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Section 4

Primary Cementing
Table of Contents
Introduction ................................................................................................................................................4-3 Topic Areas.............................................................................................................................................4-3 Learning Objectives................................................................................................................................4-3 Unit A: Primary Cementing Background...................................................................................................4-3 Preparations for Primary Cementing ......................................................................................................4-5 Pre-Job Checklist ....................................................................................................................................4-5 Unit A Quiz ............................................................................................................................................4-6 Unit B: Types of Casing Cementing Jobs ..................................................................................................4-7 Conductor Casing ...................................................................................................................................4-7 Surface Casing........................................................................................................................................4-7 Intermediate Casing................................................................................................................................4-8 Production Casing...................................................................................................................................4-9 Innerstring Cementing ..........................................................................................................................4-10 Unit B Quiz...........................................................................................................................................4-12 Unit C: Preventing Cementing Failures ...................................................................................................4-13 Causes of Primary Cementing Failures ................................................................................................4-14 Effects of Drilling Fluids and Contaminants on Cements ....................................................................4-14 Flow Properties.....................................................................................................................................4-15 Conditioning the Drilling Fluid ............................................................................................................4-16 Pipe Movement.....................................................................................................................................4-16 Pipe Centralization ...............................................................................................................................4-17 Eccentric Flow and Density Difference................................................................................................4-17 High Displacement Rates .....................................................................................................................4-18 Spacers and/or Flushes .........................................................................................................................4-18 Unit C Quiz...........................................................................................................................................4-19 Answers to Unit Quizzes..........................................................................................................................4-20

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Use for Section Notes

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Introduction
Primary cementing is the cementing operation performed immediately after the casing has been run downhole. This is accomplished by pumping cement slurry down the entire length of casing, out the bottom joint, and up into the annular space. The cement is then allowed to set before drilling is resumed or the well is completed. The materials, tools, equipment, and techniques to be used vary depending on the hole conditions, depth of the well, and the people planning the job. Successful primary cementing presents a constant challenge and requires up-todate knowledge and technology. As part of a cementing team, you must know and understand purpose and methods for primary cementing, and how to ensure that the job is done correctly.

Topic Areas
The units in this section are: A. Primary Cementing Background B. Types of Casing Cementing Jobs C. Preventing Cementing Failures

Learning Objectives
Upon completion of this section, you should be familiar with: The purpose of primary cementing The main types of casing which are cemented How to help prevent cementing failures by using best practices

Unit A: Primary Cementing Background


The primary cementing process bonds the pipe to the wall of the hole and prevents communication of fluids in the well bore from one zone to another. This is critical in the upper part of the well where freshwater zones may be encountered. The three main functions of the cement are isolation, protection, and support. Primary cementing isolates zones so that the migration of fluids cannot occur. For example, it prevents: oil, gas, and salt water from migrating to and causing contamination of freshwater zones. salt water from migrating into gas and oil zones and causing production problems as well as pollution. Primary cementing provides a sealant and protects the casing against formation fluids or gas, which could cause casing corrosion external pressure, which could collapse the casing or result in a blowout. hole cave-in while deeper drilling is being done.

Primary cementing supports the casing and guards the casing string against: the excessive weight of other strings. the possibility that the bottom joints might unscrew.

Primary cementing uses several basic techniques. The most typical procedure is the 43 Cementing 1

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single-stage primary cementing job using the two-plug displacement method (Fig. 4.1). The single-stage primary cementing procedure pumps cement down the casing between two rubber plugs. The plugs are equipped with wiping fins to help prevent contamination of the cement by mud and to help clean the interior of the pipe. Other commonly used techniques depend upon well depth and completion requirements. Two-,

three-, and four-stage cementing procedures decrease the hydrostatic pressure of the fluid column in the annulus, help protect weak zones against excessive high pressure, and help prevent circulation loss. In addition to offering economic advantages, cement may or may not be circulated up the entire string to surface. Multiple-stage primary cementing is also important for use in wells where two or more zones are separated by long intervals.

