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CEMENTING

Dwight K. Smith
Senior Staff Associate
Halliburton Services

SPE Monograph Series, Volume 4

Henry L. Doherty Memorial Fund of AIME


Society of Petroleum Engineers
Richardson, TX USA

Preface
The Cementing Monograph (revised edition) is the fourth in a series of books on petroleum technology published
by the Society of Petroleum Engineers. It is a composite review of the technical literature on cementing. Basic principles,
materials, and techniques of cementing are reviewed and illustrated, and the applicability and limitations of the various procedures are discussed.
The Monograph series is designed to provide the Society with a state-of-the-art treatment of the fundamental principles
in a select field of technology. This particular Monograph brings together the published results of many investigations
and the thinking of many persons involved in research and field operations dealing with oilwell cementing. The material
is presented in a form that will provide a basic background on the subject to engineers who are not directly involved
in drilling and cementing. For those engineers who are directly engaged in the cementing process, it contains an up-todate review of the literature and an extensive bibliography through 1986.
In writing a book of this type, an author is inevitably indebted to more people than he is aware of. The published
works that he has read and the discussions that have molded his ideas and opinions are often not fully acknowledged.
Any such oversights that I may have committed are regretted and unintentional.
I should like to accord special recognition to the technical effort of all the members of the API Standardization
Group since its organization. In particular, I should like to recognize the Chairmen, who have directed much of the
technical effort that has led to cement standardization: Carl Dawson, Standard Oil Co. of California; Walter Rogers,
Gulf Oil Co.-U.S.; George Howard, Amoco Production Co.; Francis Anderson, Halliburton Services; Bill Bearden,
Amoco Production Co.; Bob Scott, Standard Oil Co. of California; Frank Shell, Phillips Petroleum Co.; Horace Beach,
Gulf Oil Co.; and Bob Smith, Amoco Production Co.
Members of the Society's Monograph Committee have also played a very significant role in selecting the content
of this Monograph. Their thorough review and constructive suggestions were a valuable help in achieving the balance
in coverage of the subject. Particular recognition is given to George Bruce, who has been chairman of the editorial
process in publishing both editions of this book.
I am also grateful to Dan Adamson of the Society of Petroleum Engineers staff for his confidence and "loyalty
to the cause" during the many months of preparation of this publication. Gratitude is extended to Sally Wiley and
Georgeann Bilich for their editing of the manuscripts and for straightening out the circumlocutions of a would-be writer.
My special thanks to the management of Halliburton Services for their cooperation in making this work on cementing
possible.

Dwight K. Smith

Duncan, Oklahoma
May 1987

iv

Contents
1. Introduction
1:1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5

Scope of the Monograph


Objectives of the Monograph
The Cementing Procedure
Historical Background
Summary

2. The Manufacture, Chemistry, and


Classification of Oilwell Cements
Introduction
Manufacture of Cement
Chemistry of Cements
Classifications of Cement
Properties of Cement Covered by API
Specifications
2.6 Cement Standards Outside the U.S.
1.7 Specialty Cements
2.8 Summary
2.1
2.2
2.3
2.4
2.5

3. Cementing Additives
3.1 Introduction
3.2 Cement Accelerators
3.3 Lightweight Additives
3.4 Heavyweight Additives
3.5 Cement Retarders
3.6 Additives for Controlling
Lost Circulation
3.7 Filtration-Control Additives
for Cements
3.8 Cement Dispersants, or
Friction Reducers
3.9 Uses of Salt Cements
3.10 Special Additives for Cement
3.11 Summary
4. Factors That Influence Cement Slurry
Design
Introduction
Pressure, Temperature, and
Pumping Time
4.3 Viscosity and Water Content of
Cement Slurries
4.4 Thickening Time
4.5 The Mechanism of Cement Hydration
4.6 Strength of Cement To Support Pipe
4.7 Strength-Testing Technique
4.8 Mixing Waters
4.9 Sensitivity to Drilling Fluids and
Drilling-Fluid Additives
4.10 Slurry Density
4.11 Cement Rheology Measurements
4.12 Lost Circulation
4.13 Heat of Hydration
4.14 Permeability
4.15 Filtration Control
4.16 Resistance to Downhole Brines
4.17 Techniques for Identifying Cement
Quality and Blend Analysis
4.18 Conclusions

4.1
4.2

1
1
1
1
1
4

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7
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58

5. Hole and Casing Considerations


Introduction
Casing String Design
Casing String Components
Wellbore Conditioning and
Running Casing
5.5 Casing-Landing Procedures
5.6 Special Loading Conditions During
Cementing
5.7 Casing and Tubular-Good Failures
5.8 Loss of Casing Downhole
5.9 Casing and Thread Identification
5.10 Summary

5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4

6. Surface and . Subsurface Casing


Equipment
6.1 Introduction
6.2 Floating and Guiding Equipment
6.3 Formation Packer Collars and Shoes
6.4 Stage-Cementing Tools
6.5 Plug Containers and Cementing Plugs
6.6 Casing Centralizers
6.7 Casing Scratchers
6.8 Special Equipment
6.9 Drilling Floating Equipment in
Casing Shoe Joints
6.10 Summary
7. Primary Cementing
7.1
7.2

Introduction
Considerations in Planning a
Cementing Job
7.3 Considerations During Cementing
7.4 Placement Techniques
7.5 Displacement Mechanics in Primary
Cementing
7.6 Cementing Multiple Strings
7.7 Cementing Directional Holes
7.8 Gas Leakage After Cementing
7.9 Cementing Through Soluble
Formations
7.10 Considerations After Cementing
7.11 Summary

8. Deep-Well Cementing
Introduction
Cementing Considerations for
Deep Wells
8.3 Use of Liners in Deep Wells
8.4 Equipment Used in Hanging Liners
8.5 Liner Cementing Practices
8.6 Cementing Through Fractured
Formations
8.7 Cementing Liners Through Abnormal
Pressure Formations
8.8 Cementing Liners in Wells With
Low Fluid Levels
8.9 Other Factors To Consider in
Cementing Deep Wells
8.10 Summary Check Lists for Running
and Cementing Liners in Deep Wells

8.1
8.2

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9. Squeeze Cementing

9.1
9.2
9.3
9.4
9.5
9.6
9.7
9.8
9.9
9.10
9.11
9.12
9.13
9.14
9.15
9.16

Introduction
Where Squeezing Is Required
Squeeze Terminology
Squeeze Techniques
Squeeze Pressure Requirements
Squeezing Fractured Zones
Erroneous Squeeze-Cementing
Theories
Job Planning
Slurry Design
Squeeze Packers
Squeeze-Pressure Calculations
WOC Time
Squeeze Applications
Testing Squeeze Jobs
Summary
Helpful Formulas for
Squeeze Cementing

10. Downhole Cement Plugs

10.1
10.2
10.3
10.4
10.5
10.6
10.7
10.8
10.9

Introduction
Uses of Cement Plugs
Placement Precautions
The Mud System
Cement Volume and Slurry Design
Placement Techniques
Testing Cement Plugs
Barite Plugs
Summary

11. Flow Calculations

11.1 Introduction
11.2 The Flow Properties of
Wellbore Fluids
11.3 Instruments Used To Predict
Fluid Flow Properties
11.4 Displacement Theories-Plug Flow
vs. Turbulent Flow
11.5 Equations Used in Flow Calculations
11.6 Summary
12. Bonding, Logging, and Perforating

12.1
12.2
12.3
12.4
12.5

Introduction
Bonding Considerations
Bonding of Cement to Pipe
Bonding of Cement to Formation
Methods of Locating Cement
Behind the Pipe
12.6 Perforating-Effects on the
Cement Sheath
12.7 Perforating Devices and Methods
12.8 Perforating in Gas-Producing Zones
12.9 Factors Influencing Perforation
12.10 Summary
13. Regulations

13.1 Introduction
13.2 Regulatory Bodies Controlling the
Cementing of Wells
13.3 Typical Regulations
13.4 Permits
13.5 Enforcement and Penalties
13.6 Summary

14. Special Cementing Applications

123

14.1 Introduction
14.2 Large-Hole Cementing
14.3 Water-Well Cementing
14.4 Waste-Disposal Wells
14.5 Steam-Producing Wells
14.6 Thermal-Recovery Wells
14.7 Wells for Fireflood
14.8 Wells Used for Coal Gasification
14.9 Miscible Flooding Wells
14.10 Cementing in Permafrost
Environments
14.11 Cementing (Grouting) Offshore
Structures
14.12 Summary

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132
133
136
136

Appendix A: Common Primary Cementing


Calculations-Surface Pipe

137

A.1
A.2
A.3
A.4

139

139
139
140
140
141
142
143
143
144

Problem
Desired Information
Well Conditions
Calculations

Appendix B: Squeeze Cementing


Calculations

B.1
B.2
B.3
B.4
B.5
B.6
B.7
B.8

145

145
145

Problem
Desired Information
Well Conditions
Calculations
Problem
Well Conditions
Desired Information
Calculations

Appendix C: Plugback Cementing

149

C.1
C.2
C.3
C.4
C.5
C.6
C.7
C.8

149
150
153
155

155
155
155
157

Problem
Desired Information
Well Conditions
Calculations
Balanced Plug for Whipstock
Desired Information
Conditions
Calculations

Appendix D: Flow Calculations for Example


Primary Cementing Jobs

D.1
D.2
D.3
D.4
D.5
D.6

157
164
164
168
168
169

Problem
Desired Information
Well Conditions
Calculations
Problem
Conditions

Nomenclature
Metric Conversion Tables
Bibliography
Author Index
Subject Index

170

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vi

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221
246
249

Chapter 1

introduction

1.1 Scope of the Monograph

1.4 Historical Background

The oilwell cementing process is used throughout the


world, and it has grown in complexity, with many people,
o rganizations, and technologies contributing to the state
of the art. To help the practicing engineer with planning
and job evaluation, this monograph has been written as
a comprehensive reference with information about the variety of materials and techniques used in well cementing.
Chapters are devoted to cements, additives, testing, job
planning, and job execution of primary cementing, liner
cementing, squeeze cementing, and plugging operations.
The importance of planning in achieving zonal isolation
is highlighted. Coverage is also given to mechanical and
pumping equipment, mixers, bulk handling systems, and
various subsurface tools used to place cement properly.
The book is assembled in the logical sequence of field
cementing operations to provide the petroleum engineer
with a working knowledge of better cementing practices.

Early Jobs. The U.S. petroleum industry traditionally


dates its beginning with the drilling of the Drake well in
1859; yet it was not until 1903 that a cement slurry was
used to shut off downhole water just above an oil sand
in the Lompoc field in California. Frank F. Hill, with the
Union Oil Co., is credited with mixing and dumping, by
means of a bailer, a slurry consisting of 50 sacks of neat
Portland cement. 1 '2 After 28 days the cement was drilled
from the hole, and the well was completed by drilling
through the oil sand; the water zone had been effectively
isolated. This became an accepted practice and soon
spread to other California fields wherever similar difficulties were encountered.
The early dump bailer and tubing techniques3 were
soon replaced with a two-plug cementing method introduced into the California fields by A.A. Perkins in 1910.
It was with Perkins' method that the modern oilwell
cementing process was born. The first plugs, or spacers,
were of cast iron and contained belting disks that functioned as wipers for mud on the casing. When cement was
displaced from the pipe by steam, the plug stopped, causing a pressure increase that shut off the steam pump.
The patent issued to Perkins specified the use of two
plugs. The courts later ruled that the patent includes any
barrier that prevents the cement from mixing with contaminants, whether the barrier is used ahead of or behind
the cement. 4
The services of the Perkins Co. were not available outside the California area, so elsewhere the cementing process had different beginnings. In Oklahoma it was
introduced by Erle P. Halliburton in 1920 in the Hewitt
field, Carter County.
The practice in Oklahoma was to set casing on top of
the sand. In rotary-drilled holes the casing was frequently
set high to avoid drilling into the producing formation. 5
A blowout on Skelly's No. 1 Dillard occurred while casing
was being run into a hole drilled into the oil sand. Efforts
to control it failed until Halliburton, using crude mixing
and cementing equipment, pumped some 250 sacks of
Portland cement and water into the casing. After a wait
of 10 days, the cement was drilled out, and the well was

1.2 Objectives of the Monograph


This monograph has two purposes:
1. To provide the petroleum engineer responsible for
the cementing process with information that will help him
to judge the merits of various cementing techniques and
to know what results can be expected.
2. To provide a comprehensive review of the state of
the art.

1.3 The Cementing Procedure


Oilwell cementing is the process of mixing a slurry of
cement and water and pumping it down through steel
casing to critical points in the annulus around the casing
or in the open hole below the casing string (Fig. 1.1).
The two principal functions of the primary cementing
process are to restrict fluid movement between formations
and to bond and support the casing.
In addition to isolating oil-, gas-, and water-producing
zones, cement also aids in (1) protecting the casing from
corrosion, (2) preventing blowouts by quickly forming
a seal, (3) protecting the casing from shock loads in drilling deeper, and (4) sealing off zones of lost circulation,
or thief zones.

CEMENTING

Plug Container

Cementing Unit

Casing
Displacement Fluid

Cement Slurry
Slurry is circulated, weighed,
and adjusted.

Slurry is pumped downhole.

Down Hole
Displacement
Fluid
Top Plug
Seated
Bottom Plug
Seated

Rotating Scratcher
Or

Reciprocation
Scratcher
Guide Shoe

Job in Process

Job Finished

Fig. 1.1Typical primary cementing job.

produced without excessive water or gas production. During the following months 61 wells were cemented by this
technique. 6 (See Fig. 1.2.)

Fig. 1.2Cementing in the early 1920'sHewitt field, OK.

Bulk Handling and Additives. Before 1940, wells were


cemented with sack cement (Fig. 1.3). Very few additives were used. In 1930 there was one additive and only
one cement. In 1940, there were two types of cement,
and three additives had been developed. Twenty-five years
more saw 8 API classes of cement and 38 additives put
on the market. By 1985, although the number of API
classes of cement in common use had decreased to 4, the
number of additives had increased to more than 50.
With the introduction of bulk cement in 1940, the handling of additives became more practical, waste was eliminated, and manpower savings were realized. The first
bulk cement station for eliminating sack cement was con-

INTRODUCTION

DISPLACING
HORSEPOWER

MIXING
HORSEPOWER
1926

60
1811

1936

341111 92
9011 120 90 210

1946
1956
1966
1982

300

300

300

600
670

250
160 III
In Additional horsepower available for
displacing after cement is mixed

670

Fig. 1.3Early-day cementing using sack cement.

Fig. 1.4Horsepower of cementing trucks.

structed near Salem, Ill., in 1940. Other early-day stations were constructed in California and Texas. These
stations transferred bulk cement from railroad cars to
overhead tanks, which dumped cement directly into bulktransport trucks. Bulk cement handling became well established during the 1940's, but the modern era of bulk
handling did not begin until pozzolans were introduced
in 1949.

and "API Recommended Practice for Testing Oil-Well


Cements and Cement Additives" is published in Volume
10B. These are now combined into a single booklet in the
1984 publication.

Standardization. In 1937 the American Petroleum Institute (API) established the first committee to study cements. There already existed several cement testing
laboratories equipped with strength-measuring apparatus
and stirring devices to determine the fluidity or pumpability of cement slurries at down-hole temperatures. /-1
One of the more innovative devices for evaluating cements
was the pressure temperature thickening-time tester developed in 1939 by Farris with the Stanolind Oil &
Gas Co. 11
With the establishment of cement-testing laboratories,
many new developments occurred in oilwell cements between 1937 and 1950. 12 During that period, a need arose
for standardization of cement testing. To fulfill that need,
the Mid-Continent API Committee on Oil Well Cements
in 1948 prepared the first draft of API Code 32. 13 That
code was first published in 1952 and has since been periodically modified by a national API committee on cement
standardization, formed in 1953.
Standardization studies are published annually in two
booklets. API Specifications are published in Volume 10A,

Cementing Equipment. Through the years there has been


a continuous change in pumping equipment to make it
more portable and provide greater horsepower for handling higher pressures. (See Table 1.1 and Fig. 1.4.) To
improve primary cementing jobs, a variety of mechanical devices have been used to place a uniform sheath of
cement around the pipe more effectively . 14-17 These
devices include cementing plugs, measuring lines, centralizers, scratchers, floating equipment, and stage collars.
Field PracticesPrimary Cementing. As wells have become deeper and technolop has advanced, cementing
practices have changed. 18' In the 1910 to 1920 period, wells were considered deep at 2,000 to 3,000 ft. In
the later 1920's several fields were developed below 6,000
ft. Higher temperatures and pressures caused cementing
problems. Cements used at 2,000 ft were not practical
at greater depths because they tended to set prematurely.
Field placement was a matter of trial and error since
laboratory testing equipment was still undeveloped. To
retard the cement for use at higher temperatures, tons of
ice were sometimes put in the drilling mud to cool the
hole. This approach was not completely successful. A
more reliable one was to mix and pump the cement as
quickly as possible.

TABLE 1.1DEVELOPMENT OF PUMPS FOR OILWELL SERVICING


Type of Pump
Steam duplex
Steam duplex
Power-driven duplex
Verticle double-acting duplex
Opposed-piston pendulum
Plunger triplex
Plunger triplex
Plunger triplex
Plunger triplex
Plunger triplex

Service Era
1921-1940
1936-1947
1939-1955
1939-1954
Experimental pump
19471957196519751982-

Pressure Volume
(bbl/min)
(psi)
6
2,250
9
3,500
7
4,000
8
6,000
6
10,000
10
10,000
24
20,000
13
12,000
6
10,000
17
11,000

hp

Ibm/hp

60
100
135
200
200
330
600
400
250
670

32
24
23
24
40
14.5
9
9.2
10
8

CEMENTING

The time spent waiting for cement to set was considered unproductive. When cementing failures occurred,
short waiting-on-cement (WOC) time or bad cement was
given as the cause. Cement accelerators were sold under
a variety of trade names, but most of them were calcium
chloride solutions. WOC times were reduced as cement
composition, testing procedures, and chemical acceleration became better understood. At first, 72 hours was
generally considered sufficient for cement to set around
the shoe joint, and oil industry regulatory bodies adopted
this period almost universally. Then in 1946, Farris published his findings on the influence of time and pressure
on the bonding properties of cement. 22 As field experience confirmed the validity of those findings, the regulatory bodies reduced WOC times to 24 to 36 hours.
The success of early cementing jobs was evaluated on
the basis of a water shutoff test. 23,24 If no water was
found on the test, the cement job was ruled successful.
But failures were frequent. Studies of those early jobs revealed that cement should reach a certain strength or hardness if a successful job is to be achieved. Cementing
studies of Gulf Coast wells were published by Humble
in 1928.6 Cores taken from a large number of deep wells
indicated a high frequency of cement failures as a result
of mud contamination. To improve the quality of cement,
attention was given to conditioning the mud, to circulating the hole before cementing, and to placing a water
spacer between the mud and the cement.
Squeezing and Plugging. Procedures and equipment for
shutting off water in wells varied considerably in the early
days of cementing. From the beginning, pressure was applied to the cement slurry after it was placed in a well.
It was reported that as early as 1905 Frank Hill ran tubing and a packer to the bottom of the casing and pumped
cement outside the pipe to obtain a better shutoff.
Although the method successfully shut off water, the tubing and packer occasionally became stuck when the water
was squeezed from the slurry.
On some cementing jobs, cement was dumped on bottom, then the hole was filled with water to apply squeeze
pressure. Also, pump pressure was used in fluid-filled
holes to obtain an effective water shutoff.
Where large volumes of cement were used, the column
of cement and fluid behind the pipe was heavier than the
hydrostatic pressure inside the pipe. Therefore, pressure

was necessary to hold the cement in place. Long strings


of casing were run with backpressure valves, but frequently a backpressure valve would not hold. Pump pressure
was applied until the cement had time to set. This was
commonly called "squeezing."
The practice of pumping several hundred sacks of cement into a well under high pressure prompted much discussion. It was reasoned that cement slurry (1) displaced
mud trapped behind the pipe that had not been removed
by the original cement job, or (2) compressed the exposed
formation, or (3) fractured the formation along bedding
planes.
Drillable cement retainers25'26 were used as early as
1912, but it was not until 1939 that a retrievable cement
retainer was introduced to the industry. The Yowell tool,
originally used for washing screens and perforations, was
redesigned for use as a retrievable cement retainer. Such
retainers, which saved both money and time, became
widely used where it was not necessary to hold the cement under pressure until it set.
When a perforated formation produced an unexpected
volume of water or excess gas, it was squeezed, drilled
out, and reperforated. The frequency of squeezing and
reperforating was high, particularly along the Gulf Coast,
because most operators would "protection squeeze" or
"block squeeze" a sand before perforating for completion. 24

1.5 Summary
Table 1.2 summarizes important events in the history of
oilwell cementing. Since the beginning of the petroleum
industry in North America, it has been estimated that more
than three million wells have been drilled for oil or gas.
While the number of wells has increased dramatically
since 1980, the average well depth over the past 30 years
has ranged between 4,000 and 5,000 ft (Figs. 1.5 and
1.6). 32 During this period, the number of U.S. wells
drilled below the 15,000-ft depth is usually less than
1,000/yr, while those deeper than 20,000 ft rarely exceed
100/yr (Table 1.3).
Hole sizes and casing setting depths also vary considerably and average cement volumes per well are difficult
to estimate. Current manufacturers' surveys, however,
project 800 to 1,000 sacks of cement per well, which does
not include filler additives that increase cement slurry
volumes.

100,000
92.3
9

Total Wells Drilled Thousands

Total
Others

I
6

Average Well Depth


A Mks.
.., - ,- - / ..... ". -' - " rir irr

N. _.

.././...

Dry

Oil

1958

1960

1962

1964

1966

1958

1970

1972

1974

1976

I
197 8

Fig. 1.5U.S. drilling since 1956.

85.2
80,000

76.4
71.7

70,000

40,000
1980

1982

1984

.69.3....

60,000
51.6

50,000

' ...--4;
1956

90,000

30,000

53.3

47.3
40.8 42.6
34.4
74 75

76 77 78

I
I
79 80 81 82 83 84 85

Fig. 1.6U.S. drilling total completions 1974-85.

INTRODUCTION
TABLE 1.2SUMMARYSIGNIFICANT DATES IN THE HISTORY OF OILWELL CEMENTING
1903F.F. HillMixed and dumped 50 sacks of neat cement

to shut off bottomhole water.


1910A.A. Perkins, Perkins Cementing Co.Cemented the

first well using the two-plug method in California.


1912R.C. Baker, Baker Oil ToolsInvestigated the first

cement retainer to pack off between casing and tubing.


1914F.W. OatmanReported on the use of calcium chloride

to accelerate cement and reduce waiting-on-cement time.


1915Bureau of Mines, CaliforniaCreated a staff to inspect

and witness water shutoff tests.


1918A.A. PerkinsEstablished an office to service wells in

the Los Angeles basin.


1919E.P. HalliburtonEstablished the cementing business

in north Texas.
1920E.P. HalliburtonCemented the first blowoutfor W.G.

Skelly near Wilson, Okla.


1920E.P. HalliburtonDeveloped the jet mixer.
1921J.T. Bachman, Santa Cruz Cement Co.Developed

early testing techniques for oilwell cements.


1922HalliburtonWas issued a patent in the two-plug

cementing method.
1924HalliburtonLicensed Perkins to use the jet mixer.
1924Oklahoma Corporation CommissionProposed the

1939R.F. Farris, Stanolind Oil & Gas Co.Constructed the

first pressure temperature thickening-time tester.


1939HalliburtonDeveloped the retrievable squeeze retainer.
1939Humble Oil and Refining Co.Mixed small amounts of

carnotite with cement to determine tops behind the casing


with gamma ray log.
1939Kenneth Wright and Bruce SarkisUsed the first
commercial cement scratchers in California.
1940U.S. Gypsum Co.Introduced the first gypsum cement.
1940HalliburtonPurchased Perkins Cementing Co. in
California.
1940M.M. KinleyRan first caliper surveys on electric cable
to determine the quantities of cement required to fill hole.
1940HalliburtonIntroduced bulk cement.
1946R.F. Farris, Stanolind Oil & Gas Co.Published study
on WOC time. 22
1946Texas Railroad CommissionChanged rules reducing
WOC time from 72 hours to 24 to 36 hours.
1946A.J. Teplitz and W.E. HassebroekPublished study of
cementing centralizers. 20
1948G.C. Howard and J.B. Clark, Stanolind Oil & Gas
Co.Published results of displacement studies.27
1948HalliburtonPublished company paper on salt cement.
1949Superior Oil Co.Drilled first 20,000-ft well (20,521 ft)

rule requiring that WOC time be reduced from 10 days


to 7 if accelerator was used.
in Sublette County, CA.
1925Cement was first packed in a multiwalled paper bag.
1951Humble Oil and Refining Co.Used the first modified
a
body
and
valve
for
1926D. Birch, Barnsdall Oil Co.Built
cement for permanent well completion.
special casing and float collar.
1952APIApproved the first edition of API Code 32 for testing
1927Lone Star Cement Co.Manufactured the first Incor
cement used in wells as RP10B.13
high-fineness cement, in Indiana.
1953J.M. Bugbee, Shell Oil Co.Published material on lost
1927-28Humble Oil and Refining Co.Made a comcirculation. 28
prehensive survey of cementing failures along the Gulf 1953Phillips Petrolem Co.Introduced fluid-loss-control
Coast.
agents and diatomaceous earth to industry.
1929Pacific Portland Cement Co.Introduced the first 1954H.E. Coffer et al., Continental Oil Co.Published paper
retarded cement.
on the use of tiny spheres to reduce cement slurry
1929HalliburtonSet up the first laboratory for evaluating
density.
properties of cements.
1957HalliburtonIntroduced heavy-weight additives.
1930Halliburton, Humble Oil and Refining Co., Standard 1957DowellMarketed latex additives for cement.
Oil Co. of CaliforniaInstituted research in oilwell 1958Halliburton and DowellIntroduced gilsonite and coal.
cementing.
1958A. Klein and G.E. TroxellPublished studies on
1930H.R. IrvinePatented a device to hold centralizers on
expanding cements. 30
pipe.
1958Phillips Petroleum Co.Drilled first 25,000-ft well
1930Bentonite was introduced to the oil industry for use in
(25,340 ft) in Pecos County, TX.
drilling muds and cement.
1960DowellIntroduced new fluid-loss-control agent.
1931Chansfer, Canfield, Midway Oil Co.Drilled first 1961H.J. Beach, Gulf Research and Development Co.
10,000-ft well (10,030 ft)Hobsom A-2, Ventura, CA.
Published squeeze-cementing studies. 29
1932, 34William Lane and Walter WellsIntroduced gun 1962Service companiesDeveloped dispersing technology
perforating in California and on the Gulf Coast.
and introduced friction reducers.
1934SchlumbergerPatented a method for locating the top 1968DowellIntroduced Slo Flo cementing.
of cement with a temperature survey instrument.
1968API, IndustryDeveloped concept of basic cement.
1934B.C. Craft et al.Reported on extensive testing of oilwell 1969S.H. Shryock and W.C. CunninghamPublished paper
cements. 8
on arctic cements and cementing.
1935E.F. Silcox, Standard Oil Co. of CaliforniaPresented 1970HalliburtonFirst report on annular gas flow after
a paper on a testing device for measuring thickening time
cementing.
of cement.'
1972Lone Star Producing Co.Drilled first 30,000-ft well
the
caliper
survey
instrument.
1935M.M. KinleyInvented
(30,050 ft) Beckham County, OK.
1935T.W. PewPatented a method of high-pressure squeeze 1972Esso Production Research Co. and Halliburton
cementing.
Published displacement studies.31
1935Universal Atlas Cement Co.Introduced Unaflo 1973Reactive silicate preflushes introduced for primary
retarded cement to industry.
cementing.
1936Quintana Petroleum Co.Rotated casing in 50 wells. 1979Service companies introduced foam cementing systems.
1936Lone Star Cement Co.Introduced Starcor retarded 1980R.C. Smith et al., Amoco Production Co.Published
cement.
paper on new lightweight high-strength cement.
1937J.E. Weiler, HalliburtonBuilt dual container device for 1982Exxon Co. U.S.A.published studies on annular
testing oilwell cements.
temperature and pressure changes after cementing.
1937APIEstablished committee to study oilwell cements. 1983Texas Railroad Commission, in conjunction with oil
1938Continental Oil Co.Drilled first 15,000-ft well (15,004
industry, published new regulatory rules.
ft)KCLA-2, Kern County, CA.

CEMENTING

6
TABLE 1.3-TOTAL U.S. WELL COMPLETIONS BY DEPTH: 1970-89 (%)
Depth Intervals
(ft)
0 to 1,249
1,250 to 2,499
2,500 to 3,749
3,750 to 4,999
5,000 to 7,499
7,500 to 9,999
10,000 to 12,499
12,500 to 14,999
15,000 to 17,499
17,500 to 19,999
20,000+

1989
(1 year)

1989-88
(2 years)

1989-87
(3 years)

1989-85
(5 years)

1989-80
(10 years)

1989-70
(20 years)

9.8
17.3
16.4
15.4
20.2
11.7
5.3
2.8
0.8
0.2
0.06

10.7
16.2
16.3
15.7
20.0
11.7
5.6
2.6
0.9
0.3
0.04

11.7
16.6
16.2
15.9
19.6
11.2
5.3
2.3
0.8
0.3
0.03

12.7
17.2
16.5
16.1
18.0
10.8
5.2
2.2
0.7
0.3
0.05

14.1
17.6
17.9
15.9
16.4
10.1
4.6
2.0
0.8
0.3
0.09

13.4
16.8
18.0
15.7
16.9
10.4
4.9
2.0
0.8
0.3
0.1

References
1. "California's Oil," API, Dallas (1948) 12.
2. "On Tour," Union Oil Co. of California (Nov.-Dec. 1952).
3. Tough, F.B.: "Method of Shutting off Water in Oil and Gas Wells,"
Bull. 136, USBM; Pet. Tech. (1918) 46, 122.
4. Perkins, A.A. and Double, E.: "Method of Cementing Oil Wells,"
U.S. Patent No. 1,011,484 (Dec. 12, 1911), filed Oct. 27, 1909.
5. Swigert, T.E. and Schwarzenbek, F.X.: "Petroleum Engineering
in the Hewitt Oil Field, Oklahoma," USBM, State of Oklahoma,
and Ardmore Chamber of Commerce (Jan. 1921).
6. Millikan, C.V.: "Cementing," History of Petroleum Engineering,
API Div. of Production, Dallas (1961) Chap. 7.
7. Silcox, D.E. and Rule, R.B.: "Special Factors Must Be Considered in Selection, Specification, and Testing of Cement for Oil
Wells," Oil Weekly (July 29, 1935) 78, No. 7, 21; "Cement for
Oil Wells," Petroleum Times (Aug. 24, 1935) 34, 195-97.
8. Craft, B.C., Johnson, T.J., and Kirkpatrick, H.L.: "Effects of Temperature, Pressure, and Water-Cement Ratio on the Setting Time
and Strength of Cement," Trans., AIME (1935) 114, 62-68.
9. Weiler, J.E.: "Apparatus for Testing Cement," U.S. Patent No.
2,122,765 (July 5, 1938).
10. Davis, E.L.: "Specifications for Oil-Well Cement," Drill. and
Prod. Proc. , API (1938) 372.
11. Farris, R.F.: "Effects of Temperature and Pressure on Rheological
Properties of Cement Slurries," Trans., AIME (1941) 142, 117-30;
second edition (1956) Vols. 136 and 142, 117-30.
12. Robinson, W.W.: "Cement for Oil Wells: Status of Testing Methods
and Summary of Properties," Drill. and Prod. Prac. , API (1939)
567-91.
13. "Code for Testing Cement Used in Wells," API Code 32, first
edition, API, Dallas (1948).
14. Halliburton, E.P.: "Method and Means for Cementing Oil Wells,"
U.S. Patent No. 1,369,891 (March 1, 1921).
15. Halliburton, E.P.: "Method of Hydrating Cement and the Like,"
U.S. Patent No. 1,486,883 (March 18, 1924).
16. Burch, D.D.: "Casing Shoe," U.S. Patent No. 1,603,447 (Oct.
19, 1926).

17. Baker, R.C.: "Plug for Well Casings," U.S. Patent No. 1,392,619
(Nov. 18, 1913).
18. Mills, B.: "Rotating While Cementing Proves Economical," Oil
Weekly (Dec. 4, 1939) 95, No. 13, 14-15.
19. Reistle, C.E. Jr. and Cannon, G.E.: "Cementing Oil Wells," U.S.
Patent No. 2,421,434 (June 3, 1947). See also K.E. Wright: "Rotary
Well Bore Cleaner," U.S. Patent No. 2,402,223 (June 18, 1946).
20. Teplitz, A.J. and Hassebroek, W.E.: "An Investigation of Oil Well
Cementing," Drill. and Prod. Prac., API (1946) 76-101; Pet. Eng.
Annual (1946) 444-69.
21. Jones, P.H. and Berdine, D.: "Oil-Well Cementing-Factors Influencing Bond Between Cement and Formation," Drill. and Prod.
Prac. , API (1940) 45-63.
22. Farris, R.F.: "Method of Determining Minimum Waiting-onCement Time," Trans., AIME (1946) 165, 175-88.
23. Oatman, F.W.: "Water Intrusion and Methods of Prevention in
California Oil Fields," Trans., AIME (1915) 48, 627-50.
24. Doherty, W.T. and Manning, M.: "Gulf Coast Cementing Problems," Oil and Gas J. (April 4, 1929) 48, Oil Weekly (April 12,
1929) 53, No. 4, 47-48.
25. Baker, R.C.: "Cement Retainer," U.S. Patent No. 1,035,674 (Aug.
13, 1912).
26. Huber, F.W.: "Method and Composition for Cementing Oil
Wells," U.S. Patent No. 1,452,463 (April 17, 1923).
27. Howard, G.C. and Clark, LB.: "Factors To Be Considered in
Obtaining Proper Cementing of Casing," Drill. and Prod. Prac. ,
API (1948) 257-72; Oil and Gas J. (Nov. 11, 1948) 243.
28. Bugbee, J.M.: "Lost Circulation-A Major Problem in Exploration
and Development," Drill. and Prod. Prac., API (1953) 14-27.
29. Beach, H.J., O'Brien, T.B., and Goins, W.C. Jr.: "Formation
Cement Squeezed by Using Low-Water-Loss Cements," Oil and
Gas J. (May 29 and June 12, 1961).
30. Klein, A. and Troxell, G.E.: "Studies of Calcium Sulfoaluminate
Admixtures for Expansive Cements," Proc., ASTM (1958) 58,
986-1008.
31. Clark, C.R. and Carter, L.G.: "Mud Displacement With Cement
Slurries," J. Pet. Tech. (July 1973) 775-83.
32. "Report of U.S. Drilling 1959-85," World Oil (Feb. 15, 1986) 65.

Chapter 2

The Manufacture, Chemistry, and


Classification of Oilwell Cements

2.1 Introduction
Materials for cementing or bonding rock, brick, and stone
in construction date from some of the earliest civilizations.
Remains of those early cements can still be found in
Europe, Africa, the Middle East, and the Far East. Testimony to their durability is that in some instances cements
are still in an excellent state of preservation in Egypt (gypsum cement), Greece (calcined limestone), and Italy
(pozzolanic-lime cements). The earliest hydraulic
cementsmaterials that will harden and set when mixed
with watermay be found in early Roman docks and
marine facilities in the Mediterranean area. Such materials were composed of silicate residues from volcanic eruptions blended with lime and water. These earliest
pozzolanic cements may be found near Pozzuoli, Italy. 1
Cementing technology advanced very little through the
Middle Ages. History usually credits the discovery of
Portland cement to Joseph Aspdin, an English mason, who
was issued a patent2 covering a gray rock-like material
called "cement" in 1824. This composition, termed
hydraulic because it would hydrate and set or harden when
reacted under water, was the first of the Portland cements
as we know them today. (See Table 2.1.)
It would be difficult to imagine drilling and completing wells without cement; yet many wells were completed
in the Eastern U.S. long before the first reported cement
job was performed in California.
2.2 Manufacture of Cement
The basic raw materials used to manufacture Portland
cements are limestone (calcium carbonate) and clay or
shale. Iron and alumina are frequently added if they are
not present in sufficient quantity in the clay or shale. 3
These materials are blended together, either wet or dry,
and then fed into a rotary kiln, which fuses the limestone
slurry at temperatures from 2600 to 3000F into a material
called cement clinker. Upon cooling, the clinker is pul-

verized and blended with a small amount of gypsum,


which controls the setting time of the finished cement.
(See Fig. 2.1.)

2.3 Chemistry of Cements


The chemistry of cements is very complex and its performance in wells is usually defined by a simple oxide
analysis and performance tests based on pumpability,,
strength, rheology,, etc. A typical oxide analysis of API
Class G or H cement used in wells is given in Table 2.2.
When slurried at the wellsite, water functions as a carrier for placement of the reactive silicates produced in the
manufacturing process. Once in place, a plastic lattice
structure develops gel strength, finally resulting in a set
solid mass. (See Figs. 2.2 and 2.3.)
When these clinkered products hydrate with water in
the setting process, they form four major crystalline
phases whose chemical formulas and standard designations are shown in Tables 2.3 and 2.4.
The performance of cement for given well depths and
temperatures is normally judged on certain physical tests
defined by API standards.
The characteristic crystal shape of set cement compounds observed under magnification and polarized light
is illustrated in Fig. 2.2.
1. C3S , tricalcium silicate. Hexagonal or angular crystals may be highly colored with blues, pastels, and greens.
2. C2S , dicalcium silicate. Spherical or rounded crystals, often with rough surfaces and not highly colored.
3. C4AF, tetracalcium aluminoferrite. White matrix
surrounding other crystals.
4. C 3 A, tricalcium aluminate. Grey blades, flecks, or
streaks.
5. MgO, periclase. Small, pink hexagonal plates.
6. CaO, free lime. Small, smooth spheres, highly
colored in reds, purples, greens, etc; generally in clusters.

CEMENTING
TABLE 2.1DEVELOPMENT
OF EARLY CEMENTS

TABLE 2.2TYPICAL OXIDE ANALYSIS


OF PORTLAND CEMENTS
(API Class G or H basic cement)

Plaster of Paris
(CaSO 4 + Heat)
Greece
Lime
(CaCO 3 + Heat)
Roman Empire Pozzolan-lime reactions
England
Natural cement
(1756 John Smeaton)
Portland cement
(1824 Joseph Aspdin)
United States
Portland cement3'4
(First manufactured 1872)
Egypt

TO

Oxide
Silicon dioxide (Si02)
Calcium oxide (CaO)
Iron oxide (Fe 2 0 3 )
Aluminum oxide (A12 03 )
Magnesium oxide (MgO)
Sulfur trioxide (SO 3)
Potassium oxide (K 2 0)
Lost on ignition

22.43
64.77
4.10
4.76
1.14
1.67
0.08
0.54

MATERIALS ARE
STORED SEPARATELY

DUST
COLLECTOR
RAW'MIX IS KILN BURNED
TO PARTIAL FUSION AT 2700F

COAL. OIL.
OR
GAS FUEL

CLINKER
Gr

GYPSUM

4;

ROTATING KILN

FAN DUST
BIN

AIR

rh

CLINKER
COOLER

CLINKER AND GYPSUM -*CONVEYED TO GRINDING MILLS

Fig. 2.1Manufacture of Portland cement.4

7. Weathering, water, or moisture attack on outer edge


of cement grains causes discoloration of affected crystals,
sometimes caused by outdoor storage of clinker or finished cement contacting water during storage or shipping.
A well-burnt API Class H cement is shown in Fig.
2.4A. The crystals are clear-cut, colorful, and correct in
size and distribution. A poor-quality cement is illustrated
in Fig. 2.4B. The color is drab, and individual particles
are not distinct, which is caused by inadequate burning
in the kiln during manufacture. 8

2.4 Classifications of Cement

7-WEATHERING

Fig. 2.2Crystalline compounds found in set Portland


cement. 5

oje
Fluid
Behavior
Cement

Plastic
Behavior:
Cement

Water

Water
during
hydration

Solid
Behavior:
Cement
alter
Setting

Fig. 2.3The cement-setting process for a slurry, a plastic,


or a solid.

Portland cements are usually manufactured to meet certain chemical and physical standards that depend upon
their application. In the U.S. there are several agencies
that study and write specifications for the manufacture of
Portland cement. 6,7 These groups include ACI (American Concrete Institute), AASHO (American Association
of State Highway Officials), ASTM (American Society
for Testing Materials), API (American Petroleum Institute), and various departments of the Federal government.
Of these groups, the best known to the oil industry are
the ASTM, which deals with cements for construction and
building use, and the API, which writes specifications for
cements used only in wells. Cement specifications written by either society are prepared by representatives of
both users and manufacturers working together for the
common interest of their industry.
The ASTM specifications provide for five types of Portland cement: Types I, II, III, IV, and V. 6 Cements manufactured for use in wells are subject to wide ranges of
temperature and pressure and differ considerably from the
ASTM types that are manufactured for use at atmospheric
conditions. For these reasons the API provides specifications covering eight classes of oilwell cements, designated Classes A through H.

MANUFACTURE, CHEMISTRY, AND CLASSIFICATION OF OILWELL ELEMENTS

Fig. 2.4BAPI Class H cement. Poor quality, poor crystal


formation.

Fig. 2.4AAPI Class H cement, well-burnt. Uniform,


crystal formation.

TABLE 2.3CHEMICAL COMPOUNDS


FOUND IN SET PORTLAND CEMENT &

Compound
Tricalcium aluminate
Tricalcium silicate
B-dicalcium silicate
Tetracalcium aluminoferrite

Formula
3CaO.A120 3
3CaO.SiO 2
3CaO.SiO 2
4CaO.A12 03 .Fe2 03

API Classes A, B, and C correspond to ASTM Types


I, II, and In; ASTM Types IV and V have no corresponding API classes.
API Classifications. The oil industry purchases cements
manufactured predominantly in accordance with API classifications as published in API Standards 10, "Specifications for Oil-Well Cements and Cement Additives." 7
These standards have been published annually by the
American Petroleum Institute in Dallas, TX, since 1953,
when the first national standards on cements for use in
wells were issued. These specifications are reviewed annually and revised according to the needs of the oil industry. The different classes of API cements for use at
downhole temperatures and pressures are defined below.
They are listed in the API Standards 10 dated June
1984. 7
Class A. Intended for use from surface to 6,000-ft depth,*
when special properties are not required. Available only
in ordinary type (similar to ASTM C 150, Type I).**
Class B. Intended for use from surface to 6,000-ft depth,
when conditions require moderate to high sulfateresistance. Available in both moderately (similar to ASTM
C 150, Type II) and highly sulfate-resistant types.
'Depth limits are based on the conditions imposed by the casing-cement specification tests (Schedules 1, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9), and should be considered as approximate
values.
'*ASTM C 150: Standard Specification for Portland Cement. Copies of this specification are available from American Society for Testing Materials, 1916 Race Street,
Philadelphia, PA 19103.

Standard
Designation
C3 A
C 3S
C2 S
C 4 AF

TABLE 2.4TYPICAL COMPOSITION


AND PROPERTIES OF API CLASSES
OF PORTLAND CEMENT'
API
Class
A
B
C
D&E
G&H

Compounds (%)
C 4 AF
C3 S C2 S C3 A
8
24
8+
53
12
5
47
32
8
8
16
58
12
2
26
54
12
30
5
50

Wagner
Fineness
(cm2 /g)
1,500 to 1,900
1,500 to 1,900
2,000 to 2,800
1,200 to 1,600
1,400 to 1,700

How Achieved
By increasing the C3 S content,
grinding finer.
By controlling C3S and C3 A
Better retardation
content and grinding coarser.
Low heat of hydration By limiting the C3 S and C 3A
content.
Resistance to sulfate
By limiting the C 3A content.
attack

Property
High early strength

CEMENTING

10
TABLE 2.5APPLICATIONS OF API CLASSES OF CEMENT
API
Classification

Mixing Water
(gal/sack)*

Slurry Weight
(Ibm/gal)

Well Depth
(ft)

Static Temperature
(F)

A (portland)
B (portland)
C (high early)
D (retarded)
E (retarded)
F (retarded)
G (basic)**
H (basic)**

5.2
5.2
6.3
4.3
4.3
4.3
5.0
4.3

15.6
15.6
14.8
16.4
16.4
16.2
15.8
16.4

0 to 6,000
0 to 6,000
0 to 6,000
6,000 to 12,000
6,000 to 14,000
10,000 to 16,000
0 to 8,000
0 to 8,000

80 to 170
80 to 170
80 to 170
170 to 260
170 to 290
230 to 320
80 to 200
80 to 200

'See Table 2.8 for weights and volumes of cement per sack.
**Can be accelerated or retarded for most well conditions.

Class C. Intended for use from surface to 6,000-ft depth,


when conditions require high early strength. Available in
ordinary and moderately (similar to ASTM C 150, Type
III) and highly sulfate-resistant types.
Class D. Intended for use from 6,000- to 10,000-ft depth,
under conditions of moderately high temperatures and
pressures. Available in both moderately and highly
sulfate-resistant types.
Class E. Intended for use from 10,000- to 14,000-ft depth,
under conditions of high temperatures and pressures.
Available in both moderately and highly sulfate-resistant
types.
Class F. Intended for use from 10,000- to 16,000-ft depth,
under conditions of extremely high temperatures and pressures. Available in both moderately and highly sulfateresistant types.
Class G. Intended for use as a basic well cement from
surface to 8,000-ft depth as manufactured, or can be used
with accelerators and retarders to cover a wide range of
well depths and temperatures. No additions other than calcium sulfate or water, or both, shall be interground or
blended with the clinker during manufacture of Class G
well cement. Available in moderately and highly sulfateresistant types.
Class H. Intended for use as a basic well cement from
surface to 8,000-ft depth as manufactured, and can be used
with accelerators and retarders to cover a wide range of
well depths and temperatures. No additions other than calcium sulfate or water, or both, shall be interground or
blended with the clinker during manufacture of Class H
well cement. Available in moderately and highly sulfateresistant types.
Table2.5 lists the API classes of cement and indicates
the depths to which they are applicable.
2.5 Properties of Cement Covered by
API Specifications
In well completion operations, cements are almost universally used to displace the drilling mud and to fill the
annular space between the casing and the open hole. To

serve this purpose, cements must be designed for wellbore environments varying from those at the surface to
those at depths exceeding 30,000 ft, where temperatures
range from below freezing in permafrost areas to more
than 700F in wells drilled for geothermal steam production. Specifications do not cover all the properties of cements over such broad ranges of depth and pressure. They
do, however, list physical and chemical properties for
different classes of cements that will fit most well conditions. These specifications7 include chemical analysis and
physical analysis. The latter comprises (1) water content,
(2) fineness, (3) compressive strength, and (4) thickening time.
Although these properties describe cements for specification purposes, oilwell cements should have other properties and characteristics to provide for their necessary
functions down hole. 9,10
The physical and chemical requirements of API Classes
of cements as defined in API Standards 10 are shown in
Tables 2:6 and 2.7. Typical physical properties of the various API classes of cement are shown in Table 2.8.
API specifications are not enforced by an official
agency; however, use of the API monogram indicates that
the manufacturer has agreed to make cement according
to the specifications outlined in the API Standards 10.
Although the API defines eight different classes of cement,
only A, B, C, G, and H are available from the manufacturers and distributed in the U.S.
2.6 Cement Standards Outside the U.S.
In cementing wells in countries other than the U.S. , or
in their territorial water, it may be necessary to use local
products. Table 2.9 lists classifications that have been
established in various countries for the most common
types of Portland cement used for construction. 12
For some cements, additional classifications have been
madefor example, OCI (Ordinary Portland Cement
Type I), 001, OCIII. However, such classifications cause
problems in fixing a clear dividing line between types,
because OC Type II or III can easily be confused with
RHC or HSC cement.
In some countries a specific manufacturer may, for
speed and simplicity, use a symbol to identify various
types of cement. Table 2.10 lists equivalent identifications
for various types of Portland cements as used by some
countries commonly associated with the oil industry.

MANUFACTURE, CHEMISTRY, AND CLASSIFICATION OF OILWELL ELEMENTS

11

TABLE 2.6-CHEMICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR API CEMENTS'


1

II

Cement Class
A

D,E,F

ORDINARY TYPE (0)


Magnesium oxide (Mg0), maximum, per cent
Sulfur trioxide (SOs), maximum, per cents
Loss on ignition, maximum, per cent
Insoluble residue, maximum, per cent
Tricalcium aluminate (3CaOAlzOs), maximum, per, cent2

6.0
3.5
3.0
0.75

6.0
4.5
3.0
0.75
15

________

MODERATE SULFATE-RESISTANT TYPE (MSR)


Magnesium oxide (Mg0), maximum, per cent
Sulfur trioxide (SOs), maximum, per cent
Loss on ignition, maximum, per cent
Insoluble residue, maximum, per cent
Tricalcium silicate (3CaOsSi02), j maximum,
percent2
cent2
um, per
1
Tricalcium aluminate (3CaOA1203), maximum, per cent2
Total alkali content expressed as sodium oxide
(Na20) equivalent, maximum, per cent3

6.0
3.0
3.0
0.75
..... ...

6.0
3.5
3.0

6.0
3.0
3.0

0.75

0.75

6.0
3.0
3.0
0.75
58
411
8

6.0
3.0
3.0
0.75
58
48
8

0.75

0.75

6.0
3.0
3.0
0.75
65

6.0
3.0
3.0
0.75
65

HIGH SULFATE-RESISTANT TYPE (HSR)


Magnesium oxide (Mg0), maximum, per cent
Sulfur trioxide (SOO, maximum, per cent
Loss on ignition, maximum, per cent '
Insoluble residue, maximum, per cent

6.0
3.0
3.0
0.75

6.0
3.5
3.0
0.75

6.0
3.0
3.0
0.75

48

48

24

24

24

24

24

per cent2
Tricalcium silicate (3CaOSi02), j1minimum,
numum, per cent2
Tricalcium aluminate (3CaOA.1203), maximum, per cent2

Tetracalcium aluminoferrite (4Ca0A1203Fe203) plus twice the


tricalcium aluminate (3CaOA.1203), maximum, per cent2
Total alkali content expressed as sodium oxide
(Na20) equivalent, maximum, per cent3

0.75

0.75

*Methods covering the chemical analyses of hydraulic cements are described in ASTM C114: Standard Methods for Chemical
Analysis of Hydraulic Cement.
'When the tricalcium aluminate content (expressed as C3A) of the Class A cement is 8% or less, the maximum SO3
content shall be 3%.
2 The expressing of chemical limitations by means of calculated assumed compounds does not necessarily mean that
the oxides are actually or entirely present as such compounds. When the ratio of the percentages of A1203 to Fe203
is 0.64 or less, the C3A content is zero. When the A1203 to Fe203 ratio is greater than 0.64, the compounds shall be
calculated as follows:

CsA=(2.65 X % A1203) - (1.69 X % Fe203)


C4AF= 3.04 X % Fe203
Ca-(4.07 X % Ca0) - (7.60 X % Si02) - (6.72 X % A1203) - (1.43 x % Fes%) - (2.85 X % SOs)
When the ratio of A1203 to Fe203 is less than 0.64, an iron-alumina-calcium solid solution [expressed as ss (C4AF
+ C2F)] is formed and the compounds shall be calculated as follows:
ss(C4AF + C2F)=(2.10 X % A1203) + (1.70 X % Fez%) and CsS= (4.07 X % Ca0) - (7.60 X % 810,)
- (4.48 X % A1202) - (2.86 X % Fez0s) - (2.85 X % SO3)
8The sodium cxide equivalent (expressed as Na20 equivalent) shall be calculated by the formula:
Na20 equivalent = (0.658 X % K20) + % Na20

CEMENTING

12

TABLE 2.7-PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR API CEMENTS'


(Parenthetical values are in metric units)
2

Well Cement Class


Water. per cent by weight of well cement
Soundness (autoclave expansion), maximum, per cent
(Section 4)
Fineness. (specific surface), minimum, m,/kg
Free water content, maximum, mL
(Section 6)
Compressive
Strength
Test,
Eight
Hour
Curing
Time
(Section 7)
Compressive
Strength Test,
Twelve Hour
Curing Time
(Section 7)
Compressive
Strength
Test,
Twentyfour

Hour

Curing
Time
(Section 7)

Pressure
Ternperature
Thickening
Time
Test
(Section 8)

Schedule
Number,
Table 7.1

10

46

56

E
38

48

D
38
0.80

0.80

0.80

0.80

0.80

. 0.80

150

160

220

........

38

___.

11

12

13

G
44

H
38

J*
*

0.80

. .

8.5"

3.5"

6S
80
9S

Curing
Curing
Temp,
Pressure
F (C)
psi (kPa)
100 ( 38)
Atmos.
Atmos.
140( 60)
230 (110) 3000 (20700)
290 (143) 3000 (20700)
320 (160) 3000 (20700)

80

290 143

3000 20700

Curing
Temp,
F 1 Cl
100( 38)
170 ( 77)
230 (110)
290(143)
320(160)
350(177)

Minimum Compressive Strength, psi ( M Pa)


Curing
Pressure
psi (kPa)
1800 (12.4) 1500 (10.3) 2000 (13.8) ___
Atmos.
1000 (6.9) 1000 (6.9) .
3000 (20700)
1000 (6.9) .
. 2000 (13.8)
3000 (30700)
. 2000 (13.8) .
3000 (20700) _ .___
.
1000
(6.9)
3000(20700)
___._
3000 (20700) Maximum
Consistency
15-30
Minute
Stirring
Period,
Bet
Minimum Thickening Time, minutes.
90
90
30
90
- _90
90
90
....
30
90
90
30
80
_
120 max.:
30
...
....
....
154
....
30
- -..
190
30

Schedule
Number,
Table 7.1
4S

6S

8S
9S
1.0S
Specifi,cation
Test
Schedule
Number
Table 8.2
.,
1
4
6
5
6
8
9

0.80

.. .

-______

Minimum Compressive Strength, psi (MPa)


250 (1.7)
. .
.... .

200 (1.4)
......
....

300 (2.1)
.....

____ .. ..

300 (2.1)
..... ...... 1500 (10 3)
500 (3.5)
.. .
500 (3.5) -..- .. ... ..... . .
.... .
500 (3.5) ..

300 (2.1)
1500 (10.3)
. .
.
.
.

500(3.5)

_____ _

____

100

100

ik.

1000 (6.9)

90

120 max.:
- - --

180
180

*Water as recommended by the manufacturer.


*Determined by Wagner turbidimeter apparatus described in ASTM C 115: Fineness of Portland Cement by the Turbidimpler.
**Based on 250 mr.. volume, percentage equivalent of 3.5 mL is 1ATe.
*Compressive strength after 7 days shall be no less than the 24-hour compressive strength on Schedule 10S.
tilearden units of slurry consistency (Be).
***Thickening time requirements are based on 75 percentile values of the total cementing times observed in the casing survey, plus a 25 per cent safety factor.
:Maximum thickening time requirement for Schedule 5 is 120 minutes.

Listed below are some manufacturers who hold the API


monogram and market cements for the oil industry . 7
Argentina
Australia
Belgium
Brazil

Loma Negra, C.I.A., S.A.


Adelaide Brighton Cement Ltd.
Compagnie des Ciments Belges
Companhia De Cemento Portland Alvarado
Cemento Aratu S.A. (Lone Star Industries)
Canada
Canada Cement LaFarge Ltd.
Genstar Cement Ltd.
Colombia Cementos Hercules
Denmark
Aktieselskabet Aalborg Portland Cement
Fabrik
Ecuador
La Cemento Nacional C.E.M.
England
Blue Circle Industries Ltd.
France
LaFarge
Germany
Dyckerhoff Zementwerke Ag.
Greece
Titan Cement
Italy
Italcementi S.p.A.
Ireland
fish Cement Ltd.
Japan
Mitsubishi Mining & Cement Co. Ltd.
Nihon Cement Co. Ltd.
Sumitromo Cement Co.
Ube Industries Ltd.
Mexico
Cementos Apasco S.A.
Cementos Veracruz S.A.

Norway
A/S Norcem
Saudi Arabia Saudi Cement
Singapore Pan Malaysia Cement Works Ptd. Ltd.
Thailand
Jalaprathan Cement Co. Ltd.
Trinidad
Trinidad Cement Ltd.
U.S.
Arkansas Cement
Capital Cement Inc.
General Portland Inc.
Ideal Basic Industries Inc.
Kaiser Cement Corp.
Lehigh Portland Cement Co.
Lone Star Industries Inc.
The Monarch Cement Co.
Southwestern Portland Cement Co.
Texas Cement Corp.

2.7 Specialty Cements


A number of cementitious materials, used very effectively
for cementing wells, do not fall into any specific API or
ASTM classification. While these materials may or may
not be sold under a recognized specification, their quality and uniformity are generally controlled by the supplier.
These materials include (1) pozzolanic-Portland cements,
(2) pozzolan-lime cements, (3) resin or plastic cements,

MANUFACTURE, CHEMISTRY, AND CLASSIFICATION OF OILWELL ELEMENTS

13

TABLE 2.8-PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF VARIOUS TYPES OF CEMENT 11


Properties of API Classes of Cement

Specific gravity (average)


Surface area (range), cm 2 /g
Weight per sack, Ibm
Bulk volume, cu ft/sack
Absolute volume, gal/sack

Class A

Class C

Classes
G and H

Classes
D and E

3.14
1,500 to 1,900
94
1
3.6

3.14
2,000 to 2,800
94
1
3.6

3.15
1,400 to 1,700
94
1
3.58

3.16
1,200 to 1,600
94
1
3.57

Properties of Neat Slurries

Water, gal/sack (API)


Slurry weight, Ibm/gal
Slurry volume, cu ft/sack

Portland

High Early
Strength

API
Class G

API
Class H

Retarded

5.19
15.6
1.18

6.32
14.8
1.33

4.97
15.8
1.14

4.29
16.5
1.05

4.29
16.5
1.05

Temperature
(F)

Pressure
(psi)

60
80
95
110
140
170
200

0
0
800
1,600
3,000
3,000
3,000

615
1,470
2,085
2,925
5,050
5,920

60
80
95
110
140
170
200

0
0
800
1,600
3,000
3,000
3,000

2,870
4,130
4,670
5,840
6,550
6,210

Typical Compressive Strength (psi) at 24 Hours

780
1,870
2,015
2,705
3,560
3,710
*

440
1,185
2,540
2,915
4,200
4,830
5,110

325
1,065
2,110
2,525
3,160
4,485
4,575

*
3,045
4,150
4,775

Typical Compressive Strength (psi) at 72 hours

Depth
(ft)
2,000
4,000
6,000
8,000

2,535
3,935
4,105
4,780
4,960
4,460
*

7,125
7,310
9,900

5,685
7,360

.
*

*
4,000
5,425
5,920

Temperature (F)
Static

Circulating

110
140
170
200

91
103
113
125

High-Pressure Thickening Time (hours:minutes)


4:00 +
3:26
2:25
1:40*

4:00 +
3:10
2:06
1:37"

3:00+
2:30
2:10
1:44

3:57
3:20
1:57
1:40

Not generally recommended at this temperature

TABLE 2.9-SOME CEMENT CLASSIFICATIONS


USED OUTSIDE THE U.S. 12
Similar to
Abbreviation

Type of Cement

ASTM

API

OC
RHC

Ordinary Portland Cement


Rapid-Hardening (or High-Early-Strength, or
High-Initial-Strength) Portland Cement
High-Strength Portland Cement
Low Heat (or Slow-Hardening, Low-Heat-ofHydration) Portland Cement
Sulfate-Resisting Portland Cement
Air-Entraining Portland Cement

III
III

C
C

II
V
-

B
-

HSC
LHC
SRC
AEC

4:00+
4:00+
4:00+

CEMENTING

14
TABLE 2.10EQUIVALENT CEMENT CLASSIFICATIONS OUTSIDE THE U.S. 1
International
Designation
OC
RHC

Australia
Type A
Ordinary

Canada
Normal
Portland

France
CPA-250
CPA-325

Japan
Ordinary
Portland

Type B High
Early Strength

High Early
Strength

CPA-400
CPA-500

Rapid Hardening
Portland

United Kingdom
Ordinary Portland
(B.S.* 12:1958)
Rapid Hardening

Z450

HSC
LHC

West Germany
Z375

Medium Low
Heat Portland

Type C Low
Heat of
Hydration

Sulfate Resisting
Portland
(B.S. 4027: 1955)

Sulfate
Resisting

SRC

Low Heat Portland


(B.S. 1370: 1958)
Z275

AEC
Designation
of Standards

AS A2

Year Published 1963

CSA A5
1961

NF P15-302
1964

JIS R5210

(B.S. 12; 1370; 4027)

1964

1958 and 1966

DIN 1164
1969

'British Standards

(4) gypsum cements, (5) diesel oil cements, (6) expanding


cements, (7) refractory cements, (8) latex cement, and
(9) cement for permafrost environments.
Pozzolanic Cements. Pozzolans include any siliceous materials, either natural or artificial, processed or unprocessed, that in the presence of lime and water develop
cementitious qualities. They can be divided into natural
and artificial pozzolans. The natural pozzolans are mostly of volcanic origin. The artificial pozzolans are obtained
mainly by the heat treatment of natural materials such as
clays, shales, and certain siliceous rocks.
Fly ash is a combustion by-product of coal and is widely
used in the oil industry as a pozzolan. This is the only
pozzolan covered by both API and ASTM specifications.
When Portland cement hydrates, calcium hydroxide is
liberated. This chemical in itself contributes nothing to
strength or water-tightness and can be removed by leaching. When fly ash is present in the cement, it combines
with the calcium hydroxide, contributing to both strength
and water-tightness.

TABLE 2.11API SPECIFICATIONS


FOR FLY ASH 7
Physical Properties
Specific gravity
Weight equivalent in absolute volume to
1 sack (94 Ibm) cement, Ibm
Amount retained on 200-mesh sieve, %
Amount retained on 325-mesh sieve, %
Chemical Analysis, %
Silicon dioxide
Iron and aluminum oxides
Calcium oxide
Magnesium oxide
Sulfur trioxide
Carbon dioxide
Lost on ignition
Undetermined

2.46
74
5.27
11.74

43.20
42.93
5.92
1.03
1.70
0.03
2.98
2.21

Fly ash has a specific gravity of 2.3 to 2.7, depending


upon the source, compared with 3.1 to 3.2 for Portland
cements. This difference in specific gravity results in a
pozzolan cement slurry of lighter weight than slurries of
similar consistency made with Portland cement. (Table
2.11 lists the API specifications for fly ash.)
Pozzolan-Lime Cements. Pozzolan-lime or silica-lime
cements are usually blends of fly ash (silica), hydrated
lime, and small quantities of calcium chloride. 13,14 These
products hydrate with water to produce forms of calcium
silicate. At low temperatures their reactions are slower
than similar reactions in Portland cements, and therefore
they are generally recommended for primary cementing
at temperatures above 140F.
The merits of this type of cement are ease of retardation, light weight, economy, and strength stability at high
temperatures.
Resin or Plastic Cements. Resin and plastic cements are
specialty materials used for selectively plugging open
holes, squeezing perforations, and cementing wastedisposal wells. They are usually mixtures of water liquid
resins, and a catalyst blended with an API Class A, B,
G, or H cement. A unique property of these cements is
that when pressure is applied to the slurry the resin phase
may be squeezed into a permeable zone and form a seal
within the formation. These specialty cements are used
in wells in relatively small volumes. They are effective
at temperatures ranging from 60 to 200F.
Gypsum Cement. Gypsum cements are used for remedial
cementing work. Normally, they are available in (1) a
hemihydrate form of gypsum (CaSO4 1/2H2 0), and (2)
gypsum (CaSO4 2H2 0) containing a powdered resin additive.
The unique properties of gypsum cement are its capacity to set rapidly, its high early strength, and its positive
expansion (approximately 0.3%). Gypsum cements are
blended with API Class A, G, or H cement in 8 to 10%

MANUFACTURE, CHEMISTRY, AND CLASSIFICATION OF OILWELL ELEMENTS

concentration to produce thixotropic properties. This combination is particularly useful in shallow wells to minimize
fall-back after placement. (See Fig. 3.16).
Because of the solubility of gypsum, it is usually considered a temporary plugging material unless it is placed
down the hole where there is no moving water. In fighting lost circulation, gypsum cements are sometimes mixed
with equal volumes of Portland cements to form a permanent insoluble plugging material. These blends should
be used cautiously because they have very rapid setting
properties and could set prematurely during placement.
(See Section 3.6, concerning lost circulation.)
Diesel Oil Cements. To control water in drilling or in
producing wells, diesel oil cement slurries are frequently used.1 These slurries are basically composed of API
Class A, B, G, or H cement mixed in diesel oil or kerosene with a surface-active agent. Diesel oil cements have
unlimited pumping times, and will not set unless placed
in a water-bearing zone; there the slurry absorbs water
and sets to a hard, dense cement. The function of the surfactant is to reduce the amount of oil needed to wet the
cement particles. Some compositions of diesel oil cement
contain an anionic surfactant whose effect is to extend the
reaction or thickening time to permit additional penetration into the formation. Diesel oil cement is used primarily to shut off water, but it can also be used to repair casing
leaks, to combat certain lost-circulation problems, to plug
channels behind the pipe, and to control slurry penetration. (See Fig. 2.5.)
Expanding Cements. For certain down-hole conditions
it is desirable to have a cement that will expand against
the filter cake and pipe. For such use the oil industry has
evaluated various compositions that expand slightly when
set. 16-18 The reactions that cause this expansion are similar to the process described in the cementing literature
as ettringite. Ettringite is the crystal-forming process that
takes place between sulfates and the tricalcium aluminate
component in Portland cement (Fig. 2.6). Commercial
expanding cements (3Ca0 .A12 03 3CaS0 4 32H2 0) are
Portland types to which have been added an anhydrous
calcium sulfoaluminate (4Ca0 3A12 0 3 SO 3 ), calcium
sulfate (CaSO4), and lime (CaO).
Currently there are three types of commercial expanding cements.
Type K, 17 which contains the calcium sulfoaluminate
component and is blended with a Portland cement by
licensed manufacturers. When Type K cement is slurried
with water, the reaction created by hydration expansion
is approximately 0.05 to 0.20%.
Type S, suggested by the Portland Cement Assn., consisting of a high C3 A cement, similar to API Class A,
with approximately 10 to 15 % gypsum. Expansion characteristics are similar to those of Type K.
Type M, which is obtained by adding small quantities
of refractory cement to Portland cement to produce expansive forces.
There are other formulations of expanding cement.
1. API Class A (Portland cement) containing 5 to 10%
of the hemihydrate forms of gypsum. 19 (The expansion
characteristics of API Class A and Class H cements containing gypsumcalcium sulfateare compared in Table 2.12.)

WELL
PRODUCES
OIL AND
WATER

15

DIESEL OIL
CEMENT
SLURRY
SQUEEZE

WELL
PRODUCES
OIL ONLY

IESEI
011.
I L'

EMEN
. LURR

PRODUCTION
3.1AfTERN : CEMENTING

E .1
11.

SAND
.

WATER
SAND

Fig.

2.5Water shut-off using diesel oil cement:5

2. API Class A, G, or H cement containing sodium


chloride in concentrations ranging from 5 % to saturation.
The expansion is caused by chlorosilicate reactions (See
Sect. 3.9 for a discussion of other benefits of salt.)
3. Pozzolan cements. Expansive forces are created
when the alkali reacts with Class A, G, or H cement to
form sulfoaluminate crystals.
At this time there is no test procedure nor are there specifications in the API standards for measuring the expansion forces in cement. Most laboratories use the expansive
bar test, employing a molded 1 x 1 x 10-in. cement specimen. The expansive force is measured shortly after the
cement sets for a base reference and then at various time
intervals until the maximum expansion is reached.
Hydraulic bonding tests have also been used to evaluate
the crystal growth of expanding cements. 2
Calcium Aluminate Cements. Refractory cements are
high-alumina cements manufactured by blending bauxite
(aluminum ore) and limestone and heating the mixture in
reverberatory open hearth furnaces until it is liquefied.21
Two of the more widely used high-alumina cements are
called Lunmite (made by the Lehigh Cement Co. in Gary,
Ind.), and Ciment Fondu (made in England and France

Fig. 2.6Ettringite crystals in cement.6

CEMENTING

16
TABLE 2.12-RESULTS OF LINEAR EXPANSION TESTS
Curing temperature: 100F.
Curing pressure: atmospheric.
Initial reference time: 51/2 hours.
API Class A
Cement with
Calcium
Sulfate
(wt% cement)

Salt
(wt% cement)

Linear Expansion (%)


After a Cement Curing Time of
1 day 3 days 7 days 14 days 28 days

API Class A Cement


0
3
5
0

0
0
0
18

0.015
0.060
0.078
0.139

0.027
0.078
0.133
0.182

0.034
0.087
0.142
0.196

0.039
0.094
0.150
0.204

0.053
0.108
0.165
0.219

0
0
0
18

0.041
0.060
0.080
0.099

0.050
0.098
0.128
0.151

0.059
0.108
0.145
0.167

0.064
0.115
0.155
0.178

0.077
0.128
0.170
0.193

API Class H Cement


0
3
5
0

TABLE 2.13-EFFECT OF LIQUID LATEX


ON PORTLAND CEMENT SLURRY
Latex, gal/sack
Water, gal/sack
Viscosity, Uc*
Initial
After 20 minutes
Fluid loss, cm3 /30 min on
paper/100 psi
Slurry weight, Ibm/gal
Slurry volume, cu ft/sack

0.0
5.20

1.0
5.20

3
5

2
3

**
15.60
1.18

17
14.43
1.40

Uc = Units of consistency; see Section 43


**Dehydrated in 25 seconds.

5'F
20F
25F
30F

CONTINUOUS
PERMAFROST
DISCONTINUOUS
PERMAFROST

--;c

MEAN ANNUAL.
TEMPERATURE

I I

Fig. 2.7-Areas of permafrost in North America.

by the Lefarge Cement Co., and in the U.S. by Lone Star


Lafarge Inc.). The analyses of these materials differ from
those of Portland cements since bauxite replaces the clay
or shale used in making Portland cement. Typical analyses of these refractory cements show that they contain approximately 40% lime (CaO) and small amounts of silica
and iron. The calcium aluminates in these cements
produce high early strength and greater resistance to high
temperatures and to attack by corrosive chemicals.
High-alumina cements are used in in-situ combustion
wells (firefloods) where temperatures may range from 750
to 2000F during the burning process.
These products can be accelerated or retarded to fit individual well conditions, but the retardation characteristics
will differ from those of Portland cements. The addition
of Portland to a refractory cement will cause a flash set;
therefore, when both are handled in the field, they should
be stored separately.
Latex Cement. While latex cement is sometimes identified as a special cement, it actually is a blend of API Class
A, G, or H with either a liquid or a powdered latex. These
latexes are chemically identified as polyvinyl acetate,
polyvinyl chloride, or butadiene styrene emulsions. They
improve the bonding strength and filtration control of a
cement slurry in wells. Liquid latex is added in ratios of
approximately 1 gal/sack of cement. Latex in powdered
form does not freeze and can be dry blended with cement
before it is transported to the wellsite. The properties
imparted by liquid latex are shown in Table 2.13.
Permafrost Cement. Special problems occur in cementing conductor and surface casing in a frozen environment. 22 Throughout the Arctic there are ice-bearing
formations that extend to depths as great as 3,000 ft. They
may be described as frozen earth in some areas and as
glacier-like ice blocks in others. (See Fig. 2.7.) 23,24 It
is normally desirable to use a quick-setting, low-heat-ofhydration cement that will not melt the permafrost. (See
Sect. 14.10-Permafrost.)

MANUFACTURE, CHEMISTRY, AND CLASSIFICATION OF OILWELL ELEMENTS

For such low-temperature conditions, gypsum-cement


blends and refractory cement blends have been used very
successfully.25 Gypsum-cement blends can be accelerated or retarded and will set at 15F before freezing. For
surface pipe these slurries are normally designed for 2
to 4 hours' pumpability, yet their strength development
is quite rapid and varies little at temperatures between 20
and 80F.
2.8 Summary
In the last two decades, cement standardization and field
usage have been greatly simplified. The number of API
classes has been reduced to the point that API Classes G
and H are those most widely used. Approximately 80%
of the cement used in wells in non-Communist countries
is manufactured in the U.S. and falls within these two
classes. Approximately 65% of the cement made in the
U.S. is API Class H (mostly in the Gulf Coast and midcontinent operations), and 15 % is API Class G, which
is marketed in the California and Rocky Mountain areas.
The remaining cement used in wells is either Class A
(10%) or Class C (10%).
In international operations, most of the cement used in
wells is API Class G (Canada, Europe, Middle East, South
America, and Far East). Specialty cements constitute less
than 1% of the worldwide downhole market.
References
1. "Symposium on Use of Pozzolanic Materials in Mortars and
Concretes," Special Tech. Pub. No. 99, ASTM, Philadelphia, PA
(1949).
2. Aspdin, J.: "An Improvement in the Modes of Producing Artificial
Stone," British Patent No. 5022 (1824).
3. Ludwig, N.D.: "Portland Cements and Their Application in the
Oil Industry," Drill. and Prod. Prac. , API (1953) 183-209.
4. Kosmatka, S.H. and Panarese, W.C.: Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures, EBOOIT, Portland Cement Assn., Skokie, IL (1988).
5. Caveny, W.J. and Weigand, W.: "Microscopic Method Helps
Assess Cement Performance," Oil and Gas J. (Sept. 26, 1983).

17

6. ASTM Standards, Part XIII, Cement, Lime, Gypsum, ASTM,


Philadelphia, PA (1982).
7. "API Materials and Testing for Well Cements," API Specification 10, second edition, API, Dallas (June 1984).
8. Caveny, W.J. and Weigand, W.: "Practical Oilwell Cement
Microscopy," presented at the 1985 Intl. Conference on Cement
Microscopy, Fort Worth (March 25-28).
9. Clark, C.R. , Steele, J.H., and Gidley,, J.L. : "Coarse Grind Cement
for Oil Well Cementing," paper SPE 3448 presented at the 1971
SPE Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Oct. 3-6.
10. Hansen, W. C. : "Oil-Well Cements," paper presented at the 1952
Intl. Symposium on the Chemistry of Cement, London.
11. Halliburton Oil Well Cement Manual, Halliburton Co., Duncan,
OK (1983).
12. "Cement Standards of the World-Portland Cement and Its
Derivatives," CEMBUREAU, Paris (1967).
13. Smith, D.K.: "A New Material for Deep-Well Cementing," J. Pet.
Tech. (March 1956) 59-63; Trans. , AIME, 207.
14. Hook, F.E., Morris, E.F., and Rosene, R.B.: "Silica-Lime Systems
for High Temperature Cementing Applications," paper SPE 3447
presented at the 1971 SPE Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Oct. 3-6.
15. Hower, W.F. and Montgomery, P.C.: "New Slurry Effective for
Control of Unwanted Water," Oil and Gas J. (Oct. 19, 1953).
16. Lafuma, H.: "Expansive Cements," paper presented at the 1952
Intl. Symposium on the Chemistry of Cement, London.
17. Klein, A. and Troxell, G.E.: "Studies of Calcium Sulfoaluminate
Admixtures for Expansive Cements," Proc., ASTM (1958) 58,
986-1008.
18. Hansen, W.C.: "Crystal Growth as a Source of Expansion in
Portland-Cement Concrete," Proc., ASTM (1963) 63, 932-945.
19. "Expansive Cement Concretes-Present State of Knowledge," J.
American Concrete Inst. (Aug. 1970) 583.
20. Beirute, R. and Tragesser, A.: "Expansive and Shrinkage Characteristics of Cements Under Actual Well Conditions," J. Pet. Tech.
(Aug, 1973) 905-09.
21. Newman, K.: "The Design of Concrete Mixes with High Alumina
Cement," Reinforced Concrete Review ,(March 1960) 5, No. 5.
22. White, F.L.: "Setting Cements in Below Freezing Conditions,"
Pet. Eng. (Aug. 1952) B7.
23. Maier, L.F. et al.: "Cementing Practices in Cold Environments,"
J. Pet. Tech. (Oct. 1971) 1215-20.
24. Morris, E.F.: "Evaluation of Cement Systems for Permafrost,"
paper SPE 2824 presented at the 1970 AIME Annual Meeting,
Denver (Feb. 15-19).
25. Bombardieri, C.C., Kljucec, C.C., and Telford, A.S.: "GypsumCement Blend Works Well in Permafrost Area," World Oil (March
1973) 49-52.

Chapter 3

Cementing Additives

3.1 Introduction
Wells in the oil,industry today cover a wider range of
depth and temperature conditions than at any other time
in history. Cementing compositions are designed regularly for (1) conditions below freezing in the permafrost
zones of Alaska and Canada, (2) temperatures up to 500F
in deep oil wells, (3) temperatures of 450 to 500F in
steam wells, and (4) temperatures of 1,500 to 2,000F
in fireflood wells. Pressures range from atmospheric to
30,000 psi in extremely deep holes. It has been possible
to accommodate such a wide range of conditions only
through the development of additives to modify the available Portland cements for individual well requirements.
Today more than 50 additives are used with various API
classes of cement to provide optimum slurry characteristics for any downhole condition.
With the advent of a basic cement l (API Classes G and
H) and bulk blending equipment, the use of additives has
become more flexible and simple. Cement slurries can
now be tailored for specific well requirements around the
world. Practically all cement additives in current use are
free-flowing powders that have been dry blended with the
cement before it is transported to the well. However, if
necessary, most of them can be dispersed in the mixing
water at the job site or may be purchased from service
companies in liquid form.
Depending on how they are selected, additives can affect the characteristics of cement slurries in a variety of
ways. Following are some examples.
1. Density can range from 6.0 to 21.0 lbm/gal
(Fig. 3.1).
2. Compressive strength can range from 200 to
20,000 psi.
3. Setting time can be accelerated or retarded to produce
a cement that will set within a few seconds or remain fluid
for up to 36 hours.
4. Cement filtration can be lowered to as little as 25
cm3 /30 min. when measured through a 325-mesh screen
at a differential pressure of 1,000 psi.

5. The flow properties can be varied over a wide range.


6. Set cement can be made resistant to corrosion by densifying it or by varying its chemical composition.
7. Granular, fibrous, or flake-like bridging agents and
gelling agents can be added to control the loss of cement
slurries to formations.
8. Resilience can be imparted to set cements by incorporating fine fibers in slurry compositions.
9. Permeability can be controlled in low-temperature
wells by densification and at temperatures above 230F
by densification and the use of silica flour.
10. Costs can be reduced, depending upon the well requirements and the properties desired.
11. The set cement can be expanded slightly by the use
of gypsum or sodium chloride, or both.
12. The heat of hydration (the heat liberated during the
setting process) can be controlled by the use of sand, fly
ash, or bentonite in combination with water.
Cement additives are classified as follows.
1. Accelerators
2. Lightweight additives
3. Heavyweight additives
4. Retarders
5. Lost-circulation-control agents
6. Filtration-control agents
7. Friction reducers
8. Specialty materials

3.2 Cement Accelerators


Cement slurries to be used opposite shallow, lowtemperature formations may require acceleration to shorten thickening time and to increase early strength, particularly at formation temperatures below 100F. By using
accelerators, basic cements, and good mechanical practices, in as little as 4 hours a strength of 500 psi can be
developed. This strength is generally accepted as the minimum for bonding and supporting pipe. 2-4
The accelerators in common use are listed in Table 3.1.

CEMENTING ADDITIVES

19

pensified Cement

TABLE 3.1COMMONLY USED


CEMENT ACCELERATORS CAN BE USED DRY
OR IN MIXING WATER IN
API CLASS A, B, C, G, OR H CEMENTS

16 to 21

Cement + Weight Material


16 to 17 111

Cement + Salt

15 to 17

API Class G or H

15 to 16 1111

Pozzolan - Cement

Calcium chloride (CaCl2)


(flake, powdered, anhydrous)
Sodium chloride (saltNaCI)
Gypsum-hemihydrate form
(plaster of Paris)
Sodium silicate (Na2 S10 2 )
Cement dispersants
(with reduced water)
Seawater (as mixing water)

13 to 15

Cement + Bentonite 12 to 15
8 to 13
6 to 13
8

10

Amount Used
(wt0/0 of Cement)

Accelerator

Cement + Spheres
Cement + Nitrogen

12
14
16
Slurry Weight #/gal.

18

20

2 to 4
3 to 10*
20 to 100
1 to 7.5
0.5 to 1.0

Percent by weight of water

Fig. 3.1Weight ranges of cementing systems.

Calcium Chloride (Tables 3.2 and 3.3). Calcium


chloride5,6 is the most widely used and the most effective of all cement accelerators. It is a very hygroscopic
material and is available in flake and powder forms in
the regular 77% calcium chloride grade, and in flake form
in the anhydrous 96% grade. Anhydrous flake form is
in more general use because it can absorb some moisture
without becoming lumpy, and is easier to store. Normally, 2 to 4% calcium chloride, based on the cement, is used,
depending on well conditions. In some instances, 4% calcium chloride is used with cement mixtures requiring high
water ratios, where large volumes of water dilute the concentration of the accelerator. Calcium chloride concentrations in excess of 6 wt% of cement offer no advantage.
Reaction to these concentrations with cement at low temperatures is unpredictable.

urn chloride, it may be used when some acceleration is


desired and calcium chloride is not available.
Gypsum Cement (Table 3.6). Gypsum cement is composed primarily of a hemihydrate form of calcium sulfate (plaster of Paris). It is used as an accelerator for
Portland cements at concentrations up to 100%, based on
cement. Thickening times as short as 5 minutes can be
obtained with certain Portland-gypsum cement blends.
TABLE 3.2EFFECT OF CALCIUM CHLORIDE
UPON THE THICKENING TIME OF
API CLASS A CEMENT
Water-5.2 gal/sack
Slurry weight-15.6 Ibm/gal

Sodium Chloride (Tables 3.4 and 3.5). Sodium chloride, common table salt, is an effective accelerator for
neat cement at concentrations of 1.5 to 5.0 wt% of cement. Two to 3.5 % gives maximum acceleration, except
when slurries of higher water ratio are used.
Low percentages of sodium chloride accelerate, but high
concentrations, such as those used to saturate the mixing
water, will retard the set of cement (see Section 3.5 on
Cement Retarders). Although sodium chloride does not
produce the degree of acceleration achieved with calci-

API Casing Cementing Tests


for Simulated Well Depth

Calcium
Chloride
(0/0)

1,000 ft

2,000 ft

4,000 ft

0.0
2.0
4.0

4:40
1:55
0:50

3:36
1:30
0:47

2:25
1:04
0:41

0.0
0.2
0.4

3:30
1:30
0:48

API Squeeze Cementing Tests


2:49
1:20
0:43

TABLE 3.3EFFECT OF CALCIUM CHLORIDE


ON THE COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF API CLASS A CEMENT
Water-5.2 gal/sack
Slurry weight-15.6 Ibm/gal
Compressive Strength (psi) at Temperature and Time Indicated

CaCl2
(0/0)
0
2
4

0 psi,
60F
(hours)
6

12

20
70
460 785
755 955

0 psi
80F
(hours)

800 psi,
95F
(hours)

24

12

24

12

24

940
2,290
2,420

75
850
1,095

405
1,540
1,675

1,930
3,980
3,980

235
1,170
1,225

1,065
2,360
2,325

2,710
4,455
4,550

1:52
0:54
0:37

CEMENTING

20

lbm/gal at a water ratio of 3.4 gal/sk. When the slurry


is used for a whipstock plug, the addition of 15 to 20 lbm
of sand per sack of cement mixed at 18 lbm/gal with the
same water ratio will produce high early strength. When
longer pumping times are necessary because of depth or
temperature, retarders can be used. In general, the above
slurry can achieve relatively good strength within 8 hours
at a designated bottomhole static temperature when designed for a pumping time of 11/2 to 2 hours.
The data in Table 3.7 indicate the thickening times attainable by densifying cements.

TABLE 3.4-EFFECT OF SODIUM CHLORIDE


UPON THE THICKENING TIME
OF API CLASS A CEMENT
Water-5.2 gal/sack
Slurry Weight-15.6 Ibm/gal
API Casing Cementing Tests
for Simulated Well Depth (ft)

Sodium
Chloride
(%)

1,000

2,000

4,000

6,000

0.0
2.0
4.0

4:30
3:05
3:05

4:12
2:27
2:35

2:30
1:52
1:35

2:25
1:13
1:20

Sodium Silicate. Sodium silicate is used primarily to accelerate cement slurries containing carboxymethyl hydroxyethyl cellulose (CMHEC) retarder.?
Cements With Dispersants and Reduced Water. Cement slurries can be accelerated by densifying. This is
done by adding friction reducer and lowering the amount
of mixing water.8
The most common densified slurry is API Class A, G,
or H cement with 0.75 to 1.0% dispersant mixed at 17.5

Seawater. Seawater is used extensively for mixing cement slurries in marine locations. 9 It contains up to
23,000 ppm of chlorides, which act as an accelerator. Seawater from the open areas of the sea or ocean is quite
uniform. However, because it may be diluted by fresh
water from rivers, seawater near the shore may not
produce the desired acceleration. (Table 3.8 gives data
on water from various sources.)
The effect of ocean water upon the thickening time and
compressive strengths of slurries of Classes A and H cements compared with those of fresh water is shown in
Table 3.9. Where bottomhole static temperatures exceed
160F, cement slurries mixed with seawater should be
suitably retarded.

TABLE 3.5-EFFECT OF SODIUM CHLORIDE


UPON THE COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF API CLASS A CEMENT
Water-5.2 gal/sack
Slurry Weight-15.6 Ibm/gal
Compressive Strength (psi) at Temperature and Time Indicated (hours)
80F
0 psi

95F
800 psi

110F
1600 psi

Sodium
Chloride
(%)

12

24

48

12

24

48

12

24

48

0
2
4

405
960
1,145

1,930
2,260
2,330

3,920
3,250
3,500

1,065
1,590
1,530

2,710
3,200
3,150

4,820
3,900
3,825

1,525
2,600
2,575

3,680
3,420
3,400

5,280
4,350
4,125

TABLE 3.6-PROPERTIES OF
GYPSUM (HEMIHYDRATE) AND
GYPSUM/CLASS A CEMENT

TABLE 3.7-EFFECT OF DENSIFICATION ON


THICKENING TIME OF API CLASS G CEMENTS

Gypsum (hemihydrate)-100 Ibm

Slurry
Slurry
Thickening
Water Dispersant Weight Volume
Time*
(gal/sack)
(%)
(Ibm/gal) (cu ft/sack) (hours:min)

Water
Weight
Volume
Setting time, 60F to 180F
Strength 1 hour after setting

4.8 gal/sack
15.0 Ibm/gal
9.3 gal
50 to 60 minutes
2,500 psi

5.20
3.78
3.38

1.0
1.0

'Using 8,000-ft API casing test

50/50 Gypsum/API Class G Cement


Water
' 5.0 gal/sack
Weight
15.3 Ibm/gal
Setting time
12 to 20 minutes
Thickening time at 80F
0:23
Compressive strength, psi, at 70F
2 hours
685
4 hours
725
8 hours
730
24 hours
1,080

15.6
17.0
17.5

1.18
0.99
0.93

2:15
1:40
1:15

CEMENTING ADDITIVES

21
TABLE 3.8-SEAWATER ANALYSES (WET CHEMICAL) 9
(Constituents are given in mg/L.)

Constituents

Gulf of Mexico

Cook Inlet
Alaska

Gulf of Suez

Sable Island

Chloride
Sulfate
Bicarbonate
Carbonate
Sodium and
potassium
Magnesium
Calcium
Total dissolved
solids
pH
Specific gravity
Temperature, F

19,000
2,500
127
12

16,600
2,000
140
0

19,900
2,400
78
27

23,000
3,100
171
24

22,300
3,100
134
11

18,900
2,260
140

10,654
1,300
400

9,319
1,080
360

11,170
1,300
408

13,044
1,500
520

12,499
1,570
464

10,690
1,199
370

33,993
8.2
1.026
75

29,499
8.0
1.023
71

35,283
8.3
1.027
70

41,359
8.2
1.031
74

40,078
8.2
1.03
75

33,559
7.3
1.022

3.3 Lightweight Additives


Neat cement slurries, when prepared from API Class A,
B, G, or H cement using the recommended amount of
water, will have slurry weight in excess of 15 lbm/gal.
Many formations will not support long cement columns
of this density. Consequently, additives are used to reduce
the weight of the slurry. 10,11 The additives also make the
slurries cheaper, increase yield, and sometimes lower
filter loss. The weight of cement slurries can be reduced
by adding water, by adding solids having a low specific
gravity, or by adding both.
The materials commonly used in cements as lightweight
additives are shown in Table 3.10 in order of their general
effectiveness.
Bentonite. Bentonite-sodium montmorillonite-is a colloidal clay mined in Wyoming and South Dakota (Fig.
3.2). It imparts viscosity and thixotropic properties to
fresh water by swelling to about 10 times its original
volume. Bentonite (or gel) was one of the earliest additives used in oilwell cements to decrease slurry weight
and to increase slurry volume. 11 The API
specifications 12 for bentonite for use in cement are given
in Table 3.11. Bentonite can be added to any API class
of cement in concentrations from 1 to 16 wt % of the

Trinidad

Persian Gulf
(Kharg Is.)

cement 13-15 (Fig. 3.3A). When dry mixed with the cement (in quantities of 8 to 12 %) it requires approximately 1.3 gal of water for each 2 % bentonite. The effect of
1% of prehydrated bentonite is about the same as 3.5 wt %
dry mixed. With 8- to 12%-gel cement, dispersants are
often used to reduce viscosity and to obtain flexibility in
the amount of water that must be used. The effects of bentonite on the composition and properties of Class H cement slurries are shown in Table 3.12.
Bentonite (gel) is used in formulating the following
different kinds of cements.
1. Blended gel cement
2. Premixed bentonite (prehydrated) 16
3. Modified cement 13
4. High-gel salt cement 15
High percentages of bentonite in cement reduce the
compressive strength and thickening time of both regular and retarded cements. Bentonite and water also lower
its resistance to chemical attack from formation waters.
Since API specifications both for the API Classes of
cements and for bentonite establish only minimum requirements, the properties of different brands or different
batches of the same brand of either cement or bentonite
can vary. For example, the compressive strength of a bentonite cement prepared from a cement that barely meets

TABLE 3.9-COMPARISON OF EFFECTS OF SEAWATER AND FRESH WATER


ON THICKENING TIME AND COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH
OF API CLASSES A AND H CEMENT SLURRIES
Water ratio: 5.0 gal/sack
Curing time: 24 hours.
Compressive Strength (psi) at
Curing Pressure and Temperature of

Thickening Time
(hours:min)
at Well Depth (ft) of

0 psi

1,600 psi

3,000 psi

6,000

8,000

50F

110F

140F

2:25
1:33

1:59
1:17

435
520

3,230
4,105

4,025
4,670

2:59
1:47

2:16
1:20

380
460

1,410
2,500

2,575
3,085

API Class A Cement


Fresh water
Seawater
API Class H Cement
Fresh water
Seawater

CEMENTING

22
TABLE 3.10SUMMARY OF
LIGHTWEIGHT CEMENT ADDITIVES
Type of Material

Usual Amount Used

Bentonite
Blended bentonite cement
Prehydrated bentonite cement
Modified bentonite cement
High-gel salt cement

2 to 16%*

Diatomaceous earth

10, 20, 30, or 40%*

Natural hydrocarbons
Gilsonite
Coal

1 to 50 Ibm/sack of cement
5 to 50 Ibm/sack of cement

Expanded perlite

5 to 20 Ibm/sack of cement

Nitrogen

0 to 70% (depending on density,


temperature, and pressure)

Microspheres

1 to 104 Ibm/sack of cement

Others
Artificial pozzolan (fly ash)
Pozzolan-bentonite cement
Sodium silicate

74 Ibm/sack of cement
Variable
1 to 7.5 Ibm/sack of cement

*Percent by weight of cement.

the minimum strength specifications (1,800 psi in 24 hours


at 100F) will be lower than that of one prepared from
a cement having a strength of 3,500 psi under the same
test conditions.
Prehydrated Bentonite. Where bulk equipment is not
available for dry blending, it may be necessary to add the
bentonite to the water (that is, to prehydrate it). 16 (See
Fig. 3.3B.) Gel can be prehydrated in about 30 minutes
unless it is mixed with a high-shearing-type mixer (in
which case it will swell to most of its maximum yield in
less than 5 minutes). Allowing the gel to prehydrate for
24 hours before adding cement may increase the separation of free water from the slurry.
Modified Cements. "Modified cements" are composed
of regular Portland cement, 8 to 25% bentonite, and a
dispersantcalcium lignosulfonate. 13 For more detailed
composition and properties, see Table 3.13.
Calcium lignosulfonate in a high-gel cement slurry functions as a dispersant and retarder. In addition to lightness,
low cost, and increased yields, modified cement slurries
have a low filter loss provided they are batch mixed using
a high rate of shear and not mixed through the standard
jet mixer. Modified cements are used primarily for permanent well completions and multiple-string completions.
API Classes D and E cements are not recommended
for preparing modified cement since they contain a lignin dispersant, which is a chemical retarder.

Fig. 3.2Bentonite outcropping, South Dakota.

High-Gel Salt (HGS) Cements. High-gel salt cements 15


consist of Portland cement, 12 to 16% bentonite, 3.0 to
7.0% inorganic salt (sodium chloride, preferably), and
0.1 to 1.5% dispersing agent (calcium lignosulfonate). Salt
acts as both an accelerator and a dispersant, and the calcium lignosulfonate provides retardation and dispersion.
Dissolving the salt in the mixing water makes it more effective. The composition and properties of the commonly used high-gel salt cements are shown in Table 3.14.

23

CEMENTING ADDITIVES
TABLE 3.11PHYSICAL AND CHEMICAL REQUIREMENTS FOR BENTONITE
ACCORDING TO API SPECIFICATIONS12
Dry screen analysis
Wet screen analysis

100% through U.S. Standard No. 40 Sieve (420 Ian)


2.5% maximum retained on U.S. Standard No. 200
Sieve (74 Am)

Moisture content
(as received)

10%, maximum

Viscometer reading*

22, minimum at 600 rpm

Yield point*, lbf/100 sq ft

3 x plastic viscosity, maximum

Filtration properties*

15.0 mL, maximum (100 psi paper)

pH*

9.5 maximum

*Based on 22.5 g bentonite in 350 mL distilled water. Equivalent to about 80 bbl/ton yield clay.

Because of the dispersing properties of both salt and


retarder, high-gel salt cement slurries are very pumpable
even though the recommended water ratio is generally below that usually associated with the above-mentioned
quantities of bentonite (12 to 16%).
Diatomaceous Earth. Specially graded diatomaceous
earth, because it requires a high percentage of water, can
be used for making light-weight cements. 17 It will impart about the same properties to cement slurries as will
bentonite, but it is much more expensive. Its usefulness
lies in the fact that, when used in high percentages, it does
not increase the viscosity of the slurry as do expanding
clays like bentonite. Table 3.15 lists cement slurry properties obtainable with diatomaceous earth.

API CLASS H CEMENT

LOOK

BENTONITE
PERCENT BY WT OF CEMENT

CU FT 0211

82

290

77 0

2 72

20
18

716753

16

V 663 234

14

609 2 15

12

55 8 1 97
.
cTi 50 4 1 78

10

453 t

399 141

348121

306108
WATER REQUIREMENT

SLURRY WEIGHT

14 16 18 20
GALS/SK 4
8 10 1
CU FT /SK 0 3 0 80 1 7 1 34 160 1 87 2 14 2 41 2 68
LITERS/SK 151 22 7 303 37 9 .4 53 0 60 6 88 1 75 7

10 11 12 13 1 15 6 17 LBS/GAL
75 82 90
7 105 112 120 1 I BS/CU FT
1201321.158168180192204 ROIL

API CLASS C CEMENT

Gilsonite. In a cement slurry, gilsonite acts both as a lightweight additive and as a unique lost-circulation agent (see
Section 4.9 for further discussion of lost circulation and
Fig. 3.3C). Gilsonite is a naturally occurring asphaltite
that is inert in cement slurries. 18 It is graded in particle
size from fine to 'A in. It has a dry bulk density of 50
lbm/cu ft, a water requirement of about 2 gal/cu ft, and
a specific gravity of 1.07. Because of this low specific
gravity, gilsonite is especially good for reducing density. Also, unlike perlite, it does not absorb water under
pressure. 18,19 Gilsonite cement, therefore, has a higher
strength at any age than other set cements of the same
slurry weight containing other available lightweight or
lost-circulation-control additives. Gilsonite does not significantly change the pumping time of most API Classes
of cement.
Data in Table 3.16 show the composition and properties of gilsonite cement slurries prepared with Class A,
B, or G cement.

USK

I I BELTOLTE
I
PERCENT BY WT. OF CEMENT

08

f I

20

900 3,8
84 7 2 99

i8

79 6 2 Bi

16

l
oj 74 2 2 62

10

69 1 2 .

