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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Water absorption and shrinkage behaviour of early-age cement in wellbore annulus

  • Author(s): Sasaki, T;
  • Soga, K;
  • Abuhaikal, M
  • et al.

Controlling cement shrinkage in a wellbore is important in maintaining its integrity. Although numerous laboratory experiments on the water absorption and shrinkage behaviour of oil well cement have been reported in the past, such behaviour in the wellbore annulus with consideration of pore water migration from the surrounding formation has seldom been examined. In this study, using a cement shrinkage model calibrated against available experimental data, a coupled hydromechanical finite element analysis of a cement-formation model is conducted to simulate the water migration, absorption and shrinkage behaviour of early-age cement placed in the annulus of a wellbore. The objectives of this study are (i) to identify the threshold permeability value of the formation above which there is no longer a bottleneck for pore water to flow into the cement and (ii) to estimate a reasonable range of cement bulk shrinkage volume in wellbore annulus geometry. Results show that the threshold permeability of the formation would be around 0.1 mD for three different types of cement examined in this study: Class G cement, rapid setting (RS) cement and Schlumberger optimized particle size distribution (OPSD) technology cement. The bulk shrinkage volume varies from 0.01% to 2.4% depending on cement type and formation permeability (1 mD to 0.1 μD). The proposed methodology facilitates the simulation of water migration/absorption and shrinkage behaviour of well cement in different formations.

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