denoted as E4, E6, E8, etc. The receivers detect the
sum of all the waveforms generated by reflection of the sonic signal from the casing, the
formation, the cement sheath, and the casing fluid. Generally, the signals reflected from
the cement and the formation are indistinguishable. The signal detected at the receiver
is transported to the surface to an oscilloscope for generation of a waveform.
Figure 18.3 illustrates the typical waveforms that can be generated from each of the
travel paths, i.e., from the mud, the casing, the cement, and the formation. Assuming
set cement is acoustically coupled to the casing and the formation, the signal received
and the waveform generated is a composite of all travel paths. The magnitude
(amplitude) of the waveform is greatest in free casing. If the casing is not acoustically
coupled to the cement, the only signal detected by the receiver will be the ringing of the
casing caused by the pressure surge of the sonic signal travelling down the wall
thickness of the casing. This can be caused by:
1. Mud in the annulus
2. Unset cement in the annulus
3. A microannulus between the set cement and the casing
4. Weak cement fully coupled to thick wall casing
Cement with at least 250 psi compressive strength and complete acoustic coupling is
required for transmittal of the signal through all of the conductors. The transit time of the
signal from the transmitter to the receiver is relevant to the casing size, the casing fluid

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density, and the distance to the receiver. Generally, the casing signal is taken from the
3-ft receiver and the formation reflection is taken from the 5-ft receiver, dependent on the
type of tool used.

Figure 18.3: Waveforms

Mud

Casing

Cement

Formation

Composite

18.4.1. Common Log Signal Examples


Four situations can exist in the relationship between cement, casing, and the formation.
These situations can be represented by separate and identifiable waveforms as
illustrated in Figures 18.4-A and 18.4-B. Figure 18.4-A illustrates the easiest condition
to identify downhole, uncemented casing. With this situation downhole, the only
waveform that can normally exist on the log is the casing waveform. The E1 curve of the
free casing waveform should arrive on the microseismogram display of the log between
300 - 400 microseconds (ms) when the signal is taken off the 5-ft receiver.
Figure 18.4-B illustrates fully cemented casing. This condition is characterized by the
complete dampening of the casing signal seen in Figure 18.4-B.
Figure 18.3 illustrates a typical waveform expected when the cement is completely
coupled with the casing but not with the formation. In this case, neither the casing signal
nor the formation signal will be in evidence. The factors that create this situation
downhole include: (1) thick wall cake, (2) mud-filled hole enlargements, (3) soft rock
(marine shales to unconsolidated sands), or (4) gas cut or foamed cement. This type of
response is also typical in cases involving casing-in-casing (e.g., liner overlaps).
Generally, if mud fluid loss data, an open hole caliper log, and a lithology log are
available, the cause of the loss of the formation signal can be determined.

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Figure 18.4: Free and Fully Cemented Pipe
4-A 4-B

Free Pipe Fully Cemented Pipe


0 500 1000 0 500 1000

Figure 18.5-A illustrates intermittent cement coupling to the casing and to the formation.
In this situation, the composite waveform will indicate both formation and casing
responses. This configuration may be attributable to one of two causes, i.e., cement
channeling or a microannulus at the cement-casing interface. The only method for
differentiating between the two is to run a pressured and a non-pressured pass with the
logging tool. With the casing under pressure, the casing signal will disappear in the case
of a microannulus. The casing signal will remain if a channel exists and is in contact
with the casing. To date, no logging tool will provide identification of an outside channel,
i.e., a channel between the formation and the cement sheath.

Figure 18.5: Intermittent Cement Coupling to Casing and


Formation
5-A 5-B

Fully Cemented Pipe - No Bond to Formation Channel / Microannulus


0 500 1000 0 500 1000

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The size of the cement-casing microannulus may be calculated using:
∆P * r 2
∆r = ( )
t
w* E

where
r = Casing Radius, in
P = Pressure, psi
tw = Casing Wall Thickness, in
E = Young's Modulus of Elasticity of Steel
Channeling during cementing can be the result of:
• Poor casing centralization
• Failure to move the casing while circulating and cementing
• Dynamic solids settling from the mud or cement to the low side of the annulus
(low side of the casing)
• Free water separation from the cement slurry after placement (high side of the
casing)
The amount of pressure required to expand the casing to the cement sheath varies with
the cause of the microannulus. Whatever internal pressure existed in the casing at the
time the cement hydrated, must be duplicated, plus approximately 500 psi to
compensate for casing expansion caused by the heat of hydration during cement set.
Another activity that contributes to the formation of a microannulus, or the creation of
stress cracks in the cement sheath, is pressure testing the casing after the cement has
set. If possible, pressure testing the casing immediately after bumping the top wiper
plug, while the cement is still liquid, can eliminate many stress failure problems of the
cement sheath. This requires the plug land and the landing collar or float collar and
cement head and related equipment must withstand the required test pressure.

18.4.2. Interpretation - Track 3 (Microseismogram)


Presentation of the composite waveform on the log may be in the form of the "total
energy wave" (Signature plot, x-y plot, etc.). Generally, on a scale of 200 to 1,200
microseconds (µs), or in a linear representation of the positive peaks (E1, E3, E4, etc.)
commonly referred to as a variable density presentation. The method of converting from
the waveform to the linear presentation is illustrated in Figure 18.6. The major
advantage of the linear presentation over the waveform presentation is the number of
data points per linear foot.

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Figure 18.6: Microseismogram

Raw Waveform

Half Wave Rectified and Shaded

Stacked Shading

The size of the waveform precludes the use of more than one data point per foot.
Whereas, the linear presentation permits printing of hundreds of data points per linear
foot, thus yielding a more solid definition of the casing cement coupling. Methodology
for creation of the linear presentation involves deleting the negative peaks and recording
the width of the positive peaks from the top rather than the height of the peaks. This
creates a two-dimensional log in which variations of shading indicate peak height
(highest peaks are dark and wider, with decreasing intensity shading to lighter and
narrower bands at low-peak heights, to white at the negative or zero peak height). Thus,
dark bands on the linear presentation represent the positive peaks and the white bands
occupy the position of the negative peaks.
Once a basic understanding of the linear or waveform presentation is achieved, one
should be readily equipped to delineate cement or non-cemented sections of the
annulus, assuming the cement sheath is non-contaminated and has reached a sufficient
strength to provide dampening of the casing vibration as well as carry the refracted sonic
signal to the formation. For interpretive purposes, the basic responses of the waveform
to the diverse downhole cement sheath conditions have been illustrated in Figures 18.4
and 18.5. When analyzed in conjunction with knowledge of borehole enlargements and
borehole lithology, a fair judgement of cement sheath quality can be made, as long as
the cement is not contaminated with gas. The infusion of gas from any source into the
cement column, whether designed into the cement system or as a result of influxes from

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a formation, negates the effectiveness of the linear or waveform presentation in Track 3
for cement sheath evaluation.

18.4.3. Interpretation - Track 2


Following processing of the signal through the oscilloscope for the waveform display, the
amplitude of the signal is measured. The results of this measurement are recorded on
Track 2 of the log presentation in the forms of an Amplitude curve scaled 0 - 100
millivolts (mv) and an Amplified Amplitude curve scaled 0 - 20 mv. The amplified
amplitude is exactly what is inferred, i.e., the noise level is amplified by a factor of five
(5) so the low amplitude values can be more accurately read. The amplitude
measurement is generally made from the E1 peak magnitude via a "gating system."
Measurements are made during the time the gate is open (gate width) and used to
construct the amplitude curves. Two types of gates may be in use:
1. "Fixed Gate": Gate width and opening time are fixed. It is generally set to open at
the expected casing signal arrival time. The bias setting determines the maximum
amplitude that will be recorded as free pipe.
2. "Floating Gate”: Remains open and scans across the waveform for the E1 arrival
time.
Signal amplitude at the receiver is a function of the transmitted amplitude, casing wall
thickness, cement strength and density, and lithology. Generally, the values of
amplitude will range from approximately 55 - 80 mv (depending on the casing size) in
uncemented casing to approximately 0.2 mv in thin wall, small casing (4.5 inch,
11.6 lb/ft) acoustically coupled to high-strength cement. The amplitude should never
read "0." If it does, the tool is not working. Each service company publishes a "tool
specific" interpretation chart. Do not use this chart for interpreting other service
company logs. Assuming a constant cement strength and density, the effects of varying
casing sizes and wall thickness can be determined from these charts. Likewise,
assuming a constant casing size and wall thickness yields information on the varying
cement compressive strengths on amplitude. All of these values are based on a
minimum cement sheath thickness of 0.75 inches and assumes the cement compressive
strength and density is constant around the circumference of the casing and throughout
the height of the cement column.
A thin, cement sheath (Figure 18.7), low cement compressive strength, and/or low
cement density with thick wall casing will yield considerably greater amplitude (lower
attenuation rate). Typically, percent (bonding index) is a ratio of the amplitude reading in
a given section of the hole to the lowest amplitude reading in the hole. For example:
(Afp - ALS)
BI =
( Afp - A100% )
where
Bonding Index (BI) is the ratio of the difference between free pipe amplitude (Afp) and
the received amplitude in any logged section of hole (ALS) to the difference between
the free pipe amplitude and the lowest received amplitude (A100%), or what is
considered to be 100% bonding.

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Figure 18.7: Amplitude vs. Cement Thickness

The major problem with this concept is changes in cement density and strength from a
tail slurry to a lead (filler slurry), change in the cement strength due to decreasing static
temperature up the hole, and/or decreases in cement strength and density created by
gas influx into the cement column will effect ALS and A100%. Another factor that will affect
the bonding index is borehole lithology. Softer, less dense rock will yield lower
amplitude, which may be interpreted as better bonding.
Hard limestone and dolomites will yield higher amplitudes, which may be interpreted as
poor bonding. Eccentering of the tool within the casing will also create lower amplitude
readings (better bonding); therefore, one must be certain the tool is centered during the
run (Figure 18.8).
It is important to realize the expected value for 100%-bonded pipe is part of the bond
index calculation. If the well has been cemented with lightweight slurry, and the tool has
not been reset to represent the lower expected value, the bond index calculation will be
wrong.
Changes in casing size and weight will effect the free pipe calculation, and must also be
adjusted, particularly in wells with mixed casing strings. Often changes in bond index
can simply be a result of a change in casing.

