Abstract

A method has been developed to calculate wellbore temperatures during Mud circulation and the actual cementing operation to aid in the design of cement slurries. The method agrees within 10F with previously measured values. The calculation technique provides temperatures, as functions of time, at varying depths in both the casing and annulus. The technique also provides this information if a relatively cool cement slurry is pumped into the well immediately following circulation of hot mud. Circulating bottom-hole temperatures of brine and a bentonite mud were measured.

Introduction

As wells are drilled deeper, greater demands are being made on all phases of the industry, and new technology has been developed to provide satisfactory well completions. However, little or no work has been conducted on accurately determining bottom-hole, static and circulating temperatures. In designing a cement slurry, such factors as density, fluid loss control, viscosity, deterioration from temperature, compressive strength and pumping time must be considered. Individual well conditions often make it necessary to include still other factors, Pumping time is a primary consideration and, as wells are drilled deeper, encountering higher bottom-hole temperatures, this property becomes even more important. Cement slurries must be designed with sufficient pumping time to provide safe placement in the well; however, the slurry cannot be overly retarded as this will prevent the development of satisfactory compressive strength. The pumping time of a specific cement is currently obtained by subjecting the cement to simulated conditions of temperature and pressure. A reasonably accurate bottomhole pressure may be obtained by considering hydrostatic heads of fluids, friction pressure and wellhead pressures. However, accurately determining bottom-hole temperatures is much more difficult. Bottom-hole static temperatures are estimated by considering several sources of information, including logging temperatures, published temperature gradient maps and field experience. This information is usually questionable due to disagreement of data from the various sources. Temperature gradient maps were constructed based on temperatures recorded many years ago while running bottom-hole pressure tests. These thermal gradients then represent an average of well conditions and cannot always apply to a specific well. Also, logging temperatures may be affected by the time since fluid was last circulated, rate of penetration, circulating rate and many other factors. Therefore, even though logging temperatures are available, the question still exists as to the correction factor that should be applied to obtain an accurate static temperature. After obtaining static bottom-hole temperature, it is then necessary to relate this to circulating temperatures actually encountered by the cement slurry. This is accomplished by selecting a test schedule from the API RP-10B corresponding to the estimated well conditions. The API-recommended practice for testing oilwell cement provides testing schedules for various well depths and conditions. These schedules are intended to simulate down-hole conditions during cementing. They provide a rate at which both temperature and pressure are increased until the estimated circulating conditions are reached. These testing schedules represent circulating temperatures for an average well and, although there is flexibility in choosing the test schedule that most accurately simulates the temperature of an individual well, it still is not possible to consider all the well conditions that will affect the bottom-hole temperature. Many factors affect cement temperatures; for example. the length of time a well has remained static prior to running casing and cementing, the circulation time, the temperature of fluids used in cementing, fluid density and flow properties of fluids. The pumping time for a typical retarded cement could vary from 2 to 4 hours with a 10F change in testing temperature. Variations in pumping time are the most critical in highly retarded cements used in deep, hot wells; yet, predicting bottom-hole circulating temperatures is more difficult in these wells. This work was conducted to develop a means of calculating circulating temperatures as a function of well depth, casing and hole size, pumping rate and time, fluid and reservoir physical properties and thermal status of the well.

PREVIOUS WORK

In 1941 Farris reported on a study to develop information leading to a more practical laboratory evaluation of oilfield cementing mixtures and performance.

JPT

P. 1507ˆ

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