12

637 225

10

586 207

8_4

5321 N

47 9 1 69

4 2 8 1 51

37 4 1 32
WATER REQUIREMENT
GALS /SK 6 8 10 12 4 16 18 20 22
CU FT /SK 060 107 134 160 187214 241268 295
LITERS/SK 22 7 30 3 37 9 .4 53 0 606 68 1 75 7 63 3

SLURRY WEIGHT
10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 LBS/GAL
75 82 90 97 105 112 1 0 127 LBS/CU FT
1 20 1 32 1 44 1 56 168 1 80 1 92 2 04 KG/L

API CLASS G CEMENT

BENTONITE
PERCENT BY wr OF CEMENT

USK CU. FT /SK


849

20

798

M.
18
OM

742

..
691

HE

Expanded Perlite. Perlite is a volcanic material that is


mined, crushed, screened, and expanded by heat to form
a cellular product of extremely low bulk weight. It was
originally manufactured for creating lightweight concretes. Now it is used in oilwell cements, normally with
a small quantity of bentonite (2 to 6%) to help prevent
segregation of the perlite particles from the cement slurry. Expanded perlite particles contain open and closed
pores and matrix. Down the wellbore, the open holes fill
with water and some closed pores crush and fill with
water. The final density of the cement depends on how

58 9
5

. 484
430

111%
12

as
In

16

II

. III 111
12
10

.
6
4

379

ril

326

HE

WATER REQUIREMENT

GALS/SK 4 6
1 12 14 16 1
20
CU FT /SK 0 3 060 107 1 34 160 1 87 2 42 1 268
LITERS/SK 151 22 7 303 37 9 45 4 53 0 606 68 1 75 7

IM

II

E
EV

a
Nu
a

EN

110525M21511
1 12
3 1 15 16
10

7 L S/GAL
5 82 90 97 105 1 2 1 0 1 7 LBS/CU FT
1 201 32 1 44 1 56 168 1 BO 1 92 2 04 6G/L

Fig. 3.3AEffects of bentonite on water weight and yield


of various API classes of cement.

CEMENTING

24
TABLE 3.12-EFFECTS OF BENTONITE ON THE COMPOSITION
AND PROPERTIES OF CLASS H CEMENT SLURRIES
Bentonite
(%)

Water Requirement
(gal/sack)

Viscosity 0 to 20
min. (Uc)*

Slurry Weight
(Ibm/gal)

Slurry Volume
(cu ft/sack)

0
2
4
6
8

5.2
6.5
7.8
9.1
10.4

4 to 12
10 to 20
11 to 21
13 to 24
12 to 19

15.6
14.7
14.1
13.5
13.1

1.18
1.36
1.55
1.73
1.92

Thickening Time (hours:min)* *


API Casing Cementing Tests for
Simulated Well Depth (ft)

Bentonite
(%)

4,000

6,000

8,000

0
2
4
6
8
12

4:20
3:55
3:40
4:00
4:05
3:45

3:15
2:55
2:45
2:40
2:30
2:18

2:25
2:05
2:00
1:55
1:58
1:50

Compressive Strength (psi)


After 8 Hours at Temperature (F)

Bentonite
(%)

95 (800 psi)

110 (1,600 psi)

140 (3,000 psi)

170 (3,000 psi)

0
2
4
8
12

400
300
180
90
90

900
600
400
160
95

1,800
1,200
780
300
180

3,100
1,600
1,100
450
270

1,300
1,250
830

After 24 Hours at Temperature (F)


2

4
8
12

400
250

2,100
1,750
1,200
600
400

4,450
2,600
1,850
900
550

5,100
3,250
2,230
1,150
650

*Uc=Units of consistency (see Sec. 4.3).


**From pressure-temperature thickening-time test.

Bentonite375 "s)
le by Weight of Water
Lbe /Gal of Hiner (kgiliter)
4.5

3.10

24 Hour Compressive Strength (kPe)


110.7 100,
50 4, " 90
(345) (620)

3.00 (87.811)
(84.9)
290
2.80
2 70
2.60
2.50
2.40

(82.11)
I
(79.3)

ea,

I
(78.4)
I
(73.6)

.4
4.0 .... .333 (0 039)
....
...

(70.81)
I
(67.9)

230 -I
(65 I)
2.20

L
(62.3)

210

I
(59.5)

2.00
1.90
180
1 70

3.5

290 (0035)

3 0 ....
..
4.4

250 (0.030)

170
Ilihis\

i, (552)

120
N . .250
(827) (1723)
145= 300
(1000) (2068)

...

(56.6)

t."" ''

(53.8)
(50.9)
I
018 1)

..... .... ,. ..... -4... .... ...... ......


I
I
4,

2 5 ...... .210 (0.025) .4- B...


...
.....

... ....... 240. 515


(1655) (3550)
1k

160
2.0 - 167 (0020)
(1
.875 .... 1030
(45
(..
(3344) (7100)
I
1 50 . (
.5 = .125(0.015)
I
I
1.45 (41.1)
1440
7 8
9 10 11 12 13 4 15 16 17 18 19 20
11
12
13
1 (60321 (9927)
265 303 34 1 37.9 41.6 45.4 49.2 53.D 56 8 60 1 64 4 88 1 71 9 75 7
1 32
144
1 56
168
WateriCement Ratio-Gallons/Seek
Slurry Weight-Poundenallon
Liters/Sack
Kilogramsh.lter

3,)
42.5)

..

Note: Slurry properties of API Class A-G or H cement containing premixed bentonite (water ratio allows for 1 percent settling).

Fig. 3.3B-Bentonite (dry) cement with prehydrated (premixed) bentonite.

25

CEMENTING ADDITIVES
TABLE 3.14-PROPERTIES OF HIGH-GEL SALT
CEMENT API CLASS A CEMENT- 16% BENTONITE

TABLE 3.13-PROPERTIES AND RETARDER


REQUIREMENTS OF MODIFIED CEMENT FOR
DIFFERENT DEPTHS

Salt: 3%.
Water: 13.0 gal/sack.
Weight: 12.7 Ibm/gal.

Cement: API Class A.


% bentonite: 12.
Slurry weight: 13.0 Ibm/gal.
Slurry volume: 2.02 cu ft/sack.
Mixing-water ratio: 11.0 gal/sack.

Thickening Time (hours : min)

Formation
Temperature
(F)

Depth
(ft)

Calcium
Lignosulfonate
(%)

Below 140
140 to 180
180 to 220
220 to 250

4,000
4,000 to 7,000
7,000 to 9,500
9,500 to 11,500

0.5
0.6
0.7
0.7 to 0.8

API Casing Cementing Tests for


Simulated Well Depths of (ft)
8,000
6,000
4,000

Dispersant**
(%)

2 : 34
3 : 08
3 : 27
3 : 00 +
3 : 00 +

0.0
0.1
0.2
0.4
0.6

2:00
2:20
2:05
2:54
3:13

1 : 12
1 : 23
1 : 16
2 : 05
2 : 27

24-Hour Compressive
Strength (psi)

Note: Thickening time will be from 2 to 3 hours


WOC time will be from 12 to 36 hours

remain closed and on how much water is immobilized in the open pores. Because of this water takeup, cement slurries containing perlite are mixed with what
might appear to be an excessive amount of water to allow the cement slurry to remain pumpable under downhole conditions.

many pores

Pressure-0 psi
100F 120F 140F

Salt
(%)

Dispersant*
(%)

3
5
7

0.0
0.0
0.0

620
665
605

700
705
655

700
690
650

3
5
7

0.2
0.2
0.2

515
385
395

595
520
435

560
450
445

3
3

0.4
0.6

335
360

395
440

385
375

'Calcium lignosulfonate

Nitrogen. Nitrogen is used ahead of cement to help reduce


the bottomhole hydrostatic pressure during cementing by
(1) introducing the nitrogen into the drilling-mud stream
ahead of the slurry, (2) stopping the circulation and introducing a "slug" of nitrogen when the hole is full of
circulating mud, or (3) introducing the nitrogen in the cementing system as a separate stage to foam the slurry to
make it lighter. 20-24
Nitrogen-foamed cement slurries provide adequate compressive strength while helping to avoid "fallback" (cement breaking into weak formations as a result of the high
weight of the cement column) and lost circulation (cement
flowing into fracture channels or permeable zones and not
extending back to the surface).

Foam cement is created when a gas is chemically and


physically stabilized within an ordinary cement slurry.
Slurries used for foam should contain a high-pH-tolerant
foaming surfactant and foam stabilizer, and should be conveyed through an effective mechanical foam-generating
device that imparts sufficient energy and mixing action
with pressurized gas to prepare uniform gas bubbles of
the correct size. The quality of the foam cement slurry
is dependent on well depth, temperature, and desired density downhole (Figs. 3.4 and 3.5).

TABLE 3.15-EFFECTS OF DIATOMACEOUS EARTH* ON API CLASSES A AND H CEMENTS 17


Thickening Time (hours:min)
Diatomaceous
Earth
(%)
0
10
20
30
40

Diatomaceous
Earth
(%)
0
10
20
40
'Diacel D

Water
(gal/sack)
5.2
10.2
13.5
18.2
25.6

Slurry
Weight
(Ibm/gal)
15.6
13.2
12.4
11.7
11.0

Slurry
Volume
(cu ft/sack)
1.18
1.92
2.42
3.12
4.19

For API Class A Cement


at Well Depth (ft) of
4,000
3 : 36
4 : 00 +
4 : 00 +
4 : 00 +
4 : 00 +

For API Class H Cement


at Well Depth (ft) of

6,000

8,000

4,000

6,000

8,000

2 : 41
3 : 00 +
3 : 00 +
3 : 00 +
3 : 00 +

1 :59
2 : 14
2 : 38
3 : 00 +
3 : 00 +

3 : 50
4 : 00 +
4 : 00 +
4 : 00 +
4 : 00 +

3 : 37
4 : 00 +
4 : 00 +
4:00+
4 : 00+

4 : 00 +
4 : 00 +
4 : 00 +
4 : 00 +
4 : 00 +

Compressive Strength of API Class A Cement (psi)


After Curing 72 Hours at Temperature
After Curing 24 Hours at Temperature
and Pressure of
and Pressure of
140F
110F
95F
140F
110F
95F
3,000 psi
1,600 psi
800 psi
80F
3,000 psi
1,600 psi
800 psi
80F
4,325
4,275
3,565
2,890
2,620
2,005
1,560
1,360
1,125
945
660
440
750
520
360
110
1,000
645
345
240
710
270
190
70
630
220
150
70
260
50
30
15

CEMENTING

26
TABLE 3.16-COMPOSITION AND PROPERTIES
OF API CLASSES A, B, AND G CEMENT SLURRIES
CONTAINING GILSONITE
Gilsonite
(Ibm/sack)
0% Gel

Water
(gal/sack)

Slurry
Weight
(Ibm/gal)

Slurry
Volume
(cu ft/sack)

0
10
20
25
50

5.2
5.4
5.7
6.0
7.0

15.6
14.7
14.0
13.6
12.5

1.18
1.36
1.55
1.66
2.17

7.8
8.2
8.6
8.8
9.7

14.1
13.5
13.0
12.8
12.0

1.55
1.75
1.95
2.06
2.53

4% Gel
0
10
20
25
50

Fig. 3.3C-Gilsonite distribution in cement.

Job-site setup is about the same as for a regular cement


job. The foam generator is inserted in the cement-slurry
discharge line that is connected to the wellhead, and the
nitrogen unit is connected to the foam generator. The cement slurry is mixed in a normal fashion, and foaming
surfactants and stabilizers are injected into the slurry as
it is picked up by the displacement pump truck.
Foamed cement may be used as a primary cement or
as a remedial cement to fill lost-circulation zones or to
repair damaged casing where brine flow has corroded uncemented casing. Densities as low as 6.0 lbm/gal are attainable using nitrogen as the foaming agent. While

10,000

SPHERELITE
CEMENTS

nitrogen-foamed cement is used primarily for downhole


density control, it also provides good insulation properties (Table 3.17 and Fig. 3.6).
High-Strength Microspheres. High-strength microspheres and/or glass bubbles can be added to cementing
systems to produce slurries with densities as low as 8.0
lbm/gal. 25-27 These slurries can develop adequate compressive strength at temperatures lower than 60F as well
as provide good insulation properties (Fig. 3.7).
Applications for microspheres are (1) thermal wells that
require minimum-density cement compositions with effective insulation properties; (2) incompetent formations
on- and offshore requiring cement densities less than 11
lbm/gal; (3) cold formations (28 to 80F) that need minimum cementing densities; and (4) offshore platform
grouting.
The microspheres admixture consists of small-diameter,
hollow, inorganic, fused spheres composed mostly of silicon and aluminum oxides. Lightness of the additive is derived from the encapsulation of air in the spheres;
compressive strength of microsphere cement slurries are
in excess of 6,500 psi.

1,000
WATER
EXTENDED
LIGHTWEIGHT
CEMENTS
SCF NITROGEN/bbl

FOAM
CEMENTS

4000

3000

20.2
STANDARD CUBIC UNITS OF NITROGEN PER
UNIT OF 14.8 lb/gal (1.78 sp. gr.)
CEMENT SLURRY
8.5 IMgal
(1.02 sp. gr.)

2000

1000

10.5 lb/gal
(1.26 sp. gr.)
12.5 lb/gal
(1.50 sp. gr )

15.1

10.1
L.)
tn
5.

20
0
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16
SLURRY DENSITY

Fig. 3.4-Strength/density range of lightweight cementing systems.

2000
4000
6000
8000
10000 psi
13.79
27.58
41.37
55.17
68.96 mPa
DOWNHOLE HYDROSTATIC PRESSURE, PSI

0.

Fig. 3.5-Nitrogen requirements to prepare foam in API


Class C cement. 22

27

CEMENTING ADDITIVES
TABLE 3.17COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF FOAM CEMENT CURED AT ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE
Surface Slurry: Class A cement+ 2.0% CaCl 2 +5.2 gal/sack-15.6 Ibm/gal
100F
65F
Cu ring Temperature
Density of
Foam Cement

140F

Compressive Strength (psi)


24 hours

72 hours

24 hours

72 hours

1,460
650
250

1,900
1,020
400

980
440
230

1,120
460
250

1,530
740
360

Surface Slurry: Class C cement + 2.0% CaCl 2 +6.3 gal/sack-14.8 Ibm/gal


1,380
1,110
1,680
480
890
10
790
690
920
440
290
8
320
330
410
270
150
6

1,880
1,000
720

1,220
530
360

1,250
590
380

1,790
720
460

Surface Slurry: Class G cement + 2.0% CaCl2 +5.0 gal/sack-15.8 Ibm/gal


890
620
1,070
200
470
10
420
260
500
260
120
8
170
130
140
80
40
6

1,100
570
220

600
310
150

900
330
160

1,270
550
180

Surface Slurry: Class H cement + 2.00/0 CaCl 2 +4.3 gal/sack- 16.4 Ibm/gal
600
270
710
100
180
10
370
160
250
70
90
8
130
130
150
50
30
6

760
540
240

400
200
90

620
300
130

750
350
150

(Ibm/gal)

12 hours

24 hours

72 hours

10
8
6

390
160
50

480
250
90

1,540
1,020
400

12 hours
850
470
140

12 hours

0 20

t.$)

15

.10

Vi

.05
0.
Vi

0.

0
14 0

12.0

11 5 11.0

10 0

9.;

90

DENSITY (LB GAL)

Fig. 3.6Insulation properties of foamed cement at


various densities.

Properties of microsphere slurries at varying concentrations in API Class H cement are shown in Tables 3.18
and 3.19.
3.4 Heavyweight Additives
To offset high pressures frequently encountered in deep
wells, cement slurries of high density are required. To
increase cement slurry density, an additive should (1) have
a specific gravity in the range of 4.5 to 5.0, (2) have a
low water requirement, (3) not significantly reduce the
strength of the cement, (4) have very little effect on pumping time of cement, (5) exhibit a uniform particle-size
range from batch to batch, (6) be chemically inert and
compatible with other additives, and (7) not interfere with
well logging.
The most common materials used for weighting cements
are shown in Table 3.20. Of these, hematite has been most
widely used because it best fits the physical requirements
and achieves the highest effective specific gravity. The
physical properties of these agents and the quantities required to obtain a specified weight are given in Table 3.21.

Fig. 3.7Microspheres used to reduce cement density. 27

CEMENTING

28
TABLE 3.18-PROPERTIES OF MICROSPHERES IN API CLASS H CEMENT

Microspheres
(Ibm/sack)

Water
(gal/sack)

Density at
2,000 psi
(Ibm/gal)

Yield at
2,000 psi
(cu ft/sack)

0
15
35
53
82
104
145

4.3
5.0
6.8
8.9
13.5
17.5
25.8

16.4
14.0
12.0
11.0
10.0
9.5
9.0

1.06
1.43
2.06
2.68
3.86
4.83
6.73

Thermal
Conductivity, k
(Btu/hr-ft-F)
Wet

Dry

0.75
0.47
0.40
0.38
0.31
0.24
0.23

0.19
0.16
0.13
0.13
0.12
0.08

TABLE 3.19-EFFECTIVE DENSITY OF MICROSPHERES


IN CEMENT SLURRY AT VARIOUS PRESSURES

Pressure
(psi)

Density
(g/mL)

Absolute
Volume
(gal/Ibm)

Pressure
(psi)

Density
(g/mL)

Absolute
Volume
(gal/Ibm)

atm
400
1,000
2,000
4,000
6,000
8,000

0.603
0.660
0.698
0.743
0.817
0.905
0.987

0.1991
0.1818
0.1720
0.1615
0.1470
0.1326
0.1216

10,000
12,000
15,000
17,500
20,000
22,500
-

1.052
1.085
1.153
1.221
1.311
1.335
-

0.1141
0.1106
0.1041
0.0983
0.0916
0.0899
-

TABLE 3.20-HEAVYWEIGHT CEMENT ADDITIVES

Material
Hematite
Ilmenite (iron-titanium oxide)
Barite
Sand
Salt
Cements with dispersants
and reduced water

Amount Used
(wt% of cement)
4 to 104
5 to 100
10 to 108
5 to 25
5 to 16

Additives with high water ratios require additional


retarder to achieve a desirable thickening time. This is
because (1) materials with large surface areas, which
generally have high water requirements, will adsorb part
of the retarder, leaving less to retard the cement, and (2)
additional water dilutes the retarder and reduces its
effectiveness.
The chemicals currently used as retarders are listed in
Table 3.22.

0.05 to 1.75

3.5 Cement Retarders


In present-day drilling, bottomhole static temperatures
from 170 to 500F or more are encountered over a depth
range of 6,000 to 25,000 ft. To prevent the cement from
setting too quickly, retarders must be added to the neat
cement slurries, which can be placed safely to only about
8,000 ft. Increasing temperature hastens thickening more
than increasing depth (pressure) does. Retarders must be
compatible with the various additives used in cements as
well as with the cement itself.
The retarders in commercially available cements (Classes D and E for example) are compounds such as lignins
(salts of lignosulfonic acid), gums, starches, weak organic
acids, and cellulose derivatives. Sometimes these retarders are not totally compatible with retarders added by the
service companies, so the cements should be tested before they are used. It is this problem of compatibility that
led to the development of API Classes G and H cements,
which are not permitted to contain a chemical retarder
as manufactured. These basic cements can be used to
8,000 ft as received, and respond well to retarders for
use at depths as great as 30,000 ft.

Lignin Retarders. Lignin retarders-calcium lignosulfonate and calcium sodium lignosulfonate-are derived
from wood. They are generally used over a range of 0.1
to 1.0 wt% of a 94-lbm sack of cement (Table 3.23).
The lignin retarders have been used very successfully
in retarding cement of all API Classes to depths of 12,000
to 14,000 ft or where static bottomhole temperatures range
from 260 to 290F. (See Table 3.24.) They have also been
used to increase the pumpability of API Classes D and
E cements in high-temperature wells (300F and higher),
but for this purpose are not so effective as the lignosulfonates modified with organic acids.
Carboxymethyl Hydroxyethyl Cellulose (CMHEC).
CMHEC, a soluble wood derivative, is a highly effective retarder. 28 It can be used at concentrations up to
0.70% without the addition of extra water to control slurry
viscosity. Thereafter, from 0.80 to 1.0 gal of water per
sack of cement should be added for each percent retarder
used. The range of usage is usually from 0.1 to 1.5 wt%
of the basic cementing composition, yet higher concentrations may be necessary for retardation at temperatures
above 300F. CMHEC is compatible with all API Classes of cement both for retarding and, to some extent, for
controlling fluid loss.

29

CEMENTING ADDITIVES
TABLE 3.21-DATA ON VARIOUS MATERIALS
FOR WEIGHTING API CLASS D, E, or H CEMENT
Comparison of Quantities Required
Pounds per Sack of Cement
Ottawa
Sand

Iron
Arsenate

22
37
55
76
108

28
51
79

12
21
31
41
52

5.02

4.23

2.65

6.98

22

19

4.49

2.67

2.65

3.57

0.0275

0.0548

0.0456

0.0400

Slurry Weight
(Ibm/gal)

Hematite

Barite

16.2
17.0
17.5
18.0
18.5
19.0

12
20
28
37
47

Physical Properties
Specific gravity
Water requirements
(percent of water)
Effective specific
gravity with water
Absolute volume of
additive and
water (gal/Ibm)

Saturated Salt Water. Water saturated with salt and


mixed with dry cement provides enough pumpability to
place API Class A, G, or H cement to depths of 10,000
to 12,000 ft at temperatures of 230 to 260F. (See Fig.
3.8.)
For cementing through salt sections, slurries are generally salt saturated, but for most shales and bentonitic sands
that are freshwater sensitive, lower salt concentrations are
usually adequate. 29 '3
3.6 Additives for Controlling
Lost Circulation
"Lost circulation" (sometimes called "lost returns") is
defined as the loss to induced fractures of either whole
drilling fluid or cement slurry used in drilling or completing a wel1. 31-33 It should not be confused with the
volume decrease resulting from filtration, or the volume
required to fill new hole. Usually there are two steps in

TABLE 3.22-COMMONLY USED


CEMENT RETARDERS
Usual Amount Used

Material

0.1 to 1.0%*
Lignin retarders
Calcium lignosulfonate,
0.1 to 2.5%*
organic acid
Carboxymethyl hydroxyethyl
0.1 to 1.5%*
cellulose (CMHEC)
14 to 16 Ibm/sack of cement
Saturated salt
0.1 to 0.5%*
Borax
'Percent by weight of cement.

combating lost circulation. 34-36 The first is to reduce the


density of the slurry, and the second is to add a bridging
or plugging material. Another technique is to add nitrogen to the mud system. For more data on materials for
controlling lost circulation, see Table 3.25.

TABLE 3.23-NORMALLY RECOMMENDED AMOUNTS AND THICKENING


TIMES OF CALCIUM LIGNOSULFONATE RETARDER IN API CLASSES G
AND H CEMENTS
Temperature (F)
Depth (ft)

Thickening
Time
(hours)

Static

Circulating

Retarder
(am

140 to 170
170 to 230
230 to 290
290 to 350

103 to 113
113 to 144
144 to 206
206 to 300

0.0
0.0 to 0.3
0.3 to 0.6
0.6 to 1.0

3 to 4
3 to 4
2 to 4

110 to 140
140 to 170
170 to 230
230 to 290
290 plus

98 to 116
116 to 136
136 to 186
186 to 242
242 plus

0.0
0.0 to 0.3
0.3 to 0.5
0.5 to 1.0
1.0 plus

3 to 4
2 to 4
3 to 4
2 to 4*

Casing Cementing
4,000 to 6,000
6,000 to 10,000
10,000 to 14,000
14,000 to 18,000
Squeeze Cementing
2,000 to 4,000
4,000 to 6,000
6,000 to 10,000
10,000 to 14,000
14,000 plus

'Requires special laboratory testing or the use of modified lignin retarder

CEMENTING
THICKENINGTIME , HRS :MIN

30

TABLE 3.24TYPICAL RETARDING


EFFECT OF CALCIUM LIGNOSULFONATE
ON API CLASS G OR H CEMENT
SLURRIES (WATER-5.2 GAL/SACK)
Thickening Time (hours:min)
Retarder
(%)
0.0
0.2
0.3
0.4

API Casing Cementing Tests for


Simulated Well Depth (ft) of
8,000

10,000

12,000

14,000

1 : 56
3 : 20
6 : 00

1 : 26
2 : 30
4:00
7 : 00

1 : 09
2 : 10
3:10
4 : 40

1 : 00
1 : 35
2:40
3 : 40

5:00
4:00
3:00
2:00
8.000 FT. API CASING TEST

1:00
0:00
0

15

30

Fig. 3.8Effect of salt on thickening time and strength of


API Class G cement. 29

3.7 Filtration-Control Additives


for Cements
The filter loss (see Section 4.15) of cement slurries is lowered with additives to (1) prevent premature dehydration
or loss of water against porous zones, particularly in cementing liners, (2) protect sensitive formations, and (3)
improve squeeze cementing. A neat slurry of API Class
G or H cement has a 30-minute API filter loss in excess
of 1,000 cm3 .
The principal functions of filtration-control additives
are (1) to form films or micelles, which control the flow
of water from the cement slurry and prevent rapid dehydration, and (2) to improve particle-size distribution,
which determines how liquid is held or trapped in the slurry. (See Table 3.26 for a list of filtration-control additives in current use. 28,3840)
The two most widely used filtration-control materials
are organic polymers (cellulose) and friction reducers. 41

The high-molecular-weight cellulose compounds will


produce low water loss in all types of cementing compositions at concentrations from 0.5 to 1.5 wt% of cement. 42 (See Table 3.27.) The water requirement,
however, may have to be adjusted to produce the desired
viscosity; i.e., an API Class A cement will require 5.6
instead of the usual 5.2 gal of water per sack.
Dispersants, or friction reducers, are commonly added
to cement slurries to control filter loss by dispersing and
packing the cement particles and thus densifying the slurry. This is especially effective when the water/cement ratio is reduced. The effect that densification of a cement
slurry has on its filter loss is shown in Table 3.28.
3.8 Cement Dispersants, or
Friction Reducers
Dispersing agents are added to cement slurries to improve
their flow properties. 43 Dispersed slurries have lower

TABLE 3.25MATERIALS COMMONLY ADDED TO CEMENT SLURRIES TO CONTROL LOST CIRCULATION


Nature of
Particles

Type

Material
Additives for Controlling Lost Circulation
Granular

Lamellated
Fibrous

Gilsonite
Perlite
Walnut shells
Coal
Cellophane
Nylon

Graded
Expanded
Graded
Graded
Flaked
Short-fibered

Formulations of Materials for Controlling Lost Circulation


Semisolid or flash setting
Gypsum cement
Gypsum/Portland cement
Bentonite cement
Cement + sodium silicate
Quick gelling

Amount Used
5 to 50 Ibm/sack
1/2 to 1 cu ft/sack
1 to 5 Ibm/sack
1 to 10 Ibm/sack
1
/8 to 2 Ibm/sack
1
/8 to 1/4 Ibm/sack

10 to 20% gypsum
10 to 25% gel

Bentonite/diesel oil

Other
Nitrogen

Gas

Microspheres

Glass beads or
microspheres
1 to 104 Ibm/sack
Chemical gelling
agent
1/2 to 11/2 bbl/sack
Chemical
Variable with
precipitates
well conditions

Thixotropic systems 37
Brine-gel systems

45

PERCENT SALT BY WEIGHT OF WATER

Variable with
pressure and
temperature

Water Required
2 gal/50 Ibm
4 gal/cu ft
0.85 gal/50 Ibm
2 gal/50 Ibm
None
None
4.8 gal/100 Ibm
5.0 gal/100 Ibm
12 to 16 gal/sack
(the silicate is mixed
with water before
adding cement)

31

CEMENTING ADDITIVES
TABLE 3.26-FILTRATION-CONTROL ADDITIVES
Type and Function of Additive
Organic polymers (cellulose). To
form micelles.
Organic polymers (dispersants). To
improve particle-size distribution
and form micelles in the filter
cake.
Carboxymethyl hydroxyethyl
cellulose. To form micelles.
Latex additives. To form films.
Bentonite cement with dispersant.
To improve particle-size
distribution.

Recommended Amount

How Handled

Type of Cement

0.5 to 1.5%

All API classes

Dry mixed

0.5 to 1.25%

All API classes


(densified)

Dry mixed or with mixing water

0.3 to 1.0%
1.0 gal/sack

All API classes


All API classes

Dry mixed
Dry mixed or with mixing water

12 to 16% gel, 0.7 to


1.0% dispersant

API Class A, G, or H

Batch mixed

viscosity and can be pumped in turbulence at lower pressures, thereby minimizing the horsepower required and
lessening the chances of lost circulation and premature
dehydration. 44 Dispersants lower the yield point and gel
strength of the slurry. (Table 3.29 lists some commonly
used dispersants; Table 3.30 illustrates the effect of dispersants on the critical flow rate-the flow rate required
to achieve turbulence-of slurries. 45-48)
The dispersants commonly added to cement slurries are
polymers, fluid-loss agents in gel cement, and salt (sodium chloride). They are used at low temperatures because
they retard the cement only slightly. (See Table. 3.31.)
Calcium lignosulfonates-organic acid blends-retard substantially and are generally used at higher temperatures.
Polymers (Dispersants, or Thinners). Polymers, manufactured in powdered form, produce unusual and useful
properties in cement systems. They do not significantly
accelerate or retard most slurries, but they do markedly
reduce apparent viscosity (see Fig. 3.9). They are well
suited over a temperature range of 60 to 300F. Despite
their viscosity-reducing property, polymers do not cause
excessive free water separation or settling of cement particles from the slurry unless used in excessive amounts.
They are compatible with nearly all types of cement systems except those containing high concentrations of salt.
Although the polymers thin such slurries initially and appear to be effective, they are incompatible with the salt,
which can cause them to flocculate, and after 10 to 20
minutes of mixing they cause a rapid increase in viscosity.
Salt (Sodium Chloride). Common salt, in addition to acting as a weighting agent, an accelerator, and a retarder,
can also act as a thinner (dispersant) in many cementing
compositions (Fig. 3.10). It is especially effective for
reducing the apparent viscosity of slurries containing bentonite, diatomaceous earth, or pozzolan.29'30,49

3.9 Uses of Salt Cements


Salt is used in cement slurries to bond the set cement more
firmly to salt sections (Fig. 3.11) and shales, and to make
the set cement expand. The samples in Fig. 3.11 show
that the freshwater slurry has dissolved part of the salt,
preventing a bond between the rock and the cement and
expanding the hole. Where the salt-saturated slurry has
been used, bonding has been achieved and the hole has
not been enlarged. This illustrates that in cementing
through salt sections, better results can be achieved by
cementing with a salt-laden slurry.

TABLE 3.27-EFFECT OF ORGANIC POLYMERS ON


THE FILTER LOSS OF API CLASS H CEMENT
Time
API Fluid
To Form
Permeability
Loss at
Polymer
2-in. Cake
of Filter Cake
1,000 psi
(wt 0/0
of cement) (cm3 /30 min.) At 1,000 psi (md) (minutes)
0.2
5.00
1,200
0.00
0.54
3.4
0.50
300
30.0
0.09
0.75
100
100.0
0.009
50
1.00

TABLE 3.28-API FILTER LOSS OF


DENSIFIED CEMENT SLURRIES
Cement: API Classes A and G.
API Fluid-Loss Test.
Screen: 325 mesh.
Pressure: 1,000 psi.
Temperature: 80F.
Fluid Loss (cm 3 /30 min) at
Dispersant a Water Ratio (gal/sack) of
5.2
3.78
4.24
4.75
(%)
490
504
690
0.50
580
530
310
368
476
0.75
174
208
222
286
1.00
130
146
224
1.25
118
72
80
92
1.50
54
64
50
1.75
40
48
2.00
36

TABLE 3.29-COMMONLY USED CEMENT


DISPERSANTS
Type of Material
Polymer: Blend
Long chain
Sodium chloride
Calcium Iignosulfonate,
organic acid (retarder
and dispersant)

Amount Used
(Ibm/sack of cement)
0.3 to 0.5
0.5 to 1.5
1 to 16
0.5 to 1.5

CEMENTING

32
TABLE 3.30-EFFECT OF DISPERSANT ON CRITICAL FLOW RATES
OF SLURRIES IN TURBULENCE IN VARIOUS API CEMENTS
Turbulence for 51/2-in. Casing in 83/4-in. Hole
Dispersant
(%)

Volume
(cu ft/sack)

Weight
(Ibm/gal)

Flow
rate
(bbl/min)

Annular
Velocity
(ft/sec)

Reynolds
Number

Frictional
Pressure
(psi/1,000 ft)

10.64
8.67
4.32
2.78

3,000
3,000
3,000
3,000

176.6
117.3
29.1
12.1

7.83
6.47
5.03
3.41

3,000
3,000
3,000
3,000

90.6
62.0
37.4
17.2

11.09
3.71
0.77

3,000
3,000
3,000

194.4
21.7
0.9

10.85
2.29
1.16

3,000
3,000
3,000

193.1
8.6
2.2

Cement-API Class A-Water 5.2 gal/sack


0.0
0.5
0.75
1.00

0.30
0.43
0.67
0.79

0.0
0.5
0.75
1.00

0.25
0.34
0.44
0.60

I 00
0.06700
0.00700
0.00230

15.600
15.600
15.600
.600

1.180'
1.180
1.180
1.180

28.71
23.41
11.65
7.51

Ceme t-API Class C-Water 6.3 gal/sack


0.14410
0.06440
0.02570
0.00670

14.8
14.80
14.80
14.80

21.12
17.47
13.57
9.20

1.320
1.320
1.320
1.320

Cement API Class G-Water 5.0 gal/sack


0.0
0.5
0.75

0.20
0.70
1.17

0.37840
0.00503
0.00015

15.800
15.800
15.800

1.150
1.150
1.150

29.94
10.01
2.08

Cement-API Class H-Water 4.3 gal/sack


0.0
0.75
1.00

0.25
0.91
1.09

0.28283
0.00115
0.00029

16.400
16.400
16.400

1.060
1.060
1.060

29.28
6.17
3.13

TABLE 3.31-EFFECT OF POLYMER DISPERSANTS ON THE THICKENING TIME


AND COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF API CLASS G CEMENT

Dispersant
(%)

Thickening Time
(hours : min)
For API Casing Tests
at Well Depth (ft) of
6,000

Compressive Strength (psi)


After Curing 24 Hours at a Temperature (F) of

12 Hours

8,000

80

80*

95

110

140

140F

1 : 08
1 : 23
1 : 55
3 : 00+
3 : 00+

1,480
1,425
1,565
1,410
1,350

2,700
2,375
2,575
2,440
2,480

1,405
1,795
1,810
1,920
1,895

2,375
2,350
2,775
2,285
2,025

5,200
5,285
4,600
2,595
2,345

2,780
2,875
2,965
2,405
2,260

3,265
2,880
2,555
2,290

3,925
3,595
3,295
2,925

4,220
3,820
3,425
3,125

3,995
3,580
3,285
2,975

API Class G Cement, Neat


0.0
0.5
0.75
1.0
1.25

2 : 16
1 : 55
2 : 12
3 : 00+
3 : 00+

API Class G Cement, With 18% Salt Water


0.5
0.75
1.0
1.25

2 : 05
2 : 35
3:00+
3 : 00 +

'Slurry contains 2% calcium chloride.

1 : 23
2 : 10
3 : 00+
3 : 00 +

33

DISPLACEMENTRATE, BBLS/MIN

CEMENTING ADDITIVES

Fig. 3.9Effect of polymer dispersant on API Class H


cement slurry (sample at leftno polymer; right-1%
polymer).

Cement slurries containing salt help to protect shale sections from sloughing and heaving during cementing 50-52
and to prevent annular bridging and the lost circulation
that can result (Fig 3.12). A shale that is sensitive to cement filtrate can actually become so soft by being wetted
before the cement sets that it will flow, creating channels
behind the cement sheath from one perforated zone to
another. Cement slurries containing 5 to 20% salt have
proved effective in the field in minimizing both sloughing and channeling of shale. (An analysis of a typical
filtrate from salt-cement slurries is given in Table 3.32.)
When salt water is mixed with cement, foaming sometimes occurs, making it difficult to control slurry weight
and volume. This can be prevented by adding antifoaming agents to the mixing water or by dry blending salt with
the cement. Dry blending also eliminates waste in handling salt at the welisite.
The use of dry salt in cementing slurry produces similar effects on the properties of cement of all API Classes
and on those of pozzolan cement and bentonite cement.
Although the salt generally used with cement is sodium chloride, potassium chloride is also used (see Table
3.33), and in some cases may be more effective at lower
concentrations. It has no significantly different effect on
cement slurries except at the higher concentrations, where
slurry viscosity becomes excessive.

35

30 IV\

\\\:
.

25
20

.. ........4 4'...
.. .....
' - 1 ...:...
\
...II..

15

...,..

--....,

10
45
15
30
0
PERCENT SALT BY WEIGHT OF WATER
1.
2.
3.
4.

API Class A cement.


4-percent-gel cement.
12-percent-gel cement.
Pozzolan cement.

Fig. 3.10Displacement rates of salt-cement slurries in


turbulent flow (8%-in. hole, 51/2-in. casing).

Fresh Water

Saturated
Salt Water

Fig. 3.11Bonding of cement to rock salt. The slurry for


the unbonded sample (left) contained fresh water; the
bonded sample (right) contained saturated salt water.

Saturated
Salt Water

Fresh Water

Fig. 3.12Effect of brine on Morrow shale (time of


exposure: 1 hour).

TABLE 3.32ANALYSIS OF CEMENT FILTRATE


Cement: API Class A.
Water ratio: 5.2 gal/sack
Salt
(wt %
of water)

Specific
Gravity

pH

OH (mg/L)

Ca ++
(mg/L)

SO 4 "
(mg/L)

CI (mg/L)

NaCI
Equivalent
of CI 2
(ppm)

0
5
10
18
Saturated

1.008
1.048
1.080
1.121
1.206

12.6
12.1
12.0
11.8
11.6

1,013
853
728
614
274

860
1,685
2,060
1,675
650

4,950
7,000
9,600
8,400
7,400

20
31,250
59,750
105,500
185,000

0
5,214
10,319
18,610
30,970

CEMENTING

34
TABLE 3.33EFFECTS OF POTASSIUM CHLORIDE
ON THE STRENGTH OF CEMENT
Cement: API Class A.
Water ratio: 5.2 gal/sack.
Compressive Strength (psi)
After Curing 24
Hours at a
Temperature of

After Curing 8
Hours at a
Temperature of

KCI
(wt% of
water)

80F

100F

80F

100F

0
5
10
15
Saturated

120
275
300
235*
50*

705
1,225
1,225
885*
200*

1,635
2,600
2,215
2,635*
1,355*

2,820
4,160
4,225
3,885*
2,080*

*Excessive slurry viscosity

TABLE 3.34SPECIAL ADDITIVES FOR CEMENTS


Additive

Recommended Quantity

Mud decontaminants
Silica flour
Radioactive tracers
Dyes
Hydrazine
Fibers
Gypsum

1.0%*
30 to 40%*
Variable
0.1 to 1.0%*
6 ga1/1,000 bbl mud
0.125 to 0.5%*
4 to 10%*

*Percent by weight of cement

TABLE 3.35PERMEABILITY OF HYDRATED API CLASS H CEMENT


Curing Time: 3 Days at 320F Curing Time: 28 Days at 320F

0
20
30
40

0
0
0
0

0
0
0
0

2,165
9,590
8,325
8,165

0.031
0.001
0.001
<0.001

Compressive
Strength
(psi)
2,590
5,450
5,390
11,330

0
30
40

4
4
4

0
0
0

590
4,275
3,750

0.548
<0.001
<0.001

370
3,050
4,140

9.720
<0.001
<0.001

0
30
40

0
0
0

28
45
50

2,205
9,925
8,525

0.030
<0.001
<0.001

1,600
7,015
8,450

3.890
<0.001
<0.001

Silica Bentonite Hematite


(%)
(%)
(%)

Compressive
Strength
(psi)

Permeability
(md)

TABLE 3.36RADIOISOTOPES COMMONLY


USED IN CEMENT

Trade Name
RAC-2*
RAC-3
Rayfrac ** Sand
RAC-4

Maximum
Energy
Half-Life Gammas
Isotope (days)
(meV)
1-131
Sc-46
1r-192
Ir-192

8
84
74
74

0.3
1.2
0.7
0.6

'Not recommended for squeeze cementing


"Not recommended for squeeze cementing; used primarily for
tracing lost circulation and fracturing

3.10 Special Additives for Cement


The special additives currently used in cement slurries are
listed in Table. 3.34.
Mud Decontaminants. Paraformaldehyde or a blend of
paraformaldehyde and sodium chromate are sometimes
used to minimize the cement retarding effects of various
drilling-mud chemicals in the event a cement slurry becomes contaminated by intermixing with the drilling

Permeability
(md)
4.580
<0.001
<0.001
<0.001

fluid. 53 A mud decontaminant consisting of a 60:40 mixture of paraformaldehyde and sodium chromate neutralizes certain mud-treating chemicals. It is effective against
tannins, lignins, starch, cellulose, lignosulfonate, ferrochrome lignosulfonate, chrome lignin, and chrome
lignite.
Mud decontaminants are used primarily in openhole
plugback jobs and liner jobs, for squeeze cementing, and
for tailing out on primary casing jobs.
Silica Flour. Fine silica or silica flour is commonly used
in cementing compositions to help prevent loss of strength.
Research has shown that as temperatures exceed 230F
all manufactured cements lose much of their compressive
strength; and the higher the temperature, the greater the
loss of strength. 54-6 This loss of strength, which is accompanied by an increase in permeability, is caused by
the formation of an alpha hydrate form of calcium silicate in the set cement. Adding a high-water-ratio material such as bentonite accelerates the loss of strength. (See
Table 3.35.)
Silica flour can be added to all classes of API cement
to prevent the loss of strength that occurs with time and
high temperatures. The optimum amount of silica for controlling strength loss is 30 to 40%. Silica flour ( 200
mesh) has a water requirement of 40% (40 lbm, or 4.8
gal, of water per 100 lbm of silica flour). 57 Where

35

CEMENTING ADDITIVES
TABLE 3.37DYES OR PIGMENTS FOR COLORING CEMENT
Cement Slurry
Color

Water/Cement
Contact Color
Used
Material
Indicator Dyes
0.1 Green
Fluorescein
0.1 Red violet
Phenolphthalein
0.1 Blue
Methylene blue

Green
Purple
Blue

Pigments
Black oxide

0.1

Faint tannish green

Yellow oxide

0.1

Red iron oxide

0.1

Faint tannish
yellow
Faint tannish red

weighted slurries are required (17 to 20 lbm/gal), coarse


silica having a particle size range of 50 to +150 mesh
is frequently used.
Radioactive Tracers. Radioactive tracers are added to
cement slurries as markers that can be detected by logging devices. They may be used to determine the location of cement tops and the location and disposition of
squeeze cement.
The isotopes commonly used down the hole have halflives ranging from 8 to 84 days. (See Table 3.36.) By
the proper selection of tracer, the time required to get back
into the hole for a survey can be programmed.
Radioisotopes are controlled and licensed by the U.S.
Nuclear Regulatory Commission and various state agencies, and cannot be used indiscriminately.
Dyes for Cement. Small amounts of indicator dye can
be used to identify a cement of a specific API classification or an additive blended in a cementing composition.
When the dyes are used downhole, however, dilution and
mud contamination may dim and cloud the colors, rendering them ineffective. Table 3.37 lists some materials
used as indicators.

Dark gray with


black streaks
Pale olive green
Light brown with
orange streaks

Naturally occurring mineral oxides and/or synthetically produced color pigments may be substituted for the dye
indicator. To be effective, they should be finely ground
to give more uniform dispersion in the system.
The amount required depends on the type of pigment
and the color desired. For example, a dose of pigment
equal to 0.1 wt % of the cement may produce the desired
color, but more color may be needed to produce a deep
contrast should contamination occur downhole.
Hydrazine. Hydrazine is an additive used to treat the mud
column above the cement to minimize corrosion problems
in the uncemented portion of the hole. 58 One pound of
Hydrazine (2.85 lbm of 35 % solution) is required to remove 1 lbm of dissolved oxygen. The California Research
Corp. recommends 6 gal of 35 % Hydrazine solution for
100 bbl of mud. Since Hydrazine is an oxygen scavenger
it should be handled with extreme caution. Before a
Hydrazine job is performed, a special adaptor should be
placed in the suction side of the displacement pump to
aid in mixing the Hydrazine with the drilling mud to be
pumped ahead of the cement. In determining the amount
of Hydrazine to be used, the calculated theoretical volume
of mud to be left behind casing should be increased by

4.000
t 3.
CASINO SIZES
EZMO 2 3/8 INCHES
7 INCHES
MEI 8 6/8 INCHES

5 2.
1.000

FIBER CONCENTRATION-, 0 0.51.0110


POUND PER SACK
SHEATH THICKNESS-INCHES.-. 1

0.51.01100221
2

Fig. 3.14Internal casing pressure required to cause


failure of fiber-laden cement."

Fig. 3.13Effect of fiber on cement. (Right sample


cement sheath contains no fiber; leftfiber-laden sheath
must be broken with wedge.) 59

36

CEMENTING

Lci2 ""1-c
a, a'

73
0
-8 g3

Sta t of
job

/v.Formation pressure
Initial
hydrostatic
pressure
Standard.-- Compressible.-slurry
slurry
Start of
transition
time
(Cement
Gelation)

Start
of
leakage

End of
transition
time
(Gel Strength
500# 100 sq ft)

Time

Fig. 3.17Hydrostatic pressure drop during the setting


of cement.

.00
0

5 10 15 20 25 30
CURING TIME, DAYS

1. API Class A cement, salt-saturated mixing water 16.1


lb/gal.
2. API Class A cement 18 percent salt by weight of mixing water 15.9 lb/gal.
3. Commercial expanding cement 15.6 lb/gal.
4. API Class A cement densified with 1 percent dispersant
17.0 lb/gal.
5. Neat API Class A cement 15.6 lb/gal.
Fig. 3.15Effect of additives on linear expansion of
cements (curing temperature, 80F; fresh water).

Fig. 3.16Thixotropic cementing systems; fluid slurry


after initial mixing (right), the development of high gel
(thixotropic properties) after short static period (left).

20 percent. Hydrazine is expensive, so the quantity should


be calculated carefully. However, an excess of it in the
mud is not physically detrimental. Upon completion of
the job, pumps, lines, and containers should be thoroughly
flushed with water.

Fiber in Cement. Synthetic fibrous materials, such as Tuf


Fibers*, are frequently added to oilwell cements in concentrations of Y8 to 1/2 lbm/sack to reduce the effects of
shattering or partial destruction from perforation, drillcollar stress, or other downhole forces . 59 Fibrous materials transmit localized stresses more evenly throughout the cement and thus improve the resistance to impact
and shattering (see Fig. 3.13). The most desirable fiber
is nylon. It has fiber lengths varying up to 1 in., is
resilient, and imparts high shear, impact, and tensile
strengths.
The properties achieved with nylon-fiber-reinforced cement on unsupported casing are illustrated in Figs. 3.13
and 3.14.
Gypsum Additives. About 4 to 10% gypsum is added
to Portland cement to achieve (1) flash setting to combat
lost circulation, (2) gelling or thixotropic properties, and
(3) expansion properties in the set cement.
Adding 30 to 50% gypsum to any Portland cement will
produce a flash set in 12 to 20 minutes even when the
slurry is in motion. 6 This has been effectively done to
seal off lost-circulation zones in shallow wells where
strength is necessary to give stability to the wellbore.
For unconsolidated, highly permeable, fractured, or
cavernous formations, 5 to 10% gypsum added to a Portland cement slurry will cause it to gel rapidly when in
a static state. 61,62 This thixotropic property helps the slurry pass permeable formations. The slurry will support its
own column weight if circulation is lost and therefore will
not fall back into the lost-circulation zone. Gypsum is used
principally in wells less than 6,000 ft deep.
Gypsum added to API Class A, G, or H cement in concentrations of 3 to 6 % will react with the tricalcium
aluminate and expand the set cement. (See Expanding Cements, Section 2.7). These expanding properties improve
the cement bond between pipe and formation, effecting
a better seal against gas or fluid annular migration. Typical expansion behavior is illustrated in Fig. 3.15.
Thixotropic Additives. Thixotropic additives are admixtures blended into cement slurries to create rapid gela'A trademark of Halliburton Services.

r
CEMENTING ADDITIVES

tion as the slurry sets. They are used to combat lost


circulation, to prevent "fallback" in the annular column,
and to minimize gas migration by rapid gel-strength buildup. The term "thixotropic" is applied to cementing systems that achieve high gel strength in short periods of time
if left static (Fig. 3.16). 63'64
Thixotropic additives are of the following types:
1. Organictwo-component systems that achieve thixotropic qualities by crosslinking a polymer contained in
a fluid-loss additive in the cement blend.
2. Inorganicthe weak bonding between finely divided, solid crystalline components of the cement blend. 37
Typical admixtures used for this application are gypsum,
5 to 8%, in API Class A or H cement.
Admixtures To Prevent Gas Leakage. Various cement
additives are available to aid in the prevention of gas
migration during the setting of the cement slurry. Research
has shown that the behavior of cement between the fluid
state and the set state is the controlling factor that may
allow gas entry (Fig. 3.17). During this transition phase
any volume reduction (caused by cement hydration and
fluid loss to permeable formations) and gel buildup are
the chief causes of the loss of the hydrostatic pressure associated with a cement column. Once this occurs, gas may
enter the annulus if the hydrostatic pressure has been reduced to the point that overbalance is lost.
Cement density gradation, free-water elimination, fluidloss control, thickening-time control, and backpressure
maintenance all have been used with limited success
(minor gas leakage) to solve the gas leakage problems.
The three most successful methods of minimizing or eliminating gas leakage have been through the use of compressible (gas-containing) and highly thixotropic cement
slurries, and the control of fluid loss within the cementing system.
The compressible cement slurries use an additive that
functions by increasing the compressibility of the cement
slurry such that volume loss can be partially compensated for by expansion of the entrained gas. This helps prevent reduction of the pore pressure in the cement slurry
to below that of the formation gas pressure during the transition state.
The highly thixotropic slurries are based on attainment
of high gel strengths in short time periods. When a highly thixotropic slurry is used, there is rapid static gelstrength development that results in only a small volume
loss and corresponding pressure drop. Therefore, the gas
may not enter and percolate up through the cement-filled
annulus. By use of the compressible and highly thixotropic
cement slurries, a very good success ratio in solving gas
leakage problems has been observed.
Filtration control was one of the earliest considerations
recognized to minimize gas leakage. Any filtrate lost from
the cement slurry downhole would correspond to a hydrostatic pressure decrease. This filtrate loss is a contributor to the volume reduction downhole, resulting in volume
reduction and bridging or dehydration of the cement slurry
against a highly permeable zone. If this dehydrated bridge
was formed before the end of the cement transition time,
it could provide a pressure block that would prevent
hydrostatic transmission of pressure up- and downhole.
As a result, gas flow could occur. Although gas flow may
occur with slurries that have very low fluid-loss values

37

as a result of gas channeling, low fluid loss is necessary


when other methods of preventing annular gas flow are
used. It is recommended that any slurry across a zone of
potential flow should have an API fluid-loss value of less
than 100 cm3 /30 min or lower. (See Sec. 7.8.)
Spacers and Flushes. Spacers and flushes perform two
important functions in the process of primary
cementing65-68 : (1) minimization of the contamination of
cement by drilling fluid, and (2) displacement of drilling
fluid from the cemented portion of the annulus so that a
competent cement sheath can form an effective hydraulic
seal.
Though the terms are often used interchangeably,
spacers and flushes are not the same. A spacer is used
to separate incompatible fluids (drilling fluid and cement),
but is compatible with both fluids. A flush is run ahead
of the cement to improve displacement efficiency and
bonding.
Spacers may be oil or water based. Oil-based spacers
are more compatible with some drilling muds and do not
damage water-sensitive shales and clays; however, cement
bonds better to water-wet formations. Most spacers used
today are water based.
Flushes are low-viscosity liquids (water based) used to
improve displacement efficiency. Both fresh water and
seawater can be used and are as effective as chemical
flushes if hydrostatics permits use of large volumes of
water. Because water offers no degree of fluid-loss control and may be damaging to sensitive formations, the best
flushes are chemical mixes:
1. Reactive systemslow critical flow rate, prevent cement fallback, help prevent lost circulation and improve
hydraulic seal.
2. Dispersants and surfactantsbreak mud gel strength
and create turbulent flow.
3. Scavenger slurriesmixed thin, these slurries prepare the borehole for primary slurry.
The following considerations should be applied when
selecting a spacer program: (1) compatibility; (2) contact
time; (3) will use of the spacer/flush result in water-wet
formation?
A generally accepted rule in determining the amount
of chemical wash, spacer, or flush to use is the amount
required to obtain 500 to 1,000 ft of material in the annulus. Ordinarily this provides a contact time of 4 to 6
minutes, depending on the size of hole and casing and the
pumping rate. If two flushes are used, the same quantity
of each would result in twice the contact time. The
volumes then can be reduced, if experience in the specific area indicates it. Basically, the purposes of these fluids
are to separate incompatible materials and to help control circulating pressures by maintaining uniform fluid viscosities. If too small a volume is used, most of it may
be lost in normal intermixing at the fluid interfaces before the fluid leaves the pipe, leaving an ineffective
amount of the annulus where it is needed.
3.11 Summary
Table 3.38 is a summary of the most common cementing
additives, their uses and benefits, and the cements to which
they can be added. Fig. 3.18 shows the minor and major
effects of additives on the physical properties of cement,

while Fig. 3.19 shows a magnification of the major admixtures used in cement.

38

CEMENTING
TABLE 3.38SUMMARY OF OILWELL CEMENTING ADDITIVES
Type of Additive
Accelerators

Use

Chemical Composition

Benefit
Accelerated setting
High early strength

Type of Cement
All API classes
Pozzolans
Diacel systems

Reducing WOC time


Setting surface pipe
Setting cement plugs
Combating lost circulation

Calcium chloride
Sodium chloride
Gypsum
Sodium silicate
Dispersants
Seawater

Retarders

Increasing thickening time


for placement
Reducing slurry viscosity

Lignosulfonates
Increased pumping
Organic acids
time
CMHEC
Better flow properties
Modified lignosulfonates

API Classes D,
E, G, and H
Pozzolans
Diacel systems

Weight-reducing
additives

Reducing weight
Combating lost circulation

Bentonite/attapulgite
Gilsonite
Diatomaceous earth
Perlite
Pozzolans
Microspheres (glass
spheres)
Nitrogen (foam cement)

Lighter weight
Economy
Better fill-up
Lower density

All API classes


Pozzolans
Diacel systems

Heavyweight additives

Combating high pressure


Increasing slurry weight

Hematite
limenite
Barite
Sand
Dispersants

Higher density

API Classes D,
E, G, and H

Additives for controlling Bridging


lost circulation
Increasing fill-up
Combating lost circulation
Fast-setting systems

Gilsonite
Walnut hulls
Cellophane flakes
Gypsum cement
Bentonite/diesel oil
Nylon fibers
Thixotropic additives

Bridged fractures
Lighter fluid columns
Squeezed fractured
zones
Treating lost circulation

All API classes


Pozzolans
Diacel systems

Filtration-control
additives

Squeeze cementing
Setting long liners
Cementing in watersensitive formations

Polymers
Dispersants
CMHEC
Latex

Reduced dehydration
Lower volume of
cement
Better fill-up

All API classes


Pozzolans
Diacel systems

Dispersants

Reducing hydraulic
horsepower
Densifying cement slurries
for plugging
Improving flow properties

Organic acids
Polymers
Sodium chloride
Lignosulfonates

Thinner slurries
Decreased fluid loss
Better mud removal
Better placement

All API classes


Pozzolans
Diacel systems

Primary cementing

Sodium chloride

High-temperature cementing

Silicon dioxide

Mud Kil

Neutralizing mud-treating
chemicals

Paraformaldehyde

Better bonding to salt,


shales, sands
Stabilized strength
Lower permeability
Better bonding
Greater strength

All API classes

Silica flour

Radioactive tracers

Tracing flow patterns


Locating leaks
High-temperature cementing

Sc 46

Special cements or
additives
Salt

Pozzolan lime
Silica lime
Gypsum cement
Hydromite
Latex cement
Thixotropic
additives

High-temperature cementing
Dealing with special
conditions
Dealing with special
conditions
Dealing with special
conditions
Covering lost-circulation
zones
Preventing gas migration

Silica-lime reactions
Silica-lime reactions
Calcium sulfate
Hemihydrate
Gypsum with resin
Liquid or powdered
latex
Organic additives
Inorganic additives

Mud spacers

Minimizing contamination

Variable

Mud flushes

Aiding in drilling mud


displacement
Separating incompatible
fluids

Variable

Lighter weight
Economy
Lighter weight
Higher strength
Faster setting
Higher strength
Faster setting
Better bonding
Controlled filtration
Fast setting and/or
gelation
Less fall-back
Reduces lost
circulation
Uniform cement
distribution
Better mud removal
Reduced lost
circulation

All API classes


API Classes A,
B, C, G, and
H
All API classes

API Classes A,
B, G, and H
All API classes

All cementing
systems

39

CEMENTING ADDITIVES

API Class H Cement - 500X

Lignosulfonate Retarder - 200X

Sodium Chloride - 40X

Cement Dispersants - 200X

Hematite - 200X

Lignosulfonate Retarders - 100X

Fine Silica - 200X

Diatomaceous Earth - 500X

Glass Spheres - 100X

Potassium Chloride - 40X

Cement Fluid Loss Agent - 100X

Coarse Silica - 100X

CMHEC - 200X

High Temperature Retarder - 200X

Fig. 3.18Magnification of major cementing additives.

40

Decreases
Decreases

`Al
X

Increases

Viscosity

Decreases
Accelerates

Thickening Time

Sea Water

Silica Flour

Salt ( 10-20%)

Sand

Lost Circulation
Additives

(50

()

(R)

50

(50

X
X

X
X

X
X

()
X

Increases
Decreases

)a)

X
X

0-0

0-0

00

Increases
Decreases

Types of Cementing

Decreases

Durability

Increases
Increases

Final Strength

OC

Decreases
Early Strength

00

_X

Retards
Fluid Loss of Slurry

X
X

Increases

Density

Friction Reducers
(Dispersants)

Retarders

Heavyweight
Hematite

Filtration
Additives

Increases

Pozzolan
(Fly Ash)

Water Requirements

Bentonite

Accelerator
(Calcium Chloride)

CEMENTING

Conductor Casing

Surface Casing

Intermediate Casing

job applications--

Production Casing

Where mostly used

Liners
Squeezing

X
X
X

Plugging
* For temperature 230F
X Minor Effects
Major Effects
Fig. 3.19-Effects of cement admixtures on the physical properties of cement.

References
1. "A Basic Oil Well Cement," API Report 701-6I-A, API (Feb.
1965).
2. Farris, R.F.: "Method for Determining Minimum Waiting-onCement Time," Trans., AIME (1946) 165, 175-88.
3. Davis, S.H. and Faulk, J.H.: "Have Waiting-on-Cement Practices
Kept Pace with Technology?" Drill. and Prod. Prac., API (1957)
180.
4. Bearden, W.G. and Lane, R.D.: "You Can Engineer Cementing
Operations to Eliminate Wasteful WOC Time," Oil and Gas J.
(July 3, 1961) 104.
5. Craft, B.C. and Stephenson, A.H.: "Effect of Calcium Chloride
on High Early Strength Cement," J. Pet. Tech. (June 1952) 11-12.
6. Montgomery, P.C.: "Cement Accelerators Cut Rig Downtime,"
Drilling (June 1965) 26, No. 9, 76.
7. Shell, F.J. et al.: "Low Density Oil Well Cements," World Oil
(Sept. 1956) 131.
8. Waggoner, H.F.: "Additives Yield Heavy High-Strength Cements
with Low Water Ratios," Oil and Gas J. (April 13, 1964) 109.
9. Smith, R.C. and Calvert, D.G.: "The Use of Sea Water in Well
Cementing," J. Pet Tech. (June 1975) 759-64.

10. Coffer, H.F., Reynolds, J.J., and Clark, R.C. Jr.: "A Ten-Pound
Cement Slurry for Oil Wells," J. Pet Tech. (June 1954) 35-37;
Trans., AIME, 201.
11. Smith, D.K.: "Physical Properties of Gel Cements," Pet. Eng.
(April 1951) B7-B12.
12. "Specifications for Materials and Testing Oil-Well Cements," API
Specification 10, second edition, API, Dallas (1984).
13. Morgan B.E. and Dumbauld, G.K.: "A Modified Low-Strength
Cement," Trans., AIME (1951) 192, 165-70.
14. Morgan, B.E. and Dumbauld, G.K.: "Bentonite Cement Proving
Successful in Permanent-Type Squeeze Operations," World Oil
(Nov. 1954) 220.
15. Beach, H.J.: "Improved Bentonite Cements Through Partial
Acceleration," J. Pet Tech. (Sept. 1961) 923-26; Trans., AIME,
222.
16. Smith, D.K.: "Well Cementing Method," U.S. Patent No.
3,227,213 (Jan. 4, 1966).
17. Porter, E.W.: "A Low Water Loss-Low Density Cement," Drill.
and Prod. Prac., API (1955) 465 (abstr.); paper 875-9-1 presented
at API Rocky Mountain Dist. Div. of Production Spring Meeting,
Denver, April 12-15, 1955.
18. Slagle, K.A. and Carter, L.G.: "Gilsonite-A Unique Additive for
Oil-Well Cements," Drill. and Prod. Prac., API (1959) 318-28.

CEMENTING ADDITIVES
19. Zuiderwijk, J.J.M.: "LIBIT Cement-A New Lightweight Cement
Slurry for the Cementation of Deep Water Surface Strings," paper
SPE 4855 presented at the 1974 SPE European Petroleum
Conference, Amsterdam, May 29-30.
20. Davies, D.R., Hartog, J.J., and Cobbett, J.S.: "Foam CementA Cement with Many Applications," paper SPE 9598 presented
at the 1981 SPE Middle East Technical Conference and Exhibition,
Bahrain, March 9-12.
21. Benge, 0.G. , Spangle, L.B., and Sauer, C.W. Jr.: "Foamed
Cement-Solving Old Problems with a New Technique," paper SPE
11204 presented at the 1982 SPE Annual Technical Conference and
Exhibition, New Orleans, Sept. 26-29.
22. Garvin, T. and Creel, P.: "Foamed Cement Restores Wellbore
Integrity in Oil Wells," Oil and Gas J. (Aug. 20, 1984) 125-27.
23. McElfresh, P.M. and Boncan, V.C.G.: "Applications of Foam
Cement," paper SPE 11203 presented at the 1982 SPE Annual
Technical Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans, Sept. 26-29.
24. Smith, T., Lukay, R., and Delorey,, J.: "Light, Strong Foamed
Cement: A New Tool for Problem Wells," World Oil (May 1984)
135-44.
25. Ripley, H.E. et al.: "Ultra-Low Density Cementing Compositions,"
paper 80-31-la presented at the 1980 CIM Petroleum Society
Annual Technical Meeting, Calgary, May 25-28.
26. Smith, R.C., Powers, C.A., and Dobkins, T.A.: "A New UltraLightweight Cement with Super Strength," J. Pet. Tech. (Aug.
1980) 1438-44.
27. Harms, W.M. and Lingenfelter, J.T.: "Microspheres Cut Density
of Cement Slurry," Oil and Gas J. (Feb. 2, 1981) 59-66.
28. Shell, F.J. and Wynne, R.A.: "Application of Low-Water-Loss
Cement Slurries," paper 875-12-I presented at API Rocky
Mountain Dist. Div. of Production Spring Meeting, Denver, April
1958.
29. Slagle, K.A. and Smith, D.K.: "Salt Cement for Shale and Bentonite
Sands," J. Pet. Tech. (Feb. 1963) 187-94; Trans., AIME, 228.
30. Ludwig, N.C.: "Effects of Sodium Chloride on Setting Properties
of Oil-Well Cements," Drill. and Prod. Prac., API (1951) 20-27.
31. Scott, P.O. Jr., Lummus, J.L., and Howard, G.C.: "Methods for
Sealing Vugular and Cavernous Formations," Drill. Contractor
(Dec. 1953) 70-74.
32. Goins, W.C. Jr.: "Lost Circulation Problems Whipped with BDO
(Bentonite Diesel Oil) Squeeze," Drilling (Sept. 1954) 15, No. 11,
83.
33. Messenger, J.U. and McNeil, J.S. Jr.: "Lost Circulation Corrective:
Time Setting Clay Cement," Trans., AIME (1952) 195, 56-64.
34. Howard, G.C. and Scott, P.P. Jr.: "An Analysis and the Control
of Lost Circulation," Trans., AIME (1951) 192, 171-82.
35. Gibbs, M.A.: "Primary and Remedial Cementing in Fractured Formations," paper presented at Southwestern Petroleum Short Course,
Texas Tech. U., Lubbock, April 22-23, 1965.
36. White, R.J.: "Lost Circulation Materials and Their Evaluation,"
Drill. and Prod. Prac. , API (1956) 352-59.
37. Wieland, D.R., Calvert, D.G., and Spangle, L.B.: "Design of
Special Cement Systems for Areas with Low Fracture Gradients,"
paper presented at API Southwestern Dist. Div. of Production Spring
Meeting, Lubbock, March 12-14, 1969.
38. Stout, C.M. and Wahl, W.W.: "A New Organic Fluid-Loss-Control
Additive for Oilwell Cements," J. Pet. Tech. (Sept. 1960) 20-24.
39. Hale, B.W.: "New Polymer Controls Cement Filtration without
Thickening," Oil and Gas J. (Feb. 5, 1979) 77-78.
40. McKenzie, L.G. and McElfresh, P.M.: "Acrylatnide/Acrylic Acid
Copolymers for Cement Loss Control," paper SPE 10623 presented
at the 1982 SPE Oilfield and Geothermal Chemistry Symposium,
Dallas, Jan. 25-27.
41. Weisend, C.F.: "Method and Composition for Cementing Wells,"
U.S. Patent 3,132,693 (May 12, 1964).
42. Beach, H.J. , O'Brien, T.B., and Goins, W.C. Jr.: "The Role of
Filtration in Cement Squeezing," Drill. and Prod. Prac. , API (1961)
27-35.
43. Weisend, C.F.: "Method and Composition for Cementing Wells,"
U.S. Patent 3,359,225 (Dec. 19, 1967).

41
44. Boughton, L.D., Pavlich, J.P., and Wahl, W.W.: "The Use of
Dispersants in Cement Slurries to Improve Placement Techniques,"
paper SPE 412 presented at the 1962 SPE Annual Meeting, Los
Angeles, Oct. 8-10.
45. Slagle, K.A.: "Rheological Design of Cementing Operations," J.
Pet. Tech. (March 1962) 323-28; Trans. , AIME, 225.
46. Brice, J.W. Jr. and Holmes, B.C.: "Engineered Casing Cementing Programs Using Turbulent Flow Techniques," J. Pet. Tech.
(May 1964) 503-08.
47. McLean, R.H., Manry,, C.W., and Whitaker, W.W.: "Displacement Mechanics in Primary Cementing," .1. Pet. Tech. (Feb. 1967)
251-60; Trans., AIME, 240.
48. Parker, P.N. et al.: "An Evaluation of a Primary Cementing Technique Using Low Displacement Rates," paper SPE 1234 presented
at the 1965 SPE Annual Meeting, Denver, Oct. 3-6.
49. Shell, F.J.: "The Effect of Salt on DE Cement," Cdn. Oil and
Gas Ind. (March 1957) 10, No. 3, 64-67.
50. Moore, J.E.: "Clay Mineralogy Problems in Oil Recovery," Pet.
Eng., Part 1 (Feb. 1960); Part 2 (March 1960).
51. Hewitt, C.H.: "Analytical Techniques for Recognizing WaterSensitive Reservoir Rocks," J. Pet. Tech. (Aug. 1963) 813-18.
52. Cunningham, W.C. and Smith, D.K.: "Effect of Salt Cement
Filtrate on Subsurface Formations," J. Pet. Tech. (Mar. 1968)
259-64.
53. Beach, H.J. and Goins, W.C. Jr.: "A Method of Protecting Cements
Against the Harmful Effects of Mud Contamination," Trans., AIME
(1957) 210, 148-52.
54. Carter, L.G. and Smith, D.K.: "Properties of Cementing
Compositions at Elevated Temperatures and Pressures," J. Pet.
Tech. (Feb. 1958) 20-28; Trans. , AIME, 213.
55. Kalousek, G.L.: "The Reactions of Thermochemistry of Cement
Hydration at Ordinary Temperatures," Proc., Third Intl.
Symposium on the Chemistry of Cement, London (1952) 296-311.
56. Dunlap, I.R. and Patchen, F.D.: "A High-Temperature Oil Well
Cement," Pet. Eng. (Nov. 1957) B60.
57. Smith, D.K.: "Silica Flour-Mechanism for Improving Cementing Composition for High-Temperature Well Conditions," Pet. Eng.
(Dec. 1980) 43, 46, 48.
58. Schremp, F.W., Chittum, J.F., and Arcynski, T.S.: "Use of Oxygen Scavengers to Control External Corrosion of Oil-String Casing,"
J. Pet. Tech. (July 1961) 703-11; Trans., AIME, 222.
59. Carter, L.G., Slagle, K.A., and Smith, D.K.: "Resilient Cement
Decreases Perforating Damage," paper presented at the API MidContinent Dist. Div. of Production Spring Meeting, Amarillo, April
1968.
60. Clason, C.E.: "Evolution and Use of Gypsum Cement for Oil
Wells," World Oil (Aug. 1949) 119-26.
61. Boice, D. and Diller, J.: "A Better Way to Squeeze Fractured
Carbonates," Pet. Eng. (May 1970) 79-82.
62. Goolsby, J.L.: "A Proven Squeeze Cementing Technique in a
Dolomite Reservoir," J. Pet. Tech. (Oct. 1969) 1341-46.
63. Spangle, L.B. and Calvert, D.G.: "Improved Primary and Remedial
Cementing with Thixotropic Cement Systems," paper SPE 3833
presented at the 1972 SPE Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting,
Denver, April 10-12.
64. Clement, C.: "Thixotropic: Scientific Approach to Use of Slurries,"
J. Pet. Tech. (March 1979) 344-46.
65. Morris, E.F. and Motley, H.R.: "Oil Base Spacer System for Use
in Cementing Wells Containing Oil Base Drilling Muds," paper
SPE 4610 presented at the 1973 SPE Annual Meeting, Las Vegas,
Sept. 30-Oct. 30.
66. Carney, L.L.: "Cement Spacer Fluid," J. Pet. Tech. (Aug. 1974)
856-58.
67. Haut, R.C. and Crook, R.J.: "Laboratory Investigation of
Lightweight, Low-Viscosity Cementing Spacer Fluids," J. Pet.
Tech. (Aug. 1982) 1828-34.
68. Haut, R.C. and Crook, R.J.: "Laboratory Investigation of
Lightweight, Low-Viscosity Cementing Spacer Fluids," paper SPE
10305 presented at the 1981 SPE Annual Technical Conference and
Exhibition, San Antonio, Oct. 5-7.

Chapter 4

Factors That Influence


Cement Slurry Design

4,1 Introduction
Before a cement slurry is pumped into a well, a variety
of laboratory tests can be conducted to ensure proper
placement and to assist in predicting the performance and
behavior of the slurry as it is pumped and after its placement. In gathering this information, completion depths,
well temperatures, hole conditions, and drilling problems
must all be considered in the design of a cementing composition. The following factors will affect cement slurry
design.
1. Well depth
2. Well temperature
3. Mud-column pressure
4. Viscosity and water content of cement slurries
5. Pumping or thickening time
6. Strength of cement required to support pipe
7. Quality of available mixing water
8. Type of drilling fluid and drilling fluid additive
9. Slurry density
10. Heat of hydration
11. Permeability of set cement
12. Filtration control
13. Resistance to downhole brines
Much of the industry's current ability to design a slurry properly has resulted from the standardization of laboratory equipment and testing procedures and from the
availability of laboratory facilities for testing at simulated downhole cementing conditions.

4.2 Pressure, Temperature, and


Pumping Time
Two basic influences on the downhole performance of cement slurries are temperature and pressure. They affect
how long the slurry will pump and how well it develops
the strength necessary to support pipe. Temperature has
the more pronounced influence. 1,2 As the formation temperature increases, the cement slurry hydrates and sets
faster and develops strength more rapidly. Also, the

pumping (or thickening) time is decreased. Fig. 4.1 shows


how these factors affect thickening time.
Pressure imposed on a cement slurry by the hydrostatic
load of well fluids also reduces the pumpability of cement. 3 In deep wells, hydrostatic pressure plus surface
pressure during placement may exceed 20,000 psi (Table 4.1). The influence of pressure on the pumpability of
cements is illustrated in Table 4.2.
Temperature gradients vary in different geographical
areas. In west Texas and New Mexico, gradients average about 0.8F/100 ft of depth, whereas along the Texas
and Louisiana gulf coast they range up to 2.2F/100 ft
of depth. Estimates of bottomhole static temperatures
(BHST's) may be obtained from surveys run during logging and from drillstem tests. Bottomhole circulating temperatures (BHCT's) are obtained from temperaturerecording subs run in the drillstring during mudconditioning trips before casing is set. From such data
the relationship of BHST's vs. BHCT's can be obtained
to determine the pumpability of a cement slurry.
Temperature studies conducted along the gulf coast of
Texas and Louisiana in the early 1950's have formed the
basis of API testing schedules and cement specifications
for more than 20 years. The schedules are based on bottomhole temperatures, 4 F = 80F +0.015 X depth in feet.
(See Fig. 4.2.) The cooling effect of mud displacement
lowers the circulating temperature of the hole considerably during the casing cementing. During squeeze cementing, there is less cooling because there is less well fluid
preceding the slurry. Thus, a cementing composition is
pumpable longer during casing cementing than during
squeeze cementing at the same depth.
The time it takes a cement slurry to reach bottom depends upon casing size and displacement rate. These factors were studied and a survey was made by the API in
1962. As a result, testing schedules were revised to compensate for higher displacement rates in wells of moderate to extreme depths. Tables 4.3 through 4.5 list the data

FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE CEMENT SLURRY DESIGN

43

TABLE 4.1-HYDROSTATIC PRESSURES ENCOUNTERED IN WELLS


Pressure (psi) for Fluid Indicated
Water

Drilling Fluid or Cement Slurry

Depth
(ft)

8.34 Ibm/gal

11 !bra/gal

13 Ibm/gal

15 Ibm/gal

17 Ibm/gal

1,000
5,000
10,000
15,000
20,000
25,000
30,000
35,000
40,000

434
2,170
4,340
6,500
8,670
10,840
13,010
15,180
17,354

572
2,860
5,720
8,580
11,400
14,260
17,120
19,980
22,840

676
3,380
6,760
10,100
13,500
16,880
20,260
23,640
27,840

780
3,900
7,800
11,700
15,600
19,500
23,400
27,300
27,020

884
4,420
8,840
13,300
17,700
22,120
26,540
30,960
35,380

TABLE 4.2-EFFECT OF VARYING PRESSURE


ON THE THICKENING TIME OF API CLASS H CEMENT
WITH RETARDER

Depth
(ft)
10,000

14,000

16,000

Temperature (F)
Static

Circulating

230

144

290

206

320

248

Pressure
(psi)
5,000
10,000
15,000
10,000
15,000
20,000
10,000
15,000
20,000
25,000

Thickening
Time
(hours:min.)
2:10
1:34
1:18
8:35
5:19
1:14
4:11
3:39
2:30
2:08

2
0
4 10,000

API Class H Cement

8,000 -

G
C)

cr)

.N
a

6,000 4,000 -API Class H


Cement
2,000 With 2% Calcium
Chloride
0
0
2
1

Thickening Time - Hours

used as a basis for API thickening-time specifications and


a typical thickening-time test procedure used for 14,000-ft
liner conditions in API Standards 10 for different temperature gradients. 4
With the increased drilling activity in the 1980's, additional data supported the accuracy of API circulating temperatures used in deep wells along the U.S. gulf coast. 5
Fig. 4.3 illustrates measured circulating temperature vs.
API casing or liner circulating temperatures. It was prepared by plotting measured values from temperature subs
against temperature obtained by interpolation of API tables. 5 The relatively uniform distribution of points along
the solid line, where measured and API temperatures are
equal, seems to indicate reasonable agreement of the two
values.
A similar plot, Fig. 4.4, that shows measured squeeze
temperature vs. API squeeze temperature indicates good
agreement, although points are more widely scattered and
the measured squeeze temperatures are generally higher
in deep wells than those shown in API testing procedures.
In design of cement slurries for specific well conditions,
the rate of slurry placement per 1,000 ft of depth, as well
as horsepower requirements, displacement rates, slurry
volumes, and hole and casing size relationships are used
as the basis for determining the pumping time to be expected from a given cementing composition. Strength data
are based on well temperatures and pressures and indicate the time required for the cement to become strong
enough to support the pipe.

Fig. 4.1-Effect of depth (temperature) on the thickening


time of API Class H cement.

300
I
I
WELLS NORMAL STATIC
B.H.T = 80 + .015 X DEPTH
260
SQUEEZE
CEMENTING
.; 220

.
I

I
CASING
CEMENTING

MUD DISCHARGE
100

60
2000

6000

TEMPERATURE
I
MUD SUCTION TEMPERATURE
I
10,000
14,000
18,000
WELL DEPTH FEET

Fig. 4.2-Average temperature of U.S. gulf coast wells. 4

CEMENTING

44
TABLE 4.3-CASING CEMENT SPECIFICATION TEST SCHEDULES4
Mud Density*
Schedule
No
1
4
5
6
8
9

Depth
ft

Ibm/gal

kgIL

Ibm/
cu ft

1,000
6,000
8,000
10,000
14,000
16,000

305
1830
2440
3050
4270
4880

10
10
10
12
16
17

12
12
12
14
19
20

74 8
74.8
74 8
89 8
119.7
127 2

psi/
1,000 ft
of depth kPa/m
519
519
519
623
831
883

0 120
0 120
0 120
0 144
0 192
0 204

Surface
Pressure*
psi
500
750
1,000
1,250
1,750
2,000

kPa
3400
5200
6900
8600
12 100
13 800

Bottomhole
Circulating
Temperature *

Bottomhole
Pressure *

psi

kPa

80
113
125
144
206
248

27
45
52
62
97
120

1,020
3,870
5,160
7,480
13,390
16,140

7000
26 700
35 600
51 600
92 300
111 300

Time
to
Reach
Bottorn6
(minutes)
7
20
28
36
52
60

'Mud densities obtained from a review of field data


,,Surface pressure obtained from a review of field data
Bottomhole circulating temperatures averaged from actual field test run at various depths
; Bottomhole pressure calculated from surface pressure mud density and depth as shown in the table
'Time to reach bottom is based on a survey of field operations and reflects conditions as severe as 75% of the lobs surveyed

TABLE 4.4-SPECIFICATION TEST FOR CLASSES


G AND H4
Time
(minutes)
0
2
4
6
8
10
12
14
16
18
20
22
24
26
28

Temperature

Pressure
psi
1,000
1,300
1,600
1,900
2,200
2,500
2,800
3,100
3,400
3,700
4,000
4,300
4,600
4,900
(BHP) 5,160

kPa
6900
9000
11 000
13 100
15 200
17 300
19 300
21 400
23 400
25 500
27 600
29 600
31 700
33 800
35 600

80
83
86
90
93
96
99
102
106
109
112
115
119
122
(BHT) 125

27
28
30
32
34
36
37
39
41
43
44
46
48
50
52

Final temperature and pressure should be held constant to completion of


test, within *2F (*1C) and 100 psi (700 kPa), respectively.

Acceptance Requirements

Cement
Class

Maximum
Consistency
15 to 30 Minute
Stirring
Period
Bc

Minimum
Thickening
Time100 Bc
(minutes)

Maximum
Thickening
Time100 Bc
(minutes)

G
H

30
30

90
90

120
120

4.3 Viscosity and Water Content


of Cement Slurries
In primary cementing, the cement slurry should have a
viscosity or consistency that will achieve the most efficient mud displacement and still permit a good bond between the formation and the pipe. (See Chap. 7, Primary
Cementing.) To achieve this, most slurries are mixed with
that amount of water that will provide a set volume equal
to the slurry volume without free water separation. Particle size, surface area, and additives all influence the
amount of mixing water required to achieve particular viscosity for a given slurry. There are ranges in viscosity
for a given cement slurry and ranges in viscosity that
govern how thick a slurry may be and still remain pumpable under a given set of well conditions. These amounts
of water are given specific terms, defined as follows. 6
Maximum water is that amount of mixing water for any
given cementing composition that will give a set volume
equal to the slurry volume without more than 11/2% free
water separation. This is measured by a settling test (Fig.
4.5) in a 250-mL graduate after the slurry has been stirred
on an atmospheric thickening-time tester. Maximum water
is the amount used for most cementing because the maximum yield or "fill-up" is desired from each sack of
cement.
Normal water is the amount of mixing water that will
achieve a consistency of 11 Bc's (units of consistency)
as measured on an atmospheric thickening-time tester after 20 minutes of stirring. The API uses units of consistency because the values obtained are not true (poise)
viscosity values. Bc's are based on torque or drag rather
than on water separation. Normal water is sometimes
called "optimum water" because it provides a good,
pumpable slurry.
Minimum water is the amount of mixing water that will
give a consistency of 30 Bc's after 20 minutes of stirring.
It yields a fairly thick slurry that can be used, for example, to control lost circulation.
Water/cement ratio, slurry volume, and set volume are
closely related to the particle size or surface area of a cement (see Table 4.6). For most API classes, the grind or
particle size and the water requirements to achieve certain levels of strength, retardation, pumpability, etc., are
specified. 4 API standards do not list a fineness for Classes G and H cements, but they do specify the amount of
mixing water and the allowable free water, which is controllable by the cement fineness.

FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE CEMENT SLURRY DESIGN

45

TABLE 4.5LINER-CEMENTING WELL-STIMULATION TESTS FOR 14,000 ft (4270 m)


Temperature Gradient, F/100 ft depth (C/100 m depth)
Temperature, F (C) based on mud density-16 Ibm/gal (1.9 kg/L)
0.9 (1.6)
F
C
80
27
86
30
92
33
98
37
105
41
111
44
117
47
123
51
129
54
135
57
141
61
148
64
154
68
160
71
166
74
169
76
3.07
(1.69)
206 (97)

1.1 (2.0)

1.3 (2.4)

C
27
31
35
39
43
47
51
56
59
63
68
72
76
80
84
86

80
87
95
102
110
117
124
132
139
146
154
161
169
176
183
187
3.69
(2.03)
234 (113)

In a cement column, excess or free water may collect


in pockets rather than separating and migrating to the top
of the column. Tests7 performed on a 16-ft cement
column with a 1-in. glass annulus showed that a cement
with a surface area of 1,500 cm2 /g, mixed at a slurry
density of 15.4 lbm/gal, formed a solid cement plug over
the entire column. When the cement was mixed with more
water (15.1 lbm/gal), free water separated into horizontal pockets of clear water from 1/2 to 11/2 in. in diameter.
The lighter the cement slurry weight, the more water and
the greater the number of water pockets. The pockets began to form about 15 minutes after the cement slurry was
put in the glass tubing.
It should be emphasized that although an increase in

400

API circulating temperature,F

350

Measured vs API
Measured = API

250
200
150
100
50
50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400
Measured circulating temperature, F

Fig. 4.3Measured casing cementing temperatures vs.


API casing temperature in U.S. gulf coast wells. 5

1.5 (2.7)
F
C

1.7 (3.1)
F
C

80
27
80
27
91
33 92
33
101
38 105
41
112
44 117
47
122
50 129
54
133
56 141
61
143
62 154
68
154
68 166
74
164
73 178
81
175
79 190
88
186
86 203
95
196
91 215
102
207
97 227
108
217
103 240
116
228
109 252
122
233
112 258
126
5.28
6.14
(2.93)
(3.41)
290 (144) 318 (159)

1.9 (3.5)
F

C
80
27
95
35
109
43
124
51
139
59
153
67
168
76
183
84
198
92
212
100
227
108
242
117
256
124
271
133
286
141
293
145
7.34
(4.07)
346 (175)

the water content will permit longer pumping time and


delay the setting of a cement, the water should never be
increased unless bentonite or a similar material is blended with the cement to tie up excess water. Excess water
always produces a weaker cement with lower resistance
to corrosion.

4.4 Thickening Time


The thickening time is the length of time the slurry will
remain in a fluid state under simulated downhole conditions without any shutdown periods. The apparatus used
to measure this property is called a high-pressure/hightemperature thickening-time tester that consists of a rotating cylindrical slurry container with a stationary paddle

400

300

80
27
89
32
99
37
108
42
117
47
127
53
136
58
145
63
154
68
164
73
173
78
182
83
192
89
201
94
210
99
215
102
4.66
(2.59)
262 (128)

350
API squeeze temperature,F

Pressure
Time
minutes
psi
kPa
0
1,750
12 100
2
2,600
17 900
4
3,400
23 400
6
4,200
29 000
8
5,000
34 500
10
5,800
40 000
12
6,600
45 500
14
7,400
51 000
16
8,200
56 500
18
9,000
62 100
20
9,800
67 600
22
10,600
73 100
24
11,400
78 600
26
12,200
84 100
28
13,000
89 600
29
13,400
92 400
Heating Rate, F/min
(C/min)
Static BHT, F (C)

Measured vs API
Measured = API

300
250
200
150
100
50
50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400
Measured squeeze temperature, F

Fig. 4.4Measured squeeze temperatures vs. API squeeze


temperatures in U.S. gulf coast wells.5

CEMENTING

46
TABLE 4.6INFLUENCE OF VARYING SURFACE
AREAS AND WATER RATIOS ON THE VOLUME
OF SET CEMENT
Water
Content
(wt%
of cement)

Volume of
Slurry
(cu ft/sack)

Free Water
When Set
(percent)

Volume of
Set Cement
(cu ft/sack)

1.069
1.220
1.370
1.521

0.00
0.74
2.34
4.75

1.069
1.211
1.338
1.449

Specific surface, 1630 cm2 /g**


35
40
50
60

0.994
1.069
1.220
1.370

4- 15 1.2
8 E
1.8
o 6

1000

cu ft I CLASSES
V 1500 cu ft A. B. C

V V.
\VI
CLASS

8- 2.4

0.88
1.33
7.66
16.01

0.985
1.055
1.114
1.151

3.15
8.38
16.20
22.35

0.963
0.979
1.022
1.064

16- Lij 4.9

40

CLASS
fi
E
CLASS
F
V

18- 5.5
20- 6.10

I,

IE. 10- = 3.1


0 4.3
14- -.J

CLASSES
G&H

w- 3.7
o 12- a

Specific surface, 1890 cm2 /g*


40
50
60
70

0- 0
500 cu
2- ;2 0.6

80

120

160

200

TIME, MINUTES
Fig. 4.7Well depth and cementing relationships. 6

Specific surface, 1206 crn 2 /g


35
40
50
60

0.994
1.069
1.220
1.370

*Similar to API Class C cement.


"Similar to API Class A, B, and G cements.

API CLASS A CEMENT

Fig. 4.5API settling tests with API Class G cement at various cement/mixing-water ratios.

Fig. 4.6Pressure temperature thickening-time tester.

assembly all enclosed within a pressure chamber (Fig.


4.6). Equipment for measuring the thickening time of any
cement slurry under laboratory conditions is defined in
API testing procedures6 and is available in active drilling'areas throughout the world. The thickening-time tester
simulates well conditions where BHST's range up to
500F and pressures are in excess of 25,000 psi.
As the apparatus applies heat and pressure to the slurry, a continuous consistency measurement is recorded on
a strip chart. The limit of pumpability is reached when
the torque on the paddle in the slurry cup reaches 70 to
100 Bc.
Specific thickening-time recommendations depend
largely on the type of job, the well conditions, and the
volume of cement being pumped. When casing is to be
cemented at depths of 6,000 to 18,000 ft, a 3- to 31/2-hour
pumping time is commonly used in the design of the slurry. This length of time allows an adequate safety factor,
as few cementing jobs, even large ones, require more than
90 minutes for placing the slurry. On deep liner jobs
where fairly high temperatures are encountered, the 3to 3'/2-hour pumping time is still adequate. For spotting
a cement plug, thickening times should not exceed 2
hours, because most jobs are completed in less than 1
hour. In squeeze cementing, the thickening-time requirements may vary for different techniques.
During cement placement, any shutdown time will cause
the slurry to develop gel strength. This, in turn, may
reduce the total thickening time desired for any given operation. It may occur when any undue delay causes the
cement to become static, as when plugs are released from
the cementing head when casing is located high in the derrick. Hesitate-squeeze-cementing jobs may use this gelstrength characteristic to an advantage in achieving pressure against certain types of formations. Although shutdowns are not normally considered during laboratory
testing, gel strength is a property of cement in a static
state that is difficult to simulate in prejob planning. It can
also be a contributing factor in leaving set cement in casing
or tubular goods before placement is completed. For any
critical cement job at depths greater than 12,000 ft, the
field water and cement should always be laboratory tested before they are mixed at the job site.
The relationship between cement volumes, well depths,
and thickening time is illustrated in Fig. 4.7.

FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE CEMENT SLURRY DESIGN

47

TABLE 4.7EARLY TEST DATA TO DETERMINE BOND STRENGTH OF


CEMENT TO SUPPORT PIPE 9-11

Standard
Portland Cement
Setting Time
(hours)
1.83
2.33
3.08
3.66
4.42
4.50
6.50

Force to Break Bond


Between Two Pieces of
Cemented Casing
(lbf)
1-ft Cement
4-ft Cement
100
400
137
550
325
1,300
1,000
4,000
4,550
18,200
5,000+
20,000+
5,000 +
20,000 +

4.5 The Mechanism of Cement Hydration


The mechanism of cement hydration is influenced by
water content, admixes, stirring time, temperature, and
pressure. The two conditions that cannot be modified by
design are the downhole temperature and pressure, with
temperature being the most critical. Thickening-time
measurements are conducted on cement slurries at the
BHCT and bottomhole circulating pressure (BHCP). The
thickening time should be sufficient to place the slurry
safely and to allow for an unexpected job difficulty. The
safety factor desired for each job varies. For liners and
production strings, the entire cement job rarely takes more
than 60 to 90 minutes to complete. Any time extended
beyond 60 minutes would essentially be a safety factor.
There is another inherent safety factor in the thickeningtime measurement. The test slurry is brought to BHCT
and remains there until the hydration reaction occurs. In
reality, most of the cement will experience some cooldown as it is pumped up the annulus. Under actual well
conditions, this will provide a further safety factor in
pumpability.
Changes in the cement's physical properties after placement influence waiting-on-cement (WOC) time, bonding,
casing support, and the overall success of the cement job.
Because temperature has such an effect on these properties, the relationship of BHCT and BHST to the hydration of cement is important.
Under static conditions, gel-strength development takes
place very rapidly within the cement slurry. Gel-strength
development is a byproduct of the hydration process and
signals the point at which the cement slurry starts its
change from a true hydraulic fluid that transmits full
hydrostatic pressure to a solid set material that has measurable compressive strength. This period of change is
called the transition phase. 8 During this phase, the cement slurry continually gains gel strength, which enables
a potential pressure restriction to occur in the cement-filled
annulus. The next change that occurs is the set time of
the cement slurry. This is the point where compressive
strength first begins to develop. This signals the end of
the gel-strength development and the start of the
compressive-strength development and will determine the
WOC time. (See Fig. 3.17.)

Length of Cemented Pipe


Theoretically Supported by 1-ft Cement
(ft)
51/2 to 17 Ibm
7 to 24 Ibm
13% to 72 Ibm
5.8
4.1
1.3
8.0
5.7
1.9
19.1
13.5
4.5
58.8
41.6
13.8
267.5
189.6
63.1

shown that a 10-ft annular sheath of cement that has only


8-psi tensile strength can support more than 200 ft of
casing of the lighter-weight sizes, even under rather poor
bonding conditions. In setting surface casing, when high
bit weights are required for drilling out floating equipment, an additional load must be supported by the casing
and cement sheath. Table 4.7 shows the minimum length
of casing and the size of drill collar that can theoretically
be supported by a 10-ft column of cement of 8-psi tensile
strength. Because in cement-strength testing (Fig. 4.8) the
cement is usually in compression rather than in tension,
the values must be converted from compressive strength
to tensile strength. As a general rule, compressive strength
is about 8 to 10 times greater than tensile or bonding; i.e.,
the 8-psi tensile strength would be equivalent to 80 to 100
psi compressive strength.
It must be realized that the time interval from the time
when the cement first sets until it develops 100-psi compressive strength can be comparatively short. Field
variablescompletion procedures, materials, curing
conditionscannot be known or controlled well enough

4.6 Strength of Cement To Support Pipe


Cement requires very little early strength to support a
string of casing (Table 4.7). Other research has

Fig. 4.8Compressive-strength testing with 2-in. cement


cube.

CEMENTING

48
TABLE 4.8-INFLUENCE OF TIME AND TEMPERATURE ON THE
COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH OF API CLASS H CEMENT
Compressive Strength (psi) at Curing
Temperature and Pressure of
170F
140F
110F
95F
3,000 psi
3,000 psi
1,600 psi
800 psi
1,950
1,270
350
100
4,000
2,500
1,200
500
4,700
3,125
1,980
1,090
6,700
5,500
4,050
3,000

Curing
Time
(hours)

Calcium
Chloride
(%)

6
8
12
24

6
8
12
24

900
1,600
2,200
4,100

1,460
1,950
2,970
5,100

2,320
2,900
3,440
6,500

2,500
4,100
4,450
7,000

6
8
12
24

1,100
1,850
2,420
4,700

1,700
2,600
3,380
5,600

2,650
3,600
3,900
6,850

2,990
4,370
5,530
7,400

to establish a foolproof curing time. Therefore a reasonable safety factor should be applied. It is generally accepted in the industry and by regulatory bodies that a
compressive strength of 500 psi is adequate for most operations, and by using good cementing practices an operator should be able to drill out safely by adhering to this
minimum strength requirement. (See Chap. 13, Regulations.)
To decide how long to wait for cement to set (i.e., to
select a WOC time), it is important (1) to know how strong
the cement must be before drilling can begin, and (2) to
understand the strength-development characteristics of the
cements in common use.
It may be observed from the compressive-strength
values in Table 4.8 that curing temperature is very significant in strength development. To apply laboratory
strength information properly and to establish a reasonable WOC time, one must have some knowledge of downhole curing temperatures. BHST's in most geographical
areas have been reasonably well defined by the use of surface isotherm data along with the accepted depth/temperature gradients. The results are verified by temperature

280

Not Good Above 4,000 psi


240 _ Compressive Strength

200
160

'

Neat Cement

2% Calcium Chloride Cement


- 4% Gel Cement
I
I
I
I
I
500 1000 1500 2000 2500 3000 3500 4000
Compressive Strength - psi

40
0

Fig. 4.9-Bonding strength vs. compressive strength of


set cement slurries.

surveys conducted in uncased surface holes. In most areas,


the formation temperature at surface casing depth equals
the mean surface temperature plus 2F/100 ft of depth.
The curing temperature of the cement, however, will
almost certainly not equal the formation temperature; in
fact, it does not even have a constant value. It is governed
by a complex group of variables, including the temperatures of the drilling mud, cement slurry, and displacement fluid, as well as the heat of hydration of the cement.
The following observations relevant to the strength of
cement to support pipe are based on research and field
experience.
1. High cement strengths are not always required to
support casing during drill-out, and with an increase in
slurry density, the time required to develop adequate compressive strength is decreased.
2. Densification increases both the strength and the heat
of hydration of cement.
3. Cement slurries with excessive water ratios result
in weak set cements and so should be avoided around the
lower portion of the pipe.
4. By selection of the proper cements and with good
cementing practices, WOC time for surface casing can
be reduced to 3 to 4 hours under summer operating conditions and 6 to 8 hours under winter conditions.

4.7 Strength-Testing Technique


Compressive strength of set cement is tested by measurement of the force to crush a 2-in. cube under an unconfined compressive load (Fig. 4.8). While the crushing load
to predict compressive strength of set cement has been
widely used for more than 40 years in establishing WOC
time, it does not truly reflect the bond of the cement to
the pipe and/or formation. Comparative correlations have
been made in the laboratory on random bonding and
compressive-strength tests to produce the relationship
shown in Fig. 4.9.
A newer and more popular technique to predict strength
and WOC times is a nondestructive device that uses
acoustic and ultrasonic waves . 12 The ultrasonic cement
analyzer (UCA) continuously monitors the strength development of any given cementing composition (Fig
4.10). A single slurry is placed in a cell under conditions

FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE CEMENT SLURRY DESIGN

49

-8
oo

Compressive Strength (psi)

N:'
c
c
c

API Class C Cement 14.8 Ibm/gal

72 hours Ca
75F BHST
1790 psi
24 hours @
75F BHST
950 psi

12 hours @
75F BHST
300 psi
ill
1
1
2
Time (Days)

Fig. 4.10Ultrasonic cement analyzer with plotter for


strength development.