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Figure 18.8: Eccentering Effects

1.0

0.8

0.6

0.4

0.2

1 3/4 1/2 1/4 0 -1/4 -1/2 -3/4 -1


Inches Off Center

18.4.3.1. Transit Time


The transit time curve may be used as a means of quality control for centering the
logging tool (Figure 18.9). The transit time curve is normally printed in track one. The
recommended scale range for the transit time curve is 100 microseconds to increase the
readability of changes in transit time.
One must be able to determine the lithology of the section in question since a hard
limestone or dolomite (hard formation) will also cause the signal to exhibit a shorter
transit time. For quality control purposes, it is normally recommended the decrease in
transit time caused by tool eccentering not exceed four (4) microseconds. If tool
eccentering is a consistent problem during a particular logging run, it is recommended
the tool be pulled out of the hole so the centralizers can be replaced, or additional
centralizers added to the tool.

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Figure 18.9: Transit Time
9-A 9-B

Transit Time Curve Transit Time with Cycle Skip 11900

4300

11950

4350

When the transit time suddenly increases as illustrated in Figure 18.9-B, it is due to
"cycle skipping." This phenomenon occurs when E1 has become too small to detect in
the "gate" and a subsequent peak such as E3 or E5 (or sometimes even later arrivals) is
detected for amplitude and transit time purposes. When the transit time cycle skips, the
curve is no longer valid for indicating tool eccentering.
In cases of liner laps, or other situations involving casing/casing cement filled annuli, if
uncontaminated cement occupies the space, it is not uncommon to experience a "cycle
skip" as the transit time increases from the inner casing to the outer casing travel time.
As the amplitude of the E1 decreases in well-bonded casing, the transit time begins to
increase due to signal stretch. This appears as a somewhat erratic value of transit time
over the critical transit time just prior to cycle skipping.
The "Critical Transit" time, Figure 18.10, is the transit time measured at the 3-ft receiver
in uncemented casing. Figure 18.10 illustrates the cause of stretching of the transit time
curve. This type of erratic behavior should not be mistaken for tool eccentering. Both
cycle skipping and signal stretch can be an indication of excellent cement well bonded to
the casing. Due to the value of the transit time curve, it is recommended it be displayed
on all bond logs on a magnified scale.

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Figure 18.10: Critical Transit Time

E1 Poor Bond

Good Bond
Detection Level

Time

Transit Time
Stretch

Additional quality control parameters (beyond the transit time curve) for cement
evaluation include the repeatability of the tool and the presentation of the log. Make
certain the tool repeats itself by checking the repeat section of the log. Make certain the
log is printed "on depth" by comparing the lithology represented by the gamma ray to the
lithology represented by the sonic formation signal on the rnicroseismogram.

18.5. LOG EXAMPLES


Log Example 18.1 represents a section of log run in free pipe, i.e., casing with a liquid-
filled annulus. The variable density display consists solely of straight, parallel bands that
are "casing signals." These casing signals correlate to the waveform illustrated in
Figure 18.3. The casing collars exhibit a chevron diffraction pattern. With fluid in the
annulus and the tool fully centered, the casing signal bands are "ruler" straight. As long
as the tool is centered in the casing and casing signals are in evidence, the casing signal
bands will always be straight. Their straightness is one means of differentiating between
casing signals and formation signals. Rarely is a formation sufficiently consistent to
exhibit "ruler" straight lines on the variable density display.

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Log Example 18.1: Free Pipe

Log Examples 18.2 and 18.3 illustrate the response to a microannulus when the log is
run with and without pressure. In this case, 2,000 psi casing pressure was used to
expand the casing into contact with the cement sheath. Compare the two logs for the
disappearance of the casing signal and the significant change in the amplitude curves.
This is typical of a microannulus, i.e., the casing signals will disappear with sufficient
casing pressure. In the case of a channel, the casing signals will not disappear with
pressure.

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Log Example 18.2: Log Run with Zero Pressure

In this example, there are formation arrivals, but the casing signal is a straight line and
there are chevron patterns in the microseismogram. This can indicate either a channel
or microannulus depending on a second pass under pressure.
After pressurizing up to 2,000 psi, Log Example 18.3 shows excellent coupling over the
same interval. Note the transit time curve exhibits cycle skip, again indicating excellent
coupling.

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Log Example 18.3: Run with Pressure

Log Example 18.2 can also illustrate an annular channel between the casing and the
cement sheath. Strong casing signals (with collar chevrons) and strong formation
signals are typical on the log. The appearance of the microseismogram will not normally
change whether casing pressure is applied or not when a channel is present. It is
emphasized an annular channel must be in contact with the casing for detection by any
cement sheath logging device. Channels existing between the cement sheath and
the borehole wall are not detectable with current bond logging tools.
"Noise" logs and/or temperature logs are generally required for identification of exterior
channels (channels between the cement sheath and the borehole wall), which assumes
that inter-zonal fluid or gas flow is occurring during the measurement. If no flow is
occurring, these measuring devices are not effective.

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Log Example 18.4: Free Pipe

Log Example 18.4 is from a horizontal well that was not centralized. The log is showing
essentially free pipe, yet there are some formation arrivals on the microseismogram.
This is an indication of either, a microannulus or, the pipe lying on the low side of the
hole and no cement around the pipe. This log was run with no pressure, and there was
no subsequent pressure pass to confirm whether there was a microannulus or a severe
cement channel.

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18.6. TYPES OF EVALUATION TOOLS

18.6.1. Fluid-Compensated Bond Tools


New developments in bond log technology have led to the bore fluid-compensated
logging devices for cement sheath evaluation. Figure 18.11 illustrates the basic
configuration of tool. The primary advantages of the tool include:
1. Direct measurement of the signal attenuation rate (decay rate), db/ft, that is
independent of the effects of changing borehole fluid densities and transmitted signal
strength.
2. Measurement of attenuation rate over a 1-ft interval versus averaging of attenuation
rate over a 3-ft interval.
3. Elimination of calibration problems.
The major difference in interpretation of the compensated log presentation lies only in
Track 2, i.e., the substitution of an attenuation curve for an amplitude curve. Analysis of
the VDL or microseismogram remains the same. The bond log interpretation chart may
be used alternately for amplitude or attenuation rate, assuming the casing thickness and
the cement strength are known.

Figure 18.11: Basic Configuration of Tool

T Upper Transmitter

5’ R First receiver for upper transmitter,


0.8’ rd
3 receiver for lower transmitter

3.4’ R 2.4’ Middle receiver for both transmitters

2.4’ R 3.4’ Third receiver for upper transmitter,


st
1 receiver for lower transmitter

Lower Transmitter
T

One of the later innovations using the fluid-compensated logging technology is the
Segmented Bond Tool (SBT). Basically, the tool (Figure 18.12) consists of six pads
placed in direct contact with the casing wall that measure the 1-ft average signal

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attenuation rate (db/ft) at each 60° arc of the casing-cement interface rather than the
360° averaging that is common practice with normal bond log technology. The log
presentation of the segmented tool incorporates six tracks that illustrate the attenuation
rate, db/ft, measured as the signal travels past the upper to the lower receivers in the
pattern denoted in Figure 18.12. It also includes a variable attenuation "Quick Look"
map and tool orientation for identifying the low side of the borehole. The "Quick Look"
map is recorded as "Variable Attenuation" in Track 1 of the log. On the Quick Look
cement map, five levels of shading are used to portray the degree of cement bonding
with white indicating no bonding. The lightest shade represents an attenuation of 2 db/ft.
Black areas indicate an attenuation of 80% of the value expected for the highest
compressive strength cement for specific casing diameter and weight.

Figure 18.12: SBT Configuration

1 3 5 1 Upper
Signal Path Transmitters

Upper Receivers
1 2 3 4 5 6 Signal Attentuation Rate Measurements

Lower Receivers

2 4 6 Lower
Transmitters

Figure 18.13 illustrates the attenuation measurements (db/ft) recorded by each of the
six pads. The recommended scale range for these tracks is 0 - 10 db/ft so more
accurate values can be obtained for the lower strength cements and for better
delineation between liquids and crystalline cement in the annulus. Attenuation rates
greater than 10 db/ft indicate excellent cement and it is felt that it is not necessary to
obtain an accurate value of attenuation rate over 10 db/ft. For delineation between a
liquid and a crystalline material like cement, regardless of its compressive strength, the
"line character" will define the material. If a liquid exists against the casing at one or all
of the pads, the attenuation rate will not change. Consequently, a liquid-filled channel at
any of the pads will describe a straight line for attenuation rate except at the collars. If
cement is bonded to the casing, the density and strength of the cement changes
sufficiently that the line will not be straight. In fact, it can radically deviate from minimum
to maximum values of attenuation depending on the amount of gas contamination in the
cement sheath. Determination of the "line character" is the primary reason for the
expanded scale for the six-segmented measurements.
The log also contains a cement map that sets the color of the map based on the
amplitude from the pads. As with any cement map, the coloring is highly dependent on
how the operator has set up the computer and not the data itself.

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The SBT has been successfully run in 17.3-lb/gal brine. The maximum temperature
recommended for the log is 350°F (177°C). The segmented array portion of the log
presentation also delineates the low side of the hole via an orientation curve.

18.6.2. Ultrasonic Evaluation Tools


The newer evolution of logging tools generally provides much better definition of the
cement sheath quality and quantity than do the conventional bond logs. These tools are
referred to as ultrasonic cement evaluation tools. Ultrasonic tools are currently available
from Schlumberger and Halliburton. Typically, conventional bond logging devices
operate at 15 - 25 kilohertz frequency, whereas the ultrasonic tools operate in the range
of 550 - 650 kilohertz.

