The oil and gas industry, by default, has been pretty conservative when it relates to innovation and drastic changes in mind-set. Mainly focused on the costly drilling and completion steps, some of the "smaller" services have been ignored. As such, we have decided to take a deeper look at nano and micro sensored technologies in other industries and potentially replicate some of this innovation, allowing the industry to take "a step" closer to smarter zonal isolation.
In general, the industry is quite aware of well integrity issues that we face. Be it immediate (whilst drilling/completing), within the life of production or even during the abandonment phase. There are many statistics proving that on a global scale, there is well integrity and sustained casing pressure issues on about 30-60% of all drilled wells. And we can confirm that a majority of these are directly related to well-cementing, creating an immense impact(s), that can negatively influence overall HSE, loss of potential reserves and bottom line dollar-amount.
The ability to take a close look at well cementing has only proven feasible in a laboratory environment, beyond that, the knowledge and prediction of the actual state of the zonal isolation has proven difficult, confusing or costly.
Regardless of the improved best practices, enhanced logging tools or state-of-the-art technological advances in chemicals/systems – we still seem to have that unanswered "gap" – on what actually happened, when it happened and how to avoid it in the future.
This paper describes the background, the thought process and the potential advantage of the proposed well monitoring ideology and current R&D efforts to improve the cement isolation measurements and real time monitoring of its properties and integrity during the well life and after its abandonment, by sensoring it and communicating back to surface.