Bentonite Testing: Lab Trials

Elgohary, Ahmed
Williams, Kendra
Quance, Tracy
Zhang, Yifan
The goal of our group is testing three bentonite plugs in various saline solutions to determine the effect of salinity and heat on plug strength. Previously, only cement has been used to plug wells. Now technology exists to use bentonite to plug wells, as an alternative method to cementation. Most states' regulations don't allow wells to only be plugged with bentonite, due the lack of research. The objective of this project is to test hydration properties of bentonite under different kinds of conditions and obtain results to prove that bentonite plugs are effective for plugging and abandoning oil and gas wells. The results found by the group have shown that the plugs maintained their integrity over a period of 12 months. With the addition of heat, there is an increase of plug strength followed by a steady decline in strength as more heat is added. Testing will continue by measuring heat effects on all of the test subjects. New plugs will also be made and tested. These new plugs will be in a salinity of 20,000 ppm with and without the heating apparatus. These results will then be compared back to that of all prior work done.
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