Figure 18.13: SBT Presentation

The high frequency transmitted pulse minimizes the dissipation of the sound wave in the
borehole fluid, thus assuring direct reflection of the pulse to its source, at the same time
limiting the distance of penetration. The ultrasonic tools are heavily centralized. The
transducer used on these tools is a rotating-type transducer found at the bottom of the
tool. Since the signal is focused, the active spot on the casing is essentially the same
diameter (see Figure 18.14). The percent of casing circumference investigated will vary

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depending on the casing size (approximately 46% of the circumference of 5-1/2 inch
casing to approximately 26% of the circumference of 9-5/8" casing).
The principle of the tool is the measurement of the ultrasonic signal reflection coefficient
(Cr) created by the materials in contact with the inner and outer surfaces of the casing.
The reflection coefficient is the ratio of the difference in the acoustic impedance of the
intimately coupled materials: to the sum of their acoustic impedance:
(Z1 - Z2)
Cr =
(Z1 + Z2)
where
Z1 = Acoustic Impedance of the casing, 106 Kg/m2 sec
Z2 = Acoustic Impedance of the material in contact with either the inner or outer
casing surface
Acoustic impedance (Z) is defined as:
Z = VcPb Z
where
Pb = Bulk density, Kg/m3
Vc = Composite velocity of a sonic signal, m/sec
Acoustic impedance is a measurable physical property of a material. Compressive
strength is not, in reality, a true measure of the strength of a material since the specimen
is not triaxially loaded during testing. Unconfined compressive strength measurements
provide a quick method of comparing relative strengths of specimens only. If the test
samples were triaxially loaded, failing them in compression would be very difficult.
Consequently, acoustic impedance yields a more correct definition of the quality of
cement.
Figures 18.14 and 18.15 illustrate the signal path taken by a pulse of sound energy
transmitted by the transducer. Following the path; when it reaches the ID of the casing,
a portion of the signal is reflected back to the transducer face and a portion of the signal
is refracted through the wall of the casing (tw) to the second reflective surface, i.e., the
interface of the casing OD and the cement sheath. The energy level (Coefficient of
Reflection) at each of the reflective surfaces is a function of the acoustic impedance of
the materials in contact at that surface. For instance, if fresh water occupies the casing
volume, the reflection coefficient at the casing ID (A) would be 0.937 ((46 -1.5) / (46
+1.5)). Thus, 93.7% of the transmitted pulse strength would be reflected back to the
transducer face and 6.3 % of the energy level would be refracted through the wall
thickness of the casing to the second reflective surface (B). At the second reflective
surface (B), with water in the annulus, the reflected energy level would be 93.7% of the
6.3% arriving at that point in time. The decay rate (attenuation rate) of the signal is
dependent upon the shear strength of the materials in contact with the casing OD.

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Figure 18.14: Signal Path (Part 1)

Figure 18.15: Signal Path (Part 2)

A tw B

Transducer

Accurate measurements of these and subsequent signal energy levels infer prediction of
the acoustic impedance of the materials in contact at each of the reflective surfaces.
They also may be used to provide very accurate measurements of casing ID and casing
wall thickness. Since acoustic impedance is a measurable physical property, identity of
the materials at each reflective surface is also inferred.

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The acoustic impedance of some common annular materials is listed in the following
table.

Table 18.2: Acoustic Impedance

Acoustic Impedance
Material 106 kg.m2 sec

Fresh Water 1.5


Free Gas 0.1
Steel (casing) 46.0
12 lb/gal Drilling Mud 2.16
15 lb/gal Drilling Mud 2.70
17 lb/gal Drilling Mud 3.06
9 lb/gal Foamed Class C (250 psi) 2.19
9 lb/gal Foamed Class C (1000 psi) 2.69
13 lb/gal Cement (500 psi) 3.37
13 lb/gal Cement (2000 psi) 4.42
16.5 lb/gal Cement (500 psi) 4.38
16.5 lb/gal Cement (2000 psi) 5.62

Figure 18.16 illustrates the acoustic impedance of various density drilling muds.

Figure 18.16: Acoustic Impedance of Mud

18
Mud Density, lb./gal.

16

14

12

10

8
1 2 3 4
6 2
Acoustic Impedance, 10 kg/m sec

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Figure 18.17: Acoustic Impedance of Cement
3500

Cement Density 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
3000

2500
Compressive Strength

2000

1500

1000

500

0
1.5 2 2.5 3 3.5 4 4.5 5 5.5 6 6.5
Acoustic Impedance

Figure 18.17 illustrates the acoustic impedance of various density cement systems.
Note the impedance value for the cement is dependent on both the cement density and
the compressive strength of the set cement.
Comparing this chart with a conventional sonic bond log is similar to taking a single
value for cement and equating it to all cements, regardless of density or strength. As
noted in the discussion of bonding index (see Section 18.4.3), the bond index is
dependent on the expected value of the amplitude of the cement. The ultrasonic tool
and its corresponding map will also be dependent on the expected impedance of the
cement. This chart can be used to estimate that expected value. Note this chart is for
conventionally extended slurries. Use of foam or hollow beads or spheres can have a
major effect on the impedance value.

18.6.3. Schlumberger's USIT* Tool


Schlumberger's Ultra Sonic Imaging Tool (USIT*) consists of a single transducer
mounted on a revolving sonde at the bottom of the tool. The transducer face of the
sonde is rectangular, measuring 1.2 inches (width) by 0.8 inch. The sonde rotates at 7.5
revolutions per second. Vertical sampling is a function of logging speed. Rotator subs
are available in 5, 6, 7, 9-5/8, and 10-3/4 inch sizes. The 10-3/4 inch sub can be used in
casing sizes up to 13-3/8 inches. The rotating transducer provides more available data
for analysis of the casing cement interface. The older C.E.T. provided eight,
approximately 1-inch sites of measurement out of a sampled casing circumference; the
USIT* provides continuous measurement of the casing circumference in a helical pattern
with the coils of the helix spaced approximately 1-inch apart vertically.
*Service Mark of Schlumberger

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Logging Speed Versus Sampling

Sampling Vertical Logging Speed


Azimuth Sample, in Ft./hour

10° 1.5 1600

5° 6.0 3200

5° 3.0 800

5° 1.6 300

5° 0.6

The USIT* scans the entire circumference of the casing, emitting a pulse that strikes the
casing at normal incidence and causes the casing to resonate. The transducer operates
in a variable frequency range of 195 - 650 kHz. The variations of frequency are for
changes in casing wall thickness from 0.18 - 0.59 inches, and changes in the casing fluid
density, are tuned from the surface to optimize variations in downhole conditions. The
transducer excites the casing by repeatedly emitting short pulses of ultrasound. The
same transducer, acting as a receiver, detects the echoes from the casing.
Four measurements are made by analyzing the echoes:
1. Echo amplitude (an indication of casing condition)
2. Casing ID (calculated from the transit time of the pulse and echo)
3. Casing wall thickness (calculated from the resonant frequency)
4. Acoustic impedance of the material at the casing OD
The amplitude of the reflected signal is a function of the acoustic impedance of the fluid
in the casing, the casing steel, and the cement at their respective interfaces. Most of the
incident transmitted energy is reflected at the mud-casing interface, typical to the
Coefficient of Reflection previously discussed. The small fraction of the energy refracted
through the casing thickness is reflected multiple times between reflective surfaces,
releasing a transmitted pulse into the cement or mud each time the energy strikes a
reflective surface. Thus, the impulse echo consists of a large initial energy level
reflected for the casing ID, followed by an exponentially decaying series of inverted
pulses. Processing the reflected waveform involves only the initial reflection and the
very early part of the wave (immediately beyond the casing OD arrival time) to avoid
later reflections from outer casing, borehole, or formations.
The color imaging used for the presentation of the USIT is somewhat of an improvement
over the older CET Cement Map. However, color imaging can be very misleading.
Color imaging works well when a relatively large difference in acoustic impedance exists
between the materials being measured (e.g., neat cement and water). Measurement,
coloration, and interpretation become a severe problem when a gas-contaminated (or
foamed) cement exhibits an acoustic impedance value equal to or less than annular
fluids such as mud or water which, in practice, is prevalent across and above most oil

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and/or gas producing zones. In these cases, coloration of the log presentation can be
accomplished, but is most often not correctly identifying the annular material. These
misinterpretations lead to unnecessary, costly, and mostly unsuccessful attempts at
remedial cement sheath repairs.
More recent innovations in interpretive coloration presents shadings of white through
yellow to dark brown, plus linear presentations of minimum, maximum, and average
standard deviation. Accepting the concept that liquids exhibit no significant statistical
variations in acoustic impedance and thus exhibit a "straight line" acoustic impedance,
the standard deviation of the line at zero or near zero should signify a liquid, regardless
of its acoustic impedance. Crystalline materials, like set cements (or any non-liquid),
vary considerably in acoustic impedance, thus will exhibit a nonlinear depiction of
acoustic impedance; in other words, a curve of significant "character." The standard
deviation of the non-liquid materials should exhibit standard deviations in excess of
approximately 0.5. This type of presentation with accompanying coloration is much
more easily interpreted and much more meaningful when trying to identify liquid-filled
channels in contact with the casing. These standard deviation colorations are presented
in a "vertical," a "horizontal," and two (2) diagonal measurement tracks. Unfortunately,
the log must be run in conjunction with the General Purpose Inclination Tool (GPIT)
package for absolute orientation of the log to the high side/low side of the hole.
Another useful presentation of the USIT is the Acoustic Impedance log. Manipulation of
data permits the presentation of acoustic impedance measurement curves every 5° or
10° (optional) circumferentially, with depth. This yields a presentation with either 36 or
72 acoustic impedance curves. Difficult and boring reading, but a significantly accurate
exhibition of small channels when and if they exist in contact with the casing.

18.6.4. Halliburton's Cement Evaluation and Casing


Inspection (CAST-V) Tool
The Halliburton CAST-V tool is for cement evaluation and casing inspection. The CAST-
V tool is mechanically similar to Schlumberger's USIT* tool in that it is an ultrasonic
evaluation tool utilizing a "rotating transducer" configuration. Prior to this date, the
CAST-V tool presentation only consisted of a seven-color presentation of a cement map
(acoustic impedance), a CBL waveform, amplitude and amplified amplitude (when run in
conjunction with a bond log), eccentricity, ovality, and gamma ray. Due to the inability of
the computer to differentiate between a liquid and a solid, both exhibiting the same or
near same acoustic impedance, this "coloring" process has historically been
unacceptable for cement evaluation. An improved presentation is available that can
define the cement quality/quantity via measurements from each of nine (9) investigated
segments at the casing-cement interface. The new presentation is called the
"Altcastave" program. The "Altcastave" presentation is preferred over the previous
"colored" presentations available from the tool. The presentation consists of nine (9)
tracks, each tracing the minimum and maximum acoustic impedance values measured
in each section. The "measurement areas" around the casing may be illustrated as
follows.

