A cementing quality assurance process is presented which uses a project management approach to cementing operations from job design through execution to enhance the chances for successful zonal isolation on primary cement jobs. The process incorporates proven industry best practices for isolating potential flow zones during well construction. Although these practices are well documented in API Standard 65—Part 2 Second Edition 2010 recent studies of wells in the shale basins have shown that cementing failures are still occurring (Deane-Shinbrot et al. 2011; Bassett et al. 2012; Ingraffea 2013; Bassett et al. 2013; Davies et al. 2014).
The approach uses a four-step quality assurance process that includes the use of a cementing design checklist and the use of templates to document calculations related to the cementing operation. The process is as follows:
Establish clear objectives and identify constraints and remedies to the constraints.
Optimize mud and spacer requirements and displacement rates. Other issues to be addressed are hole conditioning, possibility of pipe movement, optimization of casing centralization and length of shoe track.
Optimize slurry requirements
Implement field procedures using industry best practices
The paper also discusses the importance of conducting audits of quality control procedures used at facilities for laboratory testing, cement blending and pumping unit maintenance and provides some hypothetical examples showing how this could impact the success of the job.