Figure 4.1 Single-stage primary cementing job using the two-plug displacement method.

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Preparations for Primary Cementing


Before any primary cementing job can proceed, many steps need to be taken: seismographic analysis, legal procedures, land surveys, and the selection and preparation of the specific well site. One of the last things that needs to be done to prepare a land location is the digging of the cellar. This is a hole (about 8 ft square), the depth of which ranges from 1 to 6 ft. For offshore locations (platform or jack up), the cellar deck is below the rig floor. The rig will be placed over the cellar or cellar deck. It provides height for blowout preventers (a BOP prevents the escape of pressure from the annulus or an open hole) and flow lines below the rotary table.

The power, hoisting, rotating, and circulating systems are installed, and drilling begins. Then it is time for the cementing service company crew to do its work. In a later section, calculations will be performed that are necessary for a primary cement job. However, when you arrive on location, you need to know several items of information to be able to effectively complete the job. The Pre-Job Checklist below was developed to help you obtain this information. The Pre-job Checklist should serve as a general guideline to help you prepare for most primary cementing jobs. Other questions, specific to the individual type of job being performed need to be asked accordingly.

Pre-Job Checklist
Questions to answer before leaving for location: Does the bulk cement ticket agree with the order from the well operator? What is the approximate time needed to mix and displace cement? (Does this agree with pumping time of cement?) Has preparation been made to weigh cement properly while mixing? What is the size and type of thread on the connections? What type of floating equipment is being used? (Is a ball or other dropping device used with this equipment?) Has the Pre-Trip Inspection been performed on the equipment? Has the Lab report been finalized on the cement and additives? What type of recording equipment is to be used? Questions to answer while on location: Have pumping equipment and bulk cement equipment been checked and are they ready to mix cement? Has maximum pressure been agreed upon? Has it been determined if the rig pump or the service unit is to pump the plug down? Has preparation been made to flush the lines after releasing the plug if the customer so desires? Has preparation been made to leave the service truck tied into casing while rig pump is displacing cement in order to record pressure on casing job if the well operator so desires? What size and weight casing is being used? What is the size of the hole? Is there enough water to mix cement? Is the rate of water supply adequate? Has the volume of displacement fluid been checked to see if there is adequate supply on location? Is everyone on location aware of all the safety concerns? Has preparation been made to drop the plugs on the fly?

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Unit A Quiz
Fill in the blanks with one or more words to check your progress in Unit A. 1. Primary cementing _____________ zones so that migration of fluids cannot occur. It prevents pollution and contamination of ________________________. 2. In addition, primary cementing protects the casing against ____________ and ______________, and the hole against _____________ while deeper drilling is being done. 3. Before drilling, a hole is dug on site which will house BOPs as well as other items. The rig will be placed over this hole, which is called a ____________.

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Unit B: Types of Casing Cementing Jobs


In primary cementing, four basic strings of casing may be used depending on well depths, downhole formations, pressures, temperature, freshwater zones and fluid to be recovered (oil, gas, or steam). This section explains the cementing of the four basic types of casing. Conductor Surface Intermediate Production In soft formations, the conductor casing may simply be pounded into the ground. Otherwise, a hole is drilled for it. Only conductor casing that is run in drilled holes is cemented. The cement used for conductors is usually accelerated to reduce WOC (Wait on Cement) time. It also may include lost circulation additives to prevent loss of cement to the formation. This pipe may be cemented in the conventional manner or it may be cemented in stages. Care must be taken to ensure that the pipe does not collapse during cementing. If a hole has been drilled for the conductor, mud may have been used. Therefore, a spacer should be run for good mud removal, and a top plug should be run to help prevent channeling when the conventional cementing method is used. To reduce the amount of cement that is inside the casing at any point during the job, innerstring cementing may be used on the conductor casing. In this technique, tubing or drill pipe (small enough to fit inside the casing) is run to a specially-designed innerstring guide shoe or float collar. The tubular goods are stabbed into the collar or shoe, and cement is pumped. If the hole size has been estimated for the job and cement slurry is designed to be lifted to surface, some of the excess cement may be eliminated and returned in dry bulk form due to having a minimal amount within the tubing/drillpipe at any one time. Typically, a latch-down plug is run inside the workstring after the cement to seal off in the collar or shoe.

