Packer-Leak Repair: Slurry Design and Complex Coiled-Tubing Well Work
- Dennis Denney (former JPT Senior Technology Editor)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- November 2013
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 132 - 133
- 2013. International Petroleum Technology Conference
- 3 in the last 30 days
- 125 since 2007
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This article, written by Dennis Denney, contains highlights of paper IPTC 17091, "Extending Mature-Well Life by Innovative Slurry Design and Complex Coiled-Tubing Well Work," by M. Hairi A. Razak, Aulfah Azman, SPE, and Haryat Timan, Petronas, and M. Heikal Kasim, SPE, and M. Fakhrurazi Ishak, Schlumberger, prepared for the 2013 International Petroleum Technology Conference, Beijing, 26-28 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
A well in the South China Sea was diagnosed by ultrasonic and temperature logging to have a well-integrity problem, forcing the operator to shut in the well because the leak created a high tubing/casing-annulus pressure. Through-tubing well work was used because it is more economical than a full workover, particularly for wells in a mature field with depleted reserves. Enhanced and optimized cement slurry was engineered with a well-work approach that specified acoustic fluid-level monitoring. The packer leak was repaired successfully.
This oil and gas field is 260 km from Kerteh, Malaysia. Discovered in 1971, first oil production was in 1978. The field is in the southeastern part of the Malay basin at an average water depth of 70 m. The field contains both gas and oil reservoirs. In August 2002, communication was observed between the production casing and tubing of the subject well, indicating a leaking production packer. Four major attempts to correct the problem were conducted, all unsuccessful. The first attempt was in February 2003 by bullheading calcium carbonate (CaCO3) into the annulus. This procedure was attempted again in May 2003. In August 2007, a coiled-tubing (CT) unit was used to spot cement inside the production tubing and displace it into the annulus through a gas lift mandrel to the top of the packer. Another cementing job was attempted in December 2008, through the same gas lift mandrel.
Lessons learned from the first cementing failure, in 2007, were used to design the attempt in 2008. Even though job execution was smooth in the field, several mistakes occurred that were not realized by the team during the job-design process. The experiences of those cementing attempts helped mature the subsequent design and decisions, ensuring success for future packer-cementing jobs in peninsular Malaysia operations.
Cement-Slurry Design. CT-cementing procedures are different from those of conventional/primary cementing from a rig, with the biggest difference being the need for batch mixing for CT cementing vs. on-the-fly mixing for primary cementing. Batch mixing requires higher mixing energy compared with primary cementing, with an additional mixing energy to pump the cement slurry through the CT relative to pumping down the casing. The higher mixing energy decreases thickening time (TT) such that the cement slurry has potential to accidentally set inside the CT, thereby requiring a suitable retarder to prolong the TT.
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