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Copyright 2007, Society of Petroleum Engineers

This paper was prepared for presentation at the European Formation Damage Conference
held in Scheveningen, The Netherlands, 30 May1 J une 2007.

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Abstract
Many papers have described different techniques and
procedures for core floods that measure permeability return
permeability to evaluate the magnitude of formation damage
caused by fluid(s) used in operations (e.g. drilling muds,
completion fluids). Often these measurements of permeability
are used to make critical decisions for field development and
well construction design.

This paper demonstrates with examples, the danger on having
used only the permeability measurements to determine the
extent of formation damage. Commonly, laboratory core flood
tests will have used core cylinders cut to 1.5 inch diameter and
short lengths (less then 4 inches) unavoidably limited by core
retrieval. Short core samples may be useful if the depth of
formation damage was restricted to within the core length,
however would have been misleading if any damaging affects
extend further than this. Formation damage effects commonly
extend further than the length provided by short core samples.
The extent of formation damage that occurred would not have
been identified by using permeability but requires
identification by performing comparative before and after test
geological analysis techniques. Subsequently the extent of
damage must be scaled from the laboratory to the field by
experts in an attempt to extrapolate what those damaging
effects have on field injection and/or production. Formation
damage that caused alteration(s) to any core sample should be
identified by comparing before and after test permeability
measurements combined with all other analysis. The nature of
any damage mechanism(s) would unlikely to have been
identified by just some or any one measurement alone.
Scanning Electron Microscopy (Dry and Cryogenic), Energy
dispersive x-ray spectrometry (EDS), X-ray Diffraction
Analysis and Thin Section Analysis should be incorporated to
properly determine the nature and extent of formation damage.

The examples in this paper have never previously been
published and they represent a continuing evolution in our
understanding of formation damage measurements and
mechanisms. Examples of mechanisms such as fines
migration, fluid retention and mud body damage will be
presented and discussed in terms of their potential impact on
return permeability measurements.

Introduction/Background
Previous papers have reported that return permeability data
can be misleading and needs to be reproducible
1
. This paper
demonstrates that permeability data also needs to be
interpreted with the aid of geological sample evaluation to
allow full interpretation of the coreflood results.

Formation damage laboratory testing commonly uses short
core samples to be representative of a rock type from the field.
The use of short core samples however adds a further problem
when relating formation damage permeability results to the
field
2
. The permeability alteration within the core sample can
be due to pore restricting and pore enlarging effects within the
core sample which frequently occur concurrently. In short core
samples it is relatively easy for clay fines to be removed from
the sample which can cause an increase in permeability. The
movement of clay fines can also potentially block pores which
when translated to the field can reduce permeability.

Permeability could be altered when fluids applied introduced
particles or caused native fines to migrate within and/or out of
the core sample. During fines migration, particles (clays,
precipitates and added solids) that become dispersed/dislodged
then flow in suspension and may accumulate within the pores
causing occlusion/blockages, restricting flow and/or exit the
core causing pore enlargement, enhancing flow. Permeability
may be altered by pore enlarging mechanisms that may
enhance flow, increasing permeability and also by pore
restricting mechanisms that may cause further flow resistance,
decreasing permeability. Either one or both of these situations
may be distributed throughout the core sample and so the
overall permeability of the core sample is commonly affected
by cumulative damage (e.g. may be caused by more than one
damaging affect). Permeability measurements that show a
stimulation or no change carry an associated risk if considered
to be beneficial, this is due to fines that may have been
removed from the core sample traveling further to eventually
accumulate and block pores laterally within the wellbore. An
increase in permeability can therefore be indicative of
potentially a significant level of damage in the field.

SPE 107812
Return Permeability MeasurementsProceed With Caution
H.E. Scott, SPE, I.T.M. Patey, SPE, and M.T Byrne, SPE, Corex (UK) Ltd.
2 SPE 107812
Geological sample evaluation will identify any potential
formation damage mechanisms which with the coreflood
permeability results will allow full interpretation and a clearer
understanding of any damage mechanism(s) that may be
present.