These casings were discussed in Section 2 of this workbook.

Conductor Casing
If conductor casing is used, it is first string set in a well (Fig. 4.2). The setting depth of the conductor casing can vary from 10 ft to more than 300 ft. The depth of conductor casing depends on how deep you must go to reach solid material. The size of conductor pipe ranges from 16 in. to 36 in. OD, depending upon how many other strings run through it.

Conductor Casing

Surface Casing
Surface casing is usually the second string set in the well (Fig. 4.3). However, it may be the first if conductor casing is not used. Surface casing depth requirements vary from near ground level to several thousand feet, depending upon how deep you must go to cover all fresh water zones.

Reservoir

Figure 4.2 Conductor Casing

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Surface pipe size ranges from 7 5/8-in. to 20-in. OD. Again, the size depends upon how much additional casing will be run below the surface casing. As the depth increases, so does the temperature, pressure, and the amount of corrosive fluids. Thus, different grades of pipe are necessary to withstand different well conditions. The hole is drilled to the depth desired for the surface casing.

the casing is reduced by adding weighted fluid between the drill pipe and the casing. If lost circulation is a problem, the cement may be pumped down the annulus through a 1 in. pipe to bring cement to the surface. If casing collapse or formation breakdown may be a problem, the cement may be pumped in stages, using a multiple stage tool. Usually a filler or lead cement (a less expensive cement, such as Class H cement with Bentonite) is run to fill the annulus back to ground level. Higher strength cement (called the tail cement) is then pumped to set around the bottom of the surface casing. Before drilling out, the cement should have a compressive strength of at least 500 psi. The bottom joints of surface casing (or any casing string that will have drilling operations conducted below it) are subject to being unscrewed by drill pipe rotation. As drill pipe is rotated clockwise inside the surface casing, any drag transferred to the casing results in a counter-clockwise force being exerted above the point of drag. Should the force be adequate to unscrew a casing joint, the problem must be fixed or the well abandoned. For this reason, the bottom joints of casing must be well centralized in the hole, with a competent cement in place to hold it securely in a fixed position. Often, special thread compounds are used to chemically "weld" the box and pin connections together.

Conductor Casing Cement Surface Casing

Reservoir

Figure 4.3 Surface Casing

Before cementing, the well should be circulated to break up the gel strength of the mud. Also, a spacer should be run for good mud removal. Cement for surface casing will usually be an accelerated type. Other additives are used to combat lost circulation, if necessary. Normally, a simple combination of a casing guide shoe, float collar (or insert float valve), and centralizers is used. It is important to ensure that the bottom section of the surface casing is well centralized. Downhole equipment discussed in Section 10 may be used when running surface casing. On a conventional job, both a top and a bottom plug should be run, unless you are using a lost circulation additive in the cement. An important point to keep in mind is that the pressure to land the plug, when released, must not be enough to collapse the casing. When innerstring cementing techniques are used, the possibility of collapsing 48
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Intermediate Casing
Intermediate casing is set after the surface casing (Fig. 4.4). A string may extend from ground level to as far as 25,000 ft. The size and type of intermediate casing is again dependent on the number of other strings to be run below it, and the grade required to withstand the conditions in the well. Sizes range from 6 5/8 in. to 20 in., with the most common sizes being: 9 5/8-in., 10 3/4-in. and 13 3/8-in. casing. The hole is drilled to the depth desired for the intermediate casing.

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Conductor Casing Cement Surface Casing

cementing job may be performed in multiple stages.

