Cementing of production casing in the Northern Iraq poses challenges to the cement sheath integrity due to mechanical and thermal stresses induced in the well life. The problem is further aggravated due to narrow window between pore pressure and fracture gradient. The acid-prohibitive cement system with improved mechanical properties was developed to mitigate the effect of induced stresses. The job was executed with operational optimization and zonal isolation was achieved.

Based on the operator's well testing and multi-stage high-rate well stimulation plan, the stress modeling was carried out to determine the optimum mechanical properties. The 19.6 ppg heavyweight cement system with a flexible thermoplastic polymer was designed to achieve the required Young's modulus and Poisson's ratio. Since the density and friction pressure hierarchy could not be met due to the narrow window between pore pressure and fracture gradient, therefore, the slurry rheological properties were optimized for effective mud removal. The pumping parameters were adjusted to maintain the primary well control during the cementing operation without compromising displacement efficiency.

The approach was implemented without any operational issues in the 9-7/8" production casing and 7" liner cementing. Following the job completion and waiting-on-cement time, the 9-7/8" casing was successfully pressure tested with a surface applied pressure of 2,000 psi and a well fluid of 1.78 SG. The isolation scanner cement evaluation confirmed the zonal isolation along the open hole of both the 9-7/8" intermediate casing and the 4½" production liner. Finally, the multi-stage high-pressure stimulation operations were performed during the completion/testing stage with no sign of communication between the different zones. The application of heavyweight acid prohibitive flexible slurry helped the operator to isolate the different zones of interest that were less than 10 m apart and retained the integrity of the seal throughout the high-pressure stimulation operation. Well is open to production without any annular pressure, thus, saving the operator's time and cost on the remedial cementing operations.

The proposed solution will help operators to ensure long-term zonal isolation in the HTHP wells which are subjected to dynamic pressure and temperature changes in the post slurry placement phase. The operators can also avoid the time and money on expensive remedial operations.

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