Completions - Preventing Annular Flow After Cementing in Offshore Gulf of Mexico:
Annular flow related to cementing surface casing has been identified as one of the most frequent cases of loss of well control incidents in the Gulf of Mexico (GoM). Past studies have indicated the root cause of this early gas migration is due to loss of hydrostatic pressure during the cement setting process. Cement pulsation utilizes low amplitude pulses applied to the annulus immediately following the cementing operation, which acts to shear the gel strength and retain the hydrostatic pressure of the cement column. Pulsation continues until the cement has developed sufficient strength to resist fluid influx, usually 4-6 hrs. The compressible volume of the cement column (water volume required to pressurize the annulus as the cement pulse is applied) is monitored during the cement setting process. Real-time monitoring of compressible volume changes during the operation can provide for surface monitoring of the downhole cement setting process. The initial offshore GoM cement pulsation application for prevention of annular flow after cementing was performed earlier this year. This presentation will describe the cement pulsation technique and review results of the recent offshore field applications.
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