The overarching objective of this project is to develop the next generation of well cement with remarkable multifunctional, high-performance characteristics including mechanical, thermal, rheological, and durability properties to prevent offshore spill and leakage at extremely high temperatures, high pressure (HTHP) and corrosive conditions.
C-Crete Technologies LLC
Along with tremendous economic incentives involved in extracting energy from such unconventional and deepwater oil and gas resources, significant challenges exist in developing new technologies to minimize material failure (and thus prevent leak/spill) while maximizing safety and environmental protection. In this regard, well cementing and well integrity are key problems facing offshore deepwater resources. The problem is exacerbated when deepening the wells due to the hostile deepwater environments (e.g., HTHP sour environments). Gas/liquid leakage and loss of casing support could require costly (if at all possible) remedial jobs. Migration of gas or other pollutants through an inadequately cemented annulus to water aquifers or the surface poses an environmental and safety threat as well. In some cases, this could lead to loss of life and disastrous offshore incidents such as 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which entailed huge negative environmental, economic, and societal impacts.
Thus, well cementing is a very critical process in extracting energy from oil and gas reservoirs. The main objectives are to restrict the movement of fluids between formations at different levels and to support and protect the casing. It is crucial that the cement be able to remove the threat of any leakage at sustained pressure over years, temperature fluctuations, and chemical attacks, especially at HTHP conditions. However, HTHP well cement products that are currently in use are not sufficient and/or lack the effectiveness mandated by extreme conditions. This is the main motivation behind this project.
By preventing offshore spill and leakage at extreme conditions, this project increases cost-efficiency and production, mitigates risk over the productive life of the wells, and improves environmental and worker safety. This product will provide a new tool in next-generation well cementing technologies and multifunctional materials for offshore cementing and other applications, such as unconventional resources, geothermal wells, and thermal recovery wells.
A proof-of-concept hexagonal boron-nitride/class H well cement composite has been developed and tuned to offer optimum slurry formulation and rheological properties, and the best hybrid nanostructure. The well cement prototype is cost-effective, has no toxicity, and integrates with existing equipment and facilities. Currently, the corrosion resistance and gas leakage of this well cement composite at high temperatures are being explored, along with API testing, and scaling-up the technology components in the future.