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PETROMAKS2-Stort program petroleum

New Cementitious Material for Oil Well Cementing Applications - SafeRock

Alternative title: Nytt sementliknende materiale for bruk i sementering av olje- og gassbrønner - SafeRock

Awarded: NOK 11.5 mill.

Project Number:

319014

Project Period:

2021 - 2024

Location:

In 2020, around 4.1 billion ton of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) was produced globally. The CO2 emission from the process is around 3 billion ton. OPC is the prime material used for zonal isolation in hydrocarbon, geothermal, carbon capture and storage (CCS) wells, and permanent plug and abandonment (P&A) of hydrocarbon wells. OPC is also extensively used in concrete applications. The material has its own advantages, but still there are some short- and long-term properties, i.e., chemical shrinkage, flexibility, and permeability and durability, that can be improved. Another issue is the low long-term integrity performance of Portland cement in CCS processes, as cement reacts with CO2 and is deteriorated. In addition, there are the well-known, significant environmental issues related to CO2 emission during manufacturing of cement. An alternative to OPC is geopolymers. Geopolymers are a type of inorganic polymers, which consist of minerals, also known as ?artificial rocks?. Geopolymer precursors are typically waste streams from mining industries and power plants. To produce geopolymers (GPs), the industrial wastes are ground and mixed with a hardener. The hardener is an alkaline silicate phase in liquid form. Production of GPs reduces the CO2 footprint compared to production of Portland cement by approximately 80%. In addition, GPs have been shown to possess some better short- and long-term properties compared to these properties of OPC. However, due to lack of key knowledge, the GPs have not been field tested yet. The lack of knowledge is finding the applicable range of particle sizes, having hardener to handle, controlling the geopolymerization reaction, lack of efficient superplasticizers to perform at downhole conditions, and how to qualify the performance of GPs in lab and field. So far, we have defined representative operational conditions for plugging of wells in the North sea, conducted several experiments, developed retarder to make the technology pumpable from 4-50?. In the next step, we are going to make the material pumpable at 60-70?.

Portland cement is the prime material used for zonal isolation in hydrocarbon, geothermal, carbon capture and storage wells, and permanent plug and abandonment of hydrocarbon wells. It is also extensively used in concrete applications. The material has its own advantages, still there are some short- and long-term properties, i.e. chemical shrinkage, flexibility, and permeability and durability, that can be improved. Moreover, the production of Portland cement leads to high CO2 emissions, making the search for materials with good properties yet lower environmental footprints very urgent. This project will examine geopolymers, which are interesting alternatives for Portland cement. Geopolymers are a type of inorganic polymers, consisting of minerals. They are also known as “artificial rocks”. Earlier findings have indicated promising behavior and applicability of these new cementitious materials. However, due to lack of knowledge, the geopolymers have not been field tested yet. This project will overcome this knowledge gap and investigate in detail the reaction mechanism, finding the applicable range of particle sizes, having hardener to handle, controlling the geopolymerization, displacing it downhole and qualifying the material in lab and field. In addition, mass production of geopolymers encounters some challenges such as finding sufficient quantity of geopolymeric precursors, and this will also be examined. The project will use a variety of scientific methods and address research challenges for the entire sequence from having good quality precursor materials to having a qualified geopolymer product with the needed properties for full-scale testing. The project will be conducted by a complementary research consortium from UiS, NORCE, Oklahoma University and University of British Columbia; in close collaboration with TOTAL, AkerBP and ConocoPhillips.

Activity:

PETROMAKS2-Stort program petroleum