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Figure 18.18: CAST-V Segmentation

Section I Section A

Section H Section B

Section G Section C

Section F Section D
Section E

The presentation is oriented so the high side of the hole, on the presentation, is at the
intersection of Sections A and I. The low side of the hole is at Section E. See also
Figures 18.19 through 18.24.
Tool Specifications
Temperature Rating 350°F (175°C)
Pressure Rating 20,000 psi (137.9 MPa)
Tool OD 3.625 inches (92 mm)
Casing Size Range 5-1/2 - 13-/8 inches (130 - 340 mm)
(Variable Sizes of Rotating Heads)
Maximum Water Based Mud Weight: 15 lb/gal (1797.4 kg/m3)
The tool has been run in 16-lb/gal (1917.2 kg/m3) water based mud (low solids) and
16.3-lb/gal (1953.2 kg/m3) Zinc Bromide brine.
Maximum Oil Based Mud Weight: 14-lb/gal (1677.6 kg/m3).
Vertical Sampling Rate: 6 inches (152.4 mm) 13 inches (330.2
mm) 11 inches (279.4 mm)
Logging Speed, ft/min (m/min): 60 (18.3) 130 (39.65) 110 (33.55)

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Each section covers 40° of the casing circumference. The low side of the hole is
presented in Section E. The high side of the hole is at the left side of Section A and the
right side of Section I. Casing size determines the size of the "section," i.e.:

Casing OD, in Length of Section, in

5 1.75
5-1/2 1.92
7 2.44
9-5/8 3.36
13-3/8 4.67

The CAST-V tool makes 100 measurements at each depth segment (1, 3, or 6-inch
samples) in each of the sections defined. (The tool also provides 40 real-time calipers
for inspecting the casing or the borehole.) From the incoming data, the computer can
select one signal, or any combination of the signals from each segment. The signals
that can be retrieved include:
1. Minimum Z (acoustic impedance)
2. Maximum Z
3. Average Z
4. Each of the 100 measurements of Z
5. Any percentage of the 100 measurements of Z desired
For the purposes of differentiating between a liquid and a solid at the casing cement
interface, the recommendation is to select the minimum and maximum acoustic
impedance curves in each of the nine (9) segments on the final log presentation (the
"Altcastave" presentation). The minimum and maximum acoustic impedance
measurements are selected by the computer from the 100 signals/segment, and
represent the lowest and highest value of acoustic impedance calculated in each
segment. The assumption is made that as long as the minimum value of acoustic
impedance illustrates a "solid" in the annulus, as opposed to a liquid, the remainder of
the segment will contain harder or denser solids. The average value is a meaningless
number representing only the average of the minimum and maximum measurements in
each segment.

18.7. INTERPRETATION OF ULTRASONIC LOGS


As noted in the earlier discussion of the principles of tool operation, not only can the tool
be used for cement evaluation, but also offers a very good method for determining both
casing ID and OD. Casing wear, corrosion, and other properties can be readily
evaluated using these tools.
Both Halliburton and Schlumberger offer computer-generated cement maps or color
processing of the cement evaluation logs from the ultrasonic tools. The theory of the

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cement maps is the computer will assign a color to a particular acoustic impedance, and
plot the colors around the casing. The map is then used to determine the "relative"
quality of the cement in the annulus.
The basic problem with the computer-generated color map is the computer is unable to
differentiate between mud with an acoustic impedance of 3.0 and cement with the same
impedance. The color maps are highly dependent on how the computer is set up and
the differential scale used for the map. There is usually very little color change in the low
end of the impedance range; this differentiating in the low impedance values is often not
possible. The problems involved in calibrating and setting the correct parameters for the
coloration of the cement map or bonding image, coupled with the changes that occur to
the cement during and after placement make interpretation of the cement sheath quality
and quantity rather nebulous at best.
Gas cutting of the cement can occur by design with placement of foam cement or
naturally during and after the cement hydration and hydrolysis process. When gas influx
from the formation into the cement sheath occurs, the quantity of gas is unknown.
Consequently, the final density and strength (and resulting acoustic impedance) of the
contaminated cement in the annulus is also unknown. In addition to these problems, the
true heat-up time of the cement from circulating to static temperature is seldom equal to
the four-hour heat-up time used in laboratory compressive strength testing and the rate
of strength development decreases up hole due to decreasing temperatures.
Based on these non-controllable factors, there is general optimism about cement setting
times and the magnitude of strength development for logging purposes. For these
reasons, percent bonding has virtually no meaning. VDL or microseismogram signals
may be virtually nonexistent, and correct coloration of the cement map is virtually
impossible when the acoustic impedance of the cement may be less than or equal to the
drilling mud (or sometimes less than water). Over simplification of the more common
cement quality/quantity evaluation devices (percent bonding or map coloration) often
leads to erroneous cement sheath evaluations and unnecessary remedial squeeze jobs.
The annular material is more clearly definable using another presentation of the
ultrasonic data known as the acoustic impedance. The magnitude of acoustic
impedance or compressive strength of the cement is not important for identification once
the cement is placed in the annulus. The character of the line on the acoustic
impedance log provides identification of the composition of the annular material.
An easy way to evaluate the acoustic impedance data from these logs is to look at the
raw impedance data on a separate log plot. Halliburton offers an Altcastave plot of the
raw data, and Schlumberger's version is the GZD plot. These displays use nine tracks
and plot the minimum, maximum and average impedance for each track. The wellbore
is plotted every 40°.
The normal scale for these tracks is 0 - 10, however, to better determine the difference
in a liquid and low density or low-strength cement, it is important to request the scale be
expanded to 0 - 5. In this manner, it becomes very easy to determine the difference
between a liquid and solid behind the pipe. If the cement is high density and/or high
strength, the impedance value can be more than 5, which will peg the 0 - 5 scale. If this
occurs, it simply means the material in the annulus is high strength cement.

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Liquid in the annulus: Since liquids do not exhibit drastic density changes over a
reasonable annular length, the acoustic impedance of the material will not change.
When any transducer records a liquid in the annulus (at the casing wall), that transducer
will draw a straight line that defines a liquid-filled annulus. The composition of the
material (gas, water, or drilling mud) in the channel is academic, therefore, calculation of
the actual acoustic impedance value is not truly necessary for identification purposes. If
it is a liquid, it can be replaced with cement through circulation-type remedial cement
operations.

Figure 18.19: Liquid in the Annulus

The log in Figure 18.19 shows the minimum, maximum, and average acoustic
impedance for each of the nine tracks. Note that all readings are straight, low in value,
and very consistent. This is typical of a liquid-filled annulus.

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Figure 18.20: Cement in the Annulus

The log in Figure 18.20 shows good quality cement throughout the interval. Throughout
the log the impedance values are over 5, and have pegged out the plot. The coloration
on the left shows black and brown colors, indicating the difference in the impedance
values of the material in the annulus. Regardless of the color of the cement map, this
interval is fully cemented. There are no straight lines on the impedance curve, and all
show much higher values than the mud. The "lower" impedance material may be due to
slightly contaminated cement, lower strength cement as in bypassed lead slurry, etc.
The log also shows the lower strength material circling around the casing rather than
being isolated to only one side of the pipe.
Figure 18.21 is another example of cement in the annulus. In this example, the fully
cemented annulus has more consistent material than in Figure 18.20, and is a fully
cemented interval.

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Figure 18.21: Cement in the Annulus #2

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Figure 18.22: Lightweight Cement

Figure 18.22 is an example of well-cemented pipe, with the cement in the annulus being
very lightweight cement. There is very little difference in the density of the mud and the
cement on this well. There are no straight lines, indicating a solid in the annulus. (The
scale on this particular plot is 0-10 rather than the recommended 0-5, which makes
evaluation more difficult.)

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Figure 18.23: Gas Cut Cement in the Annulus

Figure 18.23 is an example of gas cut cement. This is characterized by very low values,
lots of "movement" or wiggling of the signal, and no straight lines. The interval still has
isolation, and has cement with gas contamination.
Once cement has set in the annulus, regardless of gas contamination or compressive
strength development, it cannot be removed and replaced with (what may be
considered) "good" cement. Remedial cementing operations (squeezing) will not
change the quality or quantity of that type of cement. This can be confirmed by running
evaluation logs before and after remedial squeeze treatments.
Each track of the acoustic log should be presented on a scale of 0 - 5 (acoustic
impedance) for more definitive measurements of the weaker cements and liquids.
Greater values of acoustic impedance are academic. It is irrelevant whether the cement
in the annulus exhibits 500 psi or 5000-psi compressive strength once it is set. All that is
necessary is that the material be identified as cement.

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18.8. QUALITY CONTROL - SONIC LOGS
1. The Transit Time curve may be used to determine when the tool is eccentered in the
casing (as previously discussed). Eccentering of the logging tool tends to warp the
casing arrival signals because of the apparent difference in arrival times.
Eccentering also creates extremely erratic formation arrival signals that are difficult to
identify.
Fast formation effects can be confused with tool eccentering by causing faster arrival
times of the signal. Lithology effects must be considered when attempting to
determine tool eccentering. Presentation of the Transit Time curve on the log is
always recommended. With the Transit Time curve on a maximum scale range of
100 (e.g., 200 - 300 microseconds), decreasing transit times greater than four
microseconds indicates the tool is eccentered (unless fast formations are involved)
and the tool centralizers are suspect. Pull the tool out of the hole for centralizer
replacement or reinforcement.
2. Repeatability of the tool is a vitally important quality control check. Two passes over
the same hole section under the same conditions should produce virtually
indistinguishable microseismogram and the amplitude curves. Repeats under
pressure may not repeat as well because of leaks and cable drag preventing the
conditions from being truly identical. Check to see the tool can repeat itself, and that
the microseismogram and gamma ray curves are "on depth."
3. The bond logging tools should always be run with and without casing pressure for
delineation of microannuli and/or channels. If the entire cement column is to be
logged under pressure, ask the service company to print the line tension curve on
the log so "line binding and jumping" can be seen.
The velocity of sound through low-porosity limestone and/or dolomite formations
(Table 18.1) can frequently create erroneous log interpretations. These types of
formations are commonly called "fast formations." In these situations, the analyst must
diligently search for signs of casing signals such as faint collar responses, "ruler straight"
lines, etc. Remember formation responses are seldom ruler straight because of the
random nature of the crystalline structure and porosity changes within the rock bed.
The measurement gate is fixed or floating in time relative to the transmitter pulse and
expects to "see" the first positive casing arrival but is, in fact, receiving some portion of
the formation signal. In this case, the amplitude measurement ceases to have any
physical meaning and all interpretation must be based on the microseismogram or VDL
presentation.

18.9. EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES IN CEMENT


EVALUATIONS

Numerous situations exist downhole or can occur in the processing of log data that can
cause considerable confusion in interpretation of the quality and quantity of a cement
sheath.