1
3

API Class C Cement 14.8 Ibm/gal


4% Bentonite 2.0% Calcium Chloride .13.5 Ibm/gal

4.8 Mixing Waters


The primary function of water in a cement slurry is to
wet the cement solids and carry them down the hole. Many
a cementing job has gone awry because of interference
from some constituent in the mixing water. Ideally, the
water supply for mixing cement should be reasonably
clean and free of soluble chemicals, silt, organic matter,
alkali, or other contaminants. This is not always practical, so the most readily available source of water must
be considered. Water most commonly found in the field
or around the rig is obtained from an open pit or reservoir supplied from a shallow water well or lake. Such
water is often satisfactory for mixing with cement at well
depths less than 4,000 ft, particularly when it is relatively clear and has a total solids content of less than 500 ppm.
Contaminants in mixing waters have been traced to (1)
fertilizers dissolved in rainwater runoff from agricultural areas, (2) waste effluents in streams, (3) soluble agricultural products such as sugar cane or sugar beets found
in streams during rainy seasons, and (4) soluble chemicals inherent in the soil.
Inorganic materials (chlorides, sulfates, hydroxides,
carbonates, and bicarbonates) will accelerate the setting
of cement,13 the rate depending on the concentration of
the material. These chemicals, when present in a mixing
water in small concentrations, will have a negligible effect in shallow holes. This same water used for cementing a deep liner at higher temperatures and pressures may

72 hours (ef.
75F BHST
947 psi
24 hours @
75F BHST
515 psi

oo

th

Compressive Strength (psi)

2
c
c

i All"

that simulate pressure and temperature downhole. Measurements of the cement's ultrasonic velocity are started
during the fluid state and continued through initial set to
any desired point of partial or final strength development.
Strength values are continuously computed and displayed
until the test is terminated. The result is a complete and
precise history of initial set and strength development that
can be plotted vs. time at any point of interest (Fig. 4.11).
The UCA functions with little operator attention aside
from startup and shutdown. The same information from
standard API compressive-strength crush tests would require curing a multitude of specimens to preselected test
times, with no guarantee that the first test would be short
enough or the final test long enough to provide accurately the critical information for the job. (See Fig. 4.12.)

12 hours @
75F BHST
297 psi

Time (Days)
Fig. 4.11Strength development plot of set cementing
systems with ultrasonic cement analyzer.

ATMOSPHERIC TEST RESULTS


DENSITY RANGE 12.7 to 19.6 LBM/GAL
MATERIAL RANGE FROM 16% BENTONITE,
75% POZZOLAN TO 93% HEMATITE

;6
40.

COMPRESSIVE STRENGTH
(TRANSIT TIME EQUATION)
Fig. 4.12Comparison of conventional cement-strengthcrushing results vs. ultrasonic-cement-analyzer results
over a wide density range.

50

CEMENTING

TABLE 4.9EFFECT OF MIXING WATER ON


THE PERFOR NCE OF API CLASS H CEMENT
Type of test: 6,000-ft API Casing Cementing Test.
Curing time: 24 hours.
Curing temperature: 95F.
Curing pressure: 5,000 psi.

Type of Water
Tap water
Tap water plus 2,200
ppm carbonates
Seawater

Thickening
Time
(hours:
minutes)
2:34

Compressive
Strength
(psi)
2,150

1:18
1:52

2,300
2,610

cause the cement slurry to set prematurely, particularly


if the water contains trace amounts of carbonates or bicarbonates. (See Table 4.9.)
Seawater, because it contains 30,000 to 43,000 ppm
solids, accelerates cement. These accelerating chemicals,
however, can be neutralized with a retarder so that the
water can be used at higher temperatures. (See also Chap.
3 on Cementing Additives, especially Tables 3.8 and 3.9).
Chloride impurities often cause aeration and foaming
during the mixing of cement, which makes it difficult to
weigh the slurry accurately.
Natural waters that contain organic chemicals from
decomposed plant life, waste effluents, or fertilizers will
retard the setting of Portland cement. A common retarding substance is humic acid, formed by the decaying of

plants. Water containing humic acid frequently drains


from mountains or high moorland regions and may also
be found in lakes or ponds in frozen areas. The retarding
properties of organic contaminants are particularly
detrimental in cementing surface pipe and shallow holes.
Potable water is always recommended where available.
Unless clear water has a noticeably saline or brackish
taste, it is usually suitable. Even saline waters may be usable, but the slurries should be laboratory tested first.
In summary, the water to be used in mixing cement
should be the purest available.

4.9 Sensitivity to Drilling Fluids and


Drilling-Fluid Additives
A significant problem in oilwell cementing is the effective removal of drilling fluids during displacement. Contamination and dilution by mud may damage cementing
systems, as may chemicals in the mud and in the filter
cake. (See Table 4.10.)
Some contamination of this sort occurs during most
jobs, but probably most of it occurs when a cement plug
is spotted in a mud system that is highly treated with chemicals. 13 The volume of cement in relation to the volume
of mud is small, and the degree of mud contamination
is never known. Softness of cement as a plug is drilled
out is a sign of contamination. (See Chap. 10, Openhole
Cement Plugs.)
The best way to combat the detrimental effects of
drilling-mud additives is to use wiper plugs and spacers
or flushes. Wiper plugs help eliminate contamination inside the casing, and flushes help to clean the annular space
between the casing and the formation. Spacers, or buffer

TABLE 4.10EFFECTS OF MUD ADDITIVES ON CEMENT


Additive
Barium sulfate
(BaSO4 )

Purpose
To weight the mud

Effect on Cement
Increases density;
reduces strength

Caustics
(NaOH, Na2 CO 3, etc.)

To adjust the pH

Accelerate set

Calcium compounds
[CaO, Ca(OH)2 , CaCl 2 ,
CaSO4 , 2H 2 0]

To condition the hole


and control pH

Accelerate set

Hydrocarbons
(diesel oil, lease crude oil)

To control fluid loss


and to lubricate the hole

Decrease density

Sealants
(scrap, cellulose, rubber, etc.)

To seal against leakage


to the formation

Retard set

Thinners
(tannins, lignosulfonates,
quebracho, lignins, etc.)

To disperse mud solids

Retard set

Emulsifiers
(lignosulfonates, alkyl
ethylene, oxide adducts,
hydrocarbon sulfonates)

To form oil-in-water
or water-in-oil muds

Retard set

Bactericides
(substituted phenols,
formaldehyde, etc.)

To protect organic
additives against
bacterial decomposition

Retard set

Fluid-loss-control additives
(CMC, starch, guar,
polyacrylamides,
lignosulfonates)

To reduce loss of
fluid from mud to
formation

Retard set

51

FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE CEMENT SLURRY DESIGN


TABLE 4.11-ADDITIVES FOR CONTROLLING CEMENT SLURRY DENSITY
Cement
Slurry
Density
(Ibm/gal)
8 to 10
9 to 10
11.0
12.0

Approximate
Water
Content
(gal/sack)

13.0
14.0
15.0
16.0
17.0
18.0
19.0
20.0
21.0

10.5
6.0
5.8
4.4

6.0
9 to 1 1
25
13

4.0
4.0
4.0
4.0
4.0

Approximate
Concentration
of Additive per
Sack of Cement
(Ibm)
100 to 175 scf
30 to 40
40
12+1
8
50

Additive
Nitrogen foam
Spheres and/or glass beads
Diatomaceous earth
Bentonite + dispersant
Bentonite
Pozzolans
None
None
Dispersants
Dispersants + weighting material
Dispersants+ weighting material
Dispersants + weighting material
Dispersants+ weighting material

washes, consist of water, solutions of acid, phosphates,


cement/water mixtures, and slurries of untreated bentonites and clay in water. For oil or invert-emulsion mud
systems, diesel oil flushes-both weighted and
unweighted-are effective.
4.10 Slurry Density
The density of a cement slurry should always be great
enough to maintain well control, except for squeeze jobs.
There are various ways of controlling density. Table 4.11
shows materials that can be used to achieve a given density. For lower densities-10.8 to 15.6 lbm/gal-materials
that require large volumes of mixing water are frequently used. For greater densities-15.6 to 22 lbm/galdispersants and weighting materials such as hematite are
commonly used.
In field operations, slurry density is customarily monitored with a standard mud balance. (For accuracy, samples are selectively taken from the mixing tub and vibrated
to remove the finely entrapped air bubbles from the jet
mixer.) Automated weighting devices, however, fitted into
the discharge line between the mixing unit and the wellhead, give a more uniform weight record on a strip chart
and are being used more widely (see Fig. 4.13). 14
The fluid density balance (Fig. 4.14), a portable device
that is assembled easily on location, measures the cement
slurry under sufficient pressure (about 30 psi) to compress
the entrained air. This compression yields a more accurate
measurement than when the sample is taken directly from
the tub during mixing. Table 4.12 illustrates the disparities in values of cement density that result from percentages of air entrainment.
4.11 Cement Rheology Measurements
Cement slurries exhibit non-Newtonian behavior and their
characteristics are described by one of two mathematical
rheological models: the Bingham plastic model or the
power-law model. The Fann Model 35 viscometer measures shear-rate/shear-stress data that are entered for either
rheological model. With the Bingham plastic model, the
curve is a straight-line fit with just the 600- and

1
1+12
1+28
1 + 46
1 +71

300-rev/min readings. The plastic viscosity is defined as


the difference between the 600- and 300-rev/min dial readings. The yield point is defined to be the difference between the 300-rev/min dial readings and the plastic
viscosity. The power-law model requires use of the 600-,
300-, 200-, and 100-rev/min readings to establish the
shear-rate/shear-stress curve from which values for n
(slope of the curve) and K (curve intercept) can be determined. With these values, it is possible to calculate the
Reynolds-number/velocity relationships (see Chap. 11).
To measure the rheological properties of cement slurries, a direct-indicating, rotational viscometer is commonly used. It is powered by a two-speed, three-gear motor
to obtain rotational speeds of 600, 300, 200, 100, 6, and
3 rev/min. (Fig. 4.15). The measuring instrument consists of two integral parts: an outer sleeve and an inner
bob. During testing, the outer sleeve is rotated at a constant revolution-per-minute setting. This sleeve rotation
causes a torque on the inner bob that is measured by means
of a torsion spring dial. The initial reading at 600 rev/min
is taken after 60 seconds of continuous rotation. The rotor speed is shifted to each successive lower reading at
20-second intervals with measurements being taken just

DISCHARGE LINE
HUMP
AUXILIARY
INDICATOR
RG 58
CABLES

RADIATION
DETECTOR
(SHOCK
MOUNTED)

LEAD
SHIELDING
STRIP CHART
RECORDER &
ELECTRONICS

WATERPROOF
ONNECTORS
C, 137
RADIOACTIVE
SOURCE

SLURRY TO
WELL

THIN RUBBER SLEEVE TO ABSORB


12v AR OR
SHOCK AND VIBRATION
TRUCK BATTERY
Fig. 4.13-Ratioactive densimeter used to weigh drilling
fluids and oilfield cements.14

CEMENTING

52

TABLE 4.12-EFFECT OF ENTRAINED AIR


ON FLUID DENSITY
Actual or
Absolute
Density
(Ibm/gal)

Pressuring Pump
Pressuring Valve
Sealing Lid
Slurry Sample
Entrained Air

Apparent Density at Indicated Air Content*


2%

4%

6%

8%

10%

12%

10.00
12.00

9.80
11.76

9.60
11.52

9.40
11.28

9.20
11.04

9.00
10.80

8.80
10.56

14.00
16.00

13.72
15.68

13.44
15.36

13.16
15.04

12.88
14.72

12.60
14.40

12.32
14.08

18.00
20.00
*Vol% air.

17.64
19.60

17.28
19.20

16.92
18.80

16.56
18.40

16.20
18.00

15.84
17.60

Sample Cup

before shifting to the next lower speed setting. The dial


readings at the 6-rev/min settings are used to develop a
shear-rate/shear-stress curve.

Fig. 4.14-Fluid density balances for weighing cement


slurries under pressure."

Fig. 4.15-Rotational viscometer.

4.12 Lost Circulation


In selecting and using materials to control lost circulation, two factors must be borne in mind: the material must
be of a size that can be handled by the pumping equipment, and the formation openings must be small enough
to allow the material to bridge and seal. When formation
openings are so large that the sealing agents are relatively ineffective, it may become necessary to design semisolid or flash-setting cements. For a more detailed
discussion of lost circulation and the materials used to control it, see Sec. 3.7, Additives for Controlling Lost Circulation. The effectiveness of those materials has been
established not only by laboratory tests, but also by results of field use. 15 (See Fig. 4.16.)
4.13 Heat of Hydration
When cement is slurried with water, an exothermic reaction occurs in which considerable heat is liberated. The
greater the mass of cement, the greater the evolution of
heat. In the laboratory, such heat is usually measured with
a calorimeter, an insulated vacuum flask containing a thermocouple connected to a recorder. The increase in temperature is recorded at specific intervals until the
maximum temperature is observed. Heat of hydration
(sometimes called heat of reaction or heat of solution) is
influenced by the fineness and chemical composition of
the cement, by additives, and by downhole environment.
The higher the formation temperature, the faster the reaction and the more rapid the evolution of heat. (See Fig.
4.17.)
The heat of hydration of pure cement compounds has
been studied under controlled laboratory conditions. 16
Some of the results are shown in Table 4.13. Table 4.14
compares the heats of hydration of various cementing
compositions.
In most holes the annulus is V2 to 2 in. , except in
washed-out zones. In a typical surface pipe, the heat of
hydration produces a maximum temperature rise of 35
to 45 F (Fig. 4.18).
4.14 Permeability
Although only slight emphasis is given to the permeability of set cement in designing cement slurries, there are
means of measuring it for both water and gas. The API

53

FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE CEMENT SLURRY DESIGN


TABLE 4.13HEATS OF HYDRATION OF PURE
CEMENT COMPOUNDS 11
Components (Abbreviation)
3Ca0 - Al 2 03 (C 3A)
3CaO.Si0 2 (C 3S)
4CaO.A12 03 .Fe203 (C4 AF)
2CaO.SiO 2 (C 2 S)

Calories
per Gram
207
120
100
62

ALUMINUM BRONZE
CAP WITH 0-RING SEAL
AND RELIEVED AREA
TO PREVENT PRESSURE
EXCEPT WHEN CAP IS
CORRECTLY CLOSED

Btu/lbm
of Slurry
373
216
180
112

LUCITE SLEEVE FOR VISUAL


OBSERVATION OF SEALS

TABLE 4.14HEAT OF HYDRATION OF


OILWELL CEMENT

API Class G cement


API Class H cement
1:1 Class H cement: fly
ash plus 2% gel
1:1 Class H cement: fly
ash plus 6% gel
Refractory cement

Heat Transfer
Coefficient,
Btu/(hr-ft-F)
0.50
0.50

Heat of
Hydration
(Btu/Ibm
of slurry)
118
120

0.49

91.4

0.50
0.40

109.1
57.0

PERFORATED
BED SUPPORT

UNION FOR SLOT CHAMBER,


MAY BE REMOVED WITH
PRESSURE ON CHAMBER TO
CHANGE SLOTS WHEN VALVE
CLOSED

Fig. 4.16Lost circulation test cell.

has specified a standard system that involves the use of


a permeameter (Fig. 4.19).6
Set cements have very low permeabilitiesmuch lower, in fact, than those of most producing formations. Data
have shown 17 that at temperatures less than 200F the
permeability of cement decreases with age and temperature. After 7 days of curing, the permeability is usually
too low to measure.
The permeability of set cement to gas is normally higher
than to water, but measurements of the former are less
reliable because it is difficult to obtain good representative samples for measuring gas flow. 17 Cements that have
set for 3 to 7 days have a gas permeability of less than
0.1 md. Dolomite and limestone have an average of 2 to
3 md and oolitic limestones usually have a very low permeability. Sandstone has a gas permeability ranging from
0.1 to 2,000 md.
For a discussion of the use of silica flour for combating increases in permeability, 18 '19 see Sec. 3.10.
4.15 Filtration Control
The control of filtrate in the cement slurry is very important in cementing deep liners and in squeeze cementing.
Loss of filtrate through a permeable medium will cause
a rise in slurry viscosity and a rapid deposition of filter
cake, thus restricting flow. The factors that influence the
filter loss of cement slurries are time, pressure, temperature, and permeability. To measure filtration characteristics of cement slurries, the API specifies a standardized
30-minute test at 100 or 1,000 psi. 5
The API procedure uses a filter assembly (Figs. 4.20A
and 4.20B) that consists of a frame, a cylinder, and a
325-mesh screen supported on a 60-mesh screen as the
filtration medium. A heating jacket makes it possible to
simulate formation temperatures. To simulate downhole

240
5,500 psi

200F
220
170F

4,000 psi -"'".....

200

2,700 psi
140F
1,750 psi
120F
120
100
80
2

TIME-HOURS
Fig. 4.17Heat of hydration of API Class A cement under
varying temperatures and pressures.

CEMENTING

54

placement, slurries may be pumped on a pressure or nonpressure thickening-time tester for a given time before
they are removed and poured into the filter cell.
The API filter loss of all cement slurries without additives is highin excess of 1,000 mL. When all the filtrate
is received in the test cell in less than 30 minutes, the following equation is used to calculate the hypothetical
30-minute fluid-loss value.4

20
10
00
90
80
Survey depth: 550 ft.
Slurry weigh : 15.4 Ibigal.
Mixing-water temperature: 74F.
Formation temperature: 65F.
mill
2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
TIME AFTER BUMPING PLUG, HOURS

70
60
0

Fig. 4.18Temperature/time relationship resulting from


heat of hydration slurry used on surface pipe."

Water

Pressure Regulator

Pipette Measuring Tube


2000
1-q- (50.80 mm)
1 2"),,4,
K10
(27.99 mm)
A
1000"
(25.40 mm)
(29.31 mm) 0.206 x 45
14(1154.1.1 5.23 mm x 45
Mold Detail

0-Ring

44i

Holder Cap
Holder
Cylinder

Mold
(See Detail)

Holder Base
EL fr "AM

'

7/ /7

r[j

//

Fig. 4.19API cement permeability-measuring device.

5.477
FR) Ft
Nrt-

where F30 is the quantity of filtrate in 30 minutes and


Fr is the quantity of filtrate in t minutes.
A newer version of the standard API fluid loss chamber is a stirring device that allows the measurement of
the fluid loss of a cement slurry under downhole conditions after a simulated placement time. After the slurry
is placed into the chamber, pressure is applied and the
slurry is stirred and heated simultaneously to BHCT and
maintained there for the desired placement time. The maximum operating temperature is 400F and the pressure
is usually 1,000 psi. After the simulated pumping time,
the chamber is then inverted and the fluid-loss test initiated. A differential pressure is applied across the filter
mediai.e., a screen or a coreand a filtrate volume is
collected.
If the test temperature is more than 200 F , the filtrate
must be collected in one of two ways: (1) under pressure
(usually 100 psi), or (2) with a cooling-coil attachment
that condenses the steam to water before collection. Once
the filtrate is collected, an API fluid-loss value is determined by the same techniques used for the static fluidloss test.
Controlled filtration of a cement slurry is normally
achieved by the addition of long-chained polymers in concentrations that range from 0.6 to 1.0 % by weight of cement. (See Tables 3.26 and 4.15.)
Cement slurries having laboratory fluid-loss values of
50 to 150 nil, in 30 minutes are commonly used in squeeze
cementing. In cementing deep liners, the API filter loss
may be as high as 300 mL.

4.16 Resistance to Downhole Brines


The susceptibility of cements to corrosion by formation
waters has been the subject of much research. 20,21 Formation brines that contain sodium sulfate, magnesium sulfate, and magnesium chloride are among the most
destructive downhole agents. Such brines are found in
west Texas, Kansas, the North Sea, and other oilproducing areas.
Sulfates, generally regarded as the chemicals most corrosive to cement, react with the lime and tricalcium
aluminate in cement to form large calcium sulfoaluminate
crystals. These crystals require more pore space than the
set cement can provide, so they cause excessive expansion and eventual deterioration. Fig. 4.21 shows how this
crystal growth has caused expansion at the end of a 12-in.
test bar of API Class A cement that has been allowed to
cure in a 5 % sodium sulfate solution.

FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE CEMENT SLURRY DESIGN

55

The studies of corrosive formation waters have particularly emphasized the susceptibility of set cement pastes
or concrete. The sodium ion is thought to be more
detrimental than the magnesium ion and is often used in
laboratory testing.
There appear to be three distinct chemical reactions
when sodium sulfate reacts with set cement.
Na2 SO4 + Ca(OH) 2 * 2NaOH + CaS0 4 2H2 0 ,
Na2 SO4 3Ca0 Al2 0 3 H 2 0 -4 3Ca0 Al2 0 3

3CaSO4 .H 2 O+Na2 0.A1203 +NaOH,


and
Na20* A12 0 3 +1120 -).2NaOH + 2A1(OH)3
In these reactions, calcium sulfoaluminate and sodium
aluminate are formed, and the latter hydrolizes into sodium and aluminum hydroxides. The calcium sulfoaluminate formed at room temperature contains 31
molecules of H 2O. Thus the product is a large molecule
and most of the expansion and disintegration is considered
to be caused by the deposition of this material in the set
cement.
The rate of attack on a hardened cement by solution
of sodium sulfate or magnesium sulfate is governed to
some extent by the concentration of these salts in the formation water. For both compounds, however, there appears to be a limiting concentration beyond which further
increases in concentration raise the rate of attack only
slightly.
Temperature also influences the sulfate resistance of a
hardened cement. From investigations conducted at both
low and high temperatures, it was concluded that sulfate
attack is most pronounced at temperatures of 80 to 120F,
whereas at 180F it becomes negligible.20 This conclusion is supported by the observation that field problems
are more common in shallow wells, where temperatures
are lower, than in deep wells, where temperatures may
exceed 200F. A cement that is resistant to sulfate attack
at low temperatures is likely to perform well at higher
temperatures. Lowering the tricalcium aluminate (C3A)
content increases the sulfate resistance of the cement.
Therefore, the API classifies types of cement as moderately sulfate resistant (MSR) and highly sulfate resistant

Fig. 4.20AAPI fluid-loss testing equipment for measuring


cement filtration rates.

Fig. 4.20BFiltration testing of cement slurries (left: rapid


loss of water leaves thick filter cake; right: in 30 minutes,
controlled-water-loss slurry leaves thin cake).

TABLE 4.15EFFECT OF POLYMER FLUID-LOSS ADDITIVE ON API CLASS G CEMENT


Polymer
(wtok
of cement)

Slurry Viscosity
(Bc)
Initial

20 minutes

0.0
0.6

3
4

10
11

0.8
1.0

4
5

11
12

1.2

10

15

'325-mesh screen.

API Fluid Loss (cm 3 /30 min.)*


at Test Pressure (psi) of
100
1,000+
96
24
14
10

500
1,000+
178

1,000
1,000+
250

70
32

100
60

24

43

56

CEMENTING

Fig. 4.21Sulfate attack on set API Class A cement."

(HSR) on the basis of the C 3 A content of the cement


(MSR =3 to 6 wt% C3A; HSR = 0 to 3 wt % C3A. (See
also Chap. 2.)
It may be noted that electrolytic corrosion rather than
chemical corrosion has been responsible for the weakening and ultimate failure of some casing strings. Most investigations show that a uniform sheath of competently
set cement offers excellent protection against electrolytic
corrosion of casing. Theoretically, a current of 1 amp
leaving a pipe carries with it 20 lbm of metal per year;
therefore, the importance of a uniform sheath of permanent cement is quite apparent. 7

4.17 Techniques for Identifying Cement


Quality and Blend Analysis
Microscopy is commonly used in the identification of
blend analysis and to detect differences among the various API cement classes (Fig. 4.22). These differences
reflect fundamental parameters that are unique to each cement and supplement the standard chemical and physical
analysis techniques. These parameters have also been related to the slurry response properties of a particular cement in a qualitative manner. 22,23
With polished and etched samples, the morphology, or
structure, of the internal components of a cement grain
can be used to predict cement performance. Observation
of the shape and quality of the various components (C 3 S,
C2S, C3A, C4 AF) can determine whether the cement
was properly burned, whether the relative amounts of
components are correct, or whether the cement sample
was subjected to premature hydration as a result of storage
(Fig. 4.23).
Several advantages can be gained from using the microscope before testing a field design to be used before job
execution. One advantage is that the microscope is a quick
but very useful tool to estimate the quality of the cement
before it is used in a test. Once an adequate data base involving several cements has been developed, especially
within one source, a change in cement quality is easily
detected. A decision can then be made to continue to use
the cement, to make adjustments in a blend, etc. The other
advantage gained from use of the microscope before laboratory tests are begun lies in its ability to estimate the
activity of the cement and thereby suggest a better starting point for additional levels. This should reduce the
number of tests required to obtain a desired thickening
time.
Basically, microscopy techniques are good qualitycontrol, timesaving techniques that can be very useful in
field operations.

Fig. 4.22--Laboratory-microscope setup to project


polished-cement sample on TV screen.

Fig. 4.23Typical polished and etched API Class H cement


samples (top: normal particle of Class H cement having
sharp, clear, and distinct crystals; bottom: poorly burnt
particle of Class H cementirregular shape and size).

57

FACTORS THAT INFLUENCE CEMENT SLURRY DESIGN

TABLE 4.16SUMMARY OF TESTS USED IN CEMENT-SLURRY DESIGN


Laboratory
Slurry
Test
Property
Balances and high-shear
Slurry preparation for
laboratory mixing and testing mixer

General
Field Requirements
Mixing water variable with
composition and API cement
class. Mixing time 35
seconds on high-speed
mixer

Test Reference
API Document 10, Sec. 5

Slurry viscosity

Atmospheric thickening-time
tester

10 to 15 Bc, which is a unit


of consistency used in
cement testing (thin slurry)

API Document 10, Sec. 9

Pumping time

Determined on pressure,
temperature, thickening-time
tester

Variable with type of job.


Normal casing design is 21/2
to 4 hours fluid time

API Document 10, Sec. 8


and Appendix E

Free water

Settling of slurry in 250-mL


graduate after setting

Maximum 1.5% free water


after setting 2 hours

API Document 10, Sec. 6


and Appendixes B and L

Fluid loss of cement slurry

High-pressure fluid-loss cell


at 1,000 psi on 325-mesh
screen or core for 30
minutes

Variable with job


requirements. General rule:
squeezing, 50 to 125 mL;
production casing or liner 50
to 200 mL

API Document 10,


Appendix F

Slurry density

Standard mud balance or


pressure/density balance

Variable with mud densities


and hole conditions.
Generally 12 to 16 Ibm/gal

API Document 10,


Appendix C

Rheological properties

Rotational viscometer at
various shear rates

Depends on slurry water,


density, and desired flow
rates. Plug, laminar, or
turbulence

API Document 10,


Appendix

Permeability testing

Special water permeability


apparatus for set cement

Less than 0.1 and

API Document 10,


Appendix G

58

4.18 Conclusions
Many factors must be considered in the design of cement
slurries for downhole use. 24-26 Field laboratories operated by oil companies, service organizations, and cement
manufacturers are available throughout the world to aid
in gathering the necessary data. On critical wells, test data
should be obtained on the same cementing materials to
be used on the job; otherwise, recommendations are not
entirely meaningful. Table 4.16 is a summary of the tests
used in cement-slurry design.

References
1. Swayze, M.A.: "Effects of High Temperatures and Pressures on
Strengths of Oil Well Cements," Drill. and Prod. Prac., API (1954)
72; Oil and Gas J. (Aug. 2, 1954) 103-05.
2. Bearden, W.G.: "Effect of Temperature and Pressure on the Physical Properties of Cement," Oil-Well Cementing Practices in the
United States, API, New York City (1959) 56.
3. Metcalf, A.S. and Dresher, T.D.: "The Effects of Pressure on the
Set Properties of Cements with Various Additives," paper SPE 6800
presented at the 1977 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Denver, Oct. 9-12.
4. "Recommended Practice for Testing Oil Well Cements and Cement Additives," API RP 10, API, Dallas (1984).
5. Venditto, J.J. and George, C.R.: "Better Wellbore Temperature
Data Equals Better Cement Jobs," World Oil (Feb. 1, 1984).
6. "Recommended Practice for Testing Oil Well Cements and Cement Additives," API RP 10B, 20th ed., API Div. of Production,
Dallas (1974).
7. Craft, B.C., Holden, W.R. and Graves, E.D. Jr.: Well Design:
Drilling and Production, Prentice-Hall Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ
(1962) 43-48, 55-79, 212-13.
8. Sabins, F.L., Tinsley, J.M., and Sutton, D.L.: "Transition Times
of Cement Slurries Between the Fluid and Set States," Soc. Pet.
Eng. J. (Dec. 1982) 875-82.
9. Farris, R.F.: "Method for Determining Minimum Waiting-onCement Time," Trans., AIME (1946) 165, 175-88.
10. Davis, S.H. and Faulk, J.H.: "Have Waiting-on-Cement Practices
Kept Pace with Technology?" Drill. and Prod. Prac., API (1957)
180.

CEMENTING

11. Maier, L.F.: "Understanding Surface Casing Waiting-on-Cement


Time," paper presented at CIM 16th Annual Tech. Meeting, Calgary, Alta., Canada, May 1965.
12. Rao, P.P. et al.: "An Ultrasonic Device for Nondestructive Testing of Oilwell Cements at Elevated Temperatures and Pressures,"
J. Pet. Tech. (Nov. 1982) 2611-16.
13. Anderson, F.M.: "Effects of Mud-Treating Chemicals on Oil-Well
Cements," Oil and Gas J. (Sept. 29, 1952) 283-84.
14. Guest, R.J. and Zimmerman, C.W.: "Compensated Gamma Ray
Densimeter Measures Slurry Densities in Flow," Pet. Eng. (Sept.
1973).
15. Lummus, J.L.: "A New Look at Lost Circulation," Pet. Eng. (Nov.
1967) 69-73.
16. Lea, F.M. and Desch, C.H.: The Chemistry of Cement and Concrete, Arnold & Co., London (1935; reprinted 1937, 1940).
17. Goode, J.M.: "Gas and Water Permeability Data for Some Common Oilwell Cements," J. Pet. Tech. (Aug. 1962) 851-54.
18. Saunders, C.D. and Walker, W.A.: "Strength of Oilwell Cements
and Additives under High Temperature Well Conditions," paper
390-G presented at the 1954 SPE Annual Meeting, San Antonio,
Oct. 17-20.
19. Ludwig, N.C. and Pence, S.A.: "Properties of Portland Cement
Pastes Cured at Elevated Temperatures and Pressures," Proc.,
American Concrete Institute (1956) 52, 673-87.
20. "Report on Cooperative Tests on Sulfate Resistance of Cements
and Additives," API Mid-Continent Dist. Study Committee on
Cementing Practices and Testing of Oil-Well Cements (1955).
21. Onan, D.D.: "Effects of Supercritical Carbon Dioxide on Well Cements," paper SPE 12593 presented at the 1984 SPE Permian Basin Oil and Gas Recovery Conference, Midland, TX, March 8-9.
22. Caveny, W.J. and Ripley, H.E.: "Monitoring Cement Quality by
Microscopy," J. Cdn. Pet. Tech. (March-April 1984).
23. Reeves, N.K., Bailey, D.E., and Caveny, W.J.: "Microscopic
Analysis of Dry Cement Blends," paper SPE 11820 presented at
the 1983 SPE Rocky Mountain Regional Meeting, Salt Lake City,
May 23-25.
24. Arnold, E.S.: "Cementing: Bridging the Gap from Laboratory
Research to Field Operations," J. Pet. Tech. (Dec. 1982) 2843-52.
25. Smith, R.C.: "Checklist Aids Successful Primary Cementing," Oil
and Gas J. (Nov. 1, 1982).
26. Smith, R.C.: "Successful Primary Cementing Can Be a Reality,"
J. Pet. Tech. (Nov. 1984) 1851-58.

Chapter 5

Hole and Casing Considerations

5.1 Introduction
Before the correct casing string for a well can be selected, certain information must be obtained: (1) the setting
depth; (2) the size of the hole and of the casing in which
the string is to be run and of the hole to be drilled below
the casing; (3) the mud-column and reservoir pressures;
(4) what type of well it is (for example, a high-pressure
gas well, a wildcat well, or a well in an established
producing area); (5) the formation conditions; and (6) the
drilling objectives.
The casing string must be designed so that it will not
fail in tension, will not collapse or burst, and will resist
downhole corrosion. 1-3 Table 5.1 lists the types and
functions of well casing and liner.

5.2 Casing String Design


Casing strings should be designed to withstand internal
and external pressures as well as lateral loads from downhole formations. To achieve these objectives, they are frequently composed of casing with different weights and
grades, especially where hole conditions are critical. The
strength of the casing string must be considered during
running, landing, and cementing. The strength and conditions of openhole formation and factors such as breakdown pressure must also be considered.
To ensure an adequate margin of safety, most casing
strings are designed with a safety factor of 1.5 to 1.8 for
tensile stress; 1.0 to 1.25 for external pressure stress (collapse); and 1.1 to 1.33 for internal pressure stress (burst).
Tensile force is significant in all strings except the conductor string. The greatest stress is imposed in the upper
portion of each string or, if the strings are tapered, in the
upper portion of each section. Tensile-strength calculations are based primarily on load per unit of crosssectional area for the grade of steel used. 5 (See Fig. 5.1.)
External yield (collapse) pressure should be considered
in choosing all strings except the conductor string. Max-

imum external pressure is exerted at the bottom of each


string, or, in the case of tapered strings, at the bottom
of each of the sections. Calculations are based on the maximum weight of the column of fluid on the outside of the
pipe minus the weight of the column of fluid on the inside of the pipe. 5 (See Fig. 5.2.)
Design for internal yield (burst) pressure is most likely to be important where wellhead pressures are relatively high. Where they are not high, pipe that will withstand
the tensile and collapse forces will be adequate to withstand the possible burst forces. (See Fig. 5.3.)
The casing string should always be designed to resist
burst failure, particularly where gradients range from 0.6
to 1.0 psi per foot of depth. 5
Buckling force should be considered especially if a well
is to be drilled in water or where the surface bed is incompetent, such as in a marsh. Buckling force must be
allowed for in designing the conductor and surface strings.
The other strings may be resistant to buckling forces, except where the land is shifting and causing shearing of
the casing string (for example, along fault planes).
Factors responsible for buckling and the degree of buckling are (1) length of casing unsupported by cement, (2)
hole size and degree of washout, (3) tensile loads on the
casing string, (4) increased mud weight or pressure from
other sources that increase internal casing pressure, and
(5) temperature changes downhole. All these factors are
interrelated, but the first three are generally considered
to control the degree of buckling, while temperature and
pressure changes are primarily mechanisms that initiate
buckling. 6 '7
The Performance Properties of Casing and Tubing (in
API Standards 5A) define the physical properties of steel
from which casing is produced. (See Table 5.2.) The numbers used to define these types represent the minimum
yield strength of the steel in thousands of pounds per
square inch. Specifications control the minimum tensile

CEMENTING

60
TABLE 5.1TYPES AND FUNCTIONS OF WELL CASING AND LINER*
Type
Conductor casing

Surface casing

Size
Setting Depth
(OD, in.)
(ft)
20 to 36 40 to 1,000

Function
Stabilizes collar and protects rig foundation.
Restrains unconsolidated formations.
Confines circulating fluids.
Helps prevent water flow and loss of circulation.
Helps prevent contamination of freshwater zones.
Connects blowout preventer and wellhead.
Supports deeper casing and tubing string.
Confines shallow zones and prevents loss of
circulation.

7 to 20 To 4,500

Intermediate casing

7 to 113/4 Varies with hole conditions

Helps prevent sloughing and enlargement of hole


during deeper drilling.
Protects production string from corrosion.
Helps to resist high formation pressure.
Protects against loss of drillstring in key-seated or
"sticky" holes.
Helps prevent loss of circulation.

Production casing

2% to 9% Through producing zone

Protects hole.
Isolates fluids and prevents fluid migration.
Helps provide well control if tubing fails.
Protects downhole equipment.
Allows selective production of oil and gas.

Liner

5 to 7

Through producing zone

Functions like production casing.


Limits need for full string of casing.

"After Ref 4

strength and minimum elongation of the material in each


grade. Each grade is available in weights per foot that
vary according to wall thickness and coupling length. 8-10
The casing for any well should be carefully studied to
ensure that it is properly designed for the requirements
of the hole. Most casing manufacturers have computerized programs or design charts that can be used to design
casing strings, taking into account well stress, mud
weights, and safety factors. 9

5.3 Casing String Components"


Conductor Casing. Normally, large-diameter (16- to
30-in.) casing is set with a spud rig or is driven to the
point of refusal (150 to 250 blows/ft) with a drive or vibration hammer. The setting depth of this casing is rarely
deeper than 300 ft, and more commonly is in the 90- to

150-ft range. The conductor casing provides for the installation of a flowline at a sufficient elevation to allow
mud return to steel mud pits and for the installation of
a diverter system. A blowout preventer (BOP) is placed
on the conductor casing above a large-diameter (8- to
10-in.) vent pipe. This is done so that if shallow hydrocarbons are encountered and the well flows, the BOP can
be closed and the flow diverted away from the rig. The
length of the pipe is insufficient to allow shutting in the
well without the danger of formation fluid migrating
around the outside of the casing to the surface. Thus, the
diverter system protects the rig and personnel until corrective steps can be taken.
Burst, collapse, and tension may not be considered in
the design of this pipe. The mechanical loading caused
by drive hammers that support the BOP stack are difficult

PRESSUREN.

-0+ TENSION-0L CASING YIELD


CASING
LOAD I STRENGTH
MUD

[in
a.

FORMATION
=

MUD ow
a

.API JOINT STRENGTH


COMPRESSION

Fig. 5.1Tension analysis of the casing string. 5

FLUID

1\
1
1

i
i

MUD

\\\

. --A
I
.
\
1

EXTERNAL
(MAY BE EQUAL)

CASING COLLAPSE
STRENGTH
INTERNAL
(MAY BE
ZERO)

_____ X_
._.
CEMENT (MAY REINFORCE CASING)

Fig. 5.2Collapse analysis of the casing string.5

61

HOLE CASING CONSIDERATIONS


SURFACE
STRING 0 PRESSURE-0-

TABLE 5.2-PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF


TUBULAR GOODS 8

NJECTION
I
FLUID INTERNAL 1
T
LEVEL
A
MUD
CASING
a_
w

0 EXTERNAL

LINER 1

Minimum
Yield
Strength
(psi)

Maximum
Yield
Strength
(psi)

Minimum
Ultimate
Tensile
Strength
(psi)

H-40
J-55
K-55
C-75
L-80
N-80
C-90
C-95
P-105
P-110
0-125

40,000
55,000
55,000
75,000
80,000
80,000
90,000
95,000
105,000
110,000
125,000

80,000
80,000
80,000
90,000
95,000
110,000
105,000
110,000
135,000
140,000
150,000

60,000
75,000
95,000
95,000
95,000
100,000
100,000
105,000
120,000
125,000
135,000

Tubing
H-40
J-55
C-75
L-80
N-80
C-90
P-105

40,000
55,000
75,000
80,000
80,000
90,000
105,000

80,000
80,000
90,000
95,000
110,000
105,000
135,000

60,000
75,000
95,000
95,000
100,000
100,000
120,000

75,000
95,000
105,000
135,000

105,000
125,000
135,000
165,000

100,000
105,000
115,000
145,000

CASING BURSTING
STRENGTH

1
1
1
1 _FORMATION
PRESSURE

Fig. 5.3-Burst analysis of the casing string. 5

to quantify. Generally, pipe is selected that has at least


a 0.3- to 0.4-in. wall thickness (1.0-in. wall from floating drilling rigs) and is of the cheapest grade available.
Because metallurgical properties are not critical, welding on the pipe is permitted.
Surface Casing. The surface casing, generally regulated by state or federal agencies, is set to protect shallow
freshwater sands from contamination by drilling fluids and
by produced fluids during the life of the well. This string
is normally cemented back to the surface so that freshwater zones have a sheath of cement and a steel casing
to protect them throughout the drilling and producing life
of the well. This casing provides sufficient fracture gradient to allow drilling to the next casing seat. BOP's are
nippled up on the surface casing, and well control can
be accomplished if abnormal conditions cause a moderate kick. Casing seats for drilling into abnormal pressure
require that the seat for surface casing be able to withstand mud weight in the 12- to 13-lbm/gal range. Casing
should be set deep enough to prevent broaching to the surface under any condition that results from exceeding the
fracture strength of the individual formations below the
casing seat.
The surface casing and the external cement sheath must
be able to support the maximum load of all additional
casing strings run in the well.
Surface pipe is designed for burst, collapse, tension,
and compression loads. Net burst conditions can occur
as a result of increased mud weight during drilling below
surface pipe or in well control operations where surface
pressure results. The most severe of these occurs when
gas unloads the hole and a well shut-in results in a pressure on the casing of bottomhole pressure (BHP) minus
a gas gradient to the surface. Burst conditions can be a
result of cementing, testing, and other routine applications of pressure. These values are generally the result
of the final design rather than factors in design. Once a
design is complete, the cementing procedures are written to prevent the casing from being overpressured.
Collapse pressures on surface pipe result primarily from
the hydrostatic pressure of the mud column outside the
casing. In some cases, pressure can build up slowly on
the annulus as a result of temperature expansion. This
pressure is an added collapse force. For collapse design,
the casing is generally considered to be empty and a
hydrostatic pressure exerted outside equal to the mud
weight in which the string was set.

Casing

Drillpipe
E
X
G
S

Tension design for surface casing is rarely significant.


Most surface strings are relatively short and tensile loads
caused by buoyed pipe weight are far below the ratings.
This string may be subjected to compressive loading because all additional strings are landed in the wellhead assembly attached to the surface casing. Cement circulated
to the surface will generally provide load-carrying capacity. Once all strings have been designed, however, the
combined buoyed weight should be checked against the
compressive strength of the top few joints. If compressive strengths are exceeded, a few joints of heavier pipe
with buttress threads may be substituted.
Intermediate Casing. The basic use of intermediate
casing string is to provide hole integrity during subsequent
drilling operations. This string functions to control the
well if subsurface pressure higher than the mud weight
is encountered and a kick occurs. It is designed to withstand this pressure. Because it covers low fracture gradient formations, wellbore integrity is maintained during
any well-killing operations.
When set, the intermediate casing permits control if the
well is "swabbed in" or if the drilling fluids are completely purged from the well by gas. It also permits underbalanced drilling of deeper formations and isolation
of troublesome formations. Sloughing shales, abnormally pressured saltwater flows, or formations that contaminate the mud can be isolated to prevent their
interference with subsequent drilling operations.

The intermediate casing generally represents the most


complex design consideration in the completion process.

CEMENTING

62

AXIAL STRESS - PER CENT OF YIELD STRESS


TENS ON
COMPRESSION
1
12 9

AVERAGE

H40

50,000

J55&K55

65,000

C75

85,000

N80

90,000

C95

108,000

z
w
cc

0.1

SOO 125

140,000

SOO 140

157,000

L.

cc

-I--

40
I- -I

4 4 ,

I-

-I.-,

60

--

125,000

,
0

30 -i- -60 -, -40 -I- -20 -I--- 0

P110

I
100

w
BURSTI

YIELD- psi.

COLLAPSE

GRADE

I
0
0

I
-60

+I
.

71
'CO

--I--, .,_......

- -

20 -I- 40-.- 60 ---, 80 -i- 100 120


, I - I - -


. >
-0
' m

I
- 80

-too
I

PRESSION

[ - t2

TENSION I

Fig. 5.4Ellipse of biaxial yield stress of casing.12

Burst, collapse, and tension must be considered to protect low-pressure formations, critical fracture gradients,
potential gas kicks, heavier mud weights, etc.
Because of the number of conditions and the wide range
of assumptions that can be made, no specific set of conditions will fit all wells. One approach is to design in burst
for the case of maximum surface shut-in on gas with mud
column backup using a 1.125 safety factor. Some designers also consider a burst design that will withstand a kick
of a given size. This approach assumes that well-control
procedures will prevent unloading of the hole. The calculation procedure for this type of assumption is tedious
and may not improve the design significantly. The general
result is strengthening the lower section, and-this is handled more correctly by the collapse design. For determining net burst, a backup equal to the mud weight in which
the casing was set is recommended. Abnormal conditions
are best handled by the safety factors because to try to
cover every eventuality may increase the cost needlessly.
In collapse, the lower part of the string should be strong
enough to support the hydrostatic pressure of the mud
weight in which pipe was cemented with no backup inside. A safety factor below the cement top may be 1.125,
and 1.0 above the cement top. Tension in a pipe will also
reduce its collapse resistance. A tube in tension causes
a prestress collapse load to exist in the hoop and radial
direction, as illustrated in Fig. 5.4.
Tensile design of this string will be significant because
protective casing is typically the heaviest-weight casing,
with relatively large OD and setting depth. Tensile loads
on the casing are reduced because of the buoyant force
of the muds in which they are run. The cement top on
the protective string is generally high and, thus, stability
load changes do not increase tensile load appreciably. If
the unsupported section is large or large differential pressures are expected after the string is cemented, a check
of stability load changes should be made to determine
whether setting conditions need to be altered by use of
a pipe with greater tensile strength.

A protective liner design is identical to the protective


string; however, the magnitude of the differentials are
generally small, and lighter-weight pipe will result from
design.
Production Casing. The production casing string is set
through the producing zone and provides a backup for
the tubing string during producing operations. It must be
designed to withstand full wellhead shut-in pressure if the
tubing develops a leak or if the packer fails. When the
tubing or packer is replaced during workovers, the production casing must allow for killing the well, circulating workover fluids, and limited pressure testing.
In some areas certain conditions permit the use of smalldiameter lines and production casing is set for well-fluid
production. In these "tubingless completions," there is
no backup string.
The production string must be able to withstand a burst
pressure that equals the full wellhead shut-in pressure on
top of the packer fluid minus the mud gradient on the outside of the pipe. Collapse design is identical to the protective string. Collapse ratings above the neutral point
must be derated because of the effect of tension. Tensile
design includes the positive effect of buoyancy.
Protective or Intermediate Liners. A protective liner
is commonly used to prevent a lost-circulation problem
where high mud weights (17.5 to 19.5 lbm/gal) are required. They are subject to the same design conditions
and provide the same protection as the intermediate
casing.
In many cases, pore pressure builds up rapidly below
the intermediate liner seat and mud weights can approach
fracture gradient. To avoid lost returns, a protective liner
is set. In most cases, wells that encounter formation pressure requiring greater than an 18-lbm/gal mud will require a protective liner. Unless the transition zone is very
deep or the fracture gradient is exceptionally high, it is
difficult to design a casing seat in the transition zone for

63

al to abnormal pressure that will have sufficient fracnorm


e strength to allow drilling with + 18-lbm/gal mud
tur
weights (Chap. 8, Fig. 8.11).
production Liners. Normally, production liners are run
just below the intermediate casing. The design considerations are identical to the production casing. There are
several cases where running the production casing as a
liner tieback is preferable to running a full string.
In the case of a normal-pressure wildcat, the opera1.
tor may wish to run a liner and to test a marginal zone
without the expense of the full string. If commercial production is present, a tieback string can be run to surface.
This approach would be used in cases where a drillstem
test is not feasible or a long-term production test is desired.
For very long production strings, casing loads, surge
2.
pressures, or near-balanced conditions may make it desirable to run a liner.
3. If drilling problems result in a very small hole at total depth for a short distance, very close tolerance casing
may be required. In this case, a liner has the least risk
and may be the best chance of successfully completing
the well.
If a production liner is set through an intermediate string
without a tieback, then the intermediate string must be
designed for production, with a resulting increase in heavy
casing and higher cost. It is normally better to tie back
the liner. This procedure also avoids concern over casing
wear that might have occurred to the intermediate string
during drilling through it and the possible reduction in
performance properties.

5.4 Wellbore Conditioning and


Running Casing
If a primary cementing job is to be successful, before the
casing is run the hole must be properly conditioned. Drilling mud should be circulated to condition and clean the
hole at a pumping rate equal to or greater than the drilling circulating rate. Mud properties that tend to cause poor
cement jobs are high gel strength, high viscosity, high
density, and excessive chemical content. The plastic viscosity and the yield strength of the mud should be as low
as possible.13 When gas wells are cemented, circulation
should last long enough to bring up any gas entrained in
the drilling mud.
It is a good practice to "break" (start) circulation every 1,000 to 3,000 ft while the casing is run to remove
the filter cake that has collected around the collars, centralizers, and scratchers. 14 Some scratchers tend to accumulate an abnormal amount of filter cake as the pipe
goes into the hole, and the cake may prevent circulation
when the pipe reaches bottom.
The condition of the holethe presence or absence of
bridges, the straightness of the hole, and the clearance
between the pipe and the holedetermines the speed at
which casing can be run. Under ideal conditions, casing
can be run from 1,000 ft/hr on the Gulf coast to 2,000
ft/hr in hard-rock country.
Mathematical methods for calculating pressure surges
while casing is run were developed in the early 1950's.
These were later confirmed with pressure recorders in the
casing string. Because they are very complicated, mathematical methods can best be handled by computer.

PRESSUREASEQUIVALENTMUDWEIGHT( lb gal)

HOLE CASING CONSIDERATIONS


17.0
16.0

INCREASE IN
FORMATION STRENGTH
INITIAL FORMATION STRENGTH

15.0 RUNNING

TD

PLUG
BUMPS

CIRCULATING

14.0

MIXING

130
12.0
11 0
10 0

(,--

---

all

'

STAT C WEIGHT OF
ANNULUS MUD

STATIC WEIGHTOF ANNULUS MUD


AND CEMENT

FORMATION PRESSURE

Fig. 5.5BHP chart for typical casing and cementing


job.15

Nomographs have also been presented in the literature to


assist field personnel.
Fig. 5.5 shows a BHP chart on a typical casing and cementing job as it would appear on a pressure recorder
at the bottom of a well containing an 11.8-1bm/gal
mud. 16 Pressures are expressed as equivalent mud
weights required to equal the normal static mud weight
plus the surge pressure. If the equivalent pressure falls
below 10.5 lbm/gal, formation fluids will enter the wellbore; or if the weight exceeds 15.4 lbm/gal, the formation will break down and circulation will be lost. Surges
begin to increase as the annular path of the return mud
increases with the running of casing.
As wall cake is removed, mud weight increases, depending on the volume removed in scratching. After the
plug container or cementing head is hooked up, there is
a swabbing upward of the casing before circulation is begun. During mixing, pumping pressurecement circulation rateis usually lower because cement trucks have
only one pump on the well. After mixing, pumping and
reciprocation are stopped to release the cementing plug
and change over to the rig pump. The heavier cement
column causes an upward movement of the downhole annular fluid, maintaining a displacing pressure against the
formation. When pumping and reciprocation are resumed,
the top wiper plug catches up with the cement and the
displacement rate returns to normal. The displacement
pressure continues to increase as additional cement enters
the annulus until the plug bumps at the float collar. (See
Fig. 7.14.)

5.5 Casing-Landing Procedures


Casing should be landed in the hole so that future operating conditions imposed on the casing will not cause excessive loading and lead to casing failure.
In most instances the casing string should be landed in
the wellhead with the "as-cemented" hook load (i.e., with
the buoyed weight of the casing). 15,17,18 Other methods,
however, may be used for special completion techniques.
(See Table 5.3.)
Unsupported casing between fixed ends, after it is hung
and cemented, can produce potential problems.
1. Pressure, fluid density, and temperature changes all
produce axial load changes that, if large enough, could
cause loss of stability and lateral deflection of the pipe.

64

CEMENTIt

OUTER CASING
STRING

TABLE 5.3METHODS FOR LANDING CASING"


1. With full buoyed weight (most applicable and most
need).
2. With partial buoyed weight."
3. With stretch of slack based on casing length
above top of cement.*
4. With high pressure inside of casing during
cement wait time (prevents buckling, but can cause
poor bonding).*
5. With tension or compression loading added
after cementing.*
6. With stretch or slack based on entire casing length.*
'Special circumstances

These load changes should be considered to prevent overstress of the pipe and subsequent failure. (See Table 5.4.)
2. A string with fixed ends has changes in axial load
as a result of environment changes. Axial loads increase
as the internal pressure is increased or the average temperature decreases. An increase in internal fluid density
has the effect of increasing the average internal pressure
and, thus, increasing the axial load on the pipe. The axial load decreases with an increase in external pressure,
increases in external mud weight, or increases in average temperature. These forces can usually be calculated
fairly accurately on the basis of estimates made before
the casing was set. Temperature increases resulting from
the production of well fluids will reduce the tensile stresses
imposed on the casing during its landing. If the temperature of the casing drops below that which prevailed when
it was set, the casing will shrink and the tensile loading
will increase. Stresses induced by earth movements are
rare and are difficult to evaluate.
The most common causes of casing failure are extreme
hole deviations (doglegs), which cause severe bending
stresses; corrosion, either external or internal; internal
casing wear; and changes in well conditions that increase
the stresses on the casing (Fig. 5.6). 17,20,21
Casing does not usually fail until some time after it has
been run, when well pressures and conditions have
changed. 16,17 An example of this may be found in salt

INNER 'CASING
STRING

CAVITY JUST ABOVE


CEMENT
TOP OF CEMENT OR
FREEZE POINT
Fig. 5.6Casing placed in compression by temperature increases during production. 19

formations of North Dakota, Montana, Egypt, and in di


North Sea. 22'23 Where salt formations are enlarged dm
ing drilling, it is impossible to confine the enlarged are
with cement. As a result, the salt sections, which are a
ways capable of flowing, eventually move and caul
casing failures (Fig. 5.7). The solutions to this problet
are to use heavier pipe through the salt formations an
to centralize and move (rotate or reciprocate) the pip(
In designing casing for such conditions, one should tak
into account not only collapse, tensile, and burst forces
but also bending stresses, reciprocation loads, and squeez
cementing effects. 24

5.6 Special Loading Conditions


During Cementing
The maximum load condition occurs on the casing whe
large cement volumes are used in strings set in relativel
low mud weights. As the cement slurry is pumped int
the casing, the weight increases to maximum when all th
cement is in the casing. The increased weight is partiall
offset by the fluid-friction loss in the annulus. Thes
weight increases can approach the maximum safe load i
the casing string and may cause cessation of reciproca
tion. For such applications, the casing design may nee'
to upgrade the maximum load-carrying ability of the strini
with a higher-tensile-strength pipe based on the cement
ing program. 11

TABLE 5.4EFFECTS OF COMPLETION OPERATIONS AND


CHANGES IN CONDITIONS ON ACTING STRESSES'?

Drop in average temperature


Rise in average temperature
Rise of internal pressure
Drop of internal pressure
Rise of external pressure
Drop of external pressure
Replacement of internal fluid
by a heavier fluid
Replacement of internal fluid
by a lighter fluid
Replacement of external fluid
by a heavier fluid
Replacement of external fluid
by a lighter fluid
Swab down

Tension
Loading
Increase
Decrease
Increase
Decrease
Decrease
Increase

Collapse
Loading

Burst
Loading

Increase
Decrease
Increase
Decrease

Buckling
Tendency
Decrease
Increase
Increase
Decrease
Decrease
Increase

Increase

Increase

Increase

Decrease

Decrease

Decrease

Decrease

Increase

Increase
Decrease

Decrease

Decrease
Decrease

Increase
Decrease

65

HOLE CASING CONSIDERATIONS

A safe maximum load should be calculated for every


casing design so that field operations personnel can adjust conditions at the rig to prevent exceeding the tensile
strength of the pipe during cementing. An assumption
must be made for the minimum safety factor to use to calculate the maximum safe pull. One approach is to allow
a maximum load, which is the weight of the casing string
in fluid plus a pull that will not drop the tension design
factor for any section below 1.30. The bending load for
directional holes or wells with doglegs must also be considered.
The following equation may be used to calculate an approximate cementing load that ignores pumping effects. 11
The maximum hook load occurs when all the cement is
inside the pipe.
LH=WpDi+(0.052)(A1)[(LinPm)(LcPc)]
(0 .052)(A 0)(I ;0, p),
where
LH =
Wp =
DI =
A, =
Lm =
Pm =
Lc =
Pc =
A, =

hook load, lbm,


pipe weight, lbm/ft,
pipe setting depth, ft,
inside pipe area, sq in.,
mud length, ft,
mud density, lbm/gal,
cement length, ft,
cement density, lbm/gal, and
outside pipe area, sq in.

Example.
Well Depth: 12,000 ft.
Casing: 7 in., 26 lbm/ft S-95, ID 6.276 in. (30.9 sq in.).
Hole: straight, 9% in. containing 11.5-1bm/gal mud.
Cement: tops at 5,500 ft mixed at 15.8 lbm/gal.
Other data: 9%-in. hole.
Volume: 5,500 ft cement.
Outside: 1,309 cu ft (5,500 x 0.2380).
Inside: 6,093 cu ft (1,309x4.655).
LH= 26 (12,000)+30.9(0.052)5,907(11.5)+6,093
(15.8)-38.5(0.052)(12,000)(11.5)
=312,000+263,836-276,276
=299,560 lbm.
At the surface, the load is 299,560 lbm.
In the preceding example, the weight of pipe in air is
312,000 lbm, and in mudbecause of buoyancythe
weight of the string is 257,000 lbm. When the cement
was inside the pipe, the load was 299,560 lbm. While cementing, the natural tendency is to think the pipe is dragging while the pipe is being filled with cement. When the
cement is displaced in the annulus, the weight decreases.
There is a tendency in this case to think the pipe is sticking. If the approximate load changes are known, one can
better anticipate the weight indicator changes and
problems.

5.7 Casing and Tubular-Good Failures


A variety of potential casing failures, such as mill defects,
mishandling, borehole doglegs, and corrosion, have been

HIGH
COLLAPSE
STRENGTH
CASING
SALT
ZONES

INITIAL
LOADING

DEFORMED

COLLAPSED

Fig. 5.7Casing failure in salt formations. 22

identified by the industry. 25 From these studies, API has


developed recommended practices for the care and use
of casing, and has defined the principal causes of trouble
in properly designed casing strings.
The following are causes of failure in properly designed
casing strings: (1) improper cutting of field-shop threads;
(2) poorly manufactured couplings for replacement;
(3) mishandling in mill, in transport, and in the field;
(4) poor running and pulling practices; (5) improper landing tension; (6) leaking joints; (7) drillpipe wear;
(8) corrosion; and (9) wireline cutting from such things
as swabbing.
It has also been noted that more than 80% of tubular
string failures occurred in the connections under external or internal pressure. Most of these causes for leaking
joints can be avoided through proper inspection and
makeup practices.
Causes of connection failures include the following:
(1) improper joint makeup at mill; (2) casing ovality or
out-of-roundness; (3) improper cutting of field-shop
threads; (4) dirty threads, galled threads; (5) wrong thread
compound or misapplication; (6) improper engagement
(cross-threading); (7) under- (or over-) tonging; (8) excessive making and breaking; (9) overtension casing; and
(10) dropping the string.

5.8 Loss of Casing Downhole


Improperly cemented casing is vulnerable to the shocks
and vibrations caused by prolonged drilling and tripping
of the drillstring. High repair costs or even the loss of
the hole may result if, because of a poor cement job, the
bottom joints of casing unscrew or break off.
Failures in the bottom joints of surface and intermediate casing strings are common in some areas. 26,27 Such
failures are not normally recognized until the well is
logged. Then it may be found that one or more joints have
parted from the casing string and dropped down the hole.
The parted section of casing may have uncovered a lostcirculation zone or may have shifted laterally, restricting
the passage of drilling equipment. Remedial work is required to realign the parted casing and seal the exposed
formations. Fig. 5.8 illustrates various ways that casing
can be lost down the hole.

CEMENTIN

66

L min

BASIC POWERTIGHT MAKEUP

I))

HANDTIGHT MAKEUP

rd w

;
f1 DRILL

POOR
CEMENT

" TORQUE
IMPULSE
FROM

COLLAR
VIBRATION

"' c' LONG ROUND-THREAD CASING AND COUPLING

BOND

L min

? DRILLING
t-

( .f

1_1

OUT

1`.

BASIC POWERTIGHT MAKEUP

HANDTIGHT MAKEUP

d rt
d,

d o SHORT ROUND-THREAD CASING AND COUPLING


Fig. 5.8Loss of casing downhole, caused by (1) drillcollar vibration, (2) torque impulses from drilling out,
or (3) poor cement bond resulting from contamination
by mud. 26

L min

APPROX

HANDTIGHT MAKEUP

BASIC POWERTIGHT MAKEUP

do

70
60
50
40

113/4" CASINGA

85/e

100
90
80

r
_
nil
103/4" CASING I

I
CASING 1

'

II
CASING
14- 133/a"

BOX

10

ROTARYSPEED, RPM

UPSET
I
RUNOUT --P1
h'--INTERVAL

200

150

BUTTRESS THREAD CASING AND COUPLING

1111

III

cv

.111111
F-_i_
r
III 95/eCASING I

(.7
Z

<
<
- 0

300

400

Ill
Ill

500

OR, 014

JOINT 10

POWER TIGHT MAKEUP

EXTREME-LINE CASING
WHERE
d. - Outside Diameter, Inches
d1 - Inside Diameter, Inches
h - Wall Thickness, Inches
cl w - Outside Diameter

d r - Diameter of Recess
Lml - Minimum Length
b - Width of Bearing Face

Fig. 5.10---API casing threads and couplings. 9

5.9 Casing and Thread Identification


30
25
4

5 5 /2

6 6 /2 7

71/2 8

10

BOTTOM DRILL - COLLAR SIZE, IN. OD


Fig. 5.9Recommended maximum rotary speed for
drilling out cement and cementing equipment (safety
factor of 2). (All grades of casing strengthened with
thread-locking compound; H-40-grade casing strengthened also with full-circumference weld. 26

Failures can be eliminated by cementing all casing


strings with two plugs and by strengthening the coupling
joints at the bottom of surface or intermediate casing
strings.
Casing strings composed of steel of K-55 grade or
stronger should have the bottom three or four joints coated
with thread-locking compound and tightened to the recommended make-up torque. Strings of lower-strength
casing may be strengthened with a weld around the lower casing joint. Floating equipment should always be
strengthened with a thread-locking compound because it
is manufactured from N-80-grade steel. Rotary speeds
should be limited to provide a safety factor of 2 between
the torsional strength of the thread-locked joints and the
maximum torque impulses of the bottom collars. 26 (Fig.
5.9 gives the maximum rotary speeds for drilling out
cement.)

The API has standardized casing grades, threads, ant


markings for all tubular goods. Specification 5A define,
markings that are die-stamped or painted-stencil on botl
new and used pipe. (See Fig. 5.10.) These are identi
feed by the manufacturer in customary units, except when
they are made and used in countries that use metric units
The following are API casing markings and coatings
1. Manufacturer's name or mark.*
2. API Specification 5A.*
3. Size (inches).**
4. Weight (per foot). *
5. Grade* as H-40-H,
J-55-J,
K-55-K, and
N-80-N.
6. Manufacturing process* as seamless-S or electric
welded-E.
7. Length (feet and tenths).**
8. Test pressure (pounds per square inch) (when highet
than standard pressure and stenciled TESTED).*
9. Type of thread** as ROUND THREAD, BUTTRESS THREAD, and EXTREME-LINE.
For example, 7-in., 23-lbm, Grade J-55, seamless
casing shall be stamped as follows:
Die stampedAB CO (manufacturer),
'Die stamped or painted stencil
**Painted

67

HOLE CASING CONSIDERATIONS


TABLE 5.5-SUMMARY OF CASING AND TUBING DESIGN CALCULATIONS"
Surface and Intermediate Casing

Production Strings

Tubing

1. Based on the external hydrostatic


pressure from the drilling mud with
the inside of the casing empty.
2. Collapse ratings should be
reduced by the effect of tension
above the estimated cement top.
3. If it is known that the casing will
be emptied, a collapse design factor of 1.125 may be used below
the cement top. A safety factor in
collapse (SFC) of 1.00 may be
used for all other sections.
4. If it is known that the casing will
not be emptied, an SFC of 1.00
can be used for all sections.

1. A SFC of 1.00 may be used based


on hydrostatic pressure from the
packer fluid density with the inside
of the tubing considered to be
empty.

Collapse
1. Based on external hydrostatic
pressure from the drilling mud with
the inside of the casing empty:
p ex = (0.052)(p e )(D x )
2. The effect of tension on collapse
rating should be used when the
pipe is in tension. The following
formula is used to calculate the
percent of yield stress.
wt
ar=

A Y,

3. With the possibility of the casing


being emptied or in a wildcat, collapse safety factor should be
1.125.
4. If the casing will not be emptied,
or in a field development-type well,
a safety factor of 1.0 may be used.
5. The neutral point depth is calculated from:

PNp=D,(1-

:
4

Tension
1. The effect of buoyancy is used to
reduce the air weight of casing.

Fb = 1 -

Pm

1. The effects of buoyancy and bending are used.


2. An SFT of 1.8 may be used for the
first section of casing controlled by
tension.

1. The effect of buoyancy is not considered.


2. A safety factor of 1.5 on nonupset
and 1.33 on all other connections
should be used.

65.4

2. Bending loads resulting from directional holes or known doglegs are


used in tension design for all pipe
below and opposite the hole
deviation.
T=218(d)(0)(A)

3. When tension controls the design,


a safety factor in tension (SFT) of
1.8 based on joint strength may be
used for the first section designed
in tension.

(continued on next page)

Spec. 5A (specification),
23 (weight),
J (grade),
S (manufacturing process).
It will be painted
7 23 JS (length) (type threads).
10. Color identificatidn (bands encircling 2 ft from coupling or box).
Grade H-40-none or black (manufacturer's
option);
J-55-one bright green band;
K-55-two bright green bands; and
N-80-one red band.
11. Thread markings:
Casing (short round thread)-CSG;

Casing (long round thread)-LCSG;


Casing (buttress thread)-BCSG;
Casing (extreme-line)-XCSG;
Tubing (external-upset)-UP TBG; and
Tubing (integral-joint)-IJ TBG.
For example, 7-in. casing threaded with 8-in. round
short threads:
ABCO
(manufacturer)

7
(size)

CSG
(thread markings)

12. Special markings-see API Specification 5A.


13. Coatings (mill coating to protect from rust, unless
otherwise ordered).

CEMENTING

68
TABLE 5.5SUMMARY OF CASING AND TUBING DESIGN CALCULATIONS" (continued)
Surface and Intermediate Casing

Production Strings

Tubing

Burst
1. The maximum burst condition occurs when mud is displaced by
formation gas and the well is
closed in.
2. At the bottom of the casing
string, the maximum burst load
pressure is the estimated formation breakdown pressure less the
hydrostatic pressure of the drilling
fluid on the outside of the string.

1. The normal condition is maximum


surface tubing pressure transmitted down the casing-tubing annulus plus or minus the differential
pressure between the packer fluid
and the drilling fluid outside the
production string.
2. At the top of the string; the maximum expected burst pressure is
determined by the following
formula:

P bx = MAD t) 52(P m)(Dr)


Pb = Pf - gg 0t=Ptmax

or
Pbmax = 1.0(D t ) 0.052(p Apr)
3. At the top of the casing string,
the maximum burst pressure is
the formation breakdown pressure less the gas gradient times
casing depth.

3. At the bottom of the string or any


point within the string, the burst
load pressure is calculated by the
following formula:
Pbx =Ptmax (Po -P t)(0.052)(Dx)
4. A safety factor of 1.125 may be
applied to burst pressure ratings.

Pb = fb(IXD t) ( gy)(D1),
P bmax = (1.0)(D 1) (g 9 )(D t ),

and
g9 = 0.1 psi/ft, 0 to 10,000 ft
0.15 psi/ft, 10 to 15,000 ft.
4. Burst loads are assumed to
change linearly from bottom to
top. The burst load at any depth
in the string is determined by the
following formula, which is a combination of the two equations
above.
P bx = IbtIRD t)" g(D t D x ) -

0.052( P

x)

5. When actual gas gradients are


not known, a gas gradient of 0.1
psi/ft may be used.
6. If the formation breakdown gradient is known to be less than 1
psi/ft, then the smaller gradient is
used in the above equations.
7. If the pressure at the bottom of
the string after subtracting fluid
gradient from maximum bottomhole pressure is less than fracture gradient, that pressure minus
the hydrostatic pressure of the
mud outside the casing is the design load at the casing seat.
Pb = Pr gg(Dr - Dr)
0 052(p 0)(D t )

8. In that case, the maximum surface pressure is bottomhole pressure minus the gas gradient.
p b =p f -g g D f
9. The burst load at any point in the
string is then:
p bx =p,-9g (Dt -D x )
0.052(p o )(D x )

10. Where burst controls the design,


a safety factor of 1.125 may be
used.
11. Tension loads increase burst ratings. However, this is not considered in design.
Note: Casing strings less than 1,000 It may not be considered in designs

1. Use maximum surface closed-in


tubing pressure, if known, or the
calculated pressure from the mud
density required less the hydrostatic pressure of the fluid density.
2. A safety factor of 1.125 may be
used.
3. Metal-to-metal seals should be
used in wells when pressure exceeds 6,000 psi.
4. For tubing strings run with seals in
packers or seal bore retainers, the
tubing movement due to piston,
buckling, ballooning, and temperature effects can exceed minimum
yield of the tubing and have
caused corkscrewing or tubing
failures.

69

HOLE CASING CONSIDERATIONS

5.10 Summary
In running the casing string, one must provide safety factors: 1.5 to 1.8 for tensile force (influenced by longitudinal loading); 1.0 to 1.25 for collapse pressure (influenced
by unbalanced external pressure); and 1.1 to 1.33 for burst
pressure (influenced by unbalanced internal pressure).
Corrosion by downhole formation fluids must also be
taken into account. (See Table 5.5.)
Concerning the wellbore, drilling fluid should be circulated before cementing; mud cake and gas pockets
should be removed; and cement channeling must be minimized. Casing should be run at 1,000 ft/hr-more slowly where there is a lost circulation or restricted annular
clearance. Pressure surges should be avoided when the
pipe is being run.
In landing of the casing, excessive loading should be
avoided. To minimize the risk of casing failure, tensile
and compressive forces should be allowed for in setting
and cementing of the casing. Measures should be taken
to protect against excessive pressures, excessive temperatures of produced fluids, and earth movements.
To avoid losing joints of casing down the hole in drilling out, the following precautions should be taken: (1)
use top and bottom plugs; (2) clean the casing threads;
(3) use thread-locking compounds; (4) limit rotary speeds;
and (5) pick a competent casing seat.
Casing and tubing calculations are shown in Table 5.5.
Nomenclature
A = pipe body cross-sectional area, sq in.
d = pipe outside diameter, in.
Df = future depth or depth of producing pay, ft
Dt = pipe setting depth, ft
D5 = variable depth, ft
F b = buoyancy factor
g fbd = formation breakdown gradient, psi/ft
g g = gas gradient, psi/ft
Pb = burst pressure, psi
P bx = burst pressure at D, , psi
P ex = collapse load at D5 , external hydrostatic
pressure, psi
Pf = formation pressure, psi
Po = external surface pressure, psi
Pt max = maximum tubing pressure, psi
PNP = neutral point of pipe string, ft
T = tension load, lbm
Wt = total weight suspended, lbm
Ym = minimum pipe yield strength, psi
= rate of angle change, degrees/100 ft
pi = mud density, inside pipe, lbm/gal
p m = mud density, lbm/gal
po = mud density, outside pipe, lbm/gal
tensile stress divided by the minimum yield
(IT =
stress

References
1. Lubinski, A.: "Influence of Tension and Compression on Straightness and Buckling of Tubular Goods in Oil Wells," API Proc. (Prod.
Bull. 237) (1951).
2. Bowers, C.N.: "Design of Casing Strings," paper 514-G presented at the 1955 SPE Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Oct. 2-5.
3. "Casing String Design Factors," paper 851-29-1, report of API
Mid-Continent Dist. Study Committee on Casing Programs (March
1955).
4. Hendrickson, J.F.: "How To Design and Run Casing Strings,"
Pet. Eng. (July 1961).
5. Hills, J.0.: "A Review of Casing-String Design Principles and Practices," Drill. and Prod. Prac., API (1951) 91.
6. O'Brien, T.B.: "Why Some Casing Failures Happen," World Oil
(June 1984).
7. O'Brien, T.B.: "Buckled Casing: Three Ways to Avoid It," World
Oil (Oct. 1984).
8. "Specifications for Casing, Tubing, and Drill Pipe," API Standards 5A, 38th ed. (May 1985).
9. "Casing, Tubing, Drill Pipe," API Bull. 5C2, 19th edition (Oct.
1984).
'10. "Casing Quick Design Charts," Catalog 6239, Lone Star Steel Co.
(Jan. 1975).
11. Sinclair, R.: Modern Completions Manual, Halliburton Services
Training Center, Duncan, OK (1985).
12. "Experimental Approach to the Problem of Collapse of Deep-Well
Casing," Drill. and Prod. Prac., API (1939) 392.
13. Moore, P.L. and Cole, F.W.: Drilling Operations Manual, Petroleum Publishing Co., Tulsa, OK (1965).
14. Burkhardt, J.A.: "Wellbore Pressure Surges Produced by Pipe
Movement," J. Pet. Tech. (June 1961) 595-605; Trans., AIME,
222.
15. Clark, E.H. Jr.: "A Graphic View of Pressure Surges and Lost
Circulation," Drill. and Prod. Prac., API (1956) 424-38.
16. "Casing-Landing Recommendations," Bull. D7, API, Dallas (June
1955).
17. Peret, J.W.: "Casing String Design, Handling, and Usage," Fundamentals of Oil and Gas Production, third edition, Petroleum Engineer Pub. Co., Dallas (June 1969).
18. Lubinski, A. and Blenkarn, K.A.: "Buckling of Tubing in Pumping Wells, Its Effects and Means for Controlling It," J. Pet. Tech.
(March 1957) 73-78; Trans. , AIME, 210.
19. Cox, W.R.: "Key Factors Affecting Landing of Casing," Drill.
and Prod. Prac. API, Dallas (1957) 225-50.
20. Lubinski, A., Althouse, W., and Logan, J.: "Helical Buckling of
Tubing Sealed in Packers," J. Pet. Tech. (June 1962) 665-70;
Trans., AIME, 225.
21. Dillinger, T.B. and McLean, J.C.: "Preventing Instability in Partially Cemented Intermediate Casing Strings," paper SPE 4606
presented at the 1973 SPE Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, Sept.
30-Oct. 3.
22. Cheatham, J.B. Jr. and McEver, J.W.: "Behavior of Casing Subjected to Salt Loading," J. Pet. Tech. (Sept. 1964) 1069-75; Trans. ,
AIME, 231.
23. Patillo, P.D. and Rankin, T.E.: "How Amoco Solved Casing Design Problems in the Gulf of Suez," Pet. Eng. Intl. (Nov. 1981).
24. Texter, H.G.: "Oilwell Casing and Tubing Troubles," API Drill.
and Prod. Prac. (1955).
25. Suman, George 0. Jr. and Ellis, Richard C.: "Cementing Oil and
Gas Wells," World Oil (March 1977) Part 2.
26. Schuh, F.J.: "Failures in the Bottom Joints of Surface and Intermediate Casing String," J. Pet. Tech. (Jan. 1968) 93-101; Trans.,
AIME, 243.
27. Brouse, Mike: "Lest You Forget: How to Run Casing and Drill
Out," World Oil (Feb. 1, 1983).

Chapter 6

Surface and Subsurface


Casing Equipment

6.1 Introduction
Floating equipment, cementing plugs, stage tools, centralizers, and scratchers are mechanical devices commonly
used in running pipe and in placing cement around
casing. 1-3 Specifications covering such equipment are
limited and variable, and standards are primarily the responsibility of the manufacturer. This chapter provides
a general description of those mechanical aids and discusses applications.
6.2 Floating and Guiding Equipment
Floating equipment (Fig. 6.1) is commonly used on the
lower sections of the casing to reduce derrick stress by
allowing the casing to be floated into place. The weight
of the casing on holes of moderate to deep depths can
cause tremendous strain on the derrick. When the casing
is immersed in the well fluid, it is buoyed by force equal
to the weight of the fluid that the casing displaces. If the
casing is allowed to fill as it is lowered, the buoyancy
will be equal to the weight of the fluid displaced by its
wall. Should the casing not be allowed to fill, a greater
amount of fluid is displaced by the casing string and the
weight on the derrick is less. The guide shoe directs the
casing away from ledges and minimizes sidewall caving
as the casing passes through deviated sections of the hole.
Some basic types of floating and guiding equipment are
(1) the guide shoe, with or without a hole through the
guide nose, (2) the float shoe containing a float valve and
a guide nose, and (3) the float shoe and float collar containing an automatic fill-up valve.
The simplest guide shoe is an open-end collar, with or
without a molded nose. It is run on the first joint of casing
and simply guides the casing past irregularities in the hole.
Circulation is established down the casing and out the open
end of the guide shoe, or through side ports designed to
create more agitation as the cement slurry is circulated
up the annulus. 4'5 If the casing rests on bottom or is
plugged with cuttings, circulation can be achieved through
the side ports.

A modified guide shoe with side ports may aid in running the casing into a hole where obstructions are anticipated. This tool has side ports above and a smaller opening
through the rounded nose. The smaller opening ensures
that approximately one-half the fluid is pumped through
the existing side ports. These ports will help wash away
obstructions that may be encountered and will also aid
in getting the casing to bottom if some of the cuttings have
settled in the bottomhole.
When wells accumulate enough cuttings on the bottom
to cause a drop in pumping efficiency and an increase in
pumping pressure, a high side port guide shoe can be installed on the casing shoe to help remove these cuttings.
This equipment is particularly suitable to areas where large
accumulations of the cuttings make it difficult to determine when casing touchdown is accomplished.
The jetting action of the side port tool types aids in
removing the cuttings and helps provide a cleaner wellbore with increased turbulence during circulation and cementing. It can also aid in the uniform distribution of the
slurry around the shoe. If the casing is set on the bottom
and no fluid can exit through the bottom of the tool,, then
the side ports can enable circulation to be established.
The combination guide or float shoe usually incorporates a ball or spring-loaded backpressure valve. The
outside body is made of steel of the same strength as that
of the casing. The backpressure valve is enclosed in plastic
and high-strength concrete. The valve, which is closed
by a spring or by hydrostatic pressure from the fluid
column in the well, prevents fluids from entering the
casing while pipe is lowered into the hole. Suspension is
controlled by the volume of fluid placed inside the casing
by filling either from the surface or through a fill-up
device in the float shoe. Once the casing has been run
to the desired depth, circulation is established through the
casing and float valve and up through the annulus. When
the cement job is completed, the backpressure valve prevents cement from flowing back into the casing.

71

SURFACE AND SUBSURFACE CASING EQUIPMENT


Surf ace Casing
Production Casing
Displacement Fluid

Top Plug

Bottom Plug

Super Seal Float Collar

Fig. 6.1Types of floating equipment. Top rowfloat


collars; bottom rowfloat shoes.

For shallow wells where it is not necessary to guide


or float the casing to bottom, a simple casing shoe is used.
Float collars are normally placed one to three joints
above the float or guide shoe in the casing string and serve
the same basic functions as the float shoe. 4,5 (See Fig.
6.2.) They contain a backpressure valve similar to the one
in the float shoe and provide a smooth surface or latching device for the cementing plugs. The space between
the float collar and the guide shoe serves as a trap for
contaminated cement or mud that may accumulate from
the wiping action of the top cementing plug. The contaminated cement is thus kept away from the shoe, where the
best bond is required.
When the cement plug seats at the float collar, it shuts
off fluid flow and prevents overpumping of the cement.
A pressure buildup at the surface indicates when cement
placement is complete. For larger casing, float collars or
shoes may be obtained with a special stab-in device that
allows the cement to be pumped through tubing or drillpipe. (This method of placement is often called innerstring cementing.) Such a device eliminates the need for
large cementing plugs and oversize plug containers. It also
reduces the volume of cement that can be lost if the job
must be terminated before all the slurry is mixed and
pumped. (See Fig. 6.3.)
For reasons of economy, a simple insert flapper valve
and seat may be installed in the casing string one or two
joints above the guide shoe. This insert valve is designed
for use in wells down to 7,000 ft and for pressures less
than the collapse pressure of J-55 casing in the particular
weight range being used. It is strong enough to satisfy
most of the pressure requirements of a casing job that may
not demand the standard floating equipment. The insert
flapper valve, like the float collar, provides a space for
isolating contaminated cement. It also provides a surface
for landing the cement plug.4'5 (See Fig. 6.4.)

Centralizer

Guide Shoe

Fig. 6.2Location of floating equipment in the casing


string (bottom plug seated on float collar). 5

A.

B.

C.

Fig. 6.3Floating equipment for cementing through tubing


and drillpipe. A and Bcollar sealing sleeves and latchdown mechanism for plug; Cfloat shoe for stabbing in
tubing string.

72

CEMENTING
A

Orifices

GO NG IN HOLE
CASING FILLING

TRIPPING ANT
DISCHARGING
SELF FILL UP
UNIT

CEMENTING
OPERATION

Going in Hole.
Valve in Open Position.

Shear Pins with


Release Fill-Up Unit

Fig. 6.4Insert flapper valve. 5

Fig. 6.5Automatic fill-up float shoes. 5

Differential fill-up and automatic fill-up float collars and


float shoes are devices that permit a controlled amount
of fluid to enter the bottom of the casing while the casing
is being run in the hole (Figs. 6.5 and 6.6). They operate
on the principle that hydrostatic pressure in the annulus
will tend to balance the hydrostatic pressure proportionally inside the casing. A restricted area allows a controlled
amount of fluid to enter the casing through the bottom
of the float shoe while the casing is being run, thereby
shortening running time and reducing pressure surges
against the formation. The backpressure valve in auto-

matic fill-up equipment is held out of service until it is


released by a predetermined pump pressure or flow rate
applied from the surface. 4,5 The rate of flow into the
casing is usually low enough to hold the fluid level within 10 to 300 ft of the surface.
When purchasing floating equipment, it is important to
specify the OD, the threading, the material grade, and
the pipe weight. Variations in float shoes and float collars are shown in Fig. 6.7.

RUNNING IN,
VALVE OPEN
(FILLING)

CIRCULATING

BACK-PRESSURE
VALVE RELEASED
FOR CEMENTING

Fig. 6.6Differential fill-up float collar. 4

6.3 Formation Packer Collars and Shoes


Formation packer shoes (and formation packer collars)
are floating equipment containing expanding packers.
They are used when hole conditions require the casing
to be set above the producing formation or where a formation is to be isolated at a specific point below the tools.
The packer, when set, packs off the open hole below the
casing to help protect the formation against breakdown
and cement contamination. One variation of this tool contains a float valve to aid in lowering the casing to bottom
and to keep cement slurry from backing up into the casing.
Another type (Fig. 6.8) uses a flapper valve and latchdown plug. Both types of packer shoes allow fluids to circulate through the bottom of the shoe until the packer is
expanded and set.
The formation packer collar is similar to the packer shoe
but is installed in the casing above the shoe joint. It may
be used to set liners and to set perforated pipe or screen
in disposal wells. It is also used in waterflood wells where
full-hole cementing is desirable abbve the injection zone.

73

SURFACE AND SUBSURFACE CASING EQUIPMENT

FLOAT SHOES
AND
FLOAT COLLARS
Back-Pressure Valves

Oril ice Control

Valve Control

Fig. 6.7Types of float shoes and float collars. 6

6.4 Stage-Cementing Tools


When it is desirable to cement two or three separate sections behind the same casing string or to cement a long
section in two or three stages, multiple-stage cementing
tools are used. Stage cementing usually reduces mud contamination and lessens the possibility of formation breakdown, which is often a cause of lost circulation. 4'5
Stage tools are installed at a specific point in the casing
string as casing is being run into the hole. After the cement has been placed around the bottom of the casing (the
first stage), the tool can be opened hydraulically either
with a free-falling opening plug dropped down the casing
or with a plug pumped down the casing. When the tool
is opened, fluid, such as cement, can be circulated through
its outside ports. When all the cement slurry has been
placed, a closing plug closes a sleeve over the side port.
Because the stage cementing tool contains sliding internal sleeves, certain precautions must be taken when it
is installed into the casing string. The tongs should be
placed only on the upper and lower 6 inches of the tool.
The tongs should never be placed on the midsection of
the casing. This could deform the casing, causing the tool
to be inoperative.
Bending forces resulting from hole deviation or casing
deflection will not damage the tool unless the yield
strength of the casing itself is exceeded. Doglegs and key
seats encountered when going into the hole, however, may
cause the tool to stick. Casing centralizers should be installed on the casing as close as possible to each end of
the tool to guide it and to provide clearance with the sides
of the hole.
The free-fall stage-cementing method is used when the
first-stage cement is not required to fill the annulus from
the bottom of the casing all the way to the stage tool or
when the distance between the tool and the casing shoe
is fairly long. The primary advantage of this method is
that the shutoff plug used in the first stage prevents overdisplacement of the first-stage, cement. 5
The time for the free-falling plug to reach the tool must
be estimated because there will be no surface indication
when it lands. Many factors, including the viscosity and
density of the fluid in the casing and large deviations of
the hole from vertical, will affect the plug's falling rate
and must be considered when estimating waiting time. A
good rule of thumb is to allow 1 minute for each 200 to
400 ft of depth. The maximum deviation that the plug can

reasonably be expected to fall is about 30. Deviation


greater than 30 will probably cause the plug to hang up
at a collar, thus requiring the plug to be pushed to the
tool by a wireline sinker bar or workstring. (See Fig.
6.9A.)
The displacement stage-cementing method is used when
the cement is to be placed in the entire annulus from the
bottom of the casing up to or above the stage tool (Fig.
6.9B). The displacement method is often used in deep or
deviated holes in which too much time is needed for a
free-falling plug to reach the tool. Fluid volumes must
be accurately calculated and carefully measured to prevent overdisplacement or underdisplacement of the first
stage.

1. Going into hole with flapper valve open while casing is


filling.
2. Casing in position. Flapper valve closed. Fillup tube and
ball pumped out. Setting ball falling.
3. Packer set. Setting ball on valve seat. Cementing under
way.
4. Job completed. Latch-down plug latched in baffle.
Fig. 6.8Formation packer shoeflapper-valve type.6

CEMENTING

74

CLOSING
PLUG

CLOSING
PLUG

OPENING
FREE FALL
PLUG
OPENING
PLUG
SHUTOFF
PLUG
BY-PASS
PLUG

132
SHUTOFF
BAFFLE

BY-PASS
BAFFLE

Fig. 6.9AMultiple-stage cementing tool with free-falling


plug. 5

Fig. 6.9BMultiple-stage cementing tool with displacement plug. 5

Two-stage cementing is the most widely used multiplestage cementing technique. However, when a cement slurry must be distributed over a long column and hole conditions will not allow circulation in one or two stages,
a three-stage method can be used. The same steps are involved as in the two-stage methods, except that there is
an additional stage.

Plug containers are equipped with valves and connections for attaching cementing lines for circulation and displacement. The cement usually falls down the casing on
a vacuum before the plug is released; therefore, displacing fluid can be siphoned into the casing below the top
plug if the valve to the supply source is not kept closed.
Because the fluid can be siphoned through the cementing
pump, the valve should not be opened until the top plug
has been released. 7 For rotation, swivels between the collar and the plug container make it possible to rotate while
the casing is suspended by the rotary table slips. Unions
permit fast connection of the plug container to the casing
when the last joint is landed so that circulation can be started immediately.
For ease of operation, the cementing head should be
as near the level of the rig floor as possible. A typical
plug container (Fig. 6.10) allows a bottom plug to be inserted through the container into the casing ahead of the
cement slurry. The top plug is loaded into the plug container, where it rests on a support bar. It is released by
retracting the support bar after the cement is mixed. A
lever on some types of plug containers indicates the passage of the plug as it leaves the container.

6.5 Plug Containers and Cementing Plugs


Plug Containers. Plug containers hold the top and bottom cementing plugs that are released ahead of and behind the cement slurry. There are two types of containers.
One of them is the quick-change plug container, through
which cement plugs may be inserted directly into the
casing before and after the cementing operation. The other
is the continuous cementing head, which holds one or two
plugs that may be loaded before the cement slurry is
mixed. During the cementing operations, plugs can be
released from the container as required without interrupting the pumping.

WIPER
PLUG

Fig. 6.10Continuous-head plug container. 5

Cementing Plugs. Unless a well is drilled with air or gas,


the casing and hole are usually filled with drilling fluid
before cementing. To minimize contamination of the interface between the mud and the cement in the casing,
a bottom plug is pumped ahead of the cement slurry. This
plug wipes the mud from the casing wall as it moves down
the pipe. When it reaches the float collar, differential pressure ruptures a diaphragm on top of the plug, allowing
the cement slurry to flow through the plug and the floating equipment and up the annular space between the pipe
and the hole (see Fig. 6.2). The top cementing plug is
landed at the float collar or float shoe. It keeps the displacement fluid from channeling with and contaminating
the cement slurry and causes a pressure buildup in the
pipe.
Although top and bottom plugs are similar in outward
appearance (Fig. 6.11), their internal structures are different. The top plug, with its drillable insert and rubber
wipers, is built to withstand the force of the cement
column and displacement fluid and to provide dependable sealing or shutoff when it lands on a collar, baffle

75

SURFACE AND SUBSURFACE CASING EQUIPMENT

plate, or float shoe. 8 The bottom plug is fitted with a diaphragm in its top that will rupture at about 200 to 400
psi, thereby allowing the cement to be pumped through
floating equipment, down the casing, and into the anthe
nula r space. The burst pressure of the diaphragm is high
enough to prevent premature rupture before the plug
lands. The bottom plug is usually molded out of a different color so that the top plug may be readily distinguished
from the bottom plug. For cable tool operations, plugs
are made with plastic inserts to reduce drilling time.
There are times when a bottom plug is not desired. In
these cases, water or chemical flush should precede the
cement slurry to clean the casing of the mud solids. This
is not, as effective as the mechanical wiping action of the
bottom plug, but it will reduce the amount of contaminated slurry. The top plug follows the cement slurry, wiping it from the casing wall.
Although the conventional wiper plugs are the most
widely used (Fig. 6.11), there are other designs available for primary cementing: balls, wooden plugs, subsea
plugs, and tear-drop or latch-down devices such as those
shown in Fig. 6.12. 59 The latch-down casing plug (Fig.
6.3) and baffle may be used with most conventional floating equipment but commonly they are used in smalldiameter tubing for inner-string cementing. This type of
plug system, supplementing the float valve, prevents fluid
from re-entering the casing string. When the cement has
all been pumped, the latch-down plug permits surface
pressure to be released immediately, and also prevents
the cement and plug from being backed up into the casing
by air compressed below the plug. If completions are
made fairly close to the float collar, the latch-down plug
system eliminates the need to drill out the cement.
Subsea completions and conventional liner jobs can be
cemented with the standard two-plug cementing techniques (Fig. 6.13). They require the cement slurry to be
pumped through a string of drillpipe that is smaller than
the casing string being cemented. The downhole release
system can wipe both the drillpipe and the casing and can
separate the cement slurry and displacing fluid.

MOLDED
RUBBER

DIAPHRAGM
MOLDED_
RUBBER
CAST
ALUMINUM
INSERT
5W
BOTTOM
PLUG

CAST
ALUMINUM
REINFORCING
PLATE
5W
TOP PLUG

Fig. 6.11Conventional cementing wiper plugs. Left


five-wiper bottom plug; rightfive-wiper top plug. 5

The downhole release plugs are attached to an installation tool in the top of the casing to be cemented. The bottom plug is fastened to the top plug, which, in turn, is
fastened to the installation tool. These tools use a ball or
a releasing plug to release the bottom plug from the top
plug by pressuring to a predetermined amount and shearing some pins. This allows the bottom plug to be pumped
ahead of the cement slurry while wiping mud solids off
the casing and separating the cement slurry from the wellbore fluid. A top-plug-releasing dart is pumped behind
the cement slurry to separate the cement and displacing
fluid in the drillpipe. The top-plug-releasing dart will latch

Displacing
Fluid
Latch Down
Plug
emem
Ocean Floor

Latch Down
Plug
Weighted
Ball

Top Plug

Bottom
Plug
Float Shoe o
Float Collar

HANGING
OFF CASING
Fig. 6.12Latch-down tubing plugs. 5

DISPLACING
CEMENT

TOP PLUG
LANDED

Fig. 6.13Subsea cementing plugs.5

76

CEMENTING

CEMENTING PLUGS

Material Constructed 01

Rubber Aluminum

Oownhole Release

Top Plug

Bottom Plug

Rubber Plastic

Conventional

Top Plug

Bottom Plug

Fig. 6.14Types of cementing plugs.6

6.6 Casing Centralizers

CENTRALIZER

/0D

Fig. 6.15Casing contact with hole, showing need for


centralizers. 12

HOLE DEVIATION, degrees

50
SMALL CASING (4-1/2-6-5/8 in )
AVERAGE (7-8-5/8 in.)

40
30

LARGE CASING (9-5/8-10-3/4 in.)


20
10
0

20

40

60

80

100

120

CENTRALIZER SPACING, feet


MAXIMUM
Fig. 6.16Spacing of centralizers in deviated holes. 13

into the top wiper plug in the casing. A predetermined


amount of pressure will release the top wiper plug, which
is then pumped down as a solid plug through the casing
behind the cement slurry. When the top plug lands on the
bottom plug, a pressure increase is indicated at the surface because no fluid can be pumped through the floating
equipment (Fig. 6.14).

The uniformity of the cement sheath around the pipe determines to a great extent the effectiveness of the seal between the wellbore and the casing. Since holes are rarely
straight, the pipe will generally be in contact with the wall
of the hole at several places.2,10-12 (See Fig. 6.15.) Hole
deviation may vary from zero toin offshore directional
holesas much as 70 to 80. Such severe deviation will
greatly influence the number and spacing of centralizers.
(See Fig. 6.16.)
A great deal of effort has been expended to determine
the relative success of running casing strings with and
without centralizers. Although authors differ about the
proper approach to an ideal cement job, they agree unanimously that success hinges on the proper centralization
of casing. 2,12,13 Centralizers are among the few mechanical aids covered by API specifications. 14
When properly installed in gauge sections of a hole,
centralizers (1) prevent drag while pipe is run into the
hole, (2) center the casing in the wellbore, (3) minimize
differential sticking, and thus help to equalize hydrostatic
pressure in the annulus, and (4) reduce channeling and
aid in mud removal.
Two general types of centralizers are spring-bow and
rigid. The spring-bow type has a greater ability to provide a standoff where the borehole is enlarged. The rigid
type provides a more positive standoff where the borehole is to be gauged. Special close-tolerance centralizers
may be used on the liners. The important design considerations are positioning, method of installation, and
spacing.
Centralizers should be positioned on the casing (1)
through intervals requiring effective cementing, (2) on the
casing adjacent to (and sometimes passing through) the
intervals where differential-sticking is a hazard, and (3)
occasionally on the casing passing through doglegs where
key seats may exist. 15'16
Effective cementing is important through the production intervals and around the lower joints of the surface
and intermediate casing strings to minimize the likelihood
of joint loss.
The centralizers are held in their relative position on
the casing by either the casing collars or mechanical stop
collars. The restraining device (collar or stop collar)
should always be located within the bow-spring-type centralizer so the centralizer will be pullednot pushed
into the hole. Therefore, the bow-spring-type centralizer
should not be allowed to ride free on a casing joint. 15'17

77

SURFACE AND SUBSURFACE CASING EQUIPMENT

casing attachments should be installed or fastened


toAll
the casing by some method, depending on the typei.e., solid body, split body, or hinged. If they are not installed over a casing collar, then a clamp must be used
to secure or limit the travel of the various casing attachments.
There are a number of different types of clamps. One
type is simply a friction clamp that uses a set screw to
keep the clamp from sliding. Another type uses spiral pins
driven between the clamp and the casing to supply the
holding force (Fig. 6.17). Others have dogs (or teeth) on
the inside that actually bite into the casing. Any clamp
that might scar the surface of the casing could be considered unusable where corrosion problems exist.
Most service companies, as well as the API, publish
tables on the proper placement of centralizers, based
on casing load, hole size, casing size, and hole de4,5,14,18
viation.
One of the little-emphasized benefits of centralizers is
that they reduce pipe sticking caused by pressure differentials.11 The force holding casing against a permeable
section in the hole is proportional to the pressure differential across the pipe and to the area of the pipe in contact with the wellbore isolated from the hydrostatic
pressure by thickened mud cake.
The design of centralizers varies considerably, depending on the purpose and the vendor (Fig. 6.18). 4,5,18 For
this reason, the API specifications cover minimum performance requirements for standard and close-tolerance
spring-bow casing centralizers. They are not applicable
to rigid or positive centralizers.
Definitions in the API specifications cover starting
force, running force, and other related factors. 14 The
starting force is the maximum force required to start a
centralizer into the previously run casing. The maximum
starting force for any centralizer should be less than the
weight of 40 ft of medium-weight casing (see Table 6.1).
The maximum starting force should be determined for a
centralizer in its new, fully assembled condition as when
delivered to the end user-i.e., before the bow-springs

Fig. 6.17-Types of casing-centralizer attachments.

Fig. 6.18-Types of casing centralizers.

