Fluid Migration Characterization of Cemented Sections Retrieved from a North Sea Production Well
- Hans Joakim Skadsem (NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS) | Dave Gardner (NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS) | Katherine Beltrán-Jiménez (NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS) | Steinar Kragset (NORCE Norwegian Research Centre AS) | Laurent Delabroy (AkerBP ASA) | Frank Ruckert (Shell Global Solutions International BV)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- IADC/SPE International Drilling Conference and Exhibition, 3-5 March, Galveston, Texas, USA
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2020. IADC/SPE International Drilling Conference and Exhibition
- 2 Well completion, 2.10 Well Integrity, 4.3.4 Scale, 4 Facilities Design, Construction and Operation, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5 Reservoir Desciption & Dynamics, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation, 2.10.3 Zonal Isolation, 3 Production and Well Operations, 3 Production and Well Operations, 2.1.3 Completion Equipment, 1.14.3 Cement Formulation (Chemistry, Properties), 2.2 Installation and Completion Operations, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 4.1 Processing Systems and Design
- Well integrity, Fluid migration, Cement evaluation, Plug and abandonment, Micro-annulus
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- 155 since 2007
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The annulus cement sheath between casings is an important well barrier element for ensuring zonal isolation and preventing cross-flow of formation fluids. Understanding the migration path geometry and how hydrocarbons and treatment materials flow in such paths are important for diagnosing and treating leaking annulus cement. We study the seepage properties of gas and liquid through two cemented annulus sandwich sections recovered from the upper vertical part of a North Sea production well during a permanent abandonment operation. Studying physical and mechanical properties of these sections can provide unique insights about the sealing properties of annulus cement that has been exposed to downhole conditions and more than thirty years of operation.
The sandwich sections are each nearly a joint length long and comprised of a 9 5/8-in casing inside a 13 3/8-in casing that was originally cemented by bullheading cement slurry down the annulus. One of the sections contains the top-of-cement while the other is from approximately 140 meter below top-of-cement. A series of seepage experiments have been performed to better understand variations in sealing potential along the assembly, including settled solids above the top of cement.
Visual inspection of the annulus cement at the bottom and top ends of the section reveal full cement coverage around the eccentric inner casing. Minor local imperfections in the form of pockets of fluid trapped in the hardened cement are also observed, presumably originating from the original cementing operation. The settled solids above the top-of-cement were found to act as an effective barrier against fluid migration initially but yielded irreversibly once exposed to higher test pressures. Seepage rates through the cemented section are consistent with previous measurements in full-scale annulus test assemblies.
The gas and liquid seepage experiments performed on the retrieved section improve our understanding of well cement quality close to the top of cement, including possible sealing potential of the material above the top of cement. Comparing the cement log from the well to seepage measurements helps correlate log response and annulus cement seepage potential which can benefit both remediation design and future abandonment operations.
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