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“Modelling Single stage Cementing”

Submitted By
Nilesh Singhal
R870215075, 500044677
Atul Abhishek
R870215036, 500045179
Divyansh Singh Chauhan
R870215043, 500044676

University of Petroleum & Energy Studies, Dehradun

APE-Upstream V Semester

Under the Guidance of

Dr. Pushpa Sharma
Department of Petroleum Engineering & Earth Sciences
UPES, Dehradun

30th November- 2017

1. Brief Objective and Description of the Project 3

2. Literature Review 8

2.1 Paper Name, Author Date, main learning 8

2.2 Paper Name, Author, Date, main learning 10

2.3 Article or Magazine name, Author, date, main learning 11

3. Planning of the Project

3.1 Equipment Used 12

3.2 Final practical working model 15

4. Estimate of Cost and within Budget estimate? 15

5. What was achieved and what remains? 16

6. Any problems faced so far 17

1. Brief Objective and Description of the Project

The objective is to create a working model to showcase the single stage cementing procedure
and to visualize the working of wiper plugs, centralizers and spacer as it happens in the real


Oil well cementing is the operation where water and slurry of cement is mixed and pumped down the
well to create a barrier in the annulus, open hole or below the casing. Cementing is essential to drilling
oil and gas wells, and it has many different applications in this industry. If the cement operation is
performed in a correct way, then the economic, safety, government regulations, and other
requirements imposed during drilling will be met.

Cementing operations can be divided into two main categories: Primary cementing and remedial
cementing. Remedial cementing is the operation where cement is usually used to correct problems
with the primary cementing operation. Cementing the casing to the formation immediately after the
casing has been run in hole, is referred to as primary cementing. The main objective with primary
cementing is to:

 Isolate the annulus between the casing and the formation to prevent migration of gas and oil
along the wellbore
 Support and give mechanical strength to the casing
 Support and strengthen the formation against the wellbore

In addition to zonal isolation cement also aids in:

 Protecting the casing from erosion

 Preventing blowouts by quickly forming a seal
 Protecting the casing from shock loads
 Sealing off zones of lost circulation or thief zones

Introduction to Equipments
The shoetrack is an interval inside a cemented casing that needs to be drilled out in order to reach the
target for the next open hole section. The shoetrack includes different equipment/components in
order to perform a cementing job. These components need to be drilled out by the drill bit in order to
drill the next open hole section which will make room for a smaller casing size.

Components in the shoetrack can vary depending on the casing size, casing type and cement job. A
liner will have different components in the shoetrack than a surface casing. The term shoetrack will
refer to all the equipment/components found from the top cementing plugs down to the bottom of
the shoe.

Floating equipment
Floating equipment is used in the lower sections of a casing string. It is used to reduce the strain on
the derrick when running the casing in hole. Floating equipment consist of a backpressure valve (often
ball or spring-loaded valves). This will make the casing lighter when running it in hole, and it will also
prevent the cement from re-entering the casing when the cement have been displaced to annulus.
After a cement job is complete, there will be cement in annulus and displacing fluid inside the casing.
To prevent the U-tube effect (cement re-entering the inside of the casing due to difference in
hydrostatic pressure), the backpressure valve is therefore installed. Differential-fill-up and automatic-
fill-up valves can also be installed in the shoe or float collar, having drilling fluids entering the casing
in a controlled manner.

Casing Shoe
A shoe (also known as guide shoe or float shoe) is placed at the end joint of the casing string. The
component is of rounded shape. This makes it easier to guide the casing past irregularities in the open
hole section when running the casing. The irregularities can be sidewall carvings, deviated sections of
the well etc. A shoe can also contain floating equipment, consisting of anti-backflow devices.

Float collar
A float collar is a short component with the same OD as the casing string. Inside the float collar there
is a backpressure valve. The function of a float collar is to serve as a seat for the cementing plug(s) and
prevent backflow after a cementing operation.

Landing collar

Landing collar is located usually one or two casing joints above the float collar. The landing collar is
normally used in liners, and is not installed in a regular casing string during a cementing operation.
The landing collar catch the cementing plugs used in the cementing operation. The landing collar acts
as a seat-and-latch-assembly for the cementing plugs. The dart and plug cementing equipment must
be compatible with the landing collar in order to use a plug setup in combination with a landing collar.

The landing collar can also contain a one-way valve.

Cementing plugs

Cementing plugs are used during the cementing operation. Usually two plugs will be found in the
shoetrack, but that will depend on the setup of the cementing operation. The function of a cementing
plug is to separate the fluids during pumping (spacer, mud and cement) and reduce the risk for
contamination. The plugs will also act as a pump pressure indicator on the surface when they land
either in the float collar or landing collar, this will indicate that the job is finished. The top cement plug
will be the first plug that will be drilled out during drilling of the shoe track. The top plug requires a
tougher material to withstand higher pressures; this allows the operator the pressure test the casing
string after the cementing operation is complete.

