The casing shoe should not be drilled out until the cement sheath has reached a compressive strength of about 500 psi. This is generally considered to be enough to support a casing string and to allow drilling to proceed without the hardened cement sheath, disintegrating, due to vibration. If the operation is delayed whilst waiting on the cement to set and develop this compressive strength the drilling rig is said to be “waiting on cement” (WOC). The development of compressive strength is a function of several variables, such as: temperature; pressure; amount of mixwater added; and elapsed time since mixing.
The setting time of a cement slurry can be controlled with chemical additives, known as accelerators. Table 3 shows the compressive strengths for different cements under varying conditions.