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18.9.1. Microannulus
A microannulus at the interface of the casing and cement sheath may be created by
numerous factors. These include pressure changes in the casing once the cement has
set, the heat of hydration of the cement causing expansions of the casing with
subsequent contraction on cool down, and/or excessively thick mill varnish on the casing
surface. It is important that the existence of a microannulus be recognized since it can
be confused with a channel, resulting in attempted remedial squeezes. Attempts to
repair a microannulus are historically futile. The maximum microannulus size tolerated
by the various logging devices are as follows:

Microannulus Size

Tool Type Inches Millimeters

Conventional Bond Logging Tools 0 0


Fluid Compensated Bond Logging Tools 0 0
Pad Tools (Segmented Bond Tool) 0 0
Ultrasonic Tools 0.01 0.25

It is quite common to displace top wiper plugs with drilling mud following the cement
placement, then displace that mud with a lower-density completion fluid prior to logging.
Sometimes, due to float failure following cement placement, it is necessary to leave the
casing shut in. To compensate for pressure change effects, it is recommended the
casing be expanded to the cement sheath for logging by placing the equivalent pressure
in the casing that was present while the cement was setting, plus a minimum of 500 psi
to compensate for the casing expansion caused by the cement's heat of hydration. Non-
pressure passes are more effective for collar depth reference for perforating, but
pressurized passes are absolutely necessary for cement evaluation. To satisfy both
requirements, it is recommended both passes be made. It is also recommended the
"Tension" curve be placed on the presentation of the pressurized pass to ascertain line
drag problems. The microannulus size may be calculated by:
(OD2 * ∆P)
r=
(E * tw)
where:
r = Microannulus size, in
OD = Casing OD, in
∆P = Pressure change, psi
E = Young's Modulus of Elasticity of Steel
tw = Wall thickness of Casing, in

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18.9.2. Tool Eccentering


Cement evaluation tools must be centered in the casing for meaningful logs. Log
presentations from eccentered tools are long, meaningless pieces of paper. Tool
eccentering must be observed and corrected during the logging process. If evidence of
eccentering is observed while logging, pull the tool out of the hole to "beef up," replace,
or add additional centralizers. This problem is not one that can be changed after the
logging truck leaves the location.

18.9.2.1. Conventional and Compensated Bond Logs


Eccentering of conventional and fluid compensated bond logs decreases amplitude
(increases percent bonding), increases attenuation rate, and causes "warping" of the
VDL or microseismogram. Eccentering of bond logging tools by as much as ¼ inch
decreases the amplitude by approximately one-half (Figure 18.24), and causes the first
arrival wave to arrive early since it has a shorter distance to travel along the ID of the
casing nearest the tool. There is no industry standard for tool eccentering. Placement
of a "Transit Time" on the curve on the log presentation can provide eccentering quality
control. However, reasonable guidelines for tool eccentering suggest a maximum transit
time decrease of four microseconds (µs) as long as the decrease is caused by
eccentering and not created by formation effects (fast formation). This requires the
lithology must be recognizable from the gamma ray curve. It also suggests the logging
tool must have resolution of approximately one (1) microsecond and the maximum range
of transit time on the presentation does not exceed one hundred (100) microseconds.
(See also Figure 18.8.)

Figure 18.24: Eccentering

0.8

Relative Eccentering
0.6 Response

0.4 +
+
0.2

1/2 1/4 0 -1/4 -1/2


Eccentering (inches)

Courtesy of Atlas Wireline Services Division


Western Atlas International, Inc.

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18.9.3. Eccentering of Ultrasonic Tools
Eccentering measurements are generally presented in Track 1 of the log presentation.
These are measurements of tool eccentering relative to the wall of the casing, which is
calculated by comparing the difference between opposing radii. If the tool gets too far
out of center, the signals will strike the casing wall curvature at an angle and will not be
reflected directly back into the transducer face. This produces a distorted energy
measurement, thus faulty cement quality measurements. Since the ultrasonic sondes
are relatively short, stiff, and light compared to bond logging tools, centralization
generally does not pose a problem, even in horizontal holes. An acceptable guideline
for maximum allowable eccentering of the ultrasonic tools is 4% of the casing OD. For
example: in 5.5-inch casing, maximum allowable eccentering is 0.22 inches (.04 x 5.5);
in 9-5/8-inch casing, maximum allowable eccentering is 0.385 inch (.04 x 9.625).
Signal Cycle Skipping – Generally, signal cycle skipping only occurs in sonic-bond
logging and is manifested on the Transit Time curve in Track 1 of the log as a dramatic
increase in transit time.
Cycle skipping is a function of the threshold detection level of a particular tool and is
caused by high-attenuation levels of high-shear strength cements. Bias settings at less
than 10% of the free pipe signal peak will generally result in cycle skipping to later
amplitude arrivals, e.g., the E3 or even E5 peaks. These later stronger peaks which are
detectable above the gate bias setting are generally a result of strong formation signals
and bonding. Amplitude levels also are generally higher (lower values of percent
bonding) so it is important that "cycle skipping" be recognized for what it is. This
phenomenon can also occur in liner overlap sections containing high-shear strength
cement, i.e., the transit time can increase to the transit time value of the outer casing
string.
Signal "Stretch" –.”Stretch" is the slight delay in transit time (generally in the range of
10 - 12 µs) caused by attenuation of the pipe signal (E1) curve. The amplitude of the
peak is still sufficiently high for measurement, yet sufficiently attenuated to cause an
increase in the signal transit time. Cycle stretch can be interpreted as being caused by
cement-shear strength and be a portent of impending cycle skip.
Thin Cement Sheath – The bond log (the cement sheath quality) has been shown to be
a function of the cement sheath thickness (Figure 18.7). For a thin (less than ¾ inch)
cement sheath, recorded amplitude (percent bonding) will be increasingly pessimistic.
The response of the ultrasonic tools to a thin cement sheath is much less critical and
generally not a problem.
Formation Coupling – Coupling to the formation is generally inferred by the presence
of clear and concise reflected formation compression and shear waves on the VDL or
microseismogram. These formation signals are not always clear and well defined.
There may be cases where there are no indications of a VDL or microseismogram on
the log.

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Four downhole situations can prevent the recording of formation signals.
1. Thick, Soft, Fluffy Wall Cake – The signal velocity is so slow through the poorly
compacted filter cake that it does not have time to enter the formation and be
reflected back to the tool. These type-filter cakes will often be visible on the open
hole caliper survey as decreases in hole size across permeable sections.
2. Non-Cemented Hole Enlargement – Failure to clean the hole properly before and
during the cement job can leave a "washout" full of drilling mud instead of cement. If
these "poorly bonded" sections conform to identification of hole enlargements on the
open hole caliper survey, the enlargements are generally filled with drilling mud.
They may or may not present an annular isolation problem.
3. Soft or Poorly to Unconsolidated Formations – Sonic velocity in very soft
formations can be sufficiently slow that the formation reflections and refractions will
not have time to reach the tool within the measurement window. Marine shales, soft
salt or anhydrite beds, and/or fully unconsolidated sands will sometimes present this
type of interpretation problem. These situations do not generally pose an annular
isolation problem.
4. Foamed or Gas Cut Cement – Adding gas to the cement system, whether by
design (as in foamed cement) or naturally (as in formation gas influx), decreases
density which in turn can drastically reduce sonic velocity. It is not uncommon to
inject 20% to 40% by volume nitrogen (depending on the density required) into the
cement during the manufacture of foamed cement. Some commercial lightweight
additives can entrain as much as 35% to 45% by volume gas into the cement
system. The gas generating type “annular flow additives” generates 2% to 3% gas
into the cement sheath. Any of these types of cementing systems can create
sufficient decreases in sonic velocity. The formation signals do not have sufficient
time to return to the logging tool. Gas entrainment in the cement sheath does not
necessarily pose an annular isolation problem.
Formation bonding is inferred on the variable density log (VDL) or microseismogram of
the sonic bond log. The ultrasonic cement evaluation tools primarily investigate the
cement-casing interface and do not infer any magnitude of formation bonding. The
magnitude of formation signals being reflected into the receiver of the bond log tool will
mask the existence of a channel between the cement sheath and the borehole wall.
Consequently, none of the cement sheath evaluation tools to date can identify a
channel in the cement sheath unless it exists against the surface of the casing. It
is entirely possible to have an excellent cement job according to a bond logging tool or
an ultrasonic tool, yet still not have total isolation of the annulus. This is due to the
existence of a channel between the cement sheath and the formation borehole. In the
event this situation is suspected, it may be advisable to run a temperature log, or in
combination with a noise log, to detect communicable flow outside the cement sheath.

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18.10. TESTING RECOMMENDATIONS

18.10.1. Cement Testing


Prior to cementing and logging for cement evaluation, it is recommended that laboratory
testing include the following information. These procedures are recommended for better
determination of preferred logging times.

18.10.1.1. Operational Thickening Time


This is not API Thickening Time and is much closer to actual thickening time.
Operational thickening time uses “placement time” as heat-up time (Casing Volume +
Pump Rate) to bottomhole circulating temperature, followed by slurry cool down to
circulation temperature at the top of the cement column. Cool-down time is annular
volume from TD to cement top divided by the pump rate. These tests may be run using
a conventional consistometer or an Ultrasonic Cement Analyzer (UCA). When using the
UCA, the sonic velocity may be used to calculate the acoustic impedance of the set
cement. Multiply the cement density (lb gal) times 3.0429, then divide by the sonic
transit time (microseconds/inch). The resultant value of acoustic impedance is in
megaRayles (106mkg/m2-sec).

18.10.1.2. Static Time


The time required for the cement (at the top of the cement column) to reach a minimum
acoustic impedance value of 1.5 megaRayles greater than the acoustic impedance of
the drilling mud. These measurements should be made using the following procedures:
1. Following API slurry mixing procedures, place the sample in a UCA (or similar
device).
2. Heat the sample from mixing temperature to bottomhole circulating temperature and
expected pressure using the “placement time” as heat-up time discussed above.
3. Cool the sample to circulating temperature at the cement column top.
4. Heat the sample to static temperature at the cement column top. Heat-up time from
circulating temperature to static temperature should be eight hours.
5. Record time to reach a strength of 1.5 megaRayles greater than the drilling mud.
The elapsed time recorded should be from the time of item 4 (when the “plug is
bumped” and the system starts warming towards static temperature).
Static time is the minimum time the cement sheath should remain undisturbed prior to
logging. All cement below the top of the cement column will be set and have attained a
greater acoustic impedance. If a cement evaluation log is required, make sure the
cement has in fact set. It costs a lot less to measure the suggested set time in the
laboratory than it does to run a cement evaluation log to see if the cement is set.
Laboratory testing costs are even less when the log is run without knowing when the
upper cement system is supposed to be set and liquid cement is logged instead.

