You are on page 1of 2


qxd 6/10/04 2:06 PM Page 56

Well Stimulation

Acidizing a Horizontal Openhole

Completion With Coiled Tubing

A sandstone acidizing treatment was per- mediate hole was drilled. After 95/8-in. cas-
formed on a 1,550-ft horizontal openhole ing was set at the top of the pay zone, an This article, written by Assistant Tech-
gravel-packed completion to restore pro- 81/2-in. production hole was drilled. The nology Editor Karen Bybee, contains
ductivity following impairment by fines length of the open-hole section was 1,550 ft highlights of paper SPE 84129, “Sand-
migration. The treatment was placed by use with less than 7 ft of vertical-depth change stone Acidizing Treatment of a Hori-
of coiled tubing (CT) on a floating produc- over the entire horizontal length. zontal Openhole Completion Using
tion platform and pumped from a marine Coiled Tubing From a Deepwater
stimulation vessel. Pre- and post-job pro- Hoover Completion. Core samples were Floating Production Platform,” by F.L.
duction logs were run to verify treatment used to determine the sand-grain size and Hardin, SPE, M.D. Barry, SPE, and
effectiveness. The full-length paper focuses distribution. This was critical to designing C.E. Shuchart, SPE, ExxonMobil, and
on problem identification, treatment the screen and the gravel size. The screen R.D. Gdanski, SPE, D.W. Ritter, SPE,
design, and measurement of results. design was a premium mesh, with 41/2-in. and D.V. Huynh, SPE, Halliburton
13 Cr base pipe with a nominal 175-µm Energy Services, prepared for the 2003
Introduction opening. The screen material, a nickel/ SPE Annual Technical Conference and
Hoover-Diana is a deepwater Gulf of Mexico chrome alloy, was selected for its excellent Exhibition, Denver, 5–8 October.
(GOM) oil and gas development 160 miles corrosion resistance. Although the screen
south of Galveston, Texas, with blocks in was designed for stand-alone service, all
East Breaks and Alaminos Canyon in water horizontal wells would be gravel packed by formed on the basis of DHPT-gauge data.
depths from 4,600 to 4,800 ft. In this intra- use of a water-pack technique. During the periods when drawdown was
slope salt withdrawal basin, the hydrocar- All wells are equipped with tubing- increased, skin increased constantly. Skin
bon accumulations lie primarily in two retrievable surface-controlled subsurface continued to increase after drawdown was
reservoirs, Diana and Hoover. The Diana safety valves, chemical-injection mandrels, held constant at 1,000 psi.
discovery well was drilled in 1990, and 3D and a downhole pressure and temperature Sidewall cores from the well’s pilot hole
seismic was recorded in 1991. The Hoover (DHPT) gauge. The DHPT gauges are used showed significant percentages of silts and
field was discovered in 1997 and is 12 miles for reservoir surveillance, pressure-buildup clays. Because of this and the observed rela-
east of the Diana reservoir. analysis, production optimization, draw- tionship between increasing drawdown and
down control, and problem diagnosis. increasing skin, the most likely damage mech-
Field Development Plan. The reservoir anism was thought to be fines migration.
development plan is a hybrid drilling and Production History
completion program with six platform-type Initial production rate in December 2000 Pump-In Tests. To confirm the theory of
wells using dry surface trees at Hoover and was nearly 15,000 BOPD at less than 300-psi fines migration as the impairment mecha-
nine remote subsea wells (Diana, Marshall, reservoir drawdown, resulting in a produc- nism, two bullhead pump-in tests were per-
and Madison). The host facility is a deep- tivity index (PI) greater than 50 bbl/(psi-D). formed during June 2001. In the first test,
draft caisson vessel (DDCV) stationed over During much of January 2001, drawdown 25 bbl of xylene and 95 bbl of diesel were
the Hoover field. was held constant, yet PI began to decline. In pumped into the well at an average rate of
The Hoover reservoir is an oil accumula- early February 2001, drawdown was 6 bbl/min. The xylene was included in the
tion in the Pliocene horizon, at 12,700 ft increased to 500 psi and initial production first test to address any potential paraffinic
subsea true vertical depth. The reservoir is rates were restored; however, PI continued buildup in the tubing. A well test was per-
approximately 3 miles long by 2 miles wide. to decline. Between February and May 2001, formed before the pump-in test and follow-
The reservoir thickness varies from 25 to drawdown was steadily increased to ing ramp-up after the pump-in test. The sec-
150 ft gross with good sand quality through- 1,000 psi in an attempt to maintain produc- ond pump-in test was performed much like
out. The Hoover reservoir is an unconsoli- tion rate, but production rate decreased and the first, except that 150 bbl of diesel was
dated deepwater turbidite deposit with PI continued to decline. Drawdown was used. The tests resulted in PI increases of
varying levels of sand-channel amalgama- held constant near 1,000 psi between May 46% and 37%, respectively. These PI
tion. As is common in the GOM, sand con- and August 2001, while productivity contin- increases were short-lived, and PI returned
trol was a requirement for the completions. ued to decline. By August 2001, production to pretest levels within 1 week.
rate had fallen to nearly 4,000 BOPD.
Hoover Drilling. The subject well was Stimulation-Treatment Design
drilled and completed between September Problem Diagnosis Results from the pump-in tests indicated
and December 2000. The casing program Many potential causes were considered to that the likely damage mechanism was fines
included 36-in. structural, 20-in. conductor, explain the observed productivity impair- migration and that a hydrofluoric acid (HF)
and 133/8-in. surface casing. A 12-in. inter- ment. Pressure-buildup analysis was per- treatment might restore well productivity by

