The traditional use of pipe movement was to enhance mud displacement, and there was little reason to continue movement after the cement slurry was in place. New technology has shown the rate and magnitude of the pressure loss during the cement gelation period has a major influence on cement job quality. A recently completed investigation using specialized laboratory equipment and large-scale models conclusively illustrates that low-rate rotation or reciprocation during the cement gelation period effectively delays the loss of pressure in the cement column. As movement was stopped during the test, resistance to fluid or gas migration in the annulus developed rapidly. Using gas migration terminology, this equates to a short transition time (< 10 minutes). When compared to static conditions, pipe rotation continued to ≥ 500 lb/100 ft2 resulted in higher shear level and hydraulic bond. Torque needed for rotation was always lower than values calculated from static gel strength and was in the range for safe rotation without pipe thread failure.

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