TABLE 6.1-API SPECIFICATIONS FOR CASING CENTRALIZERS 14

Casing Size
in.
31/2"
4*
41/2
5
51/2
6%
7
7%
8%
9%
103/4
113/4
13%
16
185/8
20

MediumWeight Casing

Minimum
Restoring Force
at 0.67 Standoff
Ratio

Maximum Starting
Force

mm

Ibm/ft

kg/m

lbf

Ibf

89
102
114
127
140
168
178
194
219
244
273
298
340
406
473
508

9.91*
11.34
11.6
13.0
15.5
24.0
26.0
26.4
36.0
40.0
51.0
54.0
61.0
65.0
87.5
94.0

14.8
16.9
17.3
19.4
23.1
35.7
38.7
39.3
53.6
59.6
76.0
80.4
90.8
96.8
130.3
140.0

396
454
464
520
620
960
1,040
1,056
1,440
1,600
1,020
1,080
1,220
1,300
1,750
1,880

1761
2019
2064
2313
2758
4270
4626
4697
6405
7117
4537
4804
5427
5783
7784
8363

396
454
464
520
620
960
1,040
1,056
1,440
1,600
2,040
2,160
2,440
2,600
3,500
3,760

'Liner sizes and plain-end weights.

1761
2019
2064
2313
2758
4270
4626
4697
6405
7117
9074
9608
10853
11565
15569
16725

78

CEMENTING
RF > 2 W sin 30 (AT STANDOFF RATIO OF 0.67)

SF W

SFSTARTING FORCE, lbf


WWEIGHT OF 40 ft
MEDIUM WEIGHT CASING
TEST POSITIONS
Fig. 6.19A API Standard 10 D starting force test. 14

are subjected to "permanent set. " The maximum allowable starting force applies to the smallest hole size specified for a centralizer (Fig. 6.19A).
The running force is the maximum force required to
move a centralizer through the previously run casing. The
running force is proportional to and always equal to or
less than the starting force. It is a practical value that gives
the maximum "running drag" produced by a centralizer
in the smallest specified hole size.
The permanent set is the attainment by the centralizer
of a constant bow height of the bow-springs after repeated flexing of the bow-springs. A permanent set is considered established according to the API if the bow height
remains constant after each spring has been flattened 12
times. The requirement to establish the permanent set of
the bow springs before restoring-force data are measured
simulates the running of the centralizer through borehole
sections.
If the springs do not continue to deflect after three times
the minimum restoring force is applied to the outer pipe
during the starting-force and running-force tests, the centralizer is defined as flattened.
The annular clearance is the radial distance between the
casing OD and wellbore diameter when true centralization of the casing in the wellbore exists.
The standoff is the smallest radial distance between the
casing OD and wellbore diameter when true centralization of the casing in the wellbore does not exist.

0i

1
;,"

_./
4'

Fig. 6.20Types of rotating scratchers.

RF = MINIMUM RESTORING FORCE


W= WEIGHT OF 40 ft MEDIUM
WEIGHT CASING
2 = DOGLEG COMPENSATING
FACTOR (ONLY FROM
4-1/2 in. 9-5/8 in.)

Fig. 6.19BAPI Standard 10 D restoring force test. Y4

The restoring force is the force exerted by a centralizer against the casing to keep it away from the borehole
wall. The restoring force required from a centralizer to
maintain adequate standoff is small in a vertical hole but
substantial for the same centralizer in a deviated hole.
Field observations indicate hole deviation variations
from 0 to about 60 . Therefore, an average deviation of
30 is used by the API to calculate the restoring force
requirements (see Fig. 6.19B).

6.7 Casing Scratchers


Scratchers, or wall cleaners, are devices that attach to the
casing to remove loose filter cake from the wellbore. They
are most effective when used while the cement is being
pumped. Scratchers, like centralizers, help to distribute
the cement around the casing. There are two general types
of scratchersthose that are used when the casing is rotated (Fig. 6.20), and those that are used when the casing
is reciprocated (Fig. 6.21).
The rotating scratcher is either welded to the casing or
attached with limit clamps. 4,5,18 The scratcher claws are
high-strength steel wires with angled ends that cut and
remove the mud cake during rotation. Thd claws may have
a coil spring at the base to reduce breaking or bending
when the casing is run into the hole. When the pipe must
be set at a precise depth, rotating scratchers should be
used, but there must be assurance that the pipe can be
freely rotated. Because rotating scratchers are damaged
by excessive torque on the casing, they are not generally
used where the risk of excessive torque is high, such as
in deep or deviated wells.
Reciprocating scratchers, also constructed of steel wires
or cables, are installed on the casing with either an integral or a separate clamping device. When the desired
depth is reached, reciprocating the casing (that is, working it up and down) cleans the wellbore on the upstroke
by removing mud and filter cake. Reciprocating scratchers are the more effective kind where there is no depth
limitation in setting casing and where the pipe can be either
rotated or reciprocated after it is landed.

`..

6.8 Special Equipment


Bridge plugs are devices that are set in open hole or casing
as temporary, retrievable plugs or permanent, drillable

79

SURFACE AND SUBSURFACE CASING EQUIPMENT

Fig. 6.21Types of reciprocating scratchers.

Fig. 6.22Cementing baskets.

plugs. They cannot be pumped through and are used to


prevent fluid or gas from moving in the wellbore. Bridge
plugs are also used to (1) isolate a lower zone while an
upper section is being tested; (2) establish a bridge above
or below a perforated section that is to be squeezed,
cemented, or fractured; (3) provide a pressure seal for
casing that is to be tested or for wells that are to be abandoned; (4) seal off zones to be abandoned to allow the
upper casing to be recovered; and (5) plug casing while
surface equipment is being repaired.
Cement baskets and external packers (Figs. 6.22 and
6.23) are used with casing or liner at points where porous
or weak formations require help in supporting the cement
column until it takes its initial set. Baskets may be installed
by slipping them over the casing, using either the collars
or limit clamps to hold them in place. 5 External packers are placed in the casing string as it is run in the well.
They are expanded before cementing begins. 4

EXTERNAL PACKERS
COMBINED WITH
FLOAT FLOAT STAGE
SHOE COLLAR COLLAR
Fig. 6.23External casing packer.

80

CEMENTING
TABLE 6.2DIGEST OF CEMENTING EQUIPMENT AND MECHANICAL AIDS
Equipment

Floating Equipment
Guide shoes
Float collars

Automatic Fill-up Equipment


Automatic fill-up float shoes
and collars
Differential fill-up float
shoes and collars
Formation Packer Tools
Formation packer shoes

Function or Application
To guide casing into well.
To minimize derrick strain.
To prevent cement flowback.
To create pressure differentials to
improve bond.
To catch cementing plugs.

First joint of casing.

Same as those of ordinary float shoes and


collars; also to control hydrostatic
pressure in annulus while casing is
being run.

Same as for ordinary float shoes and collars,

To protect lower zones by expanding


during cementing.

First joint of casing.

Formation packer collars


Stage-Cementing Tools
Two-stage tools
Three-stage tools
Plug Containers
Quick-change containers
Continuous cementing
heads
Cementing Plugs
Top and bottom wipe plugs
Ball plugs
Latch-down plugs
Casing Centralizers
Various types

Scratchers (Wall Cleaners)


Rotating scratchers
Reciprocating scratchers

Bridge Plugs
Wireline bridge plugs
Tubing bridge plugs
Special Equipment
Cementing baskets and
external packers

Placement

One joint above shoe in wells less than 6,000 ft


deep; two to three joints above shoe in wells
deeper than 6,000 ft.

As hole requirements dictate.


To cement two or more sections in
separate stages.

Based on critical zones and formation fracture


gradients.

To hold cementing plugs above casing


string until plugs are released.

To joint of casing at surface of well.

To act as a mechanical spacer between


mud and cement (bottom plug) and
between cement and displacement fluid
(top plug).

Between well fluids and cement.

To center casing in hole or provide


minimum standoff to improve
distribution of cement in annulus and
prevent differential sticking.

In a straight hole: one per joint through and 200


ft above and below pay zones; one per every
three joints in open hole to be cemented.
In a crooked hole: variable, depending on hole
deviation.

To remove mudcake and circulatable


mud from welibore.
To aid in creating turbulence.
To improve cement bond.

Through producing formations and 50 to 100 ft


above. (Pipe should be rotated 15 to 20
rev/min).
Same as for rotating scratchers. (Pipe should
be reciprocated 10 to 15 ft off bottom.)

To plug permanently or temporarily in


open hole or casing.

In well on wireline, on tubing, or below


retrievable squeeze packers.

In setting casing or liner, to help weak


formations support the cement column
until it sets.

Below stage tools or where weak formations


exist down hole.

6.9 Drilling Floating Equipment in


Casing Shoe Joints
While most contractors and operators select a bit to drill
the casing shoe joint so that several hundred feet of formation below the shoe can be drilled before tripping for
a bit change, certain types of bits do a better job of drilling the shoe joint than others.
Although rotary drill bits are not designed to drill casing
cement, cementing plugs, and floating equipment, the best
penetration rates appear to be obtained from a three-cone,
long-milled-tooth rotary bit without webs or "T" bars
and made for medium to soft formations. The chisel action generated by this bit is best for drilling these types
of materials. In a hard formation, milled-tooth and button bits may not provide this chiseling action and, thus,
are less efficient at removing the shoe joint materials.

Generally, the driller is the best judge of the proper


weight and rev/min for the fastest penetration rate, but
the bit company representative can give the best advice
on the selection of the bit and drilling techniques for a
particular situation. Tests have shown that 40 to 60
rev/min, with approximately 2,000 to 3,000 lbm per inch
of bit diameter and sufficient pump rate to circulate cuttings without decreasing bit weights on the target, give
the best results. A pump circulation rate of 40 gal/min
per inch of bit diameter will remove most of the drilled
material rapidly from the bottomhole and prevent bit
flounder. A minimum hydraulic horsepower (hhp/sq in.)
of 2.0 is recommended.
The suggested procedure for the insert float valve is
somewhat different and includes "approximately 40
rev/min with 3,000 to 5,000 lbm per inch of bit diameter."

81

SURFACE AND SUBSURFACE CASING EQUIPMENT

CASING ATTACHMENTS

1
Bow Type

Cement Baskets

Centralizers

Turbulence
Type

Rigid Slim
Hole Type

Metal Petal

Metal Staves
With Liner

Scratchers

Rotation

Reciprocation

Clamps

Hammer-Up

Bolt Up

Fig. 6.24-Casing attachments. 6

A previous study 6 found that drilling with a high


rev/min and large drill collars is the major cause of shoe
joint failure. Therefore, because the lower rev/min is better for drilling the shoe joint, it is recommended that the
lower rev/min be used.
Occasionally raising and lowering the bit while continuing circulation and rotation will help clear debris from
the bit. Bit speed and weight should not be increased once
the bit is raised and then lowered.
The key to a successful drilling out of the shoe joint
is careful attention to the penetration rate. If at any time
the penetration rate decreases, then a different procedure
should be tried. This can range from changing speed, bit
weight, or pump rate to raising the bit to clear debris,
as well as retrieving a bit if evidence shows that it is severely worn.
6.10 Summary
Table 6.2 and Fig. 6.24 summarize the surface and subsurface casing accessories used in cementing.
References
1. Cannon, G.E.: "Improvements in Cementing Practices and the Need
for Uniform Cementing Regulations," Drill. and Prod. Prac. , API
(1948) 126-33; Pet. Eng. (May 1949) B42.
2. Teplitz, A.J. and Hassebroek, W.E.: "An Investigation of Oil Well
Cementing," Drill. and Prod. Proc. , API (1946) 76-101; Pet. Eng.
Annual (1946) 444.
3. Hilton, A.G.: "Mechanical Aids and Practices for the Improvement of Primary Cementing," Oil-Well Cementing Practices in the
United States, API, New York City (1959) 123.

4. Technical Sales Catalog, Baker Oil Tools, Inc., Houston (1983).


5. Technical Service Catalog No. 42, Halliburton Services, Duncan,
OK (1985).
6. Training Literature: Fundamentals of Cementing Practices,
Halliburton Energy Inst., Duncan, OK.
7. Beirute, R.M.: "The Phenomenon of Free Fall During Primary
Cementing," paper SPE 13045 presented at the 1984 SPE Annual
Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, Sept. 16-19.
8. Owsley, W.D.: "Improved Casing Cementing Practices in the
United States," Oil and Gas J. (Dec. 15, 1949) 76.
9. Technical Sales Catalog, BJ Services, Arlington, TX (1983).
10. Craft, B.C. and Hawkins, M.F.: Applied Petroleum Reservoir Engineering, Prentice-Hall, Inc., Englewood Cliffs, NJ (1959) 319.
11. Melmick, W.E. and Longley, A.J.: "Pressure-Differential Sticking
of Drill Pipe and How It Can Be Avoided or Relieved," Drill. and
Prod. Prac., API (1957) 55-61.
12. Goins, W.C. Jr.: "Selected Items of Interest in Drilling Technology," J. Pet. Tech. (July 1971) 857-62.
13. Carter, L.G., Cook, C., and Snelson, L.: "Cementing Research
in Directional Gas Well Completions," paper SPE 4313 presented
at the 1973 SPE European Petroleum Conference, London, April
2-3.
14. "Casing Centralizers," API Spec. 10D, API, Dallas, first edition
(April 1971); second edition (Feb. 1973); third edition (1986).
15. Lee, H.K., Smith, R.C., and Tighe, R.E.: "Optimal Spacing for
Casing Centralizers," paper SPE 13043 presented at the 1984 SPE
Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, Sept. 16-19.
16. Myers, G.M. and Sutko, A.A.: "The Development of a Method
for Calculating the Forces on Casing Centralizers," paper presented
at the 1968 API Mid-Continent Meeting, Amarillo, TX, April 3-5.
17. Suman, G.O. Jr. and Ellis, R.C.: "Cementing Oil and Gas Wells:
Part 5-Guidelines for Downhole Equipment Use, Stage Cementing Methods, New Concepts for Cementing Large Diameter
Casing," World Oil's Cementing Handbook, Gulf Publishing Co.,
Houston (1977).
18. Well Completion Service and Equipment Catalog, B&W
Incorporated, Houston (1983).

Chapter 7

Primary Cementing

7.1 Introduction
The engineering and economic considerations of a primary
cementing job cannot be overemphasized. A poor cementing job can result in a failure to isolate zones and can be
very costly in the productive life of any well. Failure to
isolate between producing zones can lead to (1) ineffective
stimulation treatments, (2) improper reservoir evaluation,
(3) annular communication with unwanted well fluids,
(4) lifting of excessive well fluids, and (5) accumulation
of gas in the annulus.
In some wells, corrosion failures, which do not show
up until the later stages of production, are a result of improper cementing. Corrosion holes in the pipe can be
repaired only by expensive and possibly damaging
workovers.
A number of factors contribute to cement failures. Table
7.1 lists some practices followed in the displacement period that are generally associated with poor cement jobs. 1-3

7.2 Considerations in Planning a


Cementing Job
Many factors determine the success or failure of a primary
cementing operation. Even a simple casing job can become complex, so it should be properly planned. Items
to consider are listed in Table 7.2.
Selection of Cement To Suit Well Requirements. Cement manufactured to API depth and temperature requirements may be purchased in most oil-producing areas of
the world. Table 2.5 and Figs. 4.7 and 7.1 show the conditions to which the various API classes of cement apply.
In 1948 and 1965, API conducted surveys to establish
the basis of cement testing conditions required for 90%
of primary cementing operations. 4 The survey reflects
the volume of cement, mixing rate, displacement rate, and
cementing time required to complete most primary cementing jobs (see Table 7.3).

The volume of cement required for a specific fill-up


on a casing job should be based on field experience and
regulatory requirements. In the absence of specific guides,
a volume equal to 1.5 times the caliper survey volume
should be used. Caliper logs may be necessary to determine hole enlargements and the proper location of centralizers or scratchers to obtain maximum mud displacement. Although regulations or hole conditions may dictate the fill-up requirements for a given cementing operation, it is always desirable to have a minimum of 300
to 500 ft of fill-up behind the intermediate and production strings of casing. It is better to use too much cement
than too little, especially where there is a possibility of
mud contamination or dilution.
Once the desired fill-up has been ascertained, the
volume of cement slurry may be calculated from data similar to those in Table 7.4. Cement manufactured to API
requirements will give a recommended slurry yield in
terms of cubic feet per sack on the basis of the amount
of mixing water. 4 The weight of a sack of cement is 94
lbm, except in Canada, where the standard oilfield sack
weighs 36 kg, or 80 lbm, and in certain European countries, where a sack of cement weighs 110 lbm, or 50 kg.
Cement Volumes. The top of cement behind the casing,
or the amount of cement needed to reach a certain point,
may be determined by calculation of the open hole minus
the displacement volume of the pipe. Cementing service
companies publish handbooks that list tables of hole capacity and volume between casing and hole and between
tubing and casing. Volume determinations between pipe
and open hole, on the other hand, may be very inaccurate
because of enlargement of the hole resulting from washout
or of closure resulting from wall-cake buildup. The
volume requirement through an interval of open hole to
be cemented may be estimated by the use of bit gauge

RIMARY CEMENTING
TABLE 7.1FACTORS THAT CONTRIBUTE
TO CEMENTING FAILURES
Type of Failure
Contributing Factor
Premature Setting in Casing
Contaminants in mixing water
Incorrect temperature estimate
Dehydration of cement in annulus
Use of improper cement
Plugged cement shoe or collar
Insufficient retarder
Failure To Bump Plug
Lodging of plug in head
Running of top plug on bottom
No allowance for compression
Incorrect displacement calculations
Incomplete Mixing
Mechanical failure
Insufficient water or pressure
Failure of bulk system
Gas Leakage in Annulus
Insufficient hydrostatic head
Gelation at cement/mud interface
Failure of cement to cover gas sands
Cement dehydration
Channeling
Contact of pipe with formation
Poor mud properties (high plastic viscosity
and high yield point)
Failure to move pipe
Low displacement rates
Hole enlargement
Too-Rapid Setting of Cement
Improper water ratio
Incorrect temperature assumption
Mechanical failures
Wrong cement or additives for well
conditions
Hot mixing water
Slurry allowed to remain static to perform
rig operation
Improper choice of mud/cement spacers

iameter plus an experience factor for enlarged hole. Even


ihen a caliper survey is available, additional cement slury may be required to obtain complete fill because of fluid
)ss by filtration. This excess factor varies with local field
onditions, drilling methods, types of drilling fluid, and
dmixes used with the cement.
A rule-of-thumb method for calculating the capacity of
n open hole is the square of the diameter in inches, the
esult being the number of barrels per 1,000 ft. For exmple, the volume capacity of a 10-in. hole is approximately 100 bbl/1,000 ft. The method may be extended
D calculate volume between the hole and the casing by
multiplying the casing diameter times itself and subtracting
his number from the figure obtained for hole capacity.
or example, 7-in.-OD casing will displace 49 bbl (7 x7)
ler 1,000 ft. That figure subtracted from 100 bbl for 1,000
t in a 10-in.-diameter hole will equal 51 bbl for 1,000
t of annular space. Approximations are useful for openople determinations because most drilled holes are not true
;auge, as discussed above, but are enlarged because of
he bit running slightly off center, hole washout, and
,loughing shale. When the diameter-squared method is

83
TABLE 7.2ITEMS TO CONSIDER IN PLANNING FOR
PRIMARY CEMENTING
Area

Factors of Influence

Wellbore
Diameter, depth, temperature, deviation,
formation properties
Drilling Fluid
Type, properties, weight, compatibility with
cement
Casing
Design, size of thread, setting depth, floating
equipment, centralizers, scratchers, stage
tools
Rig Operations
Time and rate of placing casing, circulation
time before cementing
Cementing Composition
Type, volume, weight, properties, additives,
mixing, pretesting of well blend with field
water
Mixing and Pumping Units
Type of mixer, cementing head, plugs,
spacers, movement during cementing,
displacing fluids
Personnel
Responsibilities of involved parties

TABLE 7.3RESULTS OF 1948 AND 1965 API


SURVEYS OF CASING CEMENTING CONDITIONS

Slurry volume, cu ft
Mixing rate, cu ft/min
Displacement rate,
cu ft/min
Cementing time, minutes

DEPTH

STATIC
TEMP

SURFACE
2,000
4,000
6,000
8,000
10,000
12,000
14,000
16,000

80F
110F
140F
170F
200F
230F
260F
290F
320F

At Well Depth
of 4,000 ft
1965
1948
330
704
32
18.3
50
37

31
41

At Well Depth
of 10,000 ft
1965
1948
1,186
330
33
18.3
50
65

57
93

A B C G H

X RETARDED AS REQUIRED
Fig. 7.1Depth ranges for API classes of oilwell cements.

CEMENT

84

Fig. 7.3-Land-based bulk storage and blending plat

Fig. 7.2-Bulk cement rail transports.

used, a slightly larger diameter than the bit or casing size


should be used-i.e., the diameter should be rounded to
the nearest whole inch larger.
The calculated top of cement is not a precise figure because exact fill-up is seldom obtained. Calculated tops of
cement are more applicable in hard-rock areas where hole
conditions are more predictable than in the gulf coast and
similar areas. Where there are numerous zones of high
permeability, filtration loss will be considerable. Reduction of slurry water loss by the use of proper additives
results in higher fill-up per sack. Proper selection of the
amount of excess cement to use depends on the reliability
of hole volume data and earlier experience. Usually 15

to 25 % excess cement is used when a caliper log is av


able; this amount should be raised to 50 to 100 % w
the true hole diameter is not known.
Bulk Handling and Storage. In most areas of the wo:
oilwell cement is handled in bulk. With such a systf
compositions can be mixed to suit any well conditil
At the bulk blending stations, cement is moved pn
matically at 30- to 40-psi air pressure into weather-ti
bins or tanks. For a specific cementing job, the dry
gredients are blended and loaded into bulk transport u
of about 300-cu-ft capacity. Water-borne vessels with
pneumatic pressure system may be equipped with ti

TABLE 7.4-YIELD OF TYPICAL CEMENT SLURRY

Weight of cement: 94 Ibm/sack.


Curing time: 24 hours.
Curing temperature: 95F at 800 psi.

API Cement
Class A
Class C
Classes D and E
Class G
Class H
Class G
4% gel
8% gel
12% gel
Class C*
0% gel
4% gel
8% gel
12% gel
Class A
5% salt**
10% salt**
15% salt**
20% salt**
Salt-saturated
*High fineness.
**By weight of water.

Water
(gal/sack)
5.2
6.3
4.3
5.0
4.3

Slurry
Weight
(Ibm/gal)
15.6
14.8
16.4
15.8
16.4

Yield
(cu ft/sack)
1.18
1.32
1.06
1.15
1.06

Compressive
Strength
(psi)
2,430
2,590
2,240
3,000

7.6
10.2
12.8

14.2
13.2
12.6

1.52
1.89
2.26

995
505
380

7.6
10.3
12.4
14.6

14.1
13.1
12.5
12.1

1.50
1.88
2.19
2.51

1,270
785
510
350

5.2
5.2
5.2
5.2
5.2

15.7
15.8
15.9
16.0
16.1

1.19
1.20
1.21
1.22
1.27

3,990
4,150
4,015
3,175
1,030

85

,RIMARY CEMENTING

Fig. 7.4Aircraft bulk units for use in remote areas.

)wn weighing and blending plants, or they may obtain


weighed and blended materials from a support vessel or
rom nearby shore stations. (See Figs. 7.2 through 7.5.)
Bulk handling has greatly enhanced both the economics and the technology of cementing. Special compositions can be blended more quickly and easily, and large
jobs are practical that would be impossibly time:.onsuming with sack cement.
When bulk cement is sampled for quality control at the
)lending plant, an inline sampler is usually preferred over
"thief-type" sampler (Fig. 7.6). These inline devices
isually are located between the blending tank and the bulk
ransport unit. Mechanical sampler designs may vary, but
automatic or continuous sampling throughout the job will
;ive a better representation of the cement quality . 5
For high-volume jobs, several field storage bins may
)e required. These bins may be located at the well and
Tiled ahead of time.
Offshore, supplies and pumping equipment must always
be on hand in case of emergency. Bulk materials are
moved pneumatically from supply/service vessels to containers aboard the rig. The rig system then can transfer
these materials back to a supply boat if necessary. Most
rigs use pressurized bulk storage systems that do not depend on gravity feed. They can be placed almost anywhere
and in any position on the rig, and dry bulk materials can
be piped to the cementing equipment at any location.
Discharge pipes from the pressurized containers lead
to a steady-flow separator at the cement mixer, where the
dry materials are separated from the compressed air and
fed into a mixing hopper. The steady-flow separator may
be equipped with scales. Most pressurized storage containers are vertical cylinders with domed heads and conical bottoms. A typical container is 10 ft in diameter and
16 ft high and has a capacity of 820 cu ft. Bulk mud materials are commonly handled by the same type of system.
Water Sources and Supply. On any cementing job site
there must be an "essential volume" of water available.
An essential volume is that amount required to mix the
slurry properly at the desired water/cement ratio, plus an
allowance for pump priming, line testing, and pump
cleanup. The rate at which water is supplied to the mixing

Fig. 7.5Marine bulk cementing and pumping units.

SAMPLE TUBE
EXTENDED

PRODUCT DISCHARGE

AUTOMATIC-PROBE SAMPLER

VALVE

FLOWo-

DISCHARGE
PIPE

T-BEND SAMPLER
COUPLINGS

5" DISCHARGE
PIPE
Fig. 7.6Diverted flow samplertop view.

CEMENTII
140
130
120
110
100
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
0
10
20
30

110
100
90
LLI
CC

80
70

ct

60

CEMENTTEMPERATURE , F

86

0,
50

In warm weather, the temperature of the mixing wat


is important. Water above 100F usually results in a vi
cous slurry with a shorter pumping time. Water tempe
ature must be considered in winter, alsoprimari
because lines may freeze, but also because very cold wat
can significantly retard the set of a slurry. Ideally, ti
cement and water should produce a cement slurry ter
perature between 60 and 90F as it goes into the well (s
Fig. 7.7).
The water source should be fitted with an outlet to whip
the pumping equipment can be connected so that wat
will be quickly available for cementing. Although a pre
sured source is best, high tanks with good gravity fel
are preferred to pits from which the cementing truck mu
run a suction line.

40
40

50

60

70

80

90

100

WATER TEMPERATURE , F

Fig. 7.7Slurry temperature vs. mixing-water and cement/solids temperatures (API Class G cement; water-5.0
gal/sack).

and pumping units will affect and control the rate of mixing of the cement slurry. When these rates are too slow,
the time of pumping may encroach on the time the slurry
starts to set. 6
The water normally available at a drilling well may vary
in quality from reasonably clean and free of soluble chemicals to badly contaminated with silt, organic matter, alkali,
salts, or other impurities. (See Sec. 4.8.) To emphasize
what has already been said, the water for mixing with cement should be the purest available.
The rate of water feed should be based on the number
of sacks of cement to be mixed at the highest expected
rate. If the cementing unit can handle approximately 50
cu ft/min of cement requiring 5.0 gal of water per sack,
then 250 gal/min must be the lowest feed rate from the
water supply. Thus a 1,000-sack job must have 5,000 gal
of water plus an additional 500-gal allowance per cementing unit. An additional 10% should be allowed for differences in approach from operator to operator.

7.3 Considerations During Cementing


Pumping Equipment. Cement pumping units may 1
mounted on a truck, trailer, skid, or water-borne vess
(see Figs. 7.8 through 7.11). They are usually power(
by either internal-combustion engines or electric moto
and are operated intermittently at high pressures and
varying rates. Pumping units must be capable of provii
ing a wide range of pressures and rates to facilitate t1
requirements of modern cementing practices, and yet po
sess the lowest practical weight-to-horsepower ratio
facilitate transportation.
Cementing units are normally equipped with two pox
tive-displacement pumps. On a high-pressure system, oi
pump mixes while the other displaces. On a low-pressu
system, a centrifugal pump mixes, and two positiv
displacement pumps are available for displacement. Fl
recirculating mixing, one centrifugal pump supplies wat
to the mixing jet, and another centrifugal pump recire
lates slurry back through the mixing jet. As with a loti
pressure system, two positive-displacement pumps a
available to pick up the slurry and pump it down the wel
Nearly all cementing pumps are positive-displaceme
and are either duplex double-acting piston pumps
single-acting triplex plunger pumps. Either is satisfactoi
within its design limits. For heavy-duty pumping, triplf
pumps discharge more smoothly and can usually hand
higher horsepower and greater pressure than duplc
pumps.

Fig. 7.9Marine cementing unit carrying bulk cement.


Fig. 7.8Truck-mounted cementing unit with jet system
for mixing and pumping.

87

'RIMARY CEMENTING

Most cementing work involves a maximum pressure of


;ss than 5,000 psi, but pressures as high as 20,000 psi
re not uncommon. Because of widely varying operating
3nditions, the cementing pump and its power train are
esigned for the maximum rather than the average exected pressures.
For a given job, the number of trucks used to mix relent will depend on the volume of cement, well depth,
ad expected pressures. For surface and conductor strings,
ne truck is usually adequate, whereas for intermediate
r production casing, as many as three units may be reaired. On jobs requiring more than 1,000 sacks or where
igh pressures are expected, two or sometimes three mixig trucks are used. A separate mixing system is used for
ach truck, with each unit tied to a common pumping
ianifold. If the pipe is to be reciprocated, the mixing
licks are tied in to a temporary standpipe, which suports a flexible line leading to the cementing head.
Field slurries are usually mixed and pumped into the
asing at the highest feasible rate, which varies from 20
50 sacks/min, depending on the capacity of each mixig unit. As a result, the first sack of cement on a primary
ement job reaches bottomhole conditions rather quick( . 4 (See Table 7.5.)

TABLE 7.5BOTTOMHOLE CIRCULATING CONDITIONS


DURING SQUEEZE AND CASING CEMENTING4
(Basis for API well-simulation test schedules)

2,000

Bottomhole
Static
Temperature
(F)
110

6,000

170

8,000

200

12,000

260

16,000

320

20,000

380

Well
Depth
(ft)

Bottomhole Circulating
Temperature (F)
Casing Squeeze
Liner
91
91
98
(4)*
(4)*
(9)*
113
113
136
(10)
(20)
(10)
125
159
125
(28)
(15)
(15)
172
213
172
(24)
(44)
(24)
271
248
248
(34)
(34)
(60)
340
(75)

*Values in parentheses indicate time in minutes for the first sack of cement
to reach bottomhole conditions

lends the dry cementing composition with the carrier


bid (water), supplying to the wellhead a cementing slurry
,ith predictable properties.
A commonly used mixer is the jet mixer (Fig. 7.12).
t consists of a funnel-shaped hopper, a mixer bowl, a
ischarge line, a mixing tub, and water-supply lines. The
aixer forces a stream of water through a jet and into the
owl, where it mixes with cement from the hopper to form
slurry. The slurry is forced into the discharge line, then
nto the mixing tub, from which it is taken away by the
ementing pumps. Mixers of this type can produce a nornal slurry at a rate of 50 cu ft/min.
Mixing speed is controlled by regulation of the volume
If water forced through the jet and by the amount of cenent fed into the hopper during mixing. To lower the slury weight (increase the water/cement ratio), extra water
.an be supplied to the bowl discharge line through a
lypass line. For some cementing compositions, the size
Ff the jet outlet may have to be changed to control the
'olume and rate of water going through the jet.

Water is supplied to the mixer jet from a pump and


storage tank near the drilling rig. Mixing pressures may
range from 150 (low-pressure system) to 500 psi (highpressure system), depending on the rate of material feed
and the water ratio required.
The recirculating mixer, designed for mixing more uniform homogeneous slurries, is a pressurized jet mixer with
a large tub capacity (see Fig. 7.12). It uses recirculated
slurry and mixing water to partially mix and discharge
the slurry into the tub. Additional shear is provided by
the recirculating pump, and agitation paddles or jets provide additional energy and improve mixing. The result
is a more uniform cement slurry, with a density as high
as 22 lbm/gal, that can be pumped as slowly as 0.5
bbl/min.
Table 7.6 compares mixing rates and slurry densities
for jet mixers and recirculating mixers.
Batch mixing is used to blend a cement slurry at the
surface before it is pumped into the well. The batch mixer
is not part of the cement pumping unit; it is a separate
piece of equipment. The batch mixer is used when a specified volume of cement is required. The mixing tank in

Fig. 7.10Skid-mounted cementing unit.

Fig. 7.11Offshore platform cementing system.

:ement Mixing. The mixing system proportions and

CEMENTING

88

El WATER
DRY CEMENT
ig CEMENT SLURRY
CEMENT HOPPER

BYPASS
LINE

1_.

"111/
ROTARY JET
DRY CEMENT

TUB SCREEN
DISPLACEMENT
PUMP SUCTION

CEMENT SLURRY
Bulk Cement
Control Valve
Bulk Cement
Inlet
kexing Water
Inlet
R/A
Densometer

Down Hole
Side
Slurry to
Displacement
Pumps

Deaerating
Partition
Pre-Mix
Side

Turbine
Agitators

Recirculating
Centrifugal Pump

PREHYDRATOR

TURBINE
AGITATOR
BAFFLES

WATER INLET

BATCH MIXING
TANK
TO DISPLACEMENT
PUMPS

CENTRIFUGAL
PUMP

RECIRCULATING
CEMENT SUCTION

Fig. 7.12Schematic of mixing systems (topjet mixer, middlerecirculating mixer, and bottombatch mixer).

PRIMARY CEMENTING

89

the batch mixer is filled with enough water for a specified amount of cement. The mixing turbine circulates the
water as dry cement is added until the desired slurry consistency and volume are obtained. A prehydrator is used
to prewet the dry cement to prevent dust problems.
Primary disadvantages of a batch mixer are volume limitations and the need to use an additional piece of equipment. However, units with multiple mixing tanks may be
used for continuous cementing to provide precise slurry
consistency and volume (Fig. 7.12).
Density Control. Slurry density should be monitored and
recorded to ensure that the correct water/solids ratio is
maintained. To avoid the effect of aeration, weighing samples should be obtained from a special manifold on the
discharge side of the displacement pump rather than from
the mixing tub. (See Sec. 4.10.)
Cement slurries are usually mixed with less water
toward the end of the job to achieve better strength. This
is especially important with the last volume mixed, because it is placed around the shoe joint.
For mixing densified or heavy-weight slurries to be
pumped at rates of less than 5 bbl/min, a recirculating
mixer produces a more uniform slurry than a standard
jet mixer.
Preflushing. Preflushes, functioning as spacers, minimize
mixing and interfacial gelation in the annulus. They have
various characteristics, depending on the mud system, and
various functions. Some contain additives to thin the mud
and to penetrate and loosen wall cake; some contain abrasive materials to scour the hole; and some have a high
apparent viscosity to remove drilling mud by buoyancy.
Table 7.7 lists some preflushes and the recommended
volumes to be used.
For simple water-based muds, water in sufficient
volume is an excellent wash because it is cheap, easy to
put into turbulence, and has little effect on the setting of
cement. Salt water may lessen the tendency of shales to
swell and slough but may have a detrimental effect on a
freshwater mud. Some mud thinners (quebracho and lignosulfonates) added to water will retard the setting of cement and should be avoided. Fifty to 100 barrels of spacer,
or 750 to 1,000 ft of annular fill, should be used, except
where the hydrostatic head is reduced excessively in highpressure zones. Table 7.8 shows the volumes that are required to achieve annular-fill columns of 300, 500, and
1,000 ft for various casing and hole sizes.

TABLE 7.6RANGES OF MIXING RATES AND


DENSITIES FOR VARIOUS SLURRIES
Jet Mixer

Recirculating Mixer

Mixing
Slurry
Mixing
Slurry
Rate 'Density Rate Density
(bbl/min) (Ibm/gal) (bbl/min) (Ibm/gal)
Densified and
weighted slurries
Neat slurries
High-water ratio
slurries

2 to 5 16 to 20 0 to 8
16 to 22
2 to 8
15 to 17 0 to 10 14 to 18
2 to 14 11 to 15 0 to 14 11 to 15

Diluted Portland or pozzolan cement is an excellent


scavenging preflush because it is easy to put into turbulence and its solid particles erode gelled mud and filter
cake.
Contact Time. Contact time7 is the period of time that
a cement slurry flows past a particular point in the annular space during displacement. Studies indicate that when
turbulent flow is attained, a contact time of 10 minutes
or longer provides excellent mud removal. The volume
of fluid needed to provide a specific contact time is
V1 = (t c )(q d)(5 .615),
where
Vt = volume of fluid (turbulent flow), cu ft,
t, = contact time, minutes,
q d = displacement rate, bbl/min, and
5.615 = cu ft/bbl.
The calculation is simple, because only two readily
available factors are required and the calculation is independent of casing and hole size. The equation holds as
long as all of the fluid passes the point of interest.
Cementing Wiper Plugs. Cementing plugs are highly
recommended to separate mud, cement, and displacing
fluid.6 (See Sec. 6.5.) A bottom plug is used first to wipe
mud from the inner surface of the casing ahead of the cement and to separate mud and cement. A top plug
separates mud and cement and provides shutoff when the
cement is in place. If the bottom plug is omitted, mud
film wiped by the top plug accumulates ahead of the top
plug, as shown in Fig. 7.13.

TABLE 7.7TYPES OF CEMENT AND MUD PREFLUSHES

Preflush
Chemical dispersants (acid-phosphates, silicates,
or emulsions, diesel oil for oil muds)
Thin cement slurries (excessive water with neat
cement)
Guar or HEC added to water or cement

Function

Recommended
Volume

Recommended
Flow
Turbulent

To thin mud

Enough to obtain 750- to


1,000-ft annular fill

To scavenge or scour

30 to 50 bbl slurry; 50 to
150 sack cement

Turbulent

To increase viscosity

Enough to obtain 750- to


1,000-ft annular fill

Plug or laminar

CEMENTING

90

TABLE 7.8VOLUME FLUSH OR SPACER FOR


VARIOUS HOLES AND CASING SIZES

Casing
Size
(in.)

Hole
Size
(in.)

Volume per
Linear
Foot
(gal)

300 ft

500 ft

1,000 ft

13%
103/4
9%
7%
7%
7
51/2
5
41/2

171/2
121/4
121/2
97/s
81/2
83/4
7%
61/2
61/4

5.2
1.4
2.6
1.6
0.6
1.1
1.3
0.7
0.8

37
10
18
11
4
8
9
5
5

62
17
31
19
7
14
16
9
9

124
33
62
38
14
27
31
17
18

Volume (bbl) To Fill


Annulus to Height of

There are times, however, when a bottom plug should


not be used; for example, when the cement contains large
amounts of lost-circulation material, or when the casing
being used is badly rusted or scaled. Under such conditions, a bottom plug could cause bridging and plugging
of the casing.
A cementing manifold is commonly used with a discharge line to the pit for flushing the cement truck. It is
assembled to permit pumping the plug out of the cementing head with the displacing fluid.
When the top plug is to be displaced by mud or water,
the volume of the displacing fluid should be measured at
the cement pumps and compared with the volume measured in the water or mud tanks. Where there is a flowmeter, it can be used to crosscheck. If the top plug does
not "bump" (i.e., seat at the float collar, causing a pressure increase) at the calculated displacement volume, the
pumping should be stopped so that cement slurry will not
be displaced out of the casing.
If casing movement is employed, it should be continued
throughout the mixing cycle. Frequently, movement is
continued while plugs are released and until the top plug
seats (bumps), although it is not uncommon to stop while
either or both plugs are being inserted.

Free Fall of Cements. In most cementing jobs, the wel


is on a vacuum throughout most of the displacement perio(
because heavier fluids, cement slurries, and spacers an
being pumped down the casing on top of a lighter-weigh
mud system. The column of fluids in the casing is free
falling at rates different from the pump rate at the sur
face. This phenomenon is described in Fig. 7.14. Dur
ing the early stages, the free-fall rate accelerates and i
higher than the surface pump rate. This initial accelera
tion may not be detrimental to the mud displacement proc
ess unless the job was designed to be pumped under loN
flow rates because of critical fracture gradients and th
accelerated rate exceeds the calculated maximum designe
rate. 8 Toward the end of the free-fall period (just befor
positive surface pressure is observed), the free-fall rat
decreases and can fall below a minimum desired pum
rate for turbulent flow displacement. This below-minimur
rate also can be detrimental to the job's success wher
a desired flow rate is being followed during the job. Fe
this reason, the effect of free fall should be included i
the design of the overall operation to allow full contrc
of the mud displacement process.
Displacing Fluid Behind Top Plug. Mud is normall
used as the displacing fluid on surface or intermediat
casing, although fresh water may be more desirable i
deeper wells where density is not critical. Other commor
ly used displacing fluids are fresh water, salt water, c
seawater, and sometimes weak acid solutions, dependin
on the completion program. The selection should be aime
at minimizing formation damage and completion time

20
1816-

START TAIL
CEMENT
START LEAD
CEMENT

14-

RETURN
RATE

SHUT-DOWN
DROP PLUG
SLOW TO
CATCH PLUG

PUMP RATE
:

INNER CASING WALL


TOP CEMENTING PLUG
CEMENT SLURRY

BOUNDARY LAYER
OF MUD
ACCUMULATION OF MUDS
CONTAMINATED CEMENT
FROM WIPED-AWAY
BOUNDARY LAYER

FREE FALL
PERIOD

MUD

CEMENT SLURRY

0
60

120

180

TIME (MINUTES)
Fig. 7.13Mud contamination caused by omission of bottom wiper plug. 6

Fig. 7.14Measured surface pump and annulus return


rates. 8

91

pRIMARY CEMENTING

Diesel oil may be used to reduce swabbing time. Water


containing sugar or other retarding additives is sometimes
placed immediately above the top plug in small-diameter
casings to inhibit the setting of any cement that may have
bypassed the top plug.
Cement slurry should be in turbulent flow, provided
the hole is drilled to gauge and there is no danger of excessive .joressure that would break down the formation. 1 '9-11 Lower flow rates, approaching plug flow,
should be used where weak formations are exposed or
hole sections are washed out, or in cementing large
pipe. 12
The velocity of cement slurry inside drillpipe, casing,
or tubing is calculated from
cf

3.056 q
d7

where

D = average displacement velocity inside pipe,

ft/sec,
d1 = pipe ID, in., and
q cf = flow or pumping rate, cu ft/min.
The equation for calculating the velocity of the slurry in
the annulus is

of sticking is indicated by an increase in the difference


between the weight on the upstroke and that on the downstroke, rather than by a weight increase alone.
Whenever possible, the top of the casing should be landed just above the rotary table to save time in attaching
the cementing head and to improve safety.
Flotation Factor in Big Pipe. In running large-diameter
pipe, flotation can become a problem. When pumping is
begun, the pipe will start coming out of the hole if the
pressure exceeds a certain level. To deal with the problem, the pipe should be unchained and the elevators attached to the pipe when the pump is started. As the pipe
comes out of the hole, the pump should be slowed down
(this can be done safely, because circulation is usually established by the time the pipe has risen a few feet). Pump
pressure should be increased gradually to clean the hole;
the pipe should then settle down to its original position.
If the pipe does not go down the hole, it can be raised
and lowered during pumping and worked into place. If
this fails, alternatives are (1) to cement the pipe where
it is, (2) to pull the pipe and run drillpipe and bit to bottom to clean and condition the hole, or (3) to mix mud
to stop the cavings and circulate them from the hole.
Another common practice is to drill the small hole considerably beyond the casing point to form a pocket into
which the cavings can fall.

3.056q cf
Va=

d h2 d o2

where
va = velocity in annulus, ft/sec,
dh = hole diameter, in. , and
do = casing OD, in.
The constant 3.056 changes to 17.157 if q is in bbl/min.
Casing Movement During Cementing. Casing movement significantly affects the successful displacement of
mud. 11,13,14 Ideally, casing should be either reciprocated
or rotated until the top plug reaches bottom. However,
frictional drag, the weight of the pipe, and differential
sticking can restrict or prevent casing movement. Differential stickingoften the most critical factorcan be attributed to (1) the contact area between pipe and mud filter
cake, (2) differential pressure between mud column and
formation, (3) the available pulling force, and (4) the
drilling mud properties.
The sticking coefficient is a function of the mud properties (primarily water loss) and the time that the casing
remains stationary against a permeable formation. Differential sticking can often be eliminated by reducing "stationary time," using a fast cementing-head hookup as soon
as the casing is on bottom.
During cement pumping, casing movement (reciprocation or rotation) should be slow as the cement reaches bottom and faster when the cement is in the annulus and the
top plug bumps. The reciprocation should be on a 2-minute cycle over 15- to 20-ft intervals. Reciprocation causes
high pressure and turbulence on the downstroke of the
casing. If the pipe shows any tendency to stick, it should
be moved near the desired landing point. The likelihood

7.4 Placement Techniques


Most primary cement jobs are performed by pumping the
slurry down the casing and up the annulus; however, there
are modified techniques for special situations. Fig. 7.15
illustrates the following methods of placement.
1. Cementing through casing (normal displacement
technique).
2. Stage cementing (for wells having critical fracture
gradients).
3. Inner-string cementing through tubing (for largediameter pipe).
4. Outside or annulus cementing through tubing (for
surface pipe or large casing).
5. Reverse-circulation cementing (for critical formations). 15
6. Delayed-set cementing (for critical formations and
to improve placement).
7. Multiple-string cementing (for small-diameter
tubing).
Cementing Through Pipe and Casing. Conductor, surface, protection, and production strings are usually
cemented by the single-stage method, which is performed
by pumping cement slurry through the casing shoe and
using top and bottom plugs. There are various types of
heads for continuous cementing, as well as special adaptors for rotating or reciprocating casing.
Stage Cementing. Stage cementing is primary cementing performed in two or three parts or stages. (For more
information, see Sec. 6.4.) It is commonly used in wells
that require a long column of cement and where weak formations are exposed that will not support the hydrostatic
head during cementing.

92

CEMENTII

NORMAL DISPLACEMENT METHOD

OUTSIDE CEMENTING

SURFACE
CASING
TOP
PLUG

INTERMEDIATE
CASING

FLOAT
COLLAR

PRODUCTION
CASING

BOTTOM
PLUG

CEMENT LOST
TO WEAK
ZONE

CENTRALIZER
GUIDE SHOE

TWO STAGE CEMENTING

MULTIPLE STRING CEMENTING

CASING

SECOND
STAGE
STAGE
TOOL

FIRST
STAGE

INNER STRING CEMENTING

DELAYED SET CEMENTING

MUD

TUBING
STRING

DELAYED SETTING
CEMENT WITH FLUID
LOSS CONTROL
SPOTTED IN HOLE

TUBING
CENTRALIZER
TOP PLUG

CASING OR
LINER RUN INTO
UNSET CEMENT
SLURRY

GUIDE
SHOE

REVERSE CIRCULATING CEMENTING

MUD

CEMENT SLURRY
DESIGNED FOR
HOLE CONDITION
WEAK
ZONES
SPECIAL
FLOAT SHOE

Fig. 7.15Methods of placing cement downhole.

PRIMARY CEMENTING

93
TABLE 7.9TYPICAL DELAYED-SET CEMENT SLURRIES

Cement: API Class G.


Water: 10.2 gal/sack.
Bentonite: 8%.
Slurry Weight: 13.1 Ibm/gal.
FiltrationControl Agent
(%)

Static
Temperature
(F)

1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0
1.0

110
125
140
170
200

Percent Retarder To Achieve Minimum Fluidity Time of


30 hours
24 hours
18 hours
12 hours
0.6 (1,090)*
0.6 (1,030)
0.8 ( 860)
0.6 (1,220)
0.8 (1,315)

0.8 (1,030)
0.8 ( 935)
0.8 (1,035)
0.8 (1,350)
0.8 (1,325)

1.0 ( 215)
0.8 ( 420)
0.8 ( 610)
0.8

1.0 (1,220)

1.2 (NS)**
1.0 (NS)
1.0 (NS)
0.8
1.25 (1,125)

*Values in parentheses denote strength (psi) after 3 days of curing

NS =Not set.

One disadvantage of stage cementing is that the casing


cannot be moved (either rotated or reciprocated) after the
first stage. This increases the possibility of channeling and
decreases the probability of removing all of the circulatable mud.
Inner-String Cementing. When large-diameter pipe is
cemented, tubing or drillpipe is commonly used as an inner string to place the cement. This procedure reduces
the cementing time and the volume of cement required
to pump the plug. It avoids having to drill out the great
amount of cement that a large casing would hold if it were
cemented in the conventional manner. The technique uses
modified float, guiding, or baffle equipment, together with
sealing adaptors attached to small-diameter pipe. Cementing through the inner string permits the use of smalldiameter cementing plugs. And where the casing is
equipped with a backpressure valve or latchdown baffle,
the inner string can be disengaged and withdrawn from
the casing as soon as the plug is seated while preparations are made to drill deeper.
Outside or Annulus Cementing. Pumping cement
through tubing or small-diameter pipe run between casings or between the casing and the hole is a method commonly used on conductor or surface casing to bring the
top of the cement to the surface. This is sometimes used
for remedial work.
Casing can suffer damage when gas sands become
charged with high pressure from surrounding wells. In
such instances, the casing may have to be repaired by cementing the annulus between strings through a casinghead
connection.
Reverse-Circulation Cementing. The reverse-circulation
cementing technique involves pumping the slurry down
the annulus and displacing the mud back up through the
casing. 15 It requires that the floating equipment, differential fill-up equipment, and wellhead assembly be modified. The method is used when it is impossible to pump
the cement slurry in turbulent flow without breaking down
the weak zones above the casing shoe. It allows for a wider
range in slurry compositions, so that heavier or more
retarded cement can be placed at the lower portion of
casing and lighter or accelerated cement can be placed
at the top of the annulus. A drawback to this cementing

method is that the end of the cement displacement period


cannot be detected from pump pressure. This difficulty
leads to errors in the calculation of annular volume, required amounts of cement slurry, and volume of mud necessary to achieve complete cement placement. To be
certain that the shoe is properly cemented, an excess of
at least 300 ft of cement must be tolerated in the casing
above the shoe. Caliper surveys should be made before
the casing is run to determine accurately the volume of
cement plus excess to be used. During cement placement,
it is absolutely essential that accurate volumes be known
if overplacement is to be minimized.
Delayed-Set Cementing. Delayed-set cementing is a way
to obtain a more uniform sheath of cement around the
casing than may be possible with conventional
methods. 16 It involves placement of a retarded cement
slurry containing a filtration-control additive in a wellbore before casing is run. The cement is placed by pumping it down the drillpipe and up the annulus. The drillpipe
is then removed from the well, and casing or liner is sealed
at the bottom and lowered into the unset cement slurry.
After the cement slurry is set, the well can be completed
with conventional methods.
This technique has been used in tubingless-completion
wells by placing the slurry down one string and lowering
multiple tubing strings into the unset cement.
When the casing is run into the cement slurry, drilling
mud left in the annulus mixes with the cement slurry.
While this is not highly desirable, it is better than leaving
the drilling mud in the annulus as a channel or mud pocket.
The delayed-set cement slurry allows protracted reciprocation of the casing string, which is more likely to ensure a uniform cement sheath.
A disadvantage is that the cement slurry requires a
somewhat longer waiting-on-cement (WOC) time than do
conventional slurries. This could be expensive if a drilling rig must be kept on location while the cement sets
and gains strength. If the drilling rig can be moved off
location and a workover rig can complete the well, the
cost can be reduced.
Cements used in the delayed-set technique usually contain 6 to 8 % bentonite and dispersant to control filtration
and sufficient retarder to delay setting for 18 to 36 hours.
Table 7.9 gives the amounts of retarder required to
achieve various fluidity times for delayed-set cements.

CEMENTIN(

94

HIGHEST VELOCITY
REGION
OUTER WALL

150VELOCITY LINES

LAMINAR FLOW r INNER WALL

NON NEWTONIAN
DRILLING MUD SYSTEMS

O
LOW RATE

MODERATE RATE

I I PLUG I ISTATIONARY FLUID I

HIGH RATE
SHEAR REGION
FILTRATE

Fig. 7.16Flow of Newtonian and non-Newtonian systems


in an eccentric annulus.17

7.5 Displacement Mechanics in


Primary Cementing
The predominant cause of cementing failure appears to
be channels of gelled mud remaining in the annulus after
the cement is in place. If mud channels are eliminated,
any number of cementing compositions will provide an
effective seal.
In evaluating factors that affect the displacement of
mud, it is necessary to consider the flow pattern in an eccentric annulusi.e., where the pipe is closer to one side
of the hole than the other. Flow velocity in an eccentric
annulus is not uniform, and the highest velocity occurs
in the side of the hole with the largest clearance, as shown
in Fig. 7.16.
If the casing is close to the wall of the hole, it may not
be possible to pump the cement at a rate high enough to
develop uniform flow throughout the entire annulus (Fig.
7.17).
Field studies have shown that the length of time cement
moves past a point in the annulus in turbulent flow is important. 7 If a mud channel is put in motion, even though
its velocity is much lower than that of cement flowing on
the wide side of the annulus, the mud channel, given
enough time, may move above the critical productive
zone. Contact time is not important when the cement is

c>

1000 0
STAND-OFF

7500

STAND-OFF

50.
STAND-OFF

Fig. 7.17Effect of centralization on uniformity of cement


placement. 18

L FILTER CAKE
Fig. 7.18Mud mobility concept.

in laminar flow because the cement apparently does no


exert enough drag stress on the mud to start the mud chan
nel moving.
It is significant that essentially all published mode
studies and work credit the same factors with the success
of primary cementing during this critical displacemen
period. 17-22 There is general agreement that each of the
following factors has a bearing on mud removal.
1. Condition of the drilling fluid (low plastic viscosit)
and low yield point) greatly increases mud displacement
where holes are enlarged.
2. Pipe movement, either rotation or reciprocation, is
a major driving force for mud removal. Pipe movement
with scratchers and/or centralizers substantially improve:
mud displacement where holes are enlarged.
3. Pipe centralization significantly aids mud dis
placement.
4. Flow ratei.e., high displacement ratespromote
mud removal. At equal displacement rates, a thin cemen
slurry in turbulent flow is more effective than a thick ce
ment slurry in laminar flow.
5. Large quantities of displacement fluids (e.g., a space]
fluid) pumped across a given zone (at least 10 minutes
contact time) aid in mud removal if cement is in turbulent flow.
6. Buoyant force is a contributing factor to muc
removal.
7. Spacer fluids that are compatible with the mud anc
cement contribute to mud removal.
Condition of the Drilling Fluid. Model studies revea
that any decrease in viscosity of the drilling fluid increase:
the displacement efficiency. The drilling fluid remova
is affected by two major downhole conditions, namely
the thixotropic properties of the drilling fluid (very close!)
related to the gel strength) and its filter-cake-depositior
characteristics. Haut and Crook22,23 defined a "mud mo
bility factor" that is an inverse function of the filter-cake
characteristics (fluid loss of the mud) and the maximun
gel strength of the mud. It has been demonstrated that a:
the value of this factor increased, by decreasing the filtrate
loss or the 10-minute gel strength, the displacement effi
ciency of the drilling fluid increased dramatically (Figs
7.18 and 7.19).

PRIMARY CEMENTING

95

100

PERCENT MUDREMOVED

20 -

LIGHTWEIGHT MUD 12#/gal


HEAVYWEIGHT MUD 17#/gal

0
10

10'

10'

10'

104

(VELOCITY)2 x MUD MOBILITY FACTOR

No Movement
Efficiency: 65%

Fig. 7.19Velocity times mud mobility factor.

Pipe Movement. Pipe movement, either rotation or


reciprocation, is the second major factor that is advantageous in increasing the displacement efficiency of the drilling fluid and thus improving the primary cementing job.
Pipe rotation appears to be more beneficial when the
casing is severely decentralized. If the pipe is well centralized, reciprocation appears to be the better mode of
pipe movement. Fig. 7.20 illustrates how rotation can improve the cementing job by breaking up the gelled mud
in the annulus. In a wellbore model where there was no
pipe movement, displacement efficiency was only 65%,
while pipe rotation under similar job conditions produced
an efficiency of 99 % mud removal.
Pipe Centralization. The importance of pipe centralization has been recognized since the first cementing studies
were published in 1940. Pipe centralization helps create
a uniform annular flow area and thereby equalizes the
pressure distribution around the pipe; thus the flow
resistance is also evenly distributed. Therefore, in a noncentralized, eccentric annulus, the cement slurry will tend
to flow and thus displace the drilling fluid on the wide
side of the annulus while bypassing the mud on the side
with the smallest clearance. Fig. 7.21 shows a case in
which the casing was highly decentralized (17% standoff),
causing a displacement efficiency of only 45% . When the
casing is more closely centralized, however, as in Fig.
7.21 (72% standoff), the efficiency was raised to 97 %.
Flow Rate. Three types of flow are associated with mud
removal: plug, laminar, and turbulent. Each type of flow
is defined through a dimensionless number called the Reynolds number. Plug flow has a Reynolds number less than
100.
For a typical 15 .6-lbm/gal cement slurry (n =0.30,
K=0.195) in 5'/2-in. casing to remain in plug flow, it must
be pumped at less than 1.3 ft/sec. For the same slurry

Rotation
Efficiency: 99%
Fig. 7.20Mud removal vs. pipe rotation.

to be pumped in plug flow in an annulus (51/2-in. casing


in 77/8-in. hole), it must be pumped at less than 1.5 ft/sec.
For a fluid to be in laminar flow, the Reynolds number
must be between 1,000 and 2,100, and the flow rate
should be between 2 and 7 bbl/min in similar annular conditions.
Reynolds numbers between 2,100 and 3,000 have been
defined as the transition phase between laminar and turbulent flow.
Turbulent flow is defined as having a Reynolds number
in excess of 3,000, and a 15.6-Ibm/gal cement slurry
(n =0 .3 0 , K=0.195) in 51/2-in. casing will be in turbulent
flow at a velocity in excess of 9.7 ft/sec. In an annulus
(51/2-in. casing in 77/8-in. hole), the same slurry must be
pumped at a velocity greater than 11.2 ft/sec to achieve
turbulent flow.

CEMENT

96

Standoff: 17%
Efficiency: 45%

Standoff: 60%
Efficiency: 88%

Standoff: 35%
Efficiency: 77%

Standoff: 72%
Efficiency: 97%

Fig. 7.21Mud removal vs. centralization.

In general, the thinner the slurry, the easier to pump


into turbulent flow, and this is the most desirable flow
regime because of maximum mud removal. Turbulent
flow also has the highest annular velocity. In some hole
conditions, however, turbulent flow is not feasible; therefore, the cement slurry must be designed with the best
possible rheological properties. It is important to pump
the fluid at the highest rate possible but not to compromise
a good cement job just for the sake of achieving turbulent flow.
Most research and field studies have concluded that the
displacement of the circulatable drilling fluid is improved
by increasing the flow rates of the cement slurry (Fig.
7.22). This is initiated by conditioning the drilling mud,
followed by thinning a cement slurry. Both factors make
higher flow rates more achievable, yet in an eccentric annulus (without pipe centralization or movement), thinning

the cement may increase the tendency of the cement slu


to bypass viscous mud in the narrowest part of the annul
Low displacement rates have been used to minimize
amount of contamination at the drilling-fluid/ceme
slurry interface. However, plug flow is not suggestec
a replacement for high-rate displacement, but only as
alternative in cases where other techniques are
practical.
Quantity of Displacement Fluids. When the drilling f
is displaced with cement in turbulent flow, the contact t
seems to have an effect on the mud removal efficier
Contact time is defined as the period of time that a
ticular point in the annular area remains in contact N
the cement slurry. Actual field studies indicate impro
primary cementing jobs when contact times were in
cess of 10 minutes for cement slurries in turbulent fl4

97

pRIMARY CEMENTING

Density Differences. Research findings have noted that


cement/mud density difference is a significant driving
force in obtaining good mud removal) 8 Normally, this
is 1 to 3 lbm/gal in actual practice and does not become
a design factor. Under permeable wellbore conditions, the
cement should be heavier than the mud, but this difference
need not be maximized. More mud removal has been seen
at reduced cement-mud density differences by placing the
cement at higher rates.
Spacer Fluids. A good spacer fluid should (1) adequately
separate and be compatible with all well fluids in contact
with the spacer, (2) remove both mud and inter cake and
protect the formations encountered, and (3) not adversely
affect the properties of the cement slurry or the drilling
fluid. The literature notes from model studies that a lightweight, low-viscosity spacer appeared to improve displacement efficiency by eroding away mud filter cake and
increasing the mobility of the drilling fluid.
Using turbulent flow spacers allows the use of displacement systems that approach a contact time in excess of
10 minutes without compromising the competence of the
cement slurry.
To combat some of the problems that oil-based and invert mud systems have on displacementsuch as leaving
the pipe and formation oil wet and the noncompatibility
with wellbore fluidsspacer systems have been developed
to alleviate these undesirable characteristics. These systems also ease some of the design problems that occur
between the variety of mud systems and the cement slurry.
Through the use of surfactants, turbulent-flow spacer systems have been developed that are equally effective in both
water- and oil-based mud systems.
In a given situation, it may not be possible, or even necessary, to maximize each factor. To some extent, one may
compensate for another. In any case, the most important
of them are mud conditioning, centralization, and pipe
movement. 24,25

7.6 Cementing Multiple Strings


Multiple-casing completions are used when single or conventional completions may not be economically attractive. 26-28 When multiple strings are placed in a well, each
string is usually run independently, and the longest string
is landed first. 29,30 The first string is set in the hanger
and usually is circulated before the second string is run.
In the gulf coast area, it is the practice to circulate down
the first string while running the second string. 31 After
the second string is landed in the hanger, it is circulated
while the third string is run. In areas where lost circulation is known to be a problem, cement may be placed
through the longest casing string. Once the cement fillup has been established, the remainder of the hole is filled
with cement slurry through a shorter string.
Centralizers are frequently used, one per joint from 100
ft above to 100 ft below productive zones. Other casing
equipirient in these small-diameter holes includes landing collars for cement wiper plugs, full-opening guide
shoes, and limited-rotating scratchers for single completions. Care must be taken that all float equipment, centralizers, and scratchers will pass the hanger assembly in
the casinghead.
Other factors considered in the design of cement slurry
are not much different from those considered in the design of slurry for a single string of pipe. Normally the

Plug Flow
Rate: 1 BPM
Efficiency: 48%

Laminar Flow
Rate: 4 BPM
Efficiency: 75%

Turbulent Flow
Rate: 7 BPM
Efficiency: 98%
Fig. 7.22Mud removal vs. flow rate.

CEMENTING

98

10

Annular Velocity - FVSec

4
3
2
1
0

10 20 30 40 50
Flow Rate - Bbls/Min
1. 27/e-in. tubing in 63/4-in. casing.
2. 27/8-in. tubing in 77/8-in. casing.
3. 27/e-in. tubing in 83/4-in. casing.
4. 27/8-in. tubing in 97/e-in. casing.

Fig. 7.23Relation between flow rate and fluid velocity


in multiple-string cementing. 32

cement is pumped down the longest strings simultaneously, although this is not mandatory. The idle strings may
be pressured to 1,000 to 2,000 psi during cementing to
safeguard against leakage, thermal buckling, or collapse.
If it seems possible that cement pumped through the
longer strings will not come up around the shortest casing
string, all the strings may be used to place the cement.
The pumping rate required to achieve a desired annular velocity (Fig. 7.23), the friction losses, setting depths
of the strings, and other factors pertaining to a given job
may dictate the cement procedure to be used. In any case,
the principal problems to allow for are frictional pressures
that develop during pumping and restricted clearance between strings. When as many as four or five strings of
casing are run to different depths (Fig. 7.24), any of several methods can be used. 31'34
Well requirements will dictate the number of casing
strings to be used in multiple-string completions. These
have been standardized to some extent, as shown in Table 7.10.
Following are some general rules for cementing multiple strings. 31 '32
1. Preflushes or scavenger slurries should be designed
to thin and flush the mud ahead of the cement effectively.
2. The cement slurry should usually be designed to the
same specifications as for other primary cementing jobs
in the vicinity.
3. As many strings as practical should be run to the bottom to achieve flexibility for future completions and to
aid mud displacement at lower pumping rates.
4. One or more casing strings should be reciprocated
during cementing.
5. In small-diameter casing, cement should be placed
through at least two casing strings to avoid high friction
pressures.
6. Plug-landing collars and latch-in plugs should be used
in setting each casing string. Landing collars can be installed 15 to 25 ft below the expected producing interval.

7.7 Cementing Directional Holes

.. ,.

' . ..'

V,

E
4
If

. .
.* . .
. .
i
-

I .4.
: . :
..
---..---.-- ....... -.-.
.....

0,. . '
, .:!

i
4
0

=....7.--7.---. - b: w. 0
Ir.
-'' - . . .. .
"

'
"
riip. - .. .. . -, .. ....
- - - _
: ' 7': i.'.
------. ...7
. , . . .... .

.
- .. . : - .

--.-
_.....-_.

. ..
.
. ..- - . .
..
=-
'
-___
. .... . ...
t, ,

, . .

Fig. 7.24Tubingless completionfour strings of 27/8-in.


casing cemented to various depths in 9%-in. open hole. 33

Every well drilled deviates from the theoretical path, forcing the casing string against the wall in many places. In
deliberately deviated or directionally drilled holes, this
will occur throughout the entire interval. Even with an
optimum centralizer program, it is probable that the casing
will be off center in many parts of the wellbore, creating
severe lateral forces in the eccentric annulus. (See Fig.
7.25.) On the upper side, the resistance to flow is less,
so the mud displacement is more efficient; but on the lower side, channels of mud are formed. 25,36'37 Another
complication is that at some time during cement placement, the casing contains a rather heavy cement slurry,
the annulus contains a lighter mud, and the total load on
the centralizers becomes greater than the simple weight
of the casing. 36 After the top plug is placed, loading
forces are reversedthat is, the heavier cement slurry is
in the annulus and the lighter displacing fluid is in the
casingthus reducing the actual weight of the casing and
causing it to float against the upper portion of the hole.
The heavier net casing weight causes (1) a more eccentric annulus with static mud on the underside of the casing,
(2) greater contact of the casing with the mud cake, and
(3) the possibility that in a fairly soft formation, the centralizer bows will be buried. Any of these conditions will

99

PRIMARY CEMENTING

1500 LB

1500 LB

Fig. 7.25Distribution of lateral forces in directionally


drilled holes. 35

make it more difficult or even impossible for the centralizers to recenter the pipe as the cement slurry moves up
the annulus and the net weight is reduced. Although it
might seem wise to use a lighter slurry, it would actually
be better to use a heavier slurry in conjunction with a much
lighter displacing fluid so that the casing can float in the
cemented part of the hole and be centralized off the upper
side. To achieve this, for example, a 9%-in. , 40-lbf/ft
casing would require at least a 16.6-lbm/gal cement slurry
in the annulus if diesel fuel were _used to pump the top
plug into place. The mixing and pumping rates after equalization should be as high as possible so that the maximum
amount of mud in the annulus can continue to circulate
and thus not gel.
While substantial work has been devoted to identifying
the critical factors involved in achieving a successful
primary cement job under vertical conditions, limited research has been directed toward studying the problems
associated with deviated wellbore cementing. The major
potential problems encountered during cementing under
deviated conditions are (1) bottom-side mud channels,
(2) mud rheology, and (3) deviation angle. Model studies
indicate that a significant mud channel may be left along
the bottomside of the annulus in a directional hole. 37 The
channels were composed mainly of barite, which had apparently settled out during displacement. The higher solids
concentration led to increased mud viscosity and density
yet made the mud more difficult to displace. The barite
appears to be settling in a directional hole during periods
of mud circulation, not during the static periods.
The mud channels that occurred within the 60 deviated
wellbores were significantly smaller than those that had
formed during the tests conducted at 85 deviation (Fig.
7.26). At the same flow rate, the particle deposition rate
would be less at 60 than at 85 ; thus a smaller channel
would be expected.
Solids settling from the mud system is related to the
yield point and gel strength. To reduce barite and solids
separation, the displacement efficiencies increased with
increasing mud yield point and gel strength. 38

7.8 Gas Leakage After Cementing


Gas communication through a cemented annulus (Fig.
7.27) was first recognized in gas storage wells. It was

Fig. 7.26Mud displacement test conducted at 85 deviation angle. 37

found that even when the leakage rate is small, excessive


pressure can build up if the annulus is not vented. 39 In
some cases, the gas leakage rate is great enough to warrant connecting the annulus to a gathering line. In deep
holes, leakage resulting from dehydration, gelling, or
bridging of cement or mud in the annulus can cause a pressure buildup behind the production and intermediate casings or behind the liners.
To investigate the causes of fluid and gas migration behind the casing after primary cementing, pressure and
temperature measurements were made in the annulus of
seven wells during cementing operations. Sensors were
attached to the outside of the casing as it was run into
each well; in this way, data were obtained from several
depths and transmitted to surface by means of a logging
cable. 40
Generally, pressure in the cement column began to
decrease as the cement cured and set (Fig. 7.28). The success of the cementing operation depended on the cement's
attaining sufficient strength to exclude pore fluids from
the cement before the pressure somewhere in the cement
column declined to pore pressure at that depth. Pressure
in the cement generally appeared to decline to the pore
pressure in adjacent formations after the cement had set.
The effectiveness of applied surface pressure to prevent the pressure decline in cement depends on the rate
at which the gel strength of the cement develops. Surface
pressure can compensate for the volume reduction, but

TABLE 7.10TYPICAL COMBINATIONS OF CASING


AND HOLE SIZE IN THE U.S.

Type of
Completion

Size of
Surface
Casing
(in.)

Size of Hole
Below Surface
Casing
(in.)

Size of
Production
Casing
(in.)

Single
Dual
Dual offshore*
Triple
Quadruple

7 to 85/8
8%

9%
103/4

61/4 to 77/8
-PA
111/2
8%
9%

2 or 21/2
2 or 21/2
31/2
2 or 21/2
2 or 21/2

*Deviated wells.

CEMENTING

100

PUMPING COMPLETED

7
a.
0 6

CHANNELS
GAS
LEAKAGE

TIMES WHEN EACH


SENSOR RETURNED TO
MEASURED
MUD WEIGHT

ta 4

v3

cc
2

GAS
ZONE

TEMPERATURE

no
200
180
160
140
120

800

SENSOR NO
DEPTH (FT) (RIM

Fig. 7.27Gas migration in a cemented annulus.39

fluid must be pumped in for the technique to be effective. This means that a surface pressure sufficient to break
the gel strength of the cement column must be applied.
Whether this is possible depends on pressure limitations
in the well and the degree of gel strength development
in the cement.
Cement generally sets from the bottom of the wellbore
upward because of the higher temperatures at lower
depths, or because of the shorter thickening times of tail
slurries.
Fluid did not enter the wellbore and migrate to the surface soon after cementing in any of the wells investigated,
but in one well, fluid flow between zones behind the casing
was indicated when the pressure in the cement decreased
to pore pressure before the cement set. Before perforation, annular flow was confirmed by a noise log in this
well.
These conditions have been studied by various investigators, and numerous recommendations have been made
to correct both gas and fluid movements in the cementing process.
The following paragraphs describe various conditions
that are directly related to gas migration in a wellbore.
Ineffective Hydrostatic Head. The density of wellbore
fluids (cement, mud, etc.) determines the hydrostatic pressure exerted at any particular depth. In the completion
of gas wells, the hydrostatic pressure in the annulus must
always exceed the formation pressure to prevent gas from
entering the annulus (Fig. 3.17).
One cubic foot of gas migrating to the surface from a
depth of 12,000 ft expands to more than 350 cu ft.
Before it is cemented, a gas well should be circulated
long enough to condition the mud and to remove any gas
bubbles trapped in the annulus. After circulation and be-

900
1
8754

1200
1303
1100
1030
TIME MINUTES
4
5
3
6
2
6909
5488
4787
4632
3635

1400

Fig. 7.28Annular pressure and temperature measurements from sensor after cementing.

fore cementing, the pumps should be shut down briefly


and then the hole should be circulated again to determine
whether the mud is free of microscopic gas bubbles that
may have been trapped in the washout areas or may have
adhered to the walls of the hole. Such gas is a potential
second gas kick, and if it is not removed before the cement is placed, it may lower the density of the fluid
column. During cementing, the cement slurry should remain as heavy as possible to resist being cut by gas.
Cement Dehydration. Controlling cement dehydration
a primary contributor to gas migration in a wellbore
depends principally on controlling differential pressure
and cement filtration rate. 39'41-45
For cement dehydration to occur in a wellbore and to
permit gas leakage, there must first be a permeable formation above the gas interval. Cement particles (filter
cake) bridging against this permeable zone will begin to
support the cement column above the zone and reduce the
effective hydrostatic pressure. After the pressure becomes
equal to or less than the pressure of the highest-pressured
gas reservoir, it takes only a short time for gas to start
entering the wellbore, because the hydrostatic head has
been reduced.
The gas, migrating up the unset cement column, further
lowers the hydrostatic pressure, which in turn increases
the rate of gas channeling. If the cement is not solidly
set when the gas reaches the point up the hole where the
dehydrated cement forms the first bridge, the accumulating gas can build up to a pressure that will cause channeling either through the weak cement column or into the
permeable zone on which the bridge, or filter cake, is
built. If the gas enters and pressures the permeable zone
and the cement is not set or bonded in the early state, the
gas can bypass the bridge and re-enter the unset cement

101

PRIMARY CEMENTING

Fig. 7.29ASEM photograph of neat cement slurry. Cement slurry, once it dehydrates, goes through a transition
stage having some permeability before setting
(5,000X). 41

Fig. 7.29BSEM photograph of cement slurry with fluidloss additive, which gives the slurry a very low permeability during the transition from slurry to solid (4,800X). 01

column at the top of the permeable zone. The result can


be total gas cutting or channeling in the annulus, which
will show up at the surface. 46
Fig. 7.29A, a scanning electron microscope (SEM) photograph, shows the pore space in a dehydrated cement
filter cake immediately after it loses water or filtrate. This
cake has permeability for a short time until it hydrates
more completely into an impermeable seal. If a filtrationcontrol material is added to the slurry (Fig. 7.29B), it acts
as a bridging agent in the pore space of the cement; thus
water is retained until the cement sets without going
through a change in permeability. 4I

The bridging can occur anywhere in the wellbore and


in a liner job it can occur at the top of the hanger."
Bridging can be attributed primarily to sloughing formations or to mud and cement filter cake. Annulus bridging
up the hole contributes to gas leakage in much the same
way that dehydration does. If bridging occurs during
primary cementing before displacement is complete, there
is an increased possibility of losing returns and, in turn,
of losing hydrostatic pressure. Such bridging can also
leave cement inside the casing string that must be drilled
out. Should this bridge form before the end of the cement's
transition time, it could provide a pressure block that
would minimize hydrostatic transmission of pressure
down the hole and gas could flow into the area of decreased pressure.
Excessive free water may eliminate the slurry's capability to control fluid, causing the formation of a water
channel as the water separates from the slurry. Gas and
fluids under these conditions may migrate into the water
channel and up the cement column.

The Relationship Between Gel-Strength Transition


Time and Gas Migration. 47 Because gas migration is
generally attributed to the loss of a hydrostatic pressure,
a cement slurry must achieve sufficient gel strength in the
early setting process to resist gas flow. An arbitrary gelstrength value commonly used to contain gas leakage is
usually around 500 lbf/100 sq ft.
Development of static gel strength (i.e., the internal rigidity within the cement matrix) usually begins shortly
after pumping has ceased and continues to increase until
the cement develops a set. As gel strength develops, the
cement column begins to partially support itself. Hydrostatic pressure of the column decreases as the column becomes more self-supporting and is directly proportional
to any volume changes that may occur when filtrate is
lost from the matrix of the cement slurry to the formations or to small hydration volume reduction as the cement sets. The slurry properties that affect the cement's
ability to maintain hydrostatic pressure are fluid loss, free
water, static gel strength, and compressibility. Any filtrate
loss from the cement slurry will correspond to a decrease
in hydrostatic pressure. Even if this volume reduction does
not correspond to an immediate pressure drop, a significant fluid loss could cause the formation of a bridge of
dehydrated cement opposite any highly permeable zone
(Fig. 7.30).

FLASH
SETTING

BRIDGING
LOST
CIRCULATION
DEHYDRATION

Fig. 7.30Effects of dehydration and bridging on primary


cementing. 28

CEMENTING

102

A B

- (Pore Pressure)

e
s

e
Time

Well Data
TD - 12,000 ft, 7-in. casing, 0.86-in. hole
Last casing - 7,000 ft., 93/8
Mud - 14.5 PPg
Gas zone - 11,000 ft
Gas pressure - 7,936 psi (13.9 PPg)
Lost circulation at 15.0 PPg at 9,500 ft (7,936 psi)
Cement TD to 7,000 ft with 15.2 PPg Cement

A = Cement plug bumped - cement in static condition


A-B = Cement is fluid-hydrostatic pressure being transmitted
B = Start of transition time (cement begins to develop gel strength and restricts
transmission of hydrostatic pressure)
B-C = Pressure reduction due to filtration loss and hydration volume reduction
C = Pressure is reduced to pore pressure and gas migration can start
D = End transition time (cement has 500 lbs 100 sq ft of gel strength and is
too thick for gas to perculate through)

Calculations
Ph = (7000)(14.5)(.0519)+ (4000)(15.2)(.0519)

= 8,423 psi
OBP = 8,423 7,936 + 487 psi
4000
FPF=

1.67x 9.86 7

=4.8

487
Fig. 7.31ARelationship between transition time and gas
migration.

Cement slurries without additives will normally require


1 to 1'h hours to achieve sufficient static gel strength to
prevent gas migration. This gelation period is known as
transition time. A thixotropic or fast-gel-strength system
will have a shorter transition time and may be used to promote rapid gel-strength development as an aid in controlling gas migration.
The addition of a stable, -gas to the cement slurry increases the compressibility of the column of cement,
which minimizes the effect a volume decrease may have
on hydrostatic pressure. Gas is commonly added by a gasgenerating additive to provide this property in the system.

1.67 x L
FPF =

Fig. 7.31DProblem.

Well Conditions That Prevent Gas Migration. The gas


flow potential can be reduced by an increase in the "overbalanced pressure." This overbalance is defined as the
difference between the hydrostatic pressure at the potential point of flow and the pore pressure of the formation
at that depth. When there is an overbalance, the pressure
differential keeps the gas in the formation while the cement develops gel strength. The greater the differential,
the more time the cement will have to pass safely through
the transition phase. Thus a measure of control can be
obtained by actions to maintain an overbalance through
the transition time by an increase in slurry density and
the application of pump pressure to the annulus at the surface. Applying the proper annular pump pressure immediately after pumping the slurry and maintaining this
pressure for 1 to 3 hours will minimize any overbalance
condition until cement has reached 500-lbm/sq-ft gel
strength (Figs. 7.31A through 7.31D). 47

OBP
FPF = Flow Potential Factor for a gel strength of 500 lb/100 ft2
L = Height of Cement, ft.
D = Diameter, in. (for an annulus
D=
D,D= hole diameter
D5 = casing diameter)
OBP = Initial overbalance Pressure (Initial hydrostatic pressure
with cement place - gas zone pressure)
Fig. 7.31BFlow potential factor.

FPF of less than 1.0 This theoretically signifies no gas leakage


problem but control fluid loss and use good displacement
techniques.
FPF greater than 1.0 Then cement job parameters need changing
to reduce the FPF value: mud density, cement column height and
back-pressure.
FPF remains greater than 1.0 Compressible cement or thixotropic
cement that will develop 500 lb/1002 gel strength during
transition time is required.
Fig. 7.31CRecommendation.

7.9 Cementing Through Soluble


Formations
In setting casing through salt formations, it is imperative
to stabilize the wellbore through the soluble zones.49 This
fact was first recognized along the gulf coast and in the
Williston basin area of North Dakota and Montana.
Casing failures have also been reported through salt formations in northern Europe, the North Sea, Egypt, and
possibly elsewhere. 50,51 These salt movement failures are
attributed to washing out the hole through short evaporite
sections. The enlarged hole results in an unconfined section that is not filled with cement and is subject to movement with time. If the hole is drilled in such a manner
as to remain in gauge, the downhole collapsing after cement is not normally a problem.
Salt can occur in several forms and can be both
homogeneous and nonhomogeneous in these troublesome
formations. 5I Because it is an evaporite, it is common
for salt to be layered in with other depositional materials. Plastic salt deformation in an unconfined wellbore
may be a few days or a few years, on the basis of the
rate of salt movement. 52,53

103

PRIMARY CEMENTING

bo

8s e"

lz

Of Salt

a A
\ Causes
I,
4
- -Bending I /A
0
'
CA Casing/ .
0 c o
,a v;
0 0 A'
,;
o

/Flow

1,000 TO
1,300

S1/2"

HIGH
COLLAPSE
STRENGTH
CASING

5,000 TO6,000

DOUBLE
CASING
STRINGS

;Salt or Cement
Holds Pipe At
This Point

PRODUCING
FORMATION
8,000 TO
_9,000 ___

Fig. 7.32Bending of casing by salt flow."

Casing failures (collapse) through salt stringers prompted a number of studies dealing with the design of casing
subjected to salt loading. 54,55 Salt deforms easily even
under low confining pressures. In triaxial loading tests,
samples have tolerated strains in excess of 30% without
fracturing. In cementing through salt or potash deposits,
the casing must withstand these plastic flow forces if collapsing is to be avoided. The forces can approach the overburden stress of 1 psi/ft of depth.
An open, unconfined wellbore through salt zones at
depths greater than 3,000 ft will tend to close unless properly stabilized with cement.
The pressure on casing subjected to uniform loading
by salt can increase until it eventually equals the overburden pressure. Casing grade and weight can be specified for uniform salt pressure in the same manner as for
fluid pressure, even though modes of casing failure may
be different.
For uniform loading of casing, it is necessary for the
cement to fill the annulus completely and uniformly. If
the casing is too weak to withstand the uniform salt pressure, it is helpful either to cement a liner inside the casing
or to apply internal pressure to the casing. If the cement
job is faulty, the casing may be subjected to nonuniform
loading, which can bend or collapse the pipe, as shown
in Fig. 7.32 and Table 7.11. Internal pressure is of little
help in resisting initial failure from this type of loading,
but it may prove of value in preventing complete collapse.
Although a liner increases the load-carrying capacity, it
may not lend enough strength to withstand the most severe cases of nonuniform loading (Fig. 7.33).55,57
Oil-based or salt-saturated drilling fluids, which
minimize washouts, should be used in addition to good
cementing practices to prevent casing failures in salt
zones.
7.10 Considerations After Cementing
(Table 7.12)

To prevent casing expansion and to improve bonding, internal casing pressure should be released when it has been
established that the float-collar and guide-shoe backpressure valves are holding. Early practice was to hold pressure on the casing until the cement set. However, research
on bonding and bond logging has shown that this can create a microannulus between the casing and the cement and

Fig. 7.33Completion practices in salt evaporite formations. 55

thus provide a potential avenue of communication. In


small-diameter casing (used in tubingless completions),
it may be desirable to hold pressure on the casing. This
creates additional tension to prevent the casing from buckling before the cement takes its initial set. Bonding may
be adversely affected, but expansion resulting from differential pressure is minor in small-diameter pipe.
WOC time is variable, and state and federal regulations
should be checked in local operating areas. Where no rule
exists, a reasonable WOC time should permit cement to
attain sufficient strength to anchor the pipe and to withstand the shock of subsequent operations, to seal permeable zones, and to confine fracture pressures. If densified
cements (API Class A, G, or H) and 2 to 3 % calcium
chloride are used, WOC time can be as short as 4 to 6
hours in warm weather and 6 to 8 hours in cold weather.
The WOC time depends on the class of cement, the additives in the cement, the time required for placement, and
well temperatures and pressures.
Before drilling out, the minimum desirable compressive strength is 500 psi. The recommended time to run
a cement bond log and to perforate for production or
stimulation is 24 to 72 hours, or after the cement achieves
a compressive strength of 2,000 psi.
Some states require a pressure test of the casing (Texas)
or a production test (California) to define by the GOR
or the water content whether a cementing job is a success
or a failure.

TABLE 7.11CASING RECOMMENDATIONS


FOR SALT SECTIONS 56

Casing OD, in.


Drift, in.

55/8-in.
Casing OD
and
4.544-in. Drift

26.70
Weight, Ibm/ft
0.477
Wall thickness, in.
14,750
Collapse strength, psi
11,730
Internal yield, psi
733,000
Body yield, lbf
51/2
Coupling size (long threaded
and coupled), in.
539,000
Joint strength, lbf
6.050
Coupling OD, in.

7%-in.
Casing OD
and
6.076-in. Drift
52.57
0.712
16,080
9,240
1,469,000
7
666,000
7.656

CEMENTING

104

TABLE 7.12-DIGEST OF PRIMARY CEMENTING SERVICES AND PRACTICES


Conductor (Surface Pipe)

Hole and Casing Conditions


Casing size, in.

20 to 30 (7 to 20)

Production Casing

Intermediate Casing
41/2 to 113/4

41/2 to 7

Setting depth, ft

30 to 1,500 (40 to 4,500)

1,000 to 15,000

1,000 to 25,000

Hole conditions

Probably enlarged

Probably enlarged (particularly


in salt)

May be enlarged in some sections

Mud

Native

Native or water-based

Water-based oil or emulsion

Mud properties

Viscous, thick cake

Controlled viscosity and controlled


fluid loss

Controlled viscosity and controlled


fluid loss

Cement

Class A-15.6 Ibm/gal, 1.18 cu ft/sack

Same as surface

H-16.4 Ibm/gal, 1.06 cu ft/sack

G-15.8 Ibm/gal, 1.15 cu ft/sack

Use retarder above 140F BHST*

H-16.4 Ibm/gal, 1.06 cu ft/sack

Use 35% silica above 230 BHST


Use Hematite above 17.0 Ibm/gal
density

(2 to 3% calcium chloride, as needed)

Weight-reducing additives

G-15.8 Ibm/gal, 1.15 cu ft/sack

C-14.8 Ibm/gal, 1.32 cu ft/sack

Pozzolans-12.3 to 15.6 Ibm/gal

Pozzolans-12.3 to 15.6 Ibm/gal

Pozzolans-12.3 to 15.6 Ibm/gal

Bentonite-12.0 to 15.6 Ibm/gal

Bentonite-12.0 to 15.6 Ibm/gal

Bentonite-12.0 to 15.6 Ibm/gal

Spheres-7.0 to 12.0 Ibm/gal

Spheres-7.0 to 12.0 Ibm/gal

Foam-7.0 to 12.0 Ibm/gal

Foam-7.0 to 12.0 Ibm/gal

Slurry Properties
Free water

Control to less than 2%

Control to less than 2%

Control to less than 1.0%

Density-Control to

Prevent fracturing, 1 to 3 Ibm heavier


than mud

Prevent fracturing, 1 to 3 Ibm


heavier than mud

Prevent fracturing, 1 to 3 Ibm


heavier than mud

Fluid loss

Normally not required

As required

100 to 250 cm 3 API at 1,000 psi

Thickening time

Placement time +1 hour at BHCT**

Placement time +11/2 hours


at BHCT

Placement time + 11/2 hours


at BHCT

Strength-satisfy

Regulatory requirement or 500 psi at


12 hours

Regulatory requirement or 500 psi


at 12 hours

Regulatory requirement or 500 psi


at 8 hours

Cement rheology

Design to achieve maximum


mud removal

Design to achieve maximum


mud removal

Turbulence, if achievable

Thermal conductive

Use special cements with glass


bubbles or spheres

Same as surface

Same as surface

Selection based on mud compatibility


or mud cleaning

Selection based on mud


compatibility or mud cleaning

Selection based on mud


compatibility or mud cleaning

Job Consideration
Flushes

750 to 1,000 annular feet

750 to 1,000 annular feet

750 to 1,000 annular feet

Pump in turbulence with contact time


of 6 to 10 minutes

Pump in turbulence with contact


time of 6 to 10 minutes

Pump in turbulence with contact


time of 6 to 10 minutes

Mixers

Selection based on job requirement

Selection based on job


requirement; recirculating or
comparable mixer

Batch, recirculating, or
comparable mixer

Mud conditioning

Lowest yield point and PV possible


without dropping solids

Lowest yield point and PV possible Lowest yield point and PV possible
without dropping solids
without dropping solids
Low gel-strength development
Low gel-strength development

Field estimates or available data

From logs, API or field data, or


temperature subs

Density-measurement

Pressurized mud balance or


radioactivity device with recorder;
calibrate before job

Pressurized mud balance and/or


Pressurized mud balance and/or
radioactivity device with recorder;
radioactivity device with recorder;
calibrate before job
calibrate before job

Sampling during job

Dry cement and water samples

Cement blend and water samples

Water-sensitive shales or
salt sections

Use salt, 5 to 15% for rotten shales or Use 5 to 15% salt for rotten
low fluid-loss control
shales, for salt formations use
saturated salt 37.2% by weight
of water

Material Selection

Temperature for
cement design

BHST= bottomhole static temperature


' 'BHCT = bottom hole circulating temperature

From logs, API or field data, or


temperature subs

Cement blend and water samples


Same as intermediate

105

PRIMARY CEMENTING
TABLE 7.12DIGEST OF PRIMARY CEMENTING SERVICES AND PRACTICES (continued)
Hole and Casing Conditions

Intermediate Casing

Conductor (Surface Pipe)

Casing Equipment

Production Casing

Use inner string method on casing


larger than 13% in. to minimize
contamination

Run float shoe on bottom and float Same as intermediate


collar 1 to 2 joints up

Use API centralizers for hole


conditions. Straddle collars or stop
rings. General recommendation-1
centralizer above shoe joint plus 1 at
top of bottom six joints. Others as
hole conditions dictate for uniform
cement distribution

Same as intermediate. Place


Use API centralizers for hole
centralizers 200 ft across, below,
conditions. Straddle collars or
stop rings; same as surfaceplus and above pay zone and at
bottom of casing, as on surface
centralizers as hole conditions
and intermediate strings, or use
may require for uniform cement
centralizer spacing programs and
distribution or use centralizer
try for 50% standoff
spacing programs with 50%
standoff

Cementing plugs

Use top and bottom plugs. Do not cut


disk on bottom plug. Bump top plug,
if possible

Same as surface

Same as surface and intermediate

Scratchers

Consider cable type, particularly in


hole enlargements to aid mud
removal

Same as surface

Same as surface and intermediate;


place 200 ft across, below, and
above pay zone

Place on all casing hardware

Place on all casing hardware

Same as surface and intermediate

Thread lock
Pipe movement

Move, if possible. Monitor weight and


drag during movement

Displacement

Do not overdisplace around shoe.


Consider latch in wiper plug. Pump
as fast as possible without losing
returns

Float shoe collar

Centralizers

Casing fill line

Differential fill equipment


shoe or collar

Stage collars

Movereciprocate or rotate during Same as intermediate. Rotate 3 to


15 rev/min; reciprocate 15
cementing; monitor weight and
strokes/2 to 3 minutes
drag during movement
Do not overdisplace around shoe. Same as intermediate
Pump as fast as possible without
losing returns

Same as intermediate
Run fill line unless differential fill
Run flexible line before running
equipment is used. If used, fill
casingfill alternate joints as running
every third joint
casing
Same as intermediate
May be desirable on long

intermediate strings. Check with


vendors on type. Avoid using lostcirculation materials when in use
May be necessary in placing long
May be necessary in placing long

columns of cement; check plug


columns of cement, check plug
type when used
type when used

Other considerations
Lost circulation

Same as surface. Do not cement


Solve before cementing, if possible.
until 80% of hole is being
Use special flushes ahead of cement,
circulated
bridging materials in cement

Same as surface and intermediate.


May consider stage cementing.
Use bridging materials in cement

Material Selection
High density cements

Increase density with reduced water


and dispersants 17.5 Ibm/gal. Use
high-density additive, i.e , Hematite

For annular gas flow

Use low-fluid-loss cement or thixotropic


systems with short transition time

Increase density by reducing water Same as intermediate


with dispersants to 17.0 to 17.5
Ibm/gal. Use weight material in
cement
Same as surface casing
Same as surface casing

For high gas leakage, use


compressible cement systems
Job Planning
Variable, depending on depth and
cement volumes, 45 minutes to
21/2 hours

Placement time

Generally less than 30 minutes

Generally less than 1 hour

Placement technique

Inner string method, i e., through


drillpipe, using small plugs and
sealing sleeve or down casing with
large plugs

Down casing with cementing plugs; Down casing with plugs (top and
stage cementing may be required bottom), or in stages, depending
on fracture gradient. If string is
very heavy, it may be set on
bottom and cemented through
ports. Use float collar and guide
shoe; centralize in critical areas

Cement pump to

Surface

Surface or base of surface casing

6 to 12 hours. See regulatory rules

6 to 12 hours, depending on
regulatory rules

,
WOC time

Cementing hazards

Same as for conductor. Lower


Casing can be pumped out of hole;
joints may be lost down the hole
cement may fall back down the hole
with deeper drilling; casing can
after it has been circulated to surface
easily stick

Surface or intermediate string.


Depends on hole and completion
techniques
6 to 18 hours, depending on
regulatory rules
There may be both weak and high
pressure zones, requiring
variable-weight cement slurries.
Prolonged drilling may damage
casing. Wells may be hot,
necessitating measurement of
bottomhole temperatures

CEMENTING

106

Testing Primary Cementing Job Performance. A temperature survey is an excellent method for locating cementing tops. A temperature log run 6 to 12 hours after
the plug is bumped identifies the top of the cement by noting anomalies in the temperature gradient. Where cement
is present behind the pipe, more heat is liberated because
of the exothermic reaction from the cement setting process. When the cement top is not at the desired height, it
can usually be assumed that channeling has occurred,
provided the correct volume of slurry has been used.
Cement bond logs are also frequently used to ascertain
how successfully the cement has been placed between the
pipe and the formation. A good bond indicates a satisfactory cement job; a poor bond indicates a questionable job.
A radioactive tracer survey may be used to identify cement tops but requires the addition of a radioactive material to the cement slurry to allow detection behind the pipe.
The procedure is not widely used because it requires special preparation and planning.

psi/ft
psi/ft

Tail-in cement (lbm/gal)


Mud (lbm/gal)

Unbalanced feet

psi/ft =

psi;

Pressure to land top plug

psi.
ft

Hydrostatic Pressure at

psi/ft x

Mud (lbm/gal)

psi

ft=
+

psi/ft x

Spacer (lbm/gal)

psi

ft=
+

psi/ft x

Cement (Ibm/gal)

ft=

psi
psi.

Top of Cement

7.11 Summary
Sacks x

AppendixCalculations for
Cementing Casing

Pipe capacity

Area of the Casing


Diameter of casing times diameter of casing times ( 7r +4)
equals area:

bbl tail-in cement.

bbl/ft x
bbl

ft =
bbl =

bbl in shoe joint.


bbl

for annular volume of tail-in cement.

do x 0.7854 = area.
Pressure To Lift the Pipe
Buoyancy factor (BF) times pounds per foot of pipe times
length of pipe equals weight of pipe in fluid:
BF x

cu ft x 0.1781 bbl/cu ft

cu ft/sack =

Table 7.12 summarizes recommended practices related


to primary cementing. 58-60 Flow calculation examples for
primary cementing jobs appear in Appendix D.

lbf/ft x

lbfl;

ft=

force + area =pressure.

Volume and height


ft of tail-in cement.

ft/bbl x

bbl =

sacks x

cu ft/sack =

cu ft

x0.1781 bbl/cu ft=

bbl lead cement.

'Volume of Cement in Sacks


Volume + height, bbl/ft x ft =
=
Capacity, bbl/ft x ft
5.6146 cu ft/bbl x

Volume and height

bbl
bbl

ft/bbl x

bbl=

ft of lead cement.

Casing total depth (feet) minus tail-in cement (feet) minus


lead cement (feet) =top of cement (feet).

bbl

=cu ft + cu ft/sack = sacks.


Force = pressure x area.

Total Mixing Water


Sacks x

gal/sack + 42 gal/bbl =

bbl.

Displacement To Land Plug


Capacity,

bbl/ft x

BF for internal fluid only.


Flotation of steel pipe only:
Pipe weight
lbf/ft x BF x
(containing displacement fluid)

ft =bbl.

Pressure To Land Plug


Lead cement (lbm/gal)
Mud (lbm/gal)
Unbalanced feet

Resultant Force of Pipe Weight When Top Plug


is in Place

Pipe weight
lbf/ft x BF x
(cement in shoe joint)

psi/ft
psi/ft
psi/ft =

psi.

Downward total force:

ft =
ft = +

lbf.
lb f l

107

PRIMARY CEMENTING

Pressure To Land Plug


Annulus fluid (lbm/gal)
Displacing fluid (lbm/gal) -

psi/ft
psi/ft

Unbalanced ft x

psi/ft
psi.

Add or subtract each unbalanced section.


Area of pipe (OD)
(OD pipe times OD pipe) times 0.7854 equals area (sq in.):
x0.7854 =area(sq in.).
Pressure times area equals upward force:
psi (to land plug) x area(sq in.)=1blf upward
Resulting force (RF) (upward or downward):
lbfT -

lbfT =

RF

(Subtract smaller from larger.)

