The application of Nano-silica gel in sealing well micro-annuli and cement channeling
The possibility for hydrocarbon fluids to migrate through debonded micro-annuli wells is a major concern in the petroleum industry. With effective permeability of 0.1-1.0 mD, the existence of channels in a cement annulus with apertures of 10-300 micrometer constitutes a major threat. Squeeze cement is typically difficult to repair channels-leakage with small apertures; hence, a low-viscosity sealer that can be inserted into these channels while producing a long-term resilient seal is sought. A novel application using nano-silica sealants could be the key to seal these channels. In the construction and sealing of hydrocarbon wells, cementing is a critical phase. Cement is prone to cracking during the life cycle of a well because of the changes in downhole conditions. The usage of micro-sized cross-linked nano-silica gel as a sealant material to minimize damaged cement sheaths is investigated in this study. Fluid leakage through channels in the cement was investigated using an experimental system. With a diameter of 0.05 inches, the impact of the cement channel size was explored. The sealing efficiency increased from 86 percent to 95 percent when the nano-silica concentration of the sealing gel increased from 13 percent to 25 percent. This demonstrates that the concentration of nano-silica in the sealing gel affects the gel's ability to seal against fluid flow. This research proposes a new way for improving cement zonal isolation and thereby lowering the impact of cement failure in the oil and gas industry.
- Pub Date:
- January 2023
- Physics - Fluid Dynamics;
- Electrical Engineering and Systems Science - Systems and Control
- 10 pages