Plug Setting

DeepAssurance™ Cementing Solution SuiteAt some point in the life of the well, even if only at the end of life, a chemical (cement or resin) plug will be used.  The particular challenge of setting a chemical plug is that a relatively small volume of cement or resin is placed in a wellbore already containing a large volume of fluid.  Considerations for achieving a successful plug operation include (but are not limited to): temperature, stability of the well architecture, stability of the formation, displacement of existing fluid, avoiding contamination of the chemical material, compatibility with existing fluids, a reasonably short wait-on-set time, achieving sufficient mechanical and chemical strength and long-term resiliency. 

Cementing plugs are used for:

  • Securing formation fluids in the originating strata and sealing off selected intervals of
    • A depleted well;
    • An exploration well;
    • A dry hole;
    • To meet regulatory specifications for plug-to-abandon.
  • Stabilizing the whipstock tool or simply setting a kick-off plug used to guide a change of direction for the drill bit
    • Toward an otherwise inaccessible target;
    • For shoreline drilling;
    • Relief-well drilling;
    • Sidetracking;
    • Drilling under salt domes;
    • Enhanced reservoir contact.
  • Isolation of a specific zone that presents a concern such as
    • A water zone
    • A zone prone to lost circulation such as a depleted zone or an unconsolidated formation strata
  • Formation testing when the reservoir zone is significantly above the bottom of the well and it is not practical or possible to set a bridge plug or a sidewall anchor in the open-hole section below (if it is a long open hole section).

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Summary Rigless Micro-channel Remedation Using WellLock Resin Sep 2014
Summary Permanent Plug Back - Setting a Plug through the BHA - New Zealand Offshore Aug 2014
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Solutions for Plug Setting

Chemical Plugs

BridgeMaker™ LCM Spacer Fluid
FlexPlug® Lost Circulation Service
LockCem™ and LockSeal™ Cement Systems
SentinelCem™ Cement
STEELSEAL® Lost Circulation Material
Thermatek® Fluids
WellLock® Resin

Mechanical Barriers

EZ Drill® SVB Squeeze Packer
Plug Setting Aids
Swellpacker® Zonal Isolation System

Plug Setting Design and Planning
iCem® Service

Plug Setting Challenges

Cement Plug-Setting  Challenges If Unaddressed
Efficiently achieve all regulatory barrier requirements (such as plug locations throughout the wellbore, effective coverage area of plugs, plug integrity, etc.) for plug-to-abandon while maintaining economical material and operational costs.

Additional rig time and costs, increased material costs; potential safety and environmental risks.

Successfully isolating formation fluids to their original stratum eliminating crossflow and/or preventing escape to the surface.  This may include successfully sealing the flow paths through gravel packs and perforations.

Additional operational costs until all conduits are sealed; potential loss of production; potential safety and environmental risks; possible fines and penalty fees.

Avoid plug material becoming contaminated from existing wellbore / formation fluids.

Loss of mechanical integrity resulting in leaks; additional rig and material costs; potential safety and environmental risks.

Successfully direct drill string on the intended or alternate trajectory.

Non-productive time. 

Plug placement. 

Plug movement and/or not achieving plug set in the planned location.

Related Information

Related Information

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