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Section 4

Primary Cementing
Table of Contents
Introduction ................................................................................................................................................ 4-3
Topic Areas ............................................................................................................................................ 4-3
Learning Objectives ............................................................................................................................... 4-3
Unit A: Primary Cementing Background................................................................................................... 4-3
Preparations for Primary Cementing ...................................................................................................... 4-5
Pre-Job Checklist.................................................................................................................................... 4-5
Unit A Quiz ............................................................................................................................................ 4-6
Unit B: Types of Casing Cementing Jobs .................................................................................................. 4-7
Conductor Casing ................................................................................................................................... 4-7
Surface Casing........................................................................................................................................ 4-7
Intermediate Casing................................................................................................................................ 4-8
Production Casing .................................................................................................................................. 4-9
Innerstring Cementing .......................................................................................................................... 4-10
Unit B Quiz .......................................................................................................................................... 4-12
Unit C: Preventing Cementing Failures ................................................................................................... 4-13
Causes of Primary Cementing Failures ................................................................................................ 4-14
Effects of Drilling Fluids and Contaminants on Cements .................................................................... 4-14
Flow Properties .................................................................................................................................... 4-15
Conditioning the Drilling Fluid ............................................................................................................ 4-16
Pipe Movement .................................................................................................................................... 4-16
Pipe Centralization ............................................................................................................................... 4-17
Eccentric Flow and Density Difference ............................................................................................... 4-17
High Displacement Rates ..................................................................................................................... 4-18
Spacers and/or Flushes ......................................................................................................................... 4-18
Unit C Quiz .......................................................................................................................................... 4-19
Answers to Unit Quizzes ......................................................................................................................... 4-20

4•1

Cementing 1

Primary Cementing

Use for Section Notes…

4•2

Cementing 1

it prevents: - - • oil. depth of the well. This is critical in the upper part of the well where freshwater zones may be encountered. The cement is then allowed to set before drilling is resumed or the well is completed. • The purpose of primary cementing • The main types of casing which are cemented • How to help prevent cementing failures by using best practices Unit A: Primary Cementing Background • The primary cementing process bonds the pipe to the wall of the hole and prevents communication of fluids in the well bore from one zone to another. Preventing Cementing Failures The materials. tools. The three main functions of the cement are isolation. The most typical procedure is the 4•3 Cementing 1 . Primary cementing provides a sealant and protects the casing against - formation fluids or gas. which could collapse the casing or result in a blowout. and techniques to be used vary depending on the hole conditions. For example. which could cause casing corrosion - external pressure.Primary Cementing Introduction Topic Areas Primary cementing is the cementing operation performed immediately after the casing has been run downhole. and support. Types of Casing Cementing Jobs C. and how to ensure that the job is done correctly. Successful primary cementing presents a constant challenge and requires up-todate knowledge and technology. gas. This is accomplished by pumping cement slurry down the entire length of casing. The units in this section are: A. Primary Cementing Background B. - the possibility that the bottom joints might unscrew. Primary cementing uses several basic techniques. and the people planning the job. you must know and understand purpose and methods for primary cementing. and salt water from migrating to and causing contamination of freshwater zones. equipment. Primary cementing supports the casing and guards the casing string against: - the excessive weight of other strings. • Primary cementing isolates zones so that the migration of fluids cannot occur. salt water from migrating into gas and oil zones and causing production problems as well as pollution. you should be familiar with: As part of a cementing team. Learning Objectives Upon completion of this section. and up into the annular space. - hole cave-in while deeper drilling is being done. protection. out the bottom joint.

