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Formation Damage

Examples
Scale Emulsions Paraffin

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Damage What is it?


Divide the well into three parts:
Inflow: area from reservoir to the wellbore Completion potential: flow to surface Surface restrictions: chokes, lines, separators.

Basically, anything that causes a restriction in the flow path decreases the rate and acts as damage.
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The first step..


For the purposes of this work, consider the flow connection between the reservoir and the wellbore as the primary but not the only area of damage. Now, is it formation damage or something else that causes the restriction?

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Some sources of the damage in the reservoirwellbore connection


Wetting phases (from injected or lost fluids) Debris plugging the pores of the rock Polymer waste from frac and drilling fluids Compacted particles from perforating Limited entry (too few perforations) Converging radial flow wellbore too small Reservoir clay interactions with injected fluids Precipitation deposits (scale, paraffins, asphaltenes, salt, etc) Note that not all are really formation damage How do you identify the difference?
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Identification of Damage.
How good are you at deductive reasoning?
Identifying the cause and source of damage is detective work.
Look at the well performance before the problem Look at the flow path for potential restrictions Look to the players:
Flow path ways Fluids Pressures Flow rate

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Completion Efficiency
What is it? a measure of the effectiveness of a completion as measured against an ideal completion with no pressure drops. Pressure drops? these are the restrictions, damage, heads, back-pressures, etc. that restrict the wells production.

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The Effect of Damage on Production


Rate = (P x k x h) / (141.2 o o s) Where:
P k h o o s
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= differential pressure (drawdown due to skin) = reservoir permeability, md = height of zone, ft = viscosity, cp = reservoir vol factor = skin factor
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What changeable factors control production rate?


Pressure drop need maximum drawdown and minimum backpressures. Permeability - enhance or restore k? - yes Viscosity can it be changed? yes Skin can it be made negative? These factors are where we start our stimulation design.
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Formation Damage
Impact Causes Diagnosis Removal/Prevention?

Basically, the severity of damage on production depends on the location, extent and type of the damage. A well can have significant deposits, fill and other problems that do not affect production.
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Impact of Damage on Production


Look at Effect of Damage Type of Damage Severity of Plugging Depth of Damage Ability to Prevent/Remove/By-Pass

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Observations on Damage
Shallow damage is the most common and makes the biggest impact on production. It takes a lot of damage to create large drops in production

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Effect of Depth and Extent of Damage on Production


100 90 80

% of original Flow

70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 0 1 2
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80% Damage 90% Damage 95% Damage

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Radial Extent ofE. Damage, m George King Engineering

Productivity and Skin Factor


Q1/Qo = 7/(7+s) Where: Q1 = productivity of zone w/ skin, bpd Qo = initial productivity of zone, bpd s = skin factor, dimensionless

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Example
Productivity for skins of -1, 5, 10 and 50 in a well with a undamaged (s=0) production capacity of 1000 bpd s = -1, Q1 = 1166 bpd s = 5, Q1 = 583 bpd s = 10, Q1 = 412 bpd s = 50, Q1 = 123 bpd
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Improvements
For s = -1 (1166), -2 (1400), -3 (1750), and -4 (2333) .. Why have we seen better results in field?
Fracturing past damage!

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Damage By-Pass
For 1 well producing 1500 bpd with a skin of 50, what would frac with s=-2 yield? Qo = 12,214 bpd to get to s = 0 Qimproved = 17,100 bpd at s = -2

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Causes
Pseudo damage - very real effect, but no visible obstructions Structural damage

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Pseudo Damage
Turbulence
high rate wells gas zones most affected

Affected areas:
perfs (too few, too small) fracture (conductivity too low) tubing (tubing too small, too rough) surface (debottle necking needed)

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Structural Damage
Tubular Deposits
scale paraffin asphaltenes salt solids (fill) corrosion products

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Perforation Damage
debris from perforating sand in perf tunnel - mixing? mud particles particles in injected fluids pressure drop induced deposits
scales asphaltenes paraffins
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Near Well Damage


in-depth plugging by injected particles migrating fines water swellable clays water blocks, water sat. re-establishment polymer damage wetting by surfactants relative permeability problems matrix structure collapse
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Deeper Damage
water blocks formation matrix structure collapse natural fracture closing

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Horizontal Well Formation Damage Theories


Zone of Invasion - Homogeneous Case

50423009

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Horizontal Well Formation Damage Theories


Zone of Invasion - Heterogeneous Case

50423010

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Clay like smectite may have a major effect on damage in some cases, none in others.

