Design Procedure for Cementing Intercalated Salt Zones

Topics: Casing/cementing/zonal isolation
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Wells often require being drilled through and cemented across salt formations. In many parts of the world, salt sections consist of multiple salt types. This analysis shows that intercalated salts subject cement sheaths to a series of tensile and compressive loads whose magnitude depends on the size and relative position of different salts. The salt/salt-interface effects dominate the general tenet of increasing creep rate with increasing depth. This work demonstrates cement design that includes evaluating cement-sheath mechanical integrity in intercalated salts.


Drilling and cementing challenges associated with salt formations are well-known. One of the more significant of these is the plastic deformation of salt attributed to the existence of deviatoric (shear) stress. This deformation is known as creep.

To determine the role of creep in the mechanical integrity of a cement sheath, it is necessary to analyze the thermostructural model of the well-construction process using the creep constitutive relationship. The outcome of the analysis is the stresses experienced by the cement sheath. It is possible to quantify the risk posed by salt creep and other operational loads to the cement-sheath integrity by comparing these stresses to the failure properties of the cement. To provide an accurate quantification of the risk, it is necessary to verify the creep constitutive relationship with data from experimental creep tests.

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper OTC 26310, “Design Procedure for Cementing Intercalated Salt Zones,” by S.R.K. Jandhyala, SPE, and K. Ravi, SPE, Halliburton, and J. Anjos, Petrobras, prepared for the 2015 Offshore Technology Conference Brasil, Rio de Janeiro, 27–29 October. The paper has not been peer reviewed. Copyright 2015 Offshore Technology Conference. Reproduced by permission.
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Design Procedure for Cementing Intercalated Salt Zones

01 May 2016

Volume: 68 | Issue: 5