Technical Paper: Continuous Improvement and Oversight for Deepwater Cement Programs

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 158339
Presentation Date: 2012
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The deepwater drilling industry continues to require increased oversight of cementing programs and cement operations. A deepwater cementing technical specialist team was created to provide reviews and oversight of deepwater cement programs worldwide. Deepwater cementing specialists were selected from within the organization and the initiative was introduced to operations in the first quarter of 2011. The team provides an additional level of peer review of all deepwater cementing programs. The purpose of the peer review is to support the engineer's program design and to verify that the program is in compliance with internal standards, client standards, and applicable regulatory requirements. If required, the team will act as a liaison for the operations personnel and additional experts on critical jobs. The reviews are documented so that all communication can easily be tracked.

The main objective of the team is to provide a proactive approach to identify risks early in the design phase and elevate the risks to the appropriate levels of management so that appropriate actions can be taken. The goal is to review all deepwater cement programs before submitting the final procedures for operations.

Sharing worldwide knowledge and adding to the worldwide knowledge base is necessary as new challenges are faced while drilling and cementing offshore wells in deep and ultradeep waters. Risks and potential hazards may be recognized long before the job execution—giving sufficient time to change, improve, and enhance the cementing design. Several examples are given for job designs that have been improved prior to execution. As a result of this initiative, a continuous improvement of job procedures is being observed worldwide, resulting in designs with a higher likelihood of achieving the job objectives, and avoiding unnecessary, costly remedial work.

Background and Introduction

The objective of primary cement jobs is to provide zonal isolation behind the casing, and to act as structural support for casing installed in a well. The cement installed between the formation and the casing can be considered as a well barrier element. There have been numerous articles and text books written about cementing practices and industry best practices for installing cement, which include many elements.

There have been several standards written by the industry regarding well cementing. Table 1 contains a list of recommended practices, specifications and, standards, and as well as technical reports, their titles, and a synopsis of each. All of the information pertains to practices related to cementing wells, testing cements, and evaluating the cement sheath.

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