Figure 1: Cement Plugs

Stage equipment
These components consist of stage collars. They are placed within the casing string and provide
passage through ports from the inside of the casing to annulus. The ports are opened and closed by
sliding sleeves. The ports can be opened hydraulically or mechanically. This equipment is used in

multistage cementing, where the cementing is performed by pumping cement into the well in two or
more separate stages. The cementing operation with stage equipment are often performed in weak
formations, where fracturing of the formation can occur due to high hydrostatic pressure of the

The single stage primary cementing operation is the most common type of cementing operation that
is conducted when drilling a well. The procedure for performing a single stage cementing operation
will be discussed first and then the procedure for conducting a multiple stage and stinger cementing
operations will be discussed.

Figure 2: Type PES stage collar

In the case of the single stage operation, the casing with all of the required cementing accessories
such as the float collar, centralizers etc. is run in the hole until the shoe is just a few feet off the bottom
of the hole and the casing head is connected to the top of the casing. It is essential that the cement
plugs are correctly placed in the cement head. The casing is then circulated clean before the cementing
operation begins (at least one casing volume should be circulated). The first cement plug (wiper plug),
is pumped down ahead of the cement to wipe the inside of the casing clean. The spacer is then
pumped into the casing. The spacer is followed by the cement slurry and this is followed by the second
plug (shut-off plug). When the wiper plug reaches the float collar its rubber diaphragm is ruptured,
allowing the cement slurry to flow through the plug, around the shoe, and up into the annulus. At this
stage the spacer is providing a barrier to mixing of the cement and mud. When the solid, shut-off plug
reaches the float collar it lands on the wiper plug and stops the displacement process. The pumping
rate should be slowed down as the shut-off plug approaches the float collar and the shut-off plug
should be gently bumped into the bottom, wiper plug. The casing is often pressure tested at this point
in the operation. The pressure is then bled off slowly to ensure that the float valves, in the float collar
and/or casing shoe, are holding.

Figure 3: Bottom Plug

The displacement of the top plug is closely monitored. The volume of displacing fluid necessary to
bump the plug should be calculated before the job begins. When the pre-determined volume has
almost been completely pumped, the pumps should be slowed down to avoid excessive pressure
when the plug is bumped. If the top plug does not bump at the calculated volume (allowing for
compression of the mud) this may be because the top, shut-off plug has not been released. If this is
the case, no more fluid should be pumped, since this would displace the cement around the casing
shoe and up the annulus. Throughout the cement job the mud returns from the annulus should be
monitored to ensure that the formation has not been broken down. If formation breakdown does
occur then mud returns would slow down or stop during the displacement operation.

Figure 4: Top Plug

The single stage procedure can be summarized as follows:
1. Circulate the casing and annulus clean with mud (one casing volume pumped)
2. Release wiper plug
3. Pump spacer
4. Pump cement
5. Release shut-off plug
6. Displace with displacing fluid (generally mud) until the shut-off plug lands on
the float collar
7. Pressure test the casing

2. Literature Review

As the procedure of cement job is already explained in the description above and all the parts
involved in the process is already explained. Thus, in this review, we have explained the problems
faced by the industry during the cement job and current steps and innovations developed to
overcome these problems. The cause of the problems and idea behind the solution can be roughly
visualized from the model and an explanation can be reached.

2.1 Hard and fast – the cement challenge, Middle East Reservoir Review, Nov 2, 2001

Traditional Cementing

Well cementing was introduced by Portland cement in 1901. This was seen as the most readily
available, economical and simple means of filling the annulus between pipe and formation. Fluid
density was adjusted to suit the hydrostatic pressure involved by changing the amount of water added
during mixing. Cement was pumped down to the lowest point in the well, then back up the casing—
formation annulus. A common problem was contamination of the cement by the drilling fluid that it
was displacing. Chemicals in the drilling fluid affected both the setting rate and the mechanical
properties of cement. To overcome this, another fill lid compatible with both the drilling fluid and the
cement was pumped ahead of the cement. This fluid also helped to clean the casing and the formation
prior to cementing.

Challenges in traditional cementing

Optimizing abovementioned fluids and all the other operational variables, such as correct pressure
maintenance, was a major challenge. Software such as CemCADE* cementing design and evaluation
software was developed for this purpose and is constantly being updated to keep pace with new
cementing challenges and changing slurry technologies. The main considerations are:

1. Proper pressure control in the well at all times. The total pressure exerted by moving fluid on
the formation is maintained between the pore pressure and the fracture pressure of the
drilled-through formations. If this pressure becomes too low fluid can flow between zones
and could cause a blowout. If it becomes too high, fluid will be lost to the formation.
2. The use of additives to control the frictional pressures caused by fluid. These pressures will
also increase along with viscosity, elapsed time, temperature, loss of fluid to the formation,
or combinations of these factors. As a result they can cause bridging in the annulus (due to
premature cement setting) with disastrous results.

