WASHINGTON, D.C. --The MMS has published a final rule to give operators in the Gulf of Mexico options of best cementing practices to help mitigate shallow water flow (SWF) hazards in deepwater.
The rule includes the First Edition of the American Petroleum Institute's Recommended Practice for Cementing Shallow Water Flow Zones in Deepwater Wells (API RP 65). The rule becomes effective March 30, 2007.
According to the MMS, a SWF is the influx of water or sediment into or around a wellbore following the penetration of an abnormally pressured geologic formation.
From 1987 to 2004, at least 113 OCS wells encountered SWF, the MMS reports. The agency adds that while the majority of these wells experienced minor SWF, there have been severe cases resulting in abandonment and loss of wells.