Following the dispersion and removal of fines from the core
sample due to fluids applied in the wellbore to formation
direction (forward direction), drawdown in the reverse
direction can cause the previously removed fines to be carried
back and deposited against the formation face of the sample
(see diagram 1). In the field, production or injection mobile
phases can then carry all these particles backwards and
forwards respectively which can result in significant
accumulation of fines. Accumulation can lead to pore blocking
or occlusion (pore bridging) as well as pore lining due to
sedimentation. Other flow barriers such as mud cake
attachment, mud solids invasion, filtrate invasion, fluid
retention and precipitation from solids or fluids may also
occur restricting pores, reducing flow paths hence reducing
permeability.

It is commonly accepted
3-4
that geological sample evaluation
is important for the selection of samples for coreflood testing
as well for the interpretation of permeability results after
testing to identify problems and solutions. This paper provides
specific examples of how damage mechanisms can have an
impact on return permeability, highlighting the need for
geological sample evaluation for full interpretation of the
coreflood results.

Introduction to testing
The first case history in this paper shows two core samples
(samples 1 and 2) from the same well, with a similar depth,
which had very different return permeability results. One with
an increase in permeability and one with a decrease in
permeability which without any other analysis could have
been misconstrued, such that the sample that showed a
decrease in permeability was either problematic or of no
concern. The other sample which showed an increase in
permeability could also be misconstrued because the increase
was assumed to be beneficial or not of any concern. This first
case history shows that after performing geological analysis
(SEM/EDS), damage occurred due to fines migration in the
samples (1 and 2) that caused greater risk to the well
production by reducing the permeability and affecting
injection and/or production. Therefore the permeability alone
should not be used for interpretation.

A second case history looked at a drilling mud application
then drawdown to humidified nitrogen gas with permeability
recorded before and after fluid operations. There was an
alteration in permeability (reduction) that was assumed to only
be due to drilling mud invasion restricting pores. Later
SEM/EDS analysis was undertaken that identified not only
drilling mud invasion but also fines migration. Having
established a combination of damaging mechanisms rather
than the assumptions initially made a full interpretation was
possible. This second case history explains why interpretation
based on permeability results alone, may be potentially
misleading without geological analysis. The additional
SEM/EDS analysis preformed identified more damage than
drilling mud invasion alone, with clay fines migration also
contributing that suggested the combined damage mechanisms
were of greater risk to affect well production.

The information from geological sample evaluation is also of
importance for understanding the invasion of drilling mud into
core samples
5
. Drilling mud particles can be forced into the
pore spaces, contributing to possible reductions in
permeability. SEM/EDS analysis can be used to determine the
damaging mechanisms contributing to changes in
permeability.

Case History 1 (Injection testing example)
Core preparation, base parameter measurements, sample
selection and preparation to fluid saturation were undertaken
as outlined in a previous paper
2
. The two samples (1 and 2)
then underwent injection with two different chemical
packages. Both samples were injected at 21C before
undergoing drawdown to dead crude oil. Permeability
measurements were undertaken after drawdown to dead crude
oil and a final permeability measurement was taken after the
samples were flooded in order to remove further filtrate that
may be in the core sample.

Geological sample evaluation was undertaken in the form of
dry SEM/EDS analysis on both samples to identify formation
damage mechanisms
6
. Representative fragments were taken
from the core samples before and after the core flood, to
determine the extent of any damaging mechanism(s).
Wellbore and formation fragments after the coreflood were
analysed to determine the extent of fines migration. This was
achieved by taking fragments of the wellbore face, wellbore
inside, formation inside and formation face from both samples
to be analysed as described in previous methodologies
4
.