In addition to offering economic advantages.Primary Cementing three-. Two-. Multiple-stage primary cementing is also important for use in wells where two or more zones are separated by long intervals. 4•4 Cementing 1 . and four-stage cementing procedures decrease the hydrostatic pressure of the fluid column in the annulus. Figure 4.1). Other commonly used techniques depend upon well depth and completion requirements. help protect weak zones against excessive high pressure. cement may or may not be circulated up the entire string to surface. single-stage primary cementing job using the two-plug displacement method (Fig. 4.1 – Single-stage primary cementing job using the two-plug displacement method. and help prevent circulation loss. The single-stage primary cementing procedure pumps cement down the casing between two rubber plugs. The plugs are equipped with wiping fins to help prevent contamination of the cement by mud and to help clean the interior of the pipe.

and the selection and preparation of the specific well site. specific to the individual type of job being performed need to be asked accordingly. land surveys. This is a hole (about 8 ft square). Then it is time for the cementing service company crew to do its work. the cellar deck is below the rig floor. Pre-Job Checklist Questions to answer before leaving for location: Questions to answer while on location: • Does the bulk cement ticket agree with the order from the well operator? • • What is the approximate time needed to mix and displace cement? (Does this agree with pumping time of cement?) Have pumping equipment and bulk cement equipment been checked and are they ready to mix cement? • Has maximum pressure been agreed upon? • Has it been determined if the rig pump or the service unit is to pump the plug down? • Has preparation been made to flush the lines after releasing the plug if the customer so desires? • Has preparation been made to leave the service truck tied into casing while rig pump is displacing cement in order to record pressure on casing job if the well operator so desires? • What size and weight casing is being used? • What is the size of the hole? • Is there enough water to mix cement? Is the rate of water supply adequate? • Has the volume of displacement fluid been checked to see if there is adequate supply on location? • Is everyone on location aware of all the safety concerns? • Has preparation been made to drop the plugs on the fly? • Has preparation been made to weigh cement properly while mixing? • What is the size and type of thread on the connections? • What type of floating equipment is being used? (Is a ball or other dropping device used with this equipment?) • Has the Pre-Trip Inspection been performed on the equipment? • Has the Lab report been finalized on the cement and additives? • What type of recording equipment is to be used? 4•5 Cementing 1 . One of the last things that needs to be done to prepare a land location is the digging of the cellar. and drilling begins. In a later section. many steps need to be taken: seismographic analysis. hoisting. you need to know several items of information to be able to effectively complete the job. For offshore locations (platform or jack up). when you arrive on location. The Pre-job Checklist should serve as a general guideline to help you prepare for most primary cementing jobs. The Pre-Job Checklist below was developed to help you obtain this information. rotating. However. The rig will be placed over the cellar or cellar deck. calculations will be performed that are necessary for a primary cement job. It provides height for blowout preventers (a BOP prevents the escape of pressure from the annulus or an open hole) and flow lines below the rotary table. Preparations for Primary Cementing Before any primary cementing job can proceed. Other questions. and circulating systems are installed. the depth of which ranges from 1 to 6 ft. legal procedures.Primary Cementing The power.

which is called a ____________. Primary cementing _____________ zones so that migration of fluids cannot occur. Before drilling. In addition. 1. and the hole against _____________ while deeper drilling is being done. 3.Primary Cementing Unit A Quiz Fill in the blanks with one or more words to check your progress in Unit A. primary cementing protects the casing against ____________ and ______________. It prevents pollution and contamination of ________________________. a hole is dug on site which will house BOPs as well as other items. 4•6 Cementing 1 . The rig will be placed over this hole. 2.

