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The Effect of Casing Pipe Roughness on Cement Plug Integrity


In permanently abandoned wells, cement plugs serve as a well barrier element that is essential for providing long-term zonal isolation. Poorly plugged wells may provide leakage pathways that pose risks to the surrounding environment. It is well known that the final quality of set cement is influenced by the cement placement, but the influence of downhole pipe roughness to the hydraulic sealing of a cement plug has not been specifically investigated.
This paper presents an experimental study assessing the cement plug sealing of neat- and silica cement systems placed in pipes with three different levels of surface roughness. The experimental test uses a small-scale laboratory setup, consisting of a test cell filled with a cement plug, that can simulate realistic wellbore curing and operating conditions. By subjecting the cement plug to gas differential pressure, the setup detects any gas leak through the cement plug and measures the leak rate. In complement to the experimental study, a computational fluid dynamic (CFD) simulation is conducted to study fluid flow around the cement plug.
Experimental tests detect an instant gas leak in all samples at low differential pressure (


Article in business/trade/industry journal


  • Research Council of Norway (RCN) / 203525





  • Norwegian University of Science and Technology
  • SINTEF Industry / Applied Geoscience



Published in

SPE Drilling & Completion




Society of Petroleum Engineers

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