The drilling and completing of Infill wells (wells drilled amongst existing SAGD wells) is becoming common practice with many operators in North Eastern Alberta. These Infill wells pose numerous challenges that may not exist in the drilling and completing of a conventional SAGD well. In addition to conventional challenges such as lost circulation that need to be safely managed to have a successful completion strategy, the Infill wellbore has elevated temperatures and heat transfer rates due to contact with or close proximity to a steam chamber. There is no single, universal strategy used by operators to address and control these challenges, which require robust cementing solutions.

Many clients are completing Infill cementing with expected bottom hole circulating temperatures (BHCT) ranging from 35°C to 100°C. This variation in clients’ BHCT results is due in part to the drilling, and more specifically, the circulation strategy used. Static periods of only a few hours can bring the effective temperature to that of the reservoir. As a conventional SADG strategy cannot be used for all wells, a specific blend design utilizing different technologies must be investigated. The large variations in bottom hole static temperature (BHST) and BHCT require complete understanding of the cement blend performance and its specific application. Cement blend designs that are applicable and can perform over a range of temperatures reduce the impact of these challenges.

With the frequency of Infill cementing expected to increase, a greater understanding of the effective wellbore temperatures and the subsequent effective applicable temperature range of cement blends is needed.

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