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Best Practices

Squeeze Cementing
with Coiled Tubing

Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.


Bibliography No. H01929

i
All information contained in this publication is confidential and proprietary property of
Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. Any reproduction or use of these instructions, drawings, or
photographs without the express written permission of an officer of Halliburton Energy
Services, Inc. is forbidden.

1999, Halliburton Energy Services, Inc.
All Rights Reserved. Printed in the United States of America.

Bibliography No. H01929

Printing History:
First Release (August 1999)
Revised (November 2001)

ii
Best Practices

Contents

Introduction ................................................................................................................. 1

Overview of Squeeze Cementing ............................................................................... 2

Overview of CT Squeeze Cementing .......................................................................... 2

Wellbore Temperature Profile for CT .......................................................................... 3

Sump or Rathole Temperature ................................................................................ 3

Figure 1Effect of sump or rathole cooling operation on wellbore


temperature profile .............................................................................................. 3

Problem Diagnosis ...................................................................................................... 4

Well Preparation ......................................................................................................... 5

Wellbore Mechanical-System Integrity .................................................................... 5

Wellhead Seals and Valves ................................................................................. 5

Tubing and Casing .............................................................................................. 5

Completion Packers ............................................................................................ 5

Isolation Barriers ..................................................................................................... 6

Figure 2Isolation techniques............................................................................ 6

Cleaning the Squeeze Interval ................................................................................ 7

Negative Differential Pressure ............................................................................ 7

Positive Differential Pressure .............................................................................. 8

Chemical Treatments .......................................................................................... 8

Mechanical Methods ........................................................................................... 9

Injectivity Testing ......................................................................................................... 9

Preparing for an Injectivity Test ............................................................................. 10

Procedure for an Injectivity Test ............................................................................ 10

Formation Damage Caused by Injectivity Testing ................................................. 10

Interpretation of Injectivity Test ............................................................................. 11

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Contents

Material Selection ...................................................................................................... 11

Noncement, Organic, or Inorganic Complexes ..................................................... 12

Aqueous Portland Cement Slurries and Additives ................................................ 13

Nonaqueous Portland Cement Slurries ................................................................ 14

Non-Portland Cements .......................................................................................... 14

Resins and Monomers .......................................................................................... 14

Slurry Design and Testing Considerations for CT Squeezing ................................... 15

Density .................................................................................................................. 16

Thickening-Time Tests .......................................................................................... 16

Interpreting Thickening-Time Test Results ............................................................ 17

Figure 3Profile of thickening-time test variables ........................................... 17

Fluid-Loss Testing and Filter-Cake Evaluation ...................................................... 17

Figure 4Effects of fluid loss on filter-cake characteristics across


perforations ....................................................................................................... 19

Figure 5Downhole video photograph of cement nodes on perforations ........ 19

Fluid-Loss Test Limitations ................................................................................ 20

Rheological Properties .......................................................................................... 23

HTHP Gel Strength ............................................................................................... 24

Free Water and Settling ........................................................................................ 24

Compatibility .......................................................................................................... 24

Mixing Energy and Particle-Wetting Efficiency ..................................................... 25

Laboratory vs. Field Mixing Energy ................................................................... 25

Particle-Wetting Efficiency ................................................................................ 25

Effects from Pumping Slurry through the CT .................................................... 26

Cement Strength ................................................................................................... 27

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Best Practices

Contents

Acid Resistance .................................................................................................... 28

Summary ............................................................................................................... 28

Job Design ................................................................................................................ 29

Squeezing Perforations ......................................................................................... 29

Channels ............................................................................................................... 29

Corrosion Holes and Splits in Pipe ........................................................................ 30

Cement Volume ..................................................................................................... 30

Fluid Friction Modeling .......................................................................................... 31

Figure 8Laminar flow in straight vs. curved pipe ........................................... 31

Figure 9Fresh water (85F, calculated critical flow rate = 0.02 bbl/min) ........ 32

Figure 1016.4-lb/gal Class H cement (PV = 23 cp; YP = 9 lb/100 ft2;


100F; calculated critical flow rate = 0.38 bbl/min) ........................................... 32

Figure 1115.8-lb/gal Class H cement (PV = 27.5 cp; YP = 9.8 lb/100 ft2;
120F; calculated critical flow rate = 0.44 bbl/min) ........................................... 33

Figure 1215.8-lb/gal Class H cement (PV = 41 cp; YP = 14.7 lb/100 ft2;


120F; calculated critical flow rate = 1.05 bbl/min) ........................................... 33

Job Design ................................................................................................................ 34

Equipment ............................................................................................................. 34

Cementing Nozzles ............................................................................................... 35

Figure 13Combination cementing and wash nozzle19 .................................. 35

Equipment Layout and Safety ............................................................................... 35

Figure 14Sample equipment layout for CT squeeze ..................................... 36

Volumetric Calibration of Equipment ..................................................................... 36

Viscous Prepad ..................................................................................................... 36

Job Execution ............................................................................................................ 37

Depth Control and Correlation .............................................................................. 37

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Contents

Cement Mixing and Pumping ................................................................................ 38

Cement Placement (Spotting) Technique .............................................................. 38

Actual Squeeze ..................................................................................................... 39

Squeezing in Nodal Applications ........................................................................... 40

Cleaning Out Excess Cement Slurry..................................................................... 40

Cleaning Out Cement Slurry without the Contamination Procedure ................. 41

Contamination Procedure ................................................................................. 41

Node Hardening ................................................................................................ 42

General Washout Procedure ............................................................................. 42

Reverse Circulation ........................................................................................... 43

Removing Cement Bridges Left in the Wellbore ................................................... 43

Underreaming ................................................................................................... 43

Conical Water Jet or Hydrojetting ..................................................................... 43

Testing the Squeeze ................................................................................................. 44

Squeeze Failure .................................................................................................... 44

References ................................................................................................................ 44

Bibliography .............................................................................................................. 45

Appendix AEstimating the Fluid Level in a Well .................................................... 47

Appendix BExample Problems .............................................................................. 48

Example Problem 1 ............................................................................................... 48

Diagnostics (Figure B-1) ................................................................................... 48

Figure B-1Diagnostic data for Sample Problem 1 ......................................... 48

Example Problem 2 ............................................................................................... 51

Diagnostics (Figure B-2) ................................................................................... 51

Figure B-2Diagnostic data for Sample Problem 2 ......................................... 51

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Contents

Appendix CComplete CT Nodal Buildup/Washout Procedure .............................. 55

Presqueeze Well Preparation ............................................................................... 55

Day 1 with CTUAcid Wash ............................................................................ 55

Day 2 with CTUCTU High-Pressure Nodal Squeeze Procedure ................... 56

Appendix C-1Approximate Slurry Composition ................................................. 59

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Squeeze Cementing with Coiled Tubing

This manual describes the best practices and recommended slurry properties for squeeze
cementing with coiled tubing (CT). However, most of the laboratory and slurry behavior
information applies to all squeeze cementing. This chapter also presents information perti-
nent to the nodal buildup/washout squeeze method.

Note The information that applies principally to the nodal technique


is in italics.

An extensive bibliography (Page 45) has been included for all subjects discussed. These
references are not limited to CT or squeeze cementing.

Introduction
Squeeze or remedial cementing is a common operation in the petroleum industry. Most
squeezes are performed with a drilling or workover rig and through threaded tubing or
drillpipe. Cement is the most common material used for squeezing and represents approxi-
mately 7 to 10% of the total cost of the squeeze. The remaining costs stem from well prepa-
ration, tools, waiting on cement (WOC), and drilling out excess cement left in the wellbore
after the squeeze. As reservoirs mature and production subsequently declines, the remedial
costs weigh heavily on the decision of remedial work or abandonment.

Squeeze cementing through CT is a relatively new but maturing operation. Interest in CT


squeezing increased significantly with the success and cost savings reported from the
Alaskan Prudhoe Bay field in the 1980s. CT can be used as the conduit for placing cement or
other materials, such as polymers. It can reduce or eliminate rig costs and significantly
reduce well preparation and post-squeeze cleanout costs. The use of CT in workovers has
been successful in remote areas where rigs are not available and in areas where rig costs are
high. The technical limits of CT cementing are restricted more by mechanics than chemical
technology. Cement has been successfully placed by CT to depths below 19,000 ft and to
temperatures above 350F.

Techniques and cement properties developed or identified by British Petroleum (BP) and
Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) for Alaskan North Slope operations have served as the
foundation for CT squeezing worldwide. From this foundation, special techniques and
material properties have been developed that improve the probability of success and in-
crease the cost-saving potential.

Most recently, the advent of microfine cementing products and conformance technology has
enabled treatments to be performed through gravel-packed intervals without the costly
removal of downhole production equipment. Under certain situations, methods learned from
the nodal technique can apply to squeezing through a gravel pack.

CT offers significant benefits for slurry placement, control of the squeeze, and reduced
squeeze costs. However, the full potential offered by the technique depends on candidate

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Best Practices

selection and preparation, cement slurry formulation, and job design. Small-volume and
nodal-buildup jobs require special and preferably on-location quality-control testing.

This manual covers

Overview of Squeeze Cementing (Page 2)


Well Preparation (Page 5)
Injectivity Testing (Page 9)
Slurry Design and Testing Considerations for CT Squeezing (Page 15)
Job Design (Page 29)
Cleaning Out Excess Cement Slurry (Page 40)
Estimating the Fluid Level in a Well (Page 47)

Overview of Squeeze Cementing


Squeeze cementing is most often performed to

repair leaks in well tubulars and restore pressure integrity to the wellbore
raise the level of or restore a cement sheath behind the casing to support or protect well
tubulars
modify the production or injection profile of a well by sealing unwanted production or
thief zones
repair a poor primary cement job before well completion

Successful squeeze operations depend on accurate problem identification and careful selec-
tion of the appropriate sealant, mixing/pumping equipment, and placement technique. After
the job has been properly designed and the problem interval has been isolated, inject cement
slurry or another suitable sealant material into the interval to be sealed or filled. To ensure
success, apply pressure to hold the sealant in place until it hardens or takes set. When the
sealant is cement, pressure should be applied to remove (squeeze) fluid from the slurry and
to form an immovable, impermeable mass that will set and harden in place. The remaining
cement or other sealant should be removed from the interior of the wellbore to restore the
original inner diameter (ID) of the wellbore for future operations.

Overview of CT Squeeze Cementing


Many techniques for problem diagnosis, well preparation, and job design in conventional
squeeze cementing also apply to CT operations. However, the differences between the two
processes can significantly affect the success of the operation. CT squeezes are essentially
scaled-down squeezes with smaller tubulars and generally smaller cement volumes. As with
most reduced-scale operations, attention to detail is critical.

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Best Practices

Wellbore Temperature Profile for CT


For most squeezes and especially CT operations, accurately measure or prepare a computer
model of the wellbore temperature above and below the interval to be squeezed. Circulating
temperatures are affected by many variables, including the type of fluid pumped or circu-
lated, fluid density and rheological properties, volume of fluid pumped or circulated, pump-
ing rate, and well configuration.

Note When in doubt about the actual circulating temperature, use the
static temperature at the squeeze depth.

Circulating temperatures in CT operations are usually higher than those in conventional


squeezes with threaded pipe because a lower volume of fluid is pumped at a lower flow rate.
Large-scale testing has also shown that the temperatures of cement slurries pumped through
a CT spool at maximum rates can increase approximately 1F/1,000 ft of CT before the
slurry leaves the unit. If the slurry pumped is relatively sensitive to temperature change and
the unit has a substantial footage of spooled pipe, this factor may be important. When larger
CT workstrings are used, temperatures may be closer to those in conventional operations.
Slurry Design and Testing Considerations for CT Squeezing (Page 15) covers aspects that
should be considered in the laboratory.

Sump or Rathole Temperature


In CT squeezes, consider the temperature of the wellbore below the squeeze interval as well
as that of the circulated interval, depending on the cleanout method used. The lower section
of the wellbore (often called the rathole or sump) may need to be cooled to keep the cement
from setting before cleanout if the nodal squeeze technique is used. Cooling the sump helps
smooth the temperature profile between the injection point and the sump, as shown in Figure
1. An alternative to rathole cooling is to fill the rathole with sand or viscous mud to help
prevent fluid swapping. This can also be done to lower the cost of the job since sand or
viscous heavy mud placed in the rathole is usually cheaper than the cement that will have to
occupy that space. This is especially true for wells with very large rathole volumes. One
complicating factor in using this technique of filling the rathole volume comes with the
potential plugging of perforations that can occur if any of this material gets placed across or

Without cooling

With cooling
ccd01005

Figure 1Effect of sump or rathole cooling operation on wellbore temperature profile

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Best Practices

into the perforations during placement. In this case, always make sure a jet nozzle is used to
wash and clean up all the perforations after placement of the rathole material. The wash fluid
must also have sufficient carrying capacity to lift any solids encountered to the surface.
Failure to do so can result in solids bridging in the annulus around the CT string. Note that
this rathole fluid should be heavier than the planned cement slurry.

Note Cooling the sump is not needed if the cement design


temperature is based on static sump temperature.

Problem Diagnosis
The following tools can help define a problem requiring a squeeze and the location to be
treated:

production or injection logs


pump-in surveys with temperature logs
pulsed-neutron logs
downhole video camera or casing-caliper logs

Production or injection logs for perforation evaluation help characterize the nature of the
contribution or injection from all intervals and can be used to troubleshoot repeat squeezes.
A typical log includes a flowmeter reading, the temperature, pressure, fluid density (from a
gradiometer or radioactive densiometer), neutron density, and resistivity probe. These logs
help determine the source of the fluid or gas entry. Potential alternatives (plugback, and
material and treatment-volume selection) can be developed, and the section to be
reperforated can be determined.

A pump-in survey with a temperature log can help determine the existence and direction of a
channel. The survey can also define the rate of temperature change. After injection or
circulation and pumping have stopped, the temperature slowly returns to the geothermal
gradient. At least 5 to 10F of initial cooling should be reached to obtain sufficient tempera-
ture shift for channel identification.

The temperature profile can also provide information vital to the thickening time for cement-
slurry design. The rate of warming after a certain amount of fluid is pumped is also helpful.
Knowledge of the thermal recovery after the treatment is placed allows job designers to
better estimate how long the fluid will remain pumpable if it is allowed to become static
(cement slurry or polymer treatment).

A pulsed-neutron log with borax brine water injected into the perforations also helps define
the extent of a channel. However, the log is omnidirectional and does not identify the
orientation or azimuth of a channel behind pipe.

A downhole video camera or casing-caliper log can be used in areas where severe corrosion
or erosion is suspected. Filter cakes form readily in perforations across permeable zones,
but the enlarged surface area of severely corroded casing may hamper long-term results
from a squeeze. Knowledge of the condition of the casing can help engineers determine the
operations feasibility and cost effectiveness.

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The information that applies principally to the nodal technique is in italics.
Best Practices

Well Preparation
The preparation of the wells mechanical systems and the interval to be squeezed are critical
to success. Controlling other variables in the squeeze cannot compensate for improperly
preparing the well for the operation.

Wellbore Mechanical-System Integrity


The mechanical and pressure integrity of the completion are important. Test the following
equipment before any squeeze:

wellhead seals and valves


tubing and casing
completion packers and other downhole equipment

Wellhead Seals and Valves


Pressure-test wellhead seals to help ensure that squeeze pressures will not be applied to the
casing annulus. Test wellhead, wing, and other valves to help ensure that they are in proper
working condition. Leaking seals or valves add risk to the operation and can result in dam-
age to the well, a squeeze failure, or both. Leaking valves can also falsely indicate a failed
squeeze attempt. Pressure-test surface-pumping equipment.

Tubing and Casing


Because the production tubing takes the place of the conventional casing when CT is used,
pressure-test the tubing. Testing can be done with an inflatable packer on the coil or a plug
set with wireline or slickline in a profile nipple near the bottom of the tubing string. This
step helps ensure that no leaks exist that would inhibit building squeeze pressure or circulat-
ing out excess treatment slurry. If a leak in the tubing is not exposed to cement by circulation
or spotting, operators can perform the squeeze without repairing the leak. However, the
annulus must be fluid-packed, and the casing pressure rating must be higher than the ex-
pected squeeze pressure. Spotting a cement plug for zone abandonment is an exception to
this process.

Completion Packers
A packer leak can also allow cement into the annulus and make future workovers difficult.
Packers can come unseated from applied squeeze pressure and tubing contraction because of
cooldown. These limitations must be considered as they would in any other squeeze.

Consider the presence of gas-lift valves when appropriate. Replace all gas-lift valves with
blanks, or take other appropriate measures to ensure that the valves are not damaged with
cement. To prevent valve exposure to cement during a planned reverse-out squeeze, replace
all but one valve with blanks, leaving the valve in the uppermost station for immediate
unloading.

