Use of Finite-element Analysis to Improve Well Cementing in HTHP Conditions
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Oil companies need to evaluate the risk of annular fluid or gas migration if cement fails during the life of the well. Sustained casing pressure can lead to shutting in the wells to avoid health, safety, and environment (HSE) risks and government fines. To understand the long-term integrity of cement in high temperature and high pressure (HTHP) conditions and the mechanical properties that affect the ability of cements to seal fluids, this project used finite-element models (FEMs) to study the stress-causing phenomena. FEM analyses in ABAQUS version 6.11 were used to determine the potential of cement failure in oil wells. The model uses a 3D section of a well that can be used for different casing and formation types under different loading conditions. The model built in ABAQUS version 6.11 allows incorporating materials with nonlinear mechanical properties; it also uses FEM analysis to forecast fractures inside the cement under different loading scenarios like hydraulic fracture jobs or casing tests. The finite-element model included cases for cement cracking, cement debonding, and plastic deformation of the cement and rock that can generate loss of zonal isolation. Linear manner: set cements behave elastically until a failure criterion is reached, and then they can behave plastically. The FEM approach can reproduce stresses, strains, and volume changes in the material under different environmental HTHP conditions. Cemented wells have both tensile and compressive stresses that make some parts of the cement sheath experience fracture initiation, plastic deformation, or debonding. This dissertation provides a model that will help drillers design the set cement for long-term integrity in HPHT well conditions. The FEM predicts if the cement sheath can develop debonding, cracks or plastic deformations during the life of the well. The cement sheath needs to be designed for long-term zonal isolation to avoid interzonal communications, remedial costs and environmental problems related to cement seal. A CMS™-300 Automated Permeameter, a mechanical properties analyzer, HPHT cement consistometer, annular expansion molds, and tri-axial test equipment were used in this study to test cements for specific applications in three Colombian oil fields, including an oil field with in-situ combustion project.
Subjectlong-term integrity of cement HTHP conditions
zonal isolation in oil wells.
Arias, Henry (2013). Use of Finite-element Analysis to Improve Well Cementing in HTHP Conditions. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from