SLB introduces low-carbon alternative for well construction cement that eliminates up to 85% of embodied CO2
SLB (Schlumberger) introduced the EcoShield geopolymer cement-free system that minimizes the CO2 footprint of a well’s construction. This innovative technology eliminates up to 85% of embodied CO2 emissions compared with conventional well cementing systems, which include portland cement.
The EcoShield geopolymer cement-free system matches the rheology, thickening time, and compressive strength properties of portland cement-based systems while delivering comparable performance. The technology fits within standard oilfield cementing workflows without major changes to the design process, onsite execution, or postjob evaluation.
The EcoShield system has the potential to avoid up to 5 million metric tons of CO2 emissions annually—the equivalent of removing 1.1 million cars from the road each year.
Decarbonizing the well construction process while ensuring safety and performance standards is critical to our industry’s pathway to net zero. The cement-free EcoShield system is a breakthrough that delivers industry-standard zonal isolation capabilities while significantly minimizing impact from upstream oil and gas production.—Jesus Lamas, SLB’s president of Well Construction
In well construction, cement is used to fill the space between well casing and the wellbore. Cement provides structural support; functions as a barrier that helps prevent corrosion of the steel casing; and blocks oil, gas, or water from traveling through the annulus (the space between the wellbore and the casing). This barrier also protects fresh water aquifers and helps prevent the inflow of undesirable hydrocarbons. Cement is also used during well abandonment or intervention operations.
In addition to its embodied CO2 emissions, portland cement creates significant transportation-related emissions from manufacture to deployment. The EcoShield system uses locally sourced natural materials and industrial waste streams in its composition, making this a far more sustainable well integrity method.
The cement-free system can be deployed throughout various phases of the well life cycle including abandonment. It can also be deployed across a range of field applications, including corrosive environments.
In the Permian Basin, Pioneer Natural Resources successfully deployed SLB’s novel cement-free technology on an 18-well field testing campaign and continues with its use. This successful pilot program in North America proved the performance of this unique cement free solution while substantially reducing the CO2 footprint in the well construction process.
Field trials validated the ability of the technology to fit within standard oilfield cementing workflows without major changes to the design process, onsite execution, or post-job evaluation.
The EcoShield system is part of the SLB Transition Technologies portfolio, which includes proven technologies that drive high performance while reducing CO2 emissions.