Permeability Results
The first sample, Sample 1, had a base effective permeability
to dead crude oil of 174mD, which increased after the flood
sequence to 180mD a change of +3.45% when compared to
the base permeability. The flood sequence comprised of a pre-
flush stage followed by a flood of chemically treated seawater
in the injection direction (wellbore to formation direction).
Subsequently, drawdown was performed with flow to dead
crude oil in the production (formation to wellbore) direction.
A final effective permeability was recorded of 188mD a
change of +8.05% when compared to the base permeability
measurement after the sample had another attempt at
removing any further filtrate/constituents by applying dead
crude oil at a higher capillary pressure. From the initial data
set (see table 1) the chemical package with the pre-flush that
was applied to sample 1 indicates a positive alteration
(+3.45%) on the permeability of the core sample. The result
could indicate that fines migration had occurred within the
core sample and that it is relatively easy for clay fines to be
removed from the sample resulting in the increase in
permeability.


SPE 107812 3
The base permeability for sample 2 was 160mD. After
injection of a second (different) chemical package, but with a
similar drawdown to dead crude oil the permeability dropped
to 128mD, a reduction of -20.0% when compared to the base
effective permeability measurement, a final permeability after
the sample was spun down to dead crude oil was 133mD a
change of -16.9% (see table 1). A drop in permeability for this
sample (-16.9%) may suggest that the risks (e.g. fines
migration) might be more of a problem when compared to
sample 1 (+8.05%). After test geological sample evaluation
was undertaken on both samples to identify formation damage
mechanism(s) (e.g. fines migration). Post flood test sub-
samples were taken to generate fragments for dry SEM/EDS
analysis.

SEM results for sample 1
Before test SEM/EDS analysis had identified sample 1 to be a
fine to very fine grained, moderately to poorly sorted
sandstone. Detrital grains were observed to be composed of
subhedral quartz, rare blocky potassium feldspar and a rare to
moderate amount of platy biotite. Authigenic constituents
were composed of chlorite, kaolinite and illite as indicated by
EDS analysis in figures 1-3. The minimum pore throat
diameter seen was 10m and the maximum was 20m, visual
observations indicated that it would be possible for pore-lining
and pore-filling clays to pass through some of the pore throats.

The after test dry SEM analysis for the wellbore face indicated
that there had been disruption, mobilization and possible clay
fines removal. Chlorite, kaolinite and illite all appeared to be
more disrupted and less organized when compared to the
before test sample. There is some evidence of pore enlarging
which may have occurred during liquid throughput in both the
wellbore to formation direction and formation to wellbore
direction (see figure 4). Figure 5 shows rearranged chlorite
plates raging in size from 5m to 18m in diameter. Kaolinite
booklets had also been fragmented and illite clay particles
appeared to have become dispersed in places indicating fines
migration.

The wellbore inside face indicated a slight increase in the
abundance of pore filling clay minerals, with an associated
decrease in the number and size of available pore throats,
indicating fines migration (see figure 6). There was an
increase in the presence of chlorite, illite and kaolinite clay
compared to the before test sample. This suggests that some of
the clay fines had traveled through the core during liquid
throughput (in both the wellbore to formation and/or
formation to wellbore direction) and deposited fines in the
wellbore inside causing pore throat blockage.

The formation inside fragment from sample 1 indicated a
small increase in the number and size of open available pore
throats. Distribution of the chlorite plates to be more disrupted
and disorganized, chlorite plates in the size range of 5m to
10m are visible in figure 7. Figure 7 also shows fragmented
kaolinite booklets which had become dispersed. A decrease in
the amount of chlorite, illite and kaolinite clays suggests that
clay fines had been removed from the formation inside during
flooding (drawdown in the formation to wellbore direction and
/or injection in the wellbore to formation direction) leaving
enlarged pores.

