Research Papers: Petroleum Engineering

Development of an Advanced Finite Element Model and Parametric Study to Evaluate Cement Sheath Barrier

[+] Author and Article Information
Harshkumar Patel

Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering,
University of Oklahoma,
Norman, OK 73019-1003
e-mail: harsh@ou.edu

Saeed Salehi

Mewbourne School of Petroleum and Geological Engineering,
University of Oklahoma,
Norman, OK 73019-1003
e-mail: salehi@ou.edu

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Energy Resources Technology. Manuscript received January 24, 2019; final manuscript received March 6, 2019; published online March 27, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Hameed Metghalchi.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 141(9), 092902 (Mar 27, 2019) (8 pages) Paper No: JERT-19-1047; doi: 10.1115/1.4043137 History: Received January 24, 2019; Accepted March 10, 2019

Cement failure is known as one of the major causes for loss of well control events. Cement design is considered as one of the top technological knowledge gaps in high-pressure high-temperature oil and gas exploration. The primary objective of this paper is to perform a parametric analysis and identify critical parameters affecting the mechanical integrity of the set cement sheath. To achieve the objective, three-dimensional finite element models consisting of concentric casings and annular cement sheath were created. The finite element model was validated by analytical calculations. Performance of cement sheath was assessed by analyzing radial, hoop, and maximum shear stresses at different loading conditions. A parametric study was conducted by individually varying influencing factors such as cement material properties, sheath dimensions, and wellbore pressure loads. Values of all parameters were normalized and represented on the same plot against mechanical stresses. Such response curves can be used to estimate whether cement will structurally fail because of various operational loads or material aging. The plot can also be utilized to rank various factors in terms of influence on cement’s performance. Sensitivity response reveals that wellbore pressure, cement material properties, and annulus pressure are major parameters influencing mechanical stresses in neat class G cement. The order of importance depends on the type of stress. Results indicate interfacial bond failure and radial cracking to be the more likely modes of failure for class G cement. Cement response curves can help design engineers and regulators alike in quickly evaluating short-term or long-term fitness-for-service of cement sheath from the perspective of structural integrity. Industry standards and guidelines can be improved by adding performance curves for standard cement recipes.

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Fig. 1

Technological knowledge gaps for high-pressure high-temperature exploration (source of data: [7])

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Fig. 2

Major modes of mechanical failure in the cement sheath

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Fig. 3

Schematic of the FEA model: XY cross section (left) and top view (right)

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Fig. 4

Schematic of the liner-cement-casing system for analytical equations

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Fig. 5

Comparison of hoop and radial stress generated by FEA and calculated using an analytical equation

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Fig. 6

Sensitivity response curve for radial stress in neat class G cement

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Fig. 7

Sensitivity response curve for hoop stress in neat class G cement

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Fig. 8

Sensitivity response curve for axial stress in neat class G cement

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Fig. 9

Sensitivity response curve for maximum shear stress in neat class G cement

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Fig. 10

Extrapolating response curve of neat class G cement to predict stress in other cement samples



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