a hole is drilled for it. or steam). If the hole size has been estimated for the job and cement slurry is designed to be lifted to surface. 4. a spacer should be run for good mud removal.Primary Cementing Unit B: Types of Casing Cementing Jobs In soft formations. it may be the first if conductor casing is not used. Conductor Casing To reduce the amount of cement that is inside the casing at any point during the job. Only conductor casing that is run in drilled holes is cemented. Figure 4. some of the excess cement may be eliminated and returned in dry bulk form due to having a minimal amount within the tubing/drillpipe at any one time. temperature. downhole formations. This section explains the cementing of the four basic types of casing. The depth of conductor casing depends on how deep you must go to reach solid material. Care must be taken to ensure that the pipe does not collapse during cementing. However. it is first string set in a well (Fig. and a top plug should be run to help prevent channeling when the conventional cementing method is used. pressures. Typically.2 – Conductor Casing 4•7 Cementing 1 . If a hole has been drilled for the conductor. to 36 in. Otherwise. If conductor casing is used. a latch-down plug is run inside the workstring after the cement to seal off in the collar or shoe. The setting depth of the conductor casing can vary from 10 ft to more than 300 ft. innerstring cementing may be used on the conductor casing. • Conductor • Surface • Intermediate • Production This pipe may be cemented in the conventional manner or it may be cemented in stages. The tubular goods are stabbed into the collar or shoe. and cement is pumped. depending upon how many other strings run through it. Surface Casing Surface casing is usually the second string set in the well (Fig. These casings were discussed in Section 2 of this workbook. Surface casing depth requirements vary from near ground level to several thousand feet.3). depending upon how deep you must go to cover all fresh water zones. gas. In this technique. the conductor casing may simply be pounded into the ground. OD. Therefore. In primary cementing. The cement used for conductors is usually accelerated to reduce WOC (Wait on Cement) time. freshwater zones and fluid to be recovered (oil.2). mud may have been used. 4. It also may include lost circulation additives to prevent loss of cement to the formation. The size of conductor pipe ranges from 16 in. four basic strings of casing may be used depending on well depths. tubing or drill pipe (small enough to fit inside the casing) is run to a specially-designed innerstring guide shoe or float collar.

pressure. must not be enough to collapse the casing. with a competent cement in place to hold it securely in a fixed position. Intermediate casing is set after the surface casing (Fig. For this reason.. to 20 in. When innerstring cementing techniques are used. If casing collapse or formation breakdown may be a problem. the well should be circulated to break up the gel strength of the mud. Other additives are used to combat lost circulation. If lost circulation is a problem. and the grade required to withstand the conditions in the well. the size depends upon how much additional casing will be run below the surface casing. and the amount of corrosive fluids. Cement for surface casing will usually be an accelerated type. when released. Higher strength cement (called the tail cement) is then pumped to set around the bottom of the surface casing. the problem must be fixed or the well abandoned. A string may extend from ground level to as far as 25. An important point to keep in mind is that the pressure to land the plug. Sizes range from 6 5/8 in. The hole is drilled to the depth desired for the intermediate casing. Downhole equipment discussed in Section 10 may be used when running surface casing.3 – Surface Casing Normally. both a top and a bottom plug should be run. different grades of pipe are necessary to withstand different well conditions. pipe to bring cement to the surface.000 ft. It is important to ensure that the bottom section of the surface casing is well centralized. Often. Surface pipe size ranges from 7 5/8-in. The bottom joints of surface casing (or any casing string that will have drilling operations conducted below it) are subject to being unscrewed by drill pipe rotation. unless you are using a lost circulation additive in the cement. and 13 3/8-in. such as Class H cement with Bentonite) is run to fill the annulus back to ground level. OD. any drag transferred to the casing results in a counter-clockwise force being exerted above the point of drag. Again. The size and type of intermediate casing is again dependent on the number of other strings to be run below it. Thus. casing. Should the force be adequate to unscrew a casing joint. Usually a filler or lead cement (a less expensive cement. if necessary. On a conventional job. Before cementing. float collar (or insert float valve). the cement may be pumped down the annulus through a 1 in. Before drilling out. 4. The hole is drilled to the depth desired for the surface casing. so does the temperature.4). to 20-in. the cement may be pumped in stages. using a multiple stage tool. As drill pipe is rotated clockwise inside the surface casing. Intermediate Casing Figure 4. the bottom joints of casing must be well centralized in the hole. the possibility of collapsing 4•8 Cementing 1 .Primary Cementing the casing is reduced by adding weighted fluid between the drill pipe and the casing. a simple combination of a casing guide shoe. Also. a spacer should be run for good mud removal. with the most common sizes being: 9 5/8-in. the cement should have a compressive strength of at least 500 psi. and centralizers is used.. 10 3/4-in. As the depth increases. special thread compounds are used to chemically "weld" the box and pin connections together.

