Performing cementations in a deepwater environment poses many unique challenges during the drilling and completion operational phases in the Gulf of Mexico. These challenges add further difficulty and risk to an already complex operation.
During the course of constructing the wellbore, it may be necessary to perform un-scheduled remedial cementing operations to acheive the main objectives. Squeeze cementing performed to remediate undesireable well conditions which may have resulted during the drilling phase (major mud losses) or as a result of a poor primary cement job (insufficient zonal isolation) must be thoroughly analyzed during planning to understand all the critical parameters needed to execute the right plan.
When designing for a squeeze job, key decision factors during the planning process must be addressed for a successful outcome. The success or failure of a squeeze cement operation relies on 1) understanding what is the objective of the squeeze operation 2) determination of the optimum cement placement depth, 3) development of an effective placement procedure with proper technique and down-hole tools employed, 4) proper design of cementing fluids including washes and spacers, 5) flawless execution with a detailed pressure/rate/volume record of fluid injection, and 6) a meaningful post evaluation of the squeeze operation’s results to determine if objective was met.
This paper will provide guidance on addressing the key decision factors, development of a proper placement strategy, general design guidelines for appropriate cementing fluids to employ, and how to evaluate if the objective was met. Results will be presented from recent deepwater case histories to demonstrate the successful application of this methodology for squeeze jobs and the techniques used.