Type 5W™ Cementing Plugs Help Eliminate $90,000 Casing Shoe Squeezes

Operator's Challenge

A Gulf of Mexico operator got poor results when testing casing shoes on several rigs. In most cases, the operator found soft, wet shoe joints. After investigating, the operator found that wiper plugs from different companies have different diaphragm burst ratings. The operator also found that some companies followed no quality control measures in manufacturing wiper plugs. Plugs were being exposed to the sun and harsh weather conditions, leading to deteriorated and cracked rubber. Burst ratings for the plugs the operator was using ranged from 150 to 250 psi. In some cases where heavyweight pipe was used, the diaphragms burst prematurely and did not wipe the casing completely to the float shoe. In these instances, the bottom plug were left somewhere up the casing until the top plug arrived and pushed it down. Then, the remainder of the casing was wiped, and the mud from the walls accumulated in the shoe joint or around the casing shoe area.

Halliburton's Solution

Halliburton recommended Type 5W™ cementing plugs. These plugs are rated at 350 psi with a 50 psi variance, one of the highest burst ratings in the industry. Halliburton plugs are kept in black bags for protection from the sun. Also, the age and condition of Halliburton plugs are closely monitored.

Economic Value Created

On jobs where the operator used Halliburton plugs, wet shoes are not found. Before switching to Halliburton plugs, the operator squeezed at least five casing shoes because of prematurely ruptured plugs. These squeeze jobs cost about $90,000 each, totaling $450,000. The operator now uses Halliburton plugs, regardless of the service company doing the cementing.