Use of Foam Cement to Prevent Shallow Water Flow on Three Wells in Norwegian Waters
- Dan Adrian Odden (Halliburton) | Gunnar Lende (Halliburton) | Khahlil Rehman (Halliburton) | Lars Lilledal (Wellesley Petroleum AS) | Callum Smyth (Wellesley Petroleum AS) | Morten Diesen (Wellesley Petroleum AS) | Linn Bjørnstad (Well Expertise) | Morten Laget (Well Expertise)
- Document ID
- International Petroleum Technology Conference
- International Petroleum Technology Conference, 13-15 January, Dhahran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2020. International Petroleum Technology Conference
- Foam, Shallow Water Flow, Cement, Mitigation, Norway
- 13 in the last 30 days
- 71 since 2007
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In certain areas of the Norwegian waters, shallow pressurized sands containing either gas or water occasionally create problems during drilling and surface casing installation. In 2018, an operator drilled three wells in the Norwegian waters with such special challenges. In this case the challenge was water flow but not gas. The NORSOK D010 shallow gas flow potential was classified as zero.
Each of the wells had a shallow water flow challenge in an over-pressured sand that normally would require setting a shallow 20-in. surface casing and a riser installation before passing the zone to enable controlling the pressure on the sands using weighted drilling fluid; also requiring a 17-in. liner installation to cover the sand before further drilling. If the surface casing could be set deep enough to cover the over-pressurized sands, substantial savings could be obtained on each well by eliminating the need for an additional section and installation of an extra liner or casing. Furthermore, a deeper-set surface casing would reduce the risk of not obtaining an adequate leak-off test below the shoe. A deep-set surface casing would also allow for down-scaling the well from 20-in. to 13-3/8-in. surface casing.
A riserless drilling fluid return system allows for controlling the pressure while drilling, but this has to be turned off during cementing as cement is expected in returns. The use of conventional cement systems would potentially put the well in under-balance for a substantial period of time and consequently potentially result in a water-flow situation requiring a re-spud, as has been the case for a reference well in the area in which substantial downtime was experienced due to water flow after cementing the surface casing.
The solution was a riserless drilling fluid return system during drilling, followed by a tailored cement solution. A tailored spacer and foam cement system were deployed; the short transition time of the cement and the inherent compressibility of foams both reduced the exposure time in under-balance. The solution was successfully deployed on all three wells with no flow observed post placement. This paper will detail this successful case study.
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