Long laterals being drilled today present new challenges in getting casing to bottom and achieving good zonal isolation. Casing centralizers play a key role in achieving these objectives and should be evaluated differently than they have been in the past.

A comprehensive methodology for evaluating, selecting, and running casing centralizers is described. This method is based on analyzing downhole conditions (formation type, borehole stability, etc.) in conjunction with specific drilling practices (bottom hole assembly design, hole cleaning procedure, etc.) to arrive at an optimum casing centralization program that will meet cementing objectives.

A manufacturer and an operator share their experience in the application of comprehensive centralization placement and torque and drag modeling. Also discussed is the evaluation and selection of casing centralizers including practices to increase the accuracy of these simulations. Particular emphasis is given to rotation while running and cementing casing. Post job analysis of actual rig data is discussed in an effort to arrive at more accurate friction factors for future wells.

In addition, custom laboratory testing and evaluation of running and restoring forces of bow-type centralizers is discussed.

The approach described in this paper can help reduce the compromise between getting casing to bottom and achieving good zonal isolation.

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