Improved cementing key for offshore wells

Offshore operators got an earful Tuesday about the importance of improving cement placement in an undersea well to prevent oil and gas from breaking the seal.

Joe Shine of oil field services firm Baker Hughes discussed at the Offshore Technology Conference in Houston methods drillers can use to account for lost circulation in wells.

“We want to make sure you are asking the right questions, especially when working in challenging environments,” Shine told attendees to a briefing on well completion technology.

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Shine said operators need to make sure they have a tight seal before declaring that a cement job has been successful. Various tests and equipment can be used to ensure that.

Other topics discussed at the session included combining contemporary and tested technologies in deepwater drilling and the use of isolation valves as a barrier for temporary well suspension.

There also was discussion about how to save costs and improve reliability in drilling a subsea well.

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Veteran newsman currently covering energy for The Houston Chronicle. Spent 12 years at The Associated Press covering energy, airlines, general business news, legal affairs, politics and state and federal government issues. Won or shared numerous awards and award nominations for coverage of the Gulf oil spill, Delta Air Lines, the Atlanta courthouse shootings and the murders of two Dartmouth College professors. Prior to AP, worked at two daily newspapers in the Boston area.