Primary Cementing of Multiple Casing
- Mark A. Childers (Humble Oil And Refining Co.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- July 1968
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 751 - 762
- 1968. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 1.6.10 Running and Setting Casing, 2.2.2 Perforating, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 1.14.3 Cement Formulation (Chemistry, Properties), 1.11.2 Drilling Fluid Selection and Formulation (Chemistry, Properties), 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials
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Recent work with controlled laboratory tests, field experience and a new analytical approach indicate that casing centralization, pipe movement and relative rheological properties between the mud and cement (yield point and density) are the three controlling factors in successful primary cementing of dual casing. Turbulent flow has been demonstrated to be unnecessary under the severe displacement conditions of parallel dual strings of casing. Simultaneous reciprocation of dual casing in directionally drilled boreholes is highly dependent on centralization and on the rapid initiation of pipe movement once the casing has been run to total depth.
Successful cementing of 30 out of 32 dual, 3 1/2-in casing wells substantiated these conclusions. A review of 15 dual, 3 1/2-in. casing wells completed prior to the adoption of these principles disclosed only one success.
Mathematical and graphical techniques permit the engineer to analyze and anticipate the success or failure of a cementing operation. Standoff, mud displacement and reciprocation can be analyzed mathematically and planned in deep, directional or straight boreholes by review of annular geometry, relative rheological properties between the mud and cement, and forces caused by caving weight, functional drag and differential sticking.
The objective in primary cementing is to displace the drilling fluid with cement that will bond to the formation and casing to prevent communication through the annulus. The predominant cause of failure appears to be channels of gelled mud that remain in the annulus after cementing. Past investigations have noted many procedures that could improve the displacement process. These procedures include centralization, chemical preflushes, mechanical mud cake removers, controlled flow rates in certain regimes, pipe movement and control of mud and cement properties.
Not until recently have the effects of many of these procedures been isolated so that their individual importance could be determined. In a recent paper, a comprehensive and analytical laboratory study of various factors controlling the displacement process concluded that there are three major factors in obtaining complete mud displacement by the cement slurry.
1. Good relative rheological properties between the mud and cement. The cement should be heavier and have a yield point and plastic viscosity higher than the mud being displaced. Buoyancy forces often can dominate the displacement process.
2. High degree of standoff or centralization. The more centered the casing, the greater the likelihood of complete mud displacement and removal.
3. Pipe movement obtained by rotation or reciprocation. often unfavorable rheological properties between the mud and cement, and poor standoff can be compensated by pipe movement.
This work demonstrates the compatibility of the latter concepts with field results extended to the more severe dual casing displacement process.
Early Experience With Dual 3 1/2-In. Primary Cementing
Early slim casing completions in the West Delta Block 73 field, offshore Louisiana, included 17 dual 3 1/2-in., 3 single 3 1/2-in. and 1 dual 2 7/8-in. casing installations. Table 1 provides data on these earlier wells. Usually, common Class A cement was placed across the pay zone and 12 percent gel cement was placed to a height of 500 ft above the highest productive sand. Centralizers (6 1/8-in. OD maximum expansion) were placed two or three per joint on both casing strings from total depth through the completion intervals and at least one per joint for the remainder of the cement sheath.
A number of techniques and procedures were attempted to improve cementing success. Casing was run simultaneously or separately with a number of mud conditioning and circulating techniques. Mechanical aids such as cement bonders, sliding sleeves, turbulizers and various sizes and strengths of centralizers were used. Common and gel cements were mixed with fresh or sea water with a number of different additives to control retardation and dispersion. Cements were thinned and mixed at high rates to try to induce turbulent flow in the annulus. On one well the "slow flow" method was used.
Perforating was accomplished with a jet orienting gun. Unsuccessful cement jobs were indicated by production of extraneous fluids or by pressure communication between zones. On test, five wells flowed water, four flowed sand and six had pressure communication with the other string or the 10 3/4-in. casing.
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