One of the main challenges of drilling in the Central Andaman Sea offshore Myanmar is the mitigation of overall well integrity risk arising from weak top-hole formations. On a well drilled by one operator, conductor integrity was lost due to cratering and loss circulation while cementing which eventually led to having to re-spud the well. Almost all the offset wells drilled by the operator in the same field experienced losses in the top section interval.
To meet integrity objectives for both exploration and development wells, the cementing strategy in certain cases must consider alternative solutions in addition to conventional Class G cement. In a recent project executed for one operator the cementing philosophy for the entire surface sections therefore had to be fine-tuned to incorporate the proven Optimized particle-sized distribution methodology.
A proprietary coarse material made from glass beads was introduced as part of the slurry design, being used for the first time in Myanmar to further improve cement properties. On the development wells the optimized design called for pumping 10.5ppg High-performance Light-weight cement (HPLWC) lead slurry, together with a standard Class G tail.
To meet operational integrity objectives, planning and risk assessments were put in place by the service company and the cementing programmes were developed to incorporate necessary mitigations against the identified risks. Plans were put in place to handle the implicit logistics requirements. Careful attention was paid to the execution given the downhole pressure sensitivities, all slurries were mixed and pumped with a degree of relative precision.
This paper summarizes the design and implementation of the cementing operation which contributed positively to meeting well integrity objectives. Apart from operational success, expectations which hitherto factored in possibility of top-up jobs were exceeded; for the exploration well the critical zones were covered with good returns to seabed observed on all the cement jobs as monitored by ROV. Hard cement were tagged and drilled out from the shoe track in each case and well operations progressed without any loss of integrity issue.
The paper aims to demonstrate that incorporating technology can help to improve well delivery and reduced lost time. Approximately, 18 cement jobs have been executed on the project - all successfully done. Out of these 4 top-hole cement jobs involved the use of the High-performance Light-weight (HPLWC) technology described in this paper.