Novel Smart Shape Memory Polymers for Rapid Mitigation of Lost Circulation in High-Temperature EGS Formations

Cesar Vivas, Abdelmjeed Mohamed, Musaab Magzoub, Saeed Salehi, Ramadan Ahmed, Guoqiang Li

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Geothermal drilling is highly affected by mud losses. This adverse event is the leading cause of non-productive time in geothermal well construction. Mud losses account for 20% of total drilling costs in geothermal drilling. If not adequately addressed, mud losses can lead to costly drilling problems such as stuck pipe, kicks, and well control events. Circulating lost circulation materials (LCMs) is the first step to cure mud losses. However, the highly fractured geothermal environment presents a challenge for LCM bridging and sealing action. Indeed, the success rate of curing lost circulation using LCM is around 25%. Besides, conventional fibrous and flaky LCMs exhibit thermal degradation at high temperatures, which affects their performance to tackle lost circulation events. Shape memory polymers (SMPs) are new programmable smart LCMs that can be activated by temperature. During programming, a combination of heat and load is applied to temporarily deform SMP. The material has a smaller volume once it is programmed, allowing it to circulate without plugging drilling assembly restrictions (such as measuring while drilling tools) or drill bit nozzles. The SMP is programmed to activate at the desired temperature. When the temperature is equal to or above the programing temperature, the SMP returns to its original shape. It is necessary to adjust the activation temperature to the formation temperature so that the SMP can return to its original size and shape inside the fractures for the purpose of curing mud losses. In this study, different experiments were performed to evaluate the sealing capabilities of SMP at high temperatures (above 300ºF). SMP performance at high temperatures is investigated experimentally through filtration, rheology, and flow loop studies. The low cost, increased flexibility, and easy programming of SMPs make them an ideal material for geothermal drilling. They can also withstand high temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUsing the Earth to Save the Earth - 2022 Geothermal Rising Conference
PublisherGeothermal Resources Council
Pages1570-1578
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781713871040
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes
Event2022 Geothermal Rising Conference: Using the Earth to Save the Earth, GRC 2022 - Reno, United States
Duration: Aug 28 2022Aug 31 2022

Publication series

NameTransactions - Geothermal Resources Council
Volume46
ISSN (Print)0193-5933

Conference

Conference2022 Geothermal Rising Conference: Using the Earth to Save the Earth, GRC 2022
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityReno
Period8/28/228/31/22

Keywords

  • High Temperature
  • Lost Circulation Material
  • Shape Memory Polymer
  • Wellbore Strengthening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Geophysics

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Novel Smart Shape Memory Polymers for Rapid Mitigation of Lost Circulation in High-Temperature EGS Formations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this