Cementing deep sour gas wells presents a number of challenges to well construction engineers. High bottom hole static temperature (BHST from 250 to 400°F) and pressure (mud density > 2.0 g/cm3), excessively long job times due to the constraints imposed by tight annular clearances (casing OD/hole size > 0.85), long cement columns (interval length > 450 ft), and harsh conditions (H2S, CO2, salt layer, high leakoff). All of these factors contribute to the operational risks not only during placement of the cement slurry in the wellbore, but also during the life of the well. Field data indicates that current cement systems were not able to address these challenges, and as a result, the outcome obtained from various cementing jobs was below expectation.

Advanced cement systems were developed to address the problems encountered in cementing deep sour gas wells. These systems were applied in the field with great success. Multi-functional fluid migration control systems together with engineering particle sizing technique significantly improved the performance of cementing jobs, including: superior fluid migration control, predictable thickening time, stable API properties at high slurry densities, and great resistance to H2S, CO2 and salt corrosion. A unique retarder used in the lead slurry helped in developing compressive strength rapidly on the top of cement column. An effective laminar flow displacement technique was also used to displace drilling fluids effectively to enhance its placement and improve the cementing bond.

This paper details a thorough and systematic laboratory development of innovative cement systems and presents case histories to document their effectiveness for cementing deep sour gas wells.

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