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Isolation Barriers
Physically isolate the interval to be treated to ensure controlled placement. Depending on the
design of the wellbore, complete isolation is sometimes impossible, but every attempt should
be made within the limits of the mechanical restrictions, cost, logistics, and risk.

If a significant rathole exists beneath the interval to be treated, large volumes of cement may
fall into the rathole instead of passing into the perforations. This occurrence has been proven
by field results and large-scale laboratory testing. Fill the rathole with sand, or use another
means to help prevent fluid swapping.

Note Often, pumping an extra volume of cement slurry to spot and fill
the rathole is the most cost-effective method for preventing fluid
swapping if the lower section of the well will not be re-entered.

Figure 2 shows a typical isolation method with multiple zones protected from the treatment.
In this complex situation, the intent was to treat a middle zone while protecting the upper
and lower zones. Variations of this situation could include the following:

abandoning any zone by spotting the slurry without an inflatable packer


stopping gas production from the upper zone while protecting lower zones with packers
or sand plugs
performing the same techniques in gravel-packed intervals with microfine cements

Production tubing
and packer

Upper zone protected


by annular injection

Inflatable packer

Treatment fluid

Lower zone
Sand protected by sand
ccd01006

Figure 2Isolation techniques

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Best Practices

Cleaning the Squeeze Interval


Cleaning the squeeze interval before injectivity testing and squeezing is essential to success.
Injectivity testing is often performed at the same time as cleaning. This testing provides
information for selecting the squeeze material, determining the appropriate volume of
squeeze material, and calculating the pressures required for placing the materials into the
interval. The extra time, procedures, and cost of interval preparation are usually offset by an
improved potential for success on the first squeeze.

Cement or other sealant must penetrate into the leak path or unfilled area for a successful
squeeze job. Any injected fluid, especially a solids-laden one such as cement, always seeks
the path of least resistance. Therefore, removing all of the following types of nonsealing
debris is essential:

inorganic scale
pipe dope
organic deposits such as paraffin and asphaltenes
metallic debris caused by milling, perforating, and corrosion

The interval can be cleaned through one or more of the following techniques:

negative differential pressure


positive differential pressure
acid or other chemical treatments
a combination of pressure techniques and chemical treatments

Pressure or chemical treatments (or a combination of) are common, effective ways to open a
leak path and prepare surfaces for sealant adhesion. Pressure surging alone may remove only
some debris, whereas chemical treatments may selectively remove other forms of debris.
Usually, a combination of a chemical treatment with one or more pressure-differential
techniques is most effective.

Negative Differential Pressure


Negative differential pressure (flow from the formation into the wellbore) is the preferred
method for cleaning the interval, but it is sometimes operationally difficult or prohibitive,
especially in wells with low bottomhole pressure (BHP). Cleaning may require an extra step
in the process by slickline or coil intervention, which logistics may not support. Negative
differential pressure is usually less effective for completely clearing channels, but it may be
beneficial for initiating communication with the channel so that acid or another reactive fluid
can be placed into the channel for effective cleanup.

The combination of pressure from the hydrostatic column and the surface must initially be
equal to the formation pressure (i.e., the well has to be stabilized). In addition, if any fluid is
present, the fluid level must be low enough to provide an underbalance to the formation
pressure when the surface pressure is removed. If the fluid level in the well is unknown, it
can be estimated with the procedure in Appendix A (Page 47).

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Perforation surging can be performed by setting a lock assembly in a profile nipple. The
assembly should include a nipple on the bottom adapted to hold a shear disk. After the
assembly is set near the bottom of the completion, the wellhead pressure (WHP) is decreased
until the differential pressure across the disk exceeds its shear value and fails. An instanta-
neous pressure surge occurs across the perforations, forcing out removable debris. An
alternative approach for assisting a well with insufficient BHP overcome the pressure in the
fluid column involves a coil-conveyed lock assembly (or packer) used with a circulating sub.

Positive Differential Pressure


Positive differential pressure (breaking down the zone) is sometimes applied to open a
plugged perforation. However, the differential frequently can result in only one or two
perforations actually taking fluid. Additionally, as the name implies, a pressure above the
fracturing pressure of the formation is often applied. Positive differential pressure also
presents the added risk of possibly connecting the created opening with nearby naturally
occurring fractures or with channels or fractures created during previous stimulations. A
positive injection with mud or another solids-laden fluid usually guarantees formation
fracturing. Clear fluids should be used whenever possible.

Positive differential pressure is also applied to the perforations during the application of
squeeze pressure during the cement job, causing filter-cake development. However, exces-
sive pressure too early in the treatment can fracture the formation or cause communication
with naturally occurring fractures, which can be difficult to heal.

Though formation fracturing can be detrimental, a pressure break at a pressure below the
fracture gradient indicates a perforation cleaning up during the squeeze. This diversion is
often the only way to clean out perforations. A high-pressure squeeze is designed to establish
a filter cake in all clean perforations during the initial pressure-increase stages of the
squeeze. As these first clean perforations are sealed with cement filter cake, any weaker
blockages caused by debris are removed, establishing communication with formation perme-
ability or channels behind pipe. Before continuing with the pressure increase, reduce pres-
sure to allow filter-cake development to resume. Filter-cake properties and associated slurry
requirements are discussed in detail in Interpreting Thickening-Time Test Results, (Page
17) and Fluid-Loss Testing and Filter-Cake Evaluation, (Page 17).

The potential advantage of this technique is to provide a differential across perforations that
cannot otherwise be cleaned of debris while other perforations are open. However, pressure
breaks are sometimes erroneously interpreted as a formation breakdown, and the slurry is
immediately pumped away in preparation for a second job. Job designers should be aware of
formation fracture gradients to prevent this misdiagnosis.

Chemical Treatments
Acidizing is commonly used as an integral part of cleanout. When the treatment procedure
does not provide for a prolonged flowback to enable the dissipation of residual acid,
overdisplace the treatment to protect the filter cake established during the squeeze from acid
attack. If the targeted problem is a channel behind pipe, a mud-acid or oxidizer treatment
may be required for removing clay-based solids or polymers, respectively.

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Best Practices

Remove organic deposits such as pipe dope, paraffin, or asphaltenes that may be present in
the interval to be squeezed because cement does not bond well to these deposits. Chemical
treatments with xylene, diesel, paraffin solvents, etc. may be required. A mixture of xylene
or toluene in diesel with acetic acid and a mutual solvent effectively removes organic
deposits. Table 1 lists common generic cleaning formulas. For detailed information, consult
the Scale Removal and Control section under Frac/Acid Services on the HalWorld intranet
web site.
Table 1Cleaning Formulas for Common Chemical Deposits
Debris Type Formula Treatment Volume (gal/ft)
Calcium carbonate scale 10 to 15% HCl 20 to 30
Calcium sulfate (gyp) scale GYPSOL Process Consult acidizing manual
Cement or silica/silicate scale 12:3 mud acid 20 to 50
Paraffin/asphaltenes Paraffin solvent or xylene/toluene 20 to 40
Mixture of paraffin/asphaltenes 12% HCl + 10% xylene or 50:50 30 to 40
and scale xylene/toluene and 10 to 15%
HCl
Pipe dope or mixture of 70:20:10 volume ratio of xylene 30 to 50
paraffin/asphaltene with rust/metal or toluene (acetic acid: mutual
solvent)

Mechanical Methods
In some cases, the materials blocking an interval may not be soluble in acid or organic
solvents. In that case, mechanical methods of removal, including jetting or scraping, are
required before squeezing. Barium and strontium sulfate scales and high concentrations of
silicate scales are examples of these materials.

Injectivity Testing
Injectivity testing assesses the intervals capacity to accept fluid, which is vital for designing
and executing the operation. Accurate information from the injectivity test aids material
selection, squeeze-operation design, formulation of the cement slurry or other sealant, and
volume selection.

Injectivity testing before the squeeze operation helps the engineer identify the feasibility of a
treatment and aids in troubleshooting a producer well or an injector well. When numerous
squeezes are conducted in an area on a particular interval, a threshold injectivity is often
used as a guide for determining treatment options.

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Preparing for an Injectivity Test


Before an accurate injectivity test can be conducted, the following conditions should exist:

The well is under control and completely full of fluid.


Gas has been bled off, circulated out, or bullheaded into the formation.
The density of the injection fluid is known.
An accurate pressure readout has been used to calculate the bottomhole injection pres-
sure (BHIP).

Clean, solids-free fluids are required for injectivity testing. If a solids-laden fluid is used,
fracturing the formation will probably be required for fluid injections into the interval,
unless the formation has vugs, natural fractures, acid-etched flow paths, or hydraulic frac-
tures from stimulations.

Procedure for an Injectivity Test


The injectivity test is performed as follows:

1. Pump the fluid into the target interval at a constant rate while monitoring surface pres-
sure. Record the rate and pressure pairs at each step for use in the squeeze design. (An
initial rate of about 1 bbl/min is often used.)
2. Continue pumping at this rate until the pressure has stabilized (is not increasing rapidly).
Use field experience in the area and fluid-friction simulation to help determine whether
or not perforation cleanup is required.
3. Repeat Steps 1 and 2 at various rates until you establish a profile. Use these data with
squeeze-slurry hydrostatics to help design the final surface-pumping pressure schedules.
4. If formation breakdown is evident at injection rates lower than expected, consider
performing a perforation cleanup treatment.
5. Use any indicated formation breakdown pressure plus a safety factor to help determine
the squeeze pressure to be applied during the early stages of the treatment.

Formation Damage Caused by Injectivity Testing


An injectivity test includes pumping a volume of clean, nondamaging, compatible fluid into
the formation.

Important The fluid should not form scale with the formation water, cause
swelling or migration of sensitive clay minerals, or form
emulsions or fluid blocks.

The fluid must be recoverable if the interval is to resume productivity. The formation may
inhibit matrix injection of permanent clear fluids such as PermSealTM or Injectrol sealants.
Some highly water-sensitive formations may require the use of nonaqueous fluids such as
diesel, mineral oil, or synthetics, and MOC/OneTM cement as the treatment system.

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Best Practices

Clean, filtered fluids, such as filtered formation brine or weighted, artificial brines, are
typically recommended for injection tests. Surfactants, nonemulsifers, mutual solvents, and
clay stabilizers can be added to protect sensitive formations. Gas wells are prone to fluid
blocks, which may inhibit returned productivity. Surfactants can sometimes help reduce this
effect.

Krilov, et al.1 discuss the level of damage to formation permeability caused by the precipita-
tion of insoluble calcium salts by cement filtrate and migration of fine particulates caused by
clays released because of the high pH (generally >12) of cement filtrate. Though these
chemical and physical observations are significant, large pore volumes of filtrate flowed
through the cores (more than would probably result if a cement filter cake formed at the face
of the core), greatly reducing penetration distance. In most critical squeezes, slurry fluid loss
is low. The depth of penetration of the filtrate would be limited to a few millimeters, which
could be easily penetrated by perforating guns.

Interpretation of Injectivity Test


Field experience suggests that the minimum injectivity for CT squeezes with cement slurries
should be about 1 bbl/min at an acceptable pressure. Injectivities at lower rates and higher
pressures indicate that normal cements may not penetrate into the interval with enough depth
and volume to produce an effective, reliable seal. Microfine cements or other sealants, such
as monomers and resins, may be required if the injectivity cannot be increased.

Wells with an injectivity between 1 and 3 bbl/min have been successfully squeezed with CT
with the cement properties and techniques described later in this section. An injectivity rate
greater than 3 bbl/min at low pressures may indicate the presence of high-permeability flow
paths, such as fractures, vugs, solution channels, etc. Larger treatment volumes and a rela-
tively higher slurry fluid loss (at least for a lead slurry) may be required in these cases.
Consider using reactive treatments, such as Flo-Chek service, before the cement squeeze.

Injectivity can also provide information about the possible extent of wellbore cooling. The
information can be used in designing and testing the cement slurry. Low injectivity may
preclude cooling the interval, thereby affecting the cement-slurry design in a hot well. A well
with a low injectivity and a high BHP may require a circulation kill before the squeeze. The
kill fluid should be dense enough to help reduce the surface pressure on the CT to acceptable
levels.

Material Selection
The variety of materials available for squeezes (Table 2, Page 12) can be mixed and pumped
with the same equipment commonly used with conventional cement slurries. CT operations
are not significantly restricted to the use of any of these materials.

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Table 2Materials for Squeeze Operations


Category Examples Remarks
Noncement, organic, or Polymer plugs and sodium Matrol , Flo-Chek, Injectrol,
SM

inorganic complexes silicate complexes FlexPlug OBM services, etc.


Aqueous cement slurries Most commonly used
Nonaqueous Portland Cements, clays, or polymers DOC-3 and DOB2C surfactants,
cement slurries mixed in oils MOC/One cement, and
FlexPlug W service
Resins and monomers TM
Epoxy resins and acrylate or EpSeal and PermSeal
methacrylate monomers (the sealants, StrataLock service,
most common types of these MatrolSM system, etc.
materials available)

The selection of the material for a particular squeeze should be based on present and ex-
pected future well conditions. In general, the selected material should

penetrate the area to be filled under the pressure limitations of the workstring (CT),
formation, well tubulars (casing and tubing), and wellbore equipment (packers,
valves, etc.)
adhere to surfaces to form an effective seal
withstand wellbore conditions (temperature and pressure), changes in wellbore stresses
(pressure or thermal cycling), and future treatments (acidizing, fracturing, and enhanced
recoveries)

Portland cements mixed with water and additives are the primary sealants for most squeezes,
but cement slurries are not suitable for all conditions and operations. The following para-
graphs briefly describe the materials listed in Table 2. For detailed coverage of sodium
silicates and other noncement fluids, refer to the Halliburton Conformance Technology
Manual2 or the appropriate bulletin.

Noncement, Organic, or Inorganic Complexes


Two types of silicate complexes are available: externally and internally catalyzed systems.
Externally catalyzed sodium silicate services (Flo-Chek service) can be pumped ahead of a
cement squeeze. When the sodium silicate contacts and intermixes with a fluid containing
multivalent cations, such as calcium or magnesium, the sodium silicate instantly forms a
stiff, semisolid precipitate or gel that blocks or diverts the cement slurry.

Internally catalyzed sodium silicate systems (Injectrol service, Angard system, and Anjel
system) are low- or no-solids, low-viscosity fluids that can penetrate the natural permeability
of a formation a significant distance from the wellbore. These systems are used to form
barriers between zones. Crosslinking or gel times are adjusted by the mixture ratio of inter-
nal activators to sodium silicate. The cement slurry pumped behind the silicate provides a
high-strength barrier at the wellbore. These systems are usually used to control water-
injection wells, plug fractures, and help prevent water coning.

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Most polymer treatments do not develop compressive or tensile strength and may not pro-
vide long-term durability if exposed to high differential pressures during production. Addi-
tionally, the positive pressures of most cement squeezes are not possible or even necessary in
the application of a solids-free polymer system. The systems are, therefore, often followed
by a cement slurry that helps seal the path close to the wellbore and helps provide a positive
squeeze pressure.

Aqueous Portland Cement Slurries and Additives


Although aqueous Portland cement slurries are generally the most economical and versatile
materials used for squeezes, they also have limitations. These high-solids systems can have
difficulty penetrating small openings. Cement slurries are also subject to chemical attack by
formation and well-treatment fluids, such as acidic brines, carbon dioxide, sulfates, and acids
used for stimulation and well cleanup.

The following special formulations and types of Portland cements have been developed to
meet challenges presented by special squeeze-cementing requirements. The Halliburton
Cementing Technology Manual3 and the HalWorld intranet web site give detailed informa-
tion about these slurries.

Control-setting gypsum cement (Cal-Seal cement) is usually a combination of cement


and the semihydrate form of calcium sulfate. This rapidly setting cement was developed
to combat lost circulation, casing-corrosion holes, and casing splits. Because gypsum
cement sets rapidly, its use is limited to shallow depths.
Thixotropic cements exhibit rapid gel-strength development when static. Fluidity can
be restored by the application of force. Thixotropic cements are used to repair fractured
zones, channels, and voids and to combat lost circulation. Additives such as Econolite
additive, VersaSet additive, Cal-Seal cement, and Thix-Set cement are common to the
designs.
Foamed cement is prepared by the addition of nitrogen to a cement slurry. Foamed
slurries are used when low hydrostatic pressures or a ductile cement is required.
Microfine cements (Micro MatrixTM cement, Matrix cement, and Micro Fly Ash
cement) have a 4- average particle size, vs. 20 to 100 for conventional Portland
cement. Small-grind cements are preferable for repairing mechanical leaks (packer,
casing collar, small channel, etc.) with low injectivity.
Fiber-reinforced cement made of polypropylene or nylon fibers is useful in packer
repairs and squeezes on collar connections. The cement has also been used in kickoff
plugs in CT drilling applications, but the technical merits of this application are debat-
able.
Retarders delay the thickening time of the slurry, which is often necessary for pumping
the cement in place.
Fluid-loss additives (Halad additive) help retain filtrate in the slurry, slowing con-
trolled slurry dehydration for improved penetration into narrow channels, and control-
ling filter-cake buildup.
Dispersants help enable the densification of slurries by low water ratios.
Accelerators are used in low-temperature conditions to shorten slurry thickening time.