3. Simulation of spacer and cement placement at well conditions to ensure optimum
displacement of the mud
4. The design of preflushes to reduce risks Of channeling (channels of unremoved drilling mud) ,
which can lead to the production of formation fluids, gas migration to surface, decreasing
production rates, early casing corrosion (Fig 1), and micro annulus (hence loss of zonal
isolation). Loss Of zonal isolation results in loss of control between one zone and another (also
known as underground blowout). Risks are minimized by optimizing flow regime selection,
annular flow rate, preflush contact times and volumes and fluid designs.

*Successfully displacing drilling fluid while placing cementitious material in casing annuli is crucial
to establishing zonal isolation, which in turn is essential to the success of subsequent completion,
stimulation and production operations.

Figure 5: Ultra Sonic imager showing early casing corrosion

New Innovations in Industry

1. High-density, high- performance slurries
High-density, high-performance (HDHPS) technology optimizes slurry placement
performance and ensures a high-quality set cement. It allows slurries with densities up to 24
Ibm/gal (2900kg/m3) to be used to cement critical casing strings in wells with high pressure
gradients. Using particle size distribution (PSD) optimization, particles of at least three
different sizes are selected (Figure 2). Adjusting the PSD allows engineers to introduce more
solids per unit volume than would be possible with a conventional cement slurry. The
compressive strength of the set cement is increased, and the porosity and permeability are
lowered due to the higher PVF that is achieved, regardless of the slurry density.

Figure 6: Coarse, medium and fine particle distribution in HDHPS blend matrix

*HDHPS has played a substantial role in reducing NPT and increasing cement efficiency.
2.2 The Influence of Velocity Profile on Cement Displacement Efficiency, Samwel Daud Lupyana,
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, August, 2015

The main objective of primary cement job is to provide complete isolation of the permeable zones
behind the casing. This can be achieved by having an efficient cement displacement process. The
challenge is always to have a displacement process which is as efficient as possible and one that cannot
leave drilling mud in between the casing and cement sheath-formation interfaces. The present thesis
focuses on cement displacement efficiency. It addresses the influence of the flow profiles and local
turbulence due to wall roughness on the cement displacement process during laminar flow.

The quality of the cement sheath in any cement job is important during oil and gas wells cementing.
The quality of the bonding between the wall of the wellbore and the cement is highly dependent
upon the sweeping efficiency of the cement slurry as it displaces the drilling mud in the annulus.
The sweeping efficiency of the cement slurry depends mainly on mass balance and on the resulting
displacement profile of the cement slurry, and to some extent also on the chemical compatibility
between the drilling fluid and the cement slurry and type of flow characteristics of the cementing
slurry. It is therefore purposely important to minimize the area of contact between the two during
the displacement by maximizing displacement efficiency.

Displacement efficiency is the most commonly used parameter for defining the ability of a given fluid
to displace another fluid. The lower the displacement efficiency the poorer the cementing job.
Problems related to failures of cement jobs include cement channelling and presence of residual mud
cake at the cement-formation interface. These problems result in fluid migration along micro annuli
in the cemented annulus including problems related to gas migration through cement which has been
a major problem in the drilling industry. Among the physical/ chemical factors which have been
revealed to have an extensive influence on gas migration through cement include poor cement job as
result of poor displacement. These problems therefore motivate further theoretical and experimental
studies of the displacement process.

Figure 7: The two flow regimes. In laminar flow (left), all fluid move to the pipe with a curved velocity profile. In turbulent
now, the velocity profile is flat because the fluid are swirling around.

2.3 New Innovation in the industry (As mentioned in Advanced Modelling of Cement
Displacement Complexities, Saeid Enayatpour and Eric van Oort, The University of Texas at Austin,

Creating a state-of-the-art 3D CFD model and conducting an advanced numerical analysis of cement
displacement, taking into account complexities such as non-Newtonian rheology, borehole
enlargement, and pipe eccentricity. Preparation of a model to show the cementing process to display
intermixing of cementing fluids to enhance the understanding of mud displacement and cement
placement in the well.