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Narrow (<0.1 wide) natural fracture in dolomite formation

Natural fractures, like this one from a downhole camera, dominate the permeability and ability to produce fluids from a formation.

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Wide, often cavernous fractures are present in some rocks, particularly limestones. These types of fractures can take whole mud, making cleanout and effective restoration of permeability nearly impossible. Air drilling is often the only practical approach to prevent excessive damage.

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Mud Damage
Common problems
fines in the mud - physical plugging wetting of formation by mud surfactants Emulsions from formation fluids and both oil based mud (OBM) and water based mud (WBM) reactions with the formation fluids reaction with the formation clays

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One common and severe problem is the creation of a rigid sludge (extremely viscous emulsion) from mixing the heavier ranges of oil based muds (typically over 12 lb/gal) with some brines and most acids and/or spent acids. The emulsion is stabilized and its viscosity significantly increased by the cuttings in the oil based mud. The result is a nearly solid sludge when the oil based mud emulsifiers react with the low pH acid or high chloride brines. Testing with laboratory samples of OBM and acid will not predict this problem it usually only occurs with field samples of the OBM (containing the cuttings) and the field samples of acid and spent acid, which contain iron. To prevent the problem, overflush OBM in the well with xylene or a suitable safe substitute and backflow before acidizing. Jetting the solvent assists in OBM removal. Apply the solvent before acidizing and use a mutual solvent in the acid To clean up a sludge, a strong OBM solvent (xylene is usually the best) is soaked for several hours before flowing back and then acidizing with acid and a suitable mutual solvent. Test on field samples.
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50/50 mixtures of a field sample of 14.5 lb/gal OBM and acid produced this solid sludge. The sample was stable for months. The well it was from was expected to come in a 12 mmscf/d but the flow was too small to measure after the well was perforated and acidized with straight 12%/3% HCl/HF. The well was treated with high quality xylene (soaked for 12 hours), before circulating the solvent and mud out of the well. After acidizing with HCL and a mutual solvent, the rate increased to 12 mmscf/d within 24 hours.

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Another sample of OBM that was treated with acid. In the sample on the left, a field sample of OBM was mixed directly with acid. The sample was stable for three months until discarded. In the sample in the left, the OBM was mixed with xylene and allowed to soak. The water in the OBM is the darker brown and the cuttings that have dropped out are at the bottom of the cylinder.

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Deposits
Paraffin - precipitated by:
loss of temperature in the tubing loss of light ends of the liquids such as ethanes, propanees and butanes by venting (pressure reduction) mixing with cool fluids (acids, frac, kill, etc) that reduce the oil temperature below the cloud point. flood front breakthrough that cool the oil (water or CO2 expansion) or by dry gas stripping that removes the light ends.
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Paraffin Location
Deposit first appears at or near the surface Location moves downhole as field is produced and pressure drops reduce the light end concentrations)

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Paraffin Composition
C18 to C60+ straight chain hydrocarbons
C18 C23 C32 C42 C60 82F melting point 122F melting point 158F melting point 181F melting point 211F melting point

Paraffin deposits are never pure (pure paraffin is white).


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Deposition Location
Top 5 joints of tubing Downstream of pressure drop Sea floor flow lines, wellheads, risers Gas breakout points On old paraffin deposits

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Paraffin Removal Methods


Hot Oiling better for surface lines and the very top tubing joints. Dont expect to get heat deep in a well by circulating hot fluids its a shell-and-tube heat exchanger. Solvents good but need heat at the reaction site to be about 130oF (54oC) and add jetting or agitation to speed the removal process. Dispersants water based with additives designed to disperse paraffin and hold it in suspension works only where lab and field testing are coordinated to develop the best product and approach. Scraping a short term fix - turns loose a lot of debris and leaves paraffin on the tubing, which serves as a growth site for more paraffin. Heating cables good but often expensive to install and operate. Plastic rod guides can be effective in rod pumped wells, if area of contact overlaps other guides.
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Paraffin Prevention Methods


Crystal modifiers that prevent wax deposition. Need by careful selection and a consistent method of application. Heating cables expensive?

