The Industry Challenge:
One of the emerging challenges in Canada’s heavy oil areas is that the primary cement in many legacy wells (i.e. abandoned, suspended and delineation wells) was not designed to withstand the high temperatures associated with thermal recovery operations.
This has become a problem as operators consider thermal‑enhanced oil recovery operations such as Cyclic Steam Stimulation (CSS) or Steam Assisted Gravity Drainage (SAGD) in reservoirs using these legacy wells.
Currently, operators are uncertain about how the non-thermal cement will perform if contacted by high temperatures. Steam will not be injected into these wells; however, the wells penetrate reservoirs where thermal operations are planned.
How We Help:
C-FER initiated a Joint Industry Project to evaluate the degradation of cement at high temperatures. Samples of various cement formulations were heated and aged; afterwards, strength and permeability were measured.
The risk associated with running thermal applications in these wells, or in nearby reservoirs, was evaluated.