One of the challenges confronting oil and gas operatorsespecially those working in areas with low fracture gradients or weak formations such as the Delaware, Anadarko and Permian Basins—is identifying a reliable slurry that will provide the compressive strength necessary to achieve zonal isolation. Weaker and less stable formations require lower-density cement slurries; however, using such slurries is very costly.

Conventional approaches rely on Hollow Glass Spheres (HGS) or foam to achieve the lower density and appropriate compressive strength. These conventional methods require operators to add additional pieces of heavy equipment on-site to batch mix, increasing costs and carbon footprint.

In response to this issue plaguing operators, Nine Energy Service developed a new medium-density slurry, CPT Trident, which can achieve the compressive strength needed for zonal isolation without the added costs that are typical of conventional approaches. CPT Trident, a proprietary blend of cementitious materials, is a 10 to 10.8 pound per gallon (lb/gal) slurry that eliminates HGS, foam and batch-mixing onsite.

CPT Trident was put to the test in New Mexico’s Delaware Basin, where weak formations are prevalent. New Mexico state law requires operators to circulate cement to surface on certain sections of the well which depends on a lower density slurry to maintain cement returns and achieve designed cement tops without HGS.

CPT Trident slurry reduces costs and need for bond logs

Initial tests and the first 70 jobs in the basin using CPT Trident showed the blend can reach 300 psi within 24 hours, which makes it ideal for circumstances where a high-performance slurry isn’t required but lower density and moderate compressive strength must be achieved. Compared to a traditional HGS slurry, CPT Trident provides operators an average 60 percent savings, as it eliminates the need for additional equipment and additional time onsite, and reduces carbon emissions. This lowers operational costs by tens of thousands of dollars and significantly improves operators’ profits as bulk truck and blender service fees, mileage, fuel and labor costs are cut.

In addition to drastically reducing operational costs, CPT Trident also reduces the need for bond logs by offering a higher probability of cement being circulated to the surface. Bond logs are an expense that can reach upward of $15,000, not including downtime onsite, which can cost operators an estimated $3,000 an hour.

Nine’s CPT Trident is the only medium-density slurry available on the market today that offers this type of compressive strength without using HGS, giving operators the chance to save tens of thousands of dollars.

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