Zonal isolation has extreme significance in the construction quality and life of a well. Achieving zonal isolation in deep high- pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) gas wells is a challenging task, and these wells need more attention to achieve zonal isolation than conventional oil or gas wells. In addition to following primary industry best practices, the selection of a cement system appropriate for the environment of the well is very significant. Trapped gas and oil between production and intermediate casing (abnormal annulus wellhead pressure) has been globally recognized as one of the serious challenges facing drilling and production operations. The issue is becoming even more serious since wells are aging and the integrity of the casing portion below the well head is increasingly affected by the shallow-water corrosive environment. The potential safety and environmental hazards of the abnormal annulus pressure, have encouraged LUKSAR (Lukoil Saudi Arabia Energy Limited) to review the current drilling and cementing practices, with the goal of minimizing the impact of the problem, thus improving well life cycle and reducing the frequent work-over interventions. The general guidelines set to resolve the problem focused on eliminating potential leakage paths in the completion and casing strings and emphasized the quality of the primary cementing, especially for casings set on the aquifer zones and production casings.

This paper discusses case histories and selection criteria for the different cement systems. It shows how high-performance lightweight sealant across weak zones, fiber-based sealant technology when lost circulation prevails, self healing sealant system where zonal isolation is extremely important, and flexible and expanding sealant for frac candidates are chosen for providing and maintaining well integrity in these extremely remote and challenging HPHT wells.

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