A Step Forward to Assess Cement Blend Flowability and Proneness to Segregation: Cases Histories
- Arnaud Joseph Gino Bourlon (Schlumberger) | Sylvaine Le Roy-Delage (Schlumberger) | Salim Taoutaou (Schlumberger)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference, 13-16 November , Abu Dhabi, UAE
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2017. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2 Well completion, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 1.14.3 Cement Formulation (Chemistry, Properties), 2.2 Installation and Completion Operations
- Cement, Blend, Flowability, Segregation
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A recurring challenge in cementing concerns the effectiveness and the quality of cement blending and handling procedures. Some recent technologies involve dry-blending operations and cement-blend handling of specifically tuned blends that mix particles of different characteristics in terms of density, shape, size, and chemistry, including mineral and/or organic components. All blends are usually transported pneumatically, loaded to the rig, and then transferred to the rig silos. During the multiple transfers, depending on its characteristics, the blend may become difficult to flow and prone to segregation. This causes the blend to lose its homogeneity, and, consequently, it becomes difficult to use or even unusable.
Flowability and robustness to segregation are essential blend properties for the handling process. Overall, the differences between particles in chemical nature, density, size, and shape will influence the flowability and the tendency to segregate. Dealing with blends is, therefore, complex since they contain small, medium, and coarse particles, all of them in various proportions depending on the targeted cementing-fluid density and set cement properties.
To counter this challenge, an innovative methodology and equipment were systematically used in field cases to characterize the blend flowability and robustness to segregation.
This new approach is used during the cement-job design as a preventive measure to validate the design and quality control of the dry-blending operations and transportation to the rig. This process helped in designing robust homogeneous blends, thus reducing the likelihood of blend transfer problems.
Three case histories illustrate our new process. In the first case, we evaluated the blend selection between two designs that had good slurry performance for a critical job at a field location. We measured the shear under consolidation, the aerability, and the proneness to segregation of the two blends. Because both blends have good and equivalent flowing properties, we selected the blend that was less prone to segregation. In the second case, the field location designed four complex blends for lead and tail slurries having good slurry performance. We evaluated the shear under consolidation of the four blends, which were classified according to their flowability. Next, we measured the aerability of the blends as a second parameter to discriminate the blends, and then we considered segregation as the last screening parameter. In the last case, we used our flowability criteria to select the maximum acceptable concentration of an additive, which increased cement fluid performance but degraded blend handling.
The outcome of this multidisciplinary approach of blend characterization helps the oil and gas industry anticipate blend-handling issues and continuously improve quality and field handling of engineered complex blends with high confidence and consistency.
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