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18.10.2. Log Scaling and Parameters

18.10.2.1. Bond Logs


• Travel Time Curve – Range of scaling should be 100 microseconds (µs). For
example, 200-300 or 300-400 µs, not 200-400 µs. The purpose is to expand the
scale so the tool eccentering is more visible. Maximum tool eccentering should
not exceed consistent 4 µs.
• Amplitude Curve – Scale at 0-100 millivolts (do not use bonding index).
• Amplified Amplitude – Scale at 0-20 millivolts.
• Maximum recommended logging speed is 1,800 ft/hour.
• All bond logs should be run with and without internal casing pressure
(Log Examples 18.2 and 18.3).
• Make a bit and scraper run prior to logging.
• The maximum temperature for bong log tools is 350°F (177°C).

18.10.2.2. Segmented Bond Tool


1. Coloration of Variable Attenuation – The minimum coloration value should be set
using the free pipe value, based on the casing wall thickness. It is recommended all
remaining coloration be set at an attenuation rate equal to 100-psi cement at a given
casing wall thickness.
2. Filtering – The log presentation is normally filtered. Filtered means the data is
averaged every six inches. It is recommended the raw attenuation curves be
presented non-filtered.
3. Attenuation Curves – The scaling of the attenuation curves should be set at 0-9
db/ft. Common range for the curves is 0-15 db/ft. The lower value expands the
scale for better evaluation of the annular material in the low range of attenuation.
Separate solids from liquids, not 2,000-psi cement from 5,000-psi cement.
4. The relative bearing curve should always be put on the log to identify the low side of
the hole. This permits orientation of channels.
5. Maximum recommended logging speed is 2,400 ft/hour.

18.11. TOOL SELECTION


The choice of cement evaluation techniques depends on what is to be done with the
data, and how precise the results must be. For wells where the separation in productive
formations is in excess of 100 ft, a CBL will generally suffice. If there is a requirement to
determine isolation between intervals of less than 50 ft, an ultrasonic tool is
recommended.

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For determining only the top of cement, or the location of the lead and tail in the annulus,
a temperature log can be used. These basic logs will pick up changes in temperature
brought on by cement hydration and are widely used to locate top of cement following
cement jobs. These logs must be run within the early set time of the cement, and cannot
be used several days following the cement job.
In order of expense, the least costly log is a temperature log. This is followed by a sonic
log, ultrasonic log, and finally the combination of the sonic and ultrasonic logs. As the
cost increases, the amount of data increases and decisions can be made on a more
precise level.
It is the goal of cementing operations to eliminate the need for cement evaluation logs. If
all of the surface indications during the cement job indicate a quality job, there is little
value in performing cement evaluation via logs. Quality surface indicators include
factors that mean the cement job was properly designed, the casing was centralized and
used pipe movement, the cement was mixed to the proper density and fluid rates and
pressures were as predicted in pre-job planning.
Likewise, attempting to perform cement evaluation from a log in the absence of cement
data from location is futile. Without knowledge of the type of cement systems pumped,
and other well information, performing cement evaluation solely from a log is suspect at
best.

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REFERENCES

Edgson, J. and Mehts, D., "Evaluating Cement Quality in Canada," Paper 83-34-20
presented at the 34th Annual Technical Meeting of the Petroleum Society of CIM, Banff,
Alberta, May 1983.
Masson, J. P. and Bruckdorfer, R., "CBL evaluation of foam-cemented casings using
standard techniques," SPWLA Twenty-Fourth Annual Logging Symposium, June 1983.
Broding, R. A., "Application of the Sonic Volumetric Scan Log to Cement Evaluation,"
APWLA Twenty-Fifth Annual Logging Conference, June 1984.
Epps, D. S. and Tello, L. N., "Improved Compressive Strength Evaluations in Foamed
Cements Using the Pulse Echo Tool," Southwestern Petroleum Short Course, Lubbock,
TX, 1988.
Uswak, G. and Dennis, B., "Evaluating Neat and Foamed Cements," Petroleum
Engineer International, April 1991.
Dennis, B and Uswak, G., "Improved Evaluation of Neat and Light Cements," Paper 91-
04, CADE / CAODC Spring Drilling Conference, Calgary, Alberta, April 1991.
Hayman, A. J., Gai, H. and Toma, I., "A Comparison of Cementation Logging Tools in a
Full-Scale Simulator," SPE paper 22779 presented at the 66th annual conference, Dallas
TX, Oct. 1991.
Pilkington, Paul E., "Cement Evaluation - Past, Present and Future," JPT, Feb 1992.
Gai, H and Lockyear, C, "Cement Bond Logs - A New Analysis to Improve Reliability,"
SPE Paper 23729 presented at the Second Latin American Petroleum Engineering
Conference, Caracas, Venezuela, March 1992.
Harness, P. E., Sabins, F. L. and Griffith, J. E., "New Technique Provides Better Low-
Density-Cement Evaluation," SPE Paper 24050 presented at the Western Regional
Meeting, Bakersfield, CA, March 1992.
Goodwin, K. J., "Guidelines for Ultrasonic Cement-Sheath Evaluation," SPE Production
Engineering, August 1992.
Griffith, J. E., Sabins, F. L. and Harness, P. E., "Investigation of Ultrasonic and Sonic
Bond Tools for Detection of Gas Channels in Cements," SPE paper 24573 presented at
the 67th Annual Technical Conference, Washington, DC, Oct. 1992.
Gong, M. and Morriss, S. L., "Ultrasonic Cement Evaluation in Inhomogeneous
Cements," SPE paper 24572 presented at the 67th Annual Technical Conference,
Washington, D. C., Oct, 1992.
Cement Sheath Evaluation - API Technical Report 10TR1, First Edition, June 1996.
Harness, P. E. and Franl, W. E., "Neutron Logs Improve Interpretation of Foamed
Cement, Even in Concentric Casing," SPE Drilling & Completion, December 1996.
Goodwin, K. J., "Oilwell / Gaswell Cement-Sheath Evaluation," JPT, December 1997.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 18 - 49


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Goodwin, K. J., "Guidelines for Calibrating Schlumberger's Cement Evaluation Tool,"
March 1998.
Frish, G. F., Graham, W. L. and Griffith, J. E., "Assessment of Foamed-Cement Slurries
Using Conventional Cement Evaluation Logs and Improved Interpretation Methods,"
SPE Paper 55649, presented at the 1999 Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting, Gillette
Wyoming, 1999.

March 2004 Company Use Only Section 18 - 50


Appendix

Primary Cementing
Information Resources

Scope

This Section covers many information sources.

Company Use Only


Information Resources
A
Table of Contents
1. Books by Subject.......................................................................................... 3
2. Technical Papers by Subject ....................................................................... 4
Additives........................................................................................................ 4
Casing Vibration ........................................................................................... 4
Centralization ................................................................................................ 5
Coiled Tubing Squeeze ................................................................................ 5
Computer Models ......................................................................................... 5
CRETE* .......................................................................................................... 5
Displacement ................................................................................................ 6
External Casing Packer (ECP) ..................................................................... 6
Environmental ............................................................................................... 6
Equipment ..................................................................................................... 7
Evaluation...................................................................................................... 7
Evaluation and Foam.................................................................................... 7
Fluid Loss...................................................................................................... 8
Foam Cement ................................................................................................ 8
Foam Cement and HTHP / Lab Studies..................................................... 10
Gas Migration.............................................................................................. 11
Gas Migration and CRETE* ........................................................................ 12
Horizontal .................................................................................................... 12
HTHP ............................................................................................................ 12
Lab Studies ................................................................................................. 13
Liners ........................................................................................................... 13
Lost Circulation .......................................................................................... 14
Mechanical Properties................................................................................ 14
Mechanics ................................................................................................... 15
Mud Displacement ...................................................................................... 16
Other ............................................................................................................ 17
Plug .............................................................................................................. 17
Quality.......................................................................................................... 18
Quality and Foam........................................................................................ 18
Shoe Tests................................................................................................... 18
Slag .............................................................................................................. 19
Specialty Cements ...................................................................................... 20
Stress Failure .............................................................................................. 20
Stresses....................................................................................................... 20
Temperature ................................................................................................ 20
Water Flow................................................................................................... 22

March 2004 Company Use Only Appendix A - 2


Information Resources
A
Book / Standard Title Author(s) Publisher Date Additional Information

1. Books by Subject
Cement Sheath Evaluation API Technical Report 1996
10TR1, First Edition
Cementing Technology and Procedures Editions Technip, 1993
Paris
Cementing, SPE Monograph Volume 4, Henry L Dougherty Series Smith, Dwight K. Society of Petroleum 1990
Engineers,
Richardson, TX.
Centralizer Placement and Stop Collar Testing ISO 10427-2-2003 2003
Drilling Mud and Cement Slurry Rheology Manual Éditions Technip, 1982
Paris
Lost Circulation Messenger, Joseph U PennWell Publishing 1981
Company, Tulsa OK.
Petroleum Well Construction Economides, M. J., John Wiley & Sons, 1998
Watters, L. T., and Ltd. West Sussex,
Dunn-Norman, S. England
Preparation and Testing of Atmospheric Foamed Cement Slurries ISO 10426-4-2003 2003
Recommended Practice for Performance Testing of Cementing Float Equipment API Recommended 2002 ANSI/API 10F/ISO 18165-2001
Practice 10F, Third Ed
Specification for Bow-Spring Casing Centralizers API Specification 10D, 2002 ANSI/API 10D/ISO 10427-1-2001
Sixth Edition
Specification for Cements and Materials for Well Cementing API Specification 10A, 2002 ANSI/API 10A/ISO 10426-1-2001
Twenty-third Edition
Technical Report on Temperatures for API Cement Operating Thickening Time Tests API Report 10TR3, 1999
First Edition
Testing of Deep Water Cement Formulations ISO 10426-3-2003 2003
Testing of Well Cement ISO 10426-2-2003 2003
Well Cementing Nelson, Erik B Schlumberger 1990
Educational Services,
Houston TX
Worldwide Cementing Practices American Petroleum 1991
Institute, Washington
D.C.
Bold denotes a significant information resource.

