Cements & cementing An old technique with a future ?

Tuesday, 09 December 2008 Read 8966 times
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Cements and Cementing: An old Technique with a Future?                      

Bernard Piot



The history of well cementing, which is almost as old as well drilling is quickly reviewed. The main steps in development of well cementing technology are described, with emphasis on mixing, additives, placement and evaluation (logging). In spite of all these developments, cementing a well is not always successful.

Alternative isolation techniques have been introduced for either complementing or even suppressing the need for well cementing. These techniques reduce the overall well costs in allowing to drill much longer sections without having to run casing, and therefore slimmer wells that can reach the target reservoir with the intended size can be designed.

Additional performance requirements for the isolation material have evolved recently from the development of new fields as well as from the recompletion of brown fields and the abandonment of depleted wells. The industry answered by inventing new cementing materials. For instance, in the last 10 years, the concept of concrete has been adapted to the oilfield, allowing to maintain the same performance for the slurry and for the set cement, irrespective of its density ranging from 0.9 to 2.8 SG. Similarly, the durability of the isolation is becoming a growing concern. To this effect, cement systems with tailored mechanical properties have been developed and are now routinely implemented for long-term isolation. Such cements can be made sufficiently flexible to follow without failing the deformation imparted by the expected changes in pressure and/or temperature in the casing during the life of the well. Therefore well cementing consists not only of pumping plain Portland cement.

Now it is also a toolbox to design fit-for-purpose cementing solutions. Such tailored cements range from basic to highly technical ones to fit almost any well requirement. The versatility and adaptability of these cement based solutions to fit well “cementing” needs make it a key element in today’s well architecture, as wells can be designed differently taking into consideration the properties of these new cementing materials. More tools in the toolbox are coming to answer and adapt to tomorrow’s well requirements, making this 100+ years old cement a material of the future.



Bernard Piot is a Technical Advisor and cementing project manager in the Schlumberger Riboud Product Center in Clamart, France. He holds an engineering degree in Chemistry from Ecole Européenne de Chimie Polymères et Matériaux de Strasbourg, France, 1973. He occupied various field engineer positions with Schlumberger Well Services in Algeria, Libya and Argentina before heading the company’s cementing engineering group located in Saint-Etienne, France from 1979 to 1985. After heading a matrix acidizing engineering group and supporting software development applications, he was in charge of Schlumberger cementing business development in Africa, then in Europe, Africa and CIS countries. Since 2003, he is a project manager at the engineering center in Clamart, and works on short term engineering projects aiming at extending the scope and widening the applications of current commercial well cementing technology.

He has published more than 30 papers and holds 14 patents.

He is a member of SPE (since 1977), of ACS (American Chemical Society) and of ACI (American Concrete Institue). 

Congress Center of RF CCI. Start at 7 p.m.:

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