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Unformatted text preview: Macondo well. A. Cementing Process Prior to cementing a well, the rig crew conditions the wellbore by circulating mud through it. This conditioning cleans out any cuttings or other debris in the casing, drill pipe and wellbore that could interfere with cement placement. When mud is circulated completely through the casing (so that the mud on the bottom of the well returns to the surface), operators have achieved a “complete bottoms‐up.” By performing a complete bottoms‐up, the crew not only cleans out the wellbore, but can also analyze the mud that had been on the bottom of the well to determine whether hydrocarbons are present before cementing. After circulating mud, the crew pumps the volume of cement modeled for the job down the well, followed by the drilling mud that is pumped behind the cement to push the cement to its planned location. Darts and wiper plugs separate the cement from the mud to prevent the oil‐based mud from mixing with, and possibly contaminating, the cement. 88 At Macondo, the crew first pumped base o...
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