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Salt acts as a retarder or an accelerator, depending on its concentration. Salt also helps
prevent the swelling of water-sensitive clays and shales and promotes cement bonding to
salt formations.
Solid, granular, or flaked bridging agents (Flocele and walnut hulls) are used during a
squeeze to help limit cement penetration into a fracture.
Crystalline silica in different forms (SSA-1 and SSA-2 agents and MicroSand cement
additive) has different uses. Silica flour combats the retrogression of cement compres-
sive strength at temperatures > 230F. Coarse sand is also used as a bridging agent.
Latex (Latex 2000 additive) is used in a cement formulation that may be exposed to acid
or other corrosive elements to slow the rate of attack. Cases have shown that 50 to 75%
of wells squeezed with Class G cement failed during subsequent acid stimulations.
However, less than 30% failed with latex cements. True acid-resistant systems are also
available (Epseal sealant, FlexCemSM service, and StrataLock system).
Expansive additives (Super CBL and MicroBond cements) help enhance sealing
properties.

Nonaqueous Portland Cement Slurries


Diesel-oil cement is the most common type of nonaqueous cement used in squeezes. It is
prepared by mixing cement in diesel oil, but mineral oils may also be used. When this slurry
contacts water, the hydrocarbon-carrying fluid is displaced, and the cement hydrates and
begins to set. If no water is present, no reaction occurs, and the cement may flow out of the
oil zone. Because diesel-oil cement contacted by water or water-based mud thickens quickly,
it is often used to shut off unwanted water zones. The cement can also be used to combat lost
circulation and to plug channels. When appropriate, the diesel-oil cement can be mixed with
microfine cement (MOC/OneTM cement) instead of conventional cement to help enhance the
systems capabilities of penetrating small cracks, leaks, and channels.

Non-Portland Cements
High-aluminate cements and refractory cements, such as Cement Fondu cement, are useful
for high temperatures. Magnesium-salt cements and high calcium carbonate blends, such as
FDP-C558, have become popular for workovers because they are completely soluble in
hydrochloric acid.

Resins and Monomers


Epoxy resins are true solutions. The resins are neat Epseal sealant, StrataLock system,
acrylate monomers (PermSealTM sealant), complexed polyacrylamides, and phenol/formalde-
hydes (MatrolSM service). They can penetrate small leaks or channels that cement solids
cannot. Special mixing and handling are required with these materials.

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Slurry Design and Testing Considerations for CT Squeezing


Most cement slurries for conventional applications are tested with well-simulation tests
developed by the American Petroleum Institute (API). Typical testing may include

density
thickening time
fluid loss
rheology
free water and settling
compatibility
compressive strength
These tests represent a composite set of conditions and procedures based on the well depth,
type of cementing operation, and geothermal gradient. The most recent API recommended
practice4 has been expanded to cover the special considerations developed over the years for
critical cementing.

Although improved, the API recommended practices do not specifically address CT cement-
ing. Additional testing often considered for critical cementing and CT cementing include
filter-cake evaluation, HTHP gel strength, acid resistance, and slurry shear sensitivity.

Job-specific test procedures and schedules should be developed for modeling the planned CT
squeeze cementing as closely as possible. Job-specific information needed for formulating
customized test schedules includes the following:

Well temperaturesTemperature is the most important variable affecting hydration.


Well pressurePressure has a lesser effect than temperature on cement hydration, but it
has a significant effect on fluid loss. Well pressure can be reasonably estimated from the
hydrostatic pressure of wellbore and cementing fluids plus the expected surface pump
pressure.
Mixing equipment and procedureIf the slurry is batch mixed, the length of time it is
held on the surface before being pumped into the well can substantially affect the
thickening time of the cement. Thickening time is affected by the mixing temperature,
well temperatures, and cement-slurry formulation. Temperatures in batch mixers have
been recorded at > 130F. A slurry conditioned in a laboratory at 80F does not represent
these situations.
Expected pump-rate rangeThe time required for pumping the slurry down the CT to
the interval to be squeezed determines the rate of slurry heating. The rate affects the
thickening time of a cement slurry. These volumetric calculations should also include the
footage of spool left on the reel.

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Planned pumping schedule and techniqueMost thickening-time tests are performed


under conditions of constant shear at a constant temperature. Simulate hesitation periods
when appropriate.
Estimated job timeThis time should include the time required for cleanout of excess
cement.

Density
Density is usually based on compressive-strength needs, well control, formation fracture
pressure, and slurry stability requirements. For CT squeezes, consider the effect of the
cement-slurry density on CT stresses. Cement strength should not be a significant factor in
density selection for squeezing because a well-formed filter cake probably has the compres-
sive strength of several thousand pounds per square inch, even for lightweight slurries.
Variation always exists between calculated and measured density because of differences in
material-specific gravities and instrument error. Match the slurry density between that
measured in the laboratory and on the field slurry. Filter-cake development is affected by
slurry density. For critical situations, verify slurry density in the laboratory with a cali-
brated, pressurized mud balance. Follow the same procedure on the batch-mixed slurry on
location before pumping.

Thickening-Time Tests
Thickening time is a measure of how long a cement slurry or other sealant remains pumpable
during the squeeze under expected well conditions. The API4 defines thickening time as the
time it takes for the slurry to reach 70 or 100 Bearden units (Bc) under simulated well-
cementing conditions. The Bearden unit is a dimensionless value describing slurry consis-
tency.

Although 70 or 100 Bc is the API definition, some operators use different consistency
values, ranging from 40 to 70 Bc, to determine the thickening time. Although the values are
not the API-defined thickening time, they represent consistencies that are practical limits for
most situations. Halliburton normally defines thickening time as the time required for the
slurry to reach 70 Bc. A consistency over approximately 40 Bc is unpumpable for CT
applications.

The thickening-time test should model the well operation as closely as possible. Duplicate
the temperature, pressure, and pumping profile of the squeezes. For smaller CT sizes, surface
pressure during pumping results in an initial pumping pressure higher (as high as 5,000 psi)
than that normally used for cement testing.

In many CT operations, some static or hesitation periods occur during the job. These periods
can dramatically alter the slurry thickening time. If a hesitation technique is planned, simu-
late the static periods for hesitation when the slurry or other sealant is not sheared by pump-
ing. Modified test schedules4 have been designed to simulate hesitation squeezes, but they
should be adjusted to reflect CT operations. Other slurry effects to consider during these
static periods include fluid loss and gel-strength development, the latter of which is com-
pounded by temperature increases from a lack of fluid movement. In addition, an improperly
designed slurry may settle.

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Interpreting Thickening-Time Test Results


Each thickening-time test has a chart or computer record of the consistency of the slurry over
time. Temperature and pressure are also recorded. Typically, consistency decreases during
the first part of the test because of thermal thinning, but it should remain fairly constant
afterward until the cement starts to hydrate. Near the end of the thickening-time test, the
consistency should increase rapidly because of cement hydration, as shown in Figure 3.

While the thickening-time profile in Figure 3 is preferred, many slurries differ, with the
slurry consistency increasing steadily over a longer period. This consistency profile is less
desirable for frictional pressure drop. Gelling cement slurries are also more difficult to
control and exhibit a less predictable filter-cake buildup. The causes of slow consistency
increases range from polymer effects to problems with the quality of the base cement. If the
consistency increases but then remains flat at an elevated level, do not use the slurry until the
problem is resolved, especially for CT applications. Similarly, if an unexplained viscosity
spike occurs during the test, do not use the slurry. Refer to cementing technology documents,
or contact the Halliburton Duncan Technology Center for more information on slurry gela-
tion and cement quality control.

4,000 100 280

3,500 260
80 240
3,000
220

Consistency (Bc)

Temperature (F)
Pressure
Pressure (psi)

2,500 60 200
Temperature
2,000 Consistency 180

1,500 40 160
140
1,000
20 120
500 100
0 80
ccd01009

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Time (hr)

Figure 3Profile of thickening-time test variables

Fluid-Loss Testing and Filter-Cake Evaluation


The squeeze process involves the placement of cement particles across a permeable medium
by mean of filtration. When designing a job, consider the following:

the optimum filtration rate


the amount of time the squeeze pressure should be applied
the effects of temperature, pressure, and slurry additives

Two slightly different techniques discussed in existing literature6, 7 explore the derivation and
application of equations that describe filter-cake deposition in a perforation and the spheri-
cally shaped node that can result inside the casing.

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The API operating fluid-loss test is a static filtration test used for determining the amount of
filtrate removable from a slurry under specific conditions. The test is performed with a
known filter medium under 1,000-psi differential pressure at the expected well temperature
for the squeeze. For API tests, the filter medium is a 325-mesh, stainless-steel screen with an
effective permeability of >1 darcy and an overall filtration area of 3.5 in2.

In the special case of fluid-loss testing for microfine cement slurries, the slurries flow
through the 325-mesh screen. The procedure requires the filter medium to be either a 600-
mesh screen or a Whatman 50 filter paper placed on top of the standard 325-mesh screen.
Table 3 shows the average results of comparative testing.8 The slurry in this 1993 test is no
longer recommended because the introduction of Micro Fly Ash cement component elimi-
nated the need for 40% MicroSand cement additive at temperatures below 230F. Reference
9 has up-to-date microfine slurry data.
Table 3Fluid Loss vs. Filter-Cake Thickness
Filter Medium API Reported Filter-Cake Thickness
Fluid Loss (cc) (in.)
9
400-md Berea sandstone 56 /16
1
600-mesh screen 49 /2
1
325-mesh screen with filter paper 27 /4
Slurry descriptionMicro Matrix cement + 40% MicroSand additive + 1% KCl (bwow) +
3.2% CFR-3 friction reducer + 1.8 gal/sk Latex 2000 additive + 1.2 gal/sk FDP-C485
stabilizer + 0.15 gal/sk D-Air 3 defoamer + 0.1 gal/sk Micro Matrix cement retarder +
6.55 gal/sk fresh water mixed at 12 lb/gal

For most cement-slurry designs, the fluid loss value of interest is the amount of fluid re-
moved from the slurry after 30 minutes of exposure to the conditions listed in Table 3.
However, for nodal squeezes, the thickness or volume of filter cake produced during the test
is also of interest. Filter-cake formation and properties are a function of

particle concentration in the slurry


particle-size distribution and packing efficiency
particle electrostatic interaction (dispersion of the cement particles)
particle specific gravity
filter-cake compressibility
differential pressure
filtration time

Figure 4 (Page 19) shows the effects of different fluid-loss ranges on filter-cake thickness for
a typical Class G or H cement mixed at normal density. Uncontrolled fluid loss can result in
rapid buildup of a thick, relatively permeable filter cake capable of prematurely bridging the
ID of the casing. This effect frequently leads to the conclusion that a squeeze has been
achieved across an entire interval. However, if hydraulic communication, and thus the
pressure differential required for filter-cake building, are lost to the lower perforations, those
perforations are not squeezed. After drillout and pressure testing, the perforations do not
sustain a positive or negative test and are deemed a failure when, in fact, the perforations
were never squeezed.

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1000 cc Neat cement slurry

300 cc Fluid-loss slurry

75 cc Fluid-loss slurry

ccd01010
25 cc Fluid-loss slurry

Figure 4Effects of fluid loss on filter-cake characteristics across perforations

CT applications pose an additional concern for the nodal buildup and washout technique. If
too much filter cake is built on the perforations, the washout of remaining liquid slurry may
be hindered. Additionally, even if the washout is accomplished without damage to the nodes,
any wireline-conveyed tools, such as perforating guns, may not pass freely through the
squeezed interval.

Figure 5, a photograph from a downhole video, shows properly built nodes on perforations
inside a casing. Note the concave shape of the node around the perforation.

Figure 5Downhole video photograph of cement nodes on perforations

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Fluid-Loss Test Limitations


With the goal of node building, the API fluid-loss test method presents significant limita-
tions:

differential pressure

filter-medium permeability

filtration time

slurry volume for the test

Some limitations can be overcome by modifications to the API test procedure or the test
equipment. Table 4 provides a comparison of API recommended procedures to those that
may be considered for nodal applications.

Caution Never exceed the designed pressure and temperature


limitations of the laboratory equipment.

Even with the modifications in Table 4, initially run the standard API tests for comparison,
especially with inexperienced laboratory personnel or with a new, unique slurry.

Table 4Suggested Modifications to Fluid-Loss Testinga


Fluid-Loss Test API Recommended Suggested Modification
Parameter
Preconditioning 20 minutes at BHCTb or HTHP consistometer on simulated job
180F maximum in scheduleHold 1 hour; then, cool if
atmospheric necessary, and transfer to fluid-loss cell.
consistometer Alternatively, use an HTHP stirring fluid-
loss cell.
Pressure ramp Instant Gradual, starting with initial perf P
Maximum differential 1,000 Anticipated differential at perforations
pressure (psi)
Filtering medium 325-mesh screen 325-mesh screen, natural or man-made
core disks
Duration (minutes) 30 30-minute minimum, longer if needed
for achieving required cake thickness
Filtrate data recorded Total filtrate in 30 minutes Record spurt loss; then, record filtrate in
five-minute increments, shorter if
necessary.
Filter cake N/A Thickness and characteristic
a
The information in Table 4 applies to the nodal method.
b
Bottomhole circulating temperature

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Preconditioning a slurry for only 20 minutes allows the slurry to reach the design tempera-
ture. The 20 minutes does not allow time for potential polymer breakdown or other chemical
or physical interactions, such as sedimentation, that may affect fluid-loss properties. Some
slurries may show excellent fluid-loss control when conditioned in this manner, only to fall
apart because of polymer destruction when conditioned at a higher temperature than an
atmospheric consistometer can reach. Alternatively, use a high-temperature, high-pressure
(HTHP) stirring fluid-loss cell.

Time plays a critical role in building a node of cement solids. With the factors that affect
filter-cake formation and the importance of creating the required filter cake, laboratory
modeling should reflect the history of the cement slurry. The history should include time
estimates for the mixing, pumping, placement, and any subsequent washouts. Increasing the
pressure schedule in the laboratory with a regulator instead of instantly applying the maxi-
mum differential pressure results in a lower spurt (initial) loss, improved packing of the
cement grains and polymer, and thus a lower permeability per linear thickness of cake. This
process ultimately helps provide a lower total volume of filtrate recorded and a thinner filter
cake.

Differential Pressure
Pressure applied during a CT squeeze can be higher than 1,000 psi, particularly when
excess cement is washed out. In these cases, the filter cake must withstand the pressure
differentials and erosion in the wellbore during the cleanout of excess cement, and the future
differential pressure if the squeeze is to be followed with hydraulic fracturing. However,
laboratory testing has shown that, for a properly designed slurry, additional differential
pressure (above the 1,000-psi standard) applied to the fluid-loss cell results in little or no
incremental change in filter-cake characteristics. Although the validity of increasing the
maximum differential has been debated, the test may be performed if requested by the
customer.

Caution Do not exceed the pressure limitations of the test cell.

Filter-Medium Permeability
The permeability of the filter medium used in the API test is higher than that of many forma-
tions, especially carbonates. Core or synthetic (aluminum oxide) disks of varying
permeabilities can be inserted in some test cells with an adapter. Contact the Duncan
Technology Center for information on building or obtaining an adapter.

Filtration Time
Filtration time, or the time of applied squeeze pressure, often exceeds the 30 minutes of an
API test. Thus, the filter-cake volume produced under downhole CT conditions can signifi-
cantly exceed the filter-cake volume generated during an API test at a single pressure. For
slurries with higher fluid-loss values, the API fluid-loss cell may not have enough volume to
accommodate all the filtrate generated from a CT in-place test because of the extended
squeezing time and sometimes the higher differential pressures. Cement slurries with filtrate
volumes >60 ml may cause all the slurry to become dehydrated, forming filter cake in the
API cell. Continued filtration only purges water from the pore spaces, giving an inaccurate

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measure of the fluid loss of the slurry under downhole conditions. An obvious indicator of
these effects is the lack of any liquid slurry remaining above the filter cake at the conclusion
of the test. The simplest solution is to use a longer fluid-loss cell, such as one built by Baroid
Drilling Fluids. The fluid loss of the slurry is probably too high for nodal applications.

Slurry Volume
Standard API procedures require only the final filtrate volume to be recorded. While this
measurement is acceptable for most situations, if difficulties occur in achieving the required
filter cake (thickness or friability), knowledge of the fluid-loss rate at different points in the
test can help the chemist determine which fluid-loss additives can be adjusted or substituted.

Determining the thickness of the filter cake and its friability is the ultimate goal of the test.
Example fluid-loss volumes and resulting filter-cake characteristics are shown in Table 5.