Production Casing
The production casing (Figure 4.5) is the last full string of pipe set in the well. Sometimes liners are used instead of production casing. The production string extends from the surface to the deepest producing formation. It must be small enough to fit through all the previous casings. The most common sizes are 4 1/2 in., 5 1/2 in., and 7 in. casing. It will be cemented, then perforated in the producing zone. Therefore, a good cement job here affects the success of the well more than in any other part.

Intermediate Casing

Cement

Reservoir

Figure 4.4 Intermediate Casing

As in most casing jobs, it is very important to break up the gel strength of the mud and run a spacer to clean the mud before cementing is begun. Since prolonged drilling is done through the intermediate string, damage to this casing is fairly common. Centralizers and scratchers are used on the intermediate casing string to help ensure uniform cement bonding. In addition, cement baskets may be used to help protect weak formations. The first cement pumped (lead slurry) for intermediate casing is a filler type. It is followed by a higher density tail cement. Unlike cement used in surface or conductor jobs, it usually contains retarders to allow good pump time in high temperatures. It may also contain frictionreducing, lost-circulation, or fluid-loss additives. If the casing is being run through salt or shale zones, a salt additive will be needed. In short, several blends of slurries may be needed because of the characteristics of the formations encountered. The innerstring cementing method is sometimes used for intermediate casing. However, if the pipe size is small, the conventional two-plug method may be used. (Remember to use the bottom plug unless lost circulation materials are being run.) If the casing is run to a great depth, or if formation breakdown is a problem, the

Conductor Casing Cement Surface Casing

Intermediate Casing

Cement

Production Casing

Reservoir Cement Casing Shoe

Figure 4.5 Production Casing

As stated before, it is very important to have a good cement job here. The hole is drilled to the lowest producing formation. Then it is circulated and a spacer is run. Depending on the well conditions, all types of equipment may be used (centralizers, packer shoes or collars, multiple stage tools, etc.) to help ensure the jobs success. The proper blend of cement depends upon the hole conditions. Testing of the cement is particularly essential for a production casing cementing job. When cementing, the slurry should be at the highest possible rate while

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rotating or reciprocating the pipe. After the job, but before the cement sets, the pressure should be released to ensure that the float valve is holding. Also, holding pressure until the cement sets could cause a microannulus behind the casing.

Innerstring Cementing
Halliburtons inner string cementing equipment allows cementing large diameter strings through drillpipe or tubing that is inserted and sealed in floating equipment. This method is some- times less costly than cementing large casing using the conventional plug displacement method. Other advantages include: Large diameter cementing plugs are not required By pumping through the smaller inner string, you can reduce cement contamination resulting from channeling inside casing Cement is discharged outside the casing much faster after mixing, reducing the risk of the cement slurry within the casing having a highly accelerated setting time Reduces amount of cement that has to be drilled out of large diameter casing Less circulating time required with inner string cementing

Figure 4.6 Super Seal II Float Collar with Sealing Sleeve

Innerstring cementing requires that a stab-in float shoe or float collar be installed in the casing string. The casing string is run into the well in the usual manner. The inner string is then run in, with the sealing adapter made up on the lower end and stabbed into the floatingequipment sealing sleeve. The sealing sleeve is built into the floating equipment to provide a sealing-surface receptacle for the innerstring sealing adapter. Concrete is molded around the sealing sleeve to secure the sleeve within the floating equipment. The floating-equipment top is also tapered to form a surface that helps guide the sealingsleeve adapter into its sealing sleeve. Two centralizers should be run on the inner string: one centralizer is directly above the sealing adapter, and another one or two joints above the first centralizer. This arrangement will help the inner string enter the stab-in floating equipment. After the inner string (usually drillpipe) has been stabbed into the floating equipment, cement is pumped through the inner string and floating equipment into the casing/wellbore annulus. After cementing has been completed, the check valve in the floating equipment prevents cement from re-entering the casing, and the sealing adapter and inner string can be pulled from the casing. Floating equipment with a latch-down plug seat is also available. This floating equipment is built

