High-Temperature Wells with Lost-Circulation Demands and Reverse Circulation Placement Technique Using Foamed Cement Systems: Two Case Histories
- Robert D. Moore (Reliance Energy Inc.) | Daniel L. Bour (Halliburton) | Shawn Reed (Halliburton) | Rafael Hernandez (Halliburton)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- June 2005
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 133 - 140
- 2005. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 6.1.5 Human Resources, Competence and Training, 3 Production and Well Operations, 5.6.5 Tracers, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 1.6 Drilling Operations, 1.14.3 Cement Formulation (Chemistry, Properties), 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 2 Well Completion, 5.5.11 Formation Testing (e.g., Wireline, LWD), 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 5.9.2 Geothermal Resources
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Drilling activities in diverse areas can pose significant challenges forconventional cement systems and circulation methods. To overcome thesechallenges, a unique cementing system and a circulation method have been testedin the field with great success. This paper details how these technologies andtechniques were successfully used in the cementation process of one casingstring in a relatively shallow geothermal well in central California and arelatively deep string in central Wyoming.
Globally, many wells experience lost-circulation problems that require thereduction of circulation pressures to allow proper placement of cement toprovide annular coverage. To help minimize these circulation pressures, cementwas directly pumped into the annulus, significantly reducing placementpressures and allowing placement of the cement with no apparent losses—aprocess referred to as the reverse-circulation placement technique (RCPT). Inthe deep and shallow applications discussed, the placement technique and theindividual slurry designs address temperature issues.
Drilling and completion of geothermal and deep, hot wells pose a number ofchallenges, including very high temperatures (250°F or greater)—at great depthsand at relatively shallow depths. The high temperatures pose challenges whilethe well is being drilled and completed and after construction has beencompleted.1-3 In a geothermal well, carbon dioxide (CO2) may be encountered insome of the formations, which can be a serious corrosive threat to both thecement and the casing in the well.
The most common problem faced when drilling wells in geothermal fields islost circulation. Because of the typically fractured nature of formations in ageothermal field, lost circulation can cause serious problems during drillingand while casing is cemented across lost-circulation zones. Lost circulationthat occurs during a cement job can lead to incomplete sealing of the annulus,which may require remedial cementing in an attempt to fill the annulus.4-6
Traditionally, when lost circulation is a problem, operators rely onconventional lost-circulation treatments before cementing. Additionally,various lightweight-cement systems are used to help minimize the pressure whilecement is circulated into an annulus, which can help minimize the potential forlost circulation and associated problems.7,8
In central Wyoming, a 15,932-ft string of 10¾-in. pipe was successfullycemented by use of the RCPT. The positive results have led to additionalapplications of the technology in other parts of the U.S.A.
A central California geothermal well was cemented by use of the technologyas well. The RCPT was used to cement a 13?-in. casing string at a total depthof 3,720 ft.9,10
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