The formation face fragment shows a decrease in the number
and size of open pore throats but with some larger open pore
throats where percolation channels had formed due to clay
fines removal from the formation face. These channels were
between 15m to 25m in diameter. There was increase in the
abundance of pore filling clay minerals suggesting that some
of the clay fines movement was initiated during the injection
phase and that clay fines traveled through the sample
suspended in the injection water. Suspended fines may have
accumulated and blocked pores within the samples during
injection, but some were able to exit the sample, still
suspended in the injection water. Upon initiation of
production, fines were back produced into the sample, with
them being deposited against the formation face. The
deposition of fines against the formation face is therefore an
indication that fines movement was originally initiated during
the injection phase. Chlorite plates and kaolinite booklets
where shown to be more disorganized with accumulations of
the clays seen at the formation face. The accumulated chlorite
and kaolinite was generally seen on grain surfaces but was
occasionally seen to be partially blocking pore throats.

In summary there is evidence that clay fines migrated during
the injection phase in the wellbore to formation direction.
Chlorite, illite and kaolinite clays were dispersed and
suspended in the injection water, with some of the clay fines
being accumulated to block pores within the sample. An
increase in the amount of pore filling and restricting clays
were noted in the wellbore inside. Clay fines that became
suspended within the injection water were able to exit the
sample at the formation face, and flow into tubulars
downstream of the sample. Clay fines ranged in the size from
5m to 15m which made it possible for them to migrate
through the pore throats, which were observed to be up to
20m (mode of 10m). Upon initiation of production
(formation to wellbore direction) (see diagram 1) these fines
re-suspended within the injection water or gas were back
produced. Subsequently, fines deposited on the formation face
were indicated by the increased abundance of fines. Sample 1
showed an overall increase (+8.30%) in permeability
suggesting that the sample permeability overall was affected
predominantly by pore enlarging/flow enhancing mechanisms
where pore throats have become enlarged by a re-distribution
of clay fines within and/or removed from the core sample.
Subordinate mechanisms affecting permeability were seen
within the wellbore face and wellbore inside of the sample that
caused pore restricting/flow reducing mechanisms where pore
throats were blocked due to clay fines being re-distributed and
accumulating.

SEM Results for sample 2
Similar to the previous sample, sample 2 showed the same
detrital and authigenic constituents. Authigenic constituents
showed moderate to abundant amounts of grain coating and
pore filling platy and amorphous chlorite clay; a rare amount
of grain coating and pore filling kaolinite (see figure 8) and a
rare amount of illite and quartz overgrowths.
4 SPE 107812
The after test dry SEM results for the wellbore face showed a
re-distribution due to mobilization of chlorite, kaolinite and
illite clays becoming more disrupted and less organized.
However, pore throats do not appear to have been significantly
enlarged by clay fines removal.

The wellbore inside shows a slight increase in the abundance
of pore filling and grain coating clay minerals resulting in a
slight decrease in the number of open available pore throats.
There was also an increase in the amount of chlorite, illite and
kaolinite clay compared to the before test sample. This
suggests that clay fines had traveled through the core during
liquid throughput, possibly in the injection and/or production
flow directions, with deposition of clay fines causing
occlusion or blockage in the wellbore inside. Kaolinite
booklets, previously seen to have filled pores in the before test
sample had become fragmented and re-distributed (figure 9).
These re-distributed Kaolinite booklets and plates had
dispersed to scatter within the pore linings and/or accumulated
to block or occlude pore throats. Furthermore, illite clay
fragments were observed to have accumulated in places,
reducing available pore sizes indicating clay fines migration.

The formation inside SEM observations indicated a small
increase in the number and size of open pore throats (figure
10). Kaolinite and chlorite plates became disorganized and
dispersed in comparison to the before test sample. There was a
decrease in the amount of chlorite, illite and kaolinite
compared to the before test sample. Suggesting that the clay
fines had been removed from the formation inside during
liquid throughput, leaving enlarged pore throats. Figure 10
illustrates rearranged chlorite plates and fragmented kaolinite
plates that had become dispersed. Amorphous illite clay had
also appeared to have become dispersed within sample 2.