The most common sizes are 4 1/2 in. a good cement job here affects the success of the well more than in any other part. (Remember to use the bottom plug unless lost circulation materials are being run.. Sometimes liners are used instead of production casing. it is very important to have a good cement job here. casing. etc. It must be small enough to fit through all the previous casings. packer shoes or collars. Figure 4. Figure 4. all types of equipment may be used (centralizers. Therefore. Production Casing The production casing (Figure 4. In addition. In short.5) is the last full string of pipe set in the well. the conventional two-plug method may be used. It is followed by a higher density tail cement. if the pipe size is small.Primary Cementing cementing job may be performed in multiple stages. Testing of the cement is particularly essential for a production casing cementing job.4 – Intermediate Casing As in most casing jobs. Then it is circulated and a spacer is run. a salt additive will be needed. It may also contain frictionreducing. it is very important to break up the gel strength of the mud and run a spacer to clean the mud before cementing is begun. Unlike cement used in surface or conductor jobs.) If the casing is run to a great depth.. The production string extends from the surface to the deepest producing formation. or if formation breakdown is a problem. several blends of slurries may be needed because of the characteristics of the formations encountered. it usually contains retarders to allow good pump time in high temperatures. cement baskets may be used to help protect weak formations. If the casing is being run through salt or shale zones. the The proper blend of cement depends upon the hole conditions.5 – Production Casing As stated before. It will be cemented. However. then perforated in the producing zone. When cementing. Depending on the well conditions. The first cement pumped (lead slurry) for intermediate casing is a filler type. Centralizers and scratchers are used on the intermediate casing string to help ensure uniform cement bonding. 5 1/2 in. or fluid-loss additives. The innerstring cementing method is sometimes used for intermediate casing. damage to this casing is fairly common. lost-circulation. The hole is drilled to the lowest producing formation. Since prolonged drilling is done through the intermediate string. multiple stage tools. and 7 in.) to help ensure the job’s success. the slurry should be at the highest possible rate while 4•9 Cementing 1 .

cement is pumped through the inner string and floating equipment into the casing/wellbore annulus. This floating equipment is built 4 • 10 Cementing 1 . This arrangement will help the inner string enter the stab-in floating equipment. and another one or two joints above the first centralizer. This method is some. The floating-equipment top is also tapered to form a surface that helps guide the sealingsleeve adapter into its sealing sleeve. Innerstring Cementing Halliburton's inner string cementing equipment allows cementing large diameter strings through drillpipe or tubing that is inserted and sealed in floating equipment. After the inner string (usually drillpipe) has been stabbed into the floating equipment. and the sealing adapter and inner string can be pulled from the casing. you can reduce cement contamination resulting from channeling inside casing • Cement is discharged outside the casing much faster after mixing. After cementing has been completed.times less costly than cementing large casing using the conventional plug displacement method. Each relies on Halliburton's proven line of Super Seal™ II floating equipment. Concrete is molded around the sealing sleeve to secure the sleeve within the floating equipment. holding pressure until the cement sets could cause a microannulus behind the casing. The casing string is run into the well in the usual manner. the pressure should be released to ensure that the float valve is holding. (2) Super Seal II float collar with sealing sleeve and latch-down seat. Also.6).6 – Super Seal™ II Float Collar with Sealing Sleeve Large diameter cementing plugs are not required • By pumping through the smaller inner string. Floating equipment with a latch-down plug seat is also available. and (3) standard Super Seal II float collar. Super Seal II equipment offers these benefits: • Reduces cement waste • Reduces casing collapse • Reduces cement drill-out time • Eliminates large diameter cement plugs • Drillpipe latch-down plugs available Innerstring cementing requires that a stab-in float shoe or float collar be installed in the casing string. Methods include (1) Super Seal II float collar with sealing sleeve (Fig. Other advantages include: • Figure 4. but before the cement sets. with the sealing adapter made up on the lower end and stabbed into the floatingequipment sealing sleeve. The inner string is then run in. Two centralizers should be run on the inner string: one centralizer is directly above the sealing adapter. the check valve in the floating equipment prevents cement from re-entering the casing. The sealing sleeve is built into the floating equipment to provide a sealing-surface receptacle for the innerstring sealing adapter. reducing the risk of the cement slurry within the casing having a highly accelerated setting time • Reduces amount of cement that has to be drilled out of large diameter casing • Less circulating time required with inner string cementing There are three basic methods available for performing inner string cementing. 4.Primary Cementing rotating or reciprocating the pipe. After the job.