There are three basic methods available for performing inner string cementing. Each relies on Halliburton's proven line of Super Seal II floating equipment. Methods include (1) Super Seal II float collar with sealing sleeve (Fig. 4.6), (2) Super Seal II float collar with sealing sleeve and latch-down seat, and (3) standard Super Seal II float collar. Super Seal II equipment offers these benefits: Reduces cement waste Reduces casing collapse Reduces cement drill-out time Eliminates large diameter cement plugs Drillpipe latch-down plugs available

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with a combination sealing sleeve and latchdown plug seat. The combination sleeve, which is held in place by concrete, provides (1) a sealing surface for the inner-string sealing adapter on the top and (2) a bore configuration to latch and seal the nose of a latch-down plug on bottom. After the last cement is displaced down the inner string, a top latch-down cement plug is launched down the inner string. The nose of the latchdown plug seats and latches into the float equipment sleeve immediately after passing through the innerstring sealing sleeve. After latching in, the plug nose should seal and withstand pressure from above and below. After the innerstring is retrieved, the latch-down plug serves as a backup to any backpressure valves located in the casing string below. Pressure can be applied inside the casing immediately after the latch-down plug has been landed and the sealing-sleeve adapter has been pulled from the sealing sleeve.

Figure 4.7 Innerstring cementing method, used for large-diameter casing.

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Unit B Quiz
Fill in the blanks with one or more words to check your progress in Unit B. 1. Cement for conductor and surface casing usually contains additives to _______________ the setting time and to reduce _________ time. 4. A cementing technique known as __________________ is sometimes used for large diameter casing to reduce the amount of wasted cement. Tubular goods are stabbed into a specially-designed ________________________. Cement is then pumped through this smaller string and a ____________________ plug is run. 5. The depth of surface casing depends on how far you must go to cover all ______________ zones. 6. Following the spacer, _____________ cement is run. This is followed by a _________ cement which is usually more expensive and more dense. 7. Cement with _______________ is used as the tail cement with intermediate strings. 8. The last full string of pipe run in the hole is ________________ casing. 9. The hole for production casing is drilled to the ___________________________________________. 10. The cementing job performed for the _______________ casing is probably the most important for the wells success. The pipe should be_________ during cementing.

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Unit C: Preventing Cementing Failures


Many cementing failures have been caused by inefficient drilling fluid displacement, resulting in drilling fluid channels in the cement column. Since 1971, HES has used a large-scale test model, equipment, and materials that simulate actual cementing conditions to study the factors that affect cementing efficiency. Findings from these cementing studies, combined with the knowledge acquired from more than 75 years of cementing experience, have led to procedures and theories for effectively cementing wells. These uncemented drilling fluid channels provided a permeable conduit for well fluids to migrate, causing lost production and/or corroded casing. Since then, the industry has investigated many variables under various simulated cementing conditions. The general testing procedures and the equipment used to perform these tests have been modified and updated throughout the years, enabling the simulation of both typical and specialized cementing conditions. Displacement research has examined various formations, irregularities in the wellbore (such as washouts), and controllable factors (such as the condition of the drilling fluid, pipe movement, pipe centralization, flow rate, and the use of spacers/flushes). Each of these affect displacement efficiency (the percentage of mud removed ahead of a cement slurry). This section summarizes 25 years of study on the factors that affect displacement efficiency for the majority of jobs performed: Causes of primary cementing failures Possible flow patterns that mud, cement, and spacers may obtain in the annulus during a primary job. Importance of mud conditioning and flow rates. Importance of pipe centralization and movement. Importance of cement-mud spacers.

Figure 4.8 Test samples showing cement displacement efficiencies: Sample 2 is 97% efficient and Sample 4 is only 64% efficient (notice the mud between the cement and the outer casing).