Generally, initial fluid-loss values should be between 70 and 130 ml API (35 to 65 ml of
actual filtrate collected) for obtaining a filter cake between 0.4 and 1.0 in. This range

Table 5Relationship between Fluid Loss and Filter-Cake Properties


API Fluid-Loss Value Filter-Cake Height Range Filter-Cake Penetration
(ml/30 min) (in.) Rangea into Filter Cake (in.)
40 to 60 0.25 to 0.75 0.2 maximum
60 to 80 0.25 to 0.75 0.25 to 0.375
80 to 100 0.5 to 0.75 0.25 to 0.375
100 to 50 0.75 to 1.0 0.25 to 0.375
Greater than 150 0.75 to 1.25 0.5 to 0.625
a
Rod penetration, or the difference between the mushy and the hard cake

applies only to synthetic fluid-loss additives (Halad-344, Halad-413,


Latex 2000, GasStop, and GasStop HT additives). As with any cement slurry, combinations
of these additives result in synergistic effects at a lower total cost. Blends of natural polymer,
such as those used in Halad-9, Halad-22A, and Halad-322 additives, provide fluid-loss
values in the above range, but the resulting filter cakes are thicker, softer, more permeable,
and more easily washed away.

Measuring Filter Cake


After a test, filter cake can be measured and examined in several ways. The thickness of the
hard, unwashable filter cake and the thickness of the partially dehydrated section of the
filter cake that can be easily washed away or penetrated by a blunt instrument must be
examined. The first and simplest way to examine the filter cake is to push the filter cake out
of the cell and measure its thickness with a ruler. However, pushing the filter cake may cause
some damage, or the soft part of the filter cake may be compressed, resulting in an appar-
ently thicker section of firm filter cake.

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Figures 6 and 7 show typical steps needed for measuring filter-cake characteristics in the
cell. The instrument shown can be easily made from various hardware components. In
Figure 6, a tool is made to fit in the top of a fluid-loss cell and is calibrated (distance h)
against the screen before the test. After the fluid-loss test, the tool is placed on top of the cell
(Figure 7), and the added height is noted (h + dh). Several heights can be recorded, starting
with the level of remaining liquid slurry, followed by the height of soft filter cake and the
height of firm filter cake. Placing a known weight on the top of the device and comparing the
resulting penetration into the filter cake allows the friability of different filter-cakes to be
compared. Calculating the force-per-unit area needed for penetrating a given distance into
the firm filter cake is possible if the cross-sectional area of the device in contact with the
filter cake is known.

Weight platform

h h + dh

Alignment plate

Liquid slurry

Soft cake

325-Mesh screen
ccd01012

Hard cake

Figure 6Pretest calibration Figure 7Final measurement ccd01013

of firm filter cake

Examine the cake after it has been forced from the cell and allowed to stand unconfined for
a few minutes. If the cake slumps under its own weight, it will not remain in place on a
perforation, and it most likely will not withstand the jetting from the washout.

Rheological Properties
Free water, sedimentation, and frictional pressure drop are all functions of rheology.
Multitemperature rheology data are required for performing job simulations (OptiCem job
simulator) and calculating the surface pressures. The relatively higher frictional pressure
drop with small-diameter CT strings prompts many to strive immediately for the lowest
rheology possible, sacrificing slurry stability. The ideal balance is to have the rheology as
low as possible without sacrificing slurry stability. Synthetic polymers normally provide a
more consistent, predictable rheology.

Rheological properties are measured on a rotational viscometer at atmospheric conditions.4


Because of the lack of commonly available pressurization equipment, rheological properties
are usually tested below 190F. Even with these temperature and pressure limitations, useful
data can be gathered for characterizing slurry properties for most CT squeezes. Mathematical

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correlations have been developed for adjusting data measured at lower temperatures for
temperatures above the testing limits of laboratory equipment. In addition, some equipment
can measure the rheology of cement slurries at downhole temperatures and elevated pres-
sures.

HTHP Gel Strength


Uncontrolled gel-strength development in a slurry can result in job-terminating events if the
slurry is allowed to become static inside the CT or annulus. Gel strength (measured in
lb/100ft2) should remain relatively flat for an acceptable time if the slurry becomes static.
Use hesitation schedules, postsqueeze washouts, or other operationally defined times as
guides in determining acceptable time periods for delayed gel-strength development. Devel-
opment can also be customized to meet specific job conditions of high injectivity at one
extreme, or long periods of squeezing in which excessive gel strength could interfere with
the transmission of differential pressure. Slurry gel strength can be measured reliably with
the rotational viscometer for obtaining initial and 10-minute data at atmospheric pressure up
to about 180F. For more accurate gel-strength determination under elevated temperature and
pressure conditions, the Mini MACS analyzer can test gel strengths up to 450F and 20,000
psi.

Free Water and Settling


API Recommended Practice 10B4 outlines specific procedures for performing free water and
settling tests on cement slurries at both atmospheric and HTHP conditions. Additionally, an
experienced laboratory technician has indicators of settling, such as typical rheological
values for specific slurries and obvious sedimentation soon after mixing and in conditioning
vessels.

A shortcut HTHP method not discussed in the API recommended practice includes running a
thickening-time test for the expected placement time, turning the stirring motor off for a
period at HTHP conditions, and then either observing the consistency deflection on startup
or cooling the machine and opening the slurry can for visual observation. Free oil or water in
the top of the can is the first indication of slurry instability, and hard sedimentation in the
bottom of the can is an immediate pass/fail indication for sedimentation. Final pass/fail
criteria are determined by the specific application. The Mini MACS analyzer is the HTHP
machine most suited to gelation and sedimentation testing under static conditions.

Compatibility
Compatibility is defined as the ability of two or more fluids to mix together without undesir-
able chemical or physical reactions. All fluids that will be pumped in the well must be
compatible, including cements, spacers, muds, and brines. Fluid incompatibility can result in
severe gelation, fluid separation, and sedimentation. The final outcome can range from a
nuisance to a job-terminating event.

Section 16 of API Recommended Practice 10B4 provides detailed procedures for compatibil-
ity testing. Aspects such as contaminated rheology, thickening times, compressive strength,
settling, and static gel strength are discussed for general cementing. These guidelines apply
especially to CT cementing because a CT unit may not be able to pull the tubing string
through a severely gelled fluid mixture in the annulus. In addition, the pressure limitation of
a CT string may not allow severely gelled fluids to be displaced.

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Mixing Energy and Particle-Wetting Efficiency


In the past ten years, several publications have compared laboratory- and field-mixed slurries
and the subsequent effects of pumping cements through CT. Halliburton research indicates
that the quality of the slurry pumped into the CT dramatically effects the quality of the
cement exiting the CT. A properly designed or mixed slurry will not be affected greatly by
pumping through the CT, but a poorly designed or mixed slurry may show drastic changes.

Laboratory vs. Field Mixing Energy


Matching total laboratory mixing energy (TLME) to the field equipment total mixing energy
(FETME) is not practical. The differences that exist between laboratory and field mixing
processes other than total mixing energy [specifically transient (time) effects and particle-
wetting efficiency] make a simplistic total energy comparison invalid. Making proportional
changes to TLME account for only part of the difference between field and laboratory
mixing equipment, and changing the total energy applied does not address the manner in
which the energy is applied to the slurry.

For instance, attempts have been made to correlate TLME to FETME by ratio or scaling the
TLME to an equivalent FETME at similar operating conditions. A single-pass jet mixer
(ground mixer) operates at less than 5% of the API mixing energy [the energy (5.9 J/g)
imparted to the cement powder while it is mixed with water].5 A scale-down of TLME of this
magnitude does not provide enough energy for wetting the cement particles, and does not
allow the slurry to reach a state of equilibrium before physical testing (rheology and thicken-
ing time).

To expand this discussion to modern mixers such as the RCM mixing system, consider an
RCM I mixing system mixing at a rate of 6 bbl/min. Because at this volumetric rate the
RCM I mixing system produces about 13 to 20% of the mixing energy imparted by the API
laboratory procedure (equivalent to 0.77 to 1.2 J/g), some researchers have suggested that
laboratory tests be run at this equivalent energy level. Laboratory mixing energy is propor-
tional to time in the laboratory blender, so the 35-second mixing time at 12,000 rev/min
would be cut to 5 to 7 seconds. An extension of this logic would be to apply 17 seconds of
mixing in the laboratory to simulate the 50 to 75% of energy imparted by an RCM II mixing
system. Years of laboratory testing have shown this level of TLME to be insufficient.

Many polymers are used in cements primarily as viscosifiers and fluid-loss additives. Testing
has shown that some of these polymers are more susceptible to changing with extended
residence time in a mixer. Specifically, the additives based on natural hydroxethyl cellulose
(HEC), such as Halad-9, Halad-22A, and Halad-322 additives, seem to be the most
susceptible and exhibit primarily decreased viscosity. Synthetic materials, such as Halad-
344, Halad-361A, Halad-413, and Latex 2000 additives, are least affected.

Particle-Wetting Efficiency
For the design criteria to be met and the test data to be repeatable, efficient wetting of all
materials is required. A critical stage of the wetting of cement particles requires that enough
mechanical energy be applied to deflocculate amorphous, hydroscopic cement, and additive
aggregates fully. Further, reducing TLME, and thus wetting efficiency, directly affect the
transient state of slurry properties. Transient effects refers to the fact that energy reduction

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greatly reduces the available time for additives to go into solution. For polymer hydration,
this effect can introduce significant error between tests. When cement and its associated
additives are placed in water, chemical reactions begin immediately (starting with many
components going into solution) and do not stop. However, the reaction rates can be affected
by shear. When particles cannot be contacted by water because they are inside agglomerates
of dry, unwetted cement as a result of poor dispersion, all required chemical interactions are
further inhibited. Only marginal improvements can be made by the addition of dispersants,
such as CFR-3 friction reducer. Adding too much dispersant can affect critical slurry proper-
ties, such as free water and settling.

A poorly wetted slurry requires significantly more energy downstream for reaching the same
result (measured by physical slurry properties) as a slurry initially mixed efficiently. At-
tempts made to repair a poorly wetted slurry with chokes and screening devices10 have
exhibited little success. Mixing energy is also a function of throughput rate, so less time in a
mixer because of smaller volume tubs or higher pumping (downhole) rates yields lower
specific mixing-energy values, producing a less wetted and somewhat unstable slurry.

Test data suggest that modern field-mixing equipment does not require as much FETME for
obtaining the same results as standard API laboratory procedures.11 Paper SPE 2521811 shows
that, for the RCM II mixing system, FETME values from 50 to 75% normally produce
slurries with properties similar to those mixed in the laboratory with standard API proce-
dures. The RCM II and the RCM IIe mixing systems performed better than previous
mixers because the axial flow mixer design provides greater wetting efficiency when the
cement is initially wetted.

We recommend that laboratory slurry-mixing procedures not be altered because of our


30 years of experience with the present procedures. The procedures approximate the energy
required for most slurries to reach stabilized properties, beyond which the properties change
little. Exceptions are appropriate when energy levels are reached that cause shear thinning
because of polymer destruction and induce significant temperature increases, severe air
entrainment, or inversion of latex systems.

Effects from Pumping Slurry through the CT


A third-party service company initiated concern over shear imparted to cement slurries by
CT in 1989.12 They stated that slurries to be pumped through CT must be desensitized to
shear and that adjustments must be made to the slurry formulation and mixing procedure to
provide enough mixing energy to deflocculate amorphous cement aggregates in the slurry.
However, a centrifugal pump applies too much energy, and should be avoided. The authors
then elaborated further on the batch-mixing effects, essentially expanding the same conclu-
sions and recommendations.13

This third-party research indicates that the properties (thickening time, fluid loss, and
rheology) of the slurries mixed in yard tests had already departed dramatically from labora-
tory-prepared slurries even before they were pumped through the CT spool. We believe that
the slurry was undergoing physical changes because of poor mixing, improper slurry design,
or other reasons. To conclude that further changes were caused by pumping through the CT
spool is misguided. They presented other hypotheses for the drastic changes to slurry proper-
ties, such as the adsorption of retarders on steel surfaces or chemical deterioration. However,
slurry design or thermal effects during mixing were not presented as possible causes.

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Though enough energy must be applied when the cement particles are initially wetted, well-
maintained and properly functioning recirculating mixing equipment provides ample energy
for providing a stable, well-mixed slurry. Further, our studies show that pumping a cement
slurry through CT has no effect on physical properties, except dilution effects on the leading
and trailing edges, and that rheology decreases when natural polymers are used instead of
synthetics. Halliburton did similar work for a major operator in 199211 and with another
operator for a specific application (Micro Matrix cement).8 In both cases, nothing resembling
the previous report was observed. Since then, other major operators have done internal
research and reported essentially the same results as ours. A properly designed slurry that
takes into account all possible variables, including surface-mixing temperatures, performs as
expected, regardless of the batch size, mixer size, or CT length.

Cement Strength
The cement strength is the amount of compressive load that cement withstands before
failure. The compressive strength of a cement slurry can be determined by the API procedure
in which an unconfined 2-in. cube (nominal dimensions) is loaded in compression uniaxially
until the cement fails. This convenient method of compressive-strength testing is similar to
failure-testing procedures used in the construction industry, from which the API methods
were developed.

The API approved the use of the ultrasonic cement analyzer (UCA) for well-simulation
tests.4 The UCA offers the advantage of a continuous measure of compressive strength vs.
time. The strength is determined from correlations of sonic transit time vs. compressive
strength. Therefore, the results must be calibrated with destructive API tests.

Normal compressive-strength testing is performed at a maximum bottomhole static tempera-


ture (BHST) and a minimum of BHCT for most applications. Additional testing is often
performed at various temperatures that correlate to depths, such as the top of liners or the top
of a cement column. Because CT cementing is normally associated with minimal wellbore
cooling, performing compressive-strength tests at BHST, or at a value within 90% of BHST,
is considered acceptable unless knowledge of wellbore cooling and subsequent thermal
recovery is available. If the use of the BHST is too conservative, WOC times are probably
longer.

The mode of cement failure can be compressive, tensile, or shear. Failure may stem from the
following:

exposure to forces such as pressure differentials during production or injection


cement drilling
changes in tubular dimensions caused by pressure changes in the well
pressure effects caused by drastic thermal changes

The compressive strength of the set cement itself is of little relevance for squeeze cementing
except for the estimate of drillout time. However, the API compressive-strength test indicates
whether uncontaminated cement will set under well conditions. For most slurries, a compres-
sive strength of at least 500 psi is sufficient.

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The API compressive-strength test does not measure the strength of the filter cake for
squeeze cementing. Cement filer-cake density for a well-dehydrated normal-density slurry is
> 20 lb/gal. In the elapsed time of applied squeeze pressure, some cement blends can build
filter-cake compressive strengths of 5,000 psi before the liquid slurry itself develops any
measurable strength. Under most conditions, the compressive strength of the final, fully set
filter cake from a squeeze cementing job is two to five times greater than the compressive
strength of the set cement resulting from the original slurry.

Acid Resistance
The chemical resistance or the rate of solubility of the set cement is a concern in many
squeezes. Portland cements are subject to attack by various well fluids, such as acid, certain
components in formation waters, and carbon dioxide. For the sake of repeatability and
presumably for worst-case evaluation, acid-solubility testing is normally performed on cubes
of set cement instead of cement filter cake. The testing covered in this section and in all
literature refers to testing cubes of set slurry.

Latex 2000 additive (styrene-butadiene) has successfully decreased the rate of solubility of
Portland cement in acids. In general, 2 gal/sk of Latex 2000 additive in a slurry at normal
density lowers acid solubility to approximately 10% by weight when a 2-in. cube is exposed
for 1 hour in 12% HCl/3% HF in a stirring bath at 190F. Previously published literature
reports acid solubilities approaching 95% for nonlatex slurries. Acid-solubility testing is a
strong function of the test procedures, and some tests are performed with cement chips or
ground samples.

Although a styrene-butadiene latex slurry does not provide total acid resistance, it does
provide a solubility rate that allows enough safe contact time for performing a small matrix
acid cleanup. However, because of the low fluid loss of slurries that have sufficient latex for
providing low-acid solubility rates, care must be taken to ensure that node competency is not
jeopardized when latex slurries are used for node applications.

For detailed study of cement acid solubility and specific laboratory-test procedures, refer to
additional references.8,14-17

Summary
Because the API tests were not designed for the specialized needs of some CT cementing
operations, the API tests and testing equipment often must be modified for a more accurate
simulation of CT operations. If equipment is not available or cannot be readily modified,
contact the Duncan Technology Center for immediate assistance.

For larger CT workovers in which numerous squeezes are performed, procuring modified
equipment for the local laboratory is highly recommended. The following guidelines briefly
summarize the information covered so far:

Model the planned CT procedure in the laboratory as closely as possible. Include the
squeeze pressure, temperature profiles, and hesitation. Modify API procedures and
equipment, if possible, to simulate the operation.

