Casing is large diameter pipe that is assembled and inserted into a recently drilled section of a borehole and typically held in place with cement.
Casing that is cemented in place, aids the drilling process in several ways:
Prevent contamination of fresh water well zones.
Prevent unstable upper formations from caving in and sticking the drill string or forming large caverns.
Provides a strong upper foundation to use high-density drilling fluid to continue drilling deeper.
Isolates different zones, that may have different pressures or fluids - known as zonal isolation, in the drilled formations from one another.
Seals off high pressure zones from the surface, avoiding potential for a blowout
Prevents fluid loss into or contamination of production zones.
Provides a smooth internal bore for installing production equipment.
Casing arranged on a rack at a drilling rig in preparation for installation
A slightly different metal string, called production tubing, is often used without cement in the smallest casing of a well completion to contain production fluids and convey them to the surface from an underground reservoir.
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