Before we get into the topic of centralizers, I can probably say that I have only personally met and worked with one true casing hardware expert in my 20-year long career. That was 14 or 16 years ago. In those days in Venezuela, it was common for this prominent casing hardware manufacturer to bring experts to assist cementing services companies. These people were responsible for supplying these tools as part of their big well-cementing contracts.
If we think about it, cementing is the only thing that some of us do, and casing centralizers are an inherent part of it. So, How come, I can say that I have only met ONE true expert in casing hardware? Well, you are correct I have met and worked with uncountable casing hardware sales representatives… But, I think it should be clear to all that a sales representative more than likely is not an expert, and sometimes not even an engineer. Don’t get me wrong, I have worked with some pretty good casing hardware and centralizer salespeople with excellent knowledge of their catalogue, but in essence, not experts in the engineering aspects of these tools.
Thanks to my subscription to World oil, I came across this article some time ago, and it caught my attention. Initially, not because of the topic, but because it mentioned the most significant truth there is: “The only thing constant is change” … Then I needed to know, what this has to do with centralization and finally, with cementing.
BTW. I have to say what I like about the above phrase, “The only thing constant is change“. Well, I like this phrase because sometimes people in our industry blindly follow, let’s say, a ‘best practice’ ignoring the fact that ‘best practices’ are not permanent, they have to be revised, they have to be updated. If you are serious about anything in this industry, the only best practice you need is the practice to ‘think’ and have the capacity to learn and change. You have to be adaptable to the constantly changing conditions. This is what engineers do; they are ready to change and to respond to changes.
Returning to the topic, the World Oil article describes a very nice story about improved performance, from the birth of the ‘need’ to the ‘root cause’ identification, development of the solution and dissemination of the practice. This story serves as an example of what is required to achieve success in cementing. We need to be aware of the required ‘change’ and be ready to find solutions.
This article for us as cementing and drilling engineers it is also an excellent example that centralization is not just ‘how many centralizers we use,’ it should as well be taking engineered decisions about the type of centralizers we use.
Please let me know if you find this article useful or if you have any comment
Taken from world oil – November 2014 /// Vol 235 No. 11
“Well construction requirements are often demanding, and the application of new technologies to past engineering practices is proving successful in modernizing past stagnant designs, such as centralization.