Using temperature increase to accelerate the setting of cement in oil-well conductor cementing options
DeltaTek Global, advanced downhole technology specialists, identified an opportunity to enhance their patented QuikCure cementing process by developing a simulation tool, SimCure, to model the heat transfer that occurs during the QuikCure process. DeltaTek approached OGIC for support to develop the modelling package, recognising the need for University capability to deliver SimCure and were partnered with The School of Engineering at The University of Aberdeen.
Dr Amin Sharifi and the University of Aberdeen team worked to adjust and execute the model to capture the physics of the problem, to analyse and calculate an accurate thermal model of the QuikCure process. Then the team developed a configurable modelling tool, SimCure, to optimise and predict the performance of the QuikCure cementing process.
During the QuikCure process, hot water is circulated from the drilling rig to the bottom of the conductor casing and then circulated back up towards the sea floor. During this hot water circulation, heat is transferred through the casing to the cement. The increased temperature expedites the rate of cement hydration, reducing the waiting on cement setting time.
The benefits for industry are economic and environmental, both of which were quantified by impact assessments delivered by the University of Aberdeen team. The SimCure simulation results were compared with field data from two wells and showed that SimCure accurately represents the QuikCure cementing process.
An economic assessment of a recent subsea well campaign in the North Sea shows a net benefit to the operator of over £500,000 for the campaign. An environmental impact assessment indicated that the CO2 emissions of the project were reduced by 168 tonnes. The SimCure simulation tool can be used to design and optimise the QuikCure cementing process to maximise the efficiency to clients for future deployments.
On completion of the project, a final version of the SimCure simulation tool was delivered to DeltaTek Global, with a comprehensive user manual.
“We used our expertise in modelling flow and heat transfer in pipes and wellbores along with cementing operations, to develop a new model by which we investigated the impact of heat transfer on wait-on-cement time during a hot water circulation process. This academic-industry collaboration highlighted the impact of science and research on solving potential problems in the oil and gas industry to minimise costs and increase the efficiency of the operations.”
Amin Sharifi, Lecturer and Principal Investigator, University of Aberdeen
“Echoing the sentiments of the University of Aberdeen, we’re delighted to have collaborated with a great academic institution. Thanks to the University’s best minds in the School of Engineering, they have developed and optimised the algorithm that not only supports, but proves and demonstrates, the efficiencies and time saving benefits of our QuikCure technology.”
Steve Bruce, Chairman and Chief Technology Officer, DeltaTek Global