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Prior to performing a cementing operation in the Gulf of Mexico, a customer started taking losses while drilling and running 7-in. production casing. The operator had drilled through a salt formation and weak sand, which resulted in pack off, mud losses, and wellbore erosion. After running loss circulation material (LCM) and establishing returns, they determined that 473 bbl of synthetic based mud was lost while drilling through the salt zone, and another 119 bbl was lost while running the casing. After encountering a similar situation on an offset well, the operator had to perform a remediation block squeeze.

In order to find a better, more-efficient solution for this well, the operator reached out to Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE), to ensure isolation of the objective hydrocarbon sand zone and restore lost production. BHGE recommended the Sealbond™ Ultra spacer system for this project, which would not only help with mud removal, but also help cure the losses. Based on its ultra-low invasion fluid technology, the SealBond system’s unmatched sealing capability creates a film barrier across formation walls via differential pressure, minimizing fluid leak-off to formation. The SealBond Ultra system also reduces slurry fallback after placement, prevents induced losses, and eliminates the need for costly remedial cement jobs. And, in wells with tight fracture gradient, the SealBond system enables the use of standard slurry designs and densities where highly-extended or special lightweight slurries were previously required— eliminating the need to compromise thickening times and/or compressive strength. It is equally effective in fragile, unconsolidated, and fractured formations.

Download the PDF to read the full case study.

Challenges & Results
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Challenges

  • Constructing a well through salt/H2S intervals
  • Maintaining well control in a tight pore-pressure/fracture gradient window
  • Designing an efficient salt and spacer system while maintaining frictional hierarchy

Results

  • Saved approximately $1.7 million USD and three days of rig time by eliminating the need for remedial cementing
  • Achieved desired top of cement, effectively isolating hydrocarbon bearing sands
  • Restored circulation after taking loss