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Research Papers: Petroleum Engineering

Investigations on Oilwell Cement Strength Response to Ultrasonic Measurements in the Presence of Additives1

[+] Author and Article Information
Niklas Romanowski

TU Clausthal Clausthal-Zellerfeld,
Niedersachsen 39678, Germany

Adonis Ichim, Catalin Teodoriu

The University of Oklahoma,
Norman, OK 73019

Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received July 22, 2017; final manuscript received January 3, 2018; published online March 20, 2018. Assoc. Editor: Ray (Zhenhua) Rui.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 140(7), 072904 (Mar 20, 2018) (7 pages) Paper No: JERT-17-1376; doi: 10.1115/1.4039316 History: Received July 22, 2017; Revised January 03, 2018

Well cements are an important aspect of wellbore integrity and recent investigations focus on describing the cement lifetime using, when possible, nondestructive tests like ultrasonic measurements. However, the original API and ASTM testing standards were based on destructive mechanical testing of cements, leading to the decision to investigate the backward and forward compatibility between ultrasonic measurements and mechanical testing, which makes the subject of this work. Ultrasonic cement measurement became a very popular method to assess the mechanical properties of the cement in a nondestructive manner. Since various measurement systems exist on the market, the development of an accurate reference data base that can be used to calibrate such measurements becomes very important. Two major systems have therefore been compared: the ultrasonic compressive strength, using the ultrasonic pulse velocity (UPV) principle, and the unconfined compressive strength (UCS), using the standard testing frame according to API and ASTM standards. The tests have been performed at different curing times, using both devices, on API Class G cements with bentonite and other additives. This paper presents the results of over 200 experiments that have displayed a different UPV response as a function of the additive content. Cement specific UPV versus UCS correlations were established. Thereby, a new level of accuracy was reached. Moreover, it was observed that after a given curing time, depending on the additive and its concentration, the UPV response is not as sensitive as the results yielded by the UCS method. The outcomes are an important step forward to improve and understand the wellbore integrity.

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Figures

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Fig. 1

Relationship between compressive strength S and pulse velocity Vp, Trtnik et al. [12]

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Fig. 2

Two-inch cube molds

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Fig. 3

Cement cube and measurement sites (L—length, W—width)

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Fig. 4

Crush test device (after Ref. [23])

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Fig. 5

UPV measurement device

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Fig. 6

Relationship between UCS and UPV measured for three cement recipes; error bar analysis still shows a clear differentiation between the three types of cement

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Fig. 7

Ultrasonic pulse velocity versus UCS response for low UCS values (first 3 days of curing)

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Fig. 8

Graphic comparison between this study and Trtnik et al. [12]

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Fig. 9

Error sensitivity graph for well cement samples of Rao et al. (top) [11] and this research study (bottom)

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