Abstract

Perforate-Wash-Cement (P/W/C) is a well plugging technique extensively used by ConocoPhillips in the Greater Ekofisk Area over the last ten years. In Jet-type P/W/C, Tubing Conveyed Perforating (TCP) guns perforate casing in the target interval before the zone is washed and a cross-sectional cement plug is installed using a specialized Bottom Hole Assembly (BHA). The goal is to maximize the cement plug quality through optimizing the BHA and operational process parameters within constraints imposed by the operating conditions. This paper describes application of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to achieve this objective. CFD is well suited for modeling wash and cement processes including the associated non-Newtonian fluids. A CFD model of these processes employs unsteady multiphase Reynolds Averaged Navier Stokes (RANS) based Volume of Fluid (VOF) approach with a Shear Stress Transport (SST) K-omega turbulence model. BHA translation and rotation are simulated using moving deforming-layering mesh with interface approach. Physical properties of non-Newtonian fluids selected are based on in-situ conditions and derived via lab tests. CFD-specific considerations such as domain size, turbulence model, mesh type and size, and computational timestep are discussed in this paper. The magnitude and duration of the jet-induced "pressure pulse" in the annular space between the formation wall and the casing are a key to efficient displacement during the wash and cementing processes. Displacement efficiency, in terms of the percentage of mud or cement in a control volume as a function of time, depends on perforation size and density, nozzle size/number, flow rate, fluid properties, as the ROP/BHA pulling speed and tool RPM. Key findings from a parametric study to optimize these parameters are presented. To validate CFD nozzle flow predictions and to rule out potential for false results due to cavitation, laboratory tests were performed under pressurized conditions. A comparison of results from CFD simulations using traditional versus optimized parameters are presented, demonstrating significant efficiency improvement achieved. The study initially focused on North Sea application. Encouraged by substantial improvement in process efficiency through parametric optimization, the technique was extended to UK operations and is planned for the Bayu-Undan field. Cementing simulation results for Bayu-Undan specific well configurations are presented, showing how CFD modeling helped reveal less than ideal cementing efficiency. Ultimately, this work provides significant time savings and quality improvement for P&A projects while maintaining a high safety standard.

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