Minimizing the particles settling of ilmenite weighted oil well cement using laponite

Abdulmalek Ahmed, Salaheldin Elkatatny*, Abdulrauf R. Adebayo

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cementing operations are fundamental undertakings during the drilling and completion of oil and gas wells, ensuring zonal isolation and structural stability within the wellbore. Ilmenite serves as a dominant weighting material for high-density cement. However, challenges associated with its particle settling have arisen, reporting the potential for various complications within the cement sheath. In this context, the present study used laponite, a synthetic layered clay, to address the issue of particles settling in ilmenite-weighted oil well cement under high pressure and high-temperature curing conditions. The investigation extended to comprehensively assessing the consequences of incorporating laponite on the cement's rheological, mechanical, and petrophysical properties. Varied concentrations of laponite were employed and compared against the base cement, devoid of laponite. A total of six high-density cement samples of 18 ppg at different concentrations of laponite were prepared under a high pressure of 3000 psi and a high temperature of 294 °F. Findings from this work revealed that an optimal laponite concentration of 0.3% by weight of cement (BWOC) appeared to be the most effective. Adding laponite to the cement led to an impressive 83% reduction in particle settling within ilmenite-weighted cement. This deduction was confirmed through the direct density variation method and NMR measurements. Moreover, the inclusion of laponite yielded favorable outcomes in the rheological aspects of oil well cement. Laponite-based cement showed a 40% reduction in plastic viscosity and a 31.5% and 14.5% increase in yield point and gel strength, respectively, compared to the base cement formulation. Mechanically, laponite had a tangible positive impact, evidenced by a 95% and 131% increase in compressive and tensile strengths, respectively and a 16% reduction in Young's modulus, all relative to the base cement sample. Significantly, laponite's role extended to pore space optimization, leading to a decline in cement porosity by 2% and a 25% reduction in permeability.

Original languageEnglish
Article number212471
JournalGeoenergy Science and Engineering
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier B.V.


  • Ilmenite and particles settling
  • Laponite
  • Oil well cement

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Energy (miscellaneous)
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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