March 2004 Company Use Only Appendix A - 3


Information Resources
A
Technical Paper Title Authors Source Year Additional Information

2. Technical Papers by Subject


Additives
Cementing Multilateral Well With Latex Cement Abdul-Rahman and SPE/IADC 37623 1997 Additives
Chong
Highly Relaxed Fluid Loss, Surfactant Enhanced Cement Dillenbeck and Smith SPE 38599 1997 Additives
Improves Results on Deep Gas Wells
How Fluid Loss Influences Primary Cementing: Literature Daccord & Baret SPE Drilling & 1994 Additives
Review and Methodology Completion
Improved Primary and Remedial Cementing with Thixotropic Spangle & Calvert AIME/SPE 3833 1972 Additives
Cement Systems
Liquid Cement Premix Introduces New Solutions to Conventional Rae and Johnston IADC/SPE 35086 1996 Additives
Cementing Problems
Storable Liquid Cementitious Slurries for Cementing Oil and Gas Rae and Johnston US Patent 5,447,195 1995 Additives Also see Patent
Wells 5,547,506, 1996

Surface Set Cements and their Successful Applications for Chan, Woolsey, Ackert CIM/SPE 90-114 1990 Additives
Shallow Gas Migration Control in Southeastern Alberta and Pipchuk
The Effects of Excess Retardation on the Physical Properties of Sabins, Sutton and SPE 10221 1981 Additives
Cement Slurries Crook
The Quality of Bentonite and Its Effect on Cement Slurry Grant, Rutledge & IADC/SPE 19940 1990 Additives
Performance Gardner
Use of Liquid Cement Additives in Offshore Operations Calvert & Gandy 1986 Additives

Casing Vibration
Primary Cementing Improvement by Casing Vibration During Cooke, Gonzalez and SPE Production 1988 Casing Vibration
Cement Curing Time Broussard Engineering
The Rheological Properties of Cement Slurries: Effects of Chow, McIntire, Kunze SPE Production 1988 Casing Vibration
Vibration, Hydration Conditions and Additives and Cooke Engineering

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March 2004 Company Use Only Appendix A - 4


Information Resources
A
Technical Paper Title Authors Source Year Additional Information
Centralization
Casing Centralization in Horizontal and Highly Inclined Wells Blanco, Ciccola and IADC/SPE 59138 2000 Centralization
Limongi
Reduce Torque, Drag and Wear - Material Selection for Kinzel and Colvard IADC/SPE 47804 1998 Centralizers
Centralizers used in Highly Inclined and Horizontal Wells

Coiled Tubing Squeeze


Cement Slurry Qualification, Field Mixing and Quality Assurance Vorkinn and Sanders SPE 26089 1993 Coiled Tubing Squeeze
Procedures for Coiled Tubing Squeeze Operations in Prudhoe
Bay Alaska
Coiled Tubing Cement Squeeze at Prudhoe Bay Alaska Harrison and Blount SPE 15104 1986 Coiled Tubing Squeeze
Improved Coiled Tubing Squeeze Techniques at Prudhoe Bay Hornbrook and Mason SPE 19543 1989 Coiled Tubing Squeeze
New Coiled Tubing Unit Cementing Techniques at Prudhoe Krause and Reem SPE 24052 1992 Coiled Tubing Squeeze
Developed to Withstand Higher Differential Pressure
Computer Models
Cementing Temperature Predictions Based in Both Downhole Honore, Tarr, Howard SPE 25436 1993 Computer Models
Measurements and Computer Predictions: A Case History and Lang
Computer Simulation Improves Cement Squeeze Jobs Bour, Creel and CIM/SPE 90-113 1990 Computer Models
Kulakofsky
CRETE*
A New Approach to Designing High Performance Lightweight Revil and Jain IADC/SPE 47830 1998 CRETE
Cement Slurries for Improved Zonal Isolation in Challenging
Situations
Case Studies of Expanding Cement to Prevent Microannular Baumgarte, Thiercelin SPE 56535 1999 CRETE
Formation and Klaus
Concrete Developments in Cementing Technology Guillot, et. al. Oilfield Review 1999 CRETE
High Performance Water Reduced Cement Slurries Prepared Baret, Garnier and IADC/SPE 35088 1996 CRETE
with Low Cost Optimized Blend Rashad
Improved Performance of Lightweight Cement Slurries Moulin and Revil JPT 1997 CRETE
New Cement Systems for Durable Zonal Isolation Le Roy-Delage, IADC/SPE 59132 2000 CRETE
Baumgarte, Thicerelin,
and Vidik
Bold denotes a significant information resource.

March 2004 Company Use Only Appendix A - 5


Information Resources
A
Technical Paper Title Authors Source Year Additional Information
New Cement Systems for Durable Zonal Isolation Roy-Delage, Baumgarte, IADC/SPE 59132 2000 CRETE
Thiercelin and Vidik
New Cementing Technology Cures 40 Year-Old Squeeze Farkas, Roemer, Roy, SPE 56537 1999 CRETE
Problems Dickinson and Hart
Support Requirements and Innovative Solutions for a Remote Piot, Lamb, Blessen, SPE 74501 2002 CRETE
Location with Difficult Cementing Challenges Schafers and Ferri
Use of Concrete Technology to Improve Performance of Moulin, Revil and Jain SPE 39276 1997 CRETE
Lightweight Cements
Using Particle Size Distribution Technology for Designing High Jain, Raiturkar, Holmes IADC/SPE 59134 2000 CRETE
Density, High Performance Cement Slurries in Demanding and Dahlin
Frontier Exploration Wells in South Oman
West Africa Deepwater Wells Benefit from Low-Temperature Piot, Ferri, Mananga, SPE/IADC 67774 2001 CRETE
Cements Kalabare & Viela

Displacement
Tide Flow: A Low Rate Density Driven Cementing Technique for Kroken, Sjaholm and IADC/SPE 35802 1996 Displacement
Highly Deviated Wells Olsen

External Casing Packer (ECP)


Cementing High Angle Wells Using Cement Expanded Formation Webster, Otott and Rice SPE/IADC 16136 1987 ECP
Packers and/or Casing Rotation
Development of a One Trip External Casing Packer Cement Coronado and Knebel SPE 39345 1998 ECP
Inflation and Stage Cementing System
Monitoring and Analysis of ECP Inflation Status Using Memory Gai and Elliott SPE 36949 1996 ECP
Gauge Data
Predicting Seal Effectiveness of Cement Inflated Packers Suman and Wood World Oil 1995 ECP
Zonal Isolation in Stimulation Treatments and Gas/Water Shutoff Wilson and Hoffman IADC/SPE 59139 2000 ECP
Using Thermally Compensated Inflatable Packers and Plugs

Environmental
Air Emissions Testing at an Oil Field Service Company Bulk Turner SPE 46835 1998 Environmental
Storage Facility

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March 2004 Company Use Only Appendix A - 6


Information Resources
A
Technical Paper Title Authors Source Year Additional Information
Equipment
Automatic Control of Bulk Cement Tank Levels Wienck and Pitts OTC 7069 1992 Equipment

Evaluation
A Comparison of Cementation Logging Tools in a Full Scale Hayman, Gai and Toma SPE 22779 1991 Evaluation
Simulator
Application of the Sonic Volumetric Scan Log to Cement Broding SPWLA 1984 Evaluation
Evaluation
Assessment of Foamed Cement Slurries Using Conventional Frisch, Graham and SPE 55649 1999 Evaluation
Cement Evaluation Logs and Improved Interpretation Methods Griffith
Cement Bond Log: Determining Wait-on-Cement Time Jordan and Shepard SPE 14200 1985 Evaluation
Cement Bond Logs - A New Analysis to Improve Reliability Gai and Lockyear SPE 23729 1992 Evaluation

Cement Evaluation - Past, Present and Future Pilkington JPT 1992 Evaluation
Cement Evaluation and Casing Inspection with Advanced Graham, Silva , SPE 38651 1997 Evaluation
Ultrasonic Scanning Methods Leimkuhler and de Kock
Improved Evaluation of Neat and Light Cements Dennis and Uswak CADE/CAODC 91-04 1991 Evaluation
Investigation of Ultrasonic and Sonic Bond Tools for Detection of Griffith, Sabins and SPE 24573 1992 Evaluation
Gas Channels in Cements Harness
New Technique Provides Better Low Density Cement Evaluation Harness, Sabins and SPE 24050 1992 Evaluation
Griffith
Ultrasonic Cement Evaluation in Inhomogeneous Cements Gong and Morris SPE 24572 1992 Evaluation

Evaluation and Foam


CBL Evaluation of Foam Cemented Casings Using Standard Masson and Bruckdorfer SPWLA 1983 Evaluation and Foam
Techniques
Improved Compressive Strength Evaluations in Foamed Cements Epps and Trllo Southwestern 1988 Evaluation and Foam
Using the Pulse Echo Tool Petroleum Short
Course
Neutron Logs Improve Interpretation of Foamed Cement, Even in Harness and Frank SPE Drilling & 1996 Evaluation and Foam
Concentric Casing Completion

Bold denotes a significant information resource.

March 2004 Company Use Only Appendix A - 7


Information Resources
A
Technical Paper Title Authors Source Year Additional Information
Fluid Loss
Role of Cement Fluid Loss in Wellbore Completion Bannister and Lawson SPE 14433 1985 Fluid Loss
Why Cement Fluid Loss Additives Are Necessary Baret SPE 17630 1988 Fluid Loss

Foam Cement
A Case Study of Ultra Lightweight Cementing Practices in the Edmondson and Benge SPE 12318 1983 Foam Cement
Northeastern United States
A Novel Lightweight Cement Slurry and Placement Technique for Kulkarni and Hina SPE 57449 1999 Foam Cement
Covering Weak Shale in Appalachian Basin
A Unique Experience with Foam Cement Piot, Ferriere and SPE 28820 1994 Foam Cement
Fraboulet
Advances in Metering and Control Technology Improves Judge and Benge IADC/SPE 47831 1998 Foam Cement
Design and Execution of Foamed Cement Jobs
Application of Foam Cement and the Stringent Quality Control Antonovitch. Birch and Proceedings 1983 Foam Cement
Techniques Basic to the Use of this New Oil Field Cementing Murphy Indonesian Petroleum
System Association
Application of Foam Cement in the Williston Basin Bour and Vennes SPE 18984 1989 Foam Cement
Application of Foam Cements in Alberta Olanson CIM 84-35-72 1984 Foam Cement
Applications of Foamed Portland Cement to Deep Well Conditions Bozich, Mountman and SPE 12612 1984 Foam Cement
in West Texas Harms
Automation Brings Foamed Cements Under Control Flatern Offshore 1997 Foam Cement
Calculation of Pressures for Foams in Well Completion Processes Buslov, Towler and SPE 36490 1996 Foam Cement
Amain
Cementing of Fragile Formation Wells with Foamed Cement Harms and Febus SPE 12755 1984 Foam Cement
Slurries
Cementing Through High Pressure Coiled Tubing on HTHP Khuff Mazen, Rouatbi and Zaki SPE 53244 1999 Foam Cement
Gas Well Offshore Abu Dhabi
Dynamic Characteristics of Nitrified Cements Mueller, Franklin and Southwestern 1990 Foam Cement
Daulton Petroleum Short
Course
Evaluating Neat and Foam Cements Uswak and Dennis Petroleum Engineer 1991 Foam Cement
International

Bold denotes a significant information resource.