After the last cement is displaced down the inner string. The combination sleeve. After latching in. provides (1) a sealing surface for the inner-string sealing adapter on the top and (2) a bore configuration to latch and seal the nose of a latch-down plug on bottom. used for large-diameter casing.7 – Innerstring cementing method. The nose of the latchdown plug seats and latches into the float equipment sleeve immediately after passing through the innerstring sealing sleeve. the latch-down plug serves as a backup to any backpressure valves located in the casing string below.Primary Cementing with a combination sealing sleeve and latchdown plug seat. a top latch-down cement plug is launched down the inner string. the plug nose should seal and withstand pressure from above and below. After the innerstring is retrieved. Figure 4. Pressure can be applied inside the casing immediately after the latch-down plug has been landed and the sealing-sleeve adapter has been pulled from the sealing sleeve. 4 • 11 Cementing 1 . which is held in place by concrete.

The last full string of pipe run in the hole is ________________ casing. 7. The hole for production casing is drilled to the ___________________________________________. 1.Mud Removal Unit B Quiz Fill in the blanks with one or more words to check your progress in Unit B. 8. The pipe should be_________ during cementing. Following the spacer. Cement with _______________ is used as the tail cement with intermediate strings. This is followed by a _________ cement which is usually more expensive and more dense. 5. 10. 4. 4 • 12 Cementing 1 . _____________ cement is run. Cement for conductor and surface casing usually contains additives to _______________ the setting time and to reduce _________ time. 9. Tubular goods are stabbed into a specially-designed ________________________. The depth of surface casing depends on how far you must go to cover all ______________ zones. 6. A cementing technique known as __________________ is sometimes used for large diameter casing to reduce the amount of wasted cement. The cementing job performed for the _______________ casing is probably the most important for the well’s success. Cement is then pumped through this smaller string and a ____________________ plug is run.

This section summarizes 25 years of study on the factors that affect displacement efficiency for the majority of jobs performed: These uncemented drilling fluid channels provided a permeable conduit for well fluids to migrate. combined with the knowledge acquired from more than 75 years of cementing experience. enabling the simulation of both typical and specialized cementing conditions. Findings from these cementing studies.Mud Removal Unit C: Preventing Cementing Failures Many cementing failures have been caused by inefficient drilling fluid displacement.8 – Test samples showing cement displacement efficiencies: Sample 2 is 97% efficient and Sample 4 is only 64% efficient (notice the mud between the cement and the outer casing). the industry has investigated many variables under various simulated cementing conditions. The general testing procedures and the equipment used to perform these tests have been modified and updated throughout the years. Since then. • Causes of primary cementing failures • Possible flow patterns that mud. equipment. Since 1971. pipe centralization. and the use of spacers/flushes). flow rate. pipe movement. and materials that simulate actual cementing conditions to study the factors that affect cementing efficiency. • Importance of pipe centralization and movement. 4 • 13 Cementing 1 . Displacement research has examined various formations. and spacers may obtain in the annulus during a primary job. and controllable factors (such as the condition of the drilling fluid. have led to procedures and theories for effectively cementing wells. Figure 4. • Importance of cement-mud spacers. • Importance of mud conditioning and flow rates. cement. resulting in drilling fluid channels in the cement column. HES has used a large-scale test model. causing lost production and/or corroded casing. Each of these affect displacement efficiency (the percentage of mud removed ahead of a cement slurry). irregularities in the wellbore (such as washouts).