References
1. Howard, G.C. and Clark, .1 .B.: "Factors to be Considered in
Obtaining Proper Cementing of Casing," Drill. and Prod. Prac. ,
API (1948) 257-72.
2. Goins, W.C. Jr.: "Selected Items of Interest in Drilling Technology," J. Pet. Tech. (July 1971) 857-62.
3. Ani, T.A.: "Improperly Cemented Surface Pipe Causes Problems
Later," World Oil (Sept. 1974) 91-93.
4. "Recommended Practice for Testing Oil Well Cements and Cement
Additives," API RP 10, Div. of Production, Dallas, TX (1986).
5. Gerke, R.R. et al.: "A Study of Bulk Cement Handling and Testing
Procedures," paper SPE 14196 presented at the 1985 SPE Annual
Technical Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas, Sept. 22-25.
6. Owsley, W.D.: "Improved Casing Cementing Practices in the
United States," Oil and Gas J. (Dec. 15, 1949) 76.
7. Brice, J.W. Jr. and Holmes, R.C.: "Engineered Casing Cementing Programs Using Turbulent Flow Techniques," J. Pet. Tech.
(May 1964) 503-08.
8. Beirute, M.: "Flow Behavior of an Unset Cement Plug in Place,"
paper SPE 7589 presented at the 1978 SPE Annual Technical
Conference and Exhibition, Houston, Oct. 1-3.
9. Slagle, K.A.: "Rheological Design of Cementing Operations," J.
Pet. Tech. (March 1962) 323-28; Trans., AIME, 225.
10. Garvin, T. and Slagle, K.A.: "Scale-Model Displacement Studies
To Predict Flow Behavior During Cementing," J. Pet. Tech. (Sept.
1971) 1081-88.
11. Clark, C.R. and Carter, L.G.: "Mud Displacement With Cement
Slurries," J. Pet. Tech. (July 1973) 775-83.
12. Parker, P.N. et al.: "An Evaluation of a Primary Cementing Technique Using Low Displacement Rates," paper SPE 1234 presented
at the 1965 SPE Annual Meeting, Denver, Oct. 3-6.
13. Teplitz, A.J. and Hassebroek, W.E.: "An Investigation of Oil Well
Cementing," Drill. and Prod. Prac., API (1946) 76-101; Pet. Eng.
Annual (1946) 444.
14. Jones, P.H. and Berdine, D.: "Oil-Well Cementing-Factors Influencing Bond Between Cement and Formation," Oil and Gas J.
(March 21, 1940) 71; Pet. World (June 1940) 26; Drill. and Prod.
Prac., API (1940) 45-63.
15. Marquaire, R.R. and Brisac, J.: "Primary Cementing by Reverse
Circulation Solves Critical Problem in the North Hassi-Messaoud
Field, Algeria," J. Pet. Tech. (Feb. 1966) 146-50.
16. Underwood, D., Broussard, P., and Walker, W.: "Long Life Cementing Slurries," paper presented at the 1965 API Southwestern
Dist. Div. of Production Spring Meeting, Dallas, March 10-12.
17. Piercy, N.A.V . , Hopper, M.S., and Winney, H.F.: "Viscous Flow
Through Pipes With Cores," Phil. Mag. (1933) 15, No. 99, 674.

18. McLean, R.H., Manry, C.W., and Whitaker, W.W.: "Displacement Mechanics in Primary Cementing," J. Pet. Tech. (Feb. 1967)
251-60; Trans., AIME, 240.
19. Graham, H.L.: "Rheology-Balanced Cementing Improves Primary
Success," Oil and Gas J. (Dec. 18, 1972) 53.
20. Ellis, R.C. and Suman, G.O. Jr.: "Cementing Oil and Gas Wells,
Part 4. Practical Interpretation of Rheology, Annular Displacing
Forces. How To Avoid Bypassing Mud During Primary," World
Oil (June 1977) 69-77.
21. Martin, M., Latil, M., and Vetter, P.: "Mud Displacement by
Slurry During Primary Cementing Jobs-Predicting Optimum
Conditions," paper SPE 7590 presented at the 1978 SPE Annual
Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston (Oct. 1-3).
22. Haut, R.C. and Crook, R.J.: "Primary Cementing: The Mud Displacement Process," paper SPE 8253 presented at the 1979 SPE
Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Las Vegas, Sept.
23-26.
23. Haut, R.C. and Crook, R.J.: "Primary Cementing: Optimizing for
Maximum Displacement," World Oil (Nov. 1980) 105-16.
24. Moore, P.: Drilling Practices Manual, Petroleum Pub., Tulsa, OK
(1974).
25. Carter, L.G., Cook, C. and Snelson, L.: "Cementing Research
in Directional Gas Well Completions," paper SPE 4313 presented
at the 1973 SPE European Meeting, London, April 2-3.
26. Tausch, G.H. and McDonald, P.: "Permanent-Type Completions
and Wireline Workovers," Pet. Eng. (Sept. 1956) B39.
27. Corley, C.B. Jr. and Rike, J.L.: "Tubingless Completions," Drill.
and Prod. Prac. , API (1959) 7.
28. Huber, T.A. and Corley, C.B. Jr.: "Permanent-Type Multiple
Tubingless Completions," Pet. Eng. (Feb. and March 1961).
29. Enloe, J.R.: "Amerada Finds Using Multiple Casing Strings Can
Cut Costs," Oil and Gas J. (June 12, 1967) 76-78.
30. Rike, J.L. and McGlamery, R.G.: "Recent Innovations in Offshore
Completion and Workover Systems," J. Pet. Tech. (Jan. 1970)
17-24.
31. Childers, M.A.: "Primary Cementing of Multiple Casing," J. Pet.
Tech. (July 1968) 751-62; Trans., AIME, 243.
32. Buster, J.L.: "Cementing Multiple Tubingless Completions," Oil
and Gas J. , Part 1 (June 8, 1964) 121-25; Part 2 (June 15, 1964)
89-91.
33. A Primer of Oil Well Drilling, third edition, Petroleum Extension
Service, U. of Texas, Austin (1957).
34. Frank, W.J. Jr.: "Improved Concentric Workover Techniques,"
J. Pet. Tech. (April 1969) 401-08.
35. "Stresses On A Centralizer," Weatherford Oil Tool Co., Houston
(1974).
36. Hoch, R.S.: "Cementing Techniques Used for High Angle, S-Type
Directional Wells," Oil and Gas J. (June 22, 1970) 88-93.
37. Crook, R.J., Keller, S.R., and Wilson, M.A.: "Solutions to Problems Associated With Deviated-Wellbore Cementing," paper SPE
14198 presented at the 1985 SPE Annual Technical Conference and
Exhibition, Las Vegas, Sept. 22-25.
38. Markle, R.D.: "Drilling Engineering Considerations in Designing
a Shallow, Horizontal Well at Norman Wells, N.W.T., Canada,"
paper SPE 16148 presented at the 1987 SPE/IADC Drilling
Conference, New Orleans, March 15-18.
39. Carter, L.G. and Slagle, K.A.: "A Study of Completion Practices
To Minimize Gas Communication," J. Pet. Tech. (Sept. 1972)
1170-74.
40. Cooke, C.E. Jr., Kluck, M.P., and Medrano, R.: "Annular
Pressure and Temperature Measurements Diagnose Cementing Operations," J. Pet. Tech. (Dec. 1984) 2181-86.
41. Christian, W.W., Chatterji, J., and Ostroot, G.W.: "Gas Leakage
in Primary Cementing-A Field Study and Laboratory
Investigation," J. Pet. Tech. (Nov. 1976) 1361-69.
42. Christian, W.W. and Stone, W.H.: "The Inability of Unset Cement
To Control Formation Pressure," paper SPE 4783 presented at the
1974 SPE Formation Damage Control Symposium, New Orleans,
Feb. 7-8.
43. Clark, C.R. and Garcia, J.A.: "An Investigation of Annular Gas
Flow Following Cementing Operations," paper SPE 5701 presented
at the 1976 SPE Formation Damage Control Symposium, Houston,
Jan. 24-30.
44. Cook, C. and Cunningham, W.: "Filtrate Control-A Key in
Successful Cementing Practices," J. Pet. Tech. (Aug. 1977) 451-56;
Trans., AIME, 261.
J. Pet.
45. Beirute, R.M. and Cheung, P.R.: "Gas Flow in Cements,"
Tech. (June 1985) 1041-48.

108
46. Tinsley, M. et al.: "Study of Factors Causing Annular Gas Flow
Following Primary Cementing," J. Pet. Tech. (Aug. 1980)
1427-37.
47. Sutton, D.L., Sabins, F.L., and Faul, R.: "Preventing Annular
Gas FlowTwo Parts," Oil and Gas J. (Dec. 10 and 17, 1984).
48. Webster, W.W. and Eikerts, J.V.: "Flow After CementingA
Field Study and Laboratory Model," paper SPE 8259 presented
at the 1979 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Las
Vegas, Sept. 23-26.
49. Slagle, K.A. and Smith, D.K.: "Salt Cement for Shale and
Bentonitic Sands," J. Pet. Tech. (Feb. 1963) 187-94; Trans.,
AIME, 228.
50. Patillo, P.D. and Rankin, T.E.: "How Amoco Solved Casing
Design Problems in the Gulf of Suez," Pet. Eng. (Nov. 1981)
86-112.
51. "Williston Basin: Salt Section Poses Problems," World Oil (May
1981) 95-98.
52. Goodwin, K.J. and Phipps, K.: "Salt-Free CementAn Alternative
to Collapsed Casing in Plastic Salts," J. Pet. Tech. (Feb. 1984)
320-24.
53. Sheffield, J.S., Collins, K.B., and Hackney, R.M.: "Salt Drilling
in the Rocky Mountains," paper SPE 11374 presented at the 1983
IADC/SPE Drilling Conference, New Orleans, Feb. 20-23.

CEMENTING
54. Cheatham, J.B. Jr. and McEver, J.W.: "Behavior of Casing
Subjected to Salt Loading," J. Pet. Tech. (Sept. 1964) 1069-76;
Trans., AIME, 231.
55. Clegg, J.D.: "Casing Failure StudyCedar Creek Anticline," J.
Pet. Tech. (June 1971) 676-84.
56. "Sales Literature," U.S. Steel Corp., Oil and Gas J. (Dec. 31,
1984).
57. Chesnut, D.A. and Goldberg, B.: "A Model for Events Occurring at Random Points in Time and an Example Application to
Casing Failures in Cedar Creek Anticline Wells," Soc. Pet. Eng.
J. (Oct. 1974) 482-90.
58. Smith, R.C.: "Successful Primary Cementing Can Be a Reality,"
J. Pet. Tech. (Nov. 1984) 1851-58.
59. Sauer, C.W. and Landrum, W.R.: "CementingA Systematic
Approach," J. Pet. Tech. (Dec. 1985) 2184-96.
60. Hartog, J.J., Davies, D.R., and Stewart, R.B.: "An Integrated
Approach for Successful Primary Cementations," J. Pet. Tech.
(Sept. 1983) 1600-10.

General Reference
Wilson, M. and Sabines, F.: "A Laboratory Investigation of Cementing Horizontal Wells," paper SPE 16928 available at SPE, Richardson, TX.

Chapter 8

Deep-Well Cementing

8.1 Introduction
The technology for cementing deep wells has advanced
greatly since 1965. Operational conditions once considered impossible or difficult are now dealt with as a matter of course. There are a great many wells deeper than
15,000 ft, and those with bottomhole temperatures
(BHT's) above 230F should always be considered critical. (Fig. 8.1 indicates the deep drilling records in the
U.S. by states.)
Most deep wells are started with 20- to 30-in. conductor or surface casing and are completed with 5-, 5 1/2-, or
7-in. liners. 1-4 (For examples, see Figs. 8.2, 8.3A, and
8.3B.) In some deep holes, two liners (intermediate and
production) are necessary to reach the ultimate drilling
objective. Tieback strings to surface are used frequently
in many holes to stabilize and reinforce the intermediate
liner, which may be weakened from drilling. In a few
areas a full casing string is preferred to liners.

8.2 Cementing Considerations for


Deep Wells
The basic procedures used in cementing deep wells (casing
or liners) are generally the same as those used for shallower wells. The hole conditions and the working conditions encountered in deep wells, however, are more
critical and require greater emphasis on casing and slurry design. 5 These conditions, which change with depth,
include the following.
1. Higher temperatures, overpressured zones, and corrosive well fluids in many areas.
2. Increased casing length, reduced annular clearances,
and difficulties in moving pipe during cementing.
3. Greater mechanical loads on the casing string and
drilling rig.
4. Longer time intervals for tripping bits and running
casing before cementing.
5. Heavier mud systems.
6. Increasing difficulty in effectively sealing the top of
the liner to prevent gas leakage.

7. Underbalanced drilling, which results in insufficient


hydrostatic head and permits gas flow after cementing.
In planning a cementing job for a deep well, one should
adhere to the following. 6,7
1. The cement slurry should be designed to allow adequate placement time. Most deep wells require a slurry
with a 3- to 4-hour pumpability. Rig water, cements, and
additives to be used on the job should always be pretested.
2. The best technique should be determined for displacing the mud with cement slurry. Where possible, the mud
should have a low yield point and a low plastic viscosity.
The drilling mud should be tested for its compatibility with
whatever spacer is to be used between it and the cement
during placement.
3. Optimum slurry properties (weight, viscosity, fluidloss control, etc.) should be attained during the mixing
process.
4. The setting properties of the cement should be designed to resist gas leakage, loss of strength, and corrosive environments encountered at high temperatures.
Restricted clearances (Table 8.1) and greater lengths
of open hole in deep wells complicate mud removal. Cements tend to channel through the mud and follow the path
of least resistance(see Fig. 7.18). 8 An increase in mud
density can cause an increase in pressure differentials,
tending to force the casing into the mud cake. This may
result in differential sticking or frictional drag if the casing
remains stationary for a period of time. 9'1
Where the hole is crooked, tool joints may wear a
groove in the wall, and the casing, if forced into the
groove; tends to stick.
Mechanical Aids. When casing is being run to the cementing depth, the use of centralizers, scratchers, and high
displacement rates provides the needed hole conditioning by allowing the maximum amount of annular mud to
move into the fluid stream. Centralizers should be used
on long casing strings if hole conditions are good and

CEMENTING

110

STATE DRILLING RECORDS

Pacific
(offshore)
18,318 ft
1977

2 ,711 ft s's
975
\

1981
--

1967

21,872 ft
1977

6,970 ft
.1984 D

I 15,380 tt
'----, Pr17,774 ft
7.440 tt /
1978
1984
' 0.G
' 1978
O
_-1
4,405
------i 9,771 ft )
18,540 ft
- 1949
1977 0
1982 13
o if 25,764 ft
,
-- 45.305 ft ,,
1979
:
9,971 ft
1934
19,562 ft ,
1980 i
------, 1979 0
9 -T14,942
. ;1,300 ft 4,909 v9i.,76
\ , D
/21,874 ft i 19,710

20,000 ft
19112 0
18,554 ft
1978 D
3,012 ft
1935
11,617 ft
1973
20,222
1974

1 1966

1984

--F----1 31,441 \ D a
18,013 ft i 22.926
:
1974ft\1734'
19_
81 ,I 1968
G
D
1979
o
D

Atlantic
(offshore)
20,000 ft
1981

29,670 tt
1982

D - DRY 0
G - GAS
O - OIL

Gulf Coast
23,285 ft
1981

25,703 ft
1981

5NID
8,350 ft
1981

0 ft
5

Fig. 8.1-Deep wells drilled in the U.S., by states, to Jan. 1984.1

Deep Miocene completion

Deep Frio completion

Pipe program

P pe program
Mud program

30-In drive pipe


N 400 ft

program Formation

opened to 30-in di 1,000 ft


20-In
no, roes.
% need itnc.1224-ni n hole

i
Seawater ww
prehydrated gel

13%-in csg
(a 4,500 ft
113/,in Wier
di 10,000 ft

9%-in. csg x
13,000-14,000 ft
2% or 3%-in coated
L-80 tubing set on
permanent packers
7-In csg to TD at
16-18,000 ft

,
I. '
.....

Lignosullonate
to 12 5 ppg
-4____
LIgnosultonate or
relaxed filtrate Invert
emulsion to 16.0 ppg

Relaxed filtrate
Invert emulsion,
wt as needed

iii
wid

t
Seawater
wi
prehydrated gel

13%-ln easing In 17%-in


hole of 13,000 ft
2% or 31/2-in thick wall
SS tubing w,5 landing
nipples, 30-40 ft of seal
nipples for permanent packer
11%-in liner In 12%-in
hole underreamed to
14%-in N 17,000 fl
----.'

1,230 ft
(Anhydrite)
9%-in.
Intermediate -...
casing
N 4,900 ft

2%-in tubing

7,

5%-in
production
string
td 13,000 ft TD

19 5 ppg
I

Pipe prog am

I
Water,
gel, lime
or salt mud
65 to 89
PP9

9%-in casing
di 3.500 ft
in 121/4-in hole

n 4,670 ft
Greenhorn
100,000 ppm
n 5,460 ft
saltwater mud
2%-in tubing
9 to 9.5 ppg
Dakota
250,1100 ppm
n 7.165 ft
Retrsieett
vianbgledpeapc ker. .
saltwater mud
Pine
Salt
th
98 to 102 ppg
.4 8.725 ft
depends on zone
Charles
completed
n 9,565 ft
I
Stage collar
1 1
Miss. Canyon 315,000 ppm
di 10.000 ft
- 11275 ft
saltwater mud
Duperow
10 2 to 10 6
4 12,040 ft
ppg
7-In casing
Prairie Sell
u, 14,000 ft TD
-4 13,525 ft
in 8%-in hole
-..Red River

1
Natural mud

13%.in casing I
N 4,610 ft
I

3% x 2%-in tubing

PORs In crossovers 41
17,214 ft & 22,714 ft
73/4.1n liner I
(a 24,980 ft I
7 x 51/2 n 5-In casing
N 25,914 11 (cement above
73/4-In liner hanger

& sSan
' Andres
86,02n0.
0

6jprings
Fresh
water
9,650 ft
Wolfcarnp
11.950 ft
Cu
Cut
Strewn
brine
12,250 ft
9 1-9.2 ppg
Atoka
Starch vlscosifier
12,650 ft
w'KCI
Morrow

Pipe program

Mud program

30-niocoastting I____.

9%-in casing!
N 17,475 ft

4,500 ft

Fresh water
to brine
8 6 to 10 peg

Arbuckle completion

Mud program

20-in casing F
kt 100 ft

2,700 ft
Yates

1
17 5-18 0 ppg

Hunton completion

Mud program

(Red beds)

Relaxed filtrate
Invert emulaion
160 ppg

10%-in x 9%-in tapered


casing In 10'i.-In hole
di 20,000 ft
7%-in thick wall gunbarrel
x 7-In heavy wall P-110
or 55 tapered casing
in 8%-in hole to TO

Na ive

13%-in -surface casing


(a 650 ft

Lignosulfonate
to
12 5 PP9

Pipe p o ram Formations


18-in. surface
casino di 60 ft

conductor pipe
al 80 ft

11

Williston basin completion

Mud
program

20-in

24-in casing In 12%-in. hole


20-in cog
rd 1,000 ft

Morrow completion, New Mexico

Mud program

36-In. drive pipe


dr 400 11

9%-in liner tie-beck


3% x 2%-in tubing

Low density
water mud
up to 9.8 peg

Oil mud
up to 14 8 ppg

1
Natural mud
20,-incasing
t _____.

13,7. x 13%-in
casing ar 12,300 ft I--9% x 914-1n. liner H
iii 14,300 ft

I
up to 14 ppg
011
mud

up to 17 ppg

7%-in liner I--.


fe, 16,800 ft

I
l
Brine, up
to 9 7 peg

Low density
water mud
up to 9 ppg

7 x 5% x 5-in casing -.
24,000 ft

01

Fig. 8.2-Casing program for some deep U.S. wells (after Ref. 3).

Brine
9 6-9 7 ppg

111

DEEP-WELL CEMENTING

GULF COAST-TEXAS-LOUISIANA-MISSISSIPPI
0

20'

Jj

20'
10 3/4

Ali 30"
20

20"

13 3/8

13

16"

3 ,8

5/8

10 3/4A
WEST TEXASDELAWARE BASIN
0

:20 In

20 in

95/9
7-I..
54.

A 7 5/8
As 1

a 9 5/6

,A9 5/8
7 5/8
5 1/2 Ai

/17-1_

5 In-I_

- I-

15,000'
TS

SO. TEXAS
WILCOX

TEXAS

wacox

17,000+

0,

15_500'
UPPER

cr..
.------

OFFSHORE
SO LOUISIANA

".C"
LAND-SO
__ LOUISIANA

A ISSNSEPPI

16,000.
MISSISSIPPI
SMACKOVIR

PROM. MS-Abnormal Pressures, Heavy Muds, Differential Sticking,


Solt Water Sands, High Temperatures, High Presser. Gas,
Unstable Well Bores.

Fig. 8.3ACasing programs for Texas, Louisiana, and


Mississippi gulf coast wells. 2

sticking is not a problem. In deep wells, scratchers should


be the reciprocating type, although rotating scratchers
have been used successfully in deviated holes at depths
in excess of 15,000 ft. (See Sec. 6.7.)
Scratchers in deep wells are subjected to abuse and wear
before total depth (TD) is reached. They should be designed to promote good flow characteristics to minimize
plugging. Filter cake loosened from exposed permeable
sections combines with gelled mud and increases the flow
resistance of the mud. This can lead to formation breakdown and loss of returns. The decision to use centralizers or scratchers in deep wells is usually based on hole
conditions and experience in the area.
Hole Conditioning and Annular Bridging During Cementing. Wellbore irregularities, a tight pipe/hole relationship, and poor centralization in deep wells,
particularly liners, are causes for poor mud displacement.
They may also contribute to premature setting of the cement slurry before displacement is complete. Lack of good
solids control yields a thick, spongy wall cake that can
reduce effective hole diameter, aggravate mud displacement, and cause bridging during cementing. Where a drilling fluid loses part of its liquid phase to the formation
as mud filtrate, a denser, less mobile mud region develops adjacent to the filter cake. A thin wall cake keeps the
pipe from becoming deeply embedded, resulting in less
torque and drag while drilling and during pipe movement
while cementing.
Measures that can be taken to minimize bridging and/or
premature cement setting include good solids control during drilling and cleaning the hole completely of cuttings
before cementing. Where practical, circulation should be
continued until the return mud viscosity (plastic viscosity/yield point) has been stabilized, indicating that most
of the loosened filter cake and gelled mud have been displaced. 1,11 This can be a problem in hard-rock areas
where drilling frequently is done underbalanced. Heaving shales cause large washed-out sections; and, if the
shales are located above a consolidated formation, ledges

WELLDEPTH-ft 1000

13 3/8

51_

13 - p

13-3 8
71n X
5-1 2 in

10!--

15

9-5 8
4-1 2 X
3-1 2
7-58-L

7 in 5 5 ,r.
9-5 8
;,- 4-1 2 T
7-5 8-L

201-

5-L

5L-

I10-20,00011 T0-21.00011

25L WARD CO REEVES CO

TD-22.500 11
TD-22 000 ft
PECOS CO WINKLER CO

Fig. 8.3BCasing programs for West Texas Delaware


basin wells.2

are formed that cause cuttings to be isolated from the annular flow. Excessive circulation of the mud system may
not clean the wellbore. Cementing the liner in this type
of well environment may cause the cuttings to be picked
up by the higher-density and higher-rheological-value cement. 12 In the tight-overlap area, bridging can choke off
the annulus. Cuttings drilled with oil or invert-mud systems that contain strong surfactants can rob water from
the cement and accelerate the set. This may be accompanied by cement gelation from the mud residue and slurry
dehydration. To minimize this, the proper selection of
spacers and/or flushes should be made on the basis of drilling fluid in tbe hole at the time of cementing.
When cementing gas zones, it is particularly important
to clean the wellbore as much as possible. Gas trapped
where holes are enlarged cuts the cement during setting
and hydration unless special measures are taken. 10 (See
Sec. 7.8.)
Cement Displacement. High displacement rates and rapid
mud removal are generally obtainable by use of low-gelstrength mud and by thinning the cement with dispersants. 8 (See also Sec. 3.8.)

TABLE 8.1TYPICAL HOLE/LINER RELATIONSHIPS

Size of
Liner
(in.)

Size of
Hole
(in.)

Size of
Last
Casing
(in.)

9%
73/4
7%
73/4

10%
91/2
91/2

113/4
103/4
103/4

81/2
81/2

9%

85/6

9%

6%
6%
61/8
61/8
43/4

7%
7%
7
7

7%

7
51/2
5
5
41/2
31/2

9%

51/2

Annular
Area
(sq in.)
15.9
13.0
14.5
9.6
10.4
19.9
10.7
14.9
9.9
13.6
8.1

Cement
Sheath
Thickness
(in.)
7/16
7/0
15/1,
3/8
7/16
13/16
9/16
13/16
9A 6
13/16

112

CEMENTING

Where the geometry of the pipe and borehole prohibits


turbulent rates, another effective way to remove mud is
to put the cement in plug flow. Plug flow depends on the
same criteria as turbulent flow, except that a different Reynolds number is used (see Chap. 11, Table 11.3). The
one factor that most benefits any cementing operation is
movement. Any movement of the pipe during cementing
will break up mud channels or pockets and promote a
more homogeneous sheath of cement around the
pipe. 11-13

Fig. 8.4Liner cementing.3

8.3 Use of Liners in Deep Wells


Liners are widely used in deep wells to case off an openhole section and thus eliminate a full string of casing. 14-16 In almost every deep-well completion in the
U.S. today, liners are used to (1) case off the open hole
to enable deeper drilling, (2) control water or gas production or hold back unconsolidated or sloughing formations, and (3) case off zones of lost circulation or zones
of high pressure encountered during drilling. 16-18 Fig.
8.4 and Table 8.2 show various types and uses of liners. 3

TABLE 8.2USES, CHARACTERISTICS, AND HANDLING OF VARIOUS TYPES OF LINERS

Production Liner

Intermediate Liner

Scab Liner

Tieback Liner
(Stub Liner)

Purpose

To serve as completion
string.

To extend intermediate
casing.

To repair damaged or
parted casing.

To extend the lower liner


into intermediate casing.

Advantages

Requires less casing.


Permits larger tubing for
greater flow capacity.

Cases hole to provide for


change in mud density.
Permits running tieback
string later.
Requires less casing.

Only a short section is


needed.

Covers damaged casing.

Characteristics May cover long area.


Covers long areas of
Has small annular
hole.
clearance.
May be set to control
May not be moved during gas.
cementing.
Usually requires heavy
Restricts pumping rates.
mud and cement (12 to
Requires careful control
14 Ibm/gal).
of cement thickening
time to allow placement,
yet set at liner top.

Usually covers short


section.
Hung before being
cemented.
Not set in receptacle.

Liner hanger can be


set before cementing.
Hydraulically set hanger
can only be set before
cementing if stage tool
is run above the sealing
nipple.

Cementing
procedure

Same as for production


liner.

Same as for production


liner.

Type of cement Depends on hole


High-density, low-water
High-density, low-waterused
conditions and mud
ratio slurry, depending on ratio slurries for high
densities; may be a
mud.
strength.
combination slurry.
API Class G or H plus
API Class G or H.
Lightweight cement for
dispersant.
density control and high (See production liner.)
fill-up.
Tailed out with API Class
G or H, densified for
high strength. Filtration
control desirable to
prevent slurry
dehydration.

High-density, low-waterratio slurries for high


strength.
API Class G or H plus
dispersant.

Liner hanger set before


cementing.
Cement circulated above
liner.
Liner tool removed from
hole.
Excess cement either
reversed out through
drillpipe or allowed
to set and is drilled
out later.

Same as for production


liner.

113

DEEP-WELL CEMENTING

Once the liner has been set, cement is circulated down


the drillpipe, out the liner shoe, and up the outside of the
liner. Top displacement plugs are used to prevent mixing
of mud and cement in the liner just as they are in the full
casing string during primary cementing. At the completion of the cementing operation, the excess cement is
reversed out, or it is allowed to set above the liner and
is later drilled out. 19 (See Figs. 8.5 and 8.6.)
Tieback liners, shorter scab liners, or both are run and
cemented to protect the intermediate casing by (1) reinforcing the intermediate casing worn by drilling, (2)
providing greater resistance to collapse stress from abnormal pressures, (3) providing protection from corrosion, and (4) sealing an existing liner that may be leaking
gas. 20-23
The tieback liner may not extend to the surface, but does
cover the top of an existing liner. When it extends from
the top of a production liner to a point some distance up
the hole, it is called a "stub" liner. This short liner may
be set with its entire weight on the production liner, or
it may be hung up the hole. When a stub liner is set as
a tieback section, it connects to the previously set liner
in the well through a 3- to 6-ft-long sealing nipple inserted into a polished or honed receptacle. The ID of the tieback sealing nipple should not be less than that of the liner
set below it.

8.4 Equipment Used in Hanging Liners


The liner hanger supports the suspended section of casing
in tension to prevent pipe buckling until the cement sets.
Most liner hangers, except those used to hang liners less
than 200 ft long, are set with either a mechanical or a
hydraulic device (Figs. 8.7A and 8.7B). Both types of
hangers contain slips that wedge against the casing wall
to support the liner. When cementing is completed, the
liner setting tool is released from the liner and removed
from the well. The selection of the proper liner hanger
is governed by liner weight, annular dimensions, and
bypass requirements, because each affects the hanger. For
longer liners, there are heavy-duty hangers capable of carrying the liner load without severely restricting the flow
past the hanger.
The hydraulically set liner hanger, depending on the
design, may be set by use of a ball. (See Fig. 8.8.) The
hydraulic pressure required to set the slips of the liner
hanger is that pressure required to overcome the spring
force and/or shear-pin load of the slip-actuating piston.
With the spring-tension type, the hanger can be returned
to the unset position by picking up the drillpipe after the
liner is set. This allows the slips to snap back into the
running-in position. Hydraulically set hangers eliminate
problems presented by rotation or reciprocation.
Mechanically set hangers are set by surface manipulation, i.e., rotating the pipe to disengage a J-slot and slacking off weight to engage the slips. A liner swivel below
the hanger permits the setting string to be rotated without
turning the hanger. Some liner hangers may be right-hand
set and use a spline, which can prevent premature release
of the setting tool. 18
Some mechanical liner hangers are set by vertical or
reciprocal operation of their working parts. While the
hanger is going in the hole, the slips are held away from
the cone by a set of steel fingers latched under a shoulder
in the tool. When the liner is run, care must be taken to

(Al

IN)

ICA

Iw

SETTING
COLLAR

SPLINE
DISENGAGED

KELLY
SETTING
TOOL

it

SETTING
TOOL
RELEASED

RETREI VABLE
RACKOFF
BUSHING

INER
HANGER /
BEARING

ri

LINER
WIPER

Fig. 8.5Liner cementing with rotating assembly.' 8

limit the distance travelled while the rotary slips are removed, or the liner hanger will be set prematurely. Vertical drillpipe movement should be limited to less travel
than is required to set the liner hanger. If a J-slot liner
hanger is set while being run in the well, the drillpipe liner
must be picked up and rotated to get the J-pins back in
the running-in position.
There are mechanically set liner hangers that allow rotation during cementing. A kelly device permits a portion of the setting tool to be engaged during rotation, and
a clutch prevents premature release from the liner. After
the hanger is set and the clutch is engaged, further rotation to the right releases the setting tool from the liner.
A friction bearing above the cone facilitates rotation. 24
Liner hanging and cementing practices may vary with
specific well conditions and operator's requirements.
There is a trend toward moving liners while cementing.
Although it is common practice to hang the liner when
it reaches bottom and allow it to remain stationary during the cementing operation, it is not the preferred
method.
Of the two types of liner hangers, the hydraulically set
type is preferred if a liner is already in the well. Hydraulically set hangers are designed to prevent breakage of
the friction wiper springs and premature setting of the slips
that enter the top of a previously existing liner. A disadvantage of hydraulically set hangers is that they usually
have larger OD's and, therefore, provide a greater restriction to circulation. 18

8.5 Liner Cementing Practices


Three methods of cementing liners are used commonly
in the industry.

114

CEMENTING

I
11
1...

CONVENTIONAL REVERSE EXCESS


CEMENT

ltd-\
---' ''
Th
,-------

.'

Mud - Cement
Contamination
14794 -1
,,11

1.: EXCESSIVE CEMENT / TO BE DRILLED OUT


...

f
I

-.

's

Mud

Mud

3
r

Mud - Cement
Contamination

Good Cement
:
:- ' '-','
8-10 Joints
,Th
,, -'; ''
1
'. 1
, 73.-- ..; Casing
'-." .' e-,

..
..
t
.'.

-3

Cement

Cement

r'
)

2 PLANNED LINER
::. SQUEEZE-TRIP
:-::OUT OF HOLE
,
,.
.
...-,
.

.:.
..
:.
."
...
.
.
,

ci 1

Drillable or
Retrievable Packer

112,,1
--V
-' ..!, ,

; =
73 ,:

1.

Cement
Squeeze

.,

PLANNED SQUEEZE
WITH RETRIEVABLE
PACKER

.
. .
,.

.
.i."-I
.
.
.

-''

Retrievable
Packer

1
c ,n

'-.

..m
-

t-2-3 Cement
_ : Squeeze
r

r
3

c
)

e c;
t''' " ').

Possibly No
Cement

Cement - Approx.
80% of Liner

c
r
1 .3 3
r

Possibly No
Cement
Cement - Approx.
80% of Liner

e
)
.. ") ',..

Fig. 8.6-Methods for cementing liners commonly used in the industry.

1. Place cement around and over the top of the liner


in a conventional single stage. Excess cement above the
top of the liner may be reversed out before the drillpipe
is removed. The disadvantage of this method is the inability to calculate accurately the proper amount of cement
to be used. If the cement volume is overestimated, the
excess cement must be drilled out. There is also the possibility of the drillpipe sticking if the cement sets before
operation is complete.
2. Place excess cement over the top of the liner in a
single stage so that 8 to 10 joints of the intermediate casing

12.18.19

will contain cement to be drilled out after setting. The


philosophy is that it is easier to drill set cement than to
squeeze the overlap area. This practice has been followed
widely in the Anadarko basin area of Oklahoma.
3. Place cement over 80% of the liner in a single stage,
then pull out of the hole-run a drillable or retrievable
squeeze tool and squeeze the top of the liner.
Method 3, referred to as a "tack and squeeze" or
"planned squeeze," can also be accomplished with a lefthand set retrievable squeeze packer made up as part of
the liner running string. 12 After the hydraulically or

115

DEEP-WELL CEMENTING

-I-9W O.D. OR 103/4" O.D. CASING

75/8" CASING

PRODUCTION STRING

LOCATOR SUB
TIE-BACK RECEPTACLE

PACKER BORE RECEPTACLE

SEAL NIPPLE

HANGER

Fig. 8.7ALiner hanger assembly showing cementing


plugs and annular clearances around slips. 23

right-hand set mechanical hanger is set, the setting tool


released, and the first stage displaced, the setting tool is
pulled up a few stands, where the squeeze packer may
or may not be set. This also allows the operator to apply
pressure from the surface on the first-stage cement, if necessary, while it is setting up and saves a trip for a squeeze
tool.
This technique is preferred by many south Louisiana
and west Texas operators, but has the disadvantage of
leaving a considerable gap between the two cemented intervals. High-pressure gas entrapped behind the liner subjects the unsupported section to pressure, environmental
corrosion, and temperature fluctuation.
The planned squeeze eliminates the risk of being unable to detach from the liner once cement is in place. This
can be a serious problem if cement is brought above the
top of the liner and around the drillpipe and then allowed
to set up. In some instances, this resulted in wells being
junked, or at the very least, a costly repair. Most operators consider it an unacceptable risk to stay connected to
the liner to reciprocate the pipe during the cementing operation.
8.6 Cementing Through
Fractured Formations
It is quite common to set and cement 6,000- to 8,000-ft
liners in many deep-well drilling areas. 25-27 Any cementing composition that must cover this distance must be adequately retarded to be placed at the higher BHT, yet
develop reasonable strength at the lower temperatures at
the liner top. It is not uncommon for this temperature
difference to exceed 100F. Overretardation of cement
slurries to achieve excessive thickening times increases
the possibility of gas cutting and may impair an otherwise successful cement job around the top of the liner.

5" O.D.CASING

Fig. 8.7BLiner hanging assembly showing tieback and


packer-bore receptacles. 23

SINGLE CONE TANDEM CONE - TANDEM CONE MECHANICAL SET MECHANICAL SET HYDRAULIC SET

Fig. 8.8Types of line hanging tools. 23

CEMENTING

116

10.5-LBM
MUD

1 11-LBM
MUD

SURFACE
CASING

s SURFACE
CASING
2ND STAGE,
16-LBM
CEMENT I

I 13-LBM
: CEMENT
00

DEPTH, FT x 1000

l
i
WELLBORE
PROFILE

ri 3

1ST STAGE\

o.
o.
w

%I
4

16-LBM
CEMENT

16-LBM
CEMENT

TM

6
0.5

06

0.7

08

0.9

FRACTURE GRADIENT, PSI/FT


Fig. 8.9Typical cement pressure profile showing use of
two different slurries. 29

Displacement studies have shown that cement slurries


should possess water-loss control when annular spaces are
small; otherwise, filter cake deposited across permeable
zones can create high friction pressure and resultant fracturing. To minimize such pressure on the weak zones,
the properties and the placement of the slurry should be
carefully controlled. 28,29 Stage-cementing tools may be
used on long strings through fractured formations to help
prevent the cementing slurry from exerting excessive pressure but cannot be used on liners. If the fracturing pressure of a formation is exceeded before the cement has been
placed, part or all of the slurry may be lost to the formation.
Placement ,limitations for liner cementing have been
determined by the use of formation fracture gradients.
Fracturing pressures (expressed as pressure gradients) can
be determined quite accurately when fluid densities and
fracture depths are known. Fracturing-pressure information can be obtained during well stimulation or squeezecementing operations.
The fracture gradient (in psi/ft) can be obtained by
dividing the bottomhole fracturing pressure (BHFP) by
the fracturing depth. It is usually constant for a given formation throughout a field. In some formations, fracture
pressure gradients will remain the same through wide variations in depth. 29,30
If the fracturing pressure or gradient of each formation penetrated in a well is known before cementing,
placement design becomes a problem of hydraulics. The
combination of mud, cement, and friction pressures may
be regulated to avoid exceeding the fracturing pressure
of any formation in the hole. In single-stage cementing,

0.5

06

07

08

09

FRACTURE GRADIENT, PSI/FT


Fig. 8.10Typical two-stage placement pressure profile
with stage collar at 2,100 ft. 29

the slurry hydrostatic pressure plus the friction pressure


cannot exceed the minimum formation fracture gradient.
If the lowest formation fracture gradient is 0.70 psi/ft,
the maximum slurry weight that can be placed is 13.5
lbm/gal if friction pressure is negligible. Slurry weights
and friction pressures can be varied, but the total effective gradient cannot safely exceed 0.70 psi/ft.
Pressure relations are more clearly expressed by plotting the formation fracture gradients as a wellbore profile (see Figs. 8.9 and 8.10). 313 Placement pressures are
plotted as maximum, or plug-down, conditions. The wellbore profile in Fig. 8.10 illustrates that 16.0-lbm/gal cement can be placed through the entire annulus in two
stages, whereas only 10.5-Ibm/gal cement can be circulated in one stage. The only place the stage-cementing tool
can be set is at the base of a weak section, which is where
fracturing first occurs, because pressure buildup is from
bottom to top.

8.7 Cementing Liners Through


Abnormal Pressure Formations
Some of the most difficult liner cementing problems are
encountered opposite abnormal-pressure sections in the
Delaware and Anadarko basins. In many instances, two
liners are required through these high-pressure gas sections, which occur at depths from 10,000 to 18,000
ft. 30.3I The greater pore pressures dictate the use of
heavy-mud systems to control the gas until the wells can
be cased off and cemented. In the lower sections of hole,
the pore pressures drop rapidly and can be controlled with
drilling muds of much lower densities (Figs. 8.11A and
8.11B and Table 8.3). 32,33

117

DEEP-WELL CEMENTING
TEMPERATURE, F
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400 450
GEOTHERMAL
TEMPERATURE
1

1000

SURFACE]
--CASING

k\

RED BEDS
SALT STRINGS
ANHYDRITE
CAVERNOUS
UNCONSOLIDATED

4000

6000
7000

8000

,10
8m
a-

14 o

N,

rmas,RE

'6

9000

9- 12

22 n ; _
tz.
24'9

10000
11000
INTER12000 MEDIATE13000
14000

15000
1 '6'
LO -' .-' )' \ F ,' .C9'
d, 0 . c:a

.0.0

III

PORE PRESSURE

19000
20000

NORMALLY
PRESSURED
SECTION

FRACTURE
1PRESSURE

- HIGH

TRANSITION
PRESSURE
ZONE
WELL CONSOLIDATED
1 ABNORMAL
SHALES
PRESSURES,
SANDSTONE
RECEDING
STRINGS
PRESSURES
RECEDING

INTER16000 MEDIATE -' -- PRESSURES


LINER
17000

moo
0' 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16
PRESSURE,1,000 psi

LIME
SANDSTONE
SHALE
CONSOLIDATED
BRACKISH
WATER
NORMAL
PRESSURES
TRANSITION
ZONE

18
ca
20 ,:127
$

1 1 1

-4FORMATION

5000 SALT_
STRINGS

L NCONSOL-

2000
3000

6 a

FORMATION PORE PRESSURE AND


FRACTURE PRESSURE EXPRESSED
IN EQUIVALENT MUD WT, PPG
IDATED FRESH
WATER BEARING 8 10 12 14 16 18 20

SURFACE

....

..6

NORMAL
PRESSURES

PRODUCTION
LINER

Fig. 8.11ALiner cementing through zones of high pore


pressure in deep wells (dashed lines indicate weight in
Ibm/gal) (after Ref. 32).

Fig. 8.11BGeneral makeup of U.S. deep basins (after


Ref. 33).

These high-pressure gas sections usually have very low


permeabilities and will support mud weights from 12 to
18 lbm/gal. They are dense, hard zones that can produce
a very low volume of gas. Underbalanced drilling is frequently used, with mud weights substantially lower than
the pore pressures of the formation being penetrated. With
such drilling, varying quantities of trip gas are produced,
which can result in gas-cut cement and leakage at the top
33,34 Hole caliper surveys
of the liner into the annulus.
are used in planning and executing these liner cementing

jobs. An excess of 20 to 30% of cement is used, flow


is turbulent, and the plug is bumped on time. The result
should be several hundred feet of good hard cement on
top of the liner. Frequently, however, although the job
may have been executed according to plan, channeling
or gas-cutting of cement will have caused irreparable
leaks. Gas leaking from the top of the liner after the cement is drilled out cannot be squeeezed off because cement slurry will not penetrate the microannulus through
which the leakage occurs.

TABLE 8.3LINER CEMENTINGANADARKO BASIN


Typical Cementing Composition
API Class H cement
Cement dispersant
Cement filtration control agent
Silica flour-35%above 230F
Retarderto give 3 to 41/2 hours pumpability
Weight material required when mud weight exceeds 16.5 Ibm/gal
Cement Mixing Equipment: Batch Mixer
Cement Pumping Equipment: One Cementing Unit, One Standby Unit

Formation

Liner Setting
Depth (ft)

Red Fork
Atoka
Morrow
Springer
Hunton
Arbuckle

11,000 to 13,000
13,000 to 14,500
14,500 to 17,500
16,000 to 19,500
17,000 to 26,000
17,000 to 26,000

Mud Weight
(Ibm)
14.5 to 15.5
15.2 to 16.2
16.5 to 17.5
16.8 to 18.0
9.5 to 10.0
9.5 to 10.0

Bottomhole Static
Temperature
(F)
190 to 210
210 to 245
240 to 285
280 to 310
280 to 370
280 to 370

CEMENTING

118

JOB COMPLETE

SETTING LINER

RUNNING LINER

Pulling
Drill
Pipe

Float
Collar
(Valve
Closed)

Liner
Hanger/
Setting
Tool
Drill
Pipe

Delayed
Setting
Cement
Slurry
In Place

Reversing
Fluid

Cement
Displaced
Into
Annulus

Float
Collar
(Valve
Closed)

Fig. 8.12Delayed-set method of cementing liners. 35

Methods for cementing liners in high-pressure formations include (1) placing cement around and over the top
of the liner in a conventional single stage, and (2) placing cement over the lower half or two-thirds of the liner
in a single stage, then pulling out of the hole, running
a drillable or retrievable squeeze tool, and squeezing the
top of the liner. (See Fig. 8.6.) The latter technique is
preferable, but has the disadvantage of leaving a considerable gap between the two cemented intervals. High-

pressure gas entrapped behind the liner subjects the unsupported section to pressure, environmental corrosion,
and temperature fluctuation.
The squeeze variation in the single-stage liner cementing program, which enables the operator to hold pressure
against the gas-producing section, is called the "controlled
reversing" method. 23,32 After the plugs are bumped, the
setting string is raised a few stands above the liner and
excess cement is reversed out of the hole by circulating
down the casing and back through the drillpipe to exert
pressure against the zone.
Because of inadequate hole clearance and the possibility of damaging the sealing elements with mud filter cake
and other foreign matter carried by the circulated fluid,
liner packers are not widely used to control gas in deep
wells. Gas can remain under a liner packer for weeks with
no indication of leakage, then migrate to the surface,
where it can damage the rig or the well or injure personnel. Liner packers were primarily designed not to hold
high-pressure gas, but to keep hydrostatic heads off the
formation. 32 Special liner packers have been designed to
seal off leaks in liner tops; however, they are not run in
with the liner and are not subjected to the type of damage
caused by circulation during cementing.

8.8 Cementing Liners in Wells With Low


Fluid Levels
When liners are set in low-fluid-level wells, delayed-set
cementing is sometimes used. 35 In this method the cement slurry is placed in the well before the liner is run
(Fig. 8.12 illustrates the procedure). During placement,
bottomhole pressures (BHP's) are carefully controlled so
that they are about equal to that of the normal static fluid
column. This technique has advantages over conventional methods when the annular space between the liner and
the borehole is small. In such cases, the liner is difficult
to center in the wellbore and the possibility of leaving
drilling mud in the annulus is increased.

TABLE 8.4EXAMPLE DELAYED-SET CEMENTING JOBS


West Texas Job
Specific conditions
Well depth, ft
Casing depth, ft
Casing size, in.
Liner depth, ft
Liner size, in.
Cement
Type
Additives

Old wells
3,470**
2,900*
7*
600**
41/2"*

Procedure

Spotted 500 gal 5% HCI, mixed


and pumped 75 sacks cement
with drillpipe, lowered liner to
bottom in slurry after 8
hours, completed wells by
perforating and fracturing.

API Class C
4% gel, 1% dispersant,
1% fluid-loss agent
Thickening time, hours 24
Set time, hours
30
Fluid loss, cm3
50 to 100
Strength
1,000 psi in 48 hours at 93F

"Openhole completion
**Recompletion

South Louisiana Job


New well
10,800
10,400
51/2
600
41/2
Pozzolan cement
6% gel, 1% fluid-loss-agent,
0.6% retarder
18
24
50 to 100
750 psi in 72 hours;
1,500 psi in 120 hours
Mixed 35 bbl cement in batch
mixer, spotted cement with
drillpipe, reciprocated liner
several times, drilled out
hard cement after 48 hours.

119

DEEP-WELL CEMENTING
600

cr,

500

I-

400
350
cc
300
Lt.! 250
a.
2
tu 200

1;.1
Ir
In
IMEARME
Millne211
1
API BHST = 80
Evamstsamaill.
+ .015 x DEPTH Mot11121EiCaSll
FOOMPM.111/
IIM
,A23910P21 0.9 I

(9
z 150

400
ui
2
i= 300

z
z
"I 200

.i
.22.2.orT
,,,B9,.........os.;; INAPI
CASING
CEMENTING BHCT

100

2118M..:11.11
100
11
0
cc 502

E5

TEMPERATURE GRADIENT 1.9


10,000

4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20
DEPTH, 1000 ft

20,000

30,000

PRESSURE, PSI

Fig. 8.13Circulating temperature vs. depth as a function


of the temperature gradient.

Fig. 8.14Effect of pressure on pumpability of cement.


(CementAPI Class H with 0.3% retarder; BHCT-200F.)

The thickening time of cement may be controlled to allow placement to depths of 10,000 to 12,000 ft where temperatures do not exceed 260F. Movement when the liner
is run allows any drilling mud that might remain in the
annulus to commingle with the cement slurry and to
minimize or eliminate channels. The major disadvantage
of this technique is the longer waiting-on-cement (WOC)
time required. Examples of delayed-setting jobs designed
for old and new wells are given in Table 8.4.

perature data on deep wells (see Fig. 8.13). These data


revealed that BHT's reach a minimum after mud has been
circulated for 3 to 4 hours in the deepest wells.
In reporting temperature data to the laboratory designing the slurry, one should note the source of the well temperature (i.e., whether it has come from a log, a drillstem
test, field experience, etc.). It is poor practice to overstate BHT merely to ensure cement pumpability.

8.9 Other Factors To Consider in


Cementing Deep Wells
Well Temperature. In any deep well, an accurate knowledge of the static temperature or the bottomhole circulating temperature (BHCT) is necessary for selecting a
cement composition. 23'36 Such data may be obtained
from drillstem tests or logs, or with special temperaturerecording subs run on the bottom of the drillstring during hole conditioning. Many deep holes are not as hot as
expected, and overestimating temperatures in the slurry
design can result in gas cutting of the cement or in failure
of the cement to set at the top of the liner. From 1971
through 1973 the API gathered downhole circulating tern-

Pumpability. Temperature and pressure each influence


the set of cement, whereas depth dictates the placement
time (the greater the depth, the more time required). Pressure alone accelerates the setting of cement more in deep
wells than was previously thought (Fig. 8.14). This accelerating effect was not recognized until the development
of the super pressure/temperature testing apparatus for
cementing wells to depths of 40,000 ft and at static temperatures of 700F.
With the development of uniform basic cements (API
Classes G and H), retardation technology for deep-well
conditions has been greatly simplified. (Table 8.5 shows
typical cement thickening times attainable with various
amounts of retarder at high temperatures.)

TABLE 8.5TYPICAL CEMENT THICKENING TIMES AT HIGH TEMPERATURES


Cement: API Class H.
Additive: 35% silica flour.
Slurry weight: 18.5 Ibm/gal.

Simulated Conditions
At 500F, 18,000 psi reached in 60 min.

At 550F, 18,000 psi reached in 60 min.

At 600F, 25,000 psi reached in 90 min.

Retarder
(%)

Thickening
Time
(hours:min.)

4.0
4.5
5.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
8.0

2:10
3:52
6:03
7:30
2:10
4:22
5:50
3:17

120

For reasons of safety the cementing materials and mixing water at the job site should be laboratory-tested before they are used in deep wells.
Slurry Volume. The cement-slurry volume to be used
is normally calculated from a caliper measurement that
is run in conjunction with the openhole logs. The calculated volume plus 20 to 30% excess cement volume or
sufficient cement based on area practices to enable placement of uncontaminated cement around the top of the liner
are commonly used.
In a planned squeeze cement job, the first phase involves
pumping a cement volume equal to approximately 80%
of the calculated annular volume. The cement volume to
be used in the squeeze operation may be estimated as the
annulus volume from the estimated top of the first-stage
cement to the liner top plus an excess volume to fill the
casing from the squeeze tool to the top of the liner.
Use of Spacers in Liner Cementing. In many linercementing situations, drilling fluids are often complex,
weighted, and highly treated with chemicals that may not
be compatible with the cement. For these reasons, spacers
are used between the cement slurry and drilling fluids to
prevent unacceptable mixing. Severe retardation, extreme
gelation, and poor displacement efficiency are the consequences of incompatibility. Contamination will yield a
lower-compressive-strength cement in the overlap area at
the top of the liner. The cement may be contaminated to
such a degree that it becomes viscous enough to create
an excessive amount of friction pressure, thus increasing
the possibility of breaking down weaker formations.
Spacers are available that will suspend heavyweight additives equal to or heavier than the drilling fluid. Flushes
may be used in conjunction with spacer to achieve optimum mud removal. The API has a tentative testing technique for the selection and testing of spacer compatibility.
The volume of spacer should be based on annulus fillup and, in some cases, may cover the entire liner. The
preferred system is the one that gives the most uniform
results. Spacer design should be conducted with a sample of the drilling fluid from the well and is representative of the well when the liner is cemented.
The density and amount of the spacer must be such that
formation fluid influx is prevented throughout the cement
placement.
Strength Stability. All API Classes of cement lose
strength and gain permeability when exposed to high temperature (see Sec. 3.10). A maximum strength is reached
between 230 and 260F. Thereafter, the strength
decreases as temperature increases. To inhibit that loss
of strength where formation temperatures are above
230F, cement should always contain 30 to 40% silica
flour by weight of cement. The finely powdered silica
reacts with cement at temperatures above 230F to form
a complex calcium silicate called tobermorite. This material is influenced by particle size, and the silica must
be finely ground to impart high strength and low permeability to cement exposed to high temperatures. For
heavyweight cement slurries, coarse silica (60 to 140
mesh) can be substituted for the fine silica to reduce the
additional water needed.

CEMENTING

Field Mixing. The volume of cement used on most deei


liners is usually rather small. Because slurry design is crit
ical, batch mixing is sometimes preferred to promote
uniformity. Because surface mixing time does not signif
icantly influence the total thickening time of the cement
the slurry can be tested and its properties adjusted before
it is pumped into the well.
Typical Composition. A typical deep-well cementing
composition would consist of API Class G or H cemen
containing 35% silica flour, fluid loss agent, a dispersant
heavyweight additives for density, KC1 or NaC1, and
retarder. It would have a weight of 17.5 to 19.5 lbm/gal
its thickening time would be 3 to 41 hours; and its fluic
loss would be 100 cm3 or less at 1,000 psi based on AP'
fluid-loss data.
Pipe MovementReciprocation vs. Rotation. Whil(
many studies have shown that pipe movement is the mos
important factor in mud removal, 37-41 it is estimated tha
pipe is moved during slurry placement in less than 20 %
of the liner jobs. Liner hangers and setting tools have bees
modified to allow reciprocation and/or rotation while ce
menting (Fig. 8.5).
Rotation is commonly preferred over reciprocation be
cause the drillpipe is detached from the liner and is in po
sition across the zone of interest during the time that tho
pipe is in motion. This eliminates getting stuck high o
at the top of a stroke when reciprocating. 41
When reciprocating liners, the drillpipe is still connecter
to the liner during movement and can present serious prob
lems if cement is circulated above the top of the liner an
around the drillpipe. Swab or surge pressures while th(
liner is being moved could also cause either lost circula
tion or formation flow if mud weights exceed the frac
ture gradient. If the liner sticks during movement, it ma:
have to be set in compression, which could cause the line
to buckle. In production liners, buckling is a greater prob
lem at higher temperatures and pressures and could maks
production packer-setting difficult.
Liner movement in any direction may also knock debri
into the annulus, which could cause bridging and circu
lation problems. No liner movement reduces the likeli
hood that it will be stuck off bottom above a critical pa:
or lost-circulation zone.
Despite the risks involved in liner movements, opera
tors who drill good usable holes report its advantages 11
cement distributionwhich eliminates squeezing line
tops.

8.10 Summary Check Lists for Running


and Cementing Liners in Deep Wells
The following list comprises items that should be checker
in preparation for running and cementing liners in dee]
wells. Table 8.6 constitutes an operational check sheet
to be used during the liner running and cementing proce
dure. It was drawn up by Lindsey and Bateman32 an(
published in API Bulletin D-17. 23
Hole Conditions
1. Depth of liner.
2. Mud weight.
3. Size of liner/hole annulus. (Are there doglegs or obstructions?)

DEEP-WELL CEMENTING

121
TABLE 8.6-PROCEDURES FOR RUNNING AND CEMENTING LINERS 23

(Name and location of well)


1. Run drillpipe in the hole and circulate to condition hole for running the liner. Temperature subs should be run on this
trip if BHCT's are not known. Drop hollow rabbit (drift) to check the drillpipe ID for proper pumpdown plug clearance. On the
trip out of the hole, accurately measure and isolate the drillpipe to be used to run the liner. Tie off the remaining drillpipe on
the other side of the pipe racking board.
ft of
liner with the float shoe and float collar spaced
joints apart. Run the liner plug landing
2. Run
joints above the float collar. The volume between float shoe and plug landing collar is
bbl. Sandblast joints
collar
comprising the lower 1,000 and upper 1,000 ft of the liner. Run thread locking compound on the float equipment and bottom
eight joints of the liner. Pump through the bottom eight joints to be certain that the float equipment is working.
3. Fill each 1,000 ft of the liner while running, if automatic fill-up type equipment is not used.
4. Install liner hanger and liner-setting-tool assembly. Fill the dead space (if pack-off bushing is used in lieu of liner setting
cups) between liner setting tool and liner hanger assembly with inert gel to prevent solids from settling around the setting tool.
5. Run liner on
drillpipe with
(size, type connection, weight, and grade)
Ibm minimum overpull rating. Run in the hole at 1 to 2 min/stand in the casing and 2 to 3 min/stand in open hole.
Circulate last joint to bottom with cement manifold installed. Shut down pump. Hang the liner 5 ft off bottom. Release liner
setting tool and leave 10,000 Ibm of drillpipe weight on setting tool and liner top.
bbl/min to achieve
ft/min annular velocity (approximately equal to previous annular
6. Circulate bottoms up with
velocities during drilling operations).
7. Cement the liner as follows
8. If unable to continue circulation while cementing, because of plugging or bridging in the liner and hole wall annular area,
psi and attempt to remove bridge. Do not overpressure and
pump on annulus between drillpipe and liner to maximum
fracture the formation. If unable to regain circulation, pull out of liner and reverse out any cement remaining in the drillpipe.
bbl is capacity of the drillpipe.
9. Slow down pump rate just before pumpdown plug reaches the liner wiper plug.
Watch for plug shear indication, recalculate or correct cement displacement, and continue plug displacement plus
bbl
maximum over displacement.
10.If no definite indication of plug shear is apparent, pump calculated displacement volume plus
bbl (100% + 1 to 3%).
11. Pull out 8 to 10 drillpipe stands or above the top of the cement, whichever is greatest. Hold pressure on top of the cement
to prevent gas migration until cement sets.
12. Trip out of the hole.
hours.
13. WOC
in. OD bit and drill cement to top of liner. Test liner overlap with differential test, if possible. Pull out of the hole.
14.Run
in OD bit or mill and drill out cement inside the liner as necessary. Displace the hole for further drilling.
15. Run
Spot perforating fluid (if in production liner) or other conditioning procedures as desired.
COMMENTS

4. Temperature of hole-either at top and bottom of


liner, or gradient.
5. Pore pressure of formations opposite liner.
6. Corrosiveness of well fluids and gas.
7. Maximum differential and circulation pressures on
liner at time of landing plug.
Liner Design
1. Size, weight, and grade of steel.
2. Allowance for burst, collapse, tensile, or compressive forces.
3. Type of joint. (Is it an integral or a collared pipe?)
4. Hanger.
a. Is it mechanically set or hydraulically set?
b. Is it rotating or nonrotating?
c. How is it unlatched from the liner?
Cementing Equipment
1. Plugs.
2. Floating equipment.
3. Centralizers.
4. Scratchers.
5. Fill-up equipment.

Cement Slurry Design


1. Density. (Will it circulate yet restrain well fluids or
gas?)
2. Quality of mixing water.
3. Compatibility of flushes for mud/cement spacers.
4. Thickening time.
a. Is there a safety factor for placement?
b. Has it been laboratory tested with the mixing
water?
5. Viscosity. (Is it low enough for the required displacement rate?)
6. Filtration control. (Is it adequate to prevent dehydration?)
7. WOC time. (Is it based on strength development at
the top of the liner?)
Mixing
1. Method. (Is it a small job, calling for batch mixing?
A large job, requiring continuous mixing?)
2. Pumping and bulk equipment. (Are they in good
operating order?)
3. Water.
a. Is there enough for the expected rate of mixing
and the volume of cement?

122

b. Is there enough to displace a plug?


4. Preflush. (Has a minimum of 20 bbl been prepared
for displacement after the plug is released?)
Operational Considerations
1. Is the slurry to be reverse circulated, or is the drillpipe to be pulled without reversing?
2. Is displacement to be with rig pumps, service units,
or both?
3. Have the pump strokes and the time to bump the plug
been determined?
4. Is the pressure recording equipment ready for operation from the service unit and rig manifold?
References
"U.S. Deep Drilling Report," Pet. Eng. (March 1984) 21.
"A Look at Deep Drilling," World Oil (May 1968) 57.
"Drilling and Completion Practices," World Oil (May 1982) 103.
"Deep Drilling Forecast," World Oil (Feb. 1984) 87.
DeGeer, W.D. Jr.: "Running, Setting and Cementing Casing in
Deep Wells," paper SPE 3910 presented at the 1972 SPE Deep
Drilling Symposium, Amarillo, Sept. 11-12.
6. Wheeler, R. Jr. and Moriarty, D.G.: "World's Longest/Strongest
Casing Set," Pet. Eng. (May 1969) 105.
7. "Historic Oklahoma Test Bests 30,000 Feet," Oil & Gas J. (March
1972) 63.
8. Clark, C.R. and Carter, L.G.: "Mud Displacement With Cement
Slurries," J. Pet. Tech. (July 1973) 775-83.
9. Hamby, T.W. Jr., Broussard, L.P., and Taylor, D.B.: "Producing
Mississippi's Deep, High-Pressure Sour Gas," J. Pet. Tech. (June
1976) 629-38.
10. Hyatt, C.R. and Partin, M.R. Jr.: "Liner Rotation and Proper Planning Improve Primary Cementing Success," paper SPE 12607
presented at the 1984 SPE Deep Drilling and Production
Symposium, Amarillo, April 1-3.
11. Lawrence, D.K. and Toland, T.: "Preplanning Deep Holes Pays
Off for Sun," Pet. Eng. (March 1967) 63.
12. Bowman, G.: "Proper Liner Cementing Plans Will Prevent Later
Problems," World Oil (Nov. 1982, Dec. 1982, and Jan. 1983).
13. Carter, L.G., Cook, C., and Snelson, L.: "Cementing Research
in Directional Gas Well Completions," paper SPE 4313 presented
at the 1973 SPE European Meeting, London, April 2-3.
14. Leon, L., Hathorn, D.H., and Saunders, C.D.: "Completion Techniques In Very Deep Wells," Proc., Eighth World Pet. Cong.,
London (1971) 3, 159-66.
15. Dubrow, M.H.: "Deep-Well Cementing," Oil-Well Cementing
Practices in the United States, API, New York City (1959) 177.
16. West, E.R. and Lindsey, H.E. Jr.: "How to Run and Cement Liners
in Ultra-Deep Wells," World Oil (June 1966) 101-06.
17. Davis, S.H.: "Cementing Liners," Oil-Well Cementing Practices
in the United States, API, New York City (1959) 187-88.
18. Lindsey, H.E. Jr.: "Recent Developments in Tools for Liner
Movement During Cementation," paper presented at the 1981
Southwestern Pet. Short Course, Texas Tech. U., Lubbock, April
23-24.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.

CEMENTING
19. Muncrief, R.E. Lafollette, R., and Rainbolt, C.: "Techniques for
Successful Liner Cementing in the Anadarko Basin," paper SPE
12627 presented at the 1984 SPE Deep Drilling Symposium,
1-in3er Hanging Cuts Deep Well Casing Costs,'
A . :r ii"L
, LE)
20. K
Aamsatrroilpio'
Pet. Eng. (Jan. 1962) 104.
21. Lindsey, H.E. Jr.: "Techniques for Liner Tie-Back Ceme
Pet. Eng. (June 1973) 40.
22. Kirk, W.L.: "Deep Drilling Practices in Mississippi,".1. Pet. Tech.,
(June 1972) 633-42.
23. "Running and Cementing Liners in the Delaware Basin, Texas,"
API Bull. D17, second edition (March 1983).
24. Lindsey, H.E. Jr.: "New Tools Make Liner Rotation During Cementing Practical," World Oil (Oct. 1981) 165-74.
25. Mahony, B.J.: "New Techniques Cut Drilling Costs in the Delaware
Basin," World Oil (Nov. 1966) 117.
26. Johnson, K.A. and Burdylo, L.: "Successful Liner Completions
on the Murchison Platform," paper EUR 365 presented at the 1982
European Offshore Technology Conference, London, Oct. 25-28.
27. Beaupre, C.J.: "Drilling and Completion Programs and Problems,
Rojo Caballos Penn Field, Pecos County, Texas," paper presented
at API Div. of Production Spring Meeting, Fort Worth, March 1963.
28. Pugh, T.D.: "A Design for Cementing Deep Delaware Basin
Wells," paper presented at the 1964 Southwestern Pet. Short Course,
Texas Tech. U., Lubbock, Apr. 23-24.
29. Gibbs, M.A.: "Delaware Basin Cementing-Problems and
Solutions," J. Pet Tech. (Oct. 1966) 1281-85.
30. Gibbs, M.A.: "Primary and Remedial Cementing in Fractured Formations," paper presented at the 1967 Southwestern Pet. Short
Course, Texas Tech. U., Lubbock, Apr. 20-21.
31. Pugh, T.D.: "What to Consider When Cementing Deep Wells,"
World Oil (Sept. 1967) 52.
32. Lindsey, H.E. Jr. and Bateman, S.J.: "Improved Cementing or
Drilling Liners in Deep Wells," World Oil (Oct. 1973) 65.
33. Mahoney, B.J. and Barrios, J.R.: "Cementing Liners Through Deep
High-Pressure Zones," Pet. Eng. (March 1974) 61.
34. "How 20,000-foot Ellenburger Gas Wells Were Drilled," World
Oil (May 1968) 58.
35. Glenn, E.N.: "Liner Cementing-Long Life Technique," paper
presented at the 1967 Southwestern Petroleum Short Course, Texas
Tech. U., Lubbock, Apr. 20-21.
36. Lindsey, H.E. Jr.: "Running and Cementing Deep Well Liners,
World Oil, Part 1 (Nov. 1974), Part 2 (Dec. 1974).
37. Howell, F.R.: "Liner Reciprocation While Cementing," Drilling
(July 1979).
38. Woodall-Mason, N.: "7-In. Liner Cementations in the Brent Field
- A Case History," paper EUR 248 presented at the 1980 European
Offshore Technology Conference, London, Oct. 21-24.
39. Ford, R., Turcich, T.A., and Goad, B.F.: "Reciprocation of Line
During Cement Displacement As Practiced in the Prudhoe Bay*
Unit," paper SPE 10218 presented at the 1981 SPE Annual
Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Oct. 5-7.
40. Landrum, W.R., Porter, J.E., and Turner, R.D.: "Rotating Liners
J. Pet.
During Cementing in the Grand Isle and West Delta Area,"
Tech. (July 1985) 1263-66.
41. Lindsey, H.E. Jr. and Durham, K.S.: "Field Results of Liner
Rotation During Cementing," paper SPE 13047 presented at the
1984 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston,
Sept. 16-19.

hapter 9

queeze Cementing

).1 Introduction
queeze cementingthe process of applying. hydraulic
pressure to force or squeeze a cement slurry into a fornation void or against a porous zoneis the most cornnon type of downhole remedial cementing. Its objective
s to obtain a seal between the casing and the formation.
One of the earliest oilwell problems was to isolate downole water. The problem was partially solved by use of
ement slurry and squeeze pressure. It was observed that
e higher the pressure, the greater the volume of cement
hat could be displaced and the more successful the isolaon around the wellbore. I This
high-pressure
many
years for technique
remedial
as been widely used for
ementing.
The technical literature contains a wealth of material
; still, many unanswered questions
n squeezing wells 2-4
ersist.
Where does the cement go on a squeeze job?
What is formation breakdown, and is it necessary?
Should water or mud be used for breakdown?
Will squeezed cement completely surround a wellbore?
Can perforations be plugged with cement?
g
Can the quantity of cement be controlled durin
placement?
the most common use of squeeze cementing is
Today ,
segregate
d
a hydrocarbon-producing zone from
those
therefore,
toucing other fluids. The aim in squeezing,
place the cement at the correct points to accomplish
Zis. (See Fig. 9.1.)
Is Required
)*2 Where Squeezing
he application of squeeze-cementing technology has inIreased considerably with a better understanding of (1)
eo mechanics of fracturing rock and (2) the filtration
'Squeezing .cement slurries pressured against a permef
rteiedsiuom
rblePein
n wells for the following
is widelyused i
urposes. 4-6

1. To control high GOR' s. By isolating the oil zone


from an adjacent gas zone, the GOR can usually be improved to help increase oil production.
2. To control excessive water or gas. Water or gas sands
can be squeezed off below the oil sand to help decrease
water/oil or gas/oil ratios. Independent water or gas zones
can usually be squeezed to eliminate water or gas intrusion such as that illustrated in Fig. 9.2.
3. To repair casing leaks. Cement can be squeezed
through corrosion holes in casing.
4. To seal off thief zones or lost-circulation zones.
5. To protect against fluid migration into a producing
zone (block squeezing). (See Fig. 9.3.)
6. To isolate zones in permanent completions. It is common practice in many areas, after a well with multipleproducing-zone potential has been cased, to isolate the
first zone by squeezing and produce the zone to
depletion. 7
7. To correct a defective primary cementing job. Problems resulting from channeling or insufficient fill-up on
the primary cementing job can often be overcome by
squeeze cementing. Liners are commonly squeezed from
the top into the annulus or overlap.
8. To prevent fluid migration from abandoned zones
or wells. Squeeze cementing is used to seal old perforations or to plug depleted producing zones completed in
open hole.
9.3 Squeeze Terminology
Squeeze-cementing terms and their definitions vary from
area to area. The meanings can be perplexing, so a discussion of terminology is appropriate.
Squeeze Pressure. Squeeze-cementing objectives are
usually defined by pressure requirements. The "highpressure" technique (Fig. 9.4a) involves breaking down
the formation and pumping cement slurry or cement
filtrate into the formation until a specific surface pres-

CEMENTING

124
1P,71Q<C':'
,'
PeP,98dg,
D
4. ok
.Y.o ona:on .0 (rat
TUBING3`,,'-009:'.?Tcya,
oa;-jc4.-(5.?6 ,e0.0:,00./.;0g.
Do;,)3,Do:,pritf,B00.voocc?,

gPipq,- u.

.2.('-c);,`; 0%)

PRIMARY CEMENT,

J O0 O

r D o.0 7.:6 ,9;23}126-,2?g,:.T


P(31)00:0-0.0 D:P'19D,,!,;*07W0ok, .
;
. ,00,,09 c2,On'o
0%0.8q 0,--C CEMENT'

"`soUEEZE PACKERS'

MUD
FILTER
CAKE

Fig. 9.1Typical squeeze operation (packer set above


perforations to control pressures and flow of cement slurry
to formation).

GAS

OIL

WATER

PRESENT

FUTURE

Fig. 9.2Water or gas intrusion as oil zone is depleted.

PRIMARY CEMENT
CEMENT

sure can be maintained without bleedoff. The


pressure" technique (Fig. 9.4b) involves placing cement
over the interval to be squeezed and applying a pressure
sufficient to form a filter cake of dehydrated cement in
perforations, channels, or fractures that may be open.
Block Squeezing. To block squeeze is to Perforate_
above and below the pay section and then squeeze cement
through the perforations. It is used to isolate the produe_
ing zone before a well is completed. The technique normally involves two perforating steps, two squeeze steps
and drilling out (Fig. 9.3).
Breakdown Pressure. Breakdown pressure is the pressure necessary to break down or fracture the formation
so that it will accept fluid. In high-pressure squeezing,
this is the pressure that must be achieved before cement
slurry or cement filtrate is put into a formation. If the formation is permeable, filtrate will go into it at any pressure above the formation pore pressure. With the
low-pressure technique, a satisfactory squeeze can be performed without breaking down the formation.
Fracture Gradient. Fracture gradient is usually defined
as the pressure per foot of depth required to initiate a fracture. Less pressure is required to extend and prop a fracture than to create it (Fig. 9.5).
Bottomhole Treating Pressure. Bottomhole treating
pressure is the pressure exerted on the formation during
a squeeze operation. It is the surface pressure plus the
hydrostatic pressure of well fluids minus the frictional
pressure. To fracture a formation, this pressure must exceed the breakdown pressure (see Fig. 9.4). Table 9.1
shows some representative bottomhole treating pressures
and fracture gradients in the U.S.
Cement Dehydration. A cement slurry is composed basically of cement particles and water. The particles are too
large to enter the permeability; therefore, they are separated from the water under a differential pressure. This
is called dehydration. In dehydration the water is squeezed
from the cement slurry and a filter cake of solid particles
forms on the face of the formation. If excessive pressure
is exerted, the formation will fracture and some slurry
will be forced into the fractures during the squeeze.

9.4 Squeeze Techniques

OIL AND GAS


Fig. 9.3Block squeezing.

BLOCK
SQUEEZING
ABOVE AND
BELOW PAY

Bradenhead Squeeze Method. The original method of


squeezing was the bradenhead method, which is accomplished through tubing or drillpipe without the use of a
packer. Pressure is built up by closing the blowout
preventers or wellhead control valves after the cement has
been pumped to near the bottom of the cementing string.
A predetermined amount of slurry is mixed and pumped
to a specific height outside the tubing or drillpipe. The
tubing or drillpipe is then pulled out of the slurry and the
wellhead is packed off at the surface. Displacing fluid is
pumped down the tubing until the desired squeeze pressure is reached or until a specific amount of the fluid has
been pumped. The wellhead is closed at the surface. As
pumping continues, the cement slurry is forced to move
into or against zones of weakness because it can no longer
circulate up the annulus. This method is used extensively
in squeezing shallow wells, in plugging, and sometimes
in squeezing off zones of partially lost circulation during
drilling.
When shallow wells are squeezed by this method, fluids
in the tubing are displaced into the formation ahead of
the cement. In deeper wells, the cement may be spotted

125

SQUEEZE CEMENTING
LOW PRESSURE SQUEEZING
ps
SURFACE

HIGH PRESSURE SQUEEZING


Ps

SURFACE
PRESSURE

PRESSURE
DISPLACEMENT
FLUID --'
(SALT WATER)

DISPLACEMENT
FLUID
(SALT WATER)

SQUEEZE
SLURRY
(LFL CEMENT)

SQUEEZE
SLURRY

LESS
FRACTURE
PRESSURE

GREATER
FRACTURE
PRESSURE

Fig. 9.4High-pressure vs. low-pressure squeeze (bottomhole-treating pressures greater or


less than fracture pressure of formation).

halfway down the tubing before the casing valve at the


surface is closed. The applicability of bradenhead squeezing is restricted because the casing must be pressure-tight
above the point of squeezing and because maximum pressures are limited by the burst strength of the casing. Also,
it is difficult to spot the cement very accurately across
the target interval without using a packer (Fig. 9.6).
Squeeze-Packer Method. The squeeze-packer method
uses a retrievable or a nonretrievable tool run on tubing
to a position near the top of the zone to be squeezed. This
technique is generally considered superior to the bradenhead method because it confines pressures to a specific
point in the hole. Before the cement is placed, a pressure
test is conducted to determine the formation breakdown
pressure. In certain instances, the section below the perforations to be squeezed must be isolated with a bridge
plug. When the desired squeeze pressure is obtained, the
remaining slurry is reversed out. Squeezing objectives and
zonal conditions will govern whether high pressures or
low pressures are used.

9.5 Squeeze Pressure Requirements


Most squeeze jobs are defined by the pressure required
to accomplish a downhole seal or shutoff.
The high-pressure technique (Fig. 9.4a) uses a quantity of salt water (or chemical wash) to determine the breakdown pressure of the formation to be squeezed. Mud
should not be used as a breakdown fluid because it can
plug or damage the formation. After breakdown a slurry
of cement and water is spotted near the formation and
pumped at a low rate. As pumping continues, injection
pressures begin to build up until surface pressure indicates that either cement dehydration or a squeeze has occurred. Pressure is held momentarily on the formation
to verify static conditions and then released to determine
whether the cement will stay in place. The excess slurry
above the perforations is then reversed out.
If the desired squeeze pressure is not obtained, a hesitation, or staging period, is often employed. This method
involves mixing one batch of cement (30 to 100 sacks),
placing it against the formation, waiting at least until the
initial set, and repeating the operation as many times as
required. (Fig. 9.7 illustrates the steps and shows the surface pressures in a hesitation squeeze.)

The low-pressure technique has become the more efficient method of squeezing with the development of
controlled-fluid-loss cements and retrievable packers.
With this technique, formation breakdown is avoided.
Pressure is achieved by shutting down or hesitating during the squeeze process. In this hesitation method, the cement is placed in a single stage, but in alternate pumping/
waiting periods. The controlled-fluid-loss properties of
the slurry cause filter cake to collect against the formation or inside the perforations while the parent slurry remains in a fluid state inside the casing (Fig. 9.8).
Fluid loss of neat cement slurries (cement and water)
is usually very rapid and cement may build up in the casing
before the slurry can completely cover a given area of
formation. The result can be a cement plug across open
perforations at the top of a zone and no coverage of cement across the lower perforations.
Beach et al. 8 studied the influence of filter cake on
pressure buildup during high-pressure squeeze operations.
High surface pressures on a particular well indicated the
successful downhole coverage of a 40-ft depleted interval at approximately 9,800 ft. Coring of the set cement
inside the casing revealed that the upper 34 ft of perforations was sealed, but the lower 6 ft required an additional squeeze because the coverage was incomplete. The
cement had dehydrated in the upper, more open section,
causing a resistance to flow. (See Fig. 9.9.)

Surface

P s Pressure
Displacement
Fluid
0.
(Sall Water)

Ph
Squeeze
Slurry
(LFL Cement)

BHTP P Psl
Ps
Sate) = ( Fro< Gradient ) (Hydrostatic) (Pressure)
Safety
Pressure
X Depth
Surface
Factor
Cement
Pressure
Fluid

Ph
P +
814TP =
Bolton Hole ), ( Surface ) (Hydrostatic Pressure )
Sae Water & Cement
Pressure
Treating
Pressure

Frar:o
t dent =

psi
Fracture
Gradient

BHTP

BHTP _ Ps . Ph
Depth

Rae GraMent Depth - P P h

Fig. 9.5Terminology used in squeeze cementing.

CEMENTING

126
TABLE 9.1-BOTTOMHOLE TREATING PRESSURES
AND FRACTURE GRADIENTS IN VARIOUS AREAS OF THE U.S. 5

Field

Depth
(ft)

Bottomhole
Treating
Pressure
(psi)

Fracture
Gradient
(psi/ft)

5,785 to 92
7,050
2,479 to 89
6,226 to 30
7,262 to 69
6,814 to 25
5,626 to 33

3,860
3,260
1,855
4,225
5,910
4,980
3,630

0.668
0.463
0.75
0.68
0.81
0.73
0.645

3,700
1,600
4,000
3,121
2,400
8,800
1,100
3,600
4,451
6,596
1,550
2,140
1,040
3,900

3,028
4,080
1,824
1,874
996
2,660

0.62
1.07
0.58
0.69
0.58
1.03
1.23
0.725
0.78
0.672
1.14
0.88
0.96
0.68

6,100
3,800
4,145
2,340
7,030

4,395
3,410
1,565
4,960

0.72
0.625
0.818
0.625
0.80
0.67
0.71

8,180
3,870

4,330
1,570

0.529
0.41

3,485
3,100
2,350
5,085
3,206
775
4,900
5,400
2,352
5,360
8,330

2,200
1,350
1,100
3,110
2,165
890
2,750
3,800
1,930
3,770
4,900

0.631
0.435
0.468
0.613
0.675
1.15
0.76
0.70
0.82
0.70
0.47

3,215
3,125
3,383
3,872

0.45
1.31
0.64
0.42

Formation
Southwest Texas

East Mathis
Cosden
Seven Sisters
Stratton
Stratton
N.W. Freer
Magnolia City

Frio
Slick Wilcox
Argo
Frio
Frio
Wilcox Sand
Frio Sand

Grayback
Electra
Kamay
Graham
North St. Jo
Sherman
Corsicana
East Texas
Walnut Bend
Dye Mound
Burkburnett
Burkburnett
Electra
Kamay

Strawn
Cisco
KMA
Strawn
Strawn
Davis
Wolf City
Woodbine
Hudspeth
Conglomerate
Gunsight
Canyon
Cisco
KMA

Elk Basin
Lost Cabin
Garland
Red Wash (Uintah, Utah)
Red Desert (Sweetheart)
Farmington-San Juan
Farmington-San Juan

Tensleep
Wind River
Basal Amsden
Green River
Almond (Mesa Verde)
Pictured Cliffs
Dakota

Midland County
Runnels County

Lower Spraberry
Upper Gardner

N.W. Stroud
Yale
N. Bristow
Merrick
SE St. Louis
Kiowa
E. Marlow
Sholem Alechem
Cement
Sholem Alechem
Lindsay

Red Fork
Bartlesville
Peru
Wilcox
Earlsboro
Dolomite
Helms
Springer
Fortuna
Springer
Hart

North Texas

Rocky Mountain

West Texas

Oklahoma

Kansas
Ellsworth County
Rice County
McPherson County
Reno County

Pennsylvanian
Conglomerate
Quartzite
Viola
Simpson Sand

127

SQUEEZE CEMENTING

Filtration control helps avoid both premature loss of


fluid from the slurry and rapid buildup of cement solids
in the casing. Cement containing a fluid-loss-control additive loses filtrate to the formation much more slowly
than does neat cement (Fig. 9.10), so the filter cake is
denser and more pressure-resistant. As fluid loss occurs
in the formation, little or none is taking place in the casing;
therefore, it is often possible to obtain cement plugging
or dehydration in the formation and across perforations
and still have sufficient time to reverse excess slurry from
the casing, avoiding the time and expense of drilling out.

L_

SPOT
CEMENT

APPLY
SQUEEZE
PRESSURE

REVERSE
CIRCULATION

1000

500

L
I

'4BPM

1500

it, jash lines

ih
o.

2000

Est;b. Inj. Rate 4 1/2 BPM


I
1
.1
I
I
c 1st Stage andClear
rfs. 4 bbls. with2nd sge at 4BPM
idStage at 2 BPM

Fig. 9.6Bradenhead squeeze.

1
.
7,.

r
1,

1
;:
a.
..

ai
1,

9.6 Squeezing Fractured Zones


In squeezing fractured limestone and dolomite formations,
greater emphasis must be placed on effectively sealing the
fracture network or channel system behind the casing. 9'1
It is necessary to modify the slurry design from that used
to squeeze permeable sandstones, where the prime interest
is slurry behavior within the perforations or nominal
penetration of the perforations. In squeezing a fractured
carbonate formation, it is more important that the cement
fill the fracture or channels than that it build up a filter
cake. Larger volumes of slurry are required than for
squeezing permeable sandstone reservoirs.
In the most successful squeeze technique, a highly accelerated slurry and a moderate-fluid-loss slurry are used.
Accelerated slurries designed to set up shortly after
reaching the formation are pumped into areas of least
resistance and allowed to take an initial set. Once this has
occurred, moderate-fluid-loss slurries can be forced into
less accessible fractures. 9,10 The prime objectives in
designing the slurries are that they be compatible with bottomhole conditions and that they take an initial set within
10 to 15 minutes of placement. Pumping times for these
slurries vary with bottomhole conditions, and volumes of
accelerated cement range from 35 to 100 sacks. Because
of the low permeability of most carbonate formations, cement slurries with moderate-fluid-loss characteristics give
satisfactory results.
In some instances a moderate-fluid-loss cement can be
used as a lead slurry to fill the primary existing fractures
and channel extremities. This slurry is followed by a highstrength slurry incorporating bridging agents.

FILTER CAKING BUILDS UP ON

POROUS FORMATION WALLS


SMALL NODES FORM OVER
PERFORATIONS

PARENT SLURRY REMAINS FLUID

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120


, MNUTES

Fig. 9.7Steps in a hesitation squeeze. 8

Fig. 9.8Low-pressure squeezing.

CEMENTING

128

CEMENT
MUD
FILTER
CAKE

DEHYDRATED
CEMENT
111111 ii ii i I i !lilt intern 411,11.., .., ,

'

1,000 cc Neat Cement

q:

v..':

III1

I
1
..

300 cc Gel Cement

150 cc Cement Plus


Fluid Loss
Additive
25 cc Cement Plus
Fluid Loss Additive

.
Fig. 9.9Slurry dehydration across open perforations
during a high-pressure squeeze operation with mud across
perforations.

9.7 Erroneous Squeeze-Cementing


Theories
There are three predominant theories about squeeze cementing that contribute most to misapplication and improper field procedures. 11
1. Whole cement enters the formation. This misconception leads to emphasizing the quantity of cement
pumped behind the pipe and the amount of pressure applied, when actually these factors affect cementing results
very little. The truth is that in low-pressure squeezing,
cement filtratenot whole cemententers the formation
(see Fig. 9.11). When the formation is fractured by exceeding the fracturing pressure, then cement slurry can
be squeezed into the fractures.
2. Breakdown from injecting whole mud automatically
opens all the perforations. In reality, it is rare to find all
perforations open and receptive to fluid. To achieve this
requires considerable effort. (See Fig. 9.12.)
3. A single, horizontal pancake or wedge of cement is
formed around the wellbore. Indications are, rather, that

Fig. 9.10Cement node buildup effect with filtration


control (showing API fluid loss in cm3 /30 min at 1,000
psi).

because whole cement cannot enter the formation, the


filtrate emanates from the perforations. When the formation is fractured, the cement slurry may enter in a series
of irregular wedges. (See Fig. 9.13.) The orientation of
these fractures depends upon the compressive forces on
the zone being squeezed; in many instances it is northeastsouthwest.

9.8 Job Planning


Planning is the most important single step in any squeeze
operation. 12,13 Well conditions should be studied and objectives should be carefully established, as squeeze cementing can be complicated and expensive. In planning,
the following questions should be posed.
1. Why are we squeezing? (Are we isolating a zone?
repairing casing? filling up to seal the well?)
2. If we are not performing a bradenhead squeeze, what
tools will we use?
3. Should the packer be drillable or retrievable?
4. How far should we set the packer from the zone of
interest?

Mud
or
Debris

Wrong

Right

Fig. 9.11Misconception 1Whole cement is squeezed


into formation matrix."

Wrong

Right

Fig. 9.12Misconception 2All perforation holes are


opened.11

129

SQUEEZE CEMENTING
TABLE 9.2CEMENT THICKENING TIMES
CASING CEMENTING VS. SQUEEZING

Wrong

Right

Fig. 9.13Misconception 3Squeezing produces a


horizontal pancake of cement."

5. Should we use high pressure or low pressure?


6. Bow should we pump? (In hesitation stages? slowly? fast?)
7. What kind of fluid is in the well? (Acid? water? drilling mud?)
8. What kind of slurry should we use? (How much?
with what characteristics?)
9. What mechanical equipment and other restrictions
must we contend with?
10. What are the well conditions? [The fluids in the
hole? the bottomhole pressure (BHP) and bottomhole temperature (BHT)1?
11. Is the target formation fractured? What is the fracture gradient?
12. What is the waiting-on-cement (WOC) time?
13. How will we test the squeeze job?
Every effort should be made to enhance hole conditions
before and during the squeezing operation. The casing and
tubing string should be as clean internally as possible
free of rust, paraffin scale, and perforation burrs. Wellhead packoff equipment should be used, or blowout
preventers (BOP's) should be tested to the pressure expected to be exerted on them.
If squeeze work is to be performed through casing, it
is necessary to calculate the internal yield pressure and
joint strength of the casing. If squeezing is to be performed
through tubing set inside the casing, calculations must be
made for the tubing and the casing, allowing for the collapse resistance of the tubing. The most important basic
rule in job planning is to determine the problem. This is
absolutely essential; otherwise, endless effort and money
may be spent in blindly hoping for a solution. If some
sort of understanding about the problem cannot be
reached, a diagnostic procedure should be initiated. 14

9.9 Slurry Design


The following factors should be considered in designing
the cement slurry for any squeeze operation.
Temperature and Pressure. In squeezing, as in primary
cementing, both temperature and pressure influence the
placement and thickening time of a cement slurry. Squeeze
pressure also affects the dehydration of the slurry.
Temperatures encountered in squeezing can be higher
than those on primary jobs because the well usually has

Depth: 8,000 ft.


Temperatures
Casing cementing: 125F.
Squeezing: 159F.
Cement: API Class H.
Water Ratio: 4.3 gal/sack.
Thickening Times
(hours:min)
Fluid-Loss
Casing
Agent
(%)
Squeezing
Cementing
1 : 15
2:16
0.0
2 : 16
4:00
0.4
4 : 15
5:32
0.6
4 : 58
6:15
0.8

not been circulated by enough fluid to decrease the BHT.


Table 7.5 illustrates the time at which the first sack of
cement reaches bottomhole conditions on a squeeze job
and the static vs. circulating temperatures at various well
depths according to normal API testing schedules. Table
9.2 compares the thickening times of a given cement slurry
for casing cementing with those for squeezing.
If a shallow cavity is to be filled or if perforations are
to be abandoned to move back up the hole, the slurry can
be designed for a fairly short pumping time. But a hesitation low-pressure squeeze may require a pumping time
of 4 to 6 hours. A cement slurry must obviously remain
fluid long enough not only to be placed properly but also
to achieve the squeeze pressure and to be reversed out.
Type of Cement. For most squeeze operations, API Class
A, G, or H cement can be used because these cements
are manufactured for squeeze conditions to 6,000 ft where
bottomhole static temperatures do not exceed 170F . 15
(See Table 2.5.) For deeper wells, Class G or H cement
can be adequately retarded on the basis of the estimated
time required to perform the squeeze. A slurry can be
designed for any squeeze conditions, but unless it provides a good seal, it can be worthless, despite a good pressure buildup.
Filtration Control. Filtration is important in designing
cement for a squeeze job. 8,16 When cement is squeezed
against a permeable medium, differential pressure forces
water from the cement solids, forming a filter cake. 17,18
The cake is rather soft and can be removed by jetting;
but it is not pumpable, and considerable pressure is required to force it through a small aperture. The thickness
of the filter cake depends upon the permeability of the
cake or of the formation (whichever is lower), the fluidloss characteristics of the slurry, the differential pressure,
and the length of time the differential pressure is maintained. 16
The API filter loss of neat cement ranges from 600 to
2,500 cm3 in 30 minutes; in fact, dehydration occurs so
rapidly it is difficult to measure. Filter loss can be reduced to low values 25 to 100 cm 3 in 30 minutesby
adding bentonite and dispersing agents, or polymers. 18-21
(See Fig. 9.10 and Tables 3.33 and 9.3.)

C E MENTI

130

TABLE 9.3COMPARISON OF CEMENT SLURRY


FILTRATION LOSS, FILTER-CAKE PERMEABILITY,
AND FILTER-CAKE DEVELOPMENT TIME
API Filtration Loss
at 1,000 psi
(cm 3 /30 min)

Permeability
of Filter Cake
at 1,000 psi (md)

Time To Form
2-in. Cake
(min)

1,200
300
100
50

5.00
0.54
0.09
0.009

0.2
3.4
30.0
100.0

Fig. 9.14 shows perforated samples against which cement was squeezed to study cement hydration. 22 The
filtration effects of a high-fluid-loss system can be seen
in Specimen 1, where rapid dehydration occurred against
a sandstone medium. In Specimens 2 through 5, which
were squeezed with the same cement slurry containing
a filtration-control additive, the rate at which solids were
deposited was much slower, allowing them to build up
after 1 to 4 hours.
Quantity of Cement. The quantity of cement to be used
in a given squeeze operation can vary from a few sacks
on a wireline job to several hundred sacks on a difficult
stage job. The average volume ranges between 100 and
200 sacks; however, the specific amount will depend on
whether perforations or channels are being squeezed. Besides being wasteful, excess cement can be detrimental
to the productivity of the formation being squeezed.
The volume of cement slurry to be squeezed cannot be
controlled precisely, and experience in the vicinity of the
job is the best guide. There are, however, some useful
indexes and rules of thumb.
1. The volume should not exceed the capacity of the
run-in string.
2. Two sacks of cement should be used per foot of perforated interval.
3. The minimum volume should be 100 sacks if an injection rate of 2 bbl/min can be achieved after breakdown;
otherwise it should be 50 sacks.
4. The volume should not be so great as to form a
column that cannot be reversed out.

Fig. 9.14Squeeze-study samples, showing cement


dehydration.

Workover Fluids. Where well conditions permit and


where it is obtainable, salt water or fresh water is the pitferred workover fluid for both low-pressure and high-pressure squeeze jobs. However, even if clean fluids areused and pressures are great enough to fracture the for
mation, if a well has been perforated in mud, or if perfo- -,
rations have ever been contacted by mud, some mud plugs
may remain and more than one squeeze job may be needed. 5 '7'8 Should squeezing be necessary in mud-filled or
partially plugged perforations, one of the best ways to ensure a uniform deposit of cement is to run a weak hydrochloric or acetic acid solution ahead of the cement. The
acid shrinks the clay particles and allows the cement slurry
to penetrate farther.22
Wellhead Equipment. The wellhead equipment and tubular goods should be designed to accommodate the maximum anticipated squeeze pressure. This is a basic

TABLE 9.4COMPARATIVE STRENGTHS OF SET CEMENTS


AND DEHYDRATED CEMENT CORES (PSI)

Fluid Loss
Agent
(%)

Strength of Set Cement


After Curing
24 Hours at
800 psi
95F

3,000 psi
140F

Strength of Dehydrated
Cores After Curing
8 Hours at
800 psi
95F

3,000 psi
140F

2,400
2,080
400

12,400
12,200
12,100

3,160
3,400
3,280

12,000+
12,000 +
12,000 +

API Class G Cement


0.0
0.8
1.0
1.2

2,085
980
800
580

' 4,545
3,515
3,440
3,525

Portland Cement With 2% Calcium Chloride


0.8
1.0
1.2

2,075
1,975
1,920

4,000+
4,000+
4,000+

131

SQUEEZE CEMENTING

and is rarely overlooked. Conversely, the slurry


volume as it relates to pressure is a common oversight.
the job so that the hydrostatic head of cement slurDesign
y will not exceed the wellhead equipment or maximum
r
g pressure limitations at any time during the job. This
casin
is a minimum pressure limitation because some pressure
will be required to start the slurry moving; this pressure
depends on the delay and gel strength of the slurry. In
the event of a premature squeeze or any other adverse
occurrence, the excess cement slurry could not be reversed
out. This would necessitate circulating the hole the long
way (down tubing and out the casing), which is extremely dangerous. A great deal of time is required to circulate the Iong way, which may exceed the pumping time
of the slurry. A greater danger may be that some slurry
may have been bypassed in the annulus, sticking the tubing in the hole and, thus, requiring a long wash-over operation. A basic consideration in squeezing is that the
volume of cement used should not exceed the volume of
the tubular goods. This will prevent having the tubing full
of cement in the event of a premature squeeze. It is, likewise, a good practice not to be squeezing while still mixing cement. The injection rate may become so slow that
it may become impossible to continue mixing a consistent slurry. 23

procedure

Hole Conditions. The hole should be circulated until clean


and balanced. Systems not in balance will only aggravate
the job procedure. For instance, any attempt to move the
packer will be accompanied by flowback. The well may
try to head and to partially unload if enough gas is trapped
in the system. This may cause the squeeze job to fail. Gas
"bullheaded" into the formation ahead of the cement
could percolate through the cement and leave the cement
"honeycombed. "
Cement Strength. The compressive strength required for
a successful squeeze job may be overemphasized. The
typical perforation cavity has a shape that tends to make
the set cement slug act as a check valve in both directions. A cement-filled induced fracture has more bonding area; therefore, it is capable of withstanding more
differential pressure than a perforation cavity. Even
though mud contamination of the cement can greatly
reduce the compressive strength, it may be considered insignificant in this particular case (Table 9.4). Successful
squeezing is directly related to proper slurry placement. 23
Final Squeeze Pressure. The final squeeze pressure required for a successful job is just enough to dehydrate
the cement so that it will not flow back. A predetermined
squeeze pressure required for success should be based on
completion fluid weight, well depth, or other conditions
relative to pressure. The final squeeze pressure is related
to the filtration loss and not the ultimate strength of the
cement or its ability to hold differential pressure. A good
guide for a squeeze pressure is 500 to 1,000 psi above
the pump-in pressure, with no flowback in 3 to 5 minutes.

9.10 Squeeze Packers


The use of squeeze packers makes it possible to apply
higher pressure to specific downhole points than can be
applied with the bradenhead method. 3,13 The two commonly used packers are the drillable and the retrievable.

Fig. 9.15Drillable squeeze packer.

Drillable packers, which are expendable, are left in the


well and can be drilled out after the squeeze operation.
The retrievable packer is rented on a job basis and, after
the squeeze job, is removed from the well. While each
packer has its specific application, the ratio of usage is
about 40/60, drillable/retrievable.
Drillable Packers. The drillable packer (Fig. 9.15) contains a poppet-type backpressure valve to prevent backflow at the completion of displacement or a sliding valve
for when it is desirable to hold pressure in either or both
directions. The sliding valve makes it possible to support
the weight of the hydrostatic fluid column and relieve the
cement of this weight while it is setting. Excess cement
can be reversed out of the tubing or drillpipe without applying circulating pressure to the squeezed area below the
packer. The tubing or drillpipe can also be withdrawn
from the well without endangering the squeeze job. Drillable packers are easily drilled. Another advantage is that
they can be set close to the perforations or between sets
of perforations.

CEMENTING

132

Co

4
\ ,
\'''

4
;
1
P

;;\
,
\I

\.

Fr.
i

Ns\1

k
it

A
A.

.\

. \
I '.
4.

\
/
Fig. 9.16Retrievable squeeze packer.

