Cementing in Prudhoe Bay


A while back I posted this photograph of an old, giant Arco production tree in Prudhoe Bay in Alaska, circ. 1972.


I commented on the tree, the casing configurations of each section on the tree and made some remark about wishing I knew more about cementing in permafrost, the need for getting full returns from the casing shoe back to surface and how cement slurries are designed to set up, or reach some level of compressive strength in ice before freezing solid.



So not too many days later this, below, arrives in the mail from a PE in Denver, a really smart fella and a long time reader of the blog.

Its an inch thick and loaded with goodies regarding surface casing requirements in various fields long the North Slope of Alaska, shoe tracks, DV tools, permafrost temperatures, thawing and re-freezing, top offs, remedial squeezes, shoe broaches, how much the slurry needs to be accelerated, and with what, to get it to set in ice, the difference in "Artic" cement and just regular 'ol API Class G neat, etc. etc.


It has tables in it for every well drilled up there and whether returns were achieved and if not what the AOGCC required for remediation and man... it is all basically way cooler than snot!


I am not now an expert, but by Golly, nobody can call me a dumb ass roughneck from Flatonia for too much longer!! If anybody needs to set surface casing in permafrost in Reeves County, call me.


Fed-Ex just picked this manual up, headed back to Denver, along with a brand new copy of my favorite book on the history of oil discovery in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Thank you, Chuck!


About the time I think most of mankind is a lost cause these days I am reminded that there are a lot of really good people in my industry. Like much of life it won't be the wells I drilled, the stuff I have that matters in the end, it will be the people in my industry that I remember the most.