The formation face fragment shows a small decrease in the
number and size of available pore throats. Percolation
channels were visible due to clay fines being removed from
the formation face. These channels ranged in size from 15m
to 25m in diameter. Any fines that flowed through the
sample during injection may have been able to exit the sample,
still suspended in the injection water, further fines migration
then occurred with chlorite plates and kaolinite booklets and
plates being re-distributed then deposited during production
against the formation face. Chlorite plates and kaolinite
booklets and plates became disorganized and accumulated on
grain surfaces and were occasionally seen to be partially
blocking pore throats (figure 11).

In summary clay fines migrated in the wellbore to formation
direction during injection. Chlorite, illite and kaolinite were
dispersed and suspended in the injection water, flowing
through the sample. On initiating production, fines suspended
within the injection water and/or dead crude oil were able to
re-distribute within the sample and/or accumulate to
block/occlude pores. Further fines dispersion resulting in
accumulation and possible pore blockage, may have been
initiated during drawdown, with flow of oil in the formation to
wellbore direction. Evidence of continued fines removal and
subsequent deposition includes a slight reduction in the
amount of pore filling clay present in the formation inside of
the core sample. As well as an increase in pore filling clay in
the wellbore inside. This indicated that clays were also
moving in the direction of flow during the production stage of
testing.

Clay fines ranged in size from 5m to 15m making it
possible for fines to migrate through intergranular throats that
were up to 20m in diameter. Sample 2 showed an overall
decrease (-16.8%) in permeability when compared to the base
permeability, which indicates that the permeability overall was
affected predominantly by pore restriction and flow reducing
mechanisms were pore throats had become blocked by
migration and accumulation of fines. The results from the
SEM analysis for sample 2 indicates there was significant
fines migration which may have resulted predominantly in
pore restricting mechanisms which lead to a decrease in
permeability results overall. Although some pore enlarging
mechanisms were observed their affects on permeability were
subordinate. Overall SEM/EDS analysis identified fines
migration had occurred in the short core sample that when
scaled laterally will possibly be a risk to field production due
to accumulation of clay, blocking pores.

Case History 2 (Drilling mud example)
After initial preparation, sample A underwent a base
permeability measurement prior to drilling mud application.
The core samples then underwent drilling mud application
followed by drawdown to humidified nitrogen gas following
which a permeability measurement was taken. The drilling
mud cake was removed and a further drawdown to humidified
nitrogen gas was undertaken before a permeability
measurement was taken. Finally the samples were flooded to
remove any remaining filtrate and a final permeability
measurement was taken. Assumptions were made by the client
at this stage that the permeability data posed no risk and
SEM/EDS analysis was not required. The sample evaluation
was undertaken in order to highlight that this approach has a
high risk associated with it. Geological sample evaluation was
undertaken in the form of dry SEM/EDS analysis to discover
the nature of the damaging mechanism(s) present.

Permeability Results
The permeability data from the drilling mud test sequence
indicated that the operation sequence testing caused damage to
the permeability of the sample. Sample A shows an overall
permeability change of -5.28% when compared to the initial
base permeability measurement. Often when there is no
significant reduction in permeability, after test geological
anaylsis is not always undertaken. This results in guess work
to why the permeability dropped.

Possible damaging mechanisms may have included fluid
retention, scale precipitates, fines migration and/or strippage
and invasion of drilling mud solids and occlusion of pore
throats on the wellbore. The after test dry SEM/EDS analysis
was undertaken for sample A to identify the damaging
mechanisms.

SPE 107812 5
SEM Results
Before test dry SEM analysis for sample A showed a fine to
medium grained, poorly to moderately sorted sandstone.
Detrail grains were predominantly subhedral quartz, with
grain diameters in the range of 210m to 415m. Authigenic
constituents were composed of illite, smectite, potassium
feldspar and a rare amount of quartz. Visual observations
indicated that some of the pore filling clays should be able to
pass through some of the pore throats which were observed to
range in size from 10m to 23m in diameter.

