Comparative experimental evaluation of drilling fluid contamination on shear bond strength at wellbore cement interfaces

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Wellbore cement has been used to provide well integrity through zonal isolation in oil and gas wells as well as geothermal wells. Failures of wellbore cement result from either or both: inadequate cleaning of the wellbore and inappropriate cement slurry design for a given field/operational application. Inadequate cementing can result in creation of fractures and microannuli, through which produced fluids can migrate to the surface, leading to environmental and economic issues such as sustained casing pressure, contamination of fresh water aquifers and, in some cases, well blowout. To achieve proper cementing, the drilling fluid should be completely displaced by the cement slurry, providing clean interfaces for effective bond. This is, however, hard to achieve in practice, which results in contaminated cement mixture and poor bonds at interfaces. This paper reports findings from the experimental investigation of the impact of drilling fluid contamination on the shear bond strength at the cement-formation and the cement-casing interfaces by testing different levels of contamination as well as contaminations of different nature (physical vs. chemical). Shear bond test and material characterization techniques were used to quantify the effect of drilling fluid contamination on the shear bond strength. The results show that drilling fluid contamination is detrimental to both cement-formation and cement-casing shear bond strength.

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World Journal of Engineering

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