Retrievable Squeeze Packer. Unlike drillable packers,


retrievable packers (Fig. 9.16) can be set and released
as many times as necessary. The major objections to the
use of retrievable packers are that (1) flowback cannot
be prevented when the displacement pressure is released
unless a backpressure valve is employed, and (2) reversing of excess cement can disturb the slurry that has already been squeezed.
The design of retrievable packers varies; however, most
of them are of a nondrillable material and are available
in most API sizes and weights.
Whether to use a drillable or a retrievable packer depends largely on well conditions and squeezing-pressure
requirements. If there is doubt about the choice, it is best
to consult a service company that specializes in squeeze
jobs.

Straddle Packers. To perform a straddle operation, packers can be used in the following combinations.
1. A combination retrievable packer with a drillable
packer (Fig. 9.17).
2. A retrievable packer with a drillable or retrievable
bridge plug.
3. A drillable packer with a drillable bridge plug.
Conventional straddle packers are not recommended for
squeeze-cementing operations.
The positioning of the packer, or packers, depends on
the type of squeeze job and on experience in a given area.
When the packer is positioned at a point too far above
the squeeze interval, the large volume of fluid that precedes the cement slurry must be pumped into the squeeze
zone. It is best not to have more than 75 to 100 ft of blank
pipe above the perforations, and less than that if the
volume of fluid to displace the cement slurry can be calculated reliably.

9.11 Squeeze-Pressure Calculations


Sample calculations for various squeeze parameters are
given in Appendix B. Selection of the final pressure to
be reached in squeezing is very important because this
will define when the job is completed. There are many
ways to estimate final pressures, but experience in a given
field is probably the best, especially where zones of extremely high or low pressure are encountered for a particular well depth. If cement inside the casing dehydrates,
applied pressure is exerted only against the casing. If the
squeeze is successful and the applied pressure is high for
the depth, there is a tendency to set that pressure as the
minimum final pressure required for a good job in the
particular area. A successful squeeze job, however, can
often be attained with a considerably lower final
pressure. 5,8,11
For safety, it should be assumed that any pressure exerted below the packer is applied to the outside of the
casing because a channel may exist that will allow this
pressure to be transmitted against the casing above the
packer. One should always consider the maximum collapse pressure that the casing will safely withstand. The
difference between this pressure and the maximum final
squeeze pressure is the amount of backpressure required
on the tubing/casing annulus to protect the casing. This
"backup" pressure should be calculated on the basis of
downhole treating pressure.
Fig. 9.18 illustrates the casing-collapse mechanism involved in a squeeze job.

9.12 WOC Time


The WOC time after a squeeze job should be governed
by the strength required of the set cement. The cement
must be strong enough to withstand the shocks of drilling, to resist the flow of downhole fluids, and to isolate
a producing interval during a fracturing operation.
In field practice, a waiting period of 4 to 12 hours is
usually allowed between squeeze treatments or after the
final squeeze pressure has been reached.
Once in place, dehydrated cement filter cake will develop strength faster than a slurry that has not lost fluid
under pressure. Dehydrated filter cake (nodes in perforations) will develop a strength of several thousand pounds

133

SQUEEZE CEMENTING

in the first 8 hours. (See Table 9.4.) Washing or flushing


between stages can damage squeezed zones if they are agitated or disturbed within 4 hours after squeezing.
9,13 Squeeze Applications 23
Abandonment. When a zone is considered to be noncommercial, it is frequently abandoned by setting a drillable
bridge plug on wireline to isolate it. (See Fig. 9.19.) The
bridge plug may be set as a convenience because new perforations are required up the hole. This method may cause
problems if upper perforations suddenly start producing
water or when a stimulation treatment does not respond
properly. A prudent practice in abandoning a set of perforations is to set a drillable squeeze packer and attempt
to squeeze the abandoned perforations with a low-fluidloss cement at less than fracturing pressure. A hydraulically induced fracture may fracture upward into the new
productive zone. A standing squeeze pressure may be necessary. After placing the cement, the stinger is pulled out
of the packer and about 10 ft of cement is placed on top
of the packer. The well fluids are then reverse circulated
and the hole is clean to that point.
Block Squeeze. Block squeezing is used before perforating for production to prevent fluid migration from either
above or below. This is done by perforating and squeezing a permeable section below, then repeating the same
operation above the potentially productive section (see
Fig. 9.20.) Both plugs are then drilled out. The potentially productive zone is then perforated for production.
This is a U.S. gulf coast operation and not widely practiced in hard-rock country, primarily because the objective is to prevent the coning effect of water. Good results
may be realized in hard-rock country if it appears that
a good cement job does not exist. A low-pressure-type
squeeze may be attempted to prevent exceeding the fracturing pressure of the formation and creating an extended fracture. High-permeability sandstone appears to be
more conducive to this type of remedial work.
Recementing. On occasions, additional fill-up above the
primary cement job is desired to complete a zone above
the primary cement top. A low-pressure zone may have
taken part of the slurry because the hydrostatic head was
excessive or the zone could have caused a complete loss
of return. In either event, the cement may not have covered the zone of interest. Perhaps the least common cause
for a low cement top is that the hole washout may have
been excessive. Compensation is usually made for this
by running excess cement on the primary job. There are
two common methods of conducting a recement job: (1)
a casing plug may be used to displace the cement until
it reaches the perforations; or (2) a packer may be set
above the top of the perforations. (See Fig. 9.21.)
During recementing through perforations with the second method, a drillable squeeze tool is set about 20 ft
above the perforations. The cement job is conducted
through tubing after a generous volume of flush is pumped
to remove the drilling fluid in the annulus. All other operations and materials are the same. The primary advantage of this method over the plug method is a positive
retention of the cement at the packer because of a backpressure valve in the tool. One disadvantage is that the

RTTS
Packer

Mechanical
Setting
Tool
EZ Drill
Squeeze
Packer
Upper
Zone

Lower
Zone
RUNNING-IN

SQUEEZING
UPPER ZONE

SQUEEZING
LOWER ZONE

RETRIEVING
PITS

Fig. 9.17Retrievable packer and drillable squeeze packer


under various conditions.

Tubing

Packer Set A
Considerable
Distance Above
Squeeze Point

100 ft.
or More

Packer Set
Immediately
Above Squeeze
Point
411111

,1111_

Perforations for
Cement Squeeze Job

1
N.
- Il

Fig. 9.18Mechanism of casing collapse during a squeeze


operation. 13

CEMENTING

134

Fig. 9.19Abandonment.

Fig. 9.20Block squeeze.

packer may have to be drilled out if it is above the potential productive zone.
Split Pipe. Repairing split casing because of accidental
overpressuring constitutes a very difficult squeeze job,
particularly if the split is 3 to 4 ft long (see Fig. 9.22.)
The location and length of the split must first be determined. The location is required so that it can be properly
isolated for the squeeze, and its length will dictate the type
of slurry to use. If the split is less than 1 ft in length, the
same technique of squeezing perforation cavities could
be employed; i.e., a low-pressure squeeze with moderate
fluid-loss control. If the rip is long ( + 10 ft), then the
squeeze would be the same as if a long set of perforations exist. The slurry must have a greater volume and
very low fluid loss, the intent is to place as much cement
in the split as possible without premature dehydration. Every effort must be made to prevent fracturing the formation. In some instances, the split length is increased when
greater squeeze pressure is applied.

fluid-loss cement and a low squeeze pressure. Quite often


a good squeeze is attained and drilled out, and then we
find that a hole has developed at another place. This may
go on until a scab liner is necessary to cover the entire
problem area or a complete casing string set to the ground
surface.
If the corrosion holes are in uncemented casing, the
same procedure outlined in recementing may be used. The
plug method is probably best only because it is not advisable to set a retainer in pipe that may be highly corroded.
The slips may puncture the pipe, or the packer may not
hold because of pipe enlargement. Some wells have been
known to sidetrack accidentally in this situation.
If the casing leaks are a result of small holes (collar
leaks), they usually will not take fluid fast enough to be
squeezed. The hole may be small enough to cause a cement filter cake to form prematurely on the inside of the
casing without filling the void space behind the casing.
The only alternative is to shoot additional perforations near
the hole and squeeze.

Corrosion Holes. Should the casing have holes because


of corrosion, the first consideration is to locate the hole
or holes. (See Fig. 9.23.) The nature of the problem may
be partially defined by the physical locationi.e., the
holes are adjacent to a corrosive water zone or some other
known corrosive section. The squeeze technique should
be similar to a long set of perforations, by use of a low-

Squeezing the Top of a Liner. Liners are very difficult


to cement because of the (1) small annulus, (2) poor centralization, (3) poor rheology, (4) small quantities of cement that are easily contaminated by mud, and (5) gas
that may percolate through and honeycomb the cement
before it is set. If the liner leaks through the overlap, a
remedial squeeze must be performed. The leak may be

Fig. 9.21Recement.

135

SQUEEZE CEMENTING

Fig. 9.23Corrosion holes.

Fig. 9.24Liner squeeze.

large enough to accept cement; therefore, the procedure


is the same as squeezing a hole in the casing. A retrievable packer is normally used because drillable packers
tend to cause drillout problems when their remains are
pushed down to the liner top.
If good coverage is not attained, the casing is perforated at another strategic place and the squeeze operation
repeated. A drillable packer may be set in the liner, or
a retrievable packer set above the liner, depending on the
physical arrangement of the system (see Fig. 9.24.)
Questionable Primary Cement. A channel job is usually caused by an incomplete cement sheath around the pipe
that leaves a channel of completion fluid or mud along
the casing. It may be relatively short or run the complete
height of cement and is located when the casing is perforated for production and the zone starts making completion fluid or water not identified with the zone of interest
(see Fig. 9.25).
Squeezing a channel usually depends on the physical
arrangement of the system. A method requiring the fewest
operations is to set a retrievable packer above the existing perforations and squeeze directly into the perforations.
The analogy is that the channel has the least resistance
to flow; therefore, the cement will fill the channel and
not enter the zone of interest. The cement should have
low viscosity and low fluid loss so that it will more effectively fill the channel without a premature dehydration. The pump-in and squeeze pressures should be lower
than the fracturing gradient. If the formation is accidentally fractured, a more severe problem will develop.
A more prudent method is to perforate two to four holes
adjacent to a low-pressure zone, a water section, or some
other advantageous spot. Set a drillable squeeze packer
between the existing perforations and the new perforations, but closer to the new perforations. It may be the
intent to seal off the particular zone that has just been perforated; therefore, the annulus pressure should be monitored very closely to prevent communication. Fluid may
be injected in the existing perforations to ensure this.
Should it be desired to fill the channel, the cement slurry
must have low viscosity, low fluid loss, and a longer-thannormal pumping time. To fill the channel completely, cement must be allowed to communicate to the existing perforations and into the tubing/casing annulus. This may
appear to be dangerous, but can be accomplished very
safely if the well conditions are not extremely hot or deep.

A squeeze pressure need not be attained. Pull the stinger


out of the drillable squeeze packer to a point about 10
ft above the existing perforations and reverse circulation
until clean.
Squeezing Unwanted Water. Water is an integral part
of all porous rock and is present in most oil- and gasbearing formations. It may have helped flush hydrocarbons out of widely scattered rocks into oil pools so that
it could be recovered. In many cases, it has continued to
act in an upward thrust to be a very efficient water drive
mechanism. Water, as a problem in oil and gas production, may exist in or result from three sources: (1) excessive saturation of the pore spaces and in existence with
a hydrocarbon; (2) saturated pore spaces with a definite
separation from the oil column at a water/oil contact; and
(3) a saturated zone removed from the zone of interest
by way of a channel or fracture (see Fig. 9.26.) Each of
these conditions should be diagnosed and approached
differently .
Excessive water saturation coexistent with hydrocarbons in the pore spaces may not be separated or squeezed
off without a mutual reduction of both. If economical, both
must be produced.
A definite oil/water contact or even a great change in
the water saturation in the perforated section does lend
itself to some success of squeezing the water. An analogy of the condition may suggest a method of remedial
work. Water may enter the wellbore through the horizon-

CEMENTING

136

Fig. 9.26Unwanted water.

tal permeability, through a microannulus at the pipe/cement or cement/formation upward to an entry point
adjacent to the oil column, or through vertical permeability to the oil column. The ability to plug off the perforations adjacent to the water production to prevent
production through horizontal permeability is no problem; however, this will not prevent migration upward
through an annular space. To seal the annular spaces may
require a very carefully executed plan. First, the formation must not be fractured during the cement placement;
otherwise, most of the cement will occupy a vertical plane
and will not fill the annulus void. The casing must have
been perforated with sufficient density so that the periphery of the pipe will have ample exposure to receive a good
cement sheath completely around the pipe. The cement
should be low-fluid-loss, high-density type for best placement and strength.
The migration of water through vertical permeability
to an oil-bearing column may be reasonably controlled
by placement of large quantities of particle-free, lowviscosity solutions such as sodium silicate in the pore
spaces at less than fracturing pressure. This will be only
a temporary measure until the water can migrate around
the squeeze material.
Some success has been realized by use of a diesel-oil
cement slurry to squeeze water. This material, composed
primarily of diesel oil and cement, may not set until contacted by water; therefore, only the water-bearing zone
will be cemented while the oil-bearing zone will produce
the unset cement slurry back into the wellbore. Unfortunately, after production in the wellbore adjacent to the
oil-bearing zone water may saturate that zone to such an
extent that the diesel-oil cement will set in that zone also.
Many times the oil zone may be reperforated water free.
A definite oil/water contact appears to be the most applicable condition for this material.
Drillout. Drillout time is difficult to predetermine without
knowing the well conditions. For instance, a drillout after two to three perforations are squeezed may be short,
while a casing split may require a longer drillout. About
1,000-psi compressive strength is more than sufficient to
withstand normal test pressures. Watch the cuttings for
an indication of a premature drillout. If the cuttings are
sharp-edged and angular, the bit is breaking up the cement properly. If the cuttings are subround or spherical

like balls, however, the drillout is prematureshut down


and wait. You may get an indication of success by the
way the plug drills. If it drills hard all the way, the results may be good; however, a soft or void spot in the
middle or bottom of the perforations or split may indicate a premature squeeze. In this event, the follow-up
squeeze work should be with a lower-fluid-loss cement.
Washthrough. Some operators propose to use a tail pipe
below the squeeze packer to wash through squeezed perforations immediately after the squeeze job. The purpose
of this operation is to wash out soft, unset cement to prevent a drillout later. Perforations that have been effectively sealed may be damaged or opened by this washing
action. It is generally preferred to let the excess cement
set before drilling out.

9.14 Testing Squeeze Jobs


The apparent success or failure of a squeeze job should
be confirmed by applying pressure to the set cement.
Although squeeze jobs are most commonly tested by pump
pressure, a better way is to create a pressure differential
in the wellbore. This can be accomplished by swabbing,
by artificially lifting fluid from the well, or by circulating oil or a lighter fluid down the tubing and closing the
circulating ports above the packer. This differential pressure should not exceed the drawdown expected in the well
when it is put on production.
9.15 Summary
Squeeze cementing technology has improved considerably through the years, and although there still are a number of problems, the success ratio becomes increasingly
higher. 24,25
Following are some practices that have been observed
and some conclusions that have been drawn in connection with present-day squeezing operations. (Table 9.5 is
an example work sheet for use in conducting a squeeze
job.)
1. Most squeeze-cementing jobs use some form of filtration control to maintain fluidity and reduce premature slurry dehydration during placement.
2. High squeeze pressures that were once thought essential to the success of a squeeze job are now considered undesirable when a controlled-filtration-rate cement
is used.
3. If formation breakdown occurs before or during a
squeeze operation, large volumes of slurry can be pumped
before a shutoff occurs.
4. The low-filtration technique provides better control
in directing the flow of the cement into narrow channels
or voids behind the pipe. It also reduces the quantity of
cement required for a squeeze operation.
5. Slurries can be designed for fractured limestone or
dolomite zones for maximum sealing efficiency (i.e., a
fast-setting cement can be followed by a low-water-loss
slurry).
6. Testing and design work for squeeze jobs are generally performed under API conditions with a 325-mesh
screen at 1,000-psi pressure differential because formation cores are not readily available for such tests. Pumping time should be planned to exceed that required to mix,
displace, squeeze, and reverse out excess cement. At least
30 minutes more than the planned job time is necessary.

137

SQUEEZE CEMENTING

7. Cement volume should not exceed the capacity of


the work stringif large volumes are needed, consider
using a larger work string. The hydrostatic pressure of
the cement in a small tubing string could exceed the fracture pressure of the formation. The slurry volume should
not be so great as to form a column that cannot be reversed
out because of high bottomhole displacement pressure.
8. The benefit of hesitating during the pumping operation is that the deposition of cement solids against the formation can be more readily controlled. As a general rule,
the faster the deposition, the sooner the squeeze job can
be successfully completed.
9. In questionable situations, a drillable packer offers
better control than a retrievable packer because it contains a backpressure valve.
10.Where possible, avoid using mud as the breakdown
fluid. An effective way to break up mud particles in
plugged perforations is to spot an acid solution ahead of
a squeeze job.
11. When executing the squeeze, it is important to
recognize that the BHP's and the corresponding cumulative displaced volumes are keys to what is going on downhole. Finally, all the planning and pre-engineering
involved will not help the squeeze unless it is done with
clean well-servicing fluid, clean perforations, and uncontaminated cement.
12.WOC time after squeeze pressure is achieved need
not necessarily exceed 8 to 24 hours, because dehydrated
filter cake, with its low water/cement ratio, builds up
strength rapidly.

9.16 Helpful Formulas for


Squeeze Cementing
1. Maximum surface squeeze pressure that can safely be
applied to the annulus between the squeeze string and the
casing.
P bmax =PWBS

max )(g

g m2 ),

(9.1)

TABLE 9.5WORK SHEETRECOMMENDED


CEMENT SQUEEZE JOB PROCEDURE
1. Kill well by circulating hole with salt water.
2. Pull tubing.
on tubing, with approximately
3. Run
ft of tailpipe.
ft
at about
4. Set
and establish feed rate. (2 to 3 bbl/min is desirable. If
necessary, acid flush may be spotted to increase feed
rate.)
sacks of cement containing
5. Batch mix
filtration-control agent and
bbl of slurry).
Ibm/gal (
at
6. Circulate cement to bottom (less 1 bbl).
and squeeze approximately
7. Reset
bbl) of cement
sacks (
into perforations, gradually reducing rate to approximately
1/3 bbl/min and attempt to obtain squeeze.
8. If necessary, stage in 5- to 15-minute intervals until a
psi
10-minute static pressure of approximately
is obtained. (This slurry has a thickening time of approxihours for these well conditions.)
mately
9. Check backflow.
psi back10. While holding approximately
pressure, reverse circulate excess cement, lowering tailft, then pull
pipe to approximately
ft and reset.
packer to approximately
Repressure squeeze to original standing pressure. If still
holding after 10 minutes, bleed off to approximately
hours.
psi wellhead pressure; WOC
11. If desired, the success of the squeeze may be evaluated
psi)
by a pressure test (not to exceed
or by swab testing.
, rerun tubing.
12. Pull

g, =
h =
gw =
h, =

pressure gradient of cement slurry, psi/ft,


height of cement column, ft,
pressure gradient of water, psi/ft, and
height of water column, ft.

3. Pressure to resist collapse of the casing above the


packer.
Ps =P bmax

where

m )(D p

),

(9.3)

maximum annular backup pressure, psi,


"working
burst strength" of the casing, psi
PWBS
(book value + safety factor of 1.33),
D max = maximum depth of casing,* ft,
gm = pressure gradient of mud in annulus, psi/ft,
and
=
pressure
gradient of mud in annulus outside
g m2
casing, psi/ft.

where
ps = support pressure to resist collapse above
packer, psi,
=
maximum
annular backup pressure, psi,
P bmax
g m = pressure gradient of mud in annulus, psi/ft,
and
Dp = depth to packer, ft.

2. Hydrostatic pressure of fluids inside the squeeze string.

4. Maximum allowable squeeze pressure (high-pressure


squeezing).

Pbmax

ph,=(gm )(h m )+(g c)(h)+(g w)(h,),

(9.2)

where
p h, = hydrostatic pressure of squeeze column, psi
(this value will usually decrease as the
cement is squeezed away and replaced
with lighter-weight mud),
g = pressure gradient of mud (or other fluid)
used to squeeze, psi/ft
hm = height of mud column, ft,
Where more than one grade of casing is involved, the maximum allowable should
be calculated for each The lowest value would be the safe one to use

P smax =Ps =P wcs P hs

(9.4)

where
P smax = maximum allowable surface squeeze
pressure, psi,
ps = support pressure to resist collapse, psi,
Pwcs = "working collapse strength" of weakest
casing within 1,000 ft above packer, psi,
and
P hs = hydrostatic pressure of squeeze column,
psi.

CEMENTING

138

5. Hydrostatic pressure.
phs =0.052Xwm XD,

(9.5)

where
= hydrostatic pressure, psi
= mud weight, ibm/gal, and
D = depth, ft.

Phs
wm

Nomenclature
D = depth, ft
D max = maximum depth of casing, ft
Dp = depth to packer, ft
g c = pressure gradient of cement slurry, psi/ft
gm = pressure gradient of mud (or other fluid)
used to squeeze, psi/ft
g m2 = pressure gradient of mud in annulus outside
casing, psi/ft
h, = height of cement column, ft
h m = height of mud column, ft
hW = height of water column, ft
P bmax = maximum annular backup pressure, psi
Ph = high pressure, psi
P hs = hydrostatic pressure of squeeze column, psi
Ps = surface pressure, psi
P smax = maximum allowable surface squeeze
pressure, psi
"working
burst strength" of casing, psi
P WBS
=
mud
weight,
lbm/gal
ttm
References
1. Millikan, C.V.: "Cementing," History of Petroleum Engineering,
API Div. of Production, Dallas (1961) Chap. 7.
2. Howard, C.G. and Clark, J.B.: "Factors to be Considered in
Obtaining Proper Cementing of Casing," Drill. and Prod. Prac. ,
API (1948) 257-72; Oil and Gas J. (Nov. 11, 1948) 243.
3. Howard, G.C. and Fast, C.R.: "Squeeze Cementing Operations,"
Trans., AIME (1950) 189, 53-64.
4. Montgomery, P.C. and Smith, D.K.: "Oil Well Cementing
Practices and Materials," Pet. Eng. (May and June 1961).
5. Shryock, S.H. and Slagle, K.A.: "Problems Related to Squeeze
Cementing," J. Pet. Tech. (Aug. 1968) 801-07.

6. Abadie, H.G.: "Oil Well Repair by Scabbing Methods," Oil Weekly


(Dec. 2, 1940) 99, No. 13, 18-28.
7. Tausch, G.H.: "Squeeze Cementing with Permanent-Type
Completions," Oil-Well Cementing Practices in the United States,
API, New York City (1959) 161-75.
8. Beach, H.J., O'Brien, T.B., and Goins, W.C. Jr.: "Formation
Cement Squeezed by Using Low-Water-Loss Cements," Oil and
Gas J. (May 29 and June 12, 1961).
9. Goolsby, J.L.: "A Proven Squeeze Cementing Technique in a
Dolomite Reservoir," J. Pet. Tech. (Oct. 1969) 1341-46.
10. Boice, D. and Diller, J.: "A Better Way to Squeeze Fractured
Carbonates," Pet. Eng. (May 1970) 79-82.
11. Rike, J.L.: "Obtaining Successful Squeeze Cementing Results,"
paper SPE 4608 presented at the 1973 SPE Annual Meeting, Las
Vegas, Sept. 30-Oct. 3.
12. Young, V.R.: "Well Workover with Remedial Rig," Petroleum
Engineer Refresher Course No. 4-Individual Well Analysis, SPE
Los Angeles Basin Section (1967).
13. Hodges, J.W.: "Squeeze Cementing Methods and Materials," OilWell Cementing Practices in the United States, API, New York
City (1959) 149-59.
14. Patton, L.D. and Abbott, W.A.: "Well Completions and
Workovers, Part 17. Squeeze Cementing-The Systems Approach,"
Pet. Eng. (Sept. 1981) 116-30.
15. "Materials and Testing for Well Cements," API Spec 10, second
edition (June 15, 1984).
16. Binldey, G.W., Dumbauld, G.K., and Collins, R.E.: "Factors
Affecting the Rate of Deposition of Cement in Unfractured
Perforations During Squeeze-Cementing Operations," Trans.,
AIME (1958) 213, 51-58.
17. Shell, F.J. and Wynne, R.A.: "Application of Low-Water-Loss
Cement Slurries," Paper 875-12-I presented at API Rocky Mountain
Dist. Div. of Production Spring Meeting, Denver (April 1958).
18. Dumbauld, G.K. et al.: "An Accelerated Squeeze-Cementing Technique," Trans., AIME (1956) 207, 25-29.
19. Beach, H.J., O'Brien, T.B., and Goins, W.C. Jr.: "Controlled
Filtration Rate Improves Cement Squeezing," World Oil (May 1961)
87-93.
20. Stout, C.M. and Wahl, W.W.: "A New Organic Fluid-Loss-Control
Additive for Oilwell Cements," J. Pet. Tech. (Sept. 1960) 20-24.
21. Cunningham, W.C. and Smith, D.K.: "Effect of Salt Cement
Filtrate on Subsurface Formations," J. Pet. Tech. (March 1968)
259-64.
22. Carter, L.G., Harris, F.N., and Smith, D.K.: "Remedial Cementing
of Plugged Perforations," paper SPE 759 presented at the 1963
SPE California Regional Meeting, Santa Barbara, Oct. 23-25.
23. Murphy, W.C.: "Squeeze Cementing Requires Careful Execution
for Proper Remedial Work," Oil and Gas J. (Feb. 16, 1976) 87-94.
24. Beirute, R.M. and Clement, C.: "Basic Cementing, Part 6. Outline Simplifies Squeezing and Plugging," Oil and Gas .1. (April
25, 1977) 108-13.
25. Rike, J.L. and Rike, E.: "Squeeze Cementing: State of the Art,"
J. Pet. Tech. (Jan. 1982) 37-45.

Chapter 10

Downhole Cement Plugs

10.1 Introduction
Almost always, at some time in the life of an oil, gas,
or water well, downhole plugging is required. In most
areas, regulatory bodies list rules that govern the method
of plugging a drilled hole for abandonment. Where no
rules exist, the method is left to the discretion of the
operator.
Each plugging operation presents a problem because
a relatively small volume of cement slurry is placed in
a large volume of wellbore fluid. Mud can contaminate
the cement and the result, even after a reasonable waitingon-cement (WOC) time, is a weak, diluted, or unset plug.
For these reasons, both mechanical and chemical technology are necessary to successful plugging.
Most of the techniques for placing plugs in open holes
have been developed in the process of whipstocicing , of
plugging back open holes before setting casing, and of
testing formations. 1-3 As many as five or six attempts
have been made to place openhole plugs in highly treated
mud systems before a satisfactory plug has been obtained.
Numerous wells are plugged for abandonment with as
many as 15 plugs between the bottom of the hole and the
surface. 4
Normally, an operator does not check the position of
the plugs, but assumes they are where they should be.
And in fact, wells that have been plugged for abandonment and re-entered years later have shown every plug
to be located in the hole exactly as recorded. The best
way to ascertain the position and condition of a plug is
to feel it. This can be done by running tubing string or
drillpipe down the hole and touching or "tagging" the
plug with it. Such tagging is common practice in offshore
operations and is required by some states when cement
plugs are set through freshwater aquifers.
10.2 Uses of Cement Plugs
There are several reasons for performing plugging operations; some of them are described in Fig. 10.1 and discussed in the following paragraphs.

Abandonment. To seal off selected intervals of a dry hole


or a depleted well, a cement plug placed at the required
depth helps prevent zonal communication and any migration of fluids that might infiltrate underground freshwater
sources. Local regulations governing plugging operations
for well abandonment should be consulted.
Zone Isolation. One of the most common reasons for
plugging is to isolate a specific zone. The purpose may
be to shut off water, to recomplete a zone at a shallower
depth, or to protect a low-pressure zone in an open hole
before squeezing. In a well that has two or more producing intervals, it is sometimes beneficial to abandon a
depleted zone or unprofitable producing zone by placing
a permanent cement plug to isolate this zone, thus helping to prevent possible production losses into or fluid
migration from another interval.
Directional Drilling. In sidetracking a hole around a nonretrievable fishsuch as a stuck, broken drillstringit
is necessary to place a cement plug at the required depth
to help support the whipstock so the bit can be guided
in the desired direction. Such a plug is used to change
directions in shoreline drilling, relief-well drilling, drilling under salt domes, and drilling toward any other inaccessible target. 7,8
Lost-Circulation Control. When mud circulation is lost
during drilling it is sometimes possible to restore lost
returns by spotting a cement plug across the thief (lostcirculation) zone and then drilling back through the plug.
Generally, this is less expensive than a squeeze-cementing
job. Reinforcing fibers and lost-circulation-control additives incorporated in the cement plug minimize shattering and disintegration of the residual cement as the cement
plug is being drilled out, and ensure a more successful job.

CEMENTING

140

SETTING PLUGS FOR ABANDONMENT


-

--

SURFACE
CASING

SETTING PLUGS TO PROTECT OPEN HOLE


A

.-,

--

SURFACE
PLUG

..,
..,,-

NON
PRODUCTIVEHOLE

1.

SURFACE
CASING
PROTECTIVE
PLUG

ISOLATION
PLUG
IN TOP OF
CUT CASING

TOP OF
CUT CASING
PRODUCTION ,
CASING

-i,' '
I

.-I
t-.

-'
,,,,,,,___
-

PERFORATIONS
PLUGGED

PLUGS FOR DIRECTIONAL DRILLING

DENSE CEMENT
PLUG SET TO
PROTECT AGAINST
FRACTURE BELOW
DESIRED CASING
SEAT

PLUGGING TO SEAL LOST CIRCULATION


..t.

.4.-CEMENT PLUG SET


IN OPEN HOLE FOR 1. UNRECOVERABLE
JUNK
2. UNDESIRABLE
DIRECTION
3. POOR STRUCTURAL r
POSITION

-,

...
/,
x.
-,
_,

HARD CEMENT
PLUG FORCES BIT
INTO SOFTER
FORMATION TO
SIDETRACK
WELL BORE

'

,-..
`,.._
:....,

CEMENT PLUG IS
SPOTTED AND TIMED
TO "DRIFT" INTO LOSS
ZONE AS SLURRY
1
THICKENS OR MAY BE
SET ACROSS LOST
,.,-----.._,-...5- ' CIRCULATION ZONE AND
-----,,,._,_ DRILLED OUT
1

Fig. 10.1Types of plugging operations.

Formation Testing. Cement plugs are frequently placed

in the open hole below a zone that is to be tested and that


is a considerable distance off bottom where it is not possible or practical to place a sidewall anchor or a bridge
plug. Cement plugs should be long enough to keep from
sliding down the hole when abnormal weights are applied
to them.

10.3 Placement Precautions


In placing a cement plug in open hole, one must consider
carefully the type of formation through which the plug
is to be placed. Plug failures can be prevented by taking
the following precautions. 9,1
1. Selecting, with the help of a caliper log, a gauge section of the hole and determining the temperature of the
formation where the plug is to be set.
2. Carefully calculating cement, water, and displacement volumes, and always planning to use more than
enough cement.
3. Using a densified cement (API Class A, G, or H)
that will tolerate considerable mud contamination.
4. Preceding the cement with sufficient flush.
5. Rotating the tubing using tail pipe with centralizers
and scratchers while placing the cement.
6. Using drillpipe wiper plugs and plug catchers.
7. Placing the plug with care and moving the pipe slowly out of the cement to minimize mud contamination.

For maximum bonding, a clean, hard formation should


be selected, particularly for zone isolation or abandonment. For directional drilling, an easily drilled formation
should be selected; placing the plug in a hard zone can
mean having to redrill the cement plug in the open hole.
In drillstem testing or in setting bottom plugs to seal off
water or other well fluids, the cement should be placed
across the fluid interval and extended up through a very
hard, impermeable, gauge hole. When wells are plugged
for abandonment, a plug should be set in or below the
lowest freshwater zone or at the base of the surface pipe,
or both places (Fig. 10.1). 6,11 Caliper logs should always
be consulted in selecting plugging locations. Precautions
should be taken to ensure that the wellbore is completely
static with no fluid or gas movement before plugging operations are begun.

10.4 The Mud System


Before a cement plug is placed, the mud and its properties should be studied. After the well is cored and tested,
the mud system may be contaminated and yet, particularly if it is to be abandoned, the hole may not warrant
reconditioning. It has been estimated that more than 70%
of the mud systems in use contain some ferrochrome fignosulfonate , which can interfere with the proper setting
of the cement. 12,13 Some muds do not gel or thicken
when in contact with cement and, therefore, they allow

141

DOWNHOLE CEMENT PLUGS

TABLE 10.1-EFFECT OF MUD CONTAMINATION


ON STRENGTH OF CEMENT
Curing time: 12 hours.
Curing temperature: 230F.
Slurry weight
Cement A: 15.6 Ibm/gal.
Cement B: 17.4 Ibm/gal.
Compressive Strength
(psi)

Mud
Contamination
(%)

Cement A

Cement B*

0
10
30
60

2,910
2,530
1,400
340

7,010
5,005
2,910
2,315

*Contains dispersant.

the heavier cementing slurry to lubricate or slide down


the hole. In such cases, a freshly prepared bentonite pill
or similar system may be spotted below where the plug
is to be placed to prevent movement downhole.
With native or simple water-based mud systems, a thick
gel may form where the cement contacts the mud, and
the cement will channel as it is being placed in the open
hole. To obtain a good cement bond between the plug and
the formation, thick, soft filter cake should be removed
by circulating and conditioning the hole.
Openhole plugback studies show that the preferred mud
system has a Marsh funnel viscosity of 45 to 80 seconds,
a plastic viscosity of 12 to 20 cp, a yield point of less
than 5 lbf/100 sq ft, and a water loss of less than 15 cm 3 .
Operators in some areas have eliminated problems of
mud/cement contamination by spotting a freshly mixed
untreated mud consisting only of bentonite, water, and
weighting material (such as barite) below and throughout the zone in which the cement plug is to be placed.
Because most plugs are placed by the balance method,
it is important that the mud be circulated long enough to
ensure that the entire mud system is uniformly weighted.
Otherwise, the cement slurry may become overbalanced
or underbalanced and the plug may not be placed at the
desired depth or may become contaminated by mud (Table 10.1).

TABLE 10.2-VOLUME OF SLURRY REQUIRED


FOR OPENHOLE CEMENT PLUGS
Volume (cu ft) Required
for Plug of Following Height

Hole
Size
(in.)

50 ft

100 ft

200 ft

500 ft

4
6
8
10
12
14

4.36
9.81
17.45
27.27
39.27
53.45

8.72
19.63
34.91
54.54
78.54
106.90

17.44
39.26
79.82
109.08
157.08
213.80

43.65
98.15
174.50
272.70
392.70
534.50

10.5 Cement Volume and Slurry Design


The amount of cement for a particular job is controlled
by the length of the plug and the diameter of the hole.
(State and federal regulations also have a bearing: a specific number of feet of cement may be legally required
to be left in an abandoned hole.) In some instances, 10
to 20 sacks may be sufficient to shut off bottomhole water.
For whipstocking, on the other hand, more than 200 ft
of cement may be needed to minimize the contamination
that can occur at the top of the plug. Plugs for abandoning hole or for whipstocking probably average between
125 and 150 sacks. Larger quantities of cement improve
the chances of success when a hole is to be deviated. When
plugs are placed through drillpipe or tubing, fluid spacers
should be used both ahead of and behind the slurry to
minimize the mixing of cement and drilling mud. Water
is by far the most common spacer fluid, although crude
oil, diesel oil, and mixtures of water and gel are also used.
In selecting the volume of cement for a given plugging
operation, allowances are usually made for dressing off
the mud-contaminated cement at the top of the plug. For
small jobs, batch mixing of the slurry may be preferred
to continuous mixing to ensure homogeneity. Where facilities for dry mixing are not readily available, the
additives-dispersants, accelerators, retarders-can be put
in the mixing water. Table 10.2 lists volumes of cement
slurry required for open-hole plugs of various heights.
Calculations used in connection with cement plugging are
set out in Appendix C.
The selection of a cement composition for an openhole
plug will depend on well depth, temperature, and mud
properties. API test schedules developed from field studies
on a large number of plugging jobs show that the first
sack of cement on a plug reaches bottom rather quickly.
For a 100-sack cement plug, the placement time in a
16,000-ft hole is 40 min. 14
Mud contamination is always a possibility during openhole plug placement. In the cementing system it can cause
retardation and dilution of the cement plug; therefore, densified or reduced-water-ratio cements (API Classes A, G,
and H) generally produce more successful results . 15,16
(Table 10.3 shows typical compressive strengths of densified Classes G and H cements used for openhole
plugging.)

TABLE 10.3-TYPICAL COMPRESSIVE STRENGTHS OF


API CLASSES G AND H CEMENTS
Compressive Strength (psi) at
API Curing Conditions of
Slurry
200F
170F
140F
110F
Weight
(Ibm/gal) 1,600 psi 3,000 psi 3,000 psi 3,000 psi
After 12 Hours
7,800
8,375
8,550

9,035
10,025
10,675

After 24 Hours
9,750
11,075
11,860

10,460
12,660
12,875

16.5
17.0
17.5

2,075
2,850
3,975

4,000
6,535
6,585

16.5
17.0
17.5

5,475
6,035
7,025

8,985
9,060
10,125

142

CEMENTING

PLACING CEMENT PLUGS


WITH DUMP BAILER

BALANCING THE CEMENT PLUG

TUBING

DUMP
BAILER

CEMENT
SAND

CEMENT
PLUG

BRIDGE
PLUG

BRIDGE PLUG,
SAND OR
GRAVEL
Fig. 10.2Balance method of placing cement plug.

10.6 Placement Techniques


The Balanced Method. The balanced method (Fig. 10.2)
involves pumping a desired quantity of cement slurry
through drillpipe or tubing until the level of cement outside is equal to that inside the string. The pipe or tubing
is then pulled slowly from the slurry, leaving the plug
in place. The method is simple and requires no special
equipment other than a cementing service unit. The characteristics of the mud are very important in the balancing
of a cement plug in a well, particularly the ability to circulate freely during placement. When the purpose of a
plug is to control lost circulation, the plug is often spotted with a "drift plug" technique; that is, the plug is
"timed" so that when it reaches the lost-circulation zone
down the hole it sets and seals off the zone (see Fig. 10.1).
Movement of well fluids while the cement plug is setting may affect the quality of a plug. Even a small amount
of gas migrating slowly through a cement plug can disturb it enough to prevent it from setting. In some areas,
there are artesian flows that tend to move the cement plug
up the hole or wash it out of the well. It is necessary,
therefore, to check the cement system very carefully to
see that the well is in a static stateneither gaining nor
losing returns. The amount of mud, wash, and cement
slurry must be carefully calculated to ensure equal
volumes of fluid ahead of and behind the cement plug as
it is being balanced in the hole.
When it is difficult to establish the top of a cement plug,
it may be necessary to run an excess of cement, then pull
the running-in string to the desired plug top and reverse
out the cement above that point. A loss of fluid to the formation below this point may cause movement of the plug.

Fig. 10.3Dump bailer method of placing cement plug.

plug is easily controlled. The cost of a dump bailer job


is usually low compared with one using conventional
pumping equipment.
Some disadvantages of the dump bailer method are that
(1) it is not readily adaptable to setting deep plugs;
(2) mud can contaminate the cement unless the hole is circulated before dumping (this is also true of the balanced
method); and (3) there is a limit to the quantity of slurry
that can be placed per run, and an initial set may be required before the next run can be made.
The Two-Plug Method. In the two-plug method (Fig.
10.4), top and bottom tubing plugs are run to isolate the
cement slurry from the well fluids and displacement fluids
(as in standard primary cementing practice). A bridge plug
is usually run at the cement plugging depth. A special baffle tool is run on the bottom of the string and placed at
the depth desired for the bottom of the cement plug. This
tool permits the bottom tubing plug to pass through and
out of the tubing or drillpipe. Cement is then pumped out
of the string at the plugging depth and begins to fill the
annulus. The top tubing plug, following the cement, is
caught in the plug-catcher tool and causes a sharp rise
in the surface pressure, which indicates that the plug has
landed. The latching device holds the top tubing plug to

PLACING CEMENT PLUGS


WITH WIPER PLUGS
EXCESS
SLURRY

The Dump Bailer Method. The dump bailer method


(Fig. 10.3) is usually used at shallow depths; but with the
formulation of retarded cementing compositions, it has
been used to depths exceeding 12,000 ft. The dump bailer,
containing a measured quantity of cement, is lowered on
a wire line. A limit plug, cement basket, permanent bridge
plug, or gravel pack is usually placed below the desired
plugging location. The bailer is opened by touching the
bridge plug and is raised to release the cement slurry at
this location. The method has certain advantages in that
the tool is run on wire line and the depth of the cement

PLUG
CATCHER
CEMENT
ENTERS
ANNULUS
BOTTOM
PLUG
PUMPED
OUT

TOP
PLUG
CAUGHT
REVERSE
CIRCULATION
CUTS OFF
TOP OF
CEMENT PLUG

Fig. 10.4Placement of cement plug with top and bottom


plugs.

143

DOWNHOLE CEMENT PLUGS


TABLE 10.4-WEIGHT/VOLUME RELATIONSHIP OF BARITE SLURRIES
Barite
Slurry
(sacks/bbl
Water
Density
(Ibm/gal) (gal/sack) Slurry) bbl/sack
18.0
20.0
21.0
22.0

5.10
3.70
3.20
2.75

5.30
6.43
6.95
7.50

0.189
0.156
0.144
0.133

Slurry Yields
bbl/
200 sacks

cu ft/
bbl/
bbl/
300 sacks 400 sacks sack
75.5
62.1
57.5
53.3

56.2
46.6
43.2
40.0

37.8
31.1
27.8
26.6

1.060
0.873
0.807
0.748

*Based on water density of 8.33 Ibm/gal, a barite absolute volume of 0 0284 gal/Ibm (corresponding to a density of 35.2
Ibm/gal), and a sack weight of 100 Ibm

help prevent cement from backing up into the string, but


permits reverse circulation. (This design allows the string
to be pulled up after cement placement to "cut off" the
cement plug at the desired depth by establishing reverse
circulation through the plug catcher; thus excess cement
is allowed to be reversed up and out of the tubing.) The
string is then pulled, leaving a cement plug that should
last indefinitely and provide good, hard support for any
subsequent operation.
To minimize contamination, centralizers and rotating
scratchers can be put at the lower end of the bottom drillpipe or tail pipe. 1 The rotation of the scratchers cleans
the wellbore-thus promoting better bonding-and allows
bypassed mud to mix uniformly with the cement, eliminating mud channels in the unset cement.
Advantages of the two-plug method are that (1) it
minimizes the likelihood of overdisplacing the cement;
(2) it forms a tight, hard cement structure; and (3) it permits establishing the top of the plug. All in all, the twoplug method of plugging is preferred to the balanced
method. An alternative to this system is a simplified
diverter tool that consists of a bull plug at the end of tubing or drillpipe. Six to eight holes of 3/4- to 1-in. diameter
are drilled above the bull plug. The cementing slurry is
pumped through these holes against the formation to enhance filter-cake removal 8 (Fig. 10.5).

10.7 Testing Cement Plugs


There is no simple method for testing downhole plugs.
In most cases, plugs for abandonment or for sealing off
bottomwater are never tested. Plugs set to control lost circulation or for whipstocking are tested by determining the
hardness of the plug. The most common approach is to
run drillpipe-either open ended or with a bit-back into
the hole to locate the plug by applying weight. This
method is commonly used after the plug has been allowed
to set some 12 to 24 hours. Although it is not always satisfactory, at least it gives some indication of whether some
degree of plugging has been achieved in the desired location. A plug might be hard on top, but soft farther down,
so that in time fluids can migrate past it. 17
Normal WOC time after placement of plugs is from 12
to 36 hours; however, with the use of densified cement
and accelerators a very hard plug can be achieved in 8
to 18 hours. Where temperatures are above 230F, silica
flour functions as a stabilizing agent and as a catalyst for
producing high-strength cement plugs in minimum time
after placement. 18

10.8 Barite Plugs


Plugs composed of barite, water, and a thinner are commonly used for pressure contro1. 19 Formulations of barite
and water (18 to 24 lbm/gal) can be mixed by adding 0.2
to 0.7 lbm/bbl of complex phosphate and adjusting the
pH to 8 to 10 with caustic soda. (See Table 10.4 for various data on barite slurries.)
Barite plugs are placed through the drillpipe and spotted near the active zone. They are most successful when
placed immediately after an active zone has been opened.
The drill bit need not be removed.
A barite plug will seal the wellbore because (1) it has
a high density, which increases the hydrostatic head and
restrains the active zone; and (2) the barite slurry has a
high filtrate loss, which causes it to dehydrate rapidly and
form a plug. (This high filtrate loss can also cause sloughing and bridging in the hole, as well as dehydration and
settling of the plug.)
The viscosity and yield point of the barite slurry must
be kept low if the barite is to settle and form a plug. Mixing the slurry with mud in the hole should be avoided because the barite settles rapidly and can plug and stick the
drillstring. Once the barite plug is placed, the drillpipe
should be removed quickly to avoid sticking or
plugging. 19
The only source of mud contamination is from inside
the drillpipe; fluid and mud from the annulus will remain
on top of the barite plug. Mud can be kept out of the barite

SETTING DOWNHOLE PLUGS


MUD

TUBING
PLUG

-90 PPG

BAFFLE
-7- SPACER

4-6
HOLES
% to 1
INCH

'

16-17

CEMENT
CENTRALIZER

16.0 PPG
CEMENT

'(-Y .'& CEMENT

DWERTER
TOOL

-90 PPG
MUD

IDEALIZED
CASE

9.1 PPG
BENTONITE
PILL SPACER

TAIL PIPE
WITH
SCRATCHER

90 PPG
MUD

OPEN HOLE

EXPERIMENTAL RECOMMENDED TECHNIQUES


RESULTS

Fig. 10.5-Proper placement of cementing plug.

144

CEMENTING
TABLE 10.5-PLUGBACK CHECK LIST
Hole size (in. or mm)
. Casing size (in. or
mm)
Drillpipe or tubing size (in. or
mm)
. Drillpipe or tubing thread:
Top plug from
(ft or m)
to
(ft or m).
Type of cementing material and additives.

ihr
6
77: DRILL PIPE
fri
CASING

MUD
MUD

LOST CIRCULATION ZONE


BARITE PLUG LEFT IN
DRILL PIPE ABOVE PLUG
IN THE ANNULUS
BARITE PLUG FLOWS
FROM DRILL PIPE TO
ANNULUS
ACTIVE GAS ZONE

A
PLUG POSITION BEFORE
PIPE IS PULLED

B
PIPE PULLED UP THE
HOLE AFTER PLUG
IS PLACED

Slurry weight (Ibm/gal or kg/L)


Mixing water (gal/sack or L/sack)
Total water (bbl or m 3)
Yield (cu ft/sack or L/sack)
Slurry volume (bbl or m3)
Pumping time for cement
hours
minutes.
Bottomhole temperature (F or C)
Compressive strength (psi or kPa)
after
hours.
Fluid to displace cement to equalization (bbl or m3)
Water to be pumped ahead of cement (bbl or m3)
Water to be pumped behind cement (bbl or m3)

Fig. 10.6-Placing barite plugs in open hole (after Ref. 19).

slurry by underdisplacing the slurry in the drillpipe. Because the barite plug weight is greater in the drillpipe than
in the annulus, there will be a flow from the drillpipe to
the annulus that will help prevent premature setting. Overdisplacing the barite plug from the drillpipe is certain to
get mud into the barite plug and should be avoided.
Fig. 10.6 shows how barite plugs are placed in open
hole.
10.9 Summary
Plugback operations should be carefully planned, with emphasis given to placement, volume of cement, borehole
irregularities, and errors in pipe measurement, as well
as to the calculated volumes of cement to be placed in
the hole.20 For a successful plugback operation, the following measures should be taken 8 (see Fig. 10.5 and the
Check List, Table 10.5).
1. Place the plug in a competent formation (i.e., place
a strong cement against a hard formation).
2. Use ample cement.
3. Use tail pipe through plugback intervals.
4. Use scratchers or wipers and centralizers on tail
pipe where the hole is not excessively washed out.
5. Use a drillpipe plug and a plug catcher.
6. Circulate the hole sufficiently before running the
job. Use a mud of low yield point and low plastic viscosity, of sufficient weight to control the well.
7. Ahead of the cement, run a flush and/or bentonite
pill that is compatible with the mud and will prevent the
cement from sliding down the hole.
8. Use densified cements with dispersant to combat
mud contamination.
9. Where hard plugs are desired, use sand or similar
materials in the cement.
10. Allow ample time for the cement to set.
References
1. Parsons, C.P.: "Plug-Back Cementing Methods," Trans., AIME
(1936) 118, 187-94.

2. Howard, G.C. and Scott, P.P. Jr.: "Plugging Off Water in Fractured
Formations," Trans., AIME (1954) 201, 132-37.
3. Goins, W.C. Jr.: "Open Hole Plugback Operations," Oil-Well Cementing Practices in the United States, API, New York City (1959)
193.
4. Banister, J.A.: "Methods and Materials for Placing Cement Plugs
in Open Holes," paper presented at the 1957 Interstate Oil Compact
Commission Meeting, Yellowstone, WY, June 10-12.
5. "A Symposium of Plugging to Abandon," Proc. , U.S. Dept. of
Natural Resources, Mt. Pleasant, MI (Sept. 25, 1973).
6. Herndon, J. and Smith, D.K.: "Plugging Wells for Abandonment:
A State-of-the-Art Study with Recommended Procedures," Union
Carbide Corp. Nuclear Div., Oak Ridge, TN (Sept. 1976).
7. Calvert, D.G. and McGinty, J.E. : "Cementing Off, Plugging, and
Redrilling," Water Well J. (July 1975) 43-46.
8. Smith, R.C., Beirute, R.M., and Holman, G.B.: "Improved Method
of Setting Cement Plugs," J. Pet. Tech. (Nov. 1984) 1897-1904.
9. Anderson, F.M.: "A Study of Surface Casing and Open-Hole PlugBack Cementing Practices in the Mid-Continent District," Drill.
and Prod. Prac. , API (1955) 312-25.
10. Herndon, J. and Smith, D.K.: "Setting Downhole Plugs: A Stateof-the-Art," Pet. Eng. (April 1978) 56-71.
11. Texas Railroad Commission Rule 14: Plugging, Oil and Gas Div.,
Austin, TX (1983).
12. Beach, H. J. and Goins, W.C. Jr.: "A Method of Protecting
Cements Against the Harmful Effects of Mud Contamination,'
Trans., AIME (1957) 210, 148-52.
13. Anderson, F.M.: "Effects of Mud-Treating Chemicals on Oil Well
Cements," Oil and Gas J. (Sept. 29, 1952) 283-84.
14. API Specification for Materials and Testing for Well Cementing,
API 10, API Div. of Production, Dallas, TX (1984).
15. Horton, H.L., Morris, E.F., and Wahl, W.W.: "Improved Cement
Slurries by Reduction of Water Content," paper 909-9-D presented
at API Southwestern Dist. Div. of Production Spring Meeting,
Midland, TX (March 1964).
16. Waggoner, H.F.: "Additives Yield Heavy High-Strength Cements
With Low Water Ratios," Oil and Gas J. (April 3, 1964) 109-11;;
17. Beirute, M.: "Flow Behavior of An Unset Cement Plug in Place,
paper SPE 7589 presented at the 1978 SPE Annual Technical
Conference and Exhibition, Houston, Oct. 1-3.
18. Carter, L.G. and Smith, D.K.: "Properties of Cementing
Compositions at Elevated Temperatures and Pressures," J. pet'
Tech. (Feb. 1958) 20-28; Trans., AIME, 213.
19. Messenger, J.U. : "Barite Plugs Simplify Well Control," World
Oil (June 1969) 83.
20. Pugh, T.D.: "What to Consider When Cementing Deep Wells,'
World Oil (Sept. 1967) 52.

,hapter 11

:low Calculations

1.1 Introduction
n understanding of flow mechanics in a wellbore can
; helpful in the selection of pumping equipment, cementg compositions, and placement techniques. With the deAopment of the multispeed rotational viscometer for
teasuring flow properties, the rheological properties of
ell fluids have become more widely understood, and
ialysis has advanced beyond the empirical methods used
i the past. "
The use of rheological parameters of cement slurry and
tilling fluid allows the following factors to be computed
wring the cementing operation (Fig. 11.1).
1. Annular velocity and pumping rate required to estblish plug, laminar, or turbulent flow.
2. Cement slurry velocity inside casing.
3. Frictional pressure in pipe and annulus from flow
f both drilling mud spacers and cement slurry.
4. Expected wellhead pressure as the top plug moves
own the pipe.
5. Hydraulic horsepower needed at the wellhead.
6. Slurry volume for a given contact time.
7. Time required to complete the cementing operation.
1.2 The Flow Properties of
Vellbore Fluids
'he flow properties of wellbore fluids (water, mud, celent slurries, mud spacers, and displacement fluids) are
onventionally classified as Newtonian or non-Newtonian.
4ewtonian fluids, such as oil, syrup, or water, exhibit
direct and constant proportionality between shear rate
which is related to flow velocity or rate) and shear stress
which is related to flowing pressure drop) as long as the
low regime is laminar. In a fluid of this type, viscosity
s independent of the shear rate at constant temperature
tnd pressure. A Newtonian fluid will begin to flow imnediately when pressure (force) is applied. When the
)ressure is released, the fluid returns immediately to its

previous state before pressure or force was applied. (See


Fig. 11.2.)
The term non-Newtonian describes all fluids whose behavior is different from that of a Newtonian fluide.g.,
drilling fluids, cement slurries, and heavy asphaltic oils.
These are rheologically complex, frequently particlebearing fluids that are usually described as Bingham plastics or power-law fluids. Non-Newtonian fluids (Figs.
11.2 and 11.3) do not exhibit a direct proportionality between pressure loss and flow rate at constant temperature and pressure. Some types of non-Newtonian fluids,
such as drilling mud, do not start to move immediately
when a force is applied, but will go through stages of flow:
plug, laminar, and turbulent. 1,5,6
Some non-Newtonian fluids in a static state possess
thixotropya property of a fluid that causes it to build
up a rigid or semirigid structure that breaks down with
applied shear. Once the gel structure is broken, the fluid
will flow as long as pressure or shear stress is applied.
This structure can rebuild if the fluid is allowed to rest.
The two mathematical models commonly used in
describing the behavior of drilling fluids and cement slurries are the Bingham-plastic model and the power-law
model. 3
The Bingham-Plastic Model. This is the model more
widely used in the oil industry because of its early identification with drilling fluid. 5-7 It assumes that cement
slurries and drilling fluids behave like an ideal Bingham
plastic and that all rheological calculations can be made
from a linear relationship between shear stress and shear
rate. This relationship, called "apparent viscosity" (rather
than simply "viscosity") can be obtained with a rotational
viscometer, or Fann VG meter (Fig. 11.4). The Fann instrument is available in a variety of models for field and
laboratory use and is designed to operate at six rotation

146

CEMENTING

WOOL CONDITIONS
DEPTH 7500 FT
IN WASHED TO

IN

HM1811111011 SLURRY 010 PLAN

HOLE SIZE

FOR 1011N NINES OIL CO

CASING SIZE 5' IN 17 LAF /FT


IN 36 LOT /FT SURFACE TO 5500 FT

WELL JOHN DOE NO

LAST CASING

REQUESTED BY HOUSTON TEXAS

ANNULAR FILL 2200 FT

1013 TYPE CASING

FORMATION FRACTURE GRADIENT 0555 PSI/FT AT 6000 FT


DEPTHS AND DIAMETERS Of WELL SECTORS

Information Required for Job Analysis

DEPTH
FE

HOLE OR
CSG 10
IN

OD IN

ID - IN

1
2

5500
7560

8 121
9 375

5 500
5500

4 892
4 812

FLUID PROPERTIES

Spacer Composition

FLUID
NO

Lead Slurry Composition

Slurry Yield

DESCRIPTION

1
2
3
4
5

Tail Slurry Composition


Fluid Density

FLUID
NO

Consistency Index - K

Flow Behavior Index - n

2
3
4
5

DRILLING MOO
SAM-4 SPACER
POZIOLAN CEMENT 2% BENTONITE SAT SALT
CLASS H CEMENT 029 HR-4
DRILLING MUD FOR DISPLACEMENT

1
1

I1

K
000330
0 01552
000150
0 10440
000330

0 670
0614
0560
0 360
0 670

Annular Fill at Completion of Job

I
1
3
4

DEPTH
OF ft
TOPS
FT
0
4943
5360
1360

10

1560

FLUID
NO

Total Volume of Displacement


Fluid Required

HYDROSTATIC
GRADIENT
PSI/FT

1000
12 00
14 80
16 40
1000

00
00
137
106
00

0 519
0 623
0769
0 852
0519

FLUID NO

BPM

1
2
3
4
5

105
236
33
281
105

ANNULAR
FILL
FT

SACKS
Of
CEMENT

4943
417
2000
200

454
59

Volume of Displacement Fluid Pumped

Well on Vacuum due to Higher


Densities of Fluid inside Casing

SLURRY
YIELD
CU FT/SK

ANNULAR FILL

Location of Fluids and Volumes


Required for Completion of Job

Volume of all Fluids Pumped

DENSITY
LBS/GAL

FLOW RATE REQUIRED TO ACHIEVE REYNOLDS NO = 3000


IN ANNULAR SECTOR 2

Pumping Rates for Turbulent Flow


Based on Reynolds No. = 3000

Surface Pressure when Circulating


only Mud at above Flow Rate

CASING DRILL PIPE


OR LINER

SECTOR
NO

EELS
FLUSH OR
SPACER
0
20

108 CALCULATIONS
CALCULATIONS BASED ON PUMP RATE Of 33 BPM
WHICH IS REQUIRED TO ACHIEVE 3000 REYNOLDS NO
FOR FLUID NO 31N ANNULAR SECTOR 2
TOTAL
8111.S
FLUID
PUMPED
00
159
318
47 7
636
79 5
95 3
112
271
430
589
74 8
90 7
2066
2225
238 4
254 2
2701
286 0
301 9
317 8

FLUID
BEING
PUMPED AT
SURFACE

SURFACE
PRESSURE
PSI
48 1
ON VAC
ON VAC
ON VAC
ON VAC
ON VAC
ON VAC
ON VAC
ON VAC
ON VAC
ON VAC
ON VAC
ON VAC
ON VAC
ON VAC
ON VAC
ON VAC
ON VAC
119
364
563

BOTTOM
HOLE
PRESSURE
PSI

ANNULAR
FLUID
AT
TO

3951
3951
3951
3951
3951
3951
3951
3951
3951
3951
3151
3951
3430
4038
4109
4179
4249
4320
4390
45=
41511

BBLS OF
DISPLACEMENT
FLUID INO 51
PUMPED
00
00
00
00
00
00
00
DO
00
10
168
32 7
486
645
804
963
1122
128 1
1440
1599
1 1758

'EST SURFACE P ESSURE WITH MOO ONLY CIRCULATING


1 "FORMATION BRE KDOWN MAY OCCUR 1

Indicates Formation Breakdown may occur


Final Annular Pressure Gradients as Cement
is Circulated to the Heights shown above
Horsepower Required to be
Delivered to the Wellhead

FRACTURE GRADIENT
FINAL HYDROSTATIC GRADIENT

= 0 555 PSI/FT AT 6000 FT


= 0553 PSI/fT AT 6000 RI

FINAL FLUID PRESSURE GRADIENTS


FLOWING AT 33 BPM
DEPTH
FT

GRADIENT
PSI/FT

5500
WOO
1560

05377
05511
05039

MAXIMUM SURFACE PRESSURE


1 MAXIMUM HYDRAULIC HORSEPOWER

663 PSI
54 1HP

Fig. 11.1Computer calculation of wellbore hydraulics during a cementing operation (adapted from printout).

147

FLOW CALCULATIONS

Non Newtonian
CNI

,o p -600 300

Stage 2

No
Flow

Plug
Flow

P<Pa

1
1

Plastic Viscosity

LL

Stage 1

-Pd

e
1
1

CC

1.1)

C ry

V')

CC

1
0

cc

1
1
1
1
1
1

ield Point
a300-A

200

400

600

Newtonian
Bingham yield point, a .P

a
800

/Extrapolated yield point,

Pa
a

0
0

'

b f,2 a 'Pfqty

PRESSURE RI or SHEAR STRESS

Fig. 11.2Flow-rate/shear-stress curves of Newtonian and


non-Newtonian fluids.

speeds (600, 300, 200, 100, 6, and 3 rev/min) or 11 rotational speeds (600, 300, 200, 180, 100, 90, 30, 6, 3, 1.8,
and 0.9 rev/min). For this instrument, the shear stress
(in pounds per square foot) may be expressed as follows:

where
T =

shear stress, lbf/ft2 ,

= yield point, lbf/ft2 ,


= plastic viscosity, cp, and
rate, seconds 1 .

stress

dial reading x instrument spring factor x 1.066


100

(Note that the 1.066 may vary, depending on the combination of rotor and bob).
The shear rate is a function of the speed of rotation and
the dimensions of the rotor and bob. For the standard instrument,
shear rate = 1.7023 x rev/min.

(11.2)

See Table 11.1.


The two terms used in describing the fluid in a Binghamplastic model are plastic viscosity and yield point (Fig.
11.2). The plastic viscosity is expressed as the slope of
the straight-line extrapolation; the yield point is the intercept of this straight line on the shear-stress axis. The
Fann VG meter is designed to calculate plastic viscosity
and yield point easily. (The VG meter exerts the required
shear stresses at two different shear rates: 600 and 300
rev/min.) The basic equation describing the Binghamplastic model is, therefore,
r=a-F2.088555 x 10 5 ( pcp)(i),

(11.3)

I III"

Fig. 11.3Typical flow behavior of non-Newtonian


fluids. 5

ry = shear

11. =

Apparent
Viscosity
at Shear
Rate

True yield

SHEAR RATE,RPM WWI

T= shear

Stage 5

P'Pa<Pb P'Pb`Pc P'Pc


P 'Pd
Incomplet Complete
Laminar Laminar Turbulent
Flow
Flow
Flow

Dial Reading

U.

Stage 3 Stage 4
Plastic
Plastic
Flow
Flow

Fig. 11.4Fann VG meter.

148
TABLE 11.1-COMPARISON OF FANN READINGS, SHEAR STRESS,
AND APPARENT VISCOSITY USING A SPECIFIC MUD
Fann Data
Rotation
(rev/min)
600
300
200
100
6
3

Shear Rate
(seconds -1)
1,022
511
340
170
10.2
5.11

Dial Reading
(lbf/100 ft 2)
17
12
10
8
3.5
3

Shear Stress
dynes/cm 2 lbf/ft 2
0.181
86.7
0.128
61.2
0.107
51.0
0.085
40.8
0.037
17.9
0.032
15.3

Apparent
Viscosity
(cp)
8.49
11.99
15.0
24.0
175.1
299.6

The Fann VG meter is still required to obtain data


the power-law model. The equation for the power
model is

This equation yields a straight line, and from it, on the


basis of the instrument calibration, plastic viscosity and
yield point can be determined. Plastic viscosity is the 300
reading subtracted from the 600 reading, and yield point
is the plastic viscosity subtracted from the 300 reading.
Note the difference between plastic viscosity and apparent viscosity. Plastic viscosity is the actual slope of
the linear part of the shear-rate/shear-stress curve as
shown in Fig. 11.2 and is constant. Apparent viscosity,
which depends on shear rate, is the slope of a straight line
from the origin to a point on the shear-rate/shear-stress
curve (i.e., it is the quotient of shear stress divided by
shear rate). See Fig. 11.3.

where
K = intercept of lines (fluid consistency index
lbf-sec n /ft 2 , and
shear-stress/shear-rate curve
n = slope of the
(flow-behavior index), dimensionless.
While the Bingham model uses only the 600 and
300 readings to describe the shear stress/shear-rate cur
the power-law model can use either the 600 and 300 d
readings or, for greater accuracy, the 600, 300, 200;
100 readings. The data derived with the power-law m
yield a straight line on log/log paper.

The Power-Law Model. The power-law model, another


non-Newtonian mathematical approach, was popularized
by Metzner and Reed. 8 It is based on the assumption that
the fluid (cement slurry) exhibits a proportionality between
the logarithm of pressure loss and the logarithm of flow
rate, with a starting stress in the region of streamline or
laminar flow.
The equations of the power-law model are more complex but also more accurate than those of the Binghamplastic model; therefore, the results are closer to the exact behavior of the cement slurries in the well.3 With
knowledge of the characteristics of the shear-stress vs.
shear-rate curve, it is possible to calculate the apparent
viscosity of the cement slurry at the observed shear rate.
This viscosity rather than the plastic viscosity in the
Bingham-plastic model is used in the hydraulic
equations. 9 '1

logio(;). .......
log 10 (T)=Iog it) K+n

The two parameters required to define the power-1


n and K. (See Ta
model fluid are usually denoted by
11.2.) For the purpose of this discussion, n is the sl
of the log(shear stress)-vs.-log(shear rate) curve, or flo
becomes the intercept of this I
behavior index, and K
at unit shear rate and is referred to as the consistency
dex. If these two indices are known, it is possible to c
culate the Reynolds number and the critical velocity
which departure from laminar flow begins.

TABLE 11.2-POWER-LAW VS. BINGHAM-PLASTIC MODEL INFORMATION


OBTAINED WITH ROTATIONAL VISCOMETER

API Cement Slurry


Class H
Class H
Class C
Class C
Class E
Class G
+4% gel
+8% gel
+12% gel
+ 12% gel and dispersant

Weight
(Ibm/gal)
15.6
16.5
14.8
14.1
16.2
14.1
13.1
12.8
13.2

(11

Power Law
n
0.30 0.1950
0.36 0.2185
0.25 0.1441
0.43 0.0300
0.50 0.0472
0.10
0.10
0.10
0.07

0.9500
0.9000
0.7600
0.9987

Bingham Plastic
Yield Point
(lbf/100 ft2)
97
29
147
58
55
12
28
15
62
44

Plastic Viscosity
(cp)

12
12
10
7

165
155
131
146

149

FLOW CALCULATIONS

for a power-law fluid, apparent viscosity at any speific


shear rate is given by
c
pt---=47 ,880K-; n- I ,

10

(11.6)
:'-1.,_ 1

where units are centipoises, lbf-sec n /ft2 , and seconds -1,


respectively. Clearly, if n=1, then p,=47,880 K, a constant, and the fluid is Newtonian.

11.3 Instruments Used To Predict Fluid


Flow Properties
For flow calculations, the accurate measurement of the
viscosity of a fluid is essential. The two principal instruments used for rheological measurements are the pipeline (capillary-tube) viscometer and the rotational Fann
VG viscometer. 2,3,11 The capillary-tube viscometer
(which is used to measure the relationship between the
pressure drop and the flow rate of a fluid) is the preferred
method for determining the flow-behavior index and consistency index for non-Newtonian fluid."1 Having
pressure-drop data at various flow rates allows one to prepare a log/log plot of shear rate vs. shear stress. For fluids
that do not exhibit time dependency (i.e., fluids that are
not thixotropic), these data will usually produce a straight
line. The flow behavior index, n, is the slope of this line,
and the consistency index, K, is the intercept (the value)
at unity shear rate (Fig. 11.5). The n will be the same
as determined by each instrument. The K values, however, will differ and will require a correction unit from
the Fann VG meter to either pipe or annular geometry.. 2,12
It is difficult to keep the cement uniform and pumpable
long enough to obtain measurements from the pipe viscometer. Therefore the n and K data are normally obtained
with the readily available direct-indicating rotational viscometer (Fann VG meter), by use of Eqs. 11.1 and 11.2
to convert instrument revolutions per minute and dial reading to shear rate and shear stress. As with the pipe viscometer, a logarithmic plot of shear rate vs. shear stress

noFLOW BEHAVIOR INDEX

.
W
..
1.
c:, 0.1
x
co

K -CONSISTENCY INDEX
001

i
10
, 100
RATE OF SHEAR, SEC- '

Fig. 11.5-Power-law plot of non-Newtonian slurry. 3

yields essentially a straight line, where the slope of the


straight-line portion and the intercept at unity shear rate
again are the two descriptive parameters. 3,9
The complexity of the chemical reactions occurring
when cement and water are first mixed makes it extremely
important that slurry preparation methods be standardized so that reasonably reproducible data can be obtained
with the rotational viscometer. 3'9'13 Standard testing
procedures have been published in API Spec. 10. 13 (See
Sec. 4.11.)

11.4 Displacement Theories-Plug Flow


vs. Turbulent Flow
In placing cement downhole, the preferred method where
hole conditions permit is to thin the mud and cement slurry
so that turbulent flow can be induced at moderate pumping rates. 3 '14'15 The injection rate is adjusted to a level
that will overcome the resistance of the mud by addition
of friction reducers or dispersants to the cement slurry
or increase in the volume of mixing water and

TABLE 11.3-FLOW RATES FOR TURBULENCE (OR PLUG FLOW)


WITH AND WITHOUT CEMENT DISPERSANTS

63/4
27/8
Composition
API Class H
15.4 Ibm/gal

Percent
Dispersant
0.00
0.50
0.75

API Class A 4% gel


14.1 Ibm/gal

API Class A
12% gel 12.8 Ibm/gal

0.00
0.50
0.75
0.00
0.75
1.00

'Plug flow

1000

18.18
(3.03)"
14.32
6.57
25.17
(5.07)*
15.50
6.58
23.55
(4.74)*
14.08
2.93

Hole Size, in.


83/4
Casing Size OD, in.
51/2
41/2
Flow Rate
(bbl/min)
23.29
13.58
(3.88)*
(2.27)*
18.66
11.28
8.91
5.86
31.54
17.58
(6.35)*
(3.54)*
19.65
11.21
8.65
5.30
63/4

16.45
(3.31)*
10.26
2.88

29.51
(5.94)*
17.89
4.10

9%
7

24.93
(4.16)"
20.21
9.93
33.26
(6.70)*
20.88
9.41
31.12
(6.51)*
19.05
4.67

CEMENTING

150

MIMI

4- - 9 5/8-IN. CASING
\ IN 12 1/4-IN. HOLE
\

WIN

,1 7-IN. CASING IN - L
'N. 8 5/6-IN. HOLE

.....

200

300

7-1N.
200

111111

\I. I
I-

400

500

CASING IN 8 5/8-IN. HOLE


400
300
500

9 5/8 -IN. CASING IN


800
400
600

MMIll

IS

12

FT/MIN

t 11110
I IFAL/MI
I 600

1/4-IN. HOLE :(t


1000
1101

GAL/MI
1401

PUMPING RATE
+ 10% FRICTION REDUCER
+ 0.75% FRICTION REDUCER
+ 0.5% FRICTION REDUCER
API CLASS A NEAT CEMENT
(156 LBM/GAL)

Fig. 11.6Pumping rate to achieve turbulent flow in annulus.

DRIVING

RESISTING

DRAG IF CASING
IS MOVING

CASING CLOSE
TO WALL

PRESSURE TO MOVE CEMENT


ALSO ACTS ON MUD

VISCOSITY AND

benefits achieved from centralization and pipe movement


to "puddle" static mud pockets that are not effectively
removed by displacement should not be over
looked. 15 '20'21
11.5 Equations Used in
Flow Calculations

There is very little difference between results of calculations performed by the Bingham-plastic method and results of calculations performed by power-law methods for
non-Newtonian fluids, except for the pressure drop in
laminar flow. A much greater difference can result from
different laboratory methods of preparing the slurry or
from variations in brands of cement than from the two
methods of calculation.
Fluid movement in pipe or annulus depends on fluid
velocity and fluid properties. Flow calculations for plug,
laminar, or turbulent flow are usually based on some form
of the Reynolds number correlation (modified for nonNewtonian fluids) or other generalized correlations. The
Reynolds number is a dimensionless unit, as defined in
Eq. 11.14. The rotational viscometer may be used, with
variations in mathematical approach, to develop data for
calculating flow behavior of non-Newtonian fluids. From
the 600, 300, 200, and 100 readings, computerize solutions for n, K. Friction pressure vs. flow rates and. Fan-_
ning friction factor vs. Reynolds numbers may be
determined (see Figs. 11.8 through 11.11).
Equations for a power-law fluid are illustrated in the
following examples.
From Fann viscometer,

GEL OF MUD
DRAG IF CEMENT IS MOVING
FASTER THAN MUD

n=3.32* X (log io

BUOYANCY IF CEMENT

o.

p;,.%

Fig. 11.7Forces on mud channel during cementing.15

300-rev/min dial reading

...........................(11.7)

IS HEAVIER THAN MUD


o
:CEMENT.

600-rev/min dial reading

and
K-

Nx (300-rev/min dial reading) X 1.066*


100 x(511)n
...........................(11.8)

bentonite 16'17 (see Table 11.3 and Fig. 11.6). The displacement rate will be moderately high, and high displacement efficiency should result. Turbulent flow offers other
advantages over plug flow in that radial components of
velocity are present and these exert resisting forces as well
as driving forces and therefore promote mixing at the interfaces (Fig. 11.7). 12'15 This increases the probability
of removing mud from hole restrictions and reduces the
contamination of the cement sheath. The leading and following interfaces may be highly contaminated with mud,
but through the use of large volumes of slurry, competent cement can be placed across the zone of interest.
The literature abundantly illustrates the efficiency of
turbulent flow in removing circulatable mud from a
wellbore 1 '3'14-19 ; however, there are situations in which
such high displacement rates are not feasible. The geometry of the hole, size of the annulus, flow properties of
both the cement and the drilling mud, and pressure restrictions may dictate the use of plug flow. 18,19 The

where N is the range extension factor of the Fann VG


meter torque spring.
For calculations where plastic viscosity and yield point
are known,
11-51)
n=3.32 Xl0g ( 21:
P+
+:)............. (
and
Nx( atc p +o)x 1.066*

100 x(511)n

, ............ '

where
= plastic viscosity, cp, and
o- = yield point, lbf/100 ft2 .
*These factors change for different combinations of rotor and bob

. (11.1

151

FLOW CALCULATIONS

Flow Regime in 7-in., 32-Ibm/ft casing


-Plug Flow

- Laminar Flow
- Turbulent Flow
* NA, of 100, q b = 0.20 BPM
C)- NRE of 3000; qb = 4.20 BPM

Flow Regime in 7-in., 32-Ibm/ft casing


- Plug Flow

Friction Pressure (psi/100 ft)

16 - Laminar Flow
- Turbulent Flow
*-14,3E of 100, q b = 3.22 BPM
10-NA,of 3000, q b =24.89 BPM

Class H Cement +
0.5% Dispersant
16.43 Ibm/gal
n - 0.88
K - 0.00191

Class H Cement
16.43 lb/gal
n - 0.34
K - 0.23438

10

15

20

25

30

ol

Flow Rate (BPM)


Fig. 11.8-Friction pressure vs. flow rate, Class H cement
in 7-in. casing.

4
6
8
Flow Rate (BPM)

10

Fig. 11.10-Friction pressure vs. flow rate, Class H cement


with dispersant in 7-in. casing.

Flow Regime in 7-in., 32-Ibm/ft casing


-Plug Flow

Flow Regime in 7-in., 32-Ibm/ft casing


-Plug Flow
1.0

-Laminar Flow
-Turbulent Flow
* - NnE of 100
C)- NRE of 3000

1.0

- Laminar Flow
-Turbulent Flow
*
of 100
C)-14,,, of 3000

0.1

.1
co

G)

C
O
C

O
C

0.01

.01
Class H Cement
16.43 Ibm/gal
n - 0.34
K - 0.23438

10

100

1,000
Nn,(dimensionless)

Class H Cement + 0.5% Dispersant I


16.43 Ibm/gal
n - 0.88
K - 0.00191

10,000

Fig. 11.9-Fanning friction factor vs. Reynolds number,


Class H cement in 7-in. casing.

10

100
1,000
NnE (dimensionless)

10,000

Fig. 11.11-Fanning friction factor vs. Reynolds number,


Class H cement with dispersant in 7-in. casing.

CEMENT I N G

152

4. Velocity at Which Turbulence Begins (NRe =2,100).


(If NRe =3,000, use factor 1,613 instead of 1,129.)

For Newtonian fluids,


(11.11)

n=1.0

Vc

2n = 1 ,129K(96/di)n

and
and
K

p(in cp)

[1,129K(96/dir

47,880

Following are equations used in calculating flow.


1. Displacement Velocity.
vD

17.15qh
di

3.057qcf

(11.13)

di '

where
vp = average displacement velocity, ft/sec,
qh = pumping rate, bbl/min,
qcf = pumping rate, ft3 /min, and
di = pipe ID, in.

doip 2 ,

2. Reynolds Number.
.86V (2 n) Ps

(11.14)

K(96/di )n

where
NRe = Reynolds number, dimensionless,

v = velocity, ft/sec, and


P s = slurry density, lbm/gal.

where
ph = hydrostatic pressure, psi,
h = height of column, ft, and
p = fluid density, lbm/gal.
6. Frictional Pressure Drop.
0.039Lpv2f

For the turbulent friction factor in slurries containing


clceon4t5f4ri+
turbulent
f
no bentonite, f-=-0.0303/NR, 0.1612
itee
tion factor in slurries containing benFtoornth
facand for the plug and laminar friction factor, f=16/N Re .
For
7. Velocity at Some Specific Reynolds Number.
generalized calculations, NRe for plug flow =100 (value
commonly used). NRe for beginning of turbulence=
3,000 (value commonly used).*
NR K(96Idi)n

1.86p
and

di diop doip ,
or

v=
d i----

4 x area of flow
wetted perimeter

This applies also for Items 4, 6, and 7.


3. Casing/Openhole Annular Area.
A=0.7854(dh 2 4 2 ),
where
A = area, in. 2 ,
dh = diameter of hole, in., and
do = OD of casing, in.

(11.18)

di

where
Apf = frictional pressure drop, psi,
L = length of pipe, ft, and
f = Fanning friction factor, dimensionless.

2n=
V

For the annulus,

(11.17)

ph 0.052ph,

Apf

where
diop = ID of outer pipe, or hole size, in., and
doip = OD of inner pipe, in.

NRe

....... (11.16)

where v, is the critical velocity for turbulence, ft/sec.


5. Hydrostatic Pressure.

For the annulus,


di2 =diop 2

1/(2

(11.15)

[ NReK(96/di) n 11(2 n)

, ...... " (11.19)

1.86p

where terms are as defined in the preceding


by the
In calculating pressure drop in turbulence
Bingham-plastic equation, the Fanning friction on-factor
factor is
obtained from the usual Reynolds-number/fricti
correlation curve3 for Newtonian fluids in commercial
pipe, shown in Fig. 11.12.
pipe,
power-law
For both the Bingham-plastic and the
on
methods of calculation, annulus calculations are based
us
an mercial
an equivalent diameter, de . For a simple annul
the OD
gle string of pipe), de is the hole diameter minus
of the casing.
'Because of variations in cementing systems, a value of NRe =3,000
used to ensure that a slurryfully develops turbulent flow

is commonly

=LOW CALCULATIONS

153

TABLE 11.4COMPARISON OF FLOW CALCULATIONS USING BINGHAM-PLASTIC AND POWER-LAW MODELS

Weight
(Ibm/gal)

API Cement Slurry


Class A
Class A +0.3 retarder
Class A +10%
diatomaceous earth

Rheological Parameters*

Fann Viscometer Reading


at Speed (rev/min) of
100
300
200
600

Bingham Plastic
a

Power Law
n
K

15.6
14.8

211
99

157
65

134
54

111
40

54
34

103
31

0.41
0.54

0.134
0.025

13.2

138

114

101

86

24

90

0.27

0.228

Frictional Pressure Drop (psi/1,000 ft through 2-in. tubing) at Flow Rates** of


150 gal/min
(15.38 ft/sec)

50 gal/min
(5.13 ft/sec)

Critical Velocity
(ft/sec in 2-in. tubing)

300 gal/min
(30.77 ft/sec)

Bingham
Bingham
Plastic Power Law Plastic

Power Law

Bingham
Plastic

Power Law

Bingham
Plastic

Power Law

11.76
6.86

11.32
6.51

276
98

204
77

498
425

491
411

1,706
1,480

1,677
1,452

10.93

10.20

222

163

366

403

1,246

1,343

Class A
Class A +3% retarder
Class A +10%
diatomaceous earth
Dimensions.
(plastic viscosity):

a( yield point): lbf/100 ft 2 .


n (flow-behavior index): dimensionless.

K (consistency index): lbf-sec - 1 /ft


**All slurries were in laminar flow at 50 gat/min and in turbulent flow at 140 and 300 gal/min

The data shown in Table 11.4 indicate the small variaions that exist between the two methods of calculation.
[n general, calculations of critical velocity for the two
nethods are within 10 % of each other. In the turbulentlow region, calculations for frictional pressure drop by
he two methods deviate an average of 10% . The largtst discrepancy between the two systems occurs in calcuations of frictional pressure drop for laminar flow region.

11.6 Summary
Results of flow calculations performed by the Binghamplastic method and by the power-law method are in
reasonably good agreement except for frictional pressure
drop in the laminar flow region. Much larger discrepancies can result from variations in brand of cement and
method of slurry preparation.3

FANNINGFRICTIONFACTOR - f

.01

MEIMS

LAMINAR FLOW
REGION

NON-

NEWTONIAN

.001

102

103

104

REYNOLDS NUMBER N5,


Fig. 11.12Reynolds-number/friction-factor correlation.

105

CEMENTING

15.4

The technical literature indicates that the flow behavior


of cement slurries is non-Newtonian and that it is more
fundamentally described by the n and K method of analysis. Although the Bingham-plastic or other methods are
sometimes used in determining the flow calculations of
cementing slurries, they may not be as accurate as the
power-law method. 3, " '22,23
Regardless of which concept is used for hydraulic calculations, the basic flow properties are measured by the
same equipment: either the capillary viscometer or the
rotational viscometer (Fann VG meter). The power-law
model n and K values are determined by laboratory procedures using Fann data at 600, 300, 200, and 100 rev/min.
The Bingham-plastic method uses slurry parameters of
plastic viscosity, ptp , and yield point, a.
Nomenclature
A = area, in. 2
dh = diameter of hole, in.
di = ID of pipe, in.
d iop = ID of outer pipe, in.
d, = OD of casing, in.
d oip = OD of inner pipe, in.
f = Fanning friction factor, dimensionless
h = height of column, ft
K = intercept of lines (fluid-consistency index),
lbf-sec n /ft 2
length
of pipe, ft
L=
slope
of
the shear-stress/shear-rate curve
n=
(flow-behavior index), dimensionless
N = range extension factor of the Fann torque
spring
=
Reynolds
number
NRe
=
frictional
pressure
drop
AP f
=
hydrostatic
pressure,
psi
Ph
=
pumping
rate,
bbl/min
qb
q of = pumping rate, ft 3 /min
V = velocity, ft/sec
V e = critical velocity for turbulence, ft/sec
VD = average displacement velocity, ft/sec
= shear rate, rev/min
Pp = plastic viscosity, cp
p = fluid density, Ibm/gal
Ps = slurry density, lbm/gal
a = yield point, lbf/ft2
shear stress, lbf/ft2
T

References
1. Howard, G.C. and Clark, J.B.: "Factors to be Considered in
Obtaining Proper Cementing of Casing," Drill. and Prod. Prac. ,
API (1948) 257-72; Oil and Gas J. (Nov. 11, 1948) 243.
2. Savins, J.G. and Roper, W.F.: "A Direct-Indicating Viscometer
for Drilling Fluids," Drill. and Prod. Prac., API (1954) 7.
3. Slagle, K.A.: "Rheological Design of Cementing Operation," J.
Pet. Tech. (March 1962) 323-28; Trans. , AIME, 225.
4. Hedstrom, B.O.A.: "Flow of Plastic Materials in Pipes," Ind. and
Eng. Chem. (1952) 44, 651.
5. "Flow of Drilling Fluids," Bull., Imco Drilling Mud Inc. (Dec.
19, 1970).
6. Rogers, W.F.: "Composition and Properties of Oil Well Drilling
Fluids, first edition, Gulf Publishing Co., Houston (1948).
7. "The Rheology of Oil-Well Drilling Fluids," first edition, API Bull.
13D (Aug. 1980).
8. Metzner, A.B. and Reed, J.C.: "Flow of Non-Newtonian FluidsCorrelation of the Laminar, Transition, and Turbulent Flow
Regions," AIChE J. (1955) 1, No. 4.
9. Garvin, T.R. and Moore, P.L.: "A Rheometer for Evaluating Drilling Fluids at Elevated Temperatures," paper SPE 3062 presented
at the 1970 SPE Annual Meeting, Houston, Oct. 4-7.
10. Lord, D.L., Hulsey, B.W., and Melton, L.L.: "General Turbulent Pipe Flow Scale-Up Correlation for Rheologically Complex
Fluids," Soc. Pet. Eng. J. (Sept. 1967) 252-58; Trans., AIME, 240.
11. Bannister, C.E. and Benge, 0.G.: "Pipe Flow Rheometry : Rheological Analysis of a Turbulent Flow System Used for Cement Placement," paper SPE 10216 presented at the 1981 SPE Annual
Technical Conference and Exhibition, San Antonio, Oct. 5-7.
12. Beirute, R.M.: Mechanics of the Displacement Process of Drilling
Muds by Cement Slurries Using an Accurate Rheological Model,
AIME, Denver (1977) No. 6801P.
13. "Materials and Testing for Well Cements," third edition, API Spec.
10 (June 1985 and July 1986).
14. Brice, J.W. Jr. and Holmes, B.C.: "Engineered Casing Cementing Programs Using Turbulent Flow Techniques," J. Per. Tech.
(May 1964) 503-08.
15. Clark, C.R. and Carter, L.G.: "Mud Displacement With Cement
Slurries," J. Pet. Tech. (July 1973) 775-83.
16. Graham, H.L.: "Rheology-Balanced Cementing Improves Primary
Success," Oil and Gas J. (Dec. 18, 1972) 53.
17. Buster, J.L.: "Plan Turbulence Into Your Cement Job," Pet. Eng.
(May 1962).
18. McLean, R.H., Manry, C.W., and Whitaker, W.W.: "Displacement Mechanics in Primary Cementing," J. Pet. Tech. (Feb. 1967)
251-60.
19. Parker, P.N. et al.: "An Evaluation of a Primary Cementing Technique Using Low Displacement Rates," paper SPE 1234 presented
at the 1965 SPE Annual Meeting, Denver, Oct. 3-6.
20. Garvin, T.R. and Slagle, K.A.: "Scale-Model Displacement Studies
To Predict Flow Behavior During Cementing," J. Pet. Tech. (Sept.
1971) 1081-88.
21. Childers, M.A.: "Primary Cementing of Multiple Casing," J. Pet.
Tech. (July 1968) 751-62; Trans., AIME, 243.
22. Beirute, R.M.: "An Evaluation of the Robertson-Stiff Model
Describing Rheological Properties of Drilling Fluids and Cement
Slurries," SPEJ (April 1977) 97-100; Trans., AIME, 17.
23. Beirute, R.M.: "API Revises Procedures to Measure Cement,"
Oil and Gas J. (Sept. 22, 1986).

Chapter 12

Bonding, Logging, and Perforating

12.1 Introduction

12.3 Bonding of Cement to Pipe

Once the primary cementing operation has been completed, bonding, logging, and perforating must be considered.
It is the purpose of this chapter to discuss factors influencing the bonding of cement, methods of locating the
cement behind the casing, and methods of perforating and
its effect on the cement sheath.

Shear, hydraulic, and gas bond strengths are directly affected by the surface finish of the pipe against which the
cement is placed. 6 (See Table 12.1.)
To determine the strength of cement or height of cement column required to support any given casing string,
one may use the following equation 2 :

12.2 Bonding Considerations


Cementing recommendations are often made on the basis of compressive or tensile strength of set cement, on
the assumption that a material satisfying strength requirements will also provide an adequate bond. Field experience, however, has shown that this assumption is not
always valid. 1-3
In a wellbore, shear bond and hydraulic bond are the
two forces to be considered for effective zonal isolation
along the cement/casing and cement/formation interfaces. 4'5 (See Figs. 12.1 and 12.2.) Shear bond mechanically supports pipe in the hole, and is determined by
measuring the force required to initiate pipe movement
in a cement sheath. This force divided by the cement/casing contact surface area yields the shear bond in
pounds per square inch. Fig. 12.3 compares compressive
strength and shear bonding strength.
Hydraulic bonding blocks the migration of fluids or gas
in a cemented annulus and is usually measured by apply- ing pressure at the pipe/cement interface until leakage
occurs (Fig. 12.2).
For zonal isolation, hydraulic bonding is of greater significance than shear bonding because the cement composition for most jobs will provide adequate mechanical
support to hold the pipe in place. If an optimum cement
bond is to be achieved between pipe and formation, the
effect of various hole conditions and completion techniques must be considered.

St =

(L c)(Wcs)
9.69(4)0 c)

where
St = tensile strength of cement, psi,
L c = casing string length, ft,
Was. = casing weight, lbm/ft,
d, = casing OD, in., and
h c = cement column height, ft.
By use of compressive strength (assumed to be 10 times
tensile strength), the relationship to determine approximate support capability of a cement sheath is as follows 7 :
F=0.969(Sc)(4)(he),
where
F = force or load to break cement bond, lbm,
Sc = compressive strength, psi,
do = casing OD, in., and
h c = height of cement column, ft.
For example, for 10 ft of bonded 7-in. casing with
5,000-psi compressive strength cement, F=0.969 x
500 x7 x10 =33,915 lbm.

CEMENT]

FORCE REQUIRED
TO INITIATE MOVEMENT

CORE

Shear Bonding Strength, psi

156
300

200

100

1000

2000

3000

Compressive Strength, psi

CEMENT

Fig. 12.3Shear bonding strength vs. compressive


strength.

MUD CAKE
CONTACT AREA

SHEAR BOND =

FORCE
CONTACT AREA

Fig. 12.1Shear bonding. 4

Where pipe/cement bonding is critical, a resin-sand


coating applied to the outside of the pipe will improve
the bond as well as the resistance to gas migration. On
equivalent pipe finishes, oil-wet surfaces provide the
poorest bond. Generally, the rougher and drier the surface of the pipe, the better the bond. As Fig. 12.4 shows,
the bond of cement to an oil-wet surface is about half that
to a water-wet or dry surface. 6

HYDRAULIC PRESSURE
TO INITIATE LEAKAGE
RESIN

Other factors influencing casing/cement bonding are


direction in which pressure is applied and the lengt
time pressure is held on the bonded interface. Close
pressure after completion of a primary cement job
be detrimental to both hydraulic and shear bonding al
cement/pipe interface. 2,4
During the setting of a cement, the heat of hydra
can produce an effect similar to internal pressuring 01
casing and cause expansion of the pipe. Normally,
begins to build up inside the casing as the cement hydi
and takes its initial set. After the cement sets, its tern
ature decreases, causing the casing to contract. This
pansion and contraction places additional stress on
casing and cement sheath, which can decrease the sl
and hydraulic bond strength. The greatest damage tc
bond can occur if the casing is closed in while the
perature is rising inside the casing. (Fig. 12.5 shows
the shear-bond strength increases as the closed-in t
sure declines.)
Hydraulic bond failure is a function of time, cei
properties, applied pressure, and viscosity of the t
suring medium. Investigations4 have shown that the

TABLE 12.1BONDING PROPERTIES OF VARIOUI


PIPE FINISHES
Cement: API Class A
Water content: 5.2 gal/sack
Curing temperature: 80F
Curing time: 24 hours
Casing size: 2 in. inside 4 in.

CORE

Bond Strength

=7>:"
Type of Finish

MUD CAKE
CORE
HYDRAULIC BOND PRESSURE WHEN
LEAKAGE INITIATED
Fig. 12.2Hydraulic bonding. 5

Shear
(psi)

Steel Pipe
74
New (mill varnish)
New (varnish chemically
104
removed)
123
New (sandblasted)
141
Used (rusty)
New (sandblasted, resin2,400
sand coated)
Plastic Pipe
Filament wound (smooth)
79
(rough)
99
81
Centrifugally cast (smooth)
(rough)
101

Hydraulic
(psig)
200 to 250
300 to 400
500 to 700
500 to 700
1,100 to 1,200
210
270
220
310

1
1
4,9

BONDING, LOGGING, AND PERFORATING

157

of bond failure with water ranges from 1.125 to 1.250


ft/min. Normally, pressure from gaswhich has a lower
viscositycauses bond failure to progress up the pipe
faster than pressure from water, oil, or mud.
Vertical bond failure will normally occur 30 each side
of the pressure-application point when there is a uniform
cement sheath around the pipe. Unequal distribution of
cement can cause bond failure at the weakest plane (which
could account for communication in multiple-string
tubingless completions).
The intrusion of casing attachmentssuch as collars,
centralizers, and scratchershas little influence on
hydraulic or gas bond failure pressure.
In considering pipe/cement bonding, the following
should be noted.
1. A change in internal pressure on the casing will cause
a corresponding change in hydraulic and shear bond
strength. If the casing is closed in while the cement is setting, the heat of hydration causes a pressure buildup that
lowers the strength of the bond and can readily create a
microannulus through which gas can migrate easily.
2. Hydraulic and shear bond strengths increase with
surface roughness.
3. As the viscosity of the pressuring fluid increases, the
pressure increases, hastening failure or communication
of fluid where the pipe and cement come in contact.
4. Oil-wet pipe surfaces reduce the hydraulic shear
strength of the cement/pipe bond.
5. Hydraulic bond failure is a function primarily of pipe
expansion or contraction.

12.4 Bonding of Cement to Formation


The bond between the cement and the formation is what
normally determines whether there will be gas or fluid
communication in the annulus. Cement sets better against
a clean formation than against one coated with mud cake.
The following general statements apply in cement/formation bonding.
1. A good hydraulic bond to the formation depends on
intimate contact between the cement and the formation.

30
Fresh-Water Bentonite Mud
-- Salt-Water Bentonite Mud
..... .......... --- Oil-Emulsion Mud
-_,
(7) 20
0

ana)

--- --.
-,.......

-,........

10
- _

10
Mud, percent by volume

Fig. 12.4Bond strength after contamination with mud. 5

2. A thick mud layer at the cement/formation interface


greatly reduces hydraulic bonding.
3. Higher bond strengths can be expected on more
permeable formations if the mud cake has a uniform
thickness . 4'5
4. The bond strength ultimately attained on a dry formation or a formation free of filter cake will approach
or exceed the formation strength.
5. Failure to remove mud can be more detrimental to
formation bond than to pipe bond.

12.5 Methods of Locating Cement


Behind the Pipe
Three means commonly used to locate cement behind pipe
are temperature surveys, radioactive-tracer surveys, and
acoustic or bond logs. Although temperature surveys and
radioactive tracers have been in use longer, they do not
provide the quantitative data that bond logs do, so they
are not used as widely.

3000

51/2" - 85/8" - 1 Hour,

7' - 95/8" - 2 Hours


-1-

2500
Closed-in pressure, psi

20

\4- 51/2" - 85/8" - 2 Hours

2000

51/2" 85/8" - 24 Hours

1500

7" - 95/ - 1 Hour

1000
" - 95/8" - 24 Hours
500
0
0

25

50

75

100

125

150

175

200

Shear Bond, psi


Fig. 12.5Shear bond vs. closed-in pressure (API Class A cement cured 24 hours at 150F; closed-in pressure held for
1, 2, and 24 hours; 51/2-in. pipe cemented inside 8%-in. pipe inside 9%-in. pipe).6

158

CEMENTING
TABLE 12.2OPTIMUM NUMBER OF HOURS AFTER CEMENTING
TO RUN TEMPERATURE SURVEYS AT DIFFERENT WELLBORE TEMPERATURES

Cement
API Classes A, B, G, and H,
with gel

100F

120F

0
4
8
12
0
2
4

8 to 12
8 to 12
9 to 12
9 to 12
8 to 12
8 to 12
8 to 12

8 to 12
8 to 12
9 to 12
9 to 12
8 to 12
8 to 12
8 to 12

Pozzolan with gel

High-Temperature Cements
API Class G or H with retarder

0.3
0.5

Retarded cements

Temperature Surveys. A temperature survey (or log)


measures the heat generated during the setting of cement
behind pipe (Fig. 12.6). This heat of hydration raises the
temperature in the wellbore so that a device set opposite
the cemented zone can detect and record that increase in
temperature. Such a survey can usually locate the top of
the cement with reasonable accuracy, provided the recorded temperature anomaly is clear enough. Some causes of

90F

100F

110F

Time (hours)

Additive
(percent)

120F

140F
6 to 9
6 to 9
6 to 9
9 to 12
6 to 9
8 to 12
8 to 12

Time (hours)
180F
140F
160F
15 to 18 12 to 15 9 to 12
16 to 24 16 to 24 12 to 18
16 to 24 16 to 24 12 to 18

160F
4 to 8
4 to 8
6 to 9
9 to 12
4 to 8
6 to 9
6 to 9

220F 260F
8 to 12 6 to 9
9 to 12 8 to 12
9 to 12 9 to 12

poorly registered temperature increases are (1) cement


with low heat of hydration, (2) a temperature survey run
either too early or too late, and (3) excessive contamination and dilution of the cement slurry. For best results,
a temperature survey should be run within the first 12 to
24 hours. 8 (See Table 12.2.)
The amount of heat liberated during the setting of ce
ment depends on well conditions, cementing systems, and
surface conditions during the mixing process. Typical temperatures downhole during the setting of cement are shown
in Figs. 12.6 and 12.7.
The poor quality of a temperature survey run too long
after the cement is placed can be the result of the dissipation of heat into the surrounding formations. A hole that

700'
0
800'
100
900'
200
1000'

a 300

1100'

Probable Cement Top

1200'

400

1300'

500

12
18
Hours

1400'

Fig. 12.6Typical temperature survey after cementing.