After test SEM for sample A, showed the wellbore face to
have a reduction in the number of available open pore throats
due to the abundance of drilling mud remnants on the wellbore
face. The abundance drilling mud solids caused a significant
reduction in the number of open pore throats. In addition, a
small number of enlarged pore throats were observed where
percolation channels had formed (upto 51m were observed)
due to clay fines removal from the wellbore face (see figure
12). Illite filamentous extensions had become broken and
dispersed from the wellbore face. Dispersed illite filaments
ranged in size from 5m to 10m.

The wellbore inside showed a small amount of blocky drilling
mud constituents, up to 12m in size, had infiltrated into the
wellbore inside filling pores and reducing open pore spaces.
EDS analysis identified elements that indicated constituents
from the drilling mud. SEM analysis also indicated an increase
in open pore throats indicating fines removal and a decrease in
the abundance of pore filling clay minerals. There was a
decrease in illite clay when compared to the before test sample
(figure 13) This suggests that some clay fines had been
fragmented and dispersed though the core during fluid flow
leaving behind enlarged pore throats.

The formation inside fragment from sample A indicated no
drilling mud constituents were present. There was an
accumulation of pore filling and grain coating clay minerals
with a decrease in the number of open available pore throats.
Clay fines had been dislodged and traveled through the core
during fluid flow. They subsequently deposited on the
formation inside causing pore blockage and occlusion (see
figure 14).

SEM observations for the formation face after test indicated a
moderate decrease in the number and size of available pore
throats. There was an increase in abundance of illite clay and
blocky fines compared to the before test sample. This shows
that clay fines dispersion and movement was initiated during
fluid losses in the wellbore to formation direction as clay and
blocky fines traveled through the sample suspended in the
filtrate. Some of these suspended fines may have accumulated
and blocked pores within the sample during fluid losses at
overbalance, whilst some were able to exit the sample through
the formation face, suspended within the filtrate.
Subsequently, upon initiation of back production suspended
fines were back produced and deposited on the formation face
blocking pores. There was a decrease in the number of open
available pore on the formation face to support this.

In summary sample A showed an increase in the amount of
pore-filling and restricting clays as noted on both the
formation inside and formation face. Drilling mud constituents
infiltrated into the sample during fluid losses at overbalance,
and were seen in both the wellbore inside and formation
inside. These solids were more abundant in the wellbore inside
than the formation inside, indicating that the degree of drilling
mud solids infiltration may have decreased deeper into the
sample. Upon initiation of production (in the formation to
wellbore direction) removed fines (clay and drilling mud
constituents) were back-produced into the sample within the
flowing fluids, with some or all of the fines deposited against
the formation face. Re-suspended fines may also have been
able to re-enter the sample, with possible deposition and
accumulation causing blockage of pores. Clay fines ranged in
size from 5m to 25m which made it possible for them to
migrate through intergranular pore throats, which were
observed to be up to 31m in diameter.

Conclusions
With increased permeability stimulation in a short core
sample 1, both pore enlarging mechanisms and pore restricting
mechanisms were present, however the predominant
mechanism affecting permeability suggests that pore
enlarging/flow enhancing mechanisms (clay fines removal and
re-distribution) contributed to cause an increase when
compared to the base permeability.

For sample 2, overall both mechanisms (pore restricting and
pore enlarging) were also present. However in this case the
predominant mechanism affecting permeability suggests that
pore restricting/flow reducing mechanisms (clay fines
migration to block pores by re-distribution and accumulation)
contributed to cause a reduction when compared to the base
permeability.

It is generally construed that no change or a positive return
permeability result is considered as a good result. It may
however, be masking damage mechanisms such as in this
example which if overlooked may be significant when relating
the test results to the field.