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Causes of Primary Cementing Failures


You need to know what can go wrong when you are involved in a cementing job. Many factors can contribute to a poor job; some will be discussed briefly here. Incomplete mixing of the slurry. This can be caused by: mechanical failure failure of the bulk system incorrect water or pressure.

the difficulty of displacing drilling mud ahead of the cement slurry, in the annulus, while pumping. Most often, uncontaminated cement slurry fingers through the contaminated mixture resulting in a channel and limited coverage of the pipe exterior with competent cement. Severe incompatibility may result in early job termination due to being unable to move an extremely viscous mass of mud/cement mixture. Mud and cement intermixing also adversely affect slurry thickening time (designed time from mixing to becoming unpumpable) and cement compressive strength. Muds tend to drastically extent the cement pump time and prevent the cement mixture from gaining minimum required compressive strength. Normally a remedial or squeeze job is required to correct the poor results of the primary job. Delays in operations, cost of additional cement jobs, and decreased probability of isolating critical zones may drastically drive well costs up or even force well abandonment. Halliburton has numerous mud/cement spacers that are designed to prevent mud from contaminating cement. When incorporated with other best practices, these products help ensure a successful primary cement job. Intermixing of mud and cement inside the casing is eliminated by using special wiper plugs at critical times during the job. These were discussed earlier in this section. Contaminants include fertilizers, decomposed animal life, agricultural products, soil chemicals, and waste effluents. The effects of different mud additives on cement are shown in Table 4.1.

Cement setting too quickly or too slowly. This can be caused by: contaminated mixing water too much or too little mixing water incorrect down-hole temperature estimate plugged shoe or collar inadequate pumping rate mechanical failure.

Channeling of the slurry (less than total cement coverage around the outside of the pipe over the target interval). This can be caused by: failure to centralize pipe failure to move pipe failure to circulate mud system and run a mud/cement spacer.

Effects of Drilling Fluids and Contaminants on Cements


Cement slurries and drilling fluids (drilling mud) are almost always incompatible. The primary incompatibility problem is when a mixture of the two is thicker than either of the separate fluids. This increased thickness (or viscosity) increases

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Table 4.1 Mud Additives and Their Effect on Cement Additives


Barium Sulfate (BaSO4) Caustics (NaOH, Na2CO3, etc.) Calcium compounds CaO, Ca(OH)2, CaCl2, CaSO4, 2H2O) Hydrocarbons (diesel oil, lease crude oil) Sealants (scrap, cellulose, rubber, etc.) Thinners (tannins, lignosulfonates, quebracho, lignins, etc.) Emulsifiers (lignosulfonates, alkyl ethylene oxide adducts, hydrocarbons sulfonates) Bactericides (substituted phenols, formaldehyde, etc.) Fluid-loss control additives (C.M.C., starch, guar polyacrylamides, lignosulfonate

Purposes
Weighting agent pH adjustment Conditioning and pH control Control fluid loss, lubrication Seal against leakage to formation Disperse mud solids Forming oil-in-water or water-in-oil muds Protect organic additives against bacterial decomposition Reduce fluid loss from mud to formation

Cement Effects
Density increase strength reduction Acceleration Acceleration Density decrease Retardation Retardation Retardation Retardation Retardation

Flow Properties
Mud removal in the annulus is a function of the flow patterns that are achieved. Three types of flow patterns are: Plug Flow - mud removal is minimal due to low frictional or drag forces exerted on the mud layer. This flowrate can remove only about 60% of the mud from the pipe.

Laminar Flow - fluid velocity is higher creating more friction. This results in more force being exerted on the mud layer by frictional drag, resulting in improved mud removal. This flowrate can remove as much as 90% of the mud from the pipe. Turbulent Flow - A maximum mud removal capability is reached due to high frictional or drag forces. Eddies and current in the fluid result in a mud removal percentage as high as 95%.

Plug Flow

Laminar Flow

Turbulent Flow

Figure 4.9 Plug flows.

