With the ever present emphasis on reducing exploration and production costs, oil and gas operators must continue to look at all aspects of drilling, completion, and production for new methods and/or technologies to help achieve enhanced performance while still improving economics. When focusing specifically on drilling, one area offering room for advancement is in wells with zones containing clays or shales (which are) sensitive to fresh water in general, and cement filtrate in particular.

Historically, either sodium chloride (salt) or potassium chloride (KCl) have been the primary materials of choice to yield a filtrate less damaging to these zones. However, the deleterious effects of salt on cement have been extensively documented, and recently published material has also detailed the negative impact KCl can impose on cements. This paper will address a new material for use as a cement clay control additive. Laboratory data is presented to detail the effectiveness of the material on sensitive clays and shales, as well as its effect on cement fluid loss, viscosity, thickening time, and compressive strength development. The material shows superior clay controlling properties without the undesirable side effects of either sodium or potassium chloride, and it exhibits this elevated level of performance while maintaining economic and environmental advantages as well.

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