Coreflood results for sample 1 shows an overall stimulation in
permeability and sample 2 shows an overall reduction in
permeability after the operational test sequence. Without the
SEM/EDS analysis to aid interpretation nothing is disclosed to
which damaging mechanisms are present. In each sample 1
and 2, SEM/EDS analysis identified clay fines migration had
occurred that may accumulate when scaled laterally to block
pores and be a possible risk to successful field production
and/or injection. The geological sample evaluation with the
permeability data suggests that fines migration was a
contributing factor. Before and after test geological
comparative analysis is always therefore recommended to be
undertaken on all core samples that are tested.

For the second example with drilling mud application the
overall permeability data shows a decrease in permeability
when compared to the base permeability measurement. From
the permeability data and the SEM/EDS analysis it was
6 SPE 107812
concluded that the core sample had been predominately
influenced by pore restricting and flow reducing mechanisms
where pore throats had become blocked. Without the
SEM/EDS analysis the extent of the fines migration may have
been underestimated and overlooked as an important factor
when applying the coreflood results to the field.

Recommendations
Permeability may be altered by pore enlarging mechanisms
that may enhance flow, increasing permeability and also by
pore restricting mechanisms that may cause further flow
resistance, decreasing permeability. Either one or both of these
situations may be distributed throughout the core sample and
so the overall permeability of the core sample is commonly
affected by cumulative damage (e.g. may be caused by more
than one damaging affect). Investigations that are limited to
using short core samples at reservoir conditions should
incorporate other analysis (e.g. SEM) apart from permeability
measurements to generate sufficient information to evaluate
formation damage for successful field injection and/or
production.

Permeability measurements and further geological analysis
such as, Cryogenic SEM, Thin section and X-ray diffraction
are also useful tools that should be mandatory in the
interpretation of coreflood results. The case studies in this
paper only reflect on SEM and EDS analysis, which was
sufficient to draw accurate conclusions to some of the
damaging mechanisms present. A full interpretation however,
should require permeability data, dry SEM, EDS, cryogenic
SEM, thin section and XRD.

Acknowledgements
The authors wish to thank Corex UK Formation Damage
geological and laboratory staff in the development and
execution of the analysis.

References
1. Marschall, D.S., Gray, R., and Byrne, M.T.
Permeability: A Detailed Comparative Study. 1999
SPE European Formation Damage Conference, The
Hague. SPE 54763.
2. Xiao, L., Piatti, C., Giacca, D., Bartosek, M., Nicula,
S., Gallino, G. Studies on the Damage Induced by
Drilling Fluids in Limestone Cores. 1999 SPE
International Symposium on Oilfield Chemistry,
Houston. SPE 50711.
3. Byrne, M.T., Patey, I.T.M. Formation Damage
Laboratory Testing A Discussion of Key
Parameters, Pitfalls and Potential. 2002 SPE
European Formation Damage Conference, The Hague.
SPE 82250.
4. Byrne, M.T., Spark, I.S.C., Patey, I.T.M., Twynam,
A.J . A Laboratory Drilling Mud Overblance
Formation Damage Study Utilising Cryogenic SEM
Techniques. 2000 SPE International Symposium on
Formation Damage, Lafayette, Louisiana. SPE 58738.
5. Bailey, L., Boek, E.S., J acques, S.D.M., Boassen, T.,
Selle, O.M., Argillier, J .-F., Longeron, D.G.
Particulate Invasion From Drilling Fluids. 2000 SPE
European Formation Damage Conference, The Hague.
SPE 67853.
6. Francis, P. A., Eigner, M. R. P., Patey, I. T. M., Spark,
I. S. C. Visulisation of Drilling-Induced Formation
Damage Mechanisms using Reservoir Conditions
Core Flood Testing. 1995 SPE European Formation
Damage Conference, The Hague. SPE 30088.

SPE 107812 7

Table 1 Permeability results for the injection example for
samples 1 and 2.




