Casing rotation is a mechanical aid that improves fluids displacement efficiency and helps achieve zonal isolation. A Colombian oil company faced its biggest challenge to successfully place cement across zones with washouts, rate restrictions, and difficult mud removal.
This paper describes the deployment of a rotating cement head for cementing services on a land operation in Colombia, Ecopetrol S.A. has supported and leveraged the deployment of this technology since 2018. The Casing Running Tool (CRT) Adapter provided an enhanced system to reduce stuck pipe risks and decrease rig up time.
The main solution selected to enhance results was implementing casing rotation; nevertheless, execution had to be completed safely and efficiently.
Top-drive cement heads are commonly used in offshore operations. In Colombia, the use of a top-drive cement head was targeted as a safe solution to rotate intermediate and production casings in land operations. This method would allow for rig up, pressure test, and execution of the cement job (including rotation throughout the entirety of the job) without having to break connections or shutdown operations. The main component of the system is the cement head itself, but it was necessary to also incorporate a triple water bushing that serves to connect the cement head with casing and cementing plugs for the specified casing size. The system was enhanced by incorporating an adapter that allows connecting the assembly directly to CRT.
This configuration enabled us to complete cementing without any connection make-ups during job, which reduced personnel risk and saved any flat time.
During the installation process in prior operations, it was necessary to disconnect and rack back the casing running tool and then connect the cement head to the top drive. In some cases, the overall time to perform these actions was about 1 hour and 30 minutes. On certain wells this additional time could increase the risk of stuck pipe and prevent our ability to rotate the casing during cementing. The system has been improved by adding a CRT adapter that joins the cement head to the top drive without disconnecting the CRT.
This new system helps mitigate stuck pipe risks by reducing connection time to as little as 10 minutes while safely enabling casing rotation to improve cement isolation.
This configuration enables casing rotation during cementing in wells with high torque requirements and stuck pipe risks while improving annular cement placement. The system makes the operation safer and more efficient.