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Test fluid loss to obtain information on filter-cake volume and quality.


Perform fluid-loss tests, simulating the actual downhole pressure schedule if possible.
Fluid loss and filter-cake height vary according to the pressure, temperature, and dura-
tion of CT cement squeeze.
Determine the compressive-strength development of the cement filter cake.

Job Design
Obtaining the best, most economical job under a given set of conditions depends on applying
the problem diagnosis, slurry design, and laboratory testing that we have discussed so far in
a logical sequence. Indiscriminately applying a cement squeeze without fully understanding
the problem can worsen the situation, especially with CT operations. The problem should be
diagnosed with one of the techniques discussed unless knowledge of local trends can take
precedence. After the wellbore has been cleaned and preparations have been made, materials
and volumes should be selected. With problems such as water or gas coning or early break-
through on enhanced oil-recovery projects, near-wellbore solutions may be insufficient.
Techniques of radial treatment for a distance around the wellbore may be required. See the
Halliburton Conformance Technology Manual2 for guidance.

Guidelines do not exist for choosing job volumes for simple, near-wellbore cement squeez-
ing. The volumes are usually chosen based on local experience, injection rates and volumes,
and whether the application is designed to squeeze off perforations or to place a larger
volume of cement into the annulus.

Squeezing Perforations
Perforations are often enlarged because of erosion during high-rate production. The intervals
are also often characterized by large voids behind pipe because of sand production. Case
histories show a high failure rate of nodal squeeze technology attempted on washed-out
perforations. Washed-out perforations are as difficult to squeeze as casing damage caused by
corrosion or splits in the casing. Cement dehydration is more difficult over these enlarged
surface areas. Achieving a seal may require repetitive squeezes, regardless of the technique.
Pretreatments with conformance chemicals can be useful in these situations.

Channels
The direction and length of a channel should be determined to aid slurry and job designers and
subsequently enhance the potential for success in sealing the channel. Perforations may also be
squeezed after an extensive channel has been filled with a sealant. Slurry penetration along the
length of the channel depends on cement fluid loss and rheology. A low API fluid-loss value
(40 to 60 ml) is commonly used for obtaining passage of a cement slurry through a channel,
especially if permeable formations are present. Low fluid-loss, microfine slurries have success-
fully traversed channels that exhibit low injectivity (less than 1 bbl/min at maximum allowable
pressure). Further, microfine slurries applied as lead slurries followed by moderate fluid-loss,
conventional slurries have successfully achieved the squeeze. For low-injection profiles,
consider using solids-free, internally activated conformance chemicals.

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Corrosion Holes and Splits in Pipe


Eroded or corroded casings can be difficult to squeeze because of the enlarged area over
which a filter cake has to develop. The strength of a given dehydrated cement node, which
may be enough to seal a perforation, may not be adequate for the large surface of a damaged
pipe. Multiple treatments are not uncommon, and the economics and mechanical limitations
of CT often become a factor. Scab liners and casing-alignment tools18,19 are often used more
economically.

Cement Volume
The selection of cement volume depends on several factors, and experience is often the best
guide for selecting the initial volume to use in any squeeze. The parameter most difficult to
quantify is the volume of cement to be placed behind the pipe. The following factors affect
the estimate and sources of information:

extent and volume of the channel (logging required)


void space behind the pipe left by produced sand (production history and logs)
history of lost circulation and openhole calipers (drilling and logging records)
displacement efficiency of the primary cement job (cementing and mud reports)
size, extent, and number of naturally occurring or induced fractures (drilling and reser-
voir information)

Historically, cement volumes for CT squeezes using a hesitation technique and the nodal
technique are less than volumes for performing a squeeze in which continuous pumping is
applied. Also, treatment-volume reductions can be achieved because of less dilution of slurry
in surface equipment when certain procedures are followed (Cement Mixing and Pumping,
Page 38) and during pumping and spotting (Job Simulation, Page 31). Testing has shown
that a slurry pumped through 10,000 ft of 1 -in. CT has 0.5 to 0.75 bbl of dilution at both
the leading and trailing edges of the slurry, compared with 1 to 2 bbl when pumped through
2 7/8-in. tubing.

Injectivity tests can serve as a guide, but they should be refined as other information be-
comes available. Table 6 (Page 31) provides guidelines for cement volumes based on
injectivity-test data.

The data in Table 6 are based on historical field data from non-CT squeeze work only. The
table also does not account for the added friction pressures encountered with CT less than
2 in. in diameter.

Large cement volumes required for filling big channels or fractures may be reduced with
thixotropic cements. These high-gel-strength cements build resistance and enable squeeze
pressure to build. Sand can be pumped into the formation before the cement, partially filling
the area to be squeezed and forming a high-permeability bridge against which a filter cake
can be formed. In high-injectivity situations, reactive fluids, such as sodium silicate, can be
pumped ahead of the cement slurry with freshwater spacers between the two materials.

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Table 6Estimated Cement Volumes for Various Injectivity Ranges


Injection Rate Range Injection Pressure Range Estimated Cement Volume
(bbl/min) (psi) (bbl)
1 to 3 1,000 to 2,000 8 to 14
1 to 3 Less than 1,000 10 to 18
3 to 5 1,000 to 2,000 12 to 20
3 to 5 Less than 1,000 15 to 25
Greater than 5 1,000 to 2,000 20 to 25
Greater than 5 Less than 1,000 25 to 35

Fluid Friction Modeling


Halliburton cement-job simulators were not designed for small pipes. The high velocities
and resulting high Reynolds numbers (>105) are beyond the current capabilities of these
programs.

When simulators are used for a CT job, frictional pressure predictions may depart from the
simulated data after the slurry enters turbulent flow. The departure has a different slope for
the portion of the CT spooled on the reel because of the unusual flow profile, as shown in
Figure 8. Flow in a curved pipe causes secondary circulations in a plane perpendicular to the
pipe axis. These secondary circulations are caused by the centrifugal acceleration of the
axial flow because of the pipe curvature, thus influencing the mean axial profile so that it is
no longer symmetrical about the axis.

ccd01014

Figure 8Laminar flow in straight vs. curved pipe

As a result, the friction pressures predicted by currently used, dynamic pumping simulators
differ from what is seen on the job. Figures 9 to 12 (Pages 32 to 33) show sample pressure
data recorded during large-scale testing of both straight and spooled sections of 1 -in. CT
with a nominal wall thickness of 0.087 in. and an ID of 1.076 in. The diameter of the spooled
section of CT used was 82.75 in.

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1,800 25

1,600
20
Friction Pressure, psi/1,000 ft

1,400

1,200

Reynolds Number
15 Spool
1,000 Straight pipe
800 CemFlo program
10
OptiCem program
600
Reynolds number
400 5
200

0 0

ccd01016
0.3 0.5 0.7 0.9 1.2 1.4 1.7 1.8
Flow Rate, bbl/min

Figure 9Fresh water (85F, calculated critical flow rate = 0.02 bbl/min)

1,800 16,000

1,600 14,000
Friction Pressure, psi/1,000 ft

1,400
12,000
Reynolds Number

1,200 Spool
10,000
1,000 Straight pipe
8,000 CemFlo program
800
6,000 OptiCem program
600
Reynolds number
4,000
400

200 2,000

0 0
ccd01017

0.2 0.5 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4


Flow Rate, bbl/min

Figure 1016.4-lb/gal Class H cement (PV = 23 cp; YP = 9 lb/100 ft2; 100F; calculated
critical flow rate = 0.38 bbl/min)

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1,800 14,000

1,600
12,000
Friction Pressure, psi/1,000 ft

1,400
10,000

Reynolds Number
1,200 Spool
1,000 8,000 Straight pipe
CemFlo program
800 6,000 OptiCem program
600 Reynolds number
4,000
400
2,000
200

0 0

ccd01018
0.2 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.9 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4
Flow Rate, bbl/min

Figure 1115.8-lb/gal Class H cement (PV = 27.5 cp; YP = 9.8 lb/100 ft2; 120F; calculated
critical flow rate = 0.44 bbl/min)

1,800 6,000

1,600
5,000
Friction Pressure, psi/1,000 ft

1,400
Reynolds Number

1,200 4,000 Spool


Straight pipe
1,000
3,000 CemFlo program
800 OptiCem program
600 2,000 Reynolds number

400
1,000
200
ccd01019

0 0
0.2 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 1.0
Flow Rate, bbl/min

Figure 1215.8-lb/gal Class H cement (PV = 41 cp; YP = 14.7 lb/100 ft2; 120F; calculated
critical flow rate = 1.05 bbl/min)

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Table 7 summarizes the differences between spooled and straight pipe and between straight
pipe and OptiCem program at 0.5 and 1.0 bbl/min (the most common operating range for
pumping cement through 1-in. CT).

Table 7Summary of Friction Data Differences (psi/1,000 ft)


Spool-Straight Pipe Straight PipeOptiCem
0.5 bbl/min 1.0 bbl/min 0.5 bbl/min 1.0 bbl/min
a
Water INS INS 60 170
16.4-lb/gal slurry 30 -30 -20 100
15.8-lb/gal, low-viscosity slurry 30 -65 -40 50
15.8-lb/gal, higher-viscosity slurry 40 -175 -15 -100
a
INS denotes a pressure difference of less than 10 psi/1,000 ft.

Error exists between simulator data and actual pressure data. The significance of the error
depends on the job. Unless the job is on a well at underbalanced hydrostatic conditions
where a danger of approaching the working-pressure limitations of the CT exists, or if a
running squeeze will be attempted through a choke during circulation above the treatment,
the error is usually not a concern. Previously published literature covers flow in curved pipes
with high Reynolds numbers. Some mathematical models may be included in a future
OptiCem update. Finally, no model exists for simulating the effects of the welded bead on
the ID of smaller CT strings.

Job Design
Thus far, this manual has concentrated on concepts and job planning. We now cover the
logistics of job design and execution in more detail.

Equipment
Equipment used for CT squeezes is almost the same as that used for other cementing opera-
tions. However, the following items help the job run more smoothly:

the CT unit and any necessary auxiliary cranes or hydraulic power packages
the squeeze manifold and two adjustable chokes equipped with pressure gauges
bleedoff and diverter valving at the entry side of the CT
cement mixing equipment (Batch mixing is preferred when slurry quality is critical.)
high-pressure pumping equipment and any necessary transfer or additive pumps
fluid-storage and mixing tanks for contaminating fluid (if used)
fluid filters (Filtering fluids before injectivity testing or squeezing is recommended. A
filtering unit should have differential pressure gauges on the filter and be able to deliver
high rates for killing the well.)
a nitrogen pump (The pump is recommended for inflow and negative testing if the
reservoir pressure is insufficient for providing an inflow test at flowing differentials with
a full column of fluid to the surface. The pump is also used for foam cementing.)

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a flowback tank with gauge marks and a gas-handling device


a clod screen positioned on a low-pressure circulation system for preventing cement
chunks or large particles from clogging lines, valves, CT string, and CT nozzles
a CT cementing nozzle (if required)
cement-slurry test equipment, consisting of an atmospheric consistometer, a high-
pressure fluid-loss cell with a heating jacket, a rotational viscometer, and a pressurized
mud balance (Onsite testing is recommended.)
two-way radios for communication between the equipment operators and job supervisor

Cementing Nozzles
Some situations, such as the nodal-washout technique, require the use of a specialized nozzle
on the end of the CT. Figure 13 shows a complex nozzle, but variations exist, depending on
the job pumped. Simpler nozzles consist of a ported sub. When building the nozzles, make
sure that all shoulders are beveled. This design will help prevent the nozzle from hanging
when it passes through narrow restrictions.

Section A-ASix
each of 1/8-in. ports
drilled tangential to
the internal 60

circumference 3-in OD

Cross Section A-A


A
3
/4-in. ball
Section B-BNine A
each of 5/16-in. ports 0.7-in. hole
drilled to alternate
30 up and down from B
the horizontal
45
B
ccd01007

Cross Section B-B

Figure 13Combination cementing and wash nozzle19

Equipment Layout and Safety


If possible, lay out equipment on location to help enable visual communication between the
operators and job supervisor. Figure 14 (Page 36) shows a sample layout for equipment. All
equipment operators should see the wellhead and squeeze manifold. Place equipment a safe
distance from the well and upwind if possible. Follow the company safety policy and guide-
lines for all operations.

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Gauge

Contam

Water

CTU
Pump

Batch
mixer

ccd01008
Clod filter
Centrifugal
Pump

Figure 14Sample equipment layout for CT squeeze

Volumetric Calibration of Equipment


To help determine the volume of the surface equipment and the CT unit before each opera-
tion, use the following procedure:

1. Place a bleedoff or bypass valve in the high-pressure line ahead of the coil.
2. Prime all pumps.
3. Calibrate the flowmeters by pumping known volumes of fluid from measuring tanks.
4. Open the bypass valve ahead of the coil, and fill the high-pressure treating lines.
5. Record the volume of the system.
6. Close the bypass valve.
7. Measure the volume required for filling the coil.
8. Record the required volume.

The procedure also allows a check that helps ensure that the CT is clear of debris before it is
started in the wellbore. After completion, the volume counters on the cementing unit are
calibrated to the CT and all surface equipment. If significant errors are found and are not
acceptable to the upcoming job, service or replace the flowmeters.

Viscous Prepad
Steps in Cement Mixing and Pumping (Page 38) help minimize dilution of the cement
slurry because of surface equipment. However, these steps do not help prevent dilution in the
CT string or in the annulus. Although large-scale testing has shown that slurry dilution at
both the leading and trailing edges of the slurry typically is no more than 1 bbl when the
slurry is pumped through 10,000 ft of 1 -in. CT spooled at the surface, no testing has been
done to verify the intermixing length in the string while the string is in the wellbore.

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Field data20 indicate that, based on pressure responses observed during jobs, significant
contamination does occur. However, large-scale plug-cementing research has shown that the
degree of intermixing depends on factors such as density difference, flow regimes, veloci-
ties, and hydraulic flow areas. Instead of attempting to model these complex factors, it is
common to run a volume of viscous prepad ahead of a squeeze slurry, especially when small
volumes of slurry are used and significant volumetric contamination cannot be tolerated.
Avoid weighted spacers because the solids typically associated with conventional cement
spacers can bridge and interfere with the placement of the slurry in some situations, such as
a nodal squeeze or squeeze into low-injectivity openings.

Viscous prepads can be prepared with the same polymers discussed in Contamination
Procedure (Page 41). Concentrations of 2 to 3 lb/bbl of HEC-based polymers usually
provide an adequate viscosity and yield point for solids transport and minimize retardation of
the cement. Filtering the solutions helps prevent plugging of perforations with any fish-eyes
present.

Another technique for minimizing contamination while pumping involves isolating selected
fluids mechanically. Foam balls have been used successfully. This technique requires spe-
cialized ball or plug-releasing devices at the entry of the CT unit. Verify that these isolation
techniques will not interfere with the final outcome of the job. The items cannot be circu-
lated out of the well and must be easily drillable if removal is required.

Job Execution
Depth Control and Correlation
Accurate information about depth is necessary for a successful squeeze. Most CT units have
counters that indicate the depth of the end of the coil. These counters have limited accuracy
and do not account for stretch in the tubing or residual bend effects. Stretch in the tubing can
be calculated by Hookes law:

S = (F L) (E A)

where

S = stretch (ft)
F = force (lb)
L = length of tubing (ft)
E = Youngs Modulus (typically 30 106 psi)
A = cross-sectional area of the CT (in.)

When possible, calibrate or correlate the depth with casing-collar locators, tubing-end
locators (TELs), or tubing-nipple locators (TNLs). Tagging bottom may be useful if the
squeeze interval is near total depth. TELs or TNLs are useful if the squeeze interval is close
to the end of the tubing.

Tagging bottom is a good technique for most squeezes, but it provides accurate depth
correlations only if used properly. In addition, if significant solids are in the rathole and are

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circulated into the annulus between the CT and production tubing, the CT can become stuck.
Never stop circulating, and avoid letting the CT become static during bottom tagging.

The procedure for correlating counters with the actual depth through tagging bottom follows:

1. Check and record the weight just before tagging bottom. This should be done approxi-
mately every 1,000 ft as you RIH unless a good record exists from previous and recent
CT work.
2. Tag the bottom, and notice the weight slack (an indication that the CT string is com-
pressing).
3. Pull up the CT string until the weight is the same as the weight just before tagging
bottom. Put the CT in tension, with stretch accounted for, just as the end moves off
bottom. Pull uphole 10 ft and place a flag on the pipe to avoid running back in the hole
past this point until the squeeze is complete and you are making your cleanout passes.
4. Note the depth difference, and correlate to correct the counter for depth.

Cement Mixing and Pumping


High-shear mixing systems, such as the RCM II mixing system, that have automated density
control (ADCTM control system) are recommended for all cementing. The mixing methods
available for preparing slurries for CT squeezes follow in order of preference.

