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OBJECTIVE ONE: CASING
When you complete this objective you will be able to…
Understand the reasons a casing string is run and be able to manually design casingstrings, which meet EUB minimum requirements at a minimum cost.
Functions of Casing
There are many possible functions for casing but the two main reasons are:
Casing must be capable of withstanding all the pressures, which may be encounteredduring drilling. This includes formation pressure, assuming no hydrostatic head ispresent, external hydrostatic pressure, assuming complete evacuation, and highdifferential pressure caused by cement slurries etc.Many casing strings are run at a point in the well where they will allow good pressurecontrol of the formations present. For example casing may be run immediately prior todrilling a high-pressure zone. This increases the maximum surface pressure that can beused for well control by utilizing the much higher fracture pressures below the shoe,which occur at greater depth. Alternatively a high-pressure zone may be drilled with ahigh-density mud and then cased off to allow ongoing drilling with normal weight muds.A less obvious reason is to case off lost circulation or low integrity zones, which will alsoincrease the available surface pressure for well control.Surface casing is perhaps the exception. It is run to protect surface (potable) waters fromcontamination and almost any pipe will probably be stronger than the formation fracturepressure at the shoe. Blowout control requires that this fracture pressure be determinedand that care be taken to ensure it is not exceeded.
Hole Condition Improvement
Almost all hole problems can be eliminated by running and cementing casing through thetroublesome sections. The problem may, of course, show up again further down the hole.In general running casing to improve hole conditions should be regarded as a last resortbecause it reduces the future options open to us.Some of the general conditions, which may require running casing, include:1.
Sloughing hole caused by hydratable shales, fracture zones, boulders.2.
Over pressured shales, particularly those with gas present.3.
Physically weak fracture or ruble zones.4.
Loose gravel or boulders in formations with low matrix strength.5.
Swelling Clays and Siltstones causing under gauge hole.6.
Lost circulation zones or high-pressure zones.7.
Plastic formations such as coal seams or salt beds.