600
30

40

50
60
Temperature, F

70

80

Fig. 12.7Downhole temperature during the setting of


cement.

159

BONDING, LOGGING, AND PERFORATING

SP

5100

5200

u_

5300

w 5400
0
5500

2000 Hz
5600
150

170
160
TEMP - F

180 1

-1000 Hz

10
2 3 4 5
PEAK NOISE - MILLIVOLTS

20

Fig. 12.8Comparison of a temperature log and a noise log opposite a channel. 9

is enlarged and therefore holds more cement can cause


the temperature survey line to slope steeply above or below the enlarged interval and may erroneously imply a
cement top.
Surveys on some wells have shown the increase in temperature at the top of the cement to be as high as 35 to
40F; on most wells, however, the temperature will be
lower because of interfacial dilution and mud contamination.
Once the top of the cement has been located, the fillup efficiency can be calculated. The fill-up efficiency,
which is derived by dividing the volume of the annulus
by the volume of cement slurry, is a useful indicator of
the amount of channeling present.
Noise Log. The noise log can be used to locate fluid movement in channels behind pipe. Some of these fluid flows
cannot be detected by temperature logs. The noise log can
also be used to find leaks in the casing and to detect sand
movement in entry channels into the wellbore, It is also
possible to estimate the amount of fluid entry into the
casing.
The noise log monitors various portions of the audible
frequency range. The various frequencies of sound can
be related to specific fluid movement. One- or two-phase
flow is delineated by the various frequencies monitored.
The frequencies monitored are selected so that the lower
frequencies associated with the noise from the rig, logging truck, and cable do not interfere with the survey.
Very high frequencies are not used because of their great
reduction in amplitude.
The disadvantage of the noise log is that it must be
recorded with the tool stationary for about 3 minutes at
each level, and time could be too long. Fig. 12.8 is a
comparison of a temperature log and a noise log showing
a channel that is not detected on the temperature log.

The temperature log is also used to locate fluid entry


into the wellbore's channeling behind the casing and to
evaluate the extent of hydraulic fracturing.
The basic understanding of temperature log interpretation is that fluid channeling from below is at a higher temperature, and fluid channeling from above is cooler. Gas
entry or gas coming out of solution will cause an anomaly
because of the cooling effect associated with the gas expansion and vaporization. Gas entry and phase changes
can be readily detected by this cooling effect.
Radioactive-Tracer Surveys. The radioactive-tracer
method of detecting cement behind casing uses a radioactive material that has a short half-life. The two most commonly used tracers are iodine 131 and scandium 46, which
have half-lives of 8 and 84 days, respectively.
With this method, the top of the cement can be determined accurately if the uppermost portion (i.e., the first
portion encountered on the way down the hole) is rendered radioactive. The tracer is added as a soluble salt
to the cement mixing water and, for best results, is
thoroughly mixed throughout the slurry. Adding a radioactive tracer to the uppermost portion of the cement is
good insurance in case too much time elapses after cement is placed for a temperature survey to be accurate.
It is not necessary to be so prompt with a tracer survey;
in fact, with a long-half-life tracer, the survey can be conducted at any time in the life of the well.
The principal advantage of the radioactive-tracer
method is that it positively and accurately determines the
location of the tracer. Its principal disadvantages are that
it requires special health precautions, it may interfere with
radioactive surveys run for purposes other than locating
cement tops, and it costs more than other locating
methods. A base survey, before cementing, to establish

CEMENTING

160
Radiation Intensity Increases
..

5800'
Base Run
---- After Run
200

1200

p. sec

,u sec

11
. .. /.4, ,.0.,..,../5,z

5900'
INTENSITY TIME
RECORDING

.(t,A.-tf;,i

Cement Top
.,

6000'
INTENSITY TIME
FORM

s=9
...
-..-'
..
..ft.,'
c_
r_

iffir.'

PREPARATION
6100'

OF ACOUSTIC
SIGNAL

J.

AOfiliAS 11 A i,

17
I__
t ....

Fig. 12.9Typical radioactive-tracer survey.

FREE PIPE

tri

0
CC
L.1.1
N

GOOD BOND TO PIPE


AND FORMATION

0
0
0

cc

GOOD BOND TO PIPE


NO BOND TO FORMATION

r--

DECENTRALIZED PIPE
ONE SIDE NOT BONDED

Fig. 12.10Acoustic signals of various bonding conditions. 13

(AMPLITUDE TIME
FORM)

1'
LN1110

Fig. 12.11The microseismogram wave signals. 13

the natural gamma ray emission of the formation is usually


necessary to enable clear interpretation of the radioactivetracer survey.
Fig. 12.9 illustrates how a radioactive-tracer survey
(gamma ray log) distinguishes the top of good cement.
Spinner Surveys. The spinner survey provides a means
of measuring the downhole flow rate of a well. The spinner is used primarily to gauge the production or injection
from each set of perforations. The velocity of the fluid
flow causes a propeller to rotate, which in turn generates
a small current. The magnitude or frequency of this current recorded at the surface is related to downhole flow
rate.
Spinner surveys are extremely accurate in one-phase
flow (oil, water, or gas). Multiphase flow can lead to erroneous interpretation because of the differences in the
rotational energy of each phase.
Bond Logging. The acoustic bond log is the most widely
used aid to locate cement behind pipe. Operating on an
acoustic principle, it transmits a signal or a vibration ,
(see
receives that signal, and records its arrival time. 10-12
Fig. 12.10.) Both the arrival time and the amplitude of
s
the vibration are used to determine bonding condition
because both the casing and the formation, when acoustically coupled, have characteristic arrival times and amplitudes (Fig. 12.11). The principle is similar to tapping
on a wall to locate the position of studding behind the wq;
board or on an empty and on a filled glass of water.

161

BONDING, LOGGING, AND PERFORATING

BEFORE SQUEEZE
00
14 3 s ec

/300
sec

AFTER SQUEEZE
300
Az. sec

/300
sec

GAMMA

API GAMMA RAY


UNITS
100
0
100,1,,,,,,,,,,200

DEPTH

-- BEFORE SQUEEZE
_----AFTER SQUEEZE

AMPLITUDE

MICROSEISMOGRAM
LOG

PIPE GATE MICRO-SECONDS


FORMATION GATE 100
1100
1 1550

1600

III

1650

FREE PIPE

Fig. 12.13Cement bond log showing free pipe.

GAMMA
API GAMMA RAY
UNITS
0
100
100 ///,,,,,,,,,,, 200

DEPTH

3100

maa-A

AMPLITUDE IsEIS

LOG
PIPE GATE MICRO-SECONDS
1100
FORMATION GATE 100

.211111
' CHANNEL I

V 11'
1 . I.
-

-N
.

...
001
!'

3150

St

(CC \ (

_.
%

it

iiii0''
, ;
ei,:..,%-:$:(

'...

3200

%,...

z,

,,. ),,$

--,/,-

..
.

V fIls.i
e.<,'t.',.<
I , , )
tMV(

'
I illii 0

( ()) )<C>>

-.

3250

If the pipe is free and not held firmly by cement, it will


vibrate, creating a strong signal. If the cement is firmly
bonded to the pipe and to the formation, the signal shows
no pipe vibration, and the received signal is characteristic of the formation behind the pipe. In the single-curve
bond log, a signal showing good cement bond may be received when the cement is bonded to the pipe but not to
the formation. Very little signal may be received from
the formation if mud cake interferes between the cement
and the formation.
If the casing is resting against the wall of the hole so
that the cement does not completely surround the pipe and
there is, in addition, a channel in the cement, both pipe
and formation signals are present because the pipe is partially free on one side and the formation is partially coupled on the other side. A channel without formation
contact may show this where the cement/formation bond
is good. Cement sheath thickness and compressive
strength tend to affect the amplitude of the pipe vibration. 1 However, data based on that fact cannot be used
directly because a thin cement sheath bonded to both pipe
and hard formation would look like an infinitely thick
sheath so far as the vibrational amplitude of the pipe is
concerned.
The amplitude and the arrival times of the acoustic signal are determined by the path that the signal takes to reach
the receiver. If the casing is not acoustically coupled to
the cement, the path will be down the casing and the amplitude will be large. If they are acoustically coupled and
the formation and cement are also coupled, the path will
be through the formation and the time of arrival will be
determined by the formation characteristics (primarily
porosity). The amplitude will also reflect the formation
character and may be quite small opposite an unconsoli-

I I.

4.

11
Fig. 12.12Single-curve acoustic log (left) and intensitymodulated recordings, showing the effects of squeeze cementing. 17

,_)

Fig. 12.14Cement bond log showing free pipe and a


channel.

CEMENTING

162

AMPLITUDE

API GAMMA RAY

UNITS

MICROSEISMOGRAM
LOG

PIPE GATE MICRO-SECONDS


FORMATION GATE 100
1100

100
100 //////mwm200

GAMMA
API GAMMA RAY
UNITS
100
0
100 ,////////,,,,, 200

DEPTH

GAMMA

AMPLITUDE

MICROSEISMOGRAM e
L

PIPE GATE MICRO-SECONDS


FORMATION GATE 100
1100

4.
>.

re,GOOD BOND .
............
,
.

rs)
0
0

.
2 150

...

)1

}31

'
O
0

(ft

..-

....
...

43! 1

2200

-I i )il ni
i
' 1. ,"."
q!
C..
'

..,
a..

r'
2250

ti. -

-_-- -.

.1' ..- ....


!<tt-,,- -7., ,.

) sa
(-;

Fig. 12.15Cement bond log showing little or no bond between pipe and formation.

Fig. 12.16Cement bond log indicating good bonding to


formation.

dated formation that is gas filled. In addition, if the cement sheath approaches 2 in. in thickness and is acoustically coupled to the casing, the amplitude of the signal
will be extremely small. 13'14 In soft-rock country, these
signals are separated in time so that the amplitude measurements during a fixed time make it possible to identify
cement/formation bonding. In dense, hard-rock formations, the two signals are not necessarily separated in time
and the identification of cement/formation bonding becomes more difficult.
Improvements in the interpretation of acoustic waves
between transmitter and receiver have led to a technique
of recording cement/pipe and cement/formation bonding
in wellbores. 13 '15'16 (See Figs. 12.12 through 12.16.)
Logging Systems. In today's bond logs, three separate
measurements are simultaneously recorded as a log. 18
These measurements are travel time, casing signal amplitude, and total energy display. Travel time is used to
ensure that casing signal amplitude data are accurate.
Casing signal amplitude is used to calculate percentage
of annular cement fill. Total sound energy is recorded as
either a display or wave-train display.
Design factors that influence results include transmitter/receiver spacing, accurate minimum amplitude measurement capability, and accurate travel-time measurement
capability at low signal amplitudes. Equipment with a 3-ft
transmitter/receiver spacing can more easily provide the
resolution necessary to define cement channeling in all
ranges of cement compressive strength. As the transmitter/
receiver spacing becomes longer, the capability to detect

cement channeling decreases. Moderate- to highcompressive-strength cements, well bonded to the casing,
greatly reduce the amount of sound energy available at
the receiver. If acoustic logs are to measure cement bonding, ample time must be allowed for the cement to develop strength before the log is run. Generally, the
recommended time is 24 to 36 hours or longer.
Well Fluids. The importance of well preparation for
cement logging is vital to obtaining good information. Unless a cement bond log is recorded with the correct casingfluid pressure in the interval of casing to be logged, the
log has little chance to define correctly the amount of annular cement fill. All acoustic cement bond logs depend
on intimate contact between annular cement and the outer casing wall to determine annular cement fill. When this
intimate contact is broken, even minutely, and a microannulus is created, the log data erroneously indicate a
decrease in annular cement. In such a situation, the logging tool is measuring exactly what it was designed for,
but the information recorded is not representative of the
annular cement.
Any increases or decreases in the casing-fluid pressure
after the annular cement sets impart forces on the cement/
casing bond. When these forces are sufficiently large, the
cement/casing bond is broken. Common causes of pressure decreases are18 (1) holding wellhead pressure on the
casing fluid to prevent backflow during cement setting and
then releasing this pressure after setting and (2) displacing
with a casing fluid lighter than the casing fluid in the well
while the cement was setting.

BONDING, LOGGING, AND PERFORATING

163

8000

6000

Before Perforating
Before Perforating

6000

4000

2000

Compressive Strength, psi

Compressive Strength, psi

4000

6000

After Perforating

2000

0
8000
After Perforating

6000

me

4000

4000

2000
Scallop Jet
Expendable Jet

Inner Bond
Outer Bond

1
0 200

2000

4000

6000

600

Mechanical Bond Strength, psi

Hydraulic Bond Strength, psi


Fig. 12.17Compressive strength vs. hydraulic bond
strength of cement before and after perforating. 26

When such a casing-fluid pressure decrease occurs, the


casing contracts and elongates. This contraction and elongation impart tensile and shear forces to the cement/casing
bond. When such forces become sufficiently large, the
bond breaks.
An increase in casing pressure after the cement sets can
also cause poor bonding. Pressure increases can be caused
by the following 18 : (1) an increase in pump pressure to
circulate casing fluid, (2) squeeze cementing, (3) an increase in wellhead pressure to test either a liner top,
blowout preventer (BOP), Hydril, or tree, and (4) an increase in wellhead pressure to test for casing leaks.
Steel casing will return to its original configuration after such pressure increase/decrease cycles. Experience
with many cement bond logs indicates that cured cement
does not return to its original configuration. A cement
bond log recorded after such pressure cycles would not
accurately represent the annular cement fill. The solution
to obtaining meaningful cement bond log data is to log
the well with wellhead pressure applied to the casing fluid.
Calibration. It is vitally important that the logging sonde
be properly calibrated before and after the logging run.
In downhole calibration, the tool must be calibrated in
free, unbonded pipe. If casing is cemented to the surface,
a shop or surface calibration is required for tools without
an internal calibration system. One should check for proper transit time, which can be computed or obtained from
tables available from service companies. Improperly low

Fig. 12.18Compressive strength vs. mechanical bond


strength of cement before and after perforating.

gain setting can result in low amplitude readings in free


pipe, as reflected by drastic amplitude reduction (40 to
80%) from that of casing collars. Too high a gain setting
can result in a pessimistic log.
Conclusions.
1. When cement bond logs are properly run and interpreted, they give consistent, reliable answers. 18-21
2. Excessive closed-in pressure during cement curing
is detrimental to the bonding of cement to casing, and a
poor bond will be reflected on the log.
3. If adhesion is implied, bonding of the cement to the
pipe is not necessary for a satisfactory bond log recording. Intimate physical contact or adequate acoustic coupling is all that is required for minimum acoustic
transmission of the pipe signal.
4. Cementing compositions that do not contain bulking additives generally show better acoustic and physical
properties than those that do contain them.
5. Every well should be set up to address the microannulus problem properly by running the log under sufficient casing pressure.
6. The casing signal amplitude curve is best recorded
from a 3-ft or longer transmitter/receiver spacing tool.
7. Proper selection of log scales for casing signal amplitude will improve log quality and ease of interpretation. Amplitude values may range from a low of 0.2 mV
to 90 mV and higher. 18

CEMENTING

164
DETONATION
WAVE

EXPLOSIVE
WAVE FRONT

OUTER LINER
SURFACE
SLUG

INNER LINER
SURFACE

HIGH VELOCITY
JET TIP

LOW VELOCITY

DETONATION
VELOCITY
Fig. 12.19Formation of a jet stream from perforating. 9

12.6 PerforatingEffects on the


Cement Sheath
For most well completions, casing is set through the
producin,g zone, cemented, then perforated for production. 22-2 The primary aim in perforating is to get deep
penetration with a burrless hole in the pipe and with a
minimum of cement fracturing.
The factor most commonly considered with respect to
the influence of perforating is cement compressive
strength. Of more vital concern, however, are the effects
of perforating on the hydraulic bond and the mechanical
bond of the cement to the pipe and the formation. In
studies of bonding before and after perforating, Godfrey
and Methven26 found that neither the hydraulic nor the
mechanical bond is affected by perforating, provided that
the annulus is uniformly cemented (see Figs. 12.17 and
12.18).
Factors That Affect Perforating Efficiency. Various investigators have reported that during perforating in a mudfilled casing with a pressure differential to the formation,
the perforations are plugged with mud, crushed formation material, and charge debris. The plugging could be
reduced by use of a clean fluidsuch as salt water, kerosene, or oilbut the filtration of wellbore fluids caused
by the pressure differential still carried some crushed formation and charge debris into the perforation.
Additional tests with clean fluids in the casing and with
a differential pressure from the formation into the well-

Primacord

Primer

Conical Liner

Explosive
Fig. 12.20Cross section of jet perforator.

bore indicated that perforations were clean to total depth


(TD) and that the crushed sand was removed, enlarging
the perforation to as much as twice the entry-hole diameter.

12.7 Perforating Devices and Methods


The commonly used devices for perforating, in order of
popularity, are jets, bullets, hydraulic cutters, mechanical cutters, and permeators.
Jets. Jet perforation, a product of wartime research,
produces a high-velocity force that penetrates casing, cement, and formation. The velocity of the jet is on the order of 30,000 ft/sec, and the impact pressure on the target
is about 4 million psi. 27 '28 (See Fig. 12.19.)
The mechanism involved in the formation of the jet
stream is described in Fig. 12.20. The lined shape charge
has four basic parts: the liner, main explosive charge,
booster, and charge case. 9
The liner is usually conical and is made from some powdered metal or metal that will break up or pulverize easily. It also furnishes the mass necessary for the jet stream
to penetrate the casing, cement, and formation. The main
explosive charge forms the cavity and shape into which
the liner is placed and provides the necessary energy for
the formation of the jet stream.
When jet charges are assembled in a gun or carrier to
be run into a well, the charge is placed in contact with
a detonating cord (primacord) to which an electric detonator or blasting cap is attached. When an electric current is applied to the detonator, the explosive force of the
detonator causes the detonating cord to detonate.
A number of factors affect the performance of a jet
charge, including differences in charge size, standoff,
fluid clearance, yield strength of the casing, and compressive strength of the formation. 29,30 The standoff, which
is the distance from the edge of the charge liner to the
fluid barrier, ideally should be about 2 to 3 charge diameters.
Fluid clearance is the distance between the fluid barrier and target material (casing). Two inches of clearance
does not reduce penetration by 2 in. because water takes
less energy to penetrate than formation material. Higheryield-strength casing will reduce entry-hole diameters
slightly, while formation compressive strength significantly affects the depth of penetration.

BONDING, LOGGING, AND PERFORATING

The variation in casing and tubing sizes, as well as the


different techniques used in well completions, necessitates
a wide variety of perforating gun designs. These can be
grouped into two general categories, hollow carrier and
expendable carrier (Fig. 12.21).
Jet charges, or lined shape charges, are evaluated on
the basis of testing procedures described in Ref. 28. This
document provides detailed API techniques for selecting
and evaluating perforators. Testing is divided into two
parts. In one section, testing involves firing six or more
shots simultaneously into a concrete target that simulates
a minimum-strength formation. This test information provides data for total depth of penetration, probe depth, entrance hole diameter, and burr height.
The second phase of testing measures the productivity
of the perforation. This test is conducted in a pressure
chamber filled with salt water, with Berea sandstone as
the target. A minimum of three tests are made to provide
entrance hole diameter, total target penetration, core flow
efficiency, and total core penetration.
Total target penetration, the distance from the exterior
steel face of the core target to the deepest point that can
be reached with a %to-in.-diameter probe, is the only approved API measurement for evaluating depth of
penetration.
The hollow carrier guns have the advantage of providing a fixed, precise perforation pattern. The charge case
contains the debris from the detonation, which prevents
plugging of chokes, valves, or flow lines. The carrier also
protects charges from wellbore fluids and pressures in the
hole and absorbs the shock and gas energy from the detonation, thus protecting the casing and cement sheath from
possible damage. The hollow carrier also provides a
rugged charge-alignment system that permits spudding
through light bridges that may be in the wellbore.
Expendable guns provide flexibility when they are run
through crooked casing or tubing and a greater charge
explosive weight for fixed casing diameter. These guns
have the ability to pass through small restrictions and provide greater flexibility in perforation patterns and shot
spacing.
The disadvantage of expendable guns is that the casing
must absorb the shock and pressure generated by the
charge detonation. These guns are not recommended for
use in hostile environmentse.g., caustic fluids or certain types of acids. The expendable guns have a lower
pressure and temperature rating than hollow carriers, and
debris left in the wellbore could cause some plugging.
Jet guns are available in different sizes to achieve different results. The penetration achieved with jet perforating
is influenced by the compressive strengths of the cement
and the formation. In hard formations, jet guns usually
achieve greater penetration, whereas in soft cements and
soft formations, bullets may be more effective (Fig.
12.22). Penetration of jet guns is also a function of the
weight of the explosivethe greater the explosive weight,
the larger the shaped charge, which may create a larger
hole or penetrate farther. 28
Tubing-Conveyed Perforation. In the process of tubingconveyed perforation, guns are taken into the casing at
the bottom end of tubing (Fig. 12.23). 32'33 This perforating system is fired by percussion and is controlled by pressure applied from the surface or a weight bar dropped
through dry tubing. Electrical firing devices are eliminated, which increases the level of safety.

165

Hollow Carrier

Expendable Carrier

04,

Bottom
Firing

Top
Firing

Bottom
Firing

Top
Firing

Fig. 12.21Types of jet perforating tools.

After the tubing-conveyed system is fired, the well is


allowed to flow immediately through the perforations; this
flow can provide a beneficial backsurge from the formation, cleaning perforations of debris and reducing skin effect around the wellbore area. Tubing-conveyed perforating permits the use of larger charges and deeper
penetration with differential pressure into the dry tubing.
Chances for immediate production are enhanced by this
method, and the need for acidizing and fracturing treatment is reduced.

0.38" N-80 CASING


0
z
w
2,300
cc 1,7nz
0
>< 4,900
<72
IPl
co m
WO
mu. 6,500 tPI
car

0.75" CEMENT

11.7"
1.7 6"
9.6"
.2"
-8.4"

.17.2" AUSTIN
INDIANA
BEREA

LL

0o
13,000
0

CARTHAGE

Fig. 12.22Bullet and jet perforators.31

CEMENTING

166

Sub with
radioactive'
marker

Fig. 12.23Tubing-conveyed perforation gun. 32

As seen in Fig. 12.23, a packer on the tubing isolates


the perforating gun from the remainder of the well above.
Guns necessary to cover the production interval are assembled at the surface, with firing heads installed on top
of the guns. All tool-string components are measured, and
the strapped distance from the top shot to the radioactive
marker is known. When perforation depth is reached, a
control log is run inside the tubing to fix the exact location of the gun with respect to openhole logs from which
perforating intervals were selected.
The vent assembly shown allows the tubing to be run
dry or with the necessary fluid cushion. If acid is needed,
it can be run through the vent assembly.
Tubing-conveyed perforating minimizes many problems
associated with conventional wireline methods and offers
these advantages. 34
1. Tubing-conveyed perforating allows the use of larger, more powerful, casing perforators.
2. It also allows immediate backsurging with high differential pressures.
3. Simultaneous completion of longer intervals is
possible.
4. Pressure safety is more easily maintained with wellhead equipment.
5. Zones in high-angle holes are easier to reach.
6. Damage to fluid-sensitive formations is minimized.
Bullets. Because jet charges have been refined so that they
can now be used under any conditions, bullet perforating
is not as widely used as jets. It was developed originally
to perforate casing in place. 23,24 The bullet is propelled

by an explosive charge and fired electrically or mechanically, depending on the design of the gun. The most commonly used bullet has an ogival profile, which penetrates
well with minimum burr. Some bullets are designed especially for burrless penetration; those that are not can
be equipped, if necessary, with caps that prevent the
bullets from leaving burrs.
The bullet gun provides a round, uniform entry hole
the same diameter size as the bullet. However, when soft
formations are perforated, the first foot of the tunnel may
rt
ing injection wells because more of the reservoir face is
mediumto
hard formations that require acidizing or fracturing. Because bullet guns can produce uniform entry holes, less
hydraulic horsepower is required to fracture after bullet
perforating than after jet perforating. Bullet guns are not
available for through-tubing completions because of their
size.
Special-purpose bullets are available for such i
esremoving casing, fracturing formation and cemenotb!
and pertablishing circulation in stuck tubing or drillpipe,
forating the inner of two strings without damaging the
outer string.
per
Bullet perforating tools, like the hollow-carrierie-t ,
forators, are designed to hold and fire a number of bullets
so a complete productive interval is perforated in 11,
bullets
round trip in the hole. Perforating guns can fire the
singly or all at one time. When the bullets are fired singly;
and
the tool will move in the casing as a result of recoil,

167

BONDING, LOGGING, AND PERFORATING

ROC,

Fig. 12.24Hydraulic jetting tool with sample of granite


cut with sand-laden fluid. 35

enough time must be allowed for the tool to come to rest


before the next bullet is fired. When the bullets are fired
simultaneously, the locations of all perforations are fixed
by the configuration of the tool itself.
Hydraulic Jetting. Perforation by hydraulic jetting, or
hydraulic perforating, is accomplished by forcing a highpressure stream of sand-laden fluid through a jet aimed
at the casing/formation target (Fig. 12.24). The abrasive
action of the sand forms a hole. This abrading jet is used
mainly to prepare a formation for fracturing. Jetting a
number of holes deep into the formation or jetting a notch
in the formation usually reduces the breakdown pressure
and fixes the location of the fracture at the wellbore. The
concentration of sand in the jet fluid can be varied but
usually ranges from 1/2 to 1 lbm/gal of water. Hydraulic
jetting causes no casing or cement damage.
Comparative penetration depths of jets, bullets, and
hydraulic perforators are shown in Fig. 12.25. Of the
three, hydraulic perforators are influenced the least by
the strength of the formation.

Psf

f53,VE

Fig. 12.25Penetration of hydraulic perforators, jets, and


bullets in rocks of various compressive strengths. 36

tion, rupture, and splitting in smaller pipe. High-compressive-strength cement minimizes this damage by providing better support for the pipe.
Fig. 12.26 illustrates the effect of various types and
sizes of charges in several casing sizes either unsupported
or well supported by cement of about 3,000-psi compressive strength. The perforating devices are denoted next
to their proper explosive load.
Mechanical Cutters. Mechanical cutterse.g., knives
are used to open holes, slots, or windows to provide communication between the formation and the wellbore. They
have the same advantages as the hydraulic jetting tools.

6)

117)
30

Supported Casing
Cemented Inside Casing

Unsupported
Casing

28
Pie" L.J.

26
24
22
Grams of Explosive

Relative Performances of Bullet Guns and Jet Guns.


The penetration is severely limited with bullet guns when
the compressive strength of the cement or of the formation exceeds about 2,500 psi. Bullet guns do little damage
to the casing except where the cement or formation has
a very high strength: there is a possibility that the highstrength cement will shatter. Optimum perforating results
generally are achieved in cements of low compressive
strength, ranging from 200 to 500 psi.
With jet guns, penetration is better in hard cement or
in formations where the strength exceeds 3,000 psi. Only
5 to 10% of the explosive force creates the perforation,
while the remaining 90 to 95 % of the force creates very
short-term, ultrahigh pressures and large shock forces on
the inside walls of the shaped-charge container. The effects on the two types of jet guns are as follows.
1. Hollow-carrier jet guns absorb the excess energy,
which minimizes casing and cement damage. There is
generally no significant damage if the cement has a compressive strength in the range of 2,000 to 6,000 psi.
2. Expendable or capsule-type jet guns exert their excess energy against the casing and may cause deforma-

2Ve C.S.
2'/a L.J.

20
S.J.

18
16

3/s" S.D.J.

14
12

'Puns_ L.J. & C.S.

.0 0

10
8

_ 3,/a" S.D.J.

Hollow
Carrier
No
Damage

6
4

S.W.

2
0
2 3 4

5 6 7

Casing Size, Inches

MEI Extensive Damage


Hollow Carrier Gun
X Individually Cased Charges = Minor Damage
No Damage
Fig. 12.26Degree of casing damage in various sizes of
pipe.

CEMENTING

168
TABLE 12.3SUMMARY: BONDING, LOGGING, AND PERFORATING
Bonding
Cement to Pipe

Cement to Formation

Remarks
Cement properly placed around a centralized pipe provides a good mechanical bond. The bond
can be influenced by heat of hydration, perforation, stimulation, and internal pressure held on
the casing while the cement is setting.
This is the most critical aspect of bonding. Against a clean formation, cement will produce good
hydraulic, shear, and gas bonds. Cement bonds poorly to thick mud cake. For best bond, centralize
pipe, use scratchers, and move casing.

Logging
Temperature Survey

A recording thermometer measures heat of hydration of cement. The temperature log does not
yield as quantitative a cement evaluation as does a bond log. For best results, measurements
should be made within 12 to 24 hours of cementing.
Radioactive-Tracer Survey Iodine 131 or zirconium-niobium 95 is added to mixing water for tracer purposes. A gamma log
run before and after a cement job shows where the cement is located in the annulus.
Bond logging is widely used to locate cement behind pipe. It is a better method of identification
Bond Log
than temperature or radioactive-tracer logging. New logs identify both pipe and formation bond.
Harder cements or longer waiting-on-cement (WOC) times provide the best bond logs. Acoustic
waves are sometimes difficult to interpret. They should be run after 36 to 72 hours' WOC time
with internal pressure on the casing. Tool calibration is very important before running.
Noise Log

Spinner Surveys

The noise log is used to locate fluid and/or gas movement behind casing. Tool must be stationary
at the measuring level for about 3 minutes for accurate recording. May be correlated with
temperature log in certain situations.
Spinner surveys are used to determine downhole flow rate of a well. Accuracy is good in singlephase flow. Results may be questionable in multiphase flow.

Perforating
Jets

Bullets
Hydraulic Cutters
Mechanical Cutters
Permeators

Jets are the most widely used perforators. Retrievable hollow-carrier jets do less damage to pipe
or cement. Expendable charges do some damage to small pipe. Hard cements (2,000 psi or
more) are perforated best and suffer the least damage. Use API RP-43 as a guide for selecting
and evaluating perforators. Tubing-conveyed systems may offer advantages of providing cleaning
and beneficial backsurge from the formation.
Bullets perforate soft cement (500 psi) best, with very little damage. In hard cements or formations,
there is less penetration.
These do little damage to cement or pipe. They frequently are used to initiate fractures.
These are used in pipe recovery. They do little damage to cement or pipe.
Permeators are attached to casing before the casing is run in the well. They are extended with
pressure before the cement sets. The permeator plugs are opened with chemicals. The devices
are not widely used.

Permeators. Permeator units are welded to windows cut


in sections of casing before the casing is run into the hole.
The permeator units are placed in the casing to be located
adjacent to the intended completion zone. Sleeves on the
permeator units are extended with pump pressure to the
wall of the borehole after the cement is in place but before it sets. Acid is used to dissolve plugs in the units,
so that communication is established between the inside
of the casing and the borehole. Permeators have the advantage that they are extended before the cement sets and
therefore do not cause damage. However, they are more
expensive than jet or bullet perforators, require more rig
time, and present more problems in the establishment of
communication between the wellbore and the formation
than do casing perforators because the permeators do not
penetrate the formation. If the casing sticks before it
reaches the desired depth, there is a danger that permeator holes will be placed in the wrong interval.
12.8 Perforating in Gas-Producing Zones
Gas is not dense enough to expel debris within the perforation or to clean out a crushed zone that may form a lining around the perforation cylinder. To avoid the
detrimental effect of these two factors, a gas-producing

formation should be perforated in one of two ways. The


first is to place clean fluid adjacent to the zone and to
reduce the hydrostatic head until the formation pressure
exceeds the hydrostatic head by 500 psi. This is called
a "controlled-pressure completion." A second method,
equally effective, is to perforate with a casing gun that
is held against the casing with a rubber packer surrounding the port plug of the perforating gun or the tubingconveyed perforator. Because the interior of the gun is
at atmospheric pressure, all debris and usually part of the
formation are expelled into the carrier, leaving a clean
perforation. After perforating, a releasing valve is opened
to permit the carrier to detach from the casing.
12.9 Factors Influencing Perforation
There are a great variety of possible slurries and a great
number of hole variables. Those factors, as well as the
following ones, influence the perforating qualities of
casing-cement systems.
1. Size of the explosive charge and type of gun'
2. Cement compressive strength at the time of perforating.
3. Properties of the casing.
4. Physical support of the casing by the cement and of
the cement by the formation.

BONDING, LOGGING, AND PERFORATING

5. Cement sheath thickness.


6. Nearness of the explosive to the casing (influenced
by the size of the casing).
7. Perforation density.
8. Hydrostatic pressure at the time of perforating.
9. Perforating technique.
Perforating Time. The minimum time to wait before perforating should be based on well depth, temperature, and
time for a specific type of cement to develop the correct
strength for a specific type of perforator. 23 In a new well,
the strength of the set cement generally controls the time
when a given zone should be perforated; downhole pressure and temperature influence the setting time and must
be considered. In old wells, however, those factors have
little bearing because the cement usually has reached its
maximum strength after 30 to 60 days of curing.
Other Factors To Consider in Perforating.25 Perforation Density. One or two shots per foot are usually adequate, particularly in zones to be fractured. When a sand
formation is to be consolidated, a minimum number of
perforations is preferred. Flow potential should always
be considered for high-volume producers; however, high
shot density-4 or more shots/ft-may damage the casing
and severely shatter the cement behind the pipe.
Economics. Perforating prices vary from area to area.
In general, however, the fewer the perforations, the lower
the cost. Where productive zones are separated by a number of nonproductive zones, selectively fired guns can save
appreciable rig time, hence expense. Through-tubing guns
can frequently save rig time if the tubing is run open-ended
and set above the zone to be perforated. Through-tubing
perforating is often carried out with no rig on the well.
For new wells, tubing is usually run within a few hours
after the top cement plug is pumped down. Perforating
with tubing-conveyed perforators may offer some advantage.
12.10 Summary
Table 12.3 is a general summary of the material covered
in this chapter on bonding, logging, and perforating.
References
1. Jones, P.H. and Berdine, D.: "Oil-Well Cementing-Factors Influencing Bond Between Cement and Formation," Oil and Gas J.
(March 21, 1940) 71; Petroleum World (June 1940) 26; Drill. and
Prod. Proc., API (1940) 45-63.
2. Bearden, W.G. and Lane, R.D.: "Engineered Cementing Operations To Eliminate WOC Time," Drill. and Prod. Prac., API (1961)
17.
3. Maier, L.F.: "Understanding Surface Casing Waiting-on-Cement
Time," paper presented at the 1965 CIM Annual Technical Meeting,
Calgary, Alta. (May 1965).
4. Evans, G.W. and Carter, L.G.: "Bonding Studies of Cementing
Compositions to Pipe and Formations," Drill. and Prod. Prac.,
API (1962) 72.
5. Becker, H. and Peterson, G.: "Bond of Cement Composition for
Cementing Wells," Proc., Sixth World Petroleum Congress,
Frankfurt (1963).
6. Carter, L.G. and Evans, G.W.: "A Study of Cement-Pipe Bonding," J. Pet. Tech. (Feb. 1964) 157-60.
7. Suman, G.O. Jr. and Ellis, R.C.: "Cementing Oil and Gas Wells,"
World Oil, Gulf Publishing Co. (1977) 43.
8. Halliburton Cementing Tables, Section 230, Halliburton Co.,
Duncan, OK (1984).

169
9. Technical Literature, Modern Completions School, Halliburton
Services (1984).
10. Pardue, G.H. et al.: "Cement Bond Log-A Study of Cement and
Casing Variables," J. Pet. Tech. (May 1963) 545-54.
11. Grosmangin, M., Kokesh, F.P., and Majani, P.: "The Cement
Bond Log-A Sonic Method for Analyzing the Quality of
Cementation of Borehole Casings," J. Pet. Tech. (Feb. 1961)
165-71; Trans., AIME, 222.
12. Anderson, W.L. and Walker, T.: "Research Predicts Improved
Cement Bond Evaluations With Acoustic Logs," J. Pet. Tech. (Nov.
1961) 1093-97.
13. Walker, T.: "A Full-Wave Display of Acoustic Signals in Cased
Holes," J. Pet. Tech. (Aug. 1968) 811-24.
14. Pickett, G.R.: "Acoustic Character Logs and Their Applications
in Formation Evaluation," J. Pet. Tech. (June 1963) 659-67;
Trans., AIME, 228.
15. "Cement Quality Logging," technical report, Schlumberger Well
Services, Houston (Sept. 1971).
16. Fertl, W.H., Pilkington, P.E., and Scott, J.B.: "A Look at Cement
Bond Logs," J. Pet. Tech. (June 1974) 607-17.
17. Winn, R.H., Anderson, T.O., and Carter, L.G.: "A Preliminary
Study of Factors Influencing Cement Bond Logs," J. Pet. Tech.
(April 1962) 369-72.
18. Fitzgerald, D.D., McGhee, B.F., and McGuire, J.A.: "Guidelines
for 90% Accuracy in Zone Isolation Decisions," paper SPE 12141
presented at the 1983 SPE Annual Technical Conference and
Exhibition, San Francisco, Oct. 5-8.
19. Gollwitzer, L.H. and Masson, J.P.: "The Cement Bond Tool,"
paper presented at the 1982 SPWLA Annual Logging Symposium,
July 6-9.
20. Bigelow, E.L.: "A Practical Approach to the Interpretation of
Cement Bond Logs," paper SPE 13342 presented at the 1985 SPE
California Regional Meeting, Bakersfield, March 27-29.
21. McGhee, B.F. and Vacca, H.L.: "Guidelines for Improved Monitoring of Cementing Operations," paper presented at the 1980 Soc.
of Professional Well Log Analysts Annual Logging Symposium,
San Francisco, July 8-11.
22. McDowell, J.M. and Muskat, M.: "The Effect on Well Productivity
of Formation Penetration Beyond Perforated Casing," Trans.,
AIME (1950) 189.
23. Allen, T.O. and Atterbury, J.H.: "Effectiveness of Gun
Perforating," Trans., AIME (1954) 201, 34-40.
24. Allen, T.O. and Worzel, H.C.: "Productivity Method of Evaluating
Gun Perforating," Drill. and Prod. Prac. , API (1956) 112.
25. Krueger, R.F.: "Joint Bullet and Jet Perforation Tests-Progress
Report," Drill. and Prod. Proc., API (1956) 126.
26. Godfrey, W.K. and Methven, N.E.: "Casing Damage Caused by
Jet Perforating," paper SPE 3043 presented at the 1970 SPE Annual
Meeting, Houston, Oct. 4-7.
27. Poulter, T.C. and Caldwell, B.M.: "The Development of Shaped
Charges for Oil Well Completions," Trans., AIME (1957) 210,
11-18.
28. "Recommended Practice, Standard Procedure for Evaluation of
Well Perforators," fourth edition, API RP-43, API, Dallas (Aug.
1985).
29. "Perforating," sales literature, Welex, Houston.
30. "Perforating," sales literature, Dresser-Atlas, Houston.
31. Thompson, G.D.: "Effects of Formation Compressive Strength on
Perforator Performance," Drill. and Prod. Proc., API (1962)
191-97.
32. "Tubing-Conveyed Perforation," Bull., Vann Systems, Houston.
33. Bell, W.T.: "Perforating Techniques for Maximizing Well
Productivity," paper SPE 10033 presented at the 1982 SPE Intl.
Petroleum Exhibition and Technical Symposium, Beijing, March
18-26.
34. Bonomo, J.M. and Young, W.S.: "Analysis and Evaluation of
Perforating and Perforation Cleanup Methods," paper SPE 12106
presented at the 1983 SPE Annual Technical Conference and
Exhibition, San Francisco, Oct. 5-8.
35. Pittman, F.C. , Harriman, D.W., and St. John, J.C.: "Investigation
of Abrasive-Laden-Fluid Method for Perforation and Fracture
Initiation," J. Pet. Tech. (May 1961) 489-95.
36. Robinson, R.L., Herrmann, U.O., and DeFrank, P.: "How Well
Conditions Influence Perforations," paper presented at the 1961
CIM Annual Technical Meeting, Calgary, Alta.

Chapter 13

Regulations

13.1 Introduction
In the U.S. , 43 of the 50 states have agencies that regulate the drilling and cementing of wells. These regulatory bodies govern (1) the method of setting casing, (2) the
volume of cement, (3) the waiting-on-cement (WOC)
time, (4) the testing of cement jobs, (5) the squeezing,
plugging, and testing of cementing plugs, and (6) the protection against pollution of fresh waters and mineral
deposits.
Forty years ago, regulations either were nonexistent or
were not uniformly enforced. Through the years, industry and legislative groups have assisted each other in developing workable rules that apply to the drilling and
cementing of wells. Much of the technical literature that
has guided these committees deals with the minimum compressive strength or bond strength required to support pipe
adequately, and dates from as early as 1946. 1-5 Because
they were written by a variety of groups over a long period
of time, the rules are expressed in a variety of ways.
Changes in technology and differences in operating environments have also contributed to the wide divergence
in state regulations, particularly in regard to the volume
of cement rid the WOC time. There are also variations
in cementing practices in fields of comparable characteristics in the same state.
The intent of this chapter is not to cover all regulations,
but to discuss only some of those that apply in the more
active drilling areas of the U.S.
13.2 Regulatory Bodies Controlling the
Cementing of Wells
United StatesState and Federal. If one is to comply
with regulations, obviously one must know that they exist. Governing bodies that control and are responsible for
cementing regulations for the various states are shown in
Table 13.1. The date and applicable rules are identified
so that one can refer to them in seeking further information. Rules applicable to offshore drilling beyond the territories claimed by states fall under federal jurisdiction
and are governed by the Mineral Management Service of
the Dept. of the Interior.

International. Internationally, wells have been drilled in


more than 100 countries. Fewer than 15 % of those countries have rules covering casing and cementing practices.
In most of the areas where there are no regulations, prudent practices are observed by the operators themselves
because good practices usually lower drilling costs.
Table 13.2 lists 18 countries known to have drilling and
cementing regulations. There may be others; therefore,
one should check locally before drilling outside the U.S.
13.3 Typical Regulations
Practically all rules cover methods of setting specific sections of casing and of plugging wells. Specifically emphasized in offshore federal regulations is conductor pipe,
which is needed to start the hole in a vertical direction
and to seal off badly sloughing surface material or water.
Conductor pipe also serves as a connection for blowoutpreventer (BOP) equipment when shallow gas zones are
being drilled. Although it is not always done, cement
should be circulated to the ocean or Gulf floor level when
conductor string is cemented.
Most state rules are very specific about setting surface
casing to protect fresh-water sands from contamination,
and to form a good, solid anchor to support the BOP
equipment while the well is being drilled. States that have
mineral deposits require that the surface pipe be cemented through these formations to protect them from oil and
gas zones should they be mined at some later date.
In some areas no intermediate casing is required, while
in others one or more strings may be necessary. Few states
its
the setting of production casing, even though
placement is most important in effectively isolating zones.
Specific rules applicable to active drilling areas
California, Oklahoma, Texas, and Federal Offshore
are summarized below. Table 13.3 is a digest of 'WOCtime requirements for various states.
C-. 1)
California. The State of California (Publication PRexiO le
is
defines general rules 6 to be followed, yet
their own judg
enough to allow state engineers to exercise
mint in some areas.

171

REGULATIONS
TABLE 13.1REGULATORY BODIES AND RULES CONTROLLING THE CEMENTING OF WELLS IN THE U.S.

State

City and
Zip Code

Regulatory Body

Plugging

Casing
Date
1976 400-1-3-.03
400-3-X-.02

400-1-3-.04 to .07

Alabama
(inland wells)

University 35486

Oil and Gas Board of Alabama

Alaska

Anchorage 99501

State Oil and Gas Conservation Comm.

1981 Art 1.
Sec. 30
20ACC 25.026

Art. 2
Sec. 105
20AAC 25.105

Arizona

Phoenix 85007

Oil and Gas Conservation Comm.

1982 Chap. 7, Art. 1


R-12-7-110 and 111

Chap. 7, Art 1
R-12-7-126 and 127

Arkansas

El Dorado 71730

State Oil and Gas Comm

1983 Rule 8-15 and 8-29

Rule B-8 and B-9

California

Sacramento 95814

Dept. of Conservation
Div. of Oil and Gas

1983 Publication PRC-01


3220-3223

Publication PRO-01
3228-3232

Colorado

Denver 80203

Dept. of Natural Resources


Oil and Gas Conservation Comm.

1983 317-327-404

332

1971 Oil and Gas Regulations


Sec. 2

Oil and Gas Regulations


Sec 6.04

1983 Oil and Gas Statute


16C-27.05
16C-29.07

Oil and Gas Statute


16C-29.09

Connecticut'

Hartford 06115

Consult State Geological Surveys

Delaware

Dover 19903

Dept. of Natural Resources


and Environmental Control
Water Resources Sec.

Florida

Tallahassee 32301 Dept. of Natural Resources


Oil and Gas Div

Georgia

Atlanta 30334

Dept. of Natural Resources

1975 Rules 391 through 393


and 13.10

Rules 391 through 393


and 13.12

Boise 83720

Oil and Gas Conservation Comm.

1963 Rules 8.3 through 8.12

Rules 32.1 through 32.5

Idaho
Illinois

Springfield 62706

Dept. of Mines and Minerals


Div. of Oil and Gas

1984 Rule VIII-6-B

Rule II-2-B
Rule XI-5-A,B

Indiana

Indianapolis 46204 Dept. of Natural Resources


Div. of Oil and Gas

1972 22-J

33

Iowa

Des Moines 50319

Dept. of Soil Conservation


Mines and Minerals Div.

1983 Code of Iowa


Chap. 84

Code of Iowa
Chap. 84

Kansas

Topeka 67202

Corporation Comm.
Oil and Gas Conservation Div.

1983 Conservation Rules


82-3-103 through 106

Conservation Rules
82-3-112 through 115

Kentucky

Lexington 40586

Dept. of Mines and Minerals


Div. of Oil and Gas

1978 805 KRS


1:020

805 KRS
1:060, 1:070

Louisiana

1982 29-B, Sec. V

29-B, Sec. XIX

Maine'

Baton Rouge 70801 Dept. of Conservation


Consult State Geological Surveys
Augusta 04333

Maryland'

Annapolis 21401

Dept. of Natural Resources

Massachusetts'

Boston 02108

Consult State Geological Surveys

Michigan

Lansing 48909

Dept. of Natural Resources


Oil and Gas Regulations

1983 Oct. 1961


R-299.1306

Oct. 1961
R-299 1801-09

Minnesota'
(water wells)

St. Paul 55155

Dept. of Natural Resources

1980 Chap.
156A, 01-10

Mississippi

Jackson 39201

State Oil and Gas Board

1972 Rules 10-11-12


(Order 201-51)

Rule 28

Missouri

Rolla 65401

Missouri Oil and Gas Council

1982 Chap. 2
10CSR-50-2.040

Chap. 2
10CSR-50-2.060

Montana

Helena 59601

Dept. of Natural Resources and


Conservation
Oil and Gas Conservation Div.

1983 Rule 36.22.1001


through 36.22.1013

Rule 36.22.1301
through 36.22.1309

Nebraska

Sidney 69162

Oil and Gas Conservation Comm.

1983 Statute 57-905


Code 3-012

Statute 57-905, 906


Code 3-028

Nevada

Carson City 89710

Dept. of Conservation and


Natural Resources

1979 Rules
Part 2
Sec. 200-214

Rules
Part 3
Sec. 300-308

New Hampshire'' Durham 03824

Consult State Geological Surveys

172

CEMENTING

TABLE 13.1REGULATORY BODIES AND RULES CONTROLLING THE CEMENTING OF WELLS IN THE U.S. (continued)
New Jersey* *

Trenton 08625

Consult State Geological Surveys

New Mexico

Santa Fe 87501

Energy and Minerals Dept.


Oil Conservation Div.

1982 Rule 107 and 108

Rule 201, 202, and 1103

New York

Albany 12233

State Dept. of Environmental Cons.


Bur. of Oil and Gas Regulations

1972 NYCRR
Secs. 552 through 554

NYCRR
Sec. 555

N. Carolina

Raleigh 27611-7687 Natural and Economic Resources


Mining, Mineral Resources
Oil and Gas Conservation

1976 G.S.
113-391-0007

G.S.
113-391-0009

N. Dakota

Bismarck 58505

North Dakota Industrial Comm.


Oil and Gas Div.

1983 NDCC 38-08-04


43-02-03-21

NDCC 38-08-04
43-02-03-34

Ohio

Columbus 43224

Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources


Div. of Oil and Gas

1982 Ohio StatutesRules


1501 :9-11-03 through 09
and 1509.17

Ohio StatutesRules
1501 :9-11-03 through 09
and 1509.17

Oklahoma

Okla. City 73105

Corporation Comm.
Oil and Gas Conservation

1983 General Rules


3-206

General Rules
3-400 through 405 and 409

Oregon

Portland 97201

Dept. of Geology
and Mineral Industries

1982 Administrative Rules


632-10-014

Administrative Rules
632-10-198

Pennsylvania

Harrisburg 17120

Dept. of Environmental Resources


Oil and Gas Conservation

1983 General Provisions


79.12

General Provisions
79.17

Rhode Island**

Providence 02903

Consult State Geological Surveys

S. Carolina**

Columbia 29211

Consult State Geological Surveys

S. Dakota

Rapid City 57701

Board of Natural Resource Development 1974 Chap.


Oil and Gas Conservation
52:02:03

Chap.
52:02:04

Tennessee

Nashville 37203

Dept. of Conservation
State Oil and Gas Board

1972 State Order 2


1040-2-7

State Order 2
1040-2-9

Texas

Austin 78771

Railroad Comm. of Texas


Oil and Gas Div.

1983 Rule 13

Rule 14

Utah

1982 Rule C-8

Rule D-1, D-2, and D-4

Vermont**

Salt Lake City84101 Board of Oil, Gas and Mining


Conservation of Oil and Gas
Montpelier 05602
Consult State Geological Surveys

Virginia

Richmond 23241

Dept. of Labor and Industry


Div. of Mines and Quarries
Oil and Gas Conservation Comm.

1983 Code of Virginia


45.1-334 through 340

Code of Virgina
45.1-341 through 348

Washington

Olympia 98504

Dept. of Natural Resources


Div. of Geology and Earth Resources

1982 WAC-344-12-087

WAC-344-12-131 and 133

W. Virginia

Charleston 25316

Dept. of Mines
Office of Oil and Gas

1983 22-4-5 through 8

22-4-9, 10

Wisconsin

Madison 53701

Dept. of Natural Resources


Water Well Regulations

1975 NR-112.085

NR-112.21

Wyoming

Cheyenne 82002

Oil and Gas Conservation Comm.

1982 Sec. III


320 through 323

Sec. III
312 through 315

Alaska
Federal

Reston, VA 22090

U.S. Dept. of the Interior

1980

Atlantic

Reston

U.S. Dept. of the Interior


Mineral Management Service
Conservation Div., Atlantic Outer Shelf

1980 OCS, Order 2


3.1 through 3.6

OCS, Order 3
1.1 through 2.9

Gulf of Mexico

Reston

U.S. Dept. of the Interior


Mineral Management Service
Conservation Div., Atlantic Outer Shelf

1980 OCS, Order 2


3.1 through 3.6

OCS, Order 3
1.1 through 2.9

Pacific

Reston

U.S. Dept. of the Interior


Mineral Management Service
Conservation Div., Pacific Outer Shelf

1980 OCS, Order 2


3.1 through 3.6

OCS, Order 3
1.1 through 2.9

Federal

*No commercial oil or gasrules apply to water wells.


*No known rules in these states

173

REGULATIONS
TABLE 13.2COUNTRIES OTHER THAN U.S. KNOWN TO HAVE
DRILLING AND CEMENTING REGULATIONS
Agency

Country

Ministry of Petroleum
Department of Mines
Oberste BergbehOrde
OntarioDept. of Mines and Northern Affairs
AlbertaOil and Gas Conservation Board
SaskatchewanDept. of Mineral Resources
Minister of Mines and Petroleum
Colombia
Direction Generale des Mines
France
Bureau of Mines
Germany
Offshore Operating CommitteeLondon
Ireland
National Mining Bureau for Hydrocarbons
Italy
Bureau of Mines
Japan
Petroleum Mine Safety Regulations
Petroleum Ministry
Libya
Petroleum Ministry
Malaysia
Geology and Mines Dept.
Mozambique
The Netherlands The Ministry of Mines
Petroleum Directorate
Norway
Petroleum Admin.
Turkey
Dept. of Energy
United Kingdom
Dept. of Hydrocarbons
Venezuela
Abu Dhabi
Australia
Austria
Canada

TABLE 13.3STATEWIDE WOC REQUIREMENTS FOR VARIOUS STATES


Type of Job*

State
Alabama
(inland wells)

Up to 1,000 psi
based on depth

12 hr

Colorado

500 psi and 500 psi and


8hr
8hr

8 hr

Kansas

300 psi and 300 psi and


8hr
8 hr

8 hr

Louisiana

12 hr

Up to 100 psi
based on depth

12 hr

Mississippi

12 hr

1 psi/ft up
to 1,000 psi

12 hr

Properly

8 hr and
300 psi

600 to 1,500

18 hr**

Montana
New Mexico
North Dakota
Oklahoma

8 to 18 hr** 8 to 18 hr"`
8 hr
12 hr
8 hr

Federal Gulf
of Mexico

None

Undefined Based on depth

300 psi and 300 psi and


8hr
8hr
12 hr

*Key to type of job


Surface pipe and intermediate string:
1 WOC with surface pressure, without float
2 WOC with surface pressure, with float
3 Pressure test
4 WOC to drill out

12 hr

8 hr

0
-

300 psi and


8 hr

1,000

12 hr

Production string:
1 Pressure test
2 WOC to perforate
Operator can choose between 8
to 18 hours and a time based
on the strength of the cement

12 hr

1,500 psi or
0.2 psi/ft for
30 min.

24 hr

00 to 1,500
after 24 hr

24 hr

0.2 psi/ft up
to 1,500 psi

Properly

8 hr

8 hr

600 to 1,500

18 hr*"

00 to 1,500

18 hr**

None

12 hr

None

12 hr

8 hr

1,500 psi
max based
on depth

1,500 psi or
0.2 psi/ft

500 psi and


8 hr

500 psi and


8 hr

12 hr

12 hr 800 to 1,500

8 hr

Properly

500 and
1,200 psi
72 hr

Texas

Wyoming

Production String

Intermediate String

Surface Pipe

12 hr

24 hr

,000 psi for


30 min.

24 hr

1,500 psi or
0.22 psi/ft
for 30 min.

12 hr

CEMENTING

174

Surface pipe must be


cemented by the Pump and
Plug Method and circulated
to ground surface

Sufficient surface casing


must be set to protect
all usable quality water
Casing should be centralized
as specified
BASE OF USABLE
QUALITY WATER

Cement must be allowed


to stand under pressure
until it reaches 500 psi in
zone of interest and have a
I'--72-hour strength of 1200 psi.

PRODUCTIVE ZONE
1.

TEXAS RAILROAD COMMISSION RULE 13


DEALING WITH PRIMARY CEMENTING

Fig. 13.1Short surface casing (cement long string).

The general rules fall into two sections, depending on


the type of hole.
1. In dry holes or uncased wells, any oil show must
be covered with cement. The interface between fresh
water and salt water must be covered by at least 100 linear
ft of cement, and there must be a minimum plug of 25
ft at the surface. For offshore wells there is a minimum
requirement of cemented conductor and surface pipe, in
addition to other requirements defined by current Federal Regulations.
2. In cased holes, all zones must be covered or protected with a minimum of 100 ft of cement above the top
producing zone. The saltwater/freshwater interface must
also be protected with at least 100 ft of cement. A water
shutoff test is required immediately above the top producing zone, and can be taken by wire line. In some cases,
such a test is waived by the state inspector.
Oklahoma. The Oklahoma Drilling and Casing Procedures, governed by the Corporation Commission, are defined in Rule 206, dated 1983. 7 This rule applies to all
wells drilled for oil, gas, or water, and to injection wells
and disposal wells, whether the wells are drilled with rotary tools or with cable tools. It states that cementing of
casing shall be by the pump and plug or displacement
method and defines a minimum footage for surface pipe

and a minimum WOC time. For wells that are plugged,


Oklahoma Rule 3-400 defines the volume of cement to
be used and the location of the cement plug.
Texas. In Texas, the Railroad Commission has jurisdiction over the drilling and cementing of wells. It functions
through 12 districts throughout the state.
Texas has rules that are applicable to the state as a whole
and, in addition, has adopted specific field rules. 8 The
statewide rules are general, whereas the individual field
rules are specific and may apply only to that particular
field.
Rules 13-14, dated Jan. 1, 1983, are applicable to
casing and cementing (see Figs. 13.1 through 13.3). They
define in general how much casing will be set, how much
cement will be used, and how the casing is to be tested
after completion. Rule 13(a) deals with surface casing and
cementing, and is designed mainly to protect the freshwater sands from contamination. The supply of fresh
water in Texas, as in many other states, is very limited;
consequently, every effort is exerted to protect all potential freshwater sources. Rule 14 deals with the plugging
of wells.
U.S. Federal Regulation for the Outer Continental
Shelf. OCS Rules 1 through 14, dated Jan. 1, 1980, and
amended, require the casing and cementing of all wells
with a sufficient number of strings in a manner necessary to (1) prevent release of fluids from any stratum
through the wellbore (directly or indirectly) into the sea;
(2) prevent communication between separate hydrocarbon-bearing strata (except such strata approved for
commingling) and between hydrocarbon-bearing and
water-bearing strata; (3) prevent contamination of freshwater strata, gas, or water; (4) support unconsolidated
sediments; and (5) otherwise provide a means of control
of the formation pressures and fluids. 9'1
When wells are abandoned, OCS Order No. 3 requires
the lessee to submit a statement of reasons for abandonment and detailed plans for carrying out the work. No
well shall be plugged and abandoned until the manner and
method of plugging shall be approved or prescribed by
the supervisor.

10'

All plugs must be placed


by the Circulation or
Squeeze Method through

HOLE
CEMENT

tubing or drill pipe

CEMENT

CASING

SURFACE CASING
TOP OF USABLE WATER

5
50'
0

50
THIS PLUG MUST BE TAGGED

BASE OF USABLE WATER


BASE OF USABLE WATER

sp.

50
50'
TEXAS RAILROAD COMMISSION RULE 14
DEALING WITH SETTING OF PLUGS
.

--

Fig. 13.2Insufficient surface casing set to protect all


usable water.

TEXAS RAILROAD COMMISSION RULE 14


DEALING WITH SETTING OF PLUGS

Fig. 13.3Sufficient surface casing set to protect all


usable water.
tri

175

R EGULATIONS
13.4

Permits
most
states, operators must file a notarized applicain
tion covering details of the intention to drill a well. This
application must describe casing and cementing programs.
Upon completion of the well, a notarized wellompletion
report on casing and cementing data must be
c
filed. If the well is nonproductive, an application must
be filed to plug and abandon it (and perhaps to pull the
casing), with full details of the proposed plan. Upon completion of this work a detailed plugging record must be
supplied.
The Minerals Management Service of the U.S. Dept.
of the Interior requires similar reports for wells drilled
on the Outer Continental Shelf.
Where wells are to be deepened or plugged back, the
operator must file a report similar to that required when
the well was first drilled.
13.5 Enforcement and Penalties
Most regulatory groups define the penalties for violating
rules and the authority for enforcement. Where producing wells are involved, the establishment of production
allowables may be withheld until the well owner complies
with the regulation in question. In most instances, this
procedure simplifies enforcement. Most of the states and
federal bodies are in close agreement on the penalty for
rule violation, differing only on the severity of the penalty.
13.6 Summary
Regulations provide a means of controlling and protecting life, property, and petroleum reserves. They have been
prepared by legislative bodies who have been guided by
the experience of engineers, research organizations, and
study committees throughout the oil industry. In the area
of their jurisdiction these regulations represent a uniform

practice for the drilling and cementing of casing. Most


rules are not absolute or rigid, but are flexible within areas
or fields. When proper evidence is presented, operators
are often allowed to modify certain practices.
As the petroleum industry expands into deeper drilling
areas and offshore marine operations, new regulations or
modifications of existing regulations will be required. In
planning any well, an operator should consult with the
agency having local jurisdiction. New technology and
changes in practices will continue to form the foundation
for improvements in drilling regulations.
References
1. Farris, R.F.: "Method for Determining Minimum Waiting-onCement Time," Trans., AIME (1946) 165, 175-88.
2. Cannon, G.E.: "Improvements in Cementing Practices and the Need
for Uniform Cementing Regulations," Drill and Prod. Prac., API
(1948) 126-33; Pet. Eng. (May 1949) B42.
3. Davis, S.H. and Faulk, J.H.: "Have Waiting-on-Cement Practices
Kept Pace with Technology?" Drill. and Prod. Prac., API (1957)
180.
4. Bearden, W.G. and Lane, R.D.: "You Can Engineer Cementing
Operations to Eliminate Wasteful WOC Time," Oil and Gas J.
(July 3, 1961) 104.
5. Maier, L.F.: "Understanding Surface Casing Waiting-on-Cement
Time," paper presented at CIM 16th Annual Tech. Meeting,
Calgary, Canada (May 1965).
6. California Laws for Conservation of Petroleum and Gas, Dept. of
Conservation, Div. of Oil and Gas, Sacramento (Feb. 1983).
7. Drilling and Casing Procedures (Rule 3-206, Cementing; 3-400,
Plugging), Oklahoma Corporation Commission, Oklahoma City
(1983).
8. Rule 13, Casing and Rule 14, Plugging, Railroad Commission of
Texas, Oil and Gas Div., Austin (Jan. 1, 1983).
9. Regulations Governing Oil & Gas Lease Operations on the Outer
Continental Shelf of the Pacific Ocean, Minerals Management
Service, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Reston, VA (Jan. 1980).
10. Regulations Governing Oil & Gas Lease Operations on the Outer
Continental Shelf of the Gulf of Mexico, Minerals Management
Service, U.S. Dept. of the Interior, Reston, VA (Jan. 1980).

Chapter 14

Special Cementing Applications

14.1 Introduction
Cementing practices used in connection with oil wells have
been adapted for other usesfor example, mine shafts,
water wells, waste-disposal wells, carbon dioxide floods
or steam-producing wells, thermal-recovery steamflood
wells, wells in permafrost environments, and in grouting
offshore structures.
All these holes are fairly shallow, rarely exceeding
6,000 ft. Except in steam-producing wells, the formation
temperature is normally less than 140F. Because the
wellbore and formation conditions for such holes are unusual, the casing and cementing programs must be carefully planned.

14.2 Large-Hole Cementing


The large holes-24 to 144 in. in diameterare used, for
example, for testing thermonuclear devices, for venting
and providing escape channels in mines, and as industrial water wells. Much of the technology for drilling them
has been developed since 1960. 1-4
Casing Program. Large-diameter casing is normally not
available commercially and must be fabricated locally
(Figs. 14.1A and 14.1B). In the interest of economy in
the manufacture of this heavy casing, the ratio of wall
thickness to diameter is decreased as the diameter of the
casing is increased. Thus, even with high-strength alloys
and the thickest walls possible, there is a danger that unbalanced external hydrostatic pressures developed during
displacement by long cement columns will cause the
casing to collapse. Therefore the collapse pressure of the
pipe must be calculated, taking into account the wall thickness, the pipe diameter, and the yield stress of the steel. 5
Cementing Techniques. There are four methods of placing cement to reduce the hazards of collapsing the pipe
and still allow large volumes of cement slurry to be placed
in the annulus6 (Figs. 14.2A and 14.2B).
1. Filling the casing with a weighted mud that is equal

to or near the density of the cement grout and then placing the cement in the conventional manner with an oversized cement plug.
2. Using the inner-string cementing method in which
the drillstring is stabbed into a special, modified guide
shoe. The cement is pumped down the pipe and back up
the outside.
3. Using the inner-string cementing method in which
the drillstring is packed off at the surface, forcing any
cement slurry through the floating equipment and up the
annulus.
4. Pumping the cement slurry down the annulus through
grout lines. For uniform cement slurry distribution, three
to four grout lines should be uniformly spaced in the annulus (Fig. 14.2B).
Large-diameter pipe requires a proportionately larger
hole (see Table 14.1). 7 To fill the annulus that is formed
requires a considerable volume of cement and a correspondingly longer mixing time (Fig. 14.3).
Where large volumes of slurries are to be mixed and
placed before the cement takes an initial set, the borehole and casing must both be filled with a weighted mud
having a specific gravity nearly equal to the density of
the cement grout. The cement slurry is then mixed and
placed in the conventional manner using special oversized
cementing plugs. Objections to this method are that it requires large volumes of mud, expensive floating equipment, and cementing plugs. It will also leave at the bottom
of the casing a large volume of cement that must be drilled
out.
The inner-string technique is normally preferred. A
smaller-diameter pipe is seated and sealed inside a guide
shoe for slurry displacement. This allows the use of
smaller latch-down cementing plugs, which function as
backpressure valves after the slurry has been pumped to
bottom. Also, the inner string may be withdrawn as soon
as the cement takes its initial set, leaving a very small
volume in the bottom to be removed when the shaft is
deepened.

177

SPECIAL CEMENTING APPLICATIONS

Fig. 14.1ALarge casing used in vent shaft completion.

Cementing is commonly performed through grout lines


placed between the casing and the borehole. The annulus
is filled from the outside by raising the grout lines as the
slurry is progressively distributed around the pipe. Placement may be in stages, allowing time for the cement slurry
to set before the column is raised so high that the collapse pressure becomes critical. If it is desirable to pour
the cement continuously, the rate of placement can be adjusted to allow the cement to set progressively. Continuous pouring is usually at a rate of 10 to 15 ft/hr. If the
cement has a setting time of 2 hours, there will be no more
than 20 to 30 ft of external head placed on the pipe at
any one time during placement.
Pressure Buoyancy and Flotation Considerations.
When designing and running large casing, special burst,
tensile, and collapse pressures must be considered,
whether the casing will be cemented by conventional
methods or by the inner-string method. "1
Large casing usually has low values of collapse and
burst strength and tends to float in water unless the casing
is filled with fluid from the surface while being run in
the hole.

PUMP

PUMP

Fig. 14.1BCasing cementing in large-hole completions.

After cement is displaced into the annulus, the maximum collapse pressure will exist above the floating equipment from the excess of cement hydrostatic pressure over
the mud hydrostatic pressure.
To prevent casing damage, the differential pressure between the cement and the mud should be monitored and
held below the casing collapse strength at all times during the displacement process.
Floating occurs when the composite weight of large
casing, filled with water or mud, is less than the weight
of the displaced cement slurry. To prevent floating up the
hole, the large casing should be "tied down" at the surface before cement is displaced to the bottom of the string.

PUMP
PACK-OFF

STOP
PLUG , `BOTTOM'
PLUG
CASING
.

TWO PLUG
SYSTEM

TUBING
OR
DRILL
PIPE
CASING

INNER STRING
METHOD
PLUNGER TYPE
RECEPTACLE

CONTINUOUS
METHOD
(SURFACE
PACK-OFF)

Fig. 14.2AMethods of cementing large pipe.

Fig. 14.2BOutside cementing of large pipe.

178

C EMENTIN
TABLE 14.1ESTIMATED HOLE SIZE FOR
LARGE-DIAMETER PIPE

Depth
(ft)
500
1,000
2,000
3,000
4,000

Size of hole (in.) for Casing of


Following Size (in. ID)
36

48

66

84

100

50
52
54
54
59

65
66
70
73
76

88
90
. 94
98
102

110
112
118
122

132
134
142
147

The magnitude of the force required to hold the casing


down at the surface is equal to the compression or buckling force in the casing at the surface. It is preferable for
the casing to be landed in tension to enhance the physical
properties desired and for wellhead safety consideration.
A plot of the surface tension or compression in casing
filled with water vs. cement slurry is shown in Fig. 14.4.
Casing floating and the need for tie-down can be controlled with lightweight cement slurries. For example,
with a 20-in., 94-lbm casing, the cement slurry weight
should not exceed 13.5 lbm/gal to prevent floating. If
15-lbm/gal cement slurry is used, it will be necessary to
tie down the casing to resist excessive compression forces.
Cementing Materials. Any of the following compositions
will normally help prevent migration of fluids in the annulus of large pipe.
1. Bentonite cement or filler compositions (slurries requiring large volumes of water to reduce slurry density).
2. Pozzolan-cement compositions (API Class B, G. or
H with fly ash and bentonite).
3. Common construction cement (API Class A, B, G,
or H).
These cementing compositions can be designed to have
variable densities and setting times and low heats of hydration, and to provide the sealing performance normally required for large-pipe hole conditions.
14.3 Water-Well Cementing
In most areas, the drilling and cementing of water wells
must comply with the strictest of regulations. Therefore
a fresh-water aquifer must be drilled on the basis of the

U..

)
)
6)
8

FILL UP, cu ft/ft

5
4

1
1 )
-bb

best surface and subsurface information ap7asbiseocnom


cas
plient;
ed for the maximum protection and isolatiT
onhiosf au fresh,
water strata. Most water wells are completed
of less than 1,500 ft and without undue ITphasis at depths
equipment and cementing materials.em
does not
mean, however, that water wells do not require re .
control to protect fresh water zones from
ntaminatimi
and surface pollution.
Casing Programs. The National Water Well Assn. Committee on Specifications has published recommendations
for water-well casing programs12 : They state that "the
casing should be new and composed of steel or other ferrous materials and shall be in accordance with the American Water Works Association Standards A100-66, ASTM
or API." Normally, casing programs employed by the
oil industry for surface or conductor Pipe will meet these
specifications and satisfy most regulations. However, in
planning any casing program for water wells, the AWWA
Standards should be referred to. "
Completion Techniques. Water wells are normally completed in one of three ways 14,15 : (1) the water zone is
cased through and the casing is perforated as it would be
in an oil well; (2) the casing is set on top of the water-.
bearing zone and cemented, then the zone is drilled into
and sand or gravel packed; or (3) casing is set at the top
of the water-bearing zones and cemented and then a
removable screen or liner is run through the water-bearing
zone. (See Fig. 14.5A.)
Cementing Techniques. In some areas, cementing may
consist of pouring a small quantity of cement slurry (cement and water, or cement, sand, and water) down the
annulus after the casing has been run into the well. This
procedure, however, can cause severe contamination from
well fluids and is limited to holes less than 20 ft in depth.
A better way, especially for sealing the annulus, is to use
two cementing plugs and pipe movement during placement. The most efficient method for placement in general, even though the pipe cannot be moved, is to use an
inner string with a stab-in attachment on the floating
device. Sometimes, instead of using a float collar or guide
shoe, a pack-off device is used at the surface to force the
slurry down the casing and back up the outside. For 9%-in.

la

SUSPENDED
CASING

FLOATING
CASING

13

0
,c, crco o.o
_.,o c.,-... .;) .4\-Pc,1)-7
00' 49 moo
oo o cbt
do <, 4-

.4.0

110 120 130 140 150 160

Fig. 14.3Fill-up factorlarge-dimensional pipe.

ZO"

34*

,,

,
i
- '
,

70030

HOLE SIZE, inches

7p^y t

60040

50 000

40.030

30 000

30 000

COMPRESSION OR BUCKLING
FORCE AT SURFACE-LBS
PER 1000. OF DEPTH

10000

.....

10 000

20 030

.000

600.

50 030

60 030

100.

PIPE TEN IONLEIS


PER 1000 OF DEPTH
CONDITIONS:
1) Caning tilled with water pumped be led cement
2) Cement slurry pumped to surface

Fig. 14.4Tension and compression forces in large-casing


cementing.

SPECIAL CEMENTING APPLICATIONS

179

TABLE 14.2PROPERTIES OF CEMENTS USED


IN WATER WELLS
Cement System

Slurry Weight
(Ibm/gal)

Slurry Yield
(cu ft/sack)

15.6

1.18

5.2

15.6
14.8

1.18
1.32

5.2
6.32

14.8

1.32

6.32

Class A (Type 1)
Class A (Type 1)+
2% CaCl2 *
Class C (Type III)
Class C (Type III)+
2% CaCl 2 *

Water Content
(gal/sack)

Strength (psi)
Setting Time (hrs:min)
Cement System

40F

(40F) (60F) (80F)

Class A (Type 1)

+ 5:00

Class A (Type I) +
2% CaCI 2 *
Class C (Type III)
Class C (Type III) +
2% CaCl2 *

(12 hr)

+ 5:00 + 5:00

No Strength

+ 5:00 +3:00 +2:00


+5:00
+5:00
2:00

35
No Strength

+5:00

2:00

1:00

190

60F
(24 hr)
20

(12 hr)

(24 hr)

80F
(12 hr) (24 hr)

80 410 390 1,500

340 450 1,200 1,210 2,400


75
110
810
590 1,900
520 830 1,875 1,440 2,980

*% by weight of cement.

casing and larger, the latter two approaches are more economical, since the two-plug system requires additional
equipment.
Cementing Materials. The pumpability, strength, and
WOC time of cement are not so critical in water wells
as in oil wells. Most water wells are cemented by the drilling contractor, who uses sack cement and pays little attention to weight control. Simple portland cement is
usedASTM Type I or III (API Class A or C) and water,
slurried to approximately 15 lbm/gal. 16 A mixture of
equal portions of sand and cement is not uncommon (Table 14.2 and Fig. 14.5B). 17
Water wells may be cemented using the same basic techniques used on oil wells. Persons or organizations not
skilled in the art should refer to the American Water
Works Assn. (Urbana, IL), to the National Water Well
Assn. Board (Worthington, OH), or to service companies in the oil industry for guidance in the most effective
means of water well casing and cementing.

Water-Well Abandonment. Unsealed abandoned wells


constitute a hazard to public health and welfare and may
not be regulated in all localities. The sealing of these wells
presents a number of problems, the character of which
depends on the construction of the well, the geologic formations encountered, and the hydrologic conditions. 13
Sealing an abandoned well properly requires (1) eliminating physical hazard, (2) preventing contamination of
groundwater, (3) conserving yield and hydrostatic head
of aquifers, and (4) preventing intermingling of desirable
and undesirable waters.
The guiding principle in the sealing of abandoned wells
is the restoration, as far as possible, of the controlling
geological conditions that existed before the well was
drilled or constructed.
The removal of pipe from some wells may be necessary to ensure placement of an effective seal. If the casing
opposite water-bearing zones cannot be removed easily,
it should be pulled or split with a casing ripper to ensure
the proper sealing of water-bearing zones with the seal-

PUMP
PACK-OFF

WATER
GALS/SK
TUBING OR
DRILL PIPE

40
50
60

TUBING OR
DRILL PIPE

FILL UP
CU FT/SK
CASING

CASING

1 00
1 15
1 30
PERCENT
FREE WATER
00%
1 0%
70%

WEIGHT STRENGTH-PSI
LB/GAL
24 HRS/95F
16 8
15 8
14 8

2800
1800
1400

VISCOSITY PUMPABILITY
UNITS OF
MINUTES
CONSISTENCY ca 8000 CASING
20-24
10.12
4-5

75
100
130

Fig. 14.5BEffect of water on API Class A cement.

CONTINUOUS METHOD

TWO PLUG SYSTEM PLUNGER TYPE RECEPTACLE

Fig. 14.5AMethod of cementing water wells. 16

180

CEMENTING

DA-

Fresh Water Bearing


Surface Sands & Gravel

103/4" 0 D Surface
Casing Normally set
200' below deepest
fresh water)

Impermeable
Shale

1:AIDiameter
D:
meter ..-;

r.
9" Diameter
Well Bore

r o D Casing to Depth

Injection tubing: standard


tubing, special alloys,
fiberglass, etc as required

(Cemented to surface)
Annulus filled
with noncorrosive
fluid when required

Guide Shoe
Float Shoe

Packer to prevent
fluid circulation
n annulus

njeclion Horizon
(Closed-Hole Completion)

Fig. 14.6Typical commercial waste-disposal well.

Perforated

Open Hole
31/2"0.D.
Tubing

18

Gravel Pack
Cap Rock

9" Diameter
Hole
Cement
7" O.D.
Casing
Gravel
Disposal
Formation

Fig. 14.7Disposal-well-completion methods.

ing material. At least the upper portion of the casing


should be removed to prevent surface water from entering the water-bearing strata by flowing down the casing.

14.4 Waste-Disposal Wells


Salt water or waste effluents frequently are disposed of
by injection into a permeable underground formation in
a depleted oil well or in a well drilled expressly for disposal purposes (Fig. 14.6). There are upward of 40,000
saltwater disposal wells in the U.S. alone. 19,20 Well
modifications are generally not required for disposing of
salt water except to isolate the zone into which it is being
injected. If a new well is drilled and cased expressly for
this purpose, regulations should be consulted. 21
Wells drilled and cemented for the disposal of waste
effluents require special attention, because they range in
depths from 300 to 12,000 ft. 22
Although pumping industrial waste into subsurface formations is commonly referred to as disposal, it can also
be called storage, since, if the project is properly planned
and executed, liquid wastes pumped into a selected stratum should remain there indefinitely without contacting
fresh water or other isolated fluid-bearing formations. 18,23

Subsurface injection is usually the most economical so:


lution for many difficult disposal problems, but it may',.
not solve every waste problem. Some areas have no f(;/...;
mations suitable for injecting waste, and for some dia..
posal problems the initial cost of properly drilling and,
completing a well may be too high.
In most industrial areas, local, state, or federal agen_
cies have drawn up strict rules covering disposal wells, and those rules should be taken into account in planning.
any well for disposal purposes. Because many of these`
waste solutions are corrosive, special grades of pipe and
cement are required.
Completion Techniques. In the completion of wells for
waste effluent disposal, a 15-in.-diameter hole is commonly drilled to approximately 200 ft below the deepest
freshwater aquifer, where 10%-in.-OD casing is set and
cemented to the surface. The hole is then drilled through
the potential disposal formation, where casing is set and
the annulus is cemented to the surface. The most permeable sections of the disposal formation are perforated for
completion. Cased-hole completions are used both in con.'
solidated formations and in unconsolidated formations,
where the wellbore tends to cave and restrict the flow of
fluids into the formation. Where an openhole completion
is used in a well, the injection casing is set to the top of
this disposal formation and cemented to the surface. The
cement plug on bottom is then drilled out and drilling is
continued into the disposal formation to the total depth.
Openhole completions are used where the formation is
composed of consolidated materials such as sandstone and
limestone. Unconsolidated sand formations may be gravel
packed to help prevent sand cavings from filling the bottom section of the injection casing. Where the well is to
be gravel packed, a large-diameter hole is reamed below
the end of the injection casing and the cavity is filled with
gravel. Gravel packing is also accomplished by placing
either a perforated liner or a screen in the well so that
it extends below the casing, and gravel is introduced
through the annular space and placed around the liner with
the aid of a circulating fluid (Fig. 14.7).
To protect the casing, a disposal well usually uses tubing when a highly corrosive waste is injected down the
hole. The practice of placing a packer below the last casing
point, where feasible, helps to isolate the cement from
the waste-disposal fluid, thereby allowing a greater latitude in the selection of cement as well as assuring the permeability of the well completion. The casing string
exposed to a corrosive disposal fluid should be Made from
high-strength alloys such as Incaloy 825, Hasteloy, or
Carpenter 20. 24
Cementing Materials. Once the casing is set to the
desired depth, cement slurry should be circulated to the
surface with a material that will offer maximum resistance
to the disposal effluent being pumped into the well. No
well
single cementing material will fit every disposalproblem. 24 Cements should be tested with specific effluents to determine which works best. Some of the more
commonly used compositions are zero tricalcium
aluminate (C3 A) cements densified with dispersants and
mixed with very little water. For highly corrosive environments, plastics, resins, or resin cementing compositions should be considered (see Sec. 2.7).

SPECIAL CEMENTING APPLICATIONS

Some cementing compositions have been especially designed to be compatible with the disposal effluentwith
radioactive or toxic waste, for example. 25 '26 The waste
is added through an inductor to the cement slurry and
pumped into a suitable subsurface stratum for storage. Experimental work in dry shale sections with waste of lowand medium-level radioactivity indicates that the set cement remains permanently stored in a reacted state. 27

14.5 Steam-Producing Wells


The development of drilling techniques and cementing materials for deep, hot oil wells where temperatures range
to 500 F has made it possible to cement shallower geothermal steam wells having static bottomhole temperatures
in excess of 600F. The hottest of these wells have been
drilled in the Salton Sea area of California to depths of
5,000 to 9,000 ft for the recovery of a high-mineralcontent steam containing rare metals.28 Steam wells have
also been drilled for the operation of steam generators to
produce electrical power in Iceland, Italy, New Zealand,
Japan, Mexico, and other parts of the world where large
quantities of geothermal energy are found at shallow
depths. One of the most publicized steam-recovery projects outside the U.S. is the Wairakei project in New
Zealand. 29
Steam recovery projects were instituted in the U.S. as
early as 1920 near San Francisco (see Fig. 14.8). Some
300 to 400 wells have been drilled there since 1957. 30,31
These steam wells represent some of the hottest and
deepest steam deposits found anywhere in the world. 32'33
The temperature gradientapproximately 13F per 100
ft of depthimposes rather unusual demands on drilling
muds, casing, and cement used to bond the casing to the
formation. 34 Casing in steam wells is affected by temperature and undergoes creep or elongation by thermal
expansion unless cemented to surface. Some of the earlier wells drilled for the recovery of geothermal steam used
casing designed especially to withstand high temperatures.
For later wells, however, standard oilfield casing programs were found satisfactory, particularly when casing
was cemented to surface. 35
Because of the extremely high temperatures in steam
wells, drilling mud must be circulated through a cooling
system before being circulated back into the well to reduce
bottomhole circulation temperatures as much as possible
before cementing. Cement should be circulated to the surface on every string of pipe to reduce buckling and
minimize casing creep. Also, the cement must be placed
in such a way that the pipe cannot be blown out of the hole.
Casing Design. The main consideration in designing a
casing program for steam wells is to have sufficient
strength to resist longitudinal, tensile, and compressive
forces, and the collapse and bursting forces to which the
casing may be subjected. Collapse or tension failures
occur when the casing is not properly cemented in the
hole and to the surface. It appears that collapse failure
is caused by heat expansion of undisplaced drilling fluid
or excess water that has separated from the cement slurry and become confined in pockets in the annular space
around the casing (Fig. 14.9). To minimize these failures,
steam wells should be completely cemented to the surface even though thermal stresses are believed to be very
high (Figs. 14.10 through 14.12). 36

Fig. 14.8Northern California steam well.

Hot water, steam

Elongated
casing

Bending
stresses

Enlarged hole,
lost circulation
zone, etc.

Fig. 14.9Casing buckling of unsupported pipe with


heating.

CEMENTING

182

Surface Casing
16"-20" hole
Set to = 100 feet

Intermediate Casing
133/8"-171/2" hole
Set = 1,200 feet

Production Casing
95/e"-121/4" hole
Set = 8,000 feet or
deeper
FtHST F 450-550F

Note - All slurries should be


mixed for 0% free water.

API Class G Cement


40% Silica Flour
API Class G Cement
1 cu ft Perlite
3% Bentonite
Friction Reducer
Fluid Loss Agent
Retarder
Stage Cement Tool
(2-3 stages) location
based on fracture
gradient
API Class G Cement
1 cu ft Perlite
3% Bentonite
40% Silica Flour
Friction Reducer
Fluid Loss Agent
Retarder
(Basic cementing
composition used on
both stages of
production string)

Fig. 14.10Imperial Valley casing program.

The effects of temperature on the modulus of elasticity


of the various grades of steel are variable. In most calculations, however, the modulus of 30 x 10 6 is normally
used. The modulus of elasticity of Grades J55, P110, and
P105 appears to decrease slightly from room temperature
through 700F. Above 700F, the modulus decreases
rapidly for both P105 and P110 steels. The modulus for
the N80 steel was shown to decrease continuously with
increasing temperature to 15.7 x 106 psi at 900F.

Casing-design considerations, after the diameter is


selected, include the following. 37
1. Use of low-to-moderate-strength steels for maximum
resistance to fluid, CO 2 and gas corrosion, work hardening, and possible H 2 S-stress-corrosion cracking.
2. Selection of weight and grade by basic tension, burst
(internal yield), and collapse calculations.
3. Use of API Buttress-type couplings (or other premium couplings) to prevent failures and thermally induced
stress in hole enlargements and to elminate coupling
recesses for corrosion protection.
Cementing Materials. Before cementing steam wells, it
is necessary to laboratory-test the specially designed cement under simulated field conditions. Achieving those
conditions is very difficult. The pressure/temperature
thickening-time tester is limited to about 450F; therefore, specimens are usually preheated in the tester so that
during the actual test the critical temperature gradients
can be reached.
The selection of proper cementing compositions for
steam wells has been researched by various companies,
agencies, and committees. 34 Comprehensive studies on
cementing specimens actually stored in downhole steam
environments have been documented in the U.S. and Europe. The same basic findings have been reported by independent groups in both Italy and California. 38
The examined basic slurries (API Classes A, G, and
H) underwent a retrogression of the compressive strength
when temperatures increased above 230F. 3941
At high temperatures, in the range of 390 to 570F,
when curing time increased, the compressive strength of
the slurries rapidly decreased. Only the Class G type cement with 40 % silica showed sufficient compressive

Expanding
Well Need
Conductor Casing
20" - 26" hole
H-40 - 94 ppf
Set 100 - 300 feet

Surface Casing
133/8" - 171/2" hole
K-55 - 61 ppf
Buttress thread
Set Ca 3,000 - 3,200 feet

Intermediate Casing
95/e" - 121/4" hole
N-80 - 43.5 ppf
Hydril SEU
Set 6. 6,000 - 6,500 feet

Production Liner
(Mech. Hanger)
7" set in 81/2" hole
Hydril SEU
9,780 feet

BHST - 600-65trF

Cement

20"-26" hole
Set at 100-150 feet

HLC Cement
40% Silica Flour
Cement Friction Reducer
Fluid Loss AgentRetarder

Surface Casing

Stage Tool - Location based


on fracture gradient
1st Stage - API Class G Cement
40% Silica Flour
Filler Additive
Friction Reducer
Bentonite
Fluid Loss Agent
2nd Stage - API Class G Cement
1 cu ft Perlite
Bentonite
Friction Reducer
Fluid Loss Agent
Retarder

Liner
API Class G Cement

Note Flushes ahead of cement slurry


on surface and intermediate strings

Conductor Casing

API Class G Cement


40% Silica Flour
Cement Friction Reducer

40% Silica Flour


Filler Additive
Friction Reducer
Bentonite
Fluid Loss Agent

Fig. 14.11Baja California, Mexico, Cerro Prieto field


casing program.

133/e-171/2" hole
Buttress thread
Set at 2,000-2,500 feet
K-55-61 ppf

Production Liner
95/e"-121/4" hole
Buttress thread
36-40 ppf
Set at 5,000-5,800 feet

Expanding
Well Head
Cement
Surface
API Class G
3% Calcium Chloride
Plus
API Class G
40% Silica Flour
2% Calcium Chloride

Intermediate
API Class G Cement
35% Silica Flour
1 cu ft Perlite
3% Bentonite
Friction Reducer

Liner - Lead Slurry


API Class G Cement
40% Silica Flour
1 cu ft Perlite
3% Bentonite
Friction Reducer
Retarder
Tall in Slurry

Open Hole
83/4 to 7,000-10,000 feet
BHST 450-525F

API Class G Cement


40% Silica Flour
educer
Friction Reducer
Retarder

Note: - Liner top sometimes squeezed, tie back string usually 103/4"
All slurries mixed for 0% free water.
Preflushes used on all strings.

Fig. 14.12Northern California Geysers-area casing


program.

SPECIAL CEMENTING APPLICATIONS

183

TABLE 14.3PROPERTIES OF CEMENTS USED IN HIGH-TEMPERATURE STEAM WELLS 34


API Class G Cement

Water
(gal/sack)

Silica
Flour
(%)

5.2
6.8
12.5
24.3

40
30
30

Silica Flour
(%)

Perlite
(cu ft/sack)
0
0
1
3

0
40
40
40
Silica Flour
(%)
40
50

Bentonite
(%)

2.0
2.0

Perlite
(cu ft/sack)

Mean
Temperature
(F)

Test
Interval
(hours)

Heat Transfer
Coefficient, *
2-in.
Cement Sheath,
Btu/(hr-ft-F)

1.0
3.0

275
433
644
468

125
125
144
144

4.49
2.90
1.92
2.00

Compressive Strength (psi)** 1- After a Curing Time of


3 days

1 day
425
3,890
2,425
1,240

475
6,340
2,620
1,300

(545)
(7,330)
(3,690)
(1,690)

7 days

(545)
(11,025)
(3,580)
(1,735)

555
6,500
2,875
1,350

(425)
(10,010)
(3,975)
(1,825)

Compre-sive Strength (psi)/Water Permeability (md) After Curing 27 Days**


API Class A Cement

API Class G Cement

7,525/0.065
9,625/0.101

7,875/0.036
9,580/0.023

'Values established on API Class A Cement. However, values using API Class G cement should be comparable.
'Curing temperature, 460F; curing pressure, 3,000 psi.
Values in parentheses are compressive strengths of specimens cured the designated time at 440F, then 3 days at 725F.

strength and durability with time. As far as mechanical


strength was concerned, this mixture was the most
suitable.
Other observations from these studies were noted: API
Class G Cement could be used to about 170F, whereas
at higher temperatures up to 600F, it was necessary to
add a retarder, depending on the temperature.
The fluid loss of this composition is more or less equal
to the filtrate of a neat cement slurry which is in the area
of 1,000 mL on the basis of the API test. The addition
of other products such as retarding agents, bentonite,
mica, and gilsonite does not affect the fluid loss very
much. Filtration control agents, however, will reduce fluid
loss values to less than 60 mL.
The rheological characteristics of API Class G cement
with silica flour are not much different from those of a
neat cement slurry and are further improved by the adddition of the retarding agent and/or friction-reducing
materials. Typical values of the physical properties of API
Class G cement with and without bentonite and silica flour
as used in the California steam wells are listed in
Table 14.3.

14.6 Thermal-Recovery Wells


Thermal-recovery wells fall into two categories: steam
injection and/or air or oxygen injection. In each of these
situations, the injection well may be an old well or a newly
completed well. Older wells may not be properly completed for the stresses associated with the high temperatures involved in the completion process, resulting in
workovers or abandonment.
Steam injection wells may be cyclic steam or continuous steamflooding. Cyclic steam is very simple because
a predetermined volume of steam is injected into a well
for a given period that may vary from a very short to a
very long injection depending on the reservoir conditions.

The injection and production cycles are repeated until the


WOR is too high for economical production (Fig. 14.13).
With the steamflooding process, a continuous flow of
steam is injected in the input well and migrates to the output well. (Fig. 14.14).
Hole-Casing Conditions. Significant problems with the
steamdrive include casing failures, steam confinement,
prevention of override, channeling, and heat transfer within the wellbore and formation.
The injection wells for steamfloods must withstand temperatures similar to geothermal wells (up to 600F), but
not until steam injection begins. During primary cementing, the wells usually have the normal temperature gradients encountered at various depths.
Because the initial downhole conditions are similar to
other shallow wells, the placement techniques required
are also similar. Cementing compositions and slurry de-

HUFF digestion phase)


Days to Weeks

SOAK (Shut-1n phase)


Days

PUFF (Production plume)


- Weeks W Months

Dissipating

ti

riins
011
PRODUCED,
FLUIDS

Fig. 14.13Cyclic-steam stimulation.

CEMENTING

184
TABLE 14.4-ELONGATION OF TUBING AND CASING CAUSED BY TEMPERATURE CHANGES 42

Length
of
Pipe
(ft)

50
2.07
4.14
6.21
8.28
10.35
12.42
14.49
16.56

500
1,000
1,500
2,000
2,500
3,000
3,500
4,000

100
4.14
8.28
12.42
16.56
20.70
24.84
28.98
33.12

200

150
6.21
12.42
18.63
24.84
31.05
37.26
43.47
49.68

8.28
16.56
24.84
33.12
41.40
49.68
57.96
66.24

Temperature (F)
300
250

sign, however, are altogether different. Lost circulation


may not be a consideration, but there may be a definite
need for thermal insulation. To get as much "heat" into
the target formation as possible, the amount of heat loss
on the way down must be kept to a minimum. Also,
strength stability could be an even greater concern in
steam injection wells because of the intermittent nature
of steamflooding operations. The cementing compositions
and tubular goods may undergo alternate periods of heating and cooling, with temperatures ranging from normal
static to 600 F (Figs. 14.15A through 14.15D and Table
14.4). 43
Cementing Materials. To provide a complete, competent cement sheath in these wells, API Class A, G, or H
cement, with 30 to 60% silica flour, is generally used to
prevent strength retrogression. For low thermal conductivity, microspheres cement is also recommended. Actual slurry design may include any of the other materials
and additives that are available to correct specific well
problems.

14.7 Wells for Fireflood


Fireflood or in-situ combustion wells are normally shallow, low-temperature wells when initially cemented. Af-

Production Weil

I Injection Well

Drive
Water

Water
Injection
Pump

Additional
Oil
Recovery

Fig. 14.14-Steamflooding.

Inches
12.42
24.84
37.26
49.68
62.10
74.52
86.94
99.36

10.35
20.70
31.05
41.40
51.75
62.10
72.45
82.80

350

400

450

500

14.49
28.98
43.47
57.96
72.45
86.94
101.43
115.92

16.56
33.12
49.68
66.24
82.80
99.36
115.92
132.48

18.63
20.70
37.26
41.40
55.89
62.10
74.52
82.80
93.15
103.50
111.78
124.20
130.41
144.90
159.04 165.60

ter completion, however, when the injection well is fired,


temperatures may range from 750 to 2,000F. The maximum temperature reached around the wellbore and
casing, and the temperature's duration, will vary depending on the method of operation and the conditions in the
well (Fig. 14.16).
Well Problems. More in-situ combustion wells are
failures than successes. The causes of failure include (1)
sanding problems caused by large volumes of combus- _
tion gas, (2) explosions in injection lines, injection wells,
and compressors, (3) destruction of tubulars by high temperatures, (4) tight emulsions produced by surfactants,
(5) poor sweep efficiencies resulting from reservoir inhomogeneities, and (6) not having enough fuel to sustain
combustion. 44
The three "musts" in a combustion well are (1) sufficient injectivity to maintain combustion, (2) communication to get rid of inert gases (N2) and combustion
products, and (3) complete oxygen consumption. I
Cementing Materials. Cement in an in-situ combustion
well is used to provide a uniform cement sheath around
the pipe. Because of the wide range of possible temperatures, however, the cementing composition selected for
each well can be critical (Fig. 14.17).
The probable maximum temperature of the fire front
at the time of ignition and progression must first be established. If the temperature will be less than 750F, an
API Class A, G, or H cement containing from 40 to 60%
silica flour may be used satisfactorily. The silica flour is
added to control the strength stability within the set
cement.
If the temperature is anticipated to be greater than
750F, a calcium-aluminate (refractory-type) cement containing 40 to 60% silica flour as an inert filler should be
considered. This material has been proven to withstand
temperatures to 1,500F for long periods of time under
adverse temperature conditions (Fig. 14.18).
A lower-cost slurry, such as Portland cement, can be
used to fill the upper annulus of the well if cement returnsto surface are necessary. The calcium-aluminate slurry
may be used across the lower portion of the annulus to
about 150 ft above the fire zone.
Other compositions, even the ones recommended for
geothermal and steam injection wells, may crack, shrink,
or disintegrate at temperatures above 750F.

185

SPECIAL CEMENTING APPLICATIONS

4
.31

Fig. 14.15ATypical well, immediately before casingsteam injection. 43

Fig. 14.15CTypical well, 75 minutes after beginning


steam-injection down casing. (Boil-off of cellar fluids nearing completion.) 43

Fig. 14.15BTypical well, 15 minutes after beginning


steam-injection down casing. (Steam in background resulting from boil-off of cellar fluids.)43

Fig. 14.15DTypical well, 6% hours after beginning steaminjection down casing. (Cellar essentially dry; only minor
indication of steam remains from tubing head and tubing
plug valve leaks.)43

CEMENTING

186
Production Well I
Injection Well I

: .5.,
c ,

'''' ''':
11.-1.....
iii...-- : .
,.

I.

,i

Water

'a
- .-... '' i.
-- ''-'4- .'''''

i
10
11
l
1.11.

Oil
and

I Combustion Gases I

lit

i i
a
I
I.

Fig. 14.16In-situ combustion.