1. Use a batch mixer with an RCM II mixing system to help provide a homogeneous
slurry. For smaller jobs, the 25-bbl mixing tub on the AdvantageTM skid is useful. Some
Halliburton batch mixers also have an RCM mixing system.
2. Continuously mix the slurry with the RCM II mixing system equipped with ADCTM
control system for most jobs that do not involve node building or otherwise require
critical control of slurry properties.

After the slurry has been mixed and has met any necessary on-location quality-control
measures, it is ready to go in the CT. At the start of pumping the slurry into the CT, you may
need to divert flow at the entry side of the unit until good-quality slurry is observed. This
step minimizes the amount of diluted slurry in the CT string. The same procedure can also be
used at the end of the slurry volume. Normally, 1 to 2 bbl of slurry are diluted on the leading
edge because of pumping through surface equipment, particularly the suction manifolds.

Cement Placement (Spotting) Technique


One of the best features of CT is that it can enable spotting of the treatment fluid across the
interval to be sealed. The feature can enable precise placement of small volumes of cement
with less contamination than direct injection from above the perforations. Spotting is also
ideal for spotting contamination-free, balanced cement plugs under any situation, including
kickoff plugs and plugs for abandonment. However, if injectivity is high and large volumes
of cement are injected, or if mechanical restrictions exist, spotting may not be possible. In
addition, because of the lower tensile strength of CT compared with conventional threaded
pipe, be especially wary of differential sticking across high-permeability zones that have low
BHPs.

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The recommended procedure for spotting cement with CT designed to minimize contamina-
tion of the cement with the fluid in the wellbore follows:

1. Before the operation, prepare a schedule of CT depth vs. volumes pumped.


2. With the wellbore prepared for the treatment, lower the CT into position below the
deepest perforations as cement is circulated down to avoid allowing the CT to remain
static across the open perforations.

Caution Do not risk having the CT string across perforations when


solids-laden fluid enters the annulus because a high
probability of differential sticking exists.

3. Begin pumping spacer and cement through the CT according to the planned procedures.
4. After the leading edge of cement has entered the annulus, allow it to rise a short distance
above the end of the CT before you pull the CT up. The volume of slurry between the
end of the CT and the top of cement is the contamination interface.
5. Pull the CT up at a rate equal to or slower than the fluid rise in the annulus to permit the
end of the CT nozzle to remain 5 to 10 ft below the top of the cement (TOC).
6. As the last of the treatment volume exits the CT, accelerate the CT pulling rate to place
the end of the CT nozzle above the planned TOC.
7. Begin the squeeze either after clearing the CT by reversing or circulating bottoms up or
simultaneously by using surface chokes. Simultaneous pumping and squeezing requires
communication, prejob planning, and computer pressure simulation.

Actual Squeeze
After spotting the cement and positioning the end of the CT nozzle a safe distance above the
TOC (at least 50 to 75 ft), increase pressure to initiate filter-cake building. Some filter cake
usually exists because of differentials induced by the equivalent circulating density (ECD)
and hydrostatic effects during placement. Generally, the differential pressure at the perfora-
tion is gradually built to 1,000 and 1,500 psi above the initial bottomhole pump-in pressure
for the squeeze.

After an initial filter cake has been formed, the pressure is increased, which in turn increases
the filter-cake node height and compresses or densifies the filter cake. Densifying the filter
cake helps protect the squeeze while excess cement is being washed out.

The maximum allowable squeeze pressure can be above or below the fracture pressure of the
formation, depending on the application. For most applications, the job ends at this point.
Subsequent steps may include recompleting another zone after waiting a specified time for
the cement to set or returning with the CT and drilling out the squeeze before pressure
testing.

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Squeezing in Nodal Applications


For nodal applications, the most critical phase is only beginning.

Note If you do not understand the nodal technique, study Fluid-Loss


Testing and Filter-Cake Evaluation (Page 17).

A detailed pressure, volume, and time schedule helps ensure adequate node buildup. If low
differential pressures are used and the cement nodes did not form properly, the filter cake
may be fragile, and a successful squeeze may not result. High differential squeeze pressures,
often above the formation fracture pressure, normally ensure that the nodes are competent
and all perforations have opened and accepted cement slurry. However, the squeeze may
break down, requiring another squeeze if the higher squeeze pressure is attempted too early
in the schedule or if the perforations are severely eroded. The nodal squeeze example
problems in Appendix B (Page 48) have job worksheets that exhibit the types of schedules
that can be prepared.

As filter-cake integrity is increased (lower permeability and higher bulk density), the filter
cakes capability to resist differential pressure and thus protect the formation from fracturing
increases. More often, some breakdown occurs as medium-range pressures are reached.
Breakdown usually indicates a perforation opening and accepting cement slurry if fracture
pressure has not been reached. A careful increase of the pressure in the later stages of
pressurization can increase filter-cake integrity and node height, further protecting the
formation from fracturing and improving the potential for a successful squeeze. The final
pressure in many CT nodal squeezes can be between 500 and 1,500 psi above fracture
pressure, depending on the formation and the condition of the well and perforations.

Cleaning Out Excess Cement Slurry


Customize the procedure to circulate out excess cement for each well according to type and
conditions. Removal of excess cement slurry after the squeeze operation can generally be
viewed as two different operations. Conventional approaches call for simple removal of
excess slurry above the treatment followed by an appropriate WOC time. Then, the set
cement can be drilled out to the desired depth. The approach normally associated with nodal
buildup requires the washing of all remaining cement slurry from the wellbore before cement
hydration. This step is one of the primary attractions to the nodal technique because it helps
eliminate several days usually spent on WOC and drilling. The avoidance of drilling-
induced damage to the new cement can also significantly reduce the potential for failure of
squeezed perforations.

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Cleaning Out Cement Slurry without the Contamination Procedure


Excess cement can be reversed or circulated out without the contamination procedure when
sufficient thickening time remains and if the cement has not developed excessive gel
strength. When removing excess cement without contamination, help prevent the following:

breaking down the squeeze because of excessive hydrostatic pressure


plugging the annulus with viscous cement slurry
cement hydration before completion of the procedure
compatibility (thickening time) reduction of the cement slurry because of contamination
with the wellbore fluid

The cleaning process consists of the following steps:

1. Maintain a running-in-hole (RIH) speed with the CT to enable lifting or dilution of the
cement slurry and to prevent excessive WHP.
2. After clean returns are observed at the surface, make at least one more jetting pass.
3. Maintain adequate overbalance pressure across the squeezed interval while performing
these operations when appropriate (underbalanced fluid column).

Contamination Procedure
Contamination washout is commonly used for removing slurry after a nodal squeeze. The
procedure involves contaminating the unset cement during washing and also increasing the
hydration time of the cement because of chemical retarding. Dilution also minimizes the
effects of cement hydration.

If contamination is used, simulate the process first in the laboratory by exposing the slurry to
various contamination levels at bottomhole temperature (BHT), which helps ensure compat-
ibility. Avoid gelation spikes.

The primary design criteria of the washout and contamination fluids are to provide solids
suspension of the cement slurry under low velocity in the annulus and, if necessary, to retard
the hydration reactions of the cement. Contamination can be accomplished with single- or
dual-gel polymer systems that achieve these criteria. Mildly retarding xanthan biopolymers,
such as welan gums are commonly used. Dual systems with welan gums, cellulose-based
fluid-loss additives for drilling muds, and high-temperature cement-settling control additives
have also been used, as well as guars. The total polymer loading on the first pass volume of
fluid usually is about
2.5 lb/bbl of water. A minimum volume for this pass is typically 1.5 times the expected slurry
volume. After the first pass has been made and the bulk of the slurry has been mobilized,
polymer loadings in subsequent wash fluids can be dropped to about 0.75 to 1.5 lb/bbl,
depending on the formulation used. The dual systems are sometimes designed around
specific temperature ranges, compatibility, and improvement of the economics of the wash
fluid.

An additional design step is to examine the effects of the contaminant on ultimate filter-cake
integrity. Exposing the filter cake made during a fluid-loss test to the contaminant allows the

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examination of these effects. Some of the early work used powerful cement retarders, such as
borax, in the washout fluid. This practice is no longer recommended. The retarders extend
the WOC time before the perforations are pressure-tested, and the chemicals can permeate
the filter cake, causing it to soften and slump so that it eventually falls off the perforation.
Mild cement retarders, such as those used in the slurry itself, or even some viscosifiers that
impart longer hydration times, are usually sufficient.

Node Hardening
Even when mildly retarding to nonretarding wash fluids are used, node degradation is
possible because of cement-particle diffusion into the wellbore brine or water remaining
after the washout. Accelerator solutions are commonly spotted across the perforations after
all cement slurry is safely out of the wellbore. This procedure helps offset the weakening of
the cement node. These solutions penetrate the remaining permeability of the cement node
and accelerate the hydration of the cement. Economical solutions include completion brines,
various salts, such as calcium chloride, triethanolamine (TEA), and blends of both TEA and
salts. A 5 to 20% solution of TEA is typically most effective at temperatures above 130F.
Testing21 shows that a 5% TEA solution mixed in fresh water can completely penetrate a 2-
in. cement cube in less than 24 hours, producing >50% of ultimate compressive strength.
Comparative testing on the same slurry with fresh water resulted in unset cement in 24
hours. However, even when deep penetration is not achieved, the hard shell of hydrated
cement on the node surface provides support that helps prevent slumping while the interior
of the node undergoes hydration at normal rates. Laboratory testing of accelerator solutions
on filter cake is recommended before use.

General Washout Procedure


A general procedure for washout after a node squeeze follows:

1. Circulate the first heavy polymer-loading fluid to the nozzle, and start the jetting from
the expected TOC.
2. Run in the hole while jetting at the maximum rate, decreasing the rate to 1.5 bbl/min
across the perforations. Use enough volume to achieve at least a 1:1 volume dilution of
the cement slurry with the contamination fluid until reaching the previous CT total
depth.
3. Ensure that all the diluted cement is above the nozzle by pulling the CT and circulating
at 80% of the pump rate used while going in the well. Continue until returns are accept-
ably clean.
4. Repeat the jetting twice with a solution with a lower polymer loading. During this stage,
some jetting-nozzle profiles, such as the one shown previously, can be altered by drop-
ping a ball to activate high-velocity tangential side jets. On the last pass, circulate a
TEA solution in place (if required) across the perforations while pulling out of the hole.
5. If well-control conditions permit, switch to slick water (clean water with a friction
reducer), and pull out of the hole (POOH), washing all downhole equipment.

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Reverse Circulation
Treatment fluids (cement slurries or polymers) must sometimes be reversed, which can be
more advantageous than normal circulation. You may also want to avoid exposing produc-
tion equipment, such as gas-lift tools, to the fluids. Large solids, such as gun debris or high
sand concentrations, can cause annular bridging, which can result in lost circulation or
sticking of the CT string.

Low annular velocities resulting from pressure restrictions of small-diameter CT, combined
with large-diameter tubing or casing during normal circulation, can prohibit effective cement
contamination and cleanout. Reverse circulation, however, can effectively remove the
cement slurry in the presence of poor annular hydraulics. Circulation is performed down the
backside as returns (cement slurry and debris) are taken from the CT. Reverse circulation
also minimizes hydraulic agitation across the perforated interval during cleanout. However,
this method can expose the cement nodes to elevated pressure.

Control the RIH speed to help prevent the formation of high-density slugs in the CT during
reverse circulation, which may increase circulating pressure on the backside to unacceptable
limits. If the increase occurs, purge the CT while pulling by applying direct circulation
before repeating the process.

Removing Cement Bridges Left in the Wellbore


Many wells require removal of cement bridges and sheaths left after the cleanout. These
bridges are most easily removed immediately after they are encountered.

Important Know the capabilities and limitations of the equipment.

Underreaming
Small completion IDs require the use of small-diameter motors, which have a lower rate and
torque output than the full-sized equipment used in conventional drilling. The underreamer
includes a full-gauge hole at or near the bottom of the tool. This hole helps prevent side
loading as a pilot hole is established.

Conical Water Jet or Hydrojetting


Hydrojetting can be used for removing cement bridges, but it has the following require-
ments:

The conical water jets may require a long lead time.


The application requires job-specific design of the nozzle.
The high pump pressures may require a special string of CT that is not always readily
available.

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Testing the Squeeze


The success of the squeeze is determined by testing positive or negative pressure differen-
tials. The type of test chosen is dictated by the type of operation performed, well type, future
use of the well, and regulations. The positive pressure test is a test of the seal in the direction
of fluid injection used for the squeeze operation and for injection wells. The negative or
underbalanced pressure test creates a differential pressure from the formation into the
wellbore, opposite to the flow direction used for placing the cement and representative of
producing well conditions. Producing wells often require a negative pressure or
underbalanced test, and injection wells often require a positive pressure test.

Squeeze Failure
If testing indicates squeeze failure, a resqueeze may be required. A production or injection
well can be recompleted and monitored for effectiveness before it is resqueezed. However, if
the squeeze fails to meet regulations, a resqueeze is mandatory. Before resqueezing, we
recommend that you perform an injectivity test to help determine the magnitude of the
failure. Running logs is also helpful for determining the location of the failure.

References
1. Krilov, Z., Romic, L., Celap, S., and Cabrajac, S.: Permeability Damage Due to Precipi-
tation of Insoluble Salts From Cement Slurry Filtrates, paper SPE 25218 presented at
the SPE International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry, New Orleans, March 25.
2. Halliburton Conformance Technology Manual, Manual No. F3373 (1993).
3. Halliburton Cementing Technology Manual, Part No. 516.99001(1996).
4. RP10B, Recommended Practice for Testing Well Cements, twenty-second edition, API,
Dallas (1997).
5. Spec. 10, Specification for Material and Testing for Well Cements, fifth edition, API,
Dallas (1990).
6. Binkley, G.W., Dumbauld, G.K., and Collins, R.E.: Factors Affecting the Rate of
Deposition of Cement in Unfractured Perforations During Squeeze-Cementing Opera-
tions, Trans., AIME (1958) 213, 5158.
7. Flow of Fluids through Porous Materials, R.E. Collins, Pennwell Books, Tulsa (1976).
8. Heathman, J.F., Carpenter, R.B., Sanders, G.S., and Wedman, M.L.: Acid-Resistant
Microfine Squeeze Cement: From Conception to Viable Technology, paper SPE 26571
presented at the 1993 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, Oct.
36.
9. Microfine Cementing Products, Halliburton Best Practices Series, Halliburton Energy
Services, bibliography H00727 (Oct. 1997).
10. Heathman, J.F., Sands, F.L., Sas-Jaworsky, A., and Badalamenti, A.M.: A Study of the
Effects of Mixing Energy Imparted on Cement Slurries by Field Equipment and Coiled
Tubing, paper SPE 26573 presented at the 1993 SPE Annual Technical Conference and
Exhibition, Houston, Oct. 36.

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Best Practices

11. Automatic Density Control and Specific Mixing Energy Deliver Consistent High-
Quality Cement Slurries, OTC paper 7068 presented at the 1992 Offshore Technology
Conference, Houston.
12. Vidick, B., Nash, F.D., and Hartley, I.: Cementing Through Coiled Tubing and Its
Influence on Slurry Properties, paper SPE 20959 presented at the 1990 Europe 90, The
Hague, The Netherlands, Oct. 2224.
13. Hibbert, A.P., Kellingray, D.J., and Vidick, B.: Effect of Mixing Energy Levels During
Batch Mixing of Cement Slurries, Drilling and Completion (March 1995) 49.
14. Halliburton Research Laboratory Report, bibliography C32-E001-92.
15. Brady, J.L., Gantt, L.L., Fife, D.M., and Rich, D.A.: Cement Solubility in Acids, paper
SPE 18986 presented at the 1989 Joint Rocky Mountain Regional/Low Permeability
Reservoirs Symposium and Exhibition, Denver, Mar. 68.
16. Blount, C.G., Brady, J.L., Fife, D.M., Gantt, L.L., Huesser, J.M., and Hightower, C.M.:
HCl-HF Acid-Resistant Cement Blend: Model Study and Field Application, paper SPE
19541 presented at the 1989 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, San
Antonio, Oct. 811.
17. Carpenter, R.B., and Edwards, T.M.: A Proven Methodology for Comparison of Cement
Acid Solubility, paper SPE 27683 presented at the 1994 SPE Permian Basin Oil and
Gas Recovery Conference, Midland, Texas, Mar. 1618.
18. Drillable Tools Manual (Part No. 802.2000), Section 16 (March 1997).
19. Walker, E.J., Gantt., L., and Crow, W.: Coiled Tubing Operations and Services, World
Oil (June 1992) 213, No. 6, 69.
20. Carpenter, R.B.: New Technologies Address the Problem Areas of Coiled-Tubing
Cementing, paper SPE 20426 presented at the 1990 SPE Annual Technical Conference
and Exhibition, New Orleans, Sept. 2326.

