The recent activity increase throughout the Arkoma Basin located in southeast Oklahoma is in large part attributed to the rapid expansion of horizontal drilling in the Woodford Shale unconventional gas play. Successful primary cementing of these wells requires slurry design considerations that conventional cementing operations typically do not consider. These horizontal laterals require more than an excellent bond log to make a good well. The unique aspects of the petrophysical and geological properties of naturally fractured shale must be considered in the design. Not only are the basic cementing aspects of zonal isolation and casing support essential, but consideration of future stimulation plans are necessary to prepare and implement a proper well completion program.
Cement slurry design and execution is a crucial part of any cementing operation. This is especially true for Woodford Shale wells where the unique nature of the shale and its completion methodologies place additional demands on the cement. Slurry design considerations and successful slurry formulations for the area will be discussed along with an overview of primary cementing practices to date. Operational considerations as they apply to the cementing of horizontal shale wells in the study area will be covered. Conclusions and recommended practices for optimum results will also be presented from case history data.