Potential of Barite-Weighted Epoxy Systems to Plug Wells in the Gulf of Mexico
In the past ten years, there have been 194 hurricane-damaged platforms in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM), each with many wells that have not been permanently abandonment. This could lead to disastrous environmental consequence. The wells where their platforms were destroyed by hurricanes cannot be abandoned by conventional methods. Our research showed that barite-weighted epoxy material could be potentially used for well abandonment for those wells in GOM. Shear bond strength tests showed that between two candidates epoxy systems - the bisphenol A system and the bisphenol F system, the latter was less sensitive to barite weighting material. The shear bond strength of besphenol A system was deteriorated as barite increased, while bisphenol F system showed slightly increasing trend when barite was added. The minimum bond strength given by bisphenol A system appears around 68 wt% of barite, which is around 1290 psi. The maximum value of 2200 psi comes at 0 wt% of barite. And the bisphenol F system can stand a minimum of 1010 psi bond strength at 0 wt% of barite, and a maximum of 1160 psi of bond strength with 70 wt% of barite. Moreover, mixing with seawater did influence the shear bond strength between epoxy system and low-carbon steel. The influence that seawater has on the F system is less than that of the A system. The time that the epoxy system needs to fully develop the bond is far longer than curing time determined in our parallel research. Bond strength is lower in both seawater environment and at high temperature.
Gao, Zhuo (2011). Potential of Barite-Weighted Epoxy Systems to Plug Wells in the Gulf of Mexico. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from