and decreased probability of isolating critical zones may drastically drive well costs up or even force well abandonment. these products help ensure a successful primary cement job. This can be caused by: - contaminated mixing water - too much or too little mixing water - incorrect down-hole temperature estimate - plugged shoe or collar - inadequate pumping rate - mechanical failure. Severe incompatibility may result in early job termination due to being unable to move an extremely viscous mass of mud/cement mixture. some will be discussed briefly here. Halliburton has numerous mud/cement spacers that are designed to prevent mud from contaminating cement. Muds tend to drastically extent the cement pump time and prevent the cement mixture from gaining minimum required compressive strength. Channeling of the slurry (less than total cement coverage around the outside of the pipe over the target interval). These were discussed earlier in this section. Mud and cement intermixing also adversely affect slurry thickening time (designed time from mixing to becoming unpumpable) and cement compressive strength. in the annulus. decomposed animal life. uncontaminated cement slurry fingers through the contaminated mixture resulting in a channel and limited coverage of the pipe exterior with competent cement. while pumping. Causes of Primary Cementing Failures You need to know what can go wrong when you are involved in a cementing job.1. • • • Incomplete mixing of the slurry. Normally a remedial or “squeeze” job is required to correct the poor results of the primary job.Mud Removal the difficulty of displacing drilling mud ahead of the cement slurry. Effects of Drilling Fluids and Contaminants on Cements Cement slurries and drilling fluids (drilling mud) are almost always incompatible. This can be caused by: - failure to centralize pipe - failure to move pipe - failure to circulate mud system and run a mud/cement spacer. Cement setting too quickly or too slowly. When incorporated with other best practices. and waste effluents. Contaminants include fertilizers. Most often. The effects of different mud additives on cement are shown in Table 4. The primary incompatibility problem is when a mixture of the two is thicker than either of the separate fluids. soil chemicals. cost of additional cement jobs. Many factors can contribute to a poor job. Intermixing of mud and cement inside the casing is eliminated by using special wiper plugs at critical times during the job. This increased thickness (or viscosity) increases 4 • 14 Cementing 1 . agricultural products. This can be caused by: - mechanical failure - failure of the bulk system - incorrect water or pressure. Delays in operations.

guar polyacrylamides. etc. Three types of flow patterns are: Plug Flow . starch.) Protect organic additives against bacterial decomposition Retardation Fluid-loss control additives (C. Ca(OH) 2 . CaCl 2 . Turbulent Flow .9 – Plug flows. rubber. Na 2 CO 3 . lignosulfonate Reduce fluid loss from mud to formation Retardation Flow Properties Mud removal in the annulus is a function of the flow patterns that are achieved.) pH adjustment Acceleration Calcium compounds CaO. cellulose.C.) Disperse mud solids Retardation Emulsifiers (lignosulfonates. lease crude oil) Control fluid loss. lubrication Density decrease Sealants (scrap. etc. lignosulfonates.) Seal against leakage to formation Retardation Thinners (tannins. alkyl ethylene oxide adducts.Mud Removal Table 4.mud removal is minimal due to low frictional or drag forces exerted on the mud layer. Plug Flow Laminar Flow . Laminar Flow Turbulent Flow Figure 4.fluid velocity is higher creating more friction.1 – Mud Additives and Their Effect on Cement Additives Purposes Cement Effects Barium Sulfate (BaSO 4 ) Weighting agent Density increase strength reduction Caustics (NaOH. etc. CaSO 4 . etc. This flowrate can remove only about 60% of the mud from the pipe.M. resulting in improved mud removal. This results in more force being exerted on the mud layer by frictional drag. Eddies and current in the fluid result in a mud removal percentage as high as 95%. lignins. This flowrate can remove as much as 90% of the mud from the pipe.A maximum mud removal capability is reached due to high frictional or drag forces. hydrocarbons sulfonates) Forming oil-in-water or water-in-oil muds Retardation Bactericides (substituted phenols. quebracho. 4 • 15 Cementing 1 .. formaldehyde. 2H 2 O) Conditioning and pH control Acceleration Hydrocarbons (diesel oil.

