The sustained casing pressure (SCP) in shale gas wells caused by cement sheath failure can have serious impacts on safe and efficient gas production. Although horizontal wells are widely used for production from Shales, the cementing quality and casing centericity is barely ensured. Among other indications, the casing off-center is iedtified very often in the wells with SCP problem in Sichuan field. Hence, the objective of this study is to analyze the effect of the casing off-center on the integrity of the cement sheath. To better understand stress distribution in eccentric cement sheaths, an analytical model is proposed in this paper. By comparing the results of this model with the centeric casing, the impacts of casing off-center on integrity of the cement sheath is analyzed. During the fracturing treatment, the casing off-center has little effect on stress in the cement sheath if the well is well cemented and bonded to the formation rock. But on the contrary, the casing off-center has serious effects on stress distribution if the cementing is done poorly. The debonding of casing-cement-formation interfaces can significantly increase the circumferential stress at the cement sheath. At the narrow side of the cement sheath, the circumferential stress could be 2.5 times higher than the thick side. The offset magnitude of the casing eccentricity has little effect on the radial stress in the cement sheath but it can significantly increase the shear stress. We found that the risk of cement failure may reduce by making casing string more centralized, increasing the thickness of casing. The results provide insights for design practices led to better integrity in shale gas wells.

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