Managed pressure cementing or MPC is a cementing solution that Pruitt has used on multiple occasions in problem formations for various U.S. operators. In this brief case study, we will discuss the challenges and solutions for cementing pipe in difficult circumstances.
What is managed pressure cementing?
‘Managed Pressure Cementing’ or ‘MPC’ is a cementing solution for narrow and ultra-narrow pressure windows that cannot be cemented using conventional methods. MPC is a variation of Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) technology and works on the same principles as MPD.
Situations where managed pressure cementing may be deployed are when cementing pipe in formations that have narrow/ultra-narrow pressure windows and challenges such as (a) severe loss of circulation, (b) low formation leak-off, (c) low formation strength, (d) highly faulted and fractured formations, (e) high-pressure fluid flows, (f) formation stability issues, etc. Following are examples of different operators used Pruitt Optimal MPD services to perform Managed Pressure Cementing.
On one such occurrence, an operator in the U.S. cemented several wells on a multi-well pad using MPC on their production openhole section. Managed Pressure Drilling (MPD) was used for drilling the openhole on both intermediate and production sections on 8 wells, while MPC was used on 5 of these wells (≤ 0.5 ppge pressure window).
In a separate case, another operator in the US had multiple wells with very high permeability and communication across multiple formation layers in the production hole. The objective was to stay within a 0.5 ppge window while cementing entire production hole section using multiple density cementing fluids.
In both of these cases, the Pruitt MPD system with single/dual choke(s) and Coriolis meter was used to manage the surface pressures and minimize losses and eliminate gains in such Managed Pressure Cementing operations. Pruitt performed MPC by using Constant Bottomhole Pressure (CBHP) MPD principles to minimize losses and avoid formation fluid gains, and to place cement at the desired depth(s).
Pruitt has successfully planned and executed multiple MPC projects. Several of these formations had very low fracture gradients, low formation leak-off limits, severe loss of circulation challenges, and/or were highly fractured and faulted. These wells were cemented with minimal losses by managing the Surface Backpressure (SBP) in static and dynamic conditions, similar to a Constant Bottomhole Pressure (CBHP) MPD operation, and thereby controlling the wellbore pressures throughout the cementing operation as fluids of different compositions, properties and densities were circulated at different rates.
If you are experiencing problems during pipe cementing operations or would like to learn more about Pruitt’s Managed Pressure Cementing (MPC) or Managed Pressure Drilling (MDP) solutions, contact us at our corporate headquarters in Fort Smith, Arkansas at (479) 646-1641 or contact us at one of our locations around the world. Save time and money with Pruitt’s affordable MPC and MPD solutions.