Lost circulation in depleted sands during a primary cementing job is a serious problem in Turkmenistan. The uncertainty in formation pressure across these sands increases the risk of losses during drilling and cementing, which results in remedial operations and nonproductive time. The need to find a fit-for-purpose lost circulation solution becomes even more critical in an environment with narrow pore pressure-to-fracture gradient, where each cement job with losses compromises the downhole well integrity.

An engineered lost circulation solution using innovative materials in the cement slurry was carefully assessed and qualified in the laboratory for each case to optimize the formulation. The lost circulation control treatment combines specialized engineered fibers with sized bridging materials to increase the effectiveness of treatment, formulated and added to the cement slurries based on the slurry solids volume fraction (SVF). Cement slurries with low SVF were treated with higher concentrations of the product and slurries with high SVF used lower concentrations.

More than 50 jobs were performed with cement slurries designed at various densities and SVF up to 58% and using this advanced lost circulation material (LCM) to mitigate losses during cementing. Field experience showed positive results, where the differential pressure up to 2,800 psi was expected during cementing operation. A local database, generated based on the design and development work performed, enabled improved decision-making for selection and LCM application requirements for subsequent jobs and development of a lost circulation strategy. The mitigation plan was put in place against losses in critical sections and depleted sand formations in Turkmenistan. It assisted in meeting the cement coverage requirements on numerous occasions, improving overall the integrity of the wells and thus, was considered to be a success.

This paper provides insight of this advanced LCM, its application in cement slurries, the logic behind the developed loss circulation strategy, and the high success rate of its implementation. Three case histories are presented to demonstrate the strategy and results.

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