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Conditioning the Drilling Fluid


A well-conditioned drilling fluid is the most significant factor affecting drilling fluid displacement. Studies in test wells that simulate realistic permeability reveal the importance of additives to control fluid leak-off, from the mud, in order to prevent excessive filter-cake buildup. In tests simulating vertical wellbore cementing conditions, immobile drilling fluid filter cake could not be displaced completely by the cement slurry, even under turbulent flow conditions. Low viscosity spacers/flushes placed ahead of the cement slurry and pipe movement coupled with mechanical scratchers/wall cleaners can help remove gelled drilling fluid or filter cake. However, there is no substitute for maintaining drilling fluid properties that enhance the mobility of the drilling fluid, enabling displacement by the cement slurry.

influence, the results presented in Figure 4.5 show a significant decrease in displacement efficiency after only 5 minutes of down time.

Affect of Static Time


100

Displacement Efficiency (%)

90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 2 Hours 0 Minutes 5 Minutes 4 Hours 0

Low Mobility Mud

Figure 4.11 Static Time


Mobile Mud

Filtrate
FILTRATE

Cement

Filter Cake

Formation

Casing

A well engineered cement job design will include laboratory testing of the mud to measure its viscosity (rheological properties) under down-hole conditions. Additives or base fluid (water or synthetic oil) can be added prior to cementing to improve the muds tendency to flow ahead of the cement slurry.

Figure 4.10 Conditioned drilling fluid is easier to remove.

Pipe Movement
Second to drilling fluid conditioning in importance is the need to employ pipe movement, either rotation or reciprocation, both during and before cementing. Pipe movement helps break up gelled pockets of drilling fluid and the loose cuttings that may accumulate within the pockets. Pipe movement also can help offset the negative effects from poorly centralized pipe. Mechanical scratchers attached to the casing further enhance the beneficial effects of pipe movement. If casing is properly centralized, pipe movement can be accomplished even in horizontal wells. In 4 16 Cementing 1

Another way to improve drilling fluid mobility (to enhance its displacement capability) is through prejob circulation to thoroughly fluidize the drilling fluid before cementing. To further improve its mobility, the viscosity of the drilling fluid should be reduced, if possible, during the prejob circulation period. Proper hole conditioning is critical to successful cementing operations. It is also important to limit the amount of static time before and during the cement job. From the tests conducted to determine static time

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addition, if the drilling fluid system is not carrying solids, pipe movement can help eliminate a solids-settled channel.

Figure 4.14 Pipe centralization.

Figure 4.12 Pipe movement.

Eccentric Flow and Density Difference


When designing fluids for a specific flow regime, it is assumed that the flow is in a perfectly centered annulus. In reality, this is not true. In an eccentric annulus, the fluid has a tendency to take the path of least resistance; the fluid will tend to flow through the wider section of the annulus more readily. Under these conditions, the flow regime in the wider section can be different than the flow regime in the narrower section. For example, the flow may be turbulent in the wide section and be laminar, or even plugged, in the narrow section. Under these conditions, a large density difference between cement and drilling fluid can improve displacement efficiency. Under all other conditions, it is the velocity of fluids that will primarily determine the displacement efficiency. As a general rule of thumb, the design of spacers and cements should follow the low to highdensity approach. That is, the spacer should be heavier than the drilling fluid and the cement heavier than the spacer.

Pipe Centralization
According to test results, pipe centralization is another important factor in obtaining high displacement efficiency. In test sections where the pipe was not central in the hole, the cement displayed a strong tendency to bypass drilling fluid. Centralizers improve pipe standoff, thereby equalizing the distribution of forces exerted by the cement slurry as it flows up the annulus. Otherwise, cement tends to follow the path of least resistancethe wide side of the annulus.

