From the Designing

Cementing operations represent one of the more crucial aspects regarding well integrity. Despite the vast amount of research and the large number of operations throughout the years, well integrity problems, during and after cementing jobs, is something the industry still faces. These problems have been experienced by the petroleum industry globally and can occur at any moment of the well’s life cycle. Well integrity issues have been categorized according to the moment at which they happen:

  1. During the cement displacement in the wellbore.
  2. After the cement placement.
  3. After the cement has been cured.

The first category may result in very serious well-control problems, including blowouts. During the period between 1992 and 2006, the leading cause for blowouts was cementing. These problems usually occur because of improper design of the cementing operations due to hydrostatic pressure of the cement slurries, failure when mixing the slurries to obtain the desire density, and lost circulation during the cement displacement.

The second category is normally associated with the loss of hydrostatic pressure of the cement slurries during the initial hydration period. This also can cause we-control problems, pressure build up in the annulus between the casing strings and zonal isolation problems eventually and the remedial solutions for this are normally expensive and difficult.

The last category refers to long-term problems normally caused by poor cementing jobs. Defective drilling mud removal during the cement slurry displacement in the annulus, insufficient cement height that may lead to casing leakage and corrosion problems are some of the factors that can contribute to long-term well integrity failures and the cost to fix these problems are highly expensive.

PVI has taken into consideration these types of problems and has created two great software for these situations: CEMLab and CEMPRO+.

CEMLab - Cement Lab Data Management Software

CEMLab - Cement Lab Data Management Software

This integrated database management application formulates slurries and calculates lab amounts for all ingredients such as cement, dry and liquid additives, salts and water. It also generates weigh-up sheets, stores API test results and generates lab reports. CEMLab allows quick access to all slurry formulations and testing statuses from anywhere, anytime.

CEMPRO+ : Mud Displacement Software

CEMPRO+ : Mud Displacement Software

This mud displacement program has the capability of displacement efficiency modeling. Designed for land, offshore, conventional and/or foamed operations, CEMPRO+ accounts for many factors that can affect the efficiency of a displacement job including fluid properties, pumping rates, casing standoff and complex wellbore geometry. CEMPRO+ is the must have software for cementing operations.

Before designing your next well, keep these two models in mind to help you achieve, from the designing of the slurries to the mud displacement, a successful cementing operation.

Calculation and Prediction

The pulling and running of pipe causes pressure surges and the prediction of these is a matter of economic importance in wells where the pressure has to be maintained within narrow limits to prevent formation-fluid influx and lost circulation. When these types of situations occur, the drilling engineer needs the best possible method of calculating and predicting surge pressures to drill these wells with a minimum of risks.

Pressure surges have been known for a very long time to cause well-control problems. For instance in 1934, pressure surges were identified as a result from pipe swabbing the possible cause of fluid influx, and in worst cases, blowouts. Also In 1951, positive pressure surges were measured and linked to lost-circulation problems.

For most wells, the extent of the pressure surges is not critical when the proper casing design and mud programs leave large enough margins between fracture pressures and formation-fluid pressures. However, a certain fraction of wells cannot be designed with large surge-pressure margins and in this situation the pressure surges may still be a concern.

The need to predict pressure surges in critical wells is the reason PVI developed SurgeMOD.

SurgeMOD - Surge Pressure Prediction SoftwareWith this surge and swab pressure prediction model, the annular pressures are calculated to be consistent with frictional pressure drops caused by fluid motion; the drilling mud can be well displaced by the pipe motion. This model is sufficient for an effective use for both drilling and completion. It analyzes the complex downhole hydraulics when running the casing for various pipe conditions and circulation sub tools. SurgeMOD not only predicts the surge and swab pressures for a given running speed, but also calculates maximum running speeds at various depths. After the casing or liner is set, it will calculate the maximum acceptable circulation rate before fracturing the formation.

This surge and swab pressure model shows an excellent agreement with the measurements of surge and swab pressures collected during the field tests. It accurately predicts maximum surge and swab pressures as well as the variation of pressure with time at any position in the well bore. Predicting surge and swab pressures using SurgeMOD can minimize potential problems in a well bore and allow more efficient trip speeds for running or pulling pipe.

The Toughest Event on the Planet

I was very nervous when I signed up for the Tough Mudder race, especially for the electrodes and the ice baths, but I was ready for a new challenge and it turned out to be a lot of fun. In April 2012 a friend came up to me and asked me if I wanted to join his team for the Tough Mudder race, which is a 12 mile assault course that involves many obstacles and a lot of mud. I was a little hesitant at first because I didn’t want to commit to something so challenging but I succumbed to peer pressure too easily and I signed up.

I must admit the training was hardcore. It was a 5 hour nonstop workout, three times a week for 3 months, but not the regular workout most people are used to or know about. A regular workout consists of cardio, stretch and weights and the dirtiest you can get is with your own sweat, but the training for Tough Mudder goes far beyond that. The “cardio” is 5 hours long consisting of running, swimming and jumping. The “stretch”, well that one can be a regular stretch that one does before a normal workout, but the “weights” consists of lifting heavy logs while running and swimming, climbing high walls, cliff-hanging, and most of the time carrying one of your teammates because they are too weak to continue and all this while being all covered in mud from head to toe. I will admit that I found the training extremely challenging, but only because I was a little out of shape and I had a thing of being underwater for more than 10 seconds, and being in closed and small spaces, but despise these qualms, would I do it again? In a heartbeat.

Mud Toggler And Drilling Software

This race is considered the toughest event on the planet, but all those challenges can be overcome with the appropriate training and in the end even if you don’t win the race, you fill fulfilled when you see all those hundreds of people working together to reach their goal. The drilling of a well is undoubtedly the most recognizable process of the oil and gas industry, but while the purpose of a drilling rig is quite simple, the process, itself, is anything but. Many problems can arise when the drilling process begins. Some of these problems are:

Pipe sticking
Hole deviation
Lost circulation
Pipe failures
Borehole instability
Mud contamination
Formation damage
Hole cleaning

These are just a few of the many other problems we can encounter while performing a drilling operation.

How can we deal with these challenges before they turn to major problems? Well, just like a person that enters the Tough Mudder has to train hard in advance to be prepared for the race, a drilling engineer must prepare himself beforehand so that when he faces the challenges he’ll be able to make a smart move to avoid having bigger problems.

BigCube of Pegasus Vertex

Pegasus Vertex, Inc. offers a variety of software that are the latest in technical advances and they are excellent tools for both onshore and offshore operations, in other words PVI can “train” any drilling engineer to be able to anticipate and therefore prevent any problem that can occur during the drilling process, so they can be prepared to make one of the toughest events on the planet (drilling operations) be a successful one.