Beyond Carbon Steel: Detecting Wellbore Shape and Cavities, and Cement Imperfections in Cased Wells
The non-corrosive, electrically resistive fiberglass casing materials may improve the economics of oil and gas field projects. At moderate temperatures (<120 °C), fiberglass casing is superior to carbon steel casing in applications that involve wet CO2 injection and/or production, such as carbon capture and storage, and CO2-based enhanced oil recovery (EOR) methods. Without a perfect protective cement shell, carbon steel casing in contact with a concentrated formation brine corrodes and the
... orrodes and the fiberglass casing is superior again. Fiberglass casing enables electromagnetic logging for exploration and reservoir monitoring, but it requires the development of new logging methods. Here we present a technique for the detection of integrity of magnetic cement behind resistive fiberglass casing. We demonstrate that an optimized induction logging tool can detect small changes in the magnetic permeability of cement through a non-conductive casing in a vertical (or horizontal) well. We determine both the integrity and solidification state of the cement-filled annulus behind the casing. Changes in magnetic permeability influence mostly the real part of the vertical component of the magnetic field. The signal amplitude is more sensitive to a change in the magnetic properties of the cement, rather than the signal phase. Our simulations showed that optimum separation between the transmitter and receiver coils ranged from 0.25 to 0.6 m, and the most suitable magnetic field frequencies varied from 0.1 to 10 kHz. A high-frequency induction probe operating at 200 MHz can measure the degree of solidification of cement. The proposed method can detect borehole cracks filled with cement, incomplete lift of cement, casing eccentricity, and other borehole inhomogeneities.