As mentioned in the paper “There are many causes for cement displacement problems and failures,
including poor borehole conditioning, inappropriate displacement flow rates, insufficient casing
centralization, viscosity contrast mismatches between mud-spacer-cement leading to interface
instabilities, etc. Our high-resolution finite element study quantifies the effects of many of these causes
and highlights parameters that can improve displacement, such as avoiding high shear strength in non-
Newtonian mud and cement rheology, reducing pipe eccentricity and applying pipe rotation during
displacement. The modelling approach is used to identify optimum parameters values, and studies
interdependencies between factors, for instance determining optimum rheology, flow rate and pipe
rotation speeds when pipe is placed eccentrically in the hole, in order to maximize the probability of
displacement success in the field. Particularly revealing are the non-intuitive results obtained while
modelling mud, spacer and cement as non-Newtonian yield power law (YPL) fluids, which has never
been done before.

This paper presents: (1) a new, state-of-the-art 3D CFD model; (2) advanced numerical analysis of
cement displacement, taking into account complexities such as non-Newtonian rheology, borehole
enlargement, pipe eccentricity, and pipe movement during displacement; (3) practical guidelines

derived from the modelling results that can be used for improved cement job pre-planning and field

*This paper focuses on advanced simulation to model cement displacement complexities to

increase cementing efficiency and overcoming problems like eccentricity and subsequent

Figure 8: (a) Pipe geometry with eccentricity; (b) pipe cross section

3. Planning of the project

3.1 Equipments Used

Acrylic Pipes
Acrylic Pipes constitute the wellbore and casing in model. Specifications of pipes
-Outer diameter of larger pipe (wellbore) - 50mm
-Inner diameter of larger pipe- 44mm
-Outer diameter of smaller pipe (casing) - 32mm
-Inner diameter of smaller pipe- 32mm
-Length- 18 inch

Black nylons rubber rings constitute the top plug and bottom plug.

-Plugs diameter- 25mm

PU Pipes & Connectors

PU pipes and connectors constitute the valve assembly and provide
connections from pump to valve assembly and back to tank.
-PU pipes- 6mm

Provide clean water to pump by removing impurities to protect pump from

SMPS Power Supply

Provide constant DC supply to pump needed for pump operation.

Diaphragm pump is used to provide constant fluid supply from tanks.
-Pump- 24v DC

Elastic synthetic rubber is used as centralizer.

Float collar
Provides seat for bottom plug in acrylic pipes.

3.2 Final practical working model

4. Total Cost
S. Name of Equipment Quantity Use of Components Estimated
No. Price (Rs)
1 Diaphragm Pump (125 psi) 1 To pump fluid (DC input) 1500
2 Acrylic Pipes Set 2 Serve as wellbore and casing 300

3 Water Tanks 1 To store fluids 100

4 Connecting Tubules(6 mm) 5 Transport fluid from tank to 200
5 Stand 1 To mount the equipment or 400
6 Neoprene Diaphragm 1 Serve as diaphragm of 200
bottom plug
7 Nylon Rod 2 Designing of Plug 200

8 One-way Valve 1 Fixed in float collar 100
9 Centralizer 1 To Stabilize casing 100
10 Mud Filter 1 To filter The water 300

11 PU connectors 5 Acts as Joints 100

12 SMPS Power Supply 1 Convert AC to DC 1000
13 Other Tools & Various Accessories 1 200

Total Budget Rs. 4,700

5. What was achieved and what remains?

The First step is construction of working model explaining the cementing job in the well.

 The final step of model making has been completed by incorporating all the technical and
practical aspects which would give us a better understanding of the cementing job by
taking appropriate assumptions where ever necessary.
 The specifications of the materials used are very accurate and suitable, and functions of
different cementing tools can be noticed during the whole process.
 This model is simple to understand and interpret , and also gives list of everything, from
well wash , to remove any mud accumulated at the walls of well , to the movement and
function of bottom and top plugs to displace cement behind the casing ,and the role of
centralizer, piston , float collar ,and diaphragm .

The second step which will precede after construction of model is the simulation work, which will
be done using software like MATLAB and ANSYS (Fluid Package).

 With the help of simulation we will be able to show optimum velocity and flow rate with which
the cement can be pumped to get the best cementing job.
 Successfully displacing drilling fluid while placing cementitious material in casing annuli is
crucial to establishing zonal isolation, which in turn is essential to the success of subsequent
completion, stimulation and production operations.
 Displacement done by spacer which is prepared with specific fluid characteristic, viscosity and
density to remove the mud filtrate and also prevent corrosion.
 This would prevent any loss of extra time and money for squeeze cementing in case of bad
 We can calculate the time taken for cementing job by calculating the volume required for
cementation and flow rate.

6. Any Problem faced so far

The model making was a challenging yet interesting job, which tested us on many levels but
ultimately brought out the best in us.

 The main problem we faced was availability of the spare parts which would be used in the
 Deciding the specifications of the parts was also a problem. Like the DC pump
specification, filter selection, power supply selection, PU pipes selection.
 The assembly job of whole model was also challenging.