Alberta's oil sands contain an estimated 286 billion m3 (1.8 trillion barrels) of bitumen, including more than 64.5 billion m3 (406 billion barrels) in the Grosmont Carbonate. The Grosmont at Saleski represents a significant resource, which will be developed from pilot to commercial development. The operating company plans to recover bitumen from the Grosmont using solvent-cyclic, steam-assisted gravity drainage (SC-SAGD), beginning with a pilot in the Saleski field.

The Grosmont has been noted for drilling challenges relating to lost circulation, including difficulty in cement placement. To address these challenges, lightweight, foamed, thermal cement was specifically engineered, tested, and qualified for use at the pilot. This blend addresses placement challenges and was designed to achieve the mechanical properties required for zonal isolation and well integrity throughout the life of the well.

This paper discusses the design and development of the blend using finite-element analysis (FEA) software to evaluate blend suitability, laboratory testing results to confirm basic properties, installation in the pilot wells, and results using ultrasonic cement-inspection tools.

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