Bibliography
Barry, T.S., Beck, D.L., and Putnam, J.S.: Offshore Coiled-Tubing Cement Squeezes,
Forties Field, paper SPE 23144 presented at the 1991 Annual Technical Conference and
Exhibition, Aberdeen, Sept. 36.

Boersma, B.J., and Nieuwstadt, F.T.M.: Large-Eddy Simulation of Turbulent Flow in a


Curved Pipe, Trans. AIME (1996) 118, 248254.

Bond, A., and BP Alaska Authors: Latex Acid Resistant Cement and Various New or
Existing Placement Techniques, paper presented at the 1995 3rd International Conference
and Exhibition on Coiled Tubing Technology: Operations, Services, Practices, Houston,
Mar. 1316.

Brookey, J.B., and Garrett, C.: Use of Drilling Fluid Additives to Improve Drilling and
Remedial Operations with Coiled Tubing, Proc. Paper No. 24 presented at the 1994 2nd
International Conference and Exhibition on Coiled Tubing Technology: Operations, Ser-
vices, Practices, Houston, March 2931.

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Brookey, T., Bird, J., and Garrett, C.: Copolymer Beads Aid Drilling and Remedial Opera-
tions by Reducing Wellbore Friction, Proc., Second Annual Coiled Tubing Technology
International Management Conference, Dallas (1994) Paper 22.

Fleckenstein, W.W., and Garner, T.A.: An Operators Perspective on Through-Tubing


Recompletion Technology, paper SPE 27895 presented at the 1994 Western Regional
Meeting, Long Beach, CA, Mar. 2325.

Fram, J.H., and Eberhard, M.J.: Use of Coiled Tubing for Abandoning Shallow Thermal
Wells, South Belridge Field, Kern County, California, paper SPE 26087 presented at the
1993 SPE Western Regional Meeting, Anchorage, May 1618.

Gantt, L.L., and Smith, B.E.: Advancements in the Coiled Tubing Cement Squeeze Process
at Prudhoe Bay, Proc. Paper No. 21 presented at the 1994 2nd International Conference and
Exhibition on Coiled Tubing Technology: Operations, Services, Practices, Houston, Mar.
2931, 1994.

Haney, J., and Folmnsbee, G.: Coiled Tubing Improves North Sea Squeeze Cementing,
Petroleum Engineer International (August 1991) 2834.

Krause, R.E., and Reem, D.C.: New Coiled-Tubing Cementing Techniques at Prudhoe
Developed to Withstand Higher Differential Pressure, SPE Production and Facilities
(November 1993) 26062.

Mody, R.K., Coronado, M.P., and Craig, G.C.: Coiled Tubing Conveyed Inflatable
Workover Systems, Proc., Coiled Tubing Operations and Slimhole Drilling Practices
Conference (1993).

Noles, J., Bays, B., Browning, G., and Knecht, B.: Small-Capacity Cement Procedure
Reduces Failure Potential, World Oil (May 1996) 5355.

Oliver, A., Calvert, G., and Gavin, B.: Coiled Tubing Cement Squeeze with Wash Through
Operation. SPE Production Engineering (May 1992) 13743.

Pavlich, J.P., Greaves, C., and Edwards, T.M.: Designing Slurries for Coiled Tubing Ce-
ment Squeezes, CTH (1993) 11620.

Robertson, A.M.: On Viscous Flow in Curved Pipes of Non-Uniform Cross-Section,


International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids (1996) 22, 771798.

Teel, M.E.: Coiled Tubing 1994 Update: Expanding Applications, World Oil (June 1994)
3945.

Vrokinn, P.B., and Sanders, G.S.: Cement Slurry Qualification, Field Mixing, and Quality
Assurance Procedures for Coiled-Tubing Squeeze Operations in Prudhoe Bay, Alaska,
paper SPE 26089 presented at the 1993 Western Regional Meeting, Anchorage, May 2628.

Walker, E.J., Gantt, L., and Crow, W.: Coiled Tubing . . . Operations and Services, World
Oil Coiled Tubing Handbook (1993) 5157.

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Worldwide Cementing Practices, 1st edition, API (1991).

Yang, S.Y.: Equation Determines Pressure Drop in Coiled Tubing, Oil & Gas Journal
(December 4, 1995) 6768.

Appendix AEstimating the Fluid Level in a Well

If the fluid level in a well is not known, it can be estimated as follows:

1. Establish the following two equations with two unknown items:


X + Y = vertical depth of middle perforations..................................................... (1)
AGG (X) + AFG (Y) = Pr............................................................................... (2)
where
X = vertical height of gas in the wellbore (ft)
Y = vertical height of fluid in the wellbore (ft)
AGG = average gas gradient (psi/ft), estimate 0.1 psi/ft
AFG = average fluid gradient (psi/ft), estimate 0.3 psi/ft
Pr = reservoir pressure (psi), known from BHP surveys

2. Solve for the unknowns (X, Y) by rearranging as follows:


X = vertical depth of middle perforations Y
or
X = total vertical depth Y

3. Substitute the new Equation 1 into Equation 2:


0.1 (total vertical depth Y) + 0.3 (Y) = Pr
Y = [Pr (0.1 total vertical depth)]/0.2
Now that Y is known, you can substitute it into Equation 1 to solve for the fluid height.

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Appendix BExample Problems


Example Problem 1
Diagnostics (Figure B-1)
Reservoir pressure = 2,000 psi. Reservoir temperature = 160F
The cement bond log showed no cement bond between the top perforations and the
aquifer.
The initial tubing-conveyed perforation (TCP) indicated sand in the perforation
surge chamber.
The slickline total depth tag and sample bailer showed sand covering the perforations.
The well sanded up immediately after perforation with TCP guns.

BHP = 2,000 psi


BHT = 160F
Water Zone
TVD = 6,600 ft
Hole angle = 50
Gas-lift completion
Upward channel
to water zone ccd01020

Figure B-1Diagnostic data for Sample Problem 1

The data in Table B-1 is used in the sample calculations on Page 49.

Table B-1 Directional Survey


MD TVD Inclination
1,000 1,000 3
2,000 1,958 23
2,400 2,325 23
3,000 2,883 21
4,000 3,847 15
5,026 4,824 22
5,500 5,243 30
6,049 5,697 41
6,515 6,025 47
7,039 6,374 49
7,507 6,681 49
7,784 6,857 51

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Volumes
Tubing

3 1/2 in., 0.0087 bbl/ft (2,400 to 7,230 ft) = 42 bbl

4 1/2 in., 0.0152 bbl/ft 2,400 ft = 36.5 bbl

78.5 bbl

Casing

Sump0.0371 bbl/ft (7,900 to 7,820) = 3.0 bbl

Perforations0.0371 bbl/ft (7,820 to 7,670) = 5.6 bbl

TailpipeTop perforations 0.0371 bbl/ft (7,670 to 7,230) = 16.3 bbl

Overall (inside casing) 0.0371 bbl/ft (7,900 to 7,230) = 24.9 bbl

Behind casing (top perforation to aquifer)0.0226 bbl/ft (7,670 to 7,600) = 1.3 bbl

CT volume = 19 bbl

Fluid Column

Fluid level 6,790 [2,000 (0.052 8.6)]


6,790 4,470 = 2,320-ft total vertical depth (2,400 ft MD)
Volume above fluid level (1.5-in. CT production tubing annulus)
0.0130 bbl/ft 2,400 ft = 31 bbl
Cement Volume

Fill casing from plugback total depth (PBTD) to at least 100 ft above the perforations.
Sump 3 bbl
Perforations 5.6 bbl
100 ft above perforations 3.7 bbl
12.3 bbl [Use 15 bbl (170 ft above top perforation).]
Worst-case top of cement (WCTOC) = PBTD cement height
WCTOC = 7,900 ft (15 bbl/0.0371 bbl/ft) = 7,495 ft MD
Gel contaminant volume = 3 casing volume
= 3 24.9 bbl = 75 bbl (Mix 150 bbl for contingency of lost
circulation.)

November 2001 Page 49 of 60 Squeeze Cementing with Coiled Tubing

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Best Practices

Sample Problem 1
a
No. MD Fluid Rate Vol CTP WHP At Nozzle Comments
(bbl/min) (bbl) (psi) (psi) Fluid/Vol
1 7,900 FSW b 1.5 ++ 3,500 0 FSW / ++ Clean out sand with well flowing on
GL and perform TD check. Injectivity
test down BS.
2 7,900 CMTc 1.5 0 4,000 Vac FSW / ++ Shut in well. Begin cement down CT.
3 7,900 CMT 1.5 10 4,000 Vac FSW / ++
4 7,900 CMT/ 1.5 15 4,000 Vac FSW / ++ Finish pumping cement. Switch to FSW.
FSW /0
5 7,900 FSW 1.5 / 4 1,500 Vac CMT / 0 Cement at nozzle. Decrease rate and
1.0 begin POOH at 27 ft/min.
6 7,765 FSW 1.0 9 1,500 Vac CMT / 5
7 7,660 FSW 1 13 1,500 0 CMT / 9 Cement covering perfs. Begin filling
production tubing. Any increase in fluid
height is applying squeeze pressure.
8 7,495 FSW 1 19 1,500 0 CMT / 15 All cement out nozzle. Continue POOH
FSW / 0 to 7,400 ft at 60 ft/min and decrease
to minimum rate.
9 7,400 FSW 0.3 20 200 0 FSW / 1 Stop CT at 7,400 and resume maximum
pump rate down CT.
10 7,400 FSW/ 1.5 51.0 4,000 0 FSW / 25 Production tubing filled. Begin to
GELd /0 (1,000) see positive pressure indication
at surface. Control squeeze pressure with
choke. Approximately 20 minutes have
elapsed since perforations were covered
with cement; 1,000-psi effective
squeeze pressure with WHP = 0.
Switch to gel and decrease rate
to 0.5 bbl/min.
11 7,400 GEL 0.5 10 1,000 1,000 FSW / 35 Build surface squeeze pressure to 1,000 psi;
2,000-psi effective squeeze
pressure. Maintain pressure for 60 minutes
total time.
12 7,400 GEL 0.5 19 1,000 1,000 FSW / 44 Gel contaminant at nozzle. Slowly release
GEL / 0 squeeze pressure. Then increase rate to
maximum and RIH contaminating cement.
13 7,500 GEL 1.5 20 4,000 0 GEL / 1 Reciprocate down to PBTD and up to EOTe
three times. Decrease rate to 1 bbl/min
across perfs.
14 7,900 GEL/ 1.5 75 4,000 0 GEL / 75 Final downward pass to TD. Displace well
FSW FSW / 0 to FSW while POOH.
a
Measured depth
b
Field salt water
c
Cement
d
Gelled water
e
End of Tubing

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Best Practices

Example Problem 2
Diagnostics (Figure B-2)
Reservoir pressure = 4,800 psi. Reservoir temperature = 160F.

1
4 /2-in. Tubing
(0.0149 bbl/ft)

1
1 /2-in. OD CT
Capacity: 20 bbl

Packer 9,200 ft

Perforations: 9,800 ft
to 9,900 ft MD/TVD

Reservoir pressure: 4,800 psi


Reservoir temperatire: 160F
Fracture gradient: 0.8 psi/ft
ccd01021

PBTD 10,000 ft MD/TVD

Figure B-2Diagnostic data for Sample Problem 2


Volumes
Tubing

4 in., 0.0149 bbl/ft (9,200 ft) = 137 bbl

Casing
Sump0.0371 bbl/ft (10,000 to 9,900) = 3.7 bbl
Perforations0.0371 bbl/ft (9,900 to 9,800) = 3.7 bbl
Tailpipe to top perforations0.0371 bbl/ft (9,800 to 9,200) = 22.2 bbl
Overall (inside casing)0.0371 bbl/ft (9,200 to 10,000) = 29.6 bbl
CT volume20 bbl (12,000 ft of 1.5-in. 0.109-in. wall thickness)

November 2001 Page 51 of 60 Squeeze Cementing with Coiled Tubing

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Best Practices

Cement Volume

Fill casing from PBTD to at least 100 ft above perforations.


Sump 3.7 bbl
Perforations 3.7 bbl
100 ft above perforations 3.7 bbl
11.1 bbl
Worst-case top of cement (WCTOC) = PBTD to cement height
WCTOC = 10,000 ft (11 bbl/0.0371) = 9,700 ft MD
Gel contaminant volume = 1.5 cement volume
= 1.5 11 bbl = 16.5 bbl. Use 20 bbl.
Worst-case top of contaminated cement (WCTOCC) = PBTD - (cement volume height + gel
volume height)
NoteLiner volume = 29.6 bbl
Combined gel and cement volume = 31 bbl
Gel height in tubing = end of tubing (EOT) [(31 bbl (cement + gel) 29.6 bbl
casing volume) / 0.0149] = 9,200 ft 95 ft
WCTOCC = 9,105 ft
Pressure Calculations

Expected WHP with 8.5 lbm/gal brine (or the underbalance with 8.5 lbm/gal brine):
= Formation pressure hydrostatic pressure
= 4,800 psi (8.5 lbm/gal 0.052 9,800 ft)
= 470 psi
Maximum surface squeeze pressure to prevent fracturing:
= Fracture gradient hydrostatic 500-psi safety margin
= (9,800 ft 0.8 psi/ft) 4,330 psi 500 psi
= 3,010 psi
To obtain 2,000-psi formation overbalance,
= Formation pressure hydrostatic + 2,000-psi
overbalance
= 4,800 psi 4,330 psi + 2,000 psi
= 2,470 psi (use 2,500 psi)
To obtain 500-psi negative differential pressure test on squeeze:
= Formation pressure hydrostatic 500 psi
= 4,800 psi 4,330 psi 500 psi
= -30 psi (use WHP = 0 psi)

Squeeze Cementing with Coiled Tubing Page 52 of 60 November 2001


The information that applies principally to the nodal technique is in italics.
Best Practices

Sample Problem 2
No. MDa Fluid Rate Vol CTP WHP At Nozzle Comments
(bbl/min) (bbl) (psi) (psi) Fluid/Vol

1 10,000 FSW b 1.5 ++ 3,500 200 FSW / ++ Clean out with well flowing on GL and perform
TD check. Injectivity test down BS.

2 10,000 CMTc 1.5 CMT/0 4,000 500 FSW / ++ Shut in well. Begin cement down CT.
3 10,000 CMT / 1.5 CMT/1 4,000 500 FSW / ++ Switch to FSW spacer.
FSW 1FSW/0
4 10,000 1.5 /1.0 8 4,000 500 CMT / 0 Cement at nozzle. Continue pumping FSW at
decreased rate of 1.0 bbl/min.
5 10,000 1.0 9 3,500 500 CMT / 1
1 bbl cement out nozzle. Continue pumping
FSW and begin POOH at 27 ft/min.

6 9,850 1.0 16.4 3,500 500 CMT / 7.4 Cement covering perforations. Continue to
POOH to the top perforations.
7 9,770 1.0 18 3,500 500 / CMT / 9
700 Stop CT near the top perforation (9,770). At
18 bbl FSW, begin to build pressure to
indicate perforations sealed. Begin squeeze.
(Estimated 1.6-bbl cement behind pipe)

8 9,770 / 1.0 18 3,500 500 / CMT / 9 Resume POOH when initial pressure is
POOH 700 developed. Choke well returns to maintain
700 psi.
9 9,715 / 1.0 / 0.25 20 3,500 / 700 CMT / 11 Continue pumping while POOH to new
POOH 500 FSW / 0 WCTOC (9,715 ft). Decrease rate when all
cement has exited the nozzle. CT should be
at 9,715 ft when FSW is at the nozzle. CTP
will decrease from the decreased rate.
Continue POOH to 100 ft above the new
WCTOC (9,615) at + speed.

10 9,615 FSW 1.0 / 0.25 22 1,000 / 700 FSW / 2 Continue to ramp squeeze pressure at
300 approximately 250 psi each for 10 minutes
while holding the CT at 9,615 ft.
11 9,615 Geld 0.25 / 1.6 24 / 0 300 / 700 FSW / 4
4,000 Squeeze pressure building good. Decide to
switch to gel. Increase rate but control
squeeze pressure with choke. RIH to 9,715 ft.

12 9,715 Gel / 1.5 20 300 / 700 / FSW / 20


FSW 4,000 2,500 Gel / 0 Build squeeze pressure to 2,500 psi over 40-
minute period using choke to control returns.

