June 29 2020

Improving Cementation of Geothermal Wells 

Geothermal energy is a promising alternative to conventional fossil-based energy sources, using steam from reservoirs to power turbines or pass through heat pumps. Proper construction and subsequent cementation of geothermal wells are required to recover this heat. Drilling wells that remain intact, using new formulations can help reduce climate risks. The Nair group has received funding from the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability to identify and test the suitability of alternate cementitious materials, for the expected geological conditions in Ithaca, and provide recommendations for the Earth Source Heat project at Cornell University.  http://www.atkinson.cornell.edu/grants/avf/?ID=2020_Nair

The project is a collaborative effort between Prof. Nair, Prof. Coates and Prof. Geddes groups at Cornell University, PQ Silicates and Magnum Cementing.

Dr. Nair trying out the driller’s chair at XRig, Norway where pilot experiments will be conducted. 

February 1 2020

Abandonment of Oil and Gas Wells: A Major Upcoming Challenge

It is estimated that a there are currently 10 million wells worldwide producing oil and gasses and many of the wells are coming to the tail end of their production life. Currently American Petroleum Institute requires placement of a 500 ft long cemented plug to abandon a well. Since cement slurry takes a few hours to gain strength, during hydration it is possible for unwanted migration of oil and gasses leading to the formation of permanent channels. To address this issue there is an ongoing collaborative effort with WellSet, a startup company based in Norway to ensure wells are adequately abandoned using magnetorheological blended cement slurries. 

The project is a collaborative effort between researchers in Dr. Nair’s lab at Cornell University, Dr. Eric van Oort’s group at the University of Texas at Austin and Well Set. Well Set is currently sponsored through Conoco Phillips, Repsol and Oil and Gas Technology Center.

December 15 2019

A triaxial setup was developed for use at the Cornell High Energy Synchrotron Source and is now available for users. Check out the news article at https://www.chess.cornell.edu/high-energy-diffraction-microscopy-under-pressure



December 5 2019

Our paper on using high energy X-rays to study the micro-mechanical behavior of alternate cementitious materials has been published in Scientific Reports. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-019-54724-8