Cementing operations in deepwater exhibit many challenges worldwide due to shallow flows. Cement sheath integrity and durability play key roles in the oil and gas industry, particularly during drilling and completion stages. Cement sealability serves in maintaining the well integrity by preventing fluid migration to surface and adjacent formations. Failure of cement to seal the annulus can lead to serious dilemmas that may result in loss of well integrity.
Gas migration through cemented annulus has been a major issue in the oil and gas industry for decades. Anti-gas migration additives are usually mixed with the cement slurry to combat and prevent gas migration. In fact, these additives enhance and improve the cement sealability, bonding, and serve in preventing microannuli evolution. Cement sealability can be assessed and evaluated by their ability to seal and prevent any leakage through and around the cemented annulus. Few laboratory studies have been conducted to evaluate the sealability of oil well cement.
In this study, a setup was built to simulate the gas migration through and around the cement. A series of experiments were conducted on these setups to examine the cement sealability of neat Class H cement and also to evaluate the effect of anti-gas migration additives on the cement sealability. Different additives were used in this setup such as microsilica, fly ash, nanomaterials and latex.
Experiments conducted in this work revealed that the cement (without anti-gas migration additive) lack the ability to seal the annulus. Cement slurries prepared with latex improved the cement sealability and mitigated gas migration for a longer time compared to the other slurries. The cement slurry formulated with a commercial additive completely prevented gas migration and proved to be a gas tight. Also, it was found that slurries with short gas transit times have a decent potential to mitigate gas migration, and this depends on the additives used to prepare the cement slurry.