Deepwater Reverse-Circulation Primary Cementing: Applicability and Technical Path Forward for Implementation
- C. Wreden (CSI Technologies;) | J.T. Watters (CSI Technologies;) | R. Giroux (Weatherford;) | M. Nikolaou (University of Houston;) | K. Macfarlan (University of Houston;) | D.A. Richardson (Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America)
- Document ID
- Offshore Technology Conference
- Offshore Technology Conference, 05-08 May, Houston, Texas
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2014. Offshore Technology Conference
- 7.2 Risk Management and Decision-Making, 3 Production and Well Operations, 2 Well completion, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 2.2 Completion Installation and Operations, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 3 Production and Well Operations, 7.2.1 Risk, Uncertainty and Risk Assessment, 7 Management and Information, 6.3 Safety
- reduced ECD, deepwater cementing, zonal isolation, Reverse-circulation, numerical modeling
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A two-year government funded project is being conducted to evaluate the viability and applicability of Reverse-Circulation Primary Cementing (RCPC) in deepwater wells. This project focuses on the identification of technical issues that must be addressed before routine RCPC operations can occur in deepwater wells, and a recommended path forward to full evaluation of the viability of this placement technique in deepwater. Analysis includes numerical models and simulations, mechanical placement controls, cementing materials, and operational challenges.
While RCPC has been used on land and on a few shallow water offshore wells, it has not yet been fully evaluated for use in a challenging deepwater environment. The application of RCPC to deepwater wells is expected to reduce bottom-hole circulating pressures and prevent lost circulation during cementing, as well as increase safety, environmental sustainability, zonal isolation, and improve cement seals.
Standard commercially available software packages are unable to directly model the flow path through the complex configuration of a deepwater reverse-circulation cementing process. A multi-physics finite-element software package has been used to develop a model to predict temperatures and pressures during the reverse-circulation cementing process. Evaluation of mechanical placement controls has found that a major challenge will be the development of a switchable crossover between a conventional and reverse flow path, and the modification of float equipment. Also, with the application of RCPC it is anticipated that the design methodology of cementing fluids may be affected by changing the placement method.
One major challenge in deepwater cementing is the narrow formation fracture gradient, so the application of RCPC has clear beneficial potential. By lowering the Equivalent Circulation Densities (ECDs) during the job, the risk of fracturing the formation and lost-circulation is decreased. Less fluid lost to the formation during placement can potentially lead to higher tops of cement (TOC) and improved cement bonding and zonal isolation.
|File Size||4 MB||Number of Pages||19|