Formation Mud C Casing Cement

Figure 4.13 - Cement tends to follow the wide side of the annulus.
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High Displacement Rates


The greatest displacement efficiencies observed in tests conducted at a scale-model test facility consistently occur at the highest displacement rates, regardless of the flow regime of the cement slurry. The highest displacement efficiency occurred under turbulent flow conditions; however, if turbulent flow could not be achieved, displacement was consistently better at the highest rates attained under like conditions for similar slurry compositions. With other factors being equal, thin cement slurry placed under turbulent flow conditions exhibited higher drilling fluid displacement efficiency than a thicker slurry placed at low rates. Frequently, turbulent flow is not a viable option, such as when hole and formation conditions create frictional pressures exceeding the fracturing gradient of the formation. Test and field data clearly indicate that even when turbulence is not possible, pump rates should be maximized.

Spacers may be water or oil based. Current oil based spacers often use synthetic oils to avoid the environmental concerns of hydrocarbon based oil, such as diesel. Water based spacers tend to leave steel in a water wet condition which aids with cement bonding. Non-weighted spacers are often referred to as flushes. Water is a common flush. These are most effective and economical on low density muds that are near the density of the flush. They are the easiest to put into turbulent flow. Often, additives are used which thin drilling mud or chemically attack mud filter cake.

Spacers and/or Flushes


One of the key factors in obtaining an effective primary cementing job is to minimize the contamination of the cement slurry with the drilling fluid. The drilling fluid must be completely displaced from the annulus so that a competent cement sheath can form and produce an effective hydraulic seal. The inadequate removal of annular fluids may result in poor cement bonds to the pipe and formation, intrazone communication, pipe corrosion, and pipe collapse. In HighPressure/High-Temperature (HPHT) wells, these factors become even more critical. The correct spacer system can help the operator/service company achieve a quality cement job.

Figure 4.15 Use of spacers.

For densified muds, spacers must be designed with weighting materials resulting in the spacer being equal to, or greater, than the mud in density. A lighter density spacer will result in poor mud displacement efficiency. The viscosity of weighted spacers may be modified to further enhance mud displacement. Halliburton maintains design software that aids with weighted spacer design.

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Unit C Quiz
Fill in the blanks with one or more words to check your progress in Unit C. 1. A plugged shoe or collar, contaminated mixing water, or an inadequate pumping rate might cause the ___________ to _________________________. 2. _____________ can be caused by lack of pipe centralization and movement. 3. Drilling fluid and cement are often _______________ and intermixing of the two may cause a primary cementing job _________________. 4. ___________________________ properties allow for maximum removal of drilling mud due to high frictional drag forces. 5. A _________________________ drilling fluid is critical for successful mud removal. 6. Pipe movement can offset the ________________ effects of poorly _________________ casing during a primary cement job. 7. If casing is not perfectly centered, cement will tend to flow up the _________ side of the annulus. 8. Even if turbulent flow cannot be obtained, the highest possible __________________ should be used for _____________ mud removal. 9. ____________ or _____________ help minimize contamination between a cement slurry and drilling ___________.

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Mud Removal

Answers to Unit Quizzes


Items from Unit A Quiz 1. isolates, freshwater zones 2. formation fluids, gas, cave-in 3. cellar Refer to Page 4-3 4-3 4-4

Items from Unit B Quiz 1. accelerate, WOC 2. innerstring cementing, guide shoe or float collar, latch-down 3. freshwater 4. lead, tail 5. retarder 6. production 7. lowest producing formation 8. production, rotated 9. float shoe, float collar 10. latch-down

Refer to Page 4-7 4-7 4-7 4-8 4-9 4-9 4-9 4-9 4-10 4-11

Items from Unit C Quiz 1. set too quickly 2. cement, channeling 3. incompatible, failure (or termination) 4. Turbulent flow 5. well conditioned 6. negative, centralized 7. wide 8. flow rate, maximum 9. Spacers, flushes, fluid (mud)

Refer to Page 4-14 4-14 4-14 4-15 4-16 4-16 4-16 4-18 4-18

4 20
2001, Halliburton

Cementing 1