both during and before cementing. if possible. Additives or base fluid (water or synthetic oil) can be added prior to cementing to improve the mud's tendency to flow ahead of the cement slurry. Low viscosity spacers/flushes placed ahead of the cement slurry and pipe movement coupled with mechanical scratchers/wall cleaners can help remove gelled drilling fluid or filter cake. Affect of Static Time 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 4 Hours 0 2 Hours 10 5 Minutes In tests simulating vertical wellbore cementing conditions. Pipe Movement Second to drilling fluid conditioning in importance is the need to employ pipe movement.Mud Removal influence. Proper hole conditioning is critical to successful cementing operations. Studies in test wells that simulate realistic permeability reveal the importance of additives to control fluid leak-off. Figure 4. from the mud. From the tests conducted to determine static time If casing is properly centralized. Conditioning the Drilling Fluid A well-conditioned drilling fluid is the most significant factor affecting drilling fluid displacement. pipe movement can be accomplished even in horizontal wells. either rotation or reciprocation.5 show a significant decrease in displacement efficiency after only 5 minutes of down time. Mechanical scratchers attached to the casing further enhance the beneficial effects of pipe movement. even under turbulent flow conditions. during the prejob circulation period. there is no substitute for maintaining drilling fluid properties that enhance the mobility of the drilling fluid. To further improve its mobility. immobile drilling fluid filter cake could not be displaced completely by the cement slurry. enabling displacement by the cement slurry.10 – Conditioned drilling fluid is easier to remove. In 4 • 16 Cementing 1 . Pipe movement also can help offset the negative effects from poorly centralized pipe. However. 0 Minutes Displacement Efficiency (%) 100 Figure 4. the viscosity of the drilling fluid should be reduced. Pipe movement helps break up gelled pockets of drilling fluid and the loose cuttings that may accumulate within the pockets.11 – Static Time A well engineered cement job design will include laboratory testing of the mud to measure its viscosity (rheological properties) under down-hole conditions. the results presented in Figure 4. It is also important to limit the amount of static time before and during the cement job. Another way to improve drilling fluid mobility (to enhance its displacement capability) is through prejob circulation to thoroughly fluidize the drilling fluid before cementing. in order to prevent excessive filter-cake buildup.

As a general rule of thumb. the cement displayed a strong tendency to bypass drilling fluid. the flow may be turbulent in the wide section and be laminar. the fluid will tend to flow through the wider section of the annulus more readily.14 – Pipe centralization. Centralizers improve pipe standoff. In test sections where the pipe was not central in the hole.12 – Pipe movement. the flow regime in the wider section can be different than the flow regime in the narrower section. Eccentric Flow and Density Difference When designing fluids for a specific flow regime. the spacer should be heavier than the drilling fluid and the cement heavier than the spacer. Otherwise. in the narrow section. or even plugged.13 . That is. it is the velocity of fluids that will primarily determine the displacement efficiency. In an eccentric annulus. pipe movement can help eliminate a solids-settled channel. In reality. it is assumed that the flow is in a perfectly centered annulus. the fluid has a tendency to take the path of least resistance. Under all other conditions. For example. Figure 4. Figure 4. Under these conditions. pipe centralization is another important factor in obtaining high displacement efficiency. Under these conditions. 4 • 17 Cementing 1 . if the drilling fluid system is not carrying solids. Figure 4. Pipe Centralization According to test results. this is not true. the design of spacers and cements should follow the low to highdensity approach.Mud Removal addition.Cement tends to follow the wide side of the annulus. cement tends to follow the path of least resistance—the wide side of the annulus. a large density difference between cement and drilling fluid can improve displacement efficiency. thereby equalizing the distribution of forces exerted by the cement slurry as it flows up the annulus.