March 2004 Company Use Only Appendix A - 8


Information Resources
A
Technical Paper Title Authors Source Year Additional Information
Evaluation of Foamed Cement Squeeze Treatments for Low Kondratoff and CIM 89-40-80 1989 Foam Cement
Pressure Highly Permeable Reservoirs Chmilowski
Foam Cement for Low Pressure Squeeze Applications Bour and Creel Southwestern 1987 Foam Cement
Petroleum Short
Course
Foam Cement Solves Problems in Alberta, Canada Peskunowicz and Bour CIM 87-38-89 1987 Foam Cement
Foam Cementing Applications on a Deepwater Subsalt Well - Moore, Miller, Faul and IADC/SPE 59170 2000 Foam Cement
Case History D'Agostino
Foam Rheology characterization as a Tool for Predicting Martins, Lourenco, Sa SPE/IADC 67691 2001 Foam Cement
Pressures While Drilling Offshore Wells in UBD Conditions and Silva
Foamed Cement - Solving old Problems with a New Technique Benge, Spangle and SPE 11204 1982 Foam Cement
Sauer
Foamed Cement - Theory and Practice Moran, Spangle and Southwestern 1986 Foam Cement
Evans Petroleum Short
Course
Foamed Cement Achieves Predictable Annular Fill in Appalachian Colavecchio and SPE 17040 1987 Foam Cement
Devonian Shale Wells Adamiak
Foamed Cement Application in Canada Smith and Lukay CIM 83-34-21 1983 Foam Cement
Foamed Cement as a Deterrent to Compaction Damage in White, Moore, Miller and SPE 59136 2000 Foam Cement
Deepwater Production Faul
Foamed Cement Characterization Under Downhole Rozieres and Ferriere IADC/SPE 19935 1990 Foam Cement
Conditions and Its Impact on Job Design
Foamed Cement for Squeeze Cementing Low Pressure Highly Chmilowski and SPE 20425 1990 Foam Cement
Permeable Reservoirs: Design and Evaluation Kondratoff
Foamed Cement Job Successful in Deep HTHP Offshore Well Benge, McDermott, Oil & Gas Journal 1996 Foam Cement
Langlinais and Griffith
Foamed Cement Restores Wellbore Integrity in Old Wells Garvin and Creel Oil & Gas Journal 1984 Foam Cement
Foamed Cement Solves Producing, Injection Problems Creel and Cook Oil & Gas Journal 1998 Foam Cement
Foamed Cement Squeezing Technology for Conformance Control Creel and Crook Southwestern 2000 Foam Cement
in Fractures, Channel Communication and Profile Modification Petroleum Short
Course
Foamed Cement vs. Conventional Cement for Zonal Isolation: Kopp, Reed, Carty and SPE 62895 2000 Foam Cement
Case Histories Griffith

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March 2004 Company Use Only Appendix A - 9


Information Resources
A
Technical Paper Title Authors Source Year Additional Information
Foamed Cement: A Second Generation Loeffler SPE 12592 1984 Foam Cement
Foamed Cementing Techniques for Liners Yields Cost Effective Pickett and Cole SPE 27679 1994 Foam Cement
Results
Foamed Cements Reliably Seal Cased Wellbores Petit, Covington, Banse Oil & Gas Journal 2000 Foam Cement
and Decareaux
How Foamed Cement Advantages Extend to Hydraulic Fracturing Deeg, Griffith, Crook and World Oil 1999 Foam Cement
Operations Benge
Low Density Foamed Portland Cements Fill Variety of Needs Mountman, Sutton, Oil & Gas Journal 1982 Foam Cement Also World Oil,
Harmes and Mody June 1982
Method Predicts Foamed Cement Compressive Strength Under Cobb, Maki and Sabins Oil & Gas Journal 2002 Foam Cement
Temperature, Pressure
New Developments in Aerated Mud Hydraulics for Drilling in Sunthankar, Kuru, Miska SPE 67189 2001 Foam Cement
Inclined Wells and Kamp
Nitrogen and Carbon Dioxide in the Oil Field: Stimulation and Ward SPE 12594 1984 Foam Cement
Completion Applications
Practical Field Procedures and Techniques for Foam Cementing Squires and Herbst Southwestern 1986 Foam Cement
Petroleum Short
Course
Shell Foam Cements to Surface in California's Mt. Poso Field Davis Drilling 1984 Foam Cement
Successful Squeezing of Shallow and Low Pressure Formations Grant, White, Smith and IADC/SPE 19937 1990 Foam Cement
Miller
The Determination of the Static and Dynamic Properties of Mueller, Franklin and SPE 20116 1990 Foam Cement
Nitrified Cements Daulton

Foam Cement and HTHP / Lab Studies


Foam Cement for Geothermal Wells Richard Geothermal Resources 1985 Foam Cement and
Council, Transactions HTHP
Foam Cementing Cyclic Steam Producing Wells: Cymric Field Miller and Frank SPE 46215 1998 Foam Cement and
Case Study HTHP
Rheological Properties of Aqueous Foams for Under-balanced Saintpere, Herzhaft, SPE 56633 1999 Foam Cement and Lab Studies
Drilling Toure and Jollet

Bold denotes a significant information resource.

March 2004 Company Use Only Appendix A - 10


Information Resources
A
Technical Paper Title Authors Source Year Additional Information
Gas Migration
A Single Technique Solves Gas Migration Problems Across a Drecq and Parcevaux SPE 17629 1988 Gas Migration
Wide Range of Conditions
An Investigation of Annular Gas Flow Following Cementing Garcia and Clark SPE 5701 1976 Gas Migration
Operations
Annular Gas Flow After Cementing: A Look at Practical Levine, Thomas, Bezner SPE 8255 1979 Gas Migration
Solutions and Toole
Annular Pressure and Temperature Measurements Diagnose Cooke, Kluck and JPT 1984 Gas Migration
Cementing Operations Medrano
Blow Out Occurrence Caused by Annular Gas Flow After Kahled Kadry SPE/IADC 57578 1999 Gas Migration
Cementing
Critical Design Parameters to Prevent gas Invasion During Bannister, Benge and CIM 84-35-105 1984 Gas Migration
Cementing Operations Marcinew
Development and Use of a Gas Tight Cement Grinrod, Vassoy and IADC/SPE 17258 1988 Gas Migration
Dingsoyr
Expansion: Anti-Fluid Migration Technology Solves South Texas Bour and East IADC/SPE 17259 1988 Gas Migration
Fluid Migration Problems
Field Measurements of Annular Pressure and Temperature Cooke, Kluck and JPT 1983 Gas Migration
During Primary Cementing Medrano
Gas Channeling and Micro Fractures in Cemented Annulus Taiabani, Chukwu and SPE 26068 1993 Gas Migration
Hatzignatiou
Gas Flow in Cements Cheung and Beirute SPE 11207 1982 Gas Migration
Gas Invasion and Migration in Cemented Annuli: Causes and Stewart and Schouten IADC/SPE 14779 1986 Gas Migration
Cures
Gas Invasion and Migration in Cemented Annuli: Causes and Stewart and Schouten SPE Drilling 1988 Gas Migration
Cures Engineering
Interrelationship Between Critical Cement Properties and Sutton and Sabins SPE 20451 1990 Gas Migration
Volume Changes During Cement Setting
Low Rate Pipe Movement During Cement Gelation to Control Gas Sutton and Ravi SPE 22776 1991 Gas Migration
Migration and Improve Cement Bond
Modeling Early Time Gas Migration Through Cement Slurries Prohaska, Fruhwirth and SPE 27878 1994 Gas Migration
Economides
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March 2004 Company Use Only Appendix A - 11


Information Resources
A
Technical Paper Title Authors Source Year Additional Information
New Method for Determining Downhole Properties that Affect Sutton and Ravi SPE 19520 1989 Gas Migration
Gas Migration and Annular Sealing
New Model of Pressure Reduction to Annulus During Primary Zhou and Wojanowicz IADC/SPE 59137 2000 Gas Migration
Cementing
Parametric Study of Gas Entry into Cemented Wellbores Sabins & Wiggins SPE Drilling & 1997 Gas Migration
Completion
Prevention of Shallow Gas Migration Through Cement Al-Buraik, Al- IADC/SPE 47775 1998 Gas Migration
Abdoulqader and
Bsaibes
Shallow Gas Migration Control Treatments in Wainwright Area Cox and Chan CADE/CAODC 91-05 1991 Gas Migration
Surfactants: Additives to Improve the Performance Properties of Cowan and Eoff SPE 25181 1993 Gas Migration
Cements
The Inability of Unset Cement to Control Formation Pressure Stone and Christian SPE 4783 1974 Gas Migration Also SPE Paper
11206, 1982
Verification of Slurry Response Number Evaluation Method for Harris, Ravi, King, SPE 20450 1990 Gas Migration
Gas Migration Control Wilkinson and Faul
Verification of Slurry Response Number Evaluation Method for Gai and Greaves SPE Drilling & 1996 Gas Migration
Gas Migration Control Completion

Gas Migration and CRETE*


Successful Sealing of Vent Flows with Ultra-Low-Rate Cement Slater, Stiles and SPE/IADC 67775 2001 Gas Migration and
Squeeze Technique Chmilowski CRETE*

Horizontal
Cementation of Horizontal Wellbores McPherson SPE 62893 2000 Horizontal
Problems in Cementing Horizontal Wells Sabins JPT 1990 Horizontal

HTHP
Cementing Steamflood and Fireflood Wells - Slurry Design Nelson and Eilers CIM 83-34-23 1983 HTHP
Evaluation and Improving Thermal Cementing Practices Chmilowski, Frankiw and CIM 84-35-115 1984 HTHP
Ford
Improved Cement Slurry Designed for Thermal EOR Wells Nelson Oil &a