DOI: 10.2118/217446-pa ISSN:

Rheological Compatibility of a Hardening Spacer Fluid and Oil-Based Drilling Fluid

P. Khalili, M. Khalifeh, A. Saasen, M. Naccache
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology


In the placement process of the cement slurry, treatment fluids such as the spacer are pumped ahead of the cementitious slurry to minimize the contamination of the slurry by drilling fluid and ensure superior bonding to the casing and formation. The spacer discussed in this work can harden with time and act as a settable spacer. This characteristic can be an advantage for well integrity if some spacer pockets are left in the annulus. Rheological compatibility of different mixtures of the spacer with oil-based drilling fluid (OBDF) has been studied using a rheometer, and the resulting R-factor, which indicates the degree of compatibility between fluids, has been calculated. An increase in the flow curve was observed for the mixture of the fluids. However, based on the R-index, these fluids are compatible with displacement in the wellbore. A nonionic surfactant, typically used in conventional spacers acting as an emulsifier and a water-wetting agent, was used in the hardening spacer design. The results show that the addition of OBDF to hardening spacer containing surfactant can increase viscoelasticity. Hardening spacer containing surfactant can successfully reverse the OBDF emulsion. By performing a small-scale mud displacement experiment, we observed that surfactant can improve the wall cleaning efficiency of the spacer while having minimal impact on the bulk displacement.

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