The world's ever increasing demand for energy has forced operators to go after more difficult reservoirs. These challenging reservoirs place a greater demand on the cement sheath's ability to maintain a long term seal. To form an initially successful annular cement seal, effective mud removal is required. If effective mud removal can be achieved, the resultant cement sheath should be elastic and resilient enough to survive future downhole thermal stresses. Cyclic steam injection presents some of the harshest conditions under which a cement sheath's resilience and elasticity can be put to the test.

Derived from the industry's latest innovative science in sheath durability, a third generation cement design has been developed for a California heavy oil field. The paper will discuss the evolution from the initial wells to the improvements made for the second generation and the extensive testing and qualification process that went into the third generation slurry design. Best practices and lessons learned are covered.

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