Main factors which are responsible for the corrosion of the cement sheath in wells are determined based on lab tests and field analyses from a literature survey. A description of the chemistry, mineralogy, physical properties of API well cements and their mechanisms of corrosion in the presence of aggressive formation and injection fluids (such as magnesia or sulfate containing brines and CO2) are given. API cement hydration mainly produces Calcium-Silicate-Hydrate (C-S-H) phases, which are responsible for the strength, and portlandite "Ca(OH)2" which is basically a weak point within the cement matrix. Increasing permeability and portlandite content reduce strength and chemical resistance of set cement towards corrosive media. The addition of pozzolanic materials eliminates portlandite and allows lowering the water content in the cement system. Both effects can reduce the permeability and improve the mechanical properties of set cement. Cement specimens were prepared and exposed to CO2 loaded water at 300 °F and 3,000 psi for 6 months. Mechanical properties tests, microscopy, and quantitative CaCO3 analyses revealed significantly less corrosion and negative impacts for an API cement-pozzolan blend compared to a conventional API cement design at same density. Practical and economical concepts for improvements of the cement sheath with respect to cement slurry design, cementing process and the impact of factors such as temperature or cement admixtures are presented to mitigate cement corrosion.

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