Sample Operational Sequence Base
Permeabil
ity (mD)
2
nd

Permeabil
ity after 1
st

drawdown
with mud
cake
% change
between
base and
2
nd

permeabili
ty
3
rd

Permeabil
ity minus
mud cake
% change
between
base and
3
rd

permeabili
ty
4
th

Permeabil
ity after
final
drawdown
/ minus
cake
% change
between
base and
4
th

permeabili
ty
Final
permeabili
ty after
spin down
% change
between
base and
final
permeabili
ty
A Drilling mud application
Drawdown to humidified
nitrogen gas
Removal of mud cake
Drawdown to humidified
nitrogen gas
24.6 11.8 -52.0% 16.4 -33.3% 22.9 -6.91% 23.3 -5.28%
Table 2 Permeability results for the drilling mud example
for sample A.





























Diagram 1 Schematic representing the direction and flow for
sample 1. Showing the accumulation of clay fines firstly in the
injection direction and secondly in the back production
direction.


Sample Operational Sequence Base
Permeability
(mD)
2
nd
Permeability
after injection /
drawdown
% change
between base and
2
nd
permeability
Final
permeability after
injection /
drawdown and
spin down
% change
between base and
final permeability
1 Pre-flush with chemical
Injection of Seawater dosed with
chemical package 1
174 180 +3.5% 188 +8.3%
2 Injection of Seawater dosed with
chemical package 2
160 128 -20.3% 133 -16.8%
Injection
Wellbore Inside Fragment.
Predominant mechanism
was pore enlarging / flow
enhancing
Formation Inside
Fragment. Subordinate
mechanism was pore-
restricting/flow reducing
Wellbore
Inlet Face
Formation
Outlet Face
Back Production Wellbore
Outlet Face
Formation
Inlet Face
Wellbore Inside Fragment.
Predominant mechanism was
pore restricting / flow reducing
Formation Inside Fragment.
Subordinate mechanism was
pore enlarging / flow enhancing
8 SPE 107812

Figure 1 Sample 1 before test
EDS analysis identified high silicon, aluminum and iron
element peaks, that indicated chlorite clay when combined
with SEM observations.

Figure 2 Sample 1 before test
EDS analysis identified high silicon and aluminum element
peaks, that indicated kaolinite clay when combined with SEM
observations.

Figure 3 Sample 1 before test
EDS analysis identified high silicon, aluminum and potassium
element peaks, that indicated illite clay when combined with
SEM observations.

Figure 4 Sample 1 after test wellbore face
Kaolinite booklets have become fragmented and dispersed in
comparison to the before test sample.



Figure 5 Sample 1 after test wellbore face
Rearranged chlorite plates, approximately 15m in diameter.



Figure 6 Sample 1 after test wellbore inside
Fines migration indicated by pore filling and grain coating
clay.

SPE 107812 9

Figure 7 Sample 1 after test formation inside
Rearranged Chlorite plate (bottom left view) and fragmented
kaolinite clay plates (top right view).



Figure 8 - Sample 2 before test dry SEM
Kaolinite booklet (middle of view).



Figure 9 Sample 2 after test wellbore inside
Fragmented kaolinite clay (centre view) and agglomerated
amorphous illite clay accumulated to block or occlude pores.



Figure 10 Sample 2 after test formation inside
Visible pore throats with a decrease in the amount of clay
fines that had been removed during fluid throughput leaving
enlarged pore throats.


Figure 11 Sample 2 after test formation face
Rearranged chlorite plates compared to before test and
dispersed kaolinite plates.


Figure 12 Sample A after test wellbore face
Grain coating drilling mud constituents. Percolation channel
visible (centre view).

10 SPE 107812

Figure 13 Sample A after test wellbore inside
Pore filling illite clay with missing filamentous extensions that
had been broken off and were removed from the wellbore
inside.


Figure 14 Sample A after test formation inside
Migrated clay fines shown to accumulate blocking and/or
occluding pores due to bridging and deposition.