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Asphaltene Sources
Dispersions - kept suspended by micelles Soluble in oil (very limited) Additives to muds (gilsonites)

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World Wide Crude Oil Chemical Compositions (SARA)


Field Athabas ca Wabas ca Peac e Rive r Cold Lake E. Ve ne zue la Average on 46 Heavy Oils PB HOT (EOA) PB HOT (WOA) W. Ven. (ne ar HOT) Co nve ntio nal Normal Oils PBU Normal Oil As phaltene (Wt %) 23.3 21.6 48.7 20.6 12.6 22.9 14.13 10.38 13.2 14.2 16.52 18.42 1.9 Hydroc arbon Re s in Aro matic Saturated Total (Wt %) (Wt %) (Wt %) (Wt %) 28.6 32.1 15.9 48.1 30.6 32.1 15.6 47.7 23.2 20.5 7.6 28.1 28 30.5 20.9 51.4 32.4 36.4 18.6 55 30.6 30.4 16.1 46.5 13.37 20.42 12.9 28.1 28.23 38 28.6 31.93 44.4 40.97 35.9 57.2 49.67 72.5 69.2 73.9 85.8 81.6 517 Numbe r of Sample s 15 7 3 7 5 46

S c hrade r Bluff
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29.0

24.7

41.5

66.2

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Asphaltenes
precipitated by:
CO2 acid pH turbulence chemical shift that upsets micelle

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Asphaltene Stability
Maltenes and resins form the micelle Asphaltene is the small platelet (35A) held in the middle of the micelle Dispersed platelets are not usually a problem although the oil may have a high viscosity When micelles are upset and broken, the platelets coagulate and form a mass.

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Scales
calcium carbonate - upset driven calcium sulfate - mixing waters, upset, CO2 barium sulfate - mixing waters, upset iron scales - corrosion, H2S, low pH, O2 rarer scales - heavy brines

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Calcium carbonate scale, note the layers.

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An unusual form of calcite scale in the form of 1 to 2 mm diameter pellets where the calcite layers formed around a grain of silt and grew until the were too heavy to be suspended in a well with very strong water drive (E. Texas circa 1975).

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Scale Location
at pressure drops - perfs, profiles water mixing points - leaks, flood breakthru outgassing points - hydrostatic sensitive shear points - pumps, perfs, chokes, gravel pack - formation interface

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In one case, scale was forming at the interface of a gravel pack and formation sand in an extremely fine and poorly sorted sand. The formation water was high in bicarbonate ion and calcium.

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Scale Prediction
Chemical models - require water analysis and well conditions Predictions are usually a worst case - this is where the upset factor comes in.
added shear - increased drawdown, choke changes, etc. acidizing venting pressure
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Polymer Damage
From: muds, pills, frac, carriers Stable? - for years location - depends on form polymer was in
dispersed properly - surface to deep in formation in pills and mass - right in perfs

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Using dry polymer mixed into cold water, a crust of unhydrated polymer formed and separated to the top of the tank. If this layer were drawn into the pump as the tank level dropped, the polymer mass could be displaced into the perfs and would be a significant barrier to production for years. Acid has little effect on this type of deposit.
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Even pre-mixed polymer has un-hydrated gels or fish-eyes after mixing with water. Shearing and filtering the gel through a six to eight gauge screen is the fastest way to remove the plugging debris. Incidentally the sales representative said this would never happen with their product.

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BP

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Particles in the Fluid


Solids from tanks, lines and fluids Severe problem, but often ignored

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Much of the debris that is pumped down a well comes from debris left in the water and mix tanks. If you think tank cleaning is too time consuming, you will live with the production decrease in your well.

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Will the same truck be used to haul mix water to your next job?

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Cartridge filters before use.

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Afterwards

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Downhole camera picture of a perforation completely filled with debris after displacing a few loads of dirty fluids. What is the cost in production?

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Migrating Fines
Sources
kaolinite - not really that likely! Smectite - very likely, but clay is rare zeolites - common in younger sands, GOM area weathered feldspar - older sands micas, silts, drilling additives

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Area of Clays
Sand Grain Kaolinite Smectite Illite Chlorite 0.000015 m2/g 22 82 113 60

The areas for clay are highly variable and depends on deposit configuration.
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Many chemical reactions are surface area dependant. The more area, the faster the reaction.

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The surface area of clay compared to the volume of reactive fluid in contact drives the reaction.

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Fibrous or spider web Illite is actually low reactivity in most cases but serves as a trap for migrating fines.

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Migrating Clay Catalysts


water salinity changes surfactants and mutual solvents overburden increases wettability changes

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Other Migrators
The following are dwarfs compared to the problems with smectite.
Zeolites - (common in young marine sands) - clintoptolite Weathered or altered feldspars one very rare form of chlorite a few loosely attached kaolinite bundles broken illites (and mixed layers) silt and other grains (<5 microns)

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Is Clay a Problem?
Usually not. Very few formations are water sensitive to a degree that will affect production. Clay is a problem when it is in contact with a reactive fluid and the effects or the reaction significantly lower permeability (30% or more?).