13 Contamination
14 9,715 FSW 1.5 0 4,000 2,500 / Gel / 0 Gel at nozzle. Switch to FSW. Release
1500 squeeze pressure slowly to 1,500 psi. RIH
jetting at 40 FPM/1.5 bbl/min and
contaminating cement. Decrease rate to
1.0 bbl/min across the perforations.
a
Measured depth
b
Field salt water
c
Cement
d
Gelled water

November 2001 Page 53 of 60 Squeeze Cementing with Coiled Tubing

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Best Practices

Sample Problem 2 (Continued)


No. MDa Fluid Rate Vol CTP WHP At Nozzle Comments
(bbl/min) (bbl) (psi) (psi) Fluid / Vol
15 10,000 1.5 / 10 4,000 1,500 Gel / 10 Tag TD and immediately begin
1.0 POOH jetting contaminant at
85 FPM/1.0 bbl/min.
16 9,200 0.75/ 18.6 20 1,500 Gel / 18.6 At the tubing tail (9,200 ft), decrease
0 the pump rate to 0.75 bbl/min
while continuing.
17 9,000 0.75 20 1,500 1,500 Gel / 20 POOH to WCTOCC (9,100 ft) as
/0 FSW / 0 FSW begins to exit the nozzle.
Shut down pumping and trap
1,500 psi in the well. Continue to
POOH to 9,000 ft.
18 Begin initial reverse out
19 9,000 0 / 0.5 0 0 1,500 REV OUT At 9,000 ft, switch manifold to
reverse out. Circulate a CT volume
to ensure all returns are FSW.
20 9,000 0.5 20 0 1,500 After getting a CT volume returned,
begin RIH at 5 to 10 ft/min to maintain
returns at approximately
9.2 to 9.6 lbm/gal.
21 10,000 0.5 120 0 1,500 Continue to PBTD (10,000 ft) and
reverse until returns are clean. Perform
a pressure test of the perforations to
1,500 psi for 10 minutes. Monitor for
leakoff.
22 Repeat jet / reverse out to clean hole.
23 10,000 Gelb 1.5 0 4,000 1,500 FSW / 0 Switch to circulate gel down the CT.
24 10,000 20 4,000 1,500 Gel / 0 When gel reaches the nozzle, POOH
jetting with gel to 9,000 ft at
50 ft/min/1.5 bbl/min.
25 9,670 Gel / 30 / 0 4,000 1,500 Gel / 20 Switch to FSW and continue to
FSW c POOH jetting.
26 9,000 FSW 1.5 20 4,000 1,500 Gel / 30 At 9,000 ft, shut down pump and trap
FSW / 0 1,500 psi on well. Switch to reverse out.
27 9,000 FSW 0.5 0 0 1,500 REV OUT Begin reverse out while RIH at 14 ft/min.
28 10,000 FSW 0.5 55 0 1,500 Complete reverse out and an extra CT
volume bottoms up.
29 Surface POOH while circulating as necessary
to maintain 1,500 psi WHP.
30 Rig down CT and shut in well with
1,500 psi. Wait at least three times the
thickening time to release the
formation overbalance.
Test squeeze by bleeding
31 WHP to 0 psi.
a
Measured depth
b
Gelled water
c
Field salt water

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The information that applies principally to the nodal technique is in italics.
Best Practices

Appendix CComplete CT Nodal Buildup/Washout Procedure


The following procedure was taken from an actual job.

Objective: Isolate all perforated sands with a CT high-pressure nodal squeeze.

Justification: This well has been shut in due to high water production. Isolation from
these water sands will allow production and fracturing of the hydrocar-
bon producing sands, which are not projected as depleted.

Current Status: Shut-in

Expected BHP: 3,000 psi at 7,000 ft, or approximately 0.43 psi/ft gradient

Presqueeze Well Preparation


MIRU slickline c/o all live gas lift valves (GLVs) to dummy GLVs. The bottom dummy
should be the equalizing dummy with an equalizing prong. Before setting the bottom station,
load the Tubing Production Casing annulus with 2% KCl, corrosion-inhibited water after
flushing the annulus of all the gas. Set the bottom dummy valve and complete a pressure test
for the Tubing Production Casing annulus. This will confirm integrity of the tubing, the
packer, and the production casing. Drift and tag TD with gauge ring. Note all ID restrictions.

Day 1 with CTUAcid Wash

1. Mix all fluids for the location one day before CTU cement squeeze operations. Take
samples of water and perform complete laboratory tests, including thickening time, to
confirm that properties for the cement have not been altered by the current materials.
Wellbore flush volume: X bbl filtered water
X bbl acid, specific to well conditions
Mix water volume: 50 bbl filtered fresh water should be available by the start of the
day for sampling and testing with the cement blend.
Fluid column spacer: 30 bbl dead crude. Determine if needed at the end of the
acid treatment.
2. Before RIH with CT, evaluate WHP. If required, pump filtered water to sweep wellbore
gas and fluid back into the formation. This can be done while RIH or after CT is on the
bottom if the wellhead pressure is low enough to allow entry to the well.
3. While RIH, make PU weight checks every 1,000 ft. Note and record all weight-check
values to ensure no problems exist when the CT is filled with cement. Make dry tag to
confirm PBTD. Do not pump down CT while making tag. PU 10 ft and flag CT.
4. Jet wash across perforations with acid to clean up perforations. Volume to pump should
be calculated based on one down pass and one up pass, running at 80% of fluid rate.
5. Reconfirm tag location, again without pumping. Determine PU weight and then pull
uphole 5 ft. Slowly pump down the CT (approximately 0.5 bpm) with water to flush the
rathole fluids. PU to 15 ft off the bottom and pump down the CT at 1 bpm and 1.5 bpm.
Make sure the CT is well away form the bottom before pumping. If CT annulus pressure
falls off to 0 psi or goes on vacuum during this test, crude oil will be required for lower-
ing backside hydraulics during the cement squeeze. POOH and prepare for Day 2.

November 2001 Page 55 of 60 Squeeze Cementing with Coiled Tubing

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Best Practices

Day 2 with CTUCTU High-Pressure Nodal Squeeze Procedure

1. Confirm that the fluids required for the job are on location and in proper condition. The
cleanout fluids can be prepared on location or made up and brought to the location by a
mud company. Required fluids include the following:
200 bbl filtered water
30 bbl dead crude (if needed, based on injection rate and pressure after acid work
from Step 5 in Day 1)
50 bbl mix water (filtered fresh water) retained from Day 1
X bbl 1.5 lb/bbl Biozan cleanout fluid
X bbl 0.5 lb/bbl Biozan cleanout fluid
35 bbl 10% TEA solution
RIH with combo jet swirl nozzle (confirm ball-drop nozzle design and ball size before
RIH), dry tag PBTD, and confirm the flag set from Day 1. Repeat string weight tests at
1,000-ft intervals past 4,000 ft to confirm that no changes from the Day 1 acid job are
present. As soon as the nozzle is through the tubing, begin batch-mixing the designed
volume of cement slurry (allow for excess due to surface equipment sumps and dilution)
of Latex Acid Resistant Cement.

Note The defined cement volume in this case is calculated based on


liner fillup volume (PBTD to top perf) plus approximately 18
bbl. This will place the maximum cement top at approximately
4,400 ft if the well does not take any cement behind the pipe.

When the cement is up to weight, begin flushing the CT Tubing annulus with the
filtered water to remove all gas from the wellbore and to condition the bottom of the
well. While cement is being prepared, establish stable injection pressure by shutting in
the CT x Tubing annulus and pump down the CT at 1 bpm and 1.5 bpm. Be well off the
bottom before switching to all injection down the CT. If the annulus goes on vacuum or
does not show sufficient WHP, pump degassed crude down the annulus to lighten the
backside fluid column. This should confirm the results from Step 5 in Day 1.
2. After the cement slurry has been mixed at weight for 15 minutes and thoroughly sheared,
catch a sample to conduct QC testing. Condition slurry in an atmospheric Howco at
200F (or lower to match the appropriate BHCT) for 20 minutes before conducting a full
30-min API fluid-loss test. Measure the filter cake to ensure that the field blend is
acceptable and have the engineer confirm cement quality. Fluid properties are listed in
Appendix C-1.
3. Pressure-test the cementing lines to maximum squeeze pressure plus 1,000 to 3,000 psi.
Pump the following fluids down the coil:
5 bbl fresh water spacer
42 bbl cement (zero cement volume at reel with bypass setup)
5 bbl fresh water
1.5 lb Biozan gel (follow fresh water spacer for cleanout)

Squeeze Cementing with Coiled Tubing Page 56 of 60 November 2001


The information that applies principally to the nodal technique is in italics.
Best Practices

4. Continue to pump filtered water or crude oil down the backside if necessary to ensure
that the well remains fluid packed. If possible, shut in the backside injection and monitor
WHP with a static column.
Locate the CT to flag depth (10 ft above TD or PBTD) as cement reaches the nozzle.
Begin POOH with CT when the cement top reaches 50 to 75 ft above the nozzle.
Pull CT uphole at 1:1 (for every barrel pumped, pull the CT the distance equivalent
of 1 barrel of casing volume)
Continue to stack cement while maintaining the nozzle at 50 to 75 ft below the top
of cement. Begin taking returns if WHP shows a significant pressure bump, usually
500 psi above the stable injection pressure determined earlier. Take returns through
choke, holding backpressure (referred to as bump pressure) as preplanned. The
engineer will define this pressure as the job is performed.
5. Pull the nozzle above top perforations only when bump pressure is observed and the
cement is being stacked above the perforations by taking returns with the bump pressure
on the annulus.
If bump pressure is not observed and the nozzle has been pulled to within 50 ft of
the top perforations, RIH with the nozzle and continue to reciprocate the nozzle
across approximately the top 150 ft of the perforations until bump pressure is
observed. Do not stop CT for any period of time while pumping and laying in
cement.
6. When bump pressure has been achieved, stack the remaining cement above the perfora-
tions. Lay the cement 1 for 1, keeping the nozzle below the top of the cement, until the
last bbl of cement leaves the nozzle. As the last 3 bbl leave the nozzle, increase running
speed to try and pull out of cement.
7. Determine the safety depth (the depth at which the nozzle is 500 to 1,000 ft above the
cement, based on calculations for cement placed behind the pipe).
As the last bbl of cement leaves the nozzle, pull uphole at 80% of fluid and shut
down the CT.
Ensure that 3 bbl Biozan fluid are out the end of the nozzle before shutting down the CT.
Node Building Sequencing. Accurate pressure monitoring and the use of good pressure-
buildup sequencing procedures are key to obtaining cement nodes with strong perforation/
formation bonds. Attempting to obtain squeeze pressure by pinching the choke while circu-
lating does not allow accurate monitoring of pressure leakoff and accurate determination of
cement volumes pumped behind pipe during the node-building process. Remember that a
node cannot be built unless fluid is lost from the slurry as indicated by pressure leakoff.
Pressure leakoff while static indicates that nodes are building.

8. When the CT nozzle is at a safe depth and a minimum of 3 bbl of 1.5-lb Biozan has
exited the nozzle, shut in returns and raise the WHP to an equivalent of 1,200 psi +
hydrostatic calculated at the top perforation. This is the desired first pressure step for the
node-building sequence. Calculate the additional pressure generated by the cement
column and the CT Tubing annulus fluid to adjust WHP for an equivalent of 1,200 psi
surface pressure with water to the top of the perforations.

November 2001 Page 57 of 60 Squeeze Cementing with Coiled Tubing

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Best Practices

1,200 psi + TVD Top Perf 0.43 psi/ft = (TVD Top Perf Cement Top TVD) Cement Density psi/ft +
(Cement Top TVD Backside Fluid Density psi/ft) + Desired Pressure Step 1 WHP

General Discussion of Node-Building Sequencing.


Pressure declineAt each stage, initially, you will probably see a pressure decline and then
the pressure leveling. This indicates that nodes are building and some thermal stabilization
of the wellbore fluids is taking place.

Pressure levelingPressure leveling indicates that no further fluid is being lost through the
node that has been built to that point. Once the pressure levels for a minute or two, nodes are
no longer being built and the next pressure increment can begin. This process usually takes
15 to 20 minutes.

Pressure breakbackIf the squeeze pressure breaks back, immediately stop pumping and
allow the pressure to stabilize and repeat pressure sequencing. If no signs of immediate
healing exist, reduce the pressure increment and increase waiting time between stages.

9. With the choke still closed, walk squeeze pressure up to maximum ssqueeze pressure in
300- to 500-psi increments. The engineer should determine the pressure steps.
Hold and maintain maximum squeeze pressure for 1 hour.
Maximum squeeze pressure is calculated at 1,500 psi over the calculated surface
fracturing pressure with water in the hole. Remember to make the same surface-
pressure adjustment for the cement in the hole as calculated earlier.
10. After holding the maximum squeeze pressure for 1 hour, slowly bleed the WHP to 500
psi. From this point until the job is complete, the choke operator should attempt to
maintain 500-psi WHP through all rate changes.
Launch the ball to modify the nozzle-jet configuration.
Chase the ball to the nozzle with 1.5-lb/bbl Biozan gel.
11. For the down pass, begin the cleanout procedure by RIH jetting with 1.5 lb/bbl Biozan
gel at maximum injection rate. Lower the rate as the ball approaches the nozzle. Do not
jet across the perforations until the ball has reached the nozzle.
With the ball seated in the nozzle, begin cement cleanout procedure across perfo-
rations by RIH with the coil at 1:1 speed. The pumping rate should be to 1.5 bpm
(or < 5 hhp as calculated from jet-bit hydraulics for the nozzle design).

Important Warn the choke operator before all rate changes occur.

Increase jetting rate to maximum injection pressure while RIH at 1:1 speed from
bottom perforation to TD or PBTD.
Take a barrel count to ensure 1:1 returns.
12. For the up-pass, pull uphole at 80% speed while jetting at maximum injection pressure
to bottom squeeze perforation.
Reduce the jetting rate to 1.5 bpm (or < 5 hhp) across squeeze perforations while
POOH at 80% speed.

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The information that applies principally to the nodal technique is in italics.
Best Practices

Increase the jetting rate to maximum injection pressure while POOH at 80% speed
from top of the squeeze perforations to the tubing tail.
13. Perform three down-passes and two up-passes with 1.5-lb/bbl Biozan gel, again limiting
your pump rate and thus the hhp exerted on the nodes to less than 1.5 bpm or 5 hhp.
14. Switch to 10% TEA solution on the third down-pass to ensure that it reaches flag depth.
Lay 10% TEA on the third up-pass in the rathole and across perforations.

Note Three passes are needed to adequately clean the wellbore in 7-in.
casing. If a sufficient number of passes is not conducted, the
nodes may be difficult to clean and cement stringers may be left
in the wellbore.

15. Reduce the Biozan concentration to 0.5 lb/bbl after the 10% TEA and increase the pump
rate to maximum from the top of the perforations to the surface.
POOH at 80% running speed at maximum CT injection pressure while being
careful to thoroughly jet across any downhole tubing equipment (specifically, gas
lift mandrels).
Post-Squeeze Test

After three days, perform a pressure test on the squeeze to 1,000 psi.

Appendix C-1Approximate Slurry Composition


Premium Cement + 1.2 gal/sk Latex 2000 + 1.0% Bentonite + 0.5% CFR-3 +0.25% HR-12 +
0.18 gal/sk Stabilizer 434B + 0.05 gal/sk D-Air-3 + 1% KCl

Table C-1Slurry Properties


Density ~16.0 lb/gal
Yield ~1.12 ft3/sk
Water ~4.72 gal/sk
(includes liquid additives)
Thickening time at 210F ~9 hr 45 min
Fluid loss 50 to 90 cc/30 min
3
Filter cake /4-in. 3/16-in. firm
PV ~35
Yp ~12
Free water 0 cc at 45
Settling None
Acid resistance 6%

November 2001 Page 59 of 60 Squeeze Cementing with Coiled Tubing

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Best Practices

Table C-2Gas-Lift Valves and Latches (1.0-in.)


Valves and Latches Teledyne McMurry Camco Otis
Latches BK2 BK2
Pressure-operated valves NM-16R JR-STD BK2 RC-1
Orifice valves OM-14R JRVO RDO-5 RCC-1
Equalizing valves EDM-14R JR-EQD EKED RED-1
Dummy valves DM-14R JR-D E RD-1
Chemical injection valves CM-15R JRCH BKCl-2 RCV-1
Differential relief valves SM-14R JR-DDV DCR-1 RP-1
Specialty valves JR-FO BKFS

Table C-3Gas-Lift Valves and Latches (1.5-in.)


Valves and Latches Teledyne McMurry Camco Otis
Latches TG, M, and RA RK, RA, BK2 RK BO3, RA, RMI RO5
Pressure-operated valves N-15R VR-STD, VRFO R-20 RC-1.5
Orifice valves O-20R, O2-20R VRVO, VRPDW RD0-20 RCC-1.5
Equalizing valves ED-15R VR-KED RKED RED-1.5
Dummy valves D-14R VR-D RD, EK-1 RD-1.5
Chemical injection valves CR-16R VRCH RCl-2, RCl-3 RCV-1.5
Differential relief valves S-15R VR-DDV DCR-1 RP-1.5
Specialty valves VR-FO RG2, RKFS, VLV

Squeeze Cementing with Coiled Tubing Page 60 of 60 November 2001


The information that applies principally to the nodal technique is in italics.