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Cementing

Introduction:-
The cement is used as a sealing material while drilling an oil and gas well. Pumping cement
behind the casing provides a barrier to the fluids flow from or into the formation, and bonds the
casing to the formation.

Cementation:-
Oil Well cementing is the process of mixing slurry of cement and water and displacing it down
the casing, tubing or drill pipe to a pre specified point in the well.

Oil Well Cement Functions


There are many reasons for pumping cement slurry while drilling operations, the most important
functions are:

- Preventing fluids flow from one formation to another or to the surface. The fluids can flow
between the casing and the formation.
- Bonding the casing to the formation
- Supporting the casing string
- Protecting the casing from the corrosion caused by formation fluids
- Sealing off the problematic zones

Two types of cementing process

 Primary cementing
 Secondary cementing

 Primary cementation:-

The cementing takes place soon after the lowering of casing is called primary
cementation. It is the process of mixing slurry of cement and water and pumping it down through
steel casing of the critical points in the annulus between casing and open hole.

The main functions of primary cementation are:


(1) To bond and support the casing.
(2) Protecting the casing from corrosion.

A successful primary cementing job is crucial for the well integrity to allow continuing the
drilling operations.
 Secondary cementing or squeezing:-
Any cementing operation that will do after primary cementation is
comes under secondary cementing. Cement has to be pumped into the well and forced to
flow into the formation; this process is called secondary or squeezing cementing job.
It is also called as remedial cementing

This type of cementing operations performed


- To repair primary cementing problems
- To construct s good strengthen wellbore

Cement Properties:-
At designing stage, fundamental properties have to be considered for any cement slurry.

Compressive Strength

After pumping the cement slurry and place it in the annulus, drilling operations should not be
started till the cement reaches an appropriate level of compressive strength. The cement should
not disintegrate due to vibrations when drilling next section. The compressive strength depends
on several variables: temperature, pressure and amount of mix-water.

Thickening Time

The thickening time is the range of time which the cement slurry can be pumped and displaced.
The thickening time should be enough to allow the slurry to be mixed, pumped into the casing
and then displaced by drilling fluids till placed it in the annulus. When designing the cement
slurry, any delays or interruption should be considered to get a safe thickening time.

Wellbore conditions are also important factors which can affect the thickening time. Reduction
in this parameter can be caused by increase in pressure or temperature. These conditions should
be simulated and tested in the laboratory before performing the job.

Slurry Density

Cement slurry density can vary from 11 ppg to 18.5 ppg. The density is controlled by adjusting
the amount of mix-water or additives. The cement slurry density is relatively higher than the
density of drilling fluids which has to be considered when planning for cement job especially
when formations with normal pore pressure trend.

Water Loss
The setting of cement is a result of cement powder hydration. Slurry should not lose its water
before place it at its planned position because it can affect its palpability. The fluid loss property
should be determined at laboratories under standard conditions. The fluid loss depends on the
type of the job; it is not crucial to control fluid loss in primary jobs but for the squeezing jobs it
should well defined.
Permeability

The permeability of cement after hardening will be very low (less than 0.1 milli-darcy); this level
is much lower than production formations permeability. In some cases, the permeability of the
cement can be affected: for example by gas intrusion which lead to higher permeability and then
the barrier of cement can be less effective.

Cement Powder Classes:-


There is a verity of cement powder which is used for cementing an oil and gas well. Each cement
powder differs from other powders when mixed with water due to the chemical components.

Class A & B

They are cheap powders and can be used only for shallow depths where there is not any special
requirement. The difference between A class and B class is that B class can resist to sulphate.

Class C

This powder can harden quickly due to the high concentration of C3S

Class D,E and F

These are expensive powders due to the properties which they can provide. These classes are
known as retarded cements which make them suitable for cementing deep wells at high level of
temperatures and pressures.

Class G & H

These are the most compatible powders with most of additives and can be used for wide range of
pressure and temperature. The most common used class is class G, it can be used at temperature
up to 200F° without adding modifiers. Class H has coarser grind than class G which gives it
better retarding properties for cementing deep wells.

The cement powders mentioned above are API classified cements. There are other non-API
cement:

- Pozmix cement: It is a result of mixing Portland cement with pozzolan and bentonite. It is used
for shallow wells due to its light weight.
- Gypsum cement: it is formed by mixing Portland cement and gypsum. This type of cement is
used for remedial jobs; it can develop a high early strength. It is very appropriate for sealing off
lost circulation zones.