Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
Reverse-Circulation Primary Cementing (RCPC)
CSI Technologies, LLC (Houston, Texas)
University of Houston
The objectives of this proposed project are to assess the viability of performing Reverse-Circulation Primary Cementing (RCPC) to reduce circulation pressure requirements for deepwater wells, to determine required technology to apply RCPC for deepwater wells, and to present development strategies for required technologies. If RCPC appears to be feasible for deepwater applications, the concept will be expanded into operational plans to perform deepwater RCPC to illustrate benefits derived from successful implementation.
Phase I of the project will begin with the formation of a project steering team comprised of interested operators from RPSEA membership. This team will act as a project guide, sounding board, information resource, and technical evaluator throughout the project. Next, assessment of RCPC state of the art will be conducted through literature review and industry surveys. Based on this information, the project team will determine critical parameters for design, placement, and control of deepwater RCPC, and identify technology gaps. Critical parameters will be assessed through numerical modeling of the placement process, laboratory evaluation of cementing materials performance under RCPC placement conditions, and concept design of flow controls for the placement technique. Phase II of the project entails using Phase I results to develop realistic operational plans for RCPC considering current state-of-the-art along with best potential solutions to fill technology gaps. This conceptual plan, including equipment, design software, materials, and placement tools will be developed using realistic design conditions vetted by the advisory team. If the concept is deemed feasible, specific operational plans and contingencies will be developed as the final steps of the project.
The proposed project will deliver an assessment of available technology and technical deficits for the process, propose a conceptual operational procedure that can be used to evaluate RCPC viability, and propose contingency plans for issues that might arise. The deliverables anticipated from this project are expected to result in safer, more competent cementing of deepwater wells. This improvement creates a more stable production environment for a deepwater well with lessened potential negative environmental impact as well as lessened potential for catastrophic failure of the well seals. The benefits translate to industry impact of lowered operational risk for deepwater reservoirs which in turn drives more deepwater wells and more U. S. hydrocarbon production from these high-performance assets.
Principal Investigator: Jeff Watters
DOE Share - $881,075
Recipient Share - $268,000
Project Duration: 2 years