turbulent flow is not a viable option. these factors become even more critical. The correct spacer system can help the operator/service company achieve a quality cement job. In HighPressure/High-Temperature (HPHT) wells. regardless of the flow regime of the cement slurry.15 – Use of spacers. intrazone communication. pipe corrosion. Spacers and/or Flushes One of the key factors in obtaining an effective primary cementing job is to minimize the contamination of the cement slurry with the drilling fluid. if turbulent flow could not be achieved. Often. such as diesel. Test and field data clearly indicate that even when turbulence is not possible. They are the easiest to put into turbulent flow. 4 • 18 Cementing 1 . Water is a common flush. Figure 4. With other factors being equal. The drilling fluid must be completely displaced from the annulus so that a competent cement sheath can form and produce an effective hydraulic seal. additives are used which thin drilling mud or chemically attack mud filter cake. The highest displacement efficiency occurred under turbulent flow conditions. Halliburton maintains design software that aids with weighted spacer design. such as when hole and formation conditions create frictional pressures exceeding the fracturing gradient of the formation. displacement was consistently better at the highest rates attained under like conditions for similar slurry compositions. The viscosity of weighted spacers may be modified to further enhance mud displacement. and pipe collapse. The inadequate removal of annular fluids may result in poor cement bonds to the pipe and formation. or greater. than the mud in density. Frequently. spacers must be designed with weighting materials resulting in the spacer being equal to. Water based spacers tend to leave steel in a water wet condition which aids with cement bonding. These are most effective and economical on low density muds that are near the density of the flush. For densified muds. Non-weighted spacers are often referred to as flushes. pump rates should be maximized. thin cement slurry placed under turbulent flow conditions exhibited higher drilling fluid displacement efficiency than a thicker slurry placed at low rates.Mud Removal Spacers may be water or oil based. Current oil based spacers often use synthetic oils to avoid the environmental concerns of hydrocarbon based oil. High Displacement Rates The greatest displacement efficiencies observed in tests conducted at a scale-model test facility consistently occur at the highest displacement rates. A lighter density spacer will result in poor mud displacement efficiency. however.

A _________________________ drilling fluid is critical for successful mud removal. 3. ___________________________ properties allow for maximum removal of drilling mud due to high frictional drag forces. or an inadequate pumping rate might cause the ___________ to _________________________. Even if turbulent flow cannot be obtained. 4. _____________ can be caused by lack of pipe centralization and movement. A plugged shoe or collar.Mud Removal Unit C Quiz Fill in the blanks with one or more words to check your progress in Unit C. ____________ or _____________ help minimize contamination between a cement slurry and drilling ___________. 2. cement will tend to flow up the _________ side of the annulus. the highest possible __________________ should be used for _____________ mud removal. 4 • 19 Cementing 1 . 7. 5. Drilling fluid and cement are often _______________ and intermixing of the two may cause a primary cementing job _________________. 1. 8. Pipe movement can offset the ________________ effects of poorly _________________ casing during a primary cement job. 9. 6. If casing is not perfectly centered. contaminated mixing water.

guide shoe or float collar. well conditioned 4-16 6. gas. innerstring cementing. isolates. lead. production. tail 4-8 5. wide 4-16 8. Turbulent flow 4-15 5. freshwater zones 4-3 2. formation fluids. rotated 4-9 9. latch-down 4-11 Items from Unit C Quiz Refer to Page 1. lowest producing formation 4-9 8. retarder 4-9 6. production 4-9 7. incompatible. float shoe. failure (or termination) 4-14 4. cement. float collar 4-10 10. channeling 4-14 3. maximum 4-18 9.Mud Removal Answers to Unit Quizzes Items from Unit A Quiz Refer to Page 1. freshwater 4-7 4. cave-in 4-3 3. centralized 4-16 7. Spacers. accelerate. fluid (mud) 4-18 4 • 20 Cementing 1 . flow rate. cellar 4-4 Items from Unit B Quiz Refer to Page 1. negative. flushes. latch-down 4-7 3. WOC 4-7 2. set too quickly 4-14 2.