Novel Aromatic Polyamides and its Application in Enhancing the Integrity of Oil Well Cement Sheath
- Elizabeth Q. Contreras (Aramco Services Company: Aramco Research Center) | Diana Rasner (Aramco Services Company: Aramco Research Center) | Roland F. Martinez (Aramco Services Company: Aramco Research Center) | Carl J. Thaemlitz (Aramco Services Company: Aramco Research Center)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE/IADC International Drilling Conference and Exhibition, 5-7 March, The Hague, The Netherlands
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2019. SPE/IADC Drilling Conference and Exhibition
- 4 Facilities Design, Construction and Operation, 5.10 Storage Reservoir Engineering, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 2.10 Well Integrity, 5 Reservoir Desciption & Dynamics, 6.5.3 Waste Management, 2.10.3 Zonal Isolation, 4.7.2 CO2 Capture and Management, 5.2 Fluid Characterization, 2 Well completion, 4.7 Unconventional Production Facilities
- Polymer, Young's Modulus, Zonal Isolation, Mechanical Property, Portland Cement
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Quality of cement is an integral part of well integrity. To ensure and improve cement quality, innovative polymers, based upon a family of polymers known as polyamides, are synthesized to improve the mechanical properties of Portland cement. This results in cement systems that have high resistance to impact breakage in set cement.
With the addition of polyamides into cement, mechanical properties such as unconfined compression strength (UCS), confined compression strength (CCS), Young's modulus, and the effect of temperature on cement performance are used to show significant improvements to set cement elasticity and compression strength. Under dynamic force loading conditions, up to 30 MPa (4,350 psi) and at temperatures ranging from 20 to 180°C (68-356°F), a tri-axial load cell offers a more comprehensive method of measuring mechanical properties, of designing competent cement systems, and predicting cement integrity. These measurements are further compared to analyses from more traditional methods, such as confined acoustic and unconfined load cells, for information such as compressive strength.
The polymer additive is a solid comprising of a polyamide that enhances the mechanical properties of set cement by rendering it high-strength and more elastic to reduce plastic deformation. Findings show that the new polyamide-cements exhibit unconfined compressive strength improvements greater than 25% when compared to latex-treated cement. Furthermore, tri-axial load cell measurements are able to quantitatively analyze the reliability of cement by measuring cumulative fatigue damage which predicts cement failure (Reddy, 2007). Strain-controlled cyclic tests to measure mechanical properties at 20°C show that polyamide cements resist deformation better because of higher durability than latex cements. Polyamide cements had only an 11% permanent strain when compared to latex cement, which had a 27% permanent strain. It is important to assess the mechanical performance of oil well cement, which is subject to cyclic loading due to dramatic changes in pressure and temperature during production (Ravi, 2004).
Lastly, the effects of temperature on cement performance is well-documented to cause phase changes at different scales and a decrease in cement strength (Reddy, 2016). With polyamide-cements, the rate of cement strength retrogression is less at temperatures up to 180°C allowing the cement to have increased strength in comparison to latex cements, as well as to cement with no additives. Collectively, the data on elasticity and high compressive strength shows the value of this new polymer additive for cement systems on long-term zonal isolation in gas and oil wells. These polyamides maintained all favorable characteristics, proving to be the best performing additive that imparts the desired mechanical properties essential to extending the endurance of wellbore cement sheaths.
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