Annular pressure reduction during cementing is a major factor causing annular gas flow. It has been widely accepted and proven experimentally that the pressure reduction phenomenon results from the shear stress opposing downward motion of slurry undergoing volume reduction. The models that have been proposed to describe this process are based on the gel strength and shear stress developments in time and ignore system compressibility. They explain the pressure reduction process observed in the lab where compressibility of the system is very small. However, the models cannot explain the pressure reduction patterns observed on the field where compressibility is significant and the time-dependent effects of cement slurry volume loss significantly contributes to the process. The paper presents a mathematical model combining the effects of gel strength, volume reduction, and compressibility of cement slurry to describe pressure loss in the annular cement column. Results from the model, shown in the paper, compare very well with the data from the laboratory and field tests. Also, the simulated results explain discrepancies between the pressure loss patterns observed in the lab and field tests.

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