14.8 Wells Used for Coal Gasification


Fireflood wells used for coal gasification may range in
depth from a few hundred to several thousand feet. Downhole coal seams prior to firing for in-situ gasification
usually have low temperatures similar to most oil and gas
wells.
This is an advantage during the initial cementing operation. The casing generally can be cemented without requiring any special placement techniques other than
centralization and pipe movement.
Cementing Materials. The cementing composition, how-

ever, may have to withstand temperatures as high as


2,500F once it is set, depending on the type of solid fuel
to be reacted. This requires not only a thermally stable
cement, but also one that has thermal-insulating properties.
Because coal conversion processes create temperatures
in excess of 1,300F, a refractory-type cement must be
used to cement the casing. A calcium-aluminate cement
containing 40 to 60% silica flour is used commonly for
temperatures up to 1,500F, while a 1:1 mixture of

calcium-aluminate and calcined clay is recommended for


temperatures from 1,500 to 2,000F or more (Fig. 14.18).

14.9 Miscible Flooding Wells (CO2)


The drilling and designing of wells for most types of miscible flooding require the same basic practices as any other
well at similar depth (Fig. 14.19). Studies on the durability of cementing compositions in CO2 environments
show decomposition within the crystalline structure with
,time. This is caused by the influence of carbonation from
the CO2 during the ,cement hydration process. The most
durable material for CO2 wells appears to be low-C 3 A
cement containing pozzolans mixed with a low water content. These systems under both static and dynamic conditions exhibited the greater durability to supercritical
CO 2 environments (Table 14.5).45

14.10 Cementing in
Permafrost Environments
Until the discovery of large oil deposits in the arctic region
of Alaska in 1968, very little information had been reported on well completions in permafrost environments. One
of the earliest accounts emphasizing the cementing of wells
dates from 1952. 46 It describes the setting and cementing of casing in wells at the Naval Reserve area of northern Alaska at temperatures below freezing. 46-48 Before
the discovery at Prudhoe Bay, not a great number of wells
had been cemented in severe permafrost in northern Canada or Alaska.
Permafrost may be defined as any permanently frozen
(continuous) subsurface formation. It may exist from a
few feet to depths of 2,000 ft (Figs. 2.4 and 14.20).
Below this frozen section, the depth/temperature gradients are normal; however, since the surface temperature is so cold, the underlying formations, whether dry
or water saturated, do not reach a temperature of 32F
until a certain depth is reached.
In the Arctic Islands, the formations are fairly well consolidated, so that thawing during drilling and cementing
does not appear to be a major problem. Many frozen formations are strong enough that the holes remain in gauge
despite some melting. In the Mackenzie Delta and other
continental regions of Canada, the shallow formations frequently consist of ice lenses and frozen muskeg (discontinuous permafrost). Experts have noted that in Alaska,

Fig. 14.17Cements used in steam-injection-well studies remained durable after 2 years at


660F.

187

SPECIAL CEMENTING APPLICATIONS


TABLE 14.5CEMENTING COMPOSITIONS FOR CO FLOODING. HIGH-TEMPERATURE/HIGHPRESSURE TESTING (STATIC AND2DYNAMIC CONDITIONS).
Compressive Strength (psi)

Curing
Temperature
(F)

Curing
Pressure
(psi)

Carbonation
Time
(days)

Control

CO 2

API Class H Cement


API Class H pozzolan cement

180
255

2,800
2,800

60
14"

4,200
4,130

3,942
4,146

API Class C cement


API Class C cement

255
255

6,500
6,500

35
35

4,584
6,935

6,161
7,723

API Class B cement


Calcium aluminate cement

255
255

6,500
6,500

21
28

6,132
8,511

9,314
9,431

Composition

*Dynamic conditions.

10 COMPRESSIVESTRENGTH (PSI x 1000)

however, the thickness of permafrost varies, depending


on where it is. 49,50 Permafrost thins out in the ocean and
certain lake areas and disappears completely offshore in
water depths of 10 ft or more. It varies in ice content
some sections are as little as 20% ice and others as much
as 90%. It resembles snow. Ice lenses, which are composed of a complex growth of ice crystals and fine particles of clay, also occur in permafrost. The ice lenses vary
in thickness from a fraction of an inch to several feet.
Measured temperatures at depths of 25 to 100 ft range
from 8 to 15F and increase steadily to the freezing point
at the bottom of the permafrost. Warm spots (above 32F)
have been observed in permafrost, as well as flowing
streams.
Materials for both above-ground and below-ground installations in these remote areas must be selected with
care. 51,52 As temperatures drop below freezing, steel
used for tubing and casing becomes brittle and loses its
ductility, which is vital at low temperatures. Casing subjected to shock loads has been reported to crack. 48 Thus
it must be handled with the utmost care in freezing conditions.
Holes should be drilled with a minimum of thawing
around the wellbore. Melting can cause the thawed earth
to subside, particularly in the upper 200 ft of the well.
If the permafrost melts, drag forces can be transferred
from the soil to the casing (Fig. 14.21). The cement used
should have a low heat of hydration and should develop
strength without freezing at about 20F. The annulus between the casing strings must either be cemented completely to the surface or contain a non-freezing fluid to
prevent the casing damage that can occur when freezable
fluids expand as the permafrost freezes back. 53

7.

6.
5REFRACTORY CEMENT + 40%
SSA.1, 15.9 LB/GAL

4
REFRACTORY CEMENT + 100%
FLYASH, 15.0 LB/GAL

REFRACTORY CEMENT + 100%


CALCINED SHALE, 16.5 LB/GAL

60

CURING TIME (DAYS)

Fig. 14.18High-temperature testing, 3 days at 60F with


14, 28, and 60 days at 1,500F.

Production Well

Injection Well I
4.

45.6,.._
61

0 l'A
.
te:

{4,1-1
r

RIF

Water
Injection
0 Pump

.11.

rfi

.Ir.:I: ................
...............
.......v ra.................=
...........................

.
_mot
.11

iii Drive
L. Water

Completion Techniques. There is no standard casing program for well completions in permafrost. Each area has
a different casing design that is based on drilling objectives and well economics. The two distinct casing-hole
relationships to be considered 54 involve pipe, cements,
and materials used through the permafrost, and the cementing materials and casing used below the permafrost.
Greater emphasis is placed on the section that goes through
the permafrost.
A standard practice is to set all surface pipe several
hundred feet below any permafrost and cement it back
to the surface. Thus a trend is established to cover shallow hydrocarbon zones with a deeper surface casing. Surface casing of 3,000 to 4,000 ft is not uncommon.

26

14

11
il1..

COD

is2,1

1 WATER]

Mr.thi

Oil
Bank

Additional
011

1 , Recovery
ry

"""1

,,.

Fig. 14.190O2 . flooding.

188

CEMENTING

ABZWIV

ACTIVE LAYER

11
0111-11111
I
p
lIMMI1

10

100ES NOT ALWAYS


EXTEND TO PERMA
OST TABLE)

PERMAFROST
. TABLE

PERMAFROST

//
PERMAFROST
/
/
(HUNDREDS OF
FEET THICK)

TARLy

/PERMAFROST
(THICKNESS VARIES
FROM A FEW TO
TENS OF FEET)

15

20

4,

DISCONTINUOUS ZONE

CONTINOUS ZONE

Fig. 14.20Structures of continuous and discontinuous


permafrost. 49

Typically, 80 to 100 ft of conductor is set. This may be


16-, 20- or 30-in. conductor depending on well objectives
and is done with a rathole machine before the rig is moved
onto location.
The surface hole generally is drilled as quickly as possible after moving on location. Holes that formerly required several days are now done in less than 24 hours.
This is accomplished by virtually washing the hole down.
In areas containing large gravel, such as Prudhoe Bay,

very-high-viscosity muds are used to lift the gravel. In


fine gravel, a thinner mud can be used.
The following precautions should be taken in dealing
with permafrost:
1. Use high-strength ductile casing designed for subfreezing conditions.
2. Design the cementing and casing programs so that
injection fluids or warm oil produced during the life of
the well cannot harm or melt the permafrost section.
3. Leave no fluid in the annulus through the permafrost
that might freeze and damage the casing.
To minimize the effects of warm fluids either during
drilling or during production, some operators have insulated wells to depths of 600 to 800 ft. 52 In earlier wells,
a 16-in. casing was left uncemented between the 20-in.
and the 13%-in. casings. This way refrigerant fluids could
be circulated between the casing strings if insulation was
required through the permafrost. These precautions were
taken on the basis of thermal model studies that showed
the amount of thawing that could result from producing
warm oil over prolonged periods (see Fig. 14.22).
The need to eliminate freezable substances in the annulus between casing strings after cementing cannot be
overemphasized. Bursting or collapsing of surface casing
in permafrost has been attributed to ice rings formed from
water or water-based drilling fluids left in the annular
space; those fluids increase in volume some 9% upon
freezing.55 Such forces develop slowly, generally over
a period of 3 to 5 months. The expanding ice usually collapses the inner string.
Various casing programs have been used to combat the
ice forces. Fig. 14.23 illustrates some of the more basic
casing designs. While many problems have already been

FROZEN

400
800 a
a)

0 1200 SILT COMPRESSION


''.

1600 -

t
t
`TENSION

2000 -

COMPRESSION
t

2 3 4 5

I
I
COMPRESSION
TENSION

II

II

PERMAFROST
BASE
UPLIFTS

Fig. 14.21Pore-pressure reduction in thawed permafrost


acts across the thawed/frozen interface and generates
body forces in the vertical direction. These loads induce
alternating compression and tension in layered lithology
and uplift of the permafrost base. 53

10
Radius, ft

20 30 40 50

21/2 in. of insulation inside 133/8 in. casing to 700 ft


Geothermal gradient 0.012 F/ft above 2,000 ft.
Thermal conductivity of earth: 20 Btu/(day ft F) below 2,000 ft.
Thermal conductivity of earth: 30 Btu/(day ft F) below 2,000 ft.
Flow Rate: 15,000 BOPD
Time: 20 years.
Fig. 14.22Thaw profile for permafrost to depth of
2,000 ft. 52 .

189

SPECIAL CEMENTING APPLICATIONS

30-in.
Conductor
Pipe

30-in
Conductor
Pipe

20-in.
Surface
Pipe

20-in. Surface
Pipe with Slip
Joints through
Permafrost

Surface
Casing

16-in.
Uncemented
Pipe

133/e-in.
Casing

133/4-in.
Casing

Subsea Hanger

103/4/-in. Casing
Swaged to
93/a-in. Casing

Subsea Hanger
133/8-in.
Casing

20-in. Casing in
41E-- 26-in. Hole to
2,300 ft.
133/e-in. Casing
Swaged to 93/8-in.
Casing below
Permafrost
Packer

93/8-in.
Casing
.4 93/e-in.
Production Casing

CASING WITH
MOVABLE SLIP JOINTS
THROUGH PERMAFROST

7-in.
Production Casing

CASING PREPARED TO
CIRCULATE REFRIGERATION
FLUID THROUGH PERMAFROST
Annulus void
or filled with
nonfreezing
fluid

7-in.
Production Casing

CASING INSULATED
THROUGH PERMAFROST

7 or 67/8-in.
Liner

CASING CEMENTED
COMPLETELY TO SURFACE
ON ALL STRINGS

Cement 11 Polyurethane
Foam

Fig. 14.23Completion techniques used through permafrost.

encountered and solved, with prolonged production of


warm oil many new ones could develop.
In designing a casing program, drag-down forces, subsidence, and freeze-back must be considered. Most operators agree that casing must be strong enough to resist
subsiding effects; therefore, 13%-in. (N-80, 68-lbm/ft)
casing is commonly set through the permafrost zone.
Cementing Compositions. Considerable research has
gone into designing cement for permafrost regions. 55-61
Any composition used to bond pipe to ice or pipe to pipe
should have a low heat of hydration to prevent hole enlargement caused by melting or erosion and to allow the
cement to set at temperatures of 15 to 32F without requiring excessive heating of the mixing water. Also, in
a minimum of time, it should develop adequate strength
to support the pipe and to bond to the permafrost. The
cement sheath should be thick enough to prevent further
thawing of the permafrost.
Usually, with 30-in. conductor pipe and 20-in. surface
casing, gypsum Portland cements with freeze suppressant
are used (Fig. 14.24). Below the permafrost, API Class
G cement with dispersant and retarder for placement is
commonly used for 13%-, 9%-, and 7-in. casing programs.
Because gypsum is one of the few materials that will set
in subfreezing weather, gypsum cement blends are highly suitable for the permafrost regions. (Research 46 has
shown that regular Portland cements or high-earlystrength cementsAPI Class Caccelerated with or
without salt are not satisfactory.) In a few of the early
casing programs on the Naval Reserve wells, pure gypsum cement (Cal-Seal) was successfully used to cement
surface pipe. Table 14.6 lists the properties of both gypsum cement and refractory cements in these environments.

Fig. 14.24Permafrost cement set in a block of ice.

CEMENTING

190

TABLE 14.6THERMAL PROPERTIES OF


CEMENTS USED IN PERMAFROST

Cement
Refractory
Gypsum-Portland

Heat of
Hydration
(Btu/lbm of slurry)

0.375
0.486

92 to 115
12 to 14

a 16
UO 14
FO 12
10

co 8

cr

LLI
0

O
10 12 14 16 18

20 22 24 26 28 30 32

FREEZING TEMPERATURE OF SALT WATER

Fig. 14.25Salt concentration vs. freezing temperatures. 55

110
u_
-100
w
cc
90

140 1,7,1120 u;
100 cc
80 1,?_
60 <
cc
40 w
20 QM
w
-20 I

GC
u J 80
0
2
w 70
cc

60

D50
co

0.0085
0.0094

114
90

To suppress the freezing point of the cement slurry during the setting process, sodium chloride is often used. Fig.
14.25 shows how the freezing temperature of salt water
varies with the concentration of salt. The slurry temperature that results when cold water and cold cement are
mixed is shown in Fig. 14.26.
Most slurries used in the permafrost regionsregardless
of compositionmust have a fluid time of 2 to 4 hours
because the large pipe, and possible washouts, require
more cement than normal, thus more time for placement. 62 Breakdowns and other unpredictable problems
can arise, and they, too, must be allowed for.

20
cc
F 18

Slurry
Thermal
Conductivity, Diffusivity Weight
(Ibm/cu ft)
(sq ft/hr)
Btu/(hr-ft-F)

40
40 50 60 70 80 90 100
WATER TEMPERATUREF

Fig. 14.26Slurry temperature vs. temperature of mixing


water and of cement solids (neat Class G cement; 44%
water by weight of cement). 55

Summary. While early completions vary, special precautions should be taken never to leave a freezable fluid, such
as water or water-based muds, between strings of pipe
through the permafrost region, where it may freeze. To
minimize damage in permafrost, the following should be
considered.
1. Use drilling fluids to minimize hole enlargements
caused by melting or erosion. The frozen area should be
disturbed as little as possible, and then only as drilling
requires.
2. Displace all water-base fluids from the annulus and
between casing strings with cement or a nonfreezing flush
to reduce the possibility of collapsing or bursting the
casing.
3. Use heavy ductile pipe designed for cold regions.
4. Use gypsum/Portland cement, which sets without
freezing, to provide support for the casing.
5. Insulate the casing to reduce thawing and consequent
down-drag caused by the production of warm oil.
6. Below the permafrost zones, use API Class G cement with enough retarder to allow placement.

1 4.1 1 Cementing (Grouting)


Offshore Structures
While not directly related to oil or gas wells, cementing
technology used in the construction of offshore platforms
is generally performed by the service industry and is very
similar to cementing large conductor or surface pipe. In
grouting, as the process is sometimes called, the cement
compositions are usually mixed with the same materials
and placed with the same continuous pumping
equipment. 63
Placement methods vary with the structure design
Some of the basic techniques follow.
Conventional Two-Stage Technique. This method usually involves a mud-wiper seal at the bottom of the annulus
(Fig. 14.27). This helps to reduce mud contamination of
the annulus as the pile is driven through the jacket leg
and also helps to support the first stage of the grout. This

191

SPECIAL CEMENTING APPLICATIONS


Pile

Pile

Leg or Skirt

Leg or Skirt

2"`I Stage
Grout

Primary Grout
Line
i' Stage Grout
Mud Line

Secondary
Grout Line

Grout Distribution
Ring
Combination
Mud Wiper-Grout Seal

Grout
Line
25d Stage
Grout
Single
Sleeve Flow
Control Valve

Grout
Distribution
Ring

Combination
-4-- Mud Wiper-Grout Seal

1" Stage Grout


Mud Line

Leg Closure

Fig. 14.27Conventional grouting, two stages, two grout


lines required.

technique normally involves running two separate grout


lines from the surface. The first-stage line enters the annulus 5 to 30 ft above the first-stage grout line, depending on the length of plug required. First-stage grout is
normally a quick-set type and fills up to the second-stage
grout line entry level. While the first stage is setting, water
may be circulated through the second-stage grout line to
displace any grout that may have covered the second-stage
port. Once the first-stage grout is set, the second stage
is injected to the desired height in the annulus.
An improvement to this procedure, shown in Fig.
14.28, allows grouting through only one grout line from
the surface to the lower grout inlet. A pipe is run from
the upper grout inlet to a sleeve-type flow control valve
installed in the grout line at the same elevation as the upper grout port. The quick-set grout plug is pumped, then
a ball is dropped through the grout line to seat-in the top
of a sleeve in the flow control valve. As pressure increases
in the grout line, pins shear in the flow-control valve, allowing an internal sleeve to move down. The ball shuts
off flow to the lower grout port and downward movement
of the sleeve opens flow to the upper port. The second
stage is then placed through the upper port.
Packer Technique. The packer method provides a highpressure seal that may allow the grouting operation to be
completed in one stage. Grouting in one stage saves time
by eliminating the waiting time for a plug to set. The increased hydrostatic head of grout may aid bonding of the
grout to the metal surface. High-strength packers are
available for grouting in one stage at very deep water
depths.
In leg grouting, a packer is attached to the lower end
of the leg and the inflation and grout lines run down the
outside of the structure (Fig. 14.29). The grout line should
enter the pile-leg annulus as close to the top of the packer
as possible to allow the displacement of all water from
the leg. After the pile is driven to grade, the packer is

Leg Closure

Fig. 14.28Improved method, two stages, one grout line


required. Grouting with mechanical seals.

inflated with either liquid or gas. Liquid is more desirable than gas because it gives more positive control of
inflation pressure and equalizes hydrostatic pressure inside the packer.
The use of liquid for inflation reduces the chance of
error in obtaining the proper inflation pressure because
the pressure reading on the surface gauge is the inflation
pressure in the packer. If the grout pressures at the packer exceed those expected, any increase in pressure above
the pressure used to inflate the packer will directly increase the pressure inside the packer sealing element with
no significant packer deflection, thereby helping to pre-

.
.

Pile

.
. .4 Leg or Skirt

Grout Placed
in One Stage
Inflation --).
Line
Grout
Distribution
Ring
Mud Line -Th4

.
.

. .4-- Grout
Line

.
-4(---- Packer
......
Leg Closure

Fig. 14.29Packer grouting of leg or skirt (packer at bottom only). One stage, one grout line required.

192

CEMENTING
TABLE 14.7SUMMARY OF SPECIAL CEMENTING APPLICATIONS
Cementing Procedure

Characteristics

Applications

Cementing Materials

Variable depths.
Detailed job planning
required.
Large volumes of cement
usually required.
Normally low-temperature
cementing conditions.
Casing fabricated near job
site.
Critical to collapse
pressure and flotation.
Special casing equipment
and cement plugs.

Usually performed by innerstring method with special


float at bottom. Surface
packoff to control flow.
Casing may or may not be
filled with fluid.
Annular grout lines may be
used to fill to surface.
May be or may not
be centralized.

Water Wells

Normally shallow depths.


For individual, industrial, or
irrigation applications.
May be regulated by local,
state, or governmental
group.
Completion technique may
vary with aquifer location
and water volume.
Abandonment procedures
highly regulated in some
-states.

Standard cementing
practices for oil or gas
wells usually followed.
Small volumes of cement
usually required.
Placement time normally
not critical unless industrial
or irrigation well.
Casings should be
centralized for uniform
cement distribution.

API Class A, C, G, or H (ASTM


Type I or III.)
Bentonite may be used as filler
to reduce slurry weight.
Sand sometimes used as filler.
Ready-mix concrete sometimes
used at shallow depths.

Steam Producing

Well depths vary from


4,000 to 9,000 ft.
Temperatures 500 to
700F.
Casing designs and
cementing technique very
critical.
Well may be circulated to
reduce temperature before
cementing.

Testing of all cementing


systems critical to
placement; pumpability
very important.
Fracture gradient may be
critical at time of cement
placement.
Lost circulation frequently
critical.

API Class G, H.
40 to 60% silica flour.
Retarders/dispersants.
May contain spheres for
insulation.
Should be heat stable.

Large Hole

Upper Sleeve
Closure (Optional)

Upper Packer
Inflation Line
4

Upper Packer ---).-

Lower Packer ---).Inflation Line

Grout
Distribution --*A- E
Line
Mud Line --)

Grout Return

Line

Grout
Line

Skirt or Sleeve

: ite

4
Rilt

Lower Packer
Lower Sleeve
Closure

Fig. 14.30Skirt or sleeve grouting, two-packer method.

API Class A, G, or H with


pozzolans or extenders added
to reduce heat of hydration.

vent grout leakage. If a gas such as nitrogen is used,


hydrostatic pressure must be calculated and added to the
required inflation pressure to support the grout head.

Skirt or Sleeve Grouting with Packers. The use of packers for grouting of skirt piles provides a greater flexibility in placement techniques (Fig. 14.30). A packer may
be located at the bottom of the skirt sleeve where it is inflated and the annulus is grouted in the same manner as
for leg grouting, or a packer may be located at the top
and bottom of the skirt sleeve. Inflation lines are run to
each packer through grout lines attached just above the
lower packer. The grout return is run from just below
the upper packer back to the surface. The skirt-type pile
annulus can be grouted three different ways.
1. The top and bottom packers are inflated to the desired
pressures. Grout is pumped into the sleeve at the bottom.
The grout is used to displace the water from the sleeve
and pumping is continued until the desired quality of grout
is observed coming from the grout return line at the
surface.
Grout dilution by water is often given as an objection
to this method. Water-cut grout, however, can be greatly reduced by providing multiple grout-entry points around
the circumference of the leg or skirt. Normal spacing for
grout points is 18 to 24 in.

193

SPECIAL CEMENTING APPLICATIONS


TABLE 14.7SUMMARY OF SPECIAL CEMENTING APPLICATIONS (cont.)
Applications

Characteristics

Cementing Procedure

Cementing Materials

Depths may be shallow or


deep.
Casing design and
cementing procedures
depend upon effluent
being disposed.
Disposal zone usually
regulated by state or
federal agencies.
Usually requires special
alloy casing and tubing.
Casing may be set through
or on top of disposal zone.
Centralization critical for
cement distribution.

Follows most basic oil and


gas completion techniques.
Special completion
emphasis through disposal
zones.
Cement may not be used.
Resins sometimes used
across and through
disposal zone; testing of
material very critical.
Uniform coverage with
cement is necessary for
zonal isolation.

API Class G-H cement except


across disposal zone.
Zero C3A cement or special
resin formulation commonly
used across critical zone of
disposal.

Thermal Recovery
Wells (Steam
Injection, Cyclic
Steam, In-situ
Combustion, and
CO2)

Usually done in shallow


wells with low temperatures
at time of completion.
May require special type of
casing for wellbore
conditions.
Casing elongation may be
problem while injecting.
Lower casing section may be
cemented and upper area
pretensioned before and
during setting of cement to
prevent elongation with
temperature.
Centralization critical for
cement distribution.

Normally follows basic oil


and gas completions.
Special high-temperature
(refractory) cements may be
required for steam and/or
thermal wells.
CO 2-resistant cement may
be used across injection
area.

With exception of fire area or


injection zones, cement usually
API classes A, C, G, or H, with
40 to 60% silica flour.
Special refractory cements with
30 to 40% silica flour for fire
areas.
CO 2-resistant cements for
injection area.

Permafrost
Environments

Completion through
permafrost critical, 15 to
32F.
Freezing and thawing
through permafrost should
be minimized during drilling
and completion.
Expansion and contraction
cycles should be
considered.
Below permafrost, normal oil
and gas well considerations
followed.

All freezable fluids through


permafrost should be
displaced during cementing
process.
Cementing may be done by
inner-string method.
When large volume of
cement is used, pumpability
may be critical.

Special permafrost formulation


(freeze-resistant) through frozen
area.
Below permafrost, API Class G or
H cement with retarders, friction
reducers, filtration additives.

Offshore Platform
Grouting

Low-temperature cementing
conditions.
Critical to construction
requirements of platform.
Special packers and grout
lines may be required for
cement placement.
Large volumes of cement
may be necessary.

Displacement technique
variable with platform
design.
Normally done through grout
lines.
Volume of cement may be
large or small.

Disposal Wells

2. The upper packer is inflated. Air is injected through


the grout return lines under sufficient pressure to expel
all the water out the lower end of the sleeve. Once the
water has been displaced from the sleeve, the lower packer
is set and the grout is pumped in the skirt.
Care must be taken to make sure the skirt can withstand hydrostatic pressure when air pressure is released
and/or grout is returned to surface.
The advantages of this method are that there is no need
for multiple grout entry ports and there is no water-cutting
of grout.

API classes A, G, or H (ASTM


Type I or III).
Pozzolan and/or bentonite may be
used to reduce heat of
hydration to make grout more
economical.

3. Both upper and lower packers are inflated. Air is


injected through the grout placement line and water is then
airlifted through the grout return line. The advantages to
this method are that the sea floor around the base of the
skirt and the pile is not disturbed when water and air are
expelled, and there is no water-cutting of grout.

14.12 Summary

Table 14.7 summarizes special cementing applications.

194

References
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CEMENTING
33. Anderson, D.N.: "Geothermal Development in California," paper
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Compositions at Elevated Temperatures," J. Pet. Tech. (Feb. 1958)
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Appendix A

Common Primary Cementing


Calculations-Surface Pipe

L1 Problem
Make basic calculations required for surface pipe cementing job.
L2 Desired Information
1. Pipe-diameter area.
2. Lifting pressure on pipe with drilling fluid in hole
and casing full of mud.
3. Volume of cement (sacks).
4. Capacity of shoe joint.
5. Mixing water required (barrels).
6. Fluid to displace top plug to the float collar
'barrels).
7. Pressure to land top plug on float collar.
8. Hydrostatic pressure at 375 ft in the annulus.
9. Resultant upward force on pipe after top plug has
landed.
10. Maximum allowable cement above fracture gradient
point.
A.3 Well Conditions (See Fig. A-1)
Hole size-24 in.
Total hole depth-378 ft.
Casing-18% in., 87.5 lbf/ft set at 375 ft.
Float collar-set at 334 ft.
Fracture gradient-0.4727 psi/ft at 220 ft.
Fluid in hole-8.4 lbm/gal.
Displacement fluid-8.4 lbm/gal.
Cement slurry-API Class A cement; 2% bentonite; 2%
calcium chloride; cement slurry from surface to 375 ft
and inside shoe joint below float collar.
A.4 Calculations
1. Area of the casing =272.44789 sq in. Area is (diameter of casing times diameter of casing) x [7r( =3.1416) =4]
=c1c 2 0.7854
=(18.625 x 18.625) x 0.7854
=272.44789 sq in.

2. Pressure to lift the casing (balance) weight with the


hole and casing full of mud -=- 105.5043 psi. When surface casing is run, zones of unconsolidated sand, rocks,
and swelling clays may bridge the annulus (hole casing).
This prevents the running or pulling of casing. Circulation
and movement of the casing will help to free the string
and allow the operation to continue.
Hydrostatic pressure of well fluid at 375 ft is 163.65 psi.
375 ft x0.4364 psi/ft=163.65 psi.
Hydrostatic pressure will act against the effective area of
the casing, causing an upward force (in pounds) on the
casing. This will be a loss of string weight.
Effective area is
(18.625 in.)2 -(17.755 in.)2 x0.7854
=24.858381 sq in.
Hydrostatic pressure multiplied by the effective area gives
the weight loss:
163.65 psi x24.858381 sq in. =4,068.074 lbft.
Weight of the casing (in air, pounds per foot) multiplied
by the length gives the total weight of the casing string:
87.5 lbf/ft x375 ft =32,812.5
Weight of the casing string minus the weight loss from
upward force gives the weight of the string hanging in
mud in the hole:
32,812.5 lbfi -4,068.074 lbft =28,744.426

196

CEMENTING
TABLE A-1-API CLASS A CEMENT (2% BENTONITE, 2% CALCIUM CHLORIDE)

API Class A cement


2% Bentonite
2% Calcium chloride

Material
(Ibm/sack)
94.00
1.88
54.145
=
150.025 Ibm

Water

Absolute
Volume
(gal)
3.6
0.085

Factor
(gal/Ibm)
0.0382
0.0453
8.33

6.5
10.185 gal

Mixing
Water
(gal)
5.2
1.3
0.0
6.5

The gallons-per-pound factor for soluble materials (such as calcium chloride) varies, depending on the concentration in
the solution The low concentrations may be omitted completely in slurry calculations

The weight of the casing in mud divided by the outside


area of the casing gives the pressure to balance the string
weight. One more pound of pressure should start to lift
the casing string.
28,744.426 lbfI +272.44789 sq in. =105.5043 psi.
3. Volume of cement =96.02 bbl or 396.39 sacks. API
Class A cement, 2% bentonite, 2% calcium chloride. See
Table A-1.
Slurry weight equals total pounds divided by total absolute volume, resulting in pounds per gallon:

Mixing water for slurry =6.5 gal/sack.


4. Capacity of shoe joint. Cement height times cubicfeet-per-foot factor for annulus gives the cubic feet of cement in the annulus:
375 x 1.2496*= 468.6 cu ft.
The length of pipe below the float collar times cubic-feetper-foot factor for casing results in cubic feet of cement
in the shoe joint:

150.025 lbm +10.185 gal =14.73 lbm/gal.


(375-334)x 1.7193=70.4913 cu ft.
Total slurry volume equals total absolute gallons divided
by 7.4805 (constant) times gallons per cubic foot, resulting
in cubic feet per sack:

Cubic feet of cement in annulus plus cubic feet of cement


in casing gives the total cubic feet of cement:

10.185 gal +7.4805 gal/cu ft =1.36 cu ft/sack.


468.6+70.4913=539.0913 cu ft.

6i

11111

Tie ie
sn}-%k

WELL CONDITIONS
SURFACE CASING
SIZE - 18% IN. (18.625)
WEIGHT - 87.5 LBS/FT

oil

11)111

Cubic feet of cement divided by cubic feet of slurry per


sack of cement results in total sacks of cement:
539.0913+1.36=396.39 sacks.
5. Total mixing water=61.35 bbl. Sacks of cement
times gallons per sack mixing water divided by 42 gal/bbl
(constant) gives the barrels of mixing water needed:

HOLE SIZE - 24 IN.

111
..1

crai
i
ll

396.39 x 6.5 gal/sack +42 gal/bbl= 61.35 bbl.

MUD WEIGHT - 8.4 LB/GAL

6. Total fluid to displace top plug=102.27 bbl.


18%-in. casing =0.3062 bbl/linear ft, so
334' FLOAT COLLAR - DEPTH

API CLASS A CEMENT


2% BENTONITE
2% CALCIUM CHLORIDE
WATER - 6.5 GALS/SK
WEIGHT - 14.7 LBS/GAL

CASING SHOE DEPTH - 375 FT

TOTAL HOLE DEPTH - 378 FT

Fig. A-1--Casing example.

0.3062 bbl/ft x334 ft (to float collar)= 102.27 bbl.


7. Pressure to land plug =109.81 psi. The casing shoe
is at 375 ft, whereas the cement plug landing point is 334
ft. Casing in shoe joint and annular space is balanced; no
calculation is required for balanced section.
Annulus-334 ft to surface is filled with 14.73-lbm/gal
cement.
Casing-334 ft to surface is filled with 8.4-lbm/gal displacement fluid (mud).
To convert pounds per gallon to pressure per foot, use
the following.
*Factors that are underlined were taken from cementing tables available from Ha l"
liburton Services, Duncan, OK

APPENDIX A
Fluid pressure gradients interpolated from handbook
data:
14 .73-Ibm/gal cement= (psi/ft for 14.8 lbm/gal
-psi/ft for 14.7 lbm/gal) x 0.3 +psi/ft for 14.7 lbm/gal
=psi/ft for 14.73-Ibm/gal cement.
14.73-1bm/gal cement
=- (0.7688 - 0.7636) x 0.3 +0.7636
=0.76516 psi/ft.
8.4-lbm/gal mud = 0.4364 psi/ft.
Cement pressure gradient minus mud pressure gradient
gives the differential pressure gradient.
0.76516 -0.4364 = 0.32876 psi/ft.
Differential pressure times feet of unbalanced gradient results in pressure to land the plug:

197
The inside area of pipe end equals (casing ID) 2 times
0.7854, which equals the inside area of the pipe end:
(17.755)2 x0.7854=247.5895 sq in.
The buoyancy factor for open casing in 14.73-1bm/gal cement can be obtained from the handbook.
The buoyancy factor for pipe in 14.7-ibm/gal fluid minus buoyancy factor for pipe in 14 .8-Ibm/gal fluid x 0.3:
0.7754 -[(0.7754 -0.7738)x 0.3] =0.77492.
The weight of buoyant pipe below float collar equals
(casing length minus float-collar depth) times pipe weight
times buoyancy factor for pipe in cement:
(375 -334)x 87.5 x 0.77492 =2,780.0255 lbm.
The lifting force on casing in hole equals upward force
minus downward force:
255.56344 x272.44789-29,225 -(145.7596
x 247.58951) -2,780.0255=1,534.1465 lbf.

0.32876 x334=109.81 psi.


8. Hydrostatic pressure at 375 ft =286.9 psi. What is
the fracture gradient at 375 ft, or will it support the pressure exerted by the cement column?
Fracture gradient x 375 = maximum fracture pressure.
Pressure per foot of 14.73-ibm/gal slurry =0.76516 psi/ft
(from Calculation 7). So,
0.76516 psi/ft x 375 =286.94 psi.
9. Resultant upward force on casing string after the
top plug has landed=1,534.64 lbf. While pumping the
cement plug down, is it possible to have a lifting or jacking
effect on the casing as it lands?
Lifting force on casing in hole equals (hydrostatic pressure of the cement slurry at float collar times area of pipe
end) minus weight of pipe above float collar minus (hydrostatic pressure of mud at float collar times inside area of
pipe end) minus buoyant pipe weight below float collar
on cement.
The hydrostatic pressure of the cement at float collar
equals float-collar depth times cement hydrostatic gradient
(from Calculation 7):
334x0.76516=255.56344 psi.
The area of the pipe end equals 272.44789 sq in. (Calculation 1).
The weight of the pipe above the float collar equals
float-collar depth times pipe weight per foot:
334 x 87.5=29,225 lbmi.
The pressure of mud at float collar (inside pipe) equals
float-collar depth times mud hydrostatic gradient:
334 x 0.436 =145.7576 psi.

10. Maximum height of cement allowable before formation breakdown (amount of pressure required to enter
a given formation). Assume that on a surface pipe we have
a tight spot at 220 ft that will stick the pipe. From other
wells in the area, the tight zone was reported to have a
fracture gradient of 0.4727 psi/ft (9.1-lbm/gal fluid).
Fracture gradient:
0.4727 psi/ft x220 ft= 103.994 psi.
Drilling fluid:
0.4364 psi/ft x220 ft=96.008 psi.
(From 195.71 ft to surface will be 8.4-Ibm/gal well fluid.)
Maximum allowable pressure increase above that of
mud in the hole equals fracture gradient pressure at 220
ft minus drilling fluid gradient for 220 ft:
103.994-96.008=7.986 psi.
Maximum height of cement above fracture zone of 220
ft equals maximum allowable pressure increase divided
by (cement hydrostatic gradient minus drilling fluid hydrostatic gradient):
7.986 + (0.76516 - 0.4364)=24.29 ft.
Maximum top of cement equals depth of fracture zone
minus feet of cement above fracture zone:
220-24.29=195.71 ft.
The height of cement that can be run above the zone to
prevent lost circulation is 24.29 ft.

Appendix B

Squeeze Cementing Calculations

B.1 Problem
Squeezing off perforations beneath a packer in a waterfilled hole.
B.2 Desired Information
1. Fluid requirements for job.
2. Minimum pressure required per barrel of cement before reversal of cement slurry from the work string is
started.
3. Minimum pump pressure required before reversal
of cement slurry from the work string can be started, with
cement at lowest perforation and no cement in the formation.
4. Hydrostatic pressure on the formation with cement
to the lowest perforations and no cement in the formation.
5. The amount of cement pumped into the formation,
assuming 8 bbl of displacing fluid behind the cement slurry
at the time the squeeze pressure is reached.
6. Minimum pump pressure required before reversal
of cement slurry from the work string can be started at
the completion of the job.
B.3 Well Conditions (See Fig. B-1)
Casing size-7 in., J-55, 20 lbm/ft.
Perforations-2,314 to 2,356 ft.
Work string-27/8, J-55, 6.5 lbm/ft (set to 2,220 ft).
Packer set-2,220 ft.
Well fluid-8.33 lbm/gal fresh water.
Cement-API Class G, 75 sacks.
Weight-15.8 lbm/gal.
B.4 Calculations
1. Fluid requirement for job. Water for cement:
75 sacks (API Class G) x 5.0* gal/sack =375 gal.
375 gal 42 gal/bbl =8.93 bbl.
'Factors that are underlined were taken from cementing tables available from Halliburton Services, Duncan, OK

Water to displace to lowest perforation:


Tubing-0.00579 bbl/linear ft x 2,220 ft =12.85 bbl.
Casing-0.0404 bbl/linear ft x 136 ft =5.49 bbl.
Summary-minimum water for job:
8.93 bbl mixing water
12.85 bbl tubing volume
5.49 bbl casing volume
12.85 bbl reversing volume (from packer to surface)
40.12 bbl (total).
2. Minimum pressure required per barrel of cement before reversal of cement slurry from the work string is started. Pressure will be the difference in the hydrostatic
pressure between the cement slurry and the well fluid for
a column equal in vertical height to the number of feet
1 bbl will fill inside the work string.
Hydrostatic pressure-15.8 lbm/gal (cement slurry)
=0.8208 psi/ft.
Hydrostatic pressure-8.33 lbm/gal (water)
=0.4330 psi/ft.
Difference = 0.3878 psi/ft.
0.3878 psi/ft x 172.76 ft (fill-up of 1 bbl in 27/8-in. tubing)
=67 psi/bbl.
3. Minimum pump pressure required before reversal of
cement slurry from the work string can be started with
cement at lowest perforation and no cement in the forma
tion. Low burst pressure of casing may limit pressure between tubing and casing to reverse excess cement out.

199

APPENDIX B
WELL FLUID

Casing
7"-20 lbs/ft
J55 to 3000 ft

Fresh Water
8.33 lbs/gal

Workstring
27/8"-6.5 lbs/ft
J55 EUE tubing
to 2220 ft

API Class G
cement
75 sacks
mixed @
15.8 lbs/gal

Packer set
at 2220 ft

5. Amount of cement pumped into the formation. Assume that some volume of displacing fluid is behind the
cement when the desired squeeze pressure is reached. For
example, use 8 bbl displacing fluid behind cement.
Tubing capacity:
12.85 bbl -8 bbl =4.85 bbl of cement in tubing.
Total volume of cement slurry:
15.36 bbl -5.49 bbl cement in casing
-4.85 bbl cement in tubing

Perforations
at 2314 ft
to 2356 ft

=5.02 bbl cement in the formation.


5.02 x5.6146 cu ft/bbl

Fig. 13-1-Squeeze cementing packer example.

=28.19 cu ft of cement in the formation.


28.19 cu ft= 1.15 cu ft/sack

Calculation should be based on maximum slurry in tubing


or when slurry first covers all perforations.
Total slurry volume (barrels):
75 sacks X 1.15 cu ft/sack
=86.25 cu ft x0.1781 bbl/cu ft
=15.36 bbl slurry.
15.36 bbl (total slurry) -5.49 bbl (casing capacity)
=9.87 bbl slurry for tubing.
Pressure at pump needed to reverse out (disregarding
friction pressure):
67 psi/bbl (from Calculation 2) x9.87 bbl slurry
=661.29 psi to reverse slurry.
4. Hydrostatic pressure on the formation with cement
to the lowest perforation and no cement in the formation
(useful when working with fracture gradients and in determining maximum wellhead pressures).
From Calculation 3 (cement slurry in tubing):
9.87 bbl slurry for the tubing
x 172.76 linear ft/bbl tubing capacity
=1,705.14 linear ft of cement slurry in tubing.
2,220 ft (to packer) - 1,705.14 =514.86 ft of water in
tubing.
Height of the cement column below packer, 136 ft, to be
added to height of column in tubing-i.e., 136+1,705.14
ft = 1 ,841.14 ft of cement in well.
= 222.93 psi.
0.433 psi/ft x 514.86 ft
Water:
Cement: 0.8208 psi/ft x 1,841.14 ft = 1,511.21 psi.
222.93 psi +1,511.21 psi = 1,734.14 psi
Total:
hydrostatic pressure on the formation.

=24.51 sacks of cement in the formation.


6. Minimum pump pressure required before reversal of
cement slurry from the work string can be started at the
completion of the job. This provides the information needed to determine when pressure is equalized at the packer
and to the service operator for determining the proper gear
ratio to obtain the necessary pumping pressure to start
reversing the cement slurry.
From Calculation 5:
Barrels of cement in tubing =4.85 bbl.
Barrels of displacing fluid in tubing =8.00 bbl.
From Calculation 2:
Minimum pressure per barrel of cement before cement
is reversed from tubing --67 psi.
4.85 x67 psi/bbl= 324.95 psi minimum pressure required before cement reversal is started.

B.5 Problem
Squeeze off perforations beneath a packer in a water-filled
hole.

B.6 Well Conditions


1. Casing-51/2-in., 15.5 lbf/ft, J-55.
2. Perforation-5,500 ft.
3. Packer-at 5,400 ft.
4. Tubing to surface-2% in., 4.7 lbf/ft, EUE, J-55.
5. Cement-100 sacks, Class A, mixed at 15.6 lbm/gal
with 5.2 gal water/sack.
6. Well fluid-fresh water in hole.
7. Injection test with fresh water-6 bbl/min at 3,100
psi.
8. Instantaneous shut-in pressure-600 psi.

B.7 Desired Information


1. Fluid requirements.
2. Minimum pressure required per barrel of cement before reversal of cement slurry from the work string is
started.
3. Minimum pump pressure required before reversal
of cement slurry from the work string is started, with cement at perforations and no cement in the formation.

200

CEMENTING

4. Fracturing pressure.
5. Number of barrels of displacement fluid behind cement after all cement has been mixed and placed in the
well, when it is necessary to resume surface pumping pressure to continue displacing cement into the formation by
fracturing.

B.8 Calculations
1. Fluid requirements.
=12.38 bbl
100 sacks x5.2 gal/sack +42 gal/bbl
Tubing capacity 0.00387 bbl/ft X5,400 ft =20.90 bbl
= 2.38 bbl
Casing capacity 0.0238 bbl/ft x 100 ft
=20.90
Volume to reverse
=56.56.
Fluid requirements
2. Minimum pressure required per barrel of cement before reversal of cement slurry from the work string is
started.
0.8104 psi/ft
Cement: 15.6 lbm/gal
-0.433 psi/ft
Water: 8.33 lbm/gal
0.3774 psi/ft.
0.3774 psi/ft x258.65 linear ft/bbl tubing capacity
=97.6 psi/bbl.

4. Fracturing pressure.
Fracturing pressure (or bottomhole treating pressure)
is calculated by
Pbh =P +Ph ,

where
P bh = bottomhole treating pressure,
p = instantaneous shut-in pressure (given),
ph = hydrostatic pressure (can be calculated)
= fluid pressure gradient times depth (ft)
= 0.433 psi/ft x5,500 ft=2,381.5 psi.
P bh =600 psi+2,381.5 psi=2,981.5 psi.
5. Number of barrels of displacement fluid behind cement. After cement has been mixed and placed in well
and when it is necessary to resume surface pumping pressure to continue displacing cement into the formation by
fracturing.
Maximum height of cement (HOC) column that the formation will support can be calculated by dividing the instantaneous shut-in pressure by the differential pressure
gradient between the cement and the fresh water:
600 psi+0.3774 psi/ft =1,589.8 ft (maximum HOC).

3. Minimum pump pressure required before reversal of


cement slurry from the work string is started, with cement
at perforations and no cement in the formation.

1,589.8 ft-100 ft (cement in casing)= 1,489.8 ft


(maximum height of cement in tubing).

100 sacks x 1.18 cu ft of slurry/sack

5,400 ft (packer depth) - 1,489.8 ft

=118 cu ft x 0.1781 bbl/cu ft =21.0 bbl slurry.

=3,910.2 ft x 0.00387 bbl/ft


(tubing capacity)

21.0 bbl (total slurry)-2.38 bbl (casing capacity)


=18.62 bbl (slurry in tubing) x97.6 psi/bbl
=1,817.31 psi (pressure applied before cement reversal is started).

=15.13 bbl (displacement fluid


behind cement when surface
pumping pressure is needed for
continued placement into the
formation).

Appendix C

mugback Cementing

C.1 Problem
Balance a 200-ft cement plug from 5,800 to 6,000 ft after drillpipe is removed.

C.2 Desired Information


Cement volume-cubic feet of slurry and number of
1.
sacks.
2. Cement column height and spacer column height
with the drillpipe in the plug.
3. Spacer volume.
4. Mixing water volume (for cement, spacer, and
20-bbl cleanup).
5. Displacing fluid volume.

C.3 Well Conditions (see Fig. C-1)


Hole size-8.75 in.
Drillpipe size-4.5 in. OD, 16.60 lbm/ft.
Plug set-6,000 to 5,800 ft.
Mud in hole-water based, 12.8 lbm/gal.
Spacer-200 ft of fresh water.
Cement-API Class H.
Slurry weight-46.4 Ibm/gal.
C.4 Calculations
1. Cement volume. Capacity of 81/4-in. hole=0.4176*
cu ft/ft.
Cement volume equals capacity factor times height of
desired plug:
0,4176 cu ft/ft x200=83.52 cu ft.
Cement volume equals API Class H at 16.4 lbm/gal
=1.06 cu ft/sack.
Sacks of cement equals cubic feet cement divided by
cubic feet slurry per sack:
83.52 cu ft +1.06 cu ft/sack=-78.79 sacks.
'Factors that are underlined were taken from cementing tables available from Halliburton Services, Duncan, OK

2. Height of cement plug with work string still in plug.


Equalization point formula:
h-

N
C+T

where
h = height of balance cement column,
83.52 cu ft
0.3071 cu ft/ft+0.07980 cu ft/ft
=215.87 cu ft,
N = required cement slurry (cubic feet), 78.79
sacks x 1.06 cu ft/sack = 83.52 cu ft,
C = cubic feet per linear foot of space between
tubing (or drillpipe) and casing (or hole)
found in the handbook tables under
"Volume and Height," 0.3071 cu ft/ft, and
T = cubic feet per linear foot inside tubing (or
drillpipe or casing) found in the handbook
tables under "Capacity," 0.0798 cu ft/ft.
3. Volume and height of spacer in the annulus with work
string still in plug. Annulus fill-up factor for 41/2-in.-OD
pipe in an 8 'A - i n . hole=0.0547 bbl/ft.
Annulus volume of flush equals fill-up factor times required fill:
0.0547 bbl/ft x200 ft =10.94 bbl.
Determine the fill-up ratio between the height of fluid
in the annulus and the height of fluid in the work string.
From handbook ("Volume and Height Between Casing,
Drillpipe, and Hole"), height of fluid fill in annulus for
41/2-in.-OD pipe in 834-in. hole= 18.2804 ft/bbl.

CEMENTING

202
HOLE
CONDITIONS

CEMENT
AND
SPACER

to_

API Class H
Cement
Slurry Wt.16.4#/gal

Hole: 83/4"
wellbore fluid12.8#/gal
water base mud
Drill Pipe:
4-1/2 O.D.
16.60#/ft E.U.

Spacer 200 ft
in annulus
Fresh water
spacer ahead
& behind
cement plug

Fig. C-1--Plugging example.

From handbook ("Capacity"), height of fluid fill inside 41/2-in., 16.60-Ibm/ft EU drillpipe =70.32 ft/bbl.
Height ratio formula: R equals the fill-up factor for the
work string (feet per barrel) divided by the fill-up factor
for the annulus (feet per barrel):
70.32 ft/bbl
18.2804 ft/bbl

Total fresh water equals mixing water plus spacer water


plus cleanup water:
8.07 bbl +13.75 bbl
+20 bbl (cleanup water variable)
=41.82 bbl total.
5. Displacement volume-capacity of mud behind
spacer and cement. The displacement footage required
behind the spacer and cement equals total work string
depth minus (height of spacer plus height of cement with
work string still in plug).
Displacement footage = 6,000 ft- (215.87 +200 ft)
=5,584 ft.
Capacity factor:
4 1/2-in. EU 16.60 lbm/ft drillpipe =0.01422 bbl/ft.
Displacement volume equals capacity factor of work
string times displacement footage:
0.01422 bbl/ft x 5,584 ft=79.41 bbl.

C.5 Balanced Plug for Whipstock


Set a cement plug from 5,600 to 6,000 ft for directional
drilling (whipstock).

=3.85.

Annulus volume divided by R equals tubing volume:


10.94-3.85=2.84 bbl.
For this example, use 3 bbl of spacer behind the cement. This will change the volume of spacer to be pumped
ahead of the cement plug.
New annulus volume equals tubing volume times fillup ratio:
3 bbl x3.85 =11.55 bbl (round up to 12 bbl).
Spacer height should be equal inside and outside the
work string. Spacer height equals volume of spacer times
fill-up factor:
12 bbl x 18.2804 ft/bbl =219 ft.
4. Freshwater requirements (for cement-spacer and
equipment cleanup). Mixing water per sack of Class H
cement at 16.4 lbm/gal =4.3 gal/sack.
Mixing water equals gallons per sack times total sacks:
4.3x78.79=339 gal.
339 gal +42 gal/bbl = 8.07 bbl.
Water for spacer equals spacer ahead plus spacer behind cement plug:
10.94+2.84=13.78 bbl.

C.6 Desired Information


1. Sacks of cement.
2. Height of cement with drillpipe and tubing in place.
3. Height of water in annulus and barrels of water in
drillpipe and tubing.
4. Total water (including mixing water, spacer, flush,
and 20-bbl cleanup).
5. Barrels of displaced fluid.

C.7 Conditions
Cement. Class A cement mixed at a slurry density of 15.6
lbm/gal; run 30 bbl of fresh water ahead of the cement
plug; and run 500 ft of 23/8-in. OD, 4.70-1bm/ft EUE tubing with scratchers and centralizers attached to the bottom of the drillpipe.
Hole. 91 -in. drilled hole washed out to an average 12-in.
hole from 5,430 to 6,145 ft; 3 1/2-in.-0D, 13.30-Ibm/ft
EU drillpipe; and wellbore fluid is 10.5-Ibm/gal native
mud.

C.8 Calculations
1. Volume of cement. From handbook: capacity factor
for a 12-in. hole equals 0.7854 cu ft/ft.
Cement volume equals capacity factor times height of
desired plug:
0.7854 cu ft/ft x400 ft =314.16 cu ft.
Class A cement mixed at 15.6 lbm/gal =1.18 cu ft/sack.
Sacks of cement equals cubic feet of cement divided
by cubic feet of slurry per sack:
314.16 cu ft + 1.18 cu ft/sack =266.24 sacks.

APPENDIX C

203

2. Height of cement plug with work string still in plug.


Equalization point formula:

h,

N
C+

where
hb = height of balance column,
314 cu ft
0.7546 cu fl/ft +0.02171 cu ft/ft
=404.48 ft,
N = required cement slurry: 314.16 cu ft,
C = space between tubing (or drillpipe and
casing/hole): 12-in. hole capacity factor
minus 2%-in. hole capacity factor =0.7546
cu ft/ft, and
T = cubic feet per linear foot inside tubing or
drillpipe or casing =0.02171 cu ft/ft.

3. Volume and height of flush with work string still in


plug. Calculate the footage of a 2% in. work string that
is not covered by cement by subtracting the height of cement with work string in the plug from the total length
of 2%-in. tail pipe.
Tubing not covered with cement = 500 -404.68 ft
=95.32 ft, where h=411.73.
Calculate the volume of flush in the 23/8 x 12-in. annulus and the volume of flush in the 2%-in. work string.
Annulus capacity factor =0.1399 bbl/ft -0.0055 bbl/ft.
95.32 ft x 0.1344 bbl/ft =12.81 bbl freshwater flush in
annulus.
95.32 ft x 0.00387 bbl/ft =0.37 freshwater flush in
tubing.
Annulus volume 31 -in. drillpipe and 12-in. hole (5,430
to 5,500 ft).
Annulus volume (in barrels per foot) equals volume of
12-in. hole (barrels per foot) minus volume of 31/2-in. hole
(barrels per foot):
0.1399 bbl/ft - 0.0119 bbl/ft=0.128 bbl/ft.
Barrels of flush between 5,430 and 5,500 ft=(5,500
ft- 5,430 ft) x0.128 bbl/ft = 8.96 bbl.

Calculate the remaining flush that will have to be balanced. Total flush minus flush used with 2%-in. annulus
work string equals remaining flush for 31 -in. drillpipe
inside 12-in. annulus: 30 bbl -12.8 bbl - 8.96 =8.24 bbl
freshwater flush in annulus between 3 1 -in. drillpipe inside 91/2-in. hole.
Fill-up factor (feet per barrel) 31/2-in. drillpipe inside
91/2-in. hole =13.1976 ft/bbl (handbook volume and height
between casing, drillpipe, and hole):
13.1976 ft/bbl X 8.23 bbl= 108.62 ft.
(70 ft +108.62 ft) X 0.00742 bbl/ft
=1.33 bbl freshwater flush in drillpipe.
Total freshwater flush = annulus freshwater flush +2%-in.
freshwater flush volume +31/2-in. freshwater flush
volume.
Total freshwater flush volume =30 bbl + 0.37 bbl +1.33
bbl =31.7 bbl.
4. Freshwater requirements. Mixing water per sack of
Class A cement at 15.6 lbm/gal =5.2 gal/sack.
Mixing water equals water-per-sack factor times total
sacks:
5.2 gal/sack X 266.24 sacks =1,384.448 gal.
Mixing water =1,384.448 gal + 42.00 gal/bbl =32.96
bbl.
Total freshwater flush volume =31.7 bbl.
Cleanup or washup =20 bbl.
Total_fresh-waterbbl +31.7 bbl +20 bbl = 84.66
bbl.
5. Displacement volume-capacity of mud behind
spacer and cement. Displacement footage equals total
work string depth minus (height of spacer plus height of
cement with work string still in the plug):
6,000 ft - (95.32 ft +70.00 ft + 108.60 ft +404.68 ft)
=5,321.38 ft.
Capacity factor: 31/2-in. EU, 13.30-1bm/ft drillpipe=
0.00742 bbl/ft.
Displacement volume equals capacity factor of work
string times displacement footage minus 0.00742 bbl/ft x
5,321.38 ft=39.48 bbl.

Appendix D

Flow Calculations for Example


Primary Cementing Jobs

D.1 Problem
Calculate cement flow properties for 5,000-ft primary cementing job.

For the annulus,


d=clo di =10 in. 7 in. =3 in.

D.2 Desired Information


1. The pumping rate required to put slurry into turbulent flow in the annulus.
2. The frictional pressure drop of slurry in the annulus
and in the pipe.
3. The hydraulic horsepower (HHP) required to overcome friction losses.
D.3 Well Conditions
Hole size-10 in.
Casing size, OD-7 in.
Casing weight-35 lbm/ft.
Cementing depth-5,000 ft.
Type of slurryneat API Class G cement.
ID of 7-in. 35-lbm casing is 6.004* in.
From laboratory measurements on cement slurry,
n = 0.30,
K = 0.195, and
p = 15.6 lbm/gal.
D.4 Calculations
1. Pumping rate required for turbulence.
vc.

(96/d )n =2.83,
vc 1:7--=

1,129(0.195)(2.83)
15.6

40.0;

=8.7 ft/sec.
Rearranging the equation for displacement velocity (Eq.
11.3),
vd 2
q b=

17.15

For the annulus,


d2 =do 2 di 2 =100 in. 49. in. =51 in.;
therefore,
8.7(51)
q

17.15

25.8 bbl/min.

1,129K(96/di) "[ I /(2 n)]


p

2. Frictional pressure drop. In the annulus, Reynolds


number, NRe =2,100, Fanning friction factor, f=-- 0-0074'

Or

ve2n 1,129K(96/d )n

d=clo di =10 in. 7 in.

p
'Factors that are underlined were taken from cementing tables available from Halliburton Services, Duncan, OK

pf

0 . 039Lp v 2f
di

in.

205

APPENDIX D

0.039(5,000)(15.6)(8.7)(8.7)(0.0074)
3
=568 psi.
In the casing, pumping rate, qb =25.8 bbl/min, and diameter, d=6.004 in. From Eq. 11.13,
17.15qb

17.15(25.8)

di 2

6.004(6.004)

Vd =

D.5 Problem
On this job, it is desired to run a water flush, a Newtonian
fluid, ahead of the cement. It is therefore necessary to
calculate the pumping rate required to get the water flush
into turbulent flow.
D.6 Conditions
Hole size-6 in.
Casing size-41/2 in.
Casing weight-11.6 lbm/ft.
Cementing depth-5,000 ft.

928di v

=12.19 ft/sec.
NRe

FL

From Eq. 11.14,

NRe

K(96/di )n
1.86(71)(15.6)
0.195(2.3)

Ap f

where
di = diameter, in.,
v = velocity, ft/sec,
= viscosity, cp, and
p = density, lbm/gal.

1.86(v 2n )Ps

=4,590.
Turbulence begins at NRe =2,100.

0.039Lpv2f

928di vp
NRe

di
0.039(5,000)(15.6)(12.29)(12.29)(0.0062)
6.004

2.26p,
v`= dp

=475 psi.
v
3. Hydraulic horsepower to overcome friction losses.
To make a complete hydraulic analysis of the system, it
is necessary to know n, K, and the density of both the
mud in the well and the fluid used to displace the top plug.
After calculations similar to those above have been made
on these fluids, it is possible to make wellhead pressure
calculations dependent on the location of the cement slurry
in the well and to estimate what the maximum wellhead
pressure will be during the cementing operation. From
this figure the HHP can be calculated as follows:
HHP-

pressure (lbf/sq ft) X pumping rate(cu ft/min)

d=do di =6.0 in. 4.5 in. =1.5 in.


For water flush,
2.26(1)

vc

(1.5)(8.33)

qb=-= (0.0244)(475)(25.8)=-299.

=1 cp and p=8.33 lbm/gal,


=0.181 ft/sec,

d2 =d0 2 di 2 = 36 in. 20.25 in. =15.75 in., and

33,000

HHP =0.0244 x psi x bbl/min

2,100 2.26
=
, and
928dp
dp

vd2
17.15

(0.177)(15.75)
(17.15)

=0.166 bbl/min required for turbulence in annulus.

Nomenclature
A = area, sq in.
A;
inside pipe area, sq in.
A, = outside pipe area, sq in.
b = width of bearing face, in.
Ch = capacity of hole, cu ft/linear ft
d = diameter, in.
dh = hole diameter, in.
di = ID of hole, in.
drop = ID of outer pipe, in.
d, = OD of casing, in.
dole = OD of outer pipe, in.
D = depth, ft
Df = future depth or depth of producing pay, ft
maximum depth of casing, ft
D max
Dp = depth to the packer, ft
Di = pipe-setting depth, ft
Dx = variable depth, ft
f = Fanning friction factor, dimensionless
F = force or load to break cement bond, lbf
Fb = buoyancy factor
FH = hook load, lbf
F, = quantity of filtrate in t minutes
F30 = quantity of filtrate in 30 minutes
g, = pressure gradient of cement slurry, psi/ft
g fbd = formation breakdown gradient, psi/ft
gg = gas gradient, psi/ft
= pressure gradient of mud in annulus, psi/ft
gm, = pressure gradient of mud (or other fluid)
used to squeeze, psi/ft
go22 = pressure gradient of mud in annulus outside
casing, psi/ft
= pressure gradient of water column, ft
h = column height, ft
h, = cement column height, ft
h, = water column height, ft
K = intercept of lines (fluid-consistency index),
lbf-secn' /sq ft
L = length of pipe, ft
Lc = cement length, ft
Lcs = casing string length, ft
Lm = mud length, ft
Lmin = minimum length, ft
n = slope of the shear-stress/shear-rate curve
(flow-behavior index), dimensionless
N = range extension factor of the Fann
torque spring
NRe = Reynolds number
Pb = burst pressure, psi
Pbmax = maximum annular backpressure, psi

Pbx = burst pressure at Dx , psi


P ex = collapse pressure load at Dx , external
hydrostatic pressure, psi
Pf = formation pressure, psi
Ap f = frictional pressure drop, psi
Ph = hydrostatic pressure, psi
Phs = hydrostatic pressure of squeeze column, psi
Po = external surface pressure, psi
Ps = surface pressure, psi
Psf = pressure safety factor, psi
maximum allowable surface squeeze
Psmax
pressure, psi
Pbmax = maximum tubing pressure, psi
working collapse strength of weakest
Pwcs
casing within 1,000 ft above the
packer, psi
PNP = neutral point of pipe string, ft
q = flow rate, cu ft/min
qb = pumping rate, bbl/min
qcf = pumping rate, cu ft/min
qd = displacement rate, bbl/min
Sc = compressive strength, psi
St = tensile strength of cement, psi
tc = contact time, minutes
T = tension load, lbf
v = velocity, ft/sec
va = velocity in annulus, ft/sec
= critical velocity for turbulence, ft/sec
= average displacement velocity, ft/sec
= average displacement velocity for
turbulence, ft/sec
vi = velocity of inside pipe, ft/sec
V, = volume of fluid (turbulent flow), cu ft
wcs = casing weight, Ibm/ft
= mud weight, lbm/gal
wp = pipe weight, lbm/ft
Y,, = minimum pipe yield strength, psi
= shear rate, rev/min
= rate of angle change, degrees/100 ft
plastic viscosity, cp
p = fluid density, Ibm/gal
p i = mud density, inside pipe, lbm/gal
p m = mud density, inside pipe, Ibm/gal
p, = mud density, outside pipe, lbm/gal
p, = slurry density, lbm/gal
a = yield point, lbf/ft
aT = maximum tubing pressure, psi
T = shear stress, lbf/sq ft
cb = porosity
ttp

Tables of Recommended SI Units and


Conversion Factors for the Metric System *
BASIC UNITS AND SYMBOLS
Unit
Symbol
A
a
Bq
bar
C
cd
C
d
F
Gy
g
H
h
Hz
ha
J
K
kg
kn
L
lm
lx
m
min
N
naut. mile
Pa
rad
S
sr
T
V
Wb

Name
ampere
annum (year)
becquerel
bar
coulomb
candela
degree Celsius
degree
day
farad
gray
gram
henry
hour
hertz
hectare
joule
kelvin
kilogram
knot
liter
lumen
lux
meter
minute
minute
newton
U.S. nautical mile
ohm
pascal
radian
siemens
second
second
steradian
tesla
tonne
volt
watt
weber

*Taken from the SPE Metric Standard

Quantity
electric current
time
activity (of radionuclides)
pressure
quantity of electricity
luminous intensity
temperature
plane angle
time
electric capacitance
absorbed dose
mass
inductance
time
frequency
area
work, energy
temperature
mass
velocity
volume
luminous flux
illuminance
length
time
plane angle
force
length
electric resistance
pressure
plane angle
electrical conductance
time
plane angle
solid angle
magnetic flux density
mass
electric potential
power
magnetic flux

Type of Unit
base SI unit
allowable (not official SI) unit
derived SI unit = 1/s
allowable (not official SI) unit, = 105 Pa
derived SI unit, = 1 A.s
base SI unit
derived SI unit =1.0 K
allowable (not official SI) unit
allowable (not official SI) unit, = 24 hours
derived SI unit, = 1 A.s/V
derived SI unit, = J/kg
allowable (not official SI) unit, = 10 -3 kg
derived SI unit, = 1 V-s/A
allowable (not official SI) unit, = 3.6 x 103 s
derived SI unit, = 1 cycle/s
allowable (not official SI) unit, = 104 m2
derived SI unit, = 1 N.m
base SI unit
base SI unit
allowable (not official SI) unit, = 5.144 444 x 10 - ' m/s
= 1.852 km/h
allowable (not official SI) unit, = 1 dm3
derived SI unit, = 1 cdsr
derived SI unit, = 1 Im/m2
base SI unit
allowable (not official SI) unit
Allowable cartography (not official SI) unit
derived SI unit, = 1 kg.m/s2
allowable (not official SI) unit, = 1.852 x 103 m
derived SI unit, = 1 V/A
derived SI unit, = 1 N/m 2
supplementary SI unit
derived SI unit, = 1 A/V
base SI unit
allowable cartography (not official SI) unit
supplementary SI unit
derived SI unit, = 1 Wb/m2
allowable (not official SI) unit, = 103 kg = 1 Mg
derived SI unit, = 1 W/A
derived SI unit, = 1 J/s
derived SI unit, = 1 V.s

208

CEMENTING
Metric Unit
Customary
Unit

Quantity and SI Unit

SPE
Preferred

Other
Allowable

Conversion Factor*
Multiply Customary
Unit by Factor to
Get Metric Unit

SPACE,** TIME
Length

naut mile

km
km

1.852*

E+ 00

mile
chain
link

1.609 344*

m
m

2.011 68*
2.011 68*

fathom
m

m
m

1.828 8*
1.0*

E +00
E +01
E -01
E + 00

yd
ft

m
m

in.

mm

9.144*
3.048*
3.048*
2.54*
2.54*

cm

mm

cm
CM

cm

Length/length
Length/volume

m/m
m/m3

mm
mil
micron (ii)
ft/mi
ft/U.S. gal
ft/ft,

mm
m

m/K
m2

E+01
E +00
E + 00
E +01
E + 00
E - 01
E +01

p.m
m/km
m/m3

1.893 939
8.051 964

m/m3

1.076 391

E + 01

m/m3
see "Temperature, Pressure, Vacuum"
sq mile
km2
section
km2

1.917 134

E+00

2.589 988
2.589 988
2.589 988
4.046 856
4.046 856
1.0*

E +00
E + 00
E +02
E +03
E -01
E+04

cm2

8.361 274
9.290 304*
9.290 304*
6.451 6*
6.451 6*

cm2

1.0*
1.0*

E - 01
E -02
E + 02
E+02
E + 00
E + 02
E+00

ft/bbl

Length/temperature
Area

1.0*
1.0'
1.0*
2.54*
1.0*

E+00
E - 01
E - 01
E+01
E+01
E + 00

ha
acre

m2

ha

m2

sq yd
sq ft

m2

sq in.

mm2

cm2

mm2

ha

m2

cm2

mm2

mm2

Area/volume

m2/m3

ft2/in.3

Area/mass

m2/kg

cm2/g

m2/cm3
m2/kg
m2/g

'An asterisk indicates that the conversion factor is exact when the numbers shown are used; all subsequent numbers are zeros
'Conversion factors for length, area, and volume (and related quantities) are based on the international foot

1.0*
5.699 291
1.0*
1.0*

E + 00
E -03
E 01
E - 04

209

AETRIC CONVERSION TABLES

Other
Allowable

Conversion Facto
Multiply Customa
Unit by Factor tc
Get Metric Unit

ham

4.168 182
1.233 489
1.233 489

Metric Unit
Customary
Unit

Quantity and SI Unit

SPE
Preferred

SPACE,** TIME (continued)


ume, capacity

m3

cubem
acre-ft

km3

m3

m3

cu yd
bbl (42 U.S. gal)

m3

1.0*
7.645 549

m3
m3
dm3
m3
dm3
m3
dm3

cu ft
U.K. gal
U.S. gal
liter
U.K. qt
U.S. qt
U.S. pt

olume/length
inear displacement)

'olume/mass
lane angle

iolid angle
rime

m3/m

m3/kg
rad

Sr

m3

E+
E+
EE+
EEEE -F

1.589 873
2.831 685
2.831 685
4.546 092
4.546 092
3.785 412
3.785 412

dm3

1.0*

EE4
EE -i
E-;

drri3

1.136 523

E-'

dm3

9.463 529

E-

dm3

4.731 765

E-

L
L

U.K. fl oz
U.S. fl oz
cu in.

cm3
cm3
cm3

2.841 308
2.957 353
1.638 706

E -1
E-'

mL

cm3
m3/m
m3/m
m3/m
m3/m
dm3/m

1.0*

E-

6.259 342
5.216 119
9.290 304*
1.241 933
1.241 933

EEEE
E

1.0*
1.745 329
1.0*
2.908 882
1.0"
4.848 137
1.0"
1.0"
1.0*

bbl/in.
bbl/ft
Witt
U.S. gal/ft

Urn

see "Density, Specific Volume, Concentration, Dosage"


rad
rad
rad
deg ()

min (')

rad

sec (")

rad

Sr

million years (MY)

sr
Ma

yr
wk

a
d

d
hr

d
h

min

s
millimicrosecond

s
ns

min
h
min

*An asterisk indicates that the conversion factor is exact when the numbers shown are used; all subsequent numbers are zeros
' 'Conversion factors for length, area, and volume (and related quantities) are based on the international foot

1.0*
7.0*
1.0'
1.0"
6.0*
6.0*
1.666 667
1.0*
1.0"
1.0*

E-

E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E
E

CEMENTING

210
Metric Unit
Customary
Unit

Quantity and SI Unit

SPE
Preferred

Other
Allowable

Conversion Factor*
Multiply Customary
Unit by Factor to
Get Metric Unit

MECHANICS
Velocity (linear),
speed

m/s

knot
mile/hr

km/h
km/h

m/s
ft/s

m/s
m/s

1.852*
1.609 344*
1.0*
cm/s
m/ms

ft/min

m/s

ft/hr

mm/s

ft/D

mm/s

cm/s
cm/s
m/d
in./s

mm/s
cm/s

in./min

mm/s
cm/s

Velocity (angular)

rad/s

Interval transit time


Corrosion rate

s/m
m/s

Rotational frequency

rev/s

rev/min
rev/s
degree/min
s/ft
in./yr (ipy)
mil/yr
rev/s
rev/min
rev/min

rad/s
rad/s
rad/s
s/m
mm/a
mm/a

ft/s2

m/s2

[Ls/m

rev/s
rev/s
rad/s

Acceleration
(linear)

m/s2

Acceleration
(rotational)

rad/s2

gal(cm/s2)
rad/s2

m/s2
rad/s2

Momentum

kgm/s

rpm/s
Ibmft/s

rad/s2
kg-m/s

cm/s2

An asterisk indicates that the conversion factor is exact when the numbers shown are used; all subsequent numbers are zeros

3.048*
3.048*
3.048*
5.08*
5.08*
8.466 667
8.466 667
3.527 778
3.048*
2.54*
2.54*
4.233 333
4.233 333
1.047 198
6.283 185
2.908 882
3.280 840
2.54*
2.54*
1.0*
1.666 667
1.047 198
3.048*
3.048*
1.0*
1.0*
1.047 198
1.382 550

E +00
E +00
E +00
E 01
E + 01
E 04
E 03
E 01
E 02
E 03
E 03
E-01
E +01
E +00
E 01
E-02
E 01
E + 00
E-04!
E + 00
E+01
E-02
E +00
E-02!
E 01
E 01
E + 01
E 02
E +00
E 01
E 01

1ETRIC CONVERSION TABLES

211
Metric Unit
Customary
Unit

Quantity and SI Unit

SPE
Preferred

Other
Allowable

Conversion Factor*
Multiply Customary
Unit by Factor to
Get Metric Unit

MECHANICS (continued)
e

ding moment,
Je

N.m

ding moment/
th

N-m/m

tic moduli
mg's, Shear bulk)
lent of inertia
lent of section
:ion modulus

Pa

ss

i point,
strength
ing fluid)
s/length
area
:Aural loading,
oing capacity
ss basis)
fficient of
mal expansion

kg.m2
m4
m3

U.K. tonf
U.S. tont
kgf (kp)
lbf
N
pdl
dyne
U.S. tonf-ft
kgf-m
lbf-ft
lbf-in.
pdl-ft
(lbf-ft)/in.
(kgf-m)/m
(lbf-in.)/in.
lbf/in.'

kN
kN
N
N
N
mN
mN
kN.m
N.m
N.m
N.m
N.m
(N.m)/m
(N.m)/m
(N.m)/m
GPa

9.964 016
8.896 443
9.806 650*
4.448 222
1.0*
1.382 550
1.0*
2.711 636
9.806 650*
1.355 818
1.129 848
4.214 011
5.337 866
9.806 650*
4.448 222
6.894 757

E+00
E + 00
E + 00
E + 00
E +00
E + 02
E-02
E + 00
E + 00
E + 00
E 01
E 02
E + 01
E + 00
E + 00
E 06

Ibm-ft2
in."
cu in.
cu ft

kg.m2
cm'
cm3
cm3

4.214 011
4.162314
1.638 706
1.638 706
2.831 685
2.831 685
1.378 951
9.806 650*
9.576 052
6.894 757
4.788 026
1.0*
4.788 026

E 02
E+01
E + 01
E + 04
E + 04
E 02
E + 01
E + 00
E 02
E 03
E 02
E 01
E 01

mm3
m'
N/mm2
N/mm2
N/mm2
N/mm2

Pa

U.S. tonf/in.2
kgf/mm2
U.S. tonf/ft2
Ibf/in.2 (psi)
lbf/f12 (psf)
dyne/cm'
lbf/100 ft'

MPa
MPa
MPa
MPa
kPa
Pa
Pa

kg/m

Ibm/ft

kg/m

1.488 164

E + 00

kg/m2

U.S. ton/ft2
Ibm/ft2

Mg/m2
kg/m2

9.764 855
4.882 428

E + 00
E + 00

m/(m.K)

in./(in.-F)

mm/(mm.K)

5.555 556

E 01

tsterisk indicates that the conversion factor is exact when the numbers shown are used; all subsequent numbers are zeros

CEMENTING

212
Metric Unit
Customary
Unit

Quantity and SI Unit

Other
Allowable

SPE
Preferred

Conversion Factc
Multiply Customa
Unit by Factor tc
Get Metric Unit

FLOW RATE
Pipeline capacity
Flow rate
(mass basis)

m3/m
kg/s

Flow rate
(volume basis)

m3/s

bbl/mile
U.K. ton/min
U.S. ton/min
U.K. ton/hr
U.S. ton/hr
U.K. ton/D
U.S. ton/D
million Ibm/yr
U.K. ton/yr
U.S. ton/yr
Ibm/s
Ibm/min
Ibm/hr
bbl/D

m3/km
kg/s
kg/s
, kg/s
kg/s
kg/s
kg/s
kg/s
kg/s
kg/s
kg/s
kg/s
kg/s
m3/d
Us

ft3/D

m3/ci

bbl/hr

m3/s

fe/hr

m3/s

U.K. gal/hr
U.S. gal/hr
U.K. gal/min
U.S. gal/min
ft3/min
ft3/s
Ibm mol/s
Ibm mol/hr
million scf/D
Ibm/(s-ft)
Ibm/(hr-ft)
U.K. gal/(min-ft)
U.S. gal/(min-ft)
U.K. gal/(hr-in.)
U.S. gal/(hr-in.)
U.K. gal/(hr-ft)
U.S. gal/(hr-ft)
Ibm/(s-ft2)
Ibm/(hr-ft2)
ft3/(s-ft2)
ft3/(min-ft2)
U.K. gal/(hr-in.2)
U.S. gal/(hr-in.2)
U.K. gal/(min-ft2)
U.S. gal/(min-ft2)
U.K. gal/(hr-ft2)
U.S. gal/(hr-ft2)
bbl/(D-psi)

dmNs
dm3/s
dm3/s
dmNs
dm3/s
drna/s
kmol/s
kmol/s
kmol/s
kg/(s.m)
kg/(s.m)
m2/s
m2/s
res
res
m2/s
m2/s
kg/s.m2
kg/s.m2
m/s
m/s
m/s
m/s
m/s
m/s
m/s
m/s
m3/(dkPa)

Us
Us

Flow rate
(mole basis)

mol/s

Flow rate/length
(mass basis)

kg/sm

Flow rate/length
(volume basis)

mNs

Flow rate/area
(mass basis)

kg/s.m2

Flow rate/area
(volume basis)

m/s

Flow rate/
pressure drop
(productivity index)

res.Pa

Us
Us
Us
Us
Us
Us
Us

An asterisk indicates that the conversion factor is exact when the numbers shown are used: all subsequent numbers are zeros

m3/(s.m)
mN(s.m)
m3/(s.m)
re(s.m)
m3/(s.m)
m3/(s.m)

nn3(s.rn2)
m3/(s.m2)
m3/(s.m2)
m3/(s.m2)
m3/(s.m2)
m3/(s.m2)
m3/(s.m2)
m3/(s.m2)

9.879 013
1.693 412
1.511 974
2.822 353
2.519 958
1.175 980
1.049 982
5.249 912
3.221 864
2.876 664
4.535 924
7.559 873
1.259 979
1.589 873
1.840 131
2.831 685
3.277 413
4.416 314
4.416 314
7.865 791
7.865 791
1.262 803
1.051 503
7.576 820
6.309 020
4.719 474
2.831 685
4.535 924
1.259 979
1.383 449
1.488 164
4.133 789
2.485 833
2.069 888
4.971 667
4.139 776
4.143 055
3.449 814
4.882 428
1.356 230
3.048*
5.08*
1.957 349
1.629 833
8.155 621
6.790 972
1.359 270
1.131 829
2.305 916

E -IX
E + 01
E+0'
E - 0"
E- 0'
E - 0;
E - 0;
E + 0(
E - 0!
E - 0!
E - 0'
E - 0:
E - O
E - 0'
E - 0:
E - 0:
E - 0,
E - 01
E-0:
E-0
E - 0:
E - 0:
E - 0:
E -0;
E - 0,
E- 0
E+0
E-0
E - 0.
E - 0.
E+0
E - 0.
E-0
E-0
E-0
E-0
E-0
E-0
E+0
E-0
E-0
E-0
E-0
E-0
E-0
E-0
E-0
E-0
E-0

AETRIC CONVERSION TABLES

213
Metric Unit
Customary
Unit

Quantity and SI Unit

SPE
Preferred

Other
Allowable

Conversion Factor*
Multiply Customary
Unit by Factor to
Get Metric Unit

FACILITY THROUGHPUT, CAPACITY


roughput
ass basis)

kg/s

roughput
ilume basis)

m3/s

million Ibm/yr

Vs

Mg/a

4.535 924

E + 02

U.K. ton/yr

t/a

Mg/a

1.016 047

E + 00

U.S. ton/yr

t/a

Mg/a

9.071 847

E - 01

U.K. ton/D

lid

Mg/d
Vh, Mg/h

1.016 047
4.233 529

E + 00
E - 02

U.S. ton/D

Vd
Vh, Mg/h

9.071 847
3.779 936

E - 01
E- 02

U.K. ton/hr

Vh

Mg/h

1.016 047

E + 00

U.S. ton/hr

t/h

Mg/h

9.071 847

E - 01

Ibm/hr

kg/h

4.535 924

E-01

bbl/D

Va

5.803 036
1.589 873
6.624 471

E + 01
E - 01
E - 03

1.179 869
2.831 685

E - 03
E - 02

m3/d
m3/h
m3/h

ft3/D

maid
bbl/hr

m3/h

1.589 873

E - 01

ft3/h

m3/h

2.831 685

E - 02

U.K. gal/hr

m3/h
L/s

4.546 092
1.262 803

E - 03
E - 03

L/s

3.785 412
1.051 503

E - 03
E - 03

Us

2.727 655
7.576 819

E-01
E - 02

Us

2.271 247
6.309 020

kmol/s

4.535 924
1.259 979

E - 01
E - 02
E - 01
E - 04

U.S. gal/hr
U.K. gal/min
U.S. gal/min
(roughput
tole basis)

mol/s

Ibm mol/hr

m3/h
m3/h
m3/h
kmol/h

asterisk indicates that the conversion factor is exact when the numbers shown are used; all subsequent numbers are zeros

Metric Unit
SPE
Preferred

Customary
Unit

Quantity and SI Unit

Other
Allowable

Conversion Factor*
Multiply Customary
Unit by Factor to
Get Metric Unit

MASS, AMOUNT OF SUBSTANCE


;s

kg

U.K. ton (long ton)

Mg

1.016047 E+00

U.S. ton (short ton)

Mg

9.071 847 E - 01

U.K. ton

kg

5.080 235 E + 01

U.S. cwt

kg

4.535 924 E + 01

kg

kg

1.0*

Ibm

kg

4.535 924 E - 01

E + 00

3.110 348 E + 01

oz (troy)
oz (av)

2.834 952 E + 01

g
grain

g
mg

1.0*

E +00

6.479 891

E + 01

mg

mg

1.0*

E + 00

1.0*

E + 00

g
see "Mechanics"

ss/length

kg/m

>s/area

kg/m2

ss/volume

kg/m3

see "Density, Specific Volume, Concentration, Dosage"

ss/mass

kg/kg

see "Density, Specific Volume, Concentration, Dosage"

ount of
stance

mol

see "Mechanics"

Ibm mol

kmol

4.535 924 E - 01

g mol

kmol

1.0*

E - 03

std rn3 (0C, 1 atm)

kmol

4.461 58

E - 02

std m3 (15C, 1 atm)

kmol

4.229 32

E - 02

std ft3 (60F, 1 atm)

kmol

1.195 3

E - 03

asterisk indicates that the conversion factor is exact when the numbers shown are used; all subsequent numbers are zeros

CEMENTING

214

Conversion Fact'
Multiply Customs
Unit by Factor 1
Get Metric Uni

Metric Unit
Customary
Unit

Quantity and SI Unit

SPE
Preferred

Other
Allowable

DENSITY, SPECIFIC VOLUME, CONCENTRATION, DOSAGE


Density (gases)

kg/m3

Ibm/ft3

Density (liquids)

kg/m3

Ibm/U.S. gal

kg/m'
g/m3
kg/m3

bin/U.K. gal

kg/m3

Ibm/ft3

kg/m3

g/cm3

kg/m'

API
Ibm/ft3
ft3/Ibm

gicm3
kg/m3
m3/kg
m3/g
dm3/kg
dm3/kg
dm3/kg
m3/kmol
m3/kmol
m3/t
m3/t
dm3/t
dm3it
drn3/t
dm3/t
kg/kg
g/kg
mg/kg
kg/m3
kg/m3
kg/m3

Density (solids)
Specific volume
(gases)
Specific volume
(liquids)

kg/m'
m3/kg

Specific volume
(mole basis)

m3/mol

Specific volume
(clay yield)

m3/kg

Yield (shale
distillation)

m3/kg

Concentration
(mass/mass)

kg/kg

Concentration
(mass/volume)

kg/m'

m3/kg

ft3/Ibm
U.K. gal/Ibm
U.S. gal/Ibm
Lig mol
elbm mol
bbl/U.S. ton
bbl/U.K. ton
bbl/U.S. ton
bbl/U.K. ton
U.S. gal/U.S. ton
U.S. gal/U.K. ton
wt %
wt ppm
Ibm/bbl
g/U.S. gal
g/U.K. gal

g/cm3
kg/dm'
g/cm3
kg/dm'

An asterisk indicates that the conversion factor is exact when the numbers shown are used all subsequent numbers are zeros

cm3/g
cm3/g

Ut
Ut
Ut
Ut

g/dm3
g/L

1.601 846
E+0
1.601 846
E + 0,
1.198 264
E + 0:
1.198 264
E0
9.977 633
E+0
9.977 633 E 0:
E+0
1.601 846
1.601 846
E 0:
E + 0;
1.0*
1.0*
E + 01
141.5/(131.5 +API
E+0
1.601 846
6.242 796
E 0;
E 0!
6.242 796
6.242 796
E + 0'
1.002 242
E + 0'
E + 01
8.345 404
E + 01
1.0*
6.242 796
E 0;
1.752 535
E 0'
1.564 763
E 0'
1.752 535
E + 0;
1.564 763
E + 0;
E + 01
4.172 702
3.725 627
E + 01
1.0*
E OI
E + 0'
1.0*
E + 01
1.0*
E + 0(
2.853 010
E 0'
2.641 720
E 0'
2.199 692

METRIC CONVERSION TABLES

215
Metric Unit

Quantity and SI Unit

Customary
Unit

SPE
Preferred

Other
Allowable

Conversion Factor*
Multiply Customary
Unit by Factor to
Get Metric Unit

DENSITY, SPECIFIC VOLUME, CONCENTRATION, DOSAGE (continued)


oncentration
lass/volume)

oncentration
olume/volume)

kg/m3

m3/m3

Ibm/1000 U.S. gal


Ibm/1000 U.K. gal
grains/U.S. gal
grains/ft3
Ibm/1000 bbl
mg/U.S. gal
grains/100 ft3
bbl/bbl
ft3/ft3
bbl/acreft

g/m3
g/m3
g/m3
mg/m3
g/m3
g/m3
mg/m3
m3/m3
m3/m3
m3/m3

vol %
U.K. gal/ft3
U.S. gal/ft3
mUU.S. gal
mUU.K. gal
vol ppm

m3/m3
dm3/m3
dm3/m3
dm3/m3
dm3/m3
cm3/m3
dm3/m3
cm3/m3
cm3/m3
cm3/m3
kmol/m3
kmol/m3
kmol/m3
kmol/m3

mg/dm3
mg/dm3
mg/dm'
mg/dm3
mg/dm3

m3/ham

)ncentration
iole/volume)

mol/m3

ricentration
olume/mole)

m3/mol

U.K. gal/1000 bbl


U.S. gal/1000 bbl
U.K. pt/1000 bbl
Ibm mol/U.S. gal
Ibm mol/U.K. gal
Ibm mol/ft3
std ft3 (60F,
1 atm)/bbl
U.S. gal/1000 std ft3
(60F/60F)
bbl/million std ft3
(60F/60F)

Um3
Um'
Um3
Um3
Um3

1.198 264
9.977 633
1.711 806
2.288 352
2.853 010
2.641 720
2.288 352
1.0*
1.0*
1.288 923
1.288 923
1.0*
1.605 437
1.336 806
2.641 720
2.199 692
1.0*
1.0*
2.859 406
2.380 952
3.574 253
1.198 264
9.977 633
1.601 846
7.518 18

E +02
E + 01
E+ 01
E+03
E+00
E-01
E + 01
E+00
E+00
E 04
E + 00
E 02
E + 02
E + 02
E 01
E-01
E + 00
E 03
E+01
E + 01
E + 00
E+02
E + 01
E + 01
E-03

dm3/kmol

Ukmol

3.166 93

E+00

dm3/kmol

Ukmol

1.330 11

E 01

n asterisk indicates that the conversion factor is exact when the numbers shown are used; all subsequent numbers are zeros

CEMENTING

216
Metric Unit
Customary
Unit

Quantity and SI Unit

SPE
Preferred

Other
Allowable

Conversion Factor*
Multiply Customary
Unit by Factor to
Get Metric Unit

CALORIFIC VALUE, HEAT, ENTROPY, HEAT CAPACITY


Calorific value
(mass basis)

J/kg

Calorific value
(mole basis)

J/mol

Calorific value
(volume basis
solids and liquids)

J/m3

Btu/lbm

MJ/kg
kJ/kg

J/g
(kWh)/kg

cal/g
cal/Ibm
kcal/g mol
Btu/Ibm mol

kJ/kg
J/kg
kJ/kmol
MJ/kmol
kJ/kmol

J/g

therm/U.K. gal

MJ/m3
kJ/m3

kJ/dm'

Btu/U.S. gal

MJ/m3
kJ/m3

Btu/U.K. gal

MJ/m3
kJ/m3

Btu/ft'

MJ/m3
kJ/m3

kcal/m3
cal/mL
ft-lbf/U.S. gal
cal/mL
kcal/m3
Btu/ft'

MJ/m3
kJ/m3
MJ/m3
kJ/m3
kJ/m3
kJ/m3
kJ/m3

Btu/(Ibm-R)
cal/(g-K)
kcal/(kg-C)
kW-hr/(kg C)
Btu/(Ibm-F)

kJ/(kgK)
kJ/(kgK)
kJ/(kgK)
kJ/(kgK)
kJ/(kgK)

J(g K)
J(g K)

kcal/(kg-C)
Btu/(lbm mol-F)

kJ/(kgK)
kJ/(kmolK)

J(g K)

cal/(g mol-C)

kJ/(kmolK)

(kWh)/dm3
kJ/dm'
(kWh)/m3
kJ/dm3
(kWh)/m3
kJ/dm3
(kWh)/m3

Calorific value
(volume basis
gases)

J/m3

Specific entropy

J/kgK

Specific heat
capacity
(mass basis)

J/kgK

Molar heat
capacity

J/molK

An asterisk indicates that the conversion factor is exact when the numbers shown are used all subsequent numbers are zeros

kJ/dm3

J/dm3
J/dm3
J/dm3
(kW h)/m 3

J(g K)
J(g- K)
J(g K)

2.326
2.326
6.461 112
4.184*
9.224 141

E 03
E + 00
E-04

4.184*
2.326
2.326
2.320 80
2.320 80
6.446 660
2.787 163
2.787 163
7.742 119

C + 03
E 03
E +00
E + 04
E +07
E +00
E 01
E + 02
E 02

2.320 8
2.320 8
6.446 660

E 01
E+02
E 02

3.725 895
3.725 895
1.034 971
4.184*
4.184*
4.184*

E 02
E + 01
E 02

3.581 692
4.184*
4.184*
3.725 895
1.034 971
4.1868*
4.184*
4.184*
3.6*
4.186 8*
4.184*
4.186 8*
4.184*

E +00
E + 00

E 03
E + 00
E + 00
E 01
E +03
E +00
E + 01
E 02
E+00
E +00
E +00
E +03
E+00
E +00
E+00
E 00

METRIC CONVERSION TABLES

217
Metric Unit
SPE
Preferred

Customary
Unit

Quantity and SI Unit

Other
Allowable

Conversion Factor*
Multiply Customary
Unit by Factor to
Get Metric Unit

TEMPERATURE, PRESSURE, VACUUM


nperature
solute)

K
K

nperature
iditional)

K
F

nperature
ference)

C
F
C

C
K
K

nperature/length
othermal gradient)

K/m

F/100 ft

mK/m

E + 00
CF 32)/1.8
1.0*
E + 00
5/9
E+00
1.0*
E + 00
1.822 689
E +01

igth/temperature
,othermal step)

m/K

ft/F

m/K

5.486 4*

E 01

fissure

Pa

atm (760mm Hg at 0C or
14.696 (lbf/in?)

MPa
kPa

bar

MPa
kPa

at (technical atm., kgf/cm2)

MPa
kPa

1.013 25*
1.013 25*
1.013 25*
1.0*
1.0*
1.0*
9.806 65*
9.806 65*
9.806 65*

E 01
E+02
E+00
E 01
E + 02
E + 00
E 02
E + 01
E 01

6.894 757
6.894 757
6.894 757
3.386 38
3.376 85
2.490 82
2.488 4
1.333 224

E 03
E + 00
E 02
E +00
E + 00
E 01
E-01
E 01

9.806 38
4.788 026

E 02
E 02

5/9
1.0*

C
C

bar

bar

bar
)ssure

Pa

lbf/in? (psi)

MPa
kPa

in. Hg (32F)

kPa
kPa
kPa
kPa
kPa

bar
in. Hg (60F)
in. H2O (39.2F)
in. H2O (60F)
mm Hg (0C) = torr
cm H2O (4C)
lbf/ft2 (psf)

:uum, draft

Pa

uid head

ssure drop/length

Pa/m

kPa

p.m Hg (0C)
p.bar
dyne/cm2
in. Hg (60F)
in. H2O (39.2F)

kPa
Pa
Pa
Pa
kPa
kPa

1.333 224
1.0*
1.0*
3.376 85

E 01
E 01
E 01
E +00

2.490 82

E 01

in. H2O (60F)

kPa

2.488 4

mm Hg (0C) = torr
cm H2O (4C)
ft
in.

kPa
kPa
m
mm

1.333 224
9.806 38

E 01
E 01
E 02

psi/ft
psi/100 ft

kPa/m
kPa/m

cm

asterisk indicates that the conversion factor is exact when the numbers shown are used; all subsequent numbers are zeros.

3.048*
2.54*
2.54*
2.262 059
2.262 059

E 01
E +01
E +00
E + 01
E 01

CEMENTING

218
Metric Unit
Customary
Unit

Quantity and SI Unit

SPE
Preferred

Other
Allowable

Conversion Factor*
Multiply Customary
Unit by Factor to
Get Metric Unit

ENERGY, WORK, POWER


Energy, work

therm

MJ
kJ

U.S. tonf-mile
hp-hr

MJ
MJ
kJ

ch-hr or CV-hr

MJ
Kj

kW-hr
Chu

MJ
kJ
kJ

Btu

kJ

kcal
cal
ft-lbf
lbf-ft
J
lbf-ft2/s2
erg
kgf-m
Ibf-ft
U.S. tonf-mile/ft
erg/cm2
kgf.m/cm2
lbf.ft/in.2
quad/yr

kJ
kJ
kJ
kJ
kJ
kJ
J
J
J
MJ/m
mJ/m2
J/cm2
J/cm2
MJ/a
TJ/a
EJ/a
TW
GW
MW
kW
kW
kW
kW

1.055 056
1.0*
7.460 43

E + 00
E + 00
E -01

kW
kW
kW
kW
kW
W
W
W

7.46*
7.456 999
7.354 99
1.758 427
1.355 818
1.162 222
2.930 711
2.259 697

E - 01
E - 01
E -01
E -02
E -03
E + 00
E-01
E -02

MJ
TJ
EJ
MWh
GWh
TWh
kWh

kWh

kWh

kWh
kWh

Impact energy

Work/length
Surface energy
Specific impact
energy

J/m
J/m2
J/m2

Power

E +12
E + 06
E + 00
E + 08
E+05
E+02
E + 02
E+ 05
E+01
E + 01
E + 00
E +03
E - 01
E + 00
E +03
E -01
E +00
E+ 03
E + 00
E - 04
E + 00
E - 04
E + 00
E -03
E -03
E -03
E -03
E-05
E -07
E + 00
E+00
E +01
E + 00
E - 00
E-01
E + 12
E + 06
E + 00
E -27
E -24
E-01
E+00

1.055 056
1.055 056
1.055 056
2.930 711
2.930 711
2.930 711
1.055 056
1.055 056
2.930 711
1.431 744
2.684 520
2.684 520
7.456 999
2.647 796
2.647 796
7.354 99
3.6*
3.6*
1.899 101
5.275 280
1.055 056
2.930 711
4.184*
4.184*
1.355 818
1.355 818
1.0*
4.214 011
1.0*
9.806 650*
1.355 818
4.697 322
1.0*
9.806 650*
2.101 522
1.055 056
1.055 056
1.055 056
3.170 979
3.170 979
2.930 711
3.516 853

quad

erg/a
million Btu/hr
ton of
refrigeration
Btu/s
kW
hydraulic horsepower - hhp
hp (electric)
hp (550 ft-Ibf/s)
ch or CV
Btu/min'
ft.lbf/s
kcal/hr
Btu/hr
ft.lbf/min

An asterisk indicates that the conversion factor is exact when the numbers shown are used; all subsequent numbers are zeros

METRIC CONVERSION TABLES

219
Metric Unit

Quantity and SI Unit

Customary
Unit

SPE
Preferred

Other
Allowable

Conversion Factor*
Multiply Customary
Unit by Factor to
Get Metric Unit

ENERGY, WORK, POWER (continued)


wer/area

at flow unit hfu


othermics)
at release rate,
trig power

W/m2

W/m3

)1 consumption
tomotive)

E + 01

kW/m2
kW/m2
kW/m2

3.154 591

E 02
E 03

cal/scm2

mW/m2

4.184*

E + 01

hp/ft3
cal/(hrcm3)
Btu/(sft3)

kW/m3
kW/m3

2.633 414

E+01
E + 00

Btu/(hrft3)

kW/m3
kW/m3

1.162 222
3.725 895
1.034 971

cal/(s-cm3)

W/m3

4.184*

E + 12

W/W

Btu/(bhp-hr)

W/kW

3.930 148

E 01

kg/J

Ibm/(hp-hr)

mg/J

kg/MJ
kg/(kWh)

1.689 659
6.082 774

E 01
E 01

m3/J

m3/(kW-hr)

dm3/MJ

mm3/J
dm3/(kWh)

U.S. gal/(hp-hr)

dm3/MJ

U.K. pt/(hp-hr)

dm3/MJ

mm3/J
dm3/(kWh)
mm13/J
dm3/(kWh)

2.777 778
1.0*
1.410 089
5.076 321

U.K. gal/mile
U.S. gal/mile
mile/U.S. gal
mile/U.K. gal

dm3/100 km
dm3/100 km
km/dm3
km/dm3

E + 02
E + 03
E + 00
E + 00
E 01
E 01
E + 02

It generation
. hgu
lioactive rocks)
)ling duty
ichinery)
)cific fuel
sumption
iss basis)
cific fuel
sumption
ume basis)

1.135 653
1.162 222

cal/hrcm2
Btu/hr.ft2

Btu/sft2

m3/m

asterisk indicates that the conversion fac