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Microporosity
Refers to the very small (non flowable?) volume between clay platelets that can trap and hold water. May explain non recovery or slow recovery of load fluids May explain errors in log calculations involving high Sw prediction and subsequent dry hydrocarbon flows.

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In some forms, particularly the weathered and loosely attached forms, kaolinite has been known to migrate, but very little reactivity has been seen in most instances that have been investigated by flow.

Kaolinite (left) and Chlorite (right) are two common clays found in pore throats. Reactivity is low, but some caution is needed.

Chlorite is usually strongly attached and most forms of the mineral are non reactive with water. It does contain ferrous iron, but tests have shown only slow reactivity with the concentrations and volumes of acid that are likely to come in contact with Chlorite in the pores of a rock. Rare examples are known of free standing chlorite rims these are unstable and can break during flow.

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Migrating???
Because fines are there means nothing What turns the fines loose?
Velocity - unlikely salinity change in fluids - very common wetting change cleaning agents solvents (and mutual solvents) shock loads (perforating for example)

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Damage from clays?


The potential for clay damage depends on clay type, form, location and presence of reactive fluids. In hundreds of sensitivity tests, most cores containing clays are not highly sensitive (>30% permeability reduction) to changes in fluid salinity. The question is how representative the clays in the core being tested are to the higher permeability sections of the reservoir.
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Preventing Clay Damage


Unless the clays in the higher permeability sections of the rock are sensitive to the fluids that will actually contact them, any type of clay control treatment will likely be unnecessary and potentially damaging. When clay damage is possible, test for the best fluid and monitor performance in the field. In practice, fluids with 2% to 3% KCl are common. These may be effective, unnecessary or ineffective depending on the clay.
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Removing Clay Damage


Shallow (to a depth of about 6 inches or 15 cm), 1%HF and 9%HF may be effective in some cases. Deeper damage usually requires fracturing to bypass the damage.

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Emulsions
Multiple phases that do not separate quickly. Creating an emulsion generally requires an energy source. If oil and water do not separate quickly, then look for the stabilizing mechanism
Surfactant either added or natural Silt from the formation or from drilling Viscosity high viscosity emulsions often require thinning to break. Charge even weak electric charges can be stabilizers but are more common in water-in-gas emulsions (clouds).
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Changes in Fluid Viscosity with Change in Internal Phase of Dispersed or Emulsified Flow

Deformation

Widely Dispersed

Contact

Viscosity

Inverted

52%
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96%
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Increasing internal

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Energy Sources
lift system gas breakout shear at any point in the well choke gas expansion

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Common Stabilizers in Oil Production


surfactant (film stiffeners) solids (silt, rust, wax, scale, cuttings) emulsion or component viscosity (prevents particle or droplet contact)

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Iron Problems
Precipitates - usually with acid spending - not typically a problem Sludges - more of a problem than we realize can be controlled with iron reducer and antisludge Solid particles - multiple problems

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Bacterial Problems
Aerobic - lives only w/ oxygen Anerobic - lives w/o oxygen Facultative - w/ or w/o, but better one way Problems Caused
eats polymer causes formation damage and corrosion SRBs may sour reservoir
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Bacterial Populations
Free Floating - easy to kill, not that plentiful Sessile (attached colonies)
100,000 x free floating populations, very difficult to kill, live in densly matter layers protected by slime layer highly accelerated corrosion underneath

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Bacterial Sources
Some small populations dormant in reservoir? Probably. drinking water < 1000 cells/ml sea water - high populations of SRBs brackish waters - very high populations river/pond - moderate to high populations concentrated brines - very low concentrations

acids - very low to almost none

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Bacterial Control
Acids - kills free floating, little effect on sessile colonies Bactericides - (same as acid) kills free floating, little effect on sessile colonies Bleaches and Chlorine - (3% to 8%) strips slime layer, dissolves cell wall, cant remove biomass. Watch corrosion! Bleach, followed by acid - good removal history.

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Relative Permeability Damage Mechanisms


Wetting surface wetting Water blocks trapping water some effects of capillary pressure in small pores in wells with low differential pressures. Condensate banking and retrograde condensate a phase drop-out that decreases perm to a single fluid.

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Controlling Relative Permeability Mechanisms


Water blocks reduce the interfacial and surface tension of the intruding fluid and reestablish the connate fluid saturation. Wetting can modify by cleaning, but the natural surfactants ultimately will define the wetting of the rock. Condensate drop-out increase the flow area by fracturing to negate the effects of lowing the permeability of the formation.
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