Understanding Lost Circulation While Cementing: Field Study and Laboratory Research
- Emmanuel Therond (BP) | Salim Taoutaou (Schlumberger) | Simon G. James (Schlumberger) | Paul W. Way (Schlumberger) | Paulo Gomes (BP) | Aaron Dondale (BP)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Drilling & Completion
- Publication Date
- March 2018
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 77 - 86
- 2018.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- cementing, loss circulation, cement, lost circulation
- 5 in the last 30 days
- 589 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 5.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 35.00|
Lost circulation is a time-consuming and expensive challenge, costing the oil and gas industry billions of dollars each year in materials, nonproductive time, and minimized production (Catalin et al. 2003; Fidan et al. 2004; API 65-2 2010). To mitigate lost circulation during cementing operations, a better understanding of how wellbore-strengthening mechanisms apply to cement slurries is necessary. The ability to control cementing-fluid properties to strengthen the wellbore and minimize losses during cementing operations is imperative for achieving adequate zonal isolation.
A field analysis was performed to understand the start of lost circulation during different phases of drilling and primary cementing. Offshore wells from four different locations were studied: Gulf of Mexico (GOM), the UK, Angola, and Azerbaijan. In parallel, laboratory research was performed to understand the behavior of cement slurries in controlled lost-circulation scenarios using a block tester. Measurements of formation-breakdown pressure and fracture-propagation pressure were made with different cement-slurry compositions and compared with pressures obtained with drilling muds.
In an analysis of 40 well sections that reported losses before or during primary cementing operations, the rate and severity of lost circulation varied for the wells studied, but it was concluded that losses were commonly induced while running casing or during precement-job mud circulation, but rarely during cement placement.
The laboratory research confirmed the field observation: It would take much more pressure to open or reopen an existing fracture with cement slurry than with a synthetic-oil-based mud.
This paper will present findings from the field analysis and laboratory research. It will also discuss strategies to prepare the wellbore for preventing losses before the cementing operation and to optimize cement formulations if losses have been induced during drilling, casing running, or prejob mud circulation.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||10|
Abbas, R., Jarouj, H., Dole, S. et al. 2004. A Safety Net for Controlling Lost Circulation. Schlumberger Oilfield Rev. Winter 2003/2004: 20–27.
Algu, D. R., Galey, R. L., Barrett, M. et al. 2010. Large Volume Cement Squeezes as Cost-Effective Solutions for Severe-Loss Zones. Presented at the IADC/SPE Drilling Exhibition Conference, New Orleans, 2–4 February. SPE-128734-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/128734-MS.
API RP 10B-2, Recommended Practice for Testing Well Cements, second edition. 2013. Washington, DC: API.
API RP 13B-2, Recommended Practice for Field Testing Oil-Based Drilling Fluids, fifth edition. 2014. Washington, DC: API.
API 65-2, Isolating Potential Flow Zone During Well Construction, second edition. 2010. Washington, DC: API.
Catalin, I., Bruton, J., and Bloys, B. 2003. How Can We Best Manage Lost Circulation? Oral presentation given at the 2003 AADE National Technology Conference, Houston, 1–3 April. AADE-03-NTCE-38.
Fidan, E., Babadagli, T., and Kuru, E. 2004. Use of Cement as Lost Circulation Material–Field Case Studies. Presented at the IADC/SPE Asia Pacific Drilling Technology Conference and Exhibition, Kuala Lumpur, 13–15 September. SPE-88005-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/88005-MS.
Guo, Q., Cook, J., Way, P. et al. 2014. A Comprehensive Experimental Study on Wellbore Strengthening. Presented at the IADC/SPE Drilling Conference and Exhibition, Fort Worth, Texas, 4–6 March. SPE-167957-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/167957-MS.
Messier, E., Stiles, D., and Morgan, R. 2003. Controlling Cement Tops Through Use of Fibre-Based Slurries Reduces Drilling Costs. J Can Pet Technol 42 (5): 15–19. PETSOC-03-05-TN. https://doi.org/10.2118/03-05-TN.
Pasteris, M., Taoutaou, S., Simanjuntak, A. et al. 2014. Reinforced Composite Mat, a Proven Solution for Lost Circulation Control in Sumatra Field. Presented at the 2014 SPE Asia Pacific Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition, Adelaide, Australia, 14–16 October. SPE-171412-MS. https://doi.org/10.2118/171412-MS.