Using LCM through float equipment before cementing
In some cases, we can see losses while running the casing or circulating before cementing. These losses open up the alternative to pump a Loss Circulation Material (LCM) pill as a possible mitigation method. This will then lower the losses ahead of the cement job itself. However, based on my experiences with float LCM equipment, the following actions are recommended:
- Always implement the equipment manufacturers recommendation for LCM through float equipment. If no recommendation from the manufacturer is available, simply do not pump LCM.
- Previous use of LCM through float equipment has been shown to have limited to no success in reducing losses while cementing.
- If LCM pills are ultimately used:
- Define the maximum allowable loss rate before cementing the casing without the need to consider the use of an LCM pill. Various experiences have shown that the cement itself is likely to cure losses during primary cementing anyway. Where possible, consider increasing the cement excess instead of using LCM.
- The maximum concentration you should consider is 60 ppb of LCM.
- Do not use a coarse material. The recommendation is for it to be <1 mm (this is not a standard value. Applicable size should be reviewed with the equipment manufacturer)
- Consider the fact that LCM might worsen the situation e.g. if adding more solids to an annulus that might not be cuttings-free.
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