56 JULY 2004
84129.qxd 6/10/04 3:06 PM Page 57

dissolving the plugging fines. Fluid selec- ment would be possible across discrete simplified reservoir model developed for the
tion and acid placement would be critical to intervals of the openhole completion. well. Before stimulation, a majority of the
the success of an HF treatment. production flowed from the heel of the hori-
Compatibility of stimulation fluids with Equipment Requirements zontal well. The stimulation allowed the well
formation mineralogy is one of the most The decision was made to use the platform to produce more evenly across the entire hor-
important aspects of selecting the proper flu- drilling rig to support the CT-unit (CTU) izontal length. The well exhibited similar
ids for an HF treatment. Compatibility issues operation because the substructure of the pressure-transient response upon initial com-
addressed included ion-exchange transforma- rig covered the well while over the position pletion and following stimulation, support-
tion of brines, decomposition of clays in of the well currently being drilled. The ing the supposition that the initial inflow dis-
hydrochloric acid (HCl), precipitation of flu- major equipment challenge was dealing tribution may have been similar to the mea-
osilicates, removal of carbonates to prevent with the relative motion between the float- sured post-stimulation inflow profile.
precipitation of complex aluminum fluorides, ing DDCV platform and the well.
silica-gel filming, colloidal silica-gel precipita- A high-pressure 2-in. CTU was mobilized Acid-Returns Analysis. Analysis of spent HF
tion, and separation of various stages of the to the DDCV and rigged up on the top returns has been shown to be a useful way to
treatment in the formation matrix. (drilling) deck. A long riser extended from understand the acidizing chemistry occurring
The X-ray diffraction (XRD) analyses of the top of the tree on the production deck to in the reservoir. The complex reactions of an
core samples from an offset well were domi- the rig floor, where CT blowout preventers HF treatment can be identified from well
nated by quartz (39 to 67%) with a low clay (BOPs) were positioned. A tension lift frame returns by the use of a fully kinetic radial-flow
content. Additional XRD analyses revealed (TLF), supported by the rig block, was used model. The results from matching spent-acid
that some core plugs had a higher zeolite con- to install the CTU injector head and strip- returns with the radial model can indicate
tent (1 to 5%) and occasional siderite. A mix- pers and to suspend the long riser section whether excessive precipitation was avoided,
ture of organic acid containing a low HCl con- and BOPs. The initial equipment rig-up confirm the composition of the reactive mate-
centration was recommended as the HF acid required 21/2 days. rials, and indicate the amount of mixing with
preflush to remove carbonates and minimize The tension maintained on the block dur- formation brine. In brief, the returns analysis
zeolite degradation. The very high sodium ing the job was sufficient to support the indicated approximately 40% recovery of the
feldspar content and the low temperature sug- weight of all equipment (riser, BOPs, strip- spent acid, no evidence of any excessive pre-
gest that there may be a strong potential for pers, injector head, TLF), the block weight, cipitation, and minimal dissolution of calcite.
fluosilicates precipitation during the sec- and the maximum anticipated pull on the The radial penetration of the acid treatment
ondary reaction of HF on clays and feldspar. CT, plus provide a safe overpull to counter- was expected to be approximately 3 ft.
On the basis of formation analysis, the act any instantaneous DDCV motion.
following treatment sequence was pro- Post-Stimulation Performance
posed: an acid preflush consisting of 10% Treatment Placement and Flowback Initial post-stimulation rates were almost
acetic acid, 5% HCl, corrosion inhibitor, and The job was pumped by placing a three-part 12,000 BOPD while operating at approxi-
penetrating agent; HF acid consisting of sandstone acid treatment over each of five mately 200 psi drawdown, resulting in a PI
9% HCl, 1% HF, penetrating agent, clay sta- 300-ft intervals of the lateral. Speed was of 60 bbl/(psi-D). The treatment returned
bilizer, iron control, corrosion inhibitor, and adjusted so that CT traversed the full inter- the well to initial post-completion condi-
surfactant; and an afterflush consisting of val length once as each part of the treatment tions. Drawdown was dramatically reduced,
5% ammonium chloride and a surfactant. was pumped. The first interval treated was at and PI increased.
Because of the critical nature of this treat- the toe of the lateral. After treating the last Because prestimulation well performance
ment, flow tests using the entire treatment interval at the heel of the lateral, an addi- indicated that increasing drawdown aggra-
design were conducted on core-plug sam- tional afterflush was pumped while moving vated fines migration, the decision was
ples from an offset well. Four core plugs CT from the heel to the toe and back to the made to operate the well at a controlled
were taken from the whole core and tested. heel of the lateral. The CT was displaced drawdown after the treatment. While the
On the basis of these tests, the HF concen- with nitrogen and pulled out of the hole treatment obviously improved impairment
tration was increased to 1.5%. while jetting the well in with nitrogen. The caused by fines plugging in the near-well-
treatment was performed in 21/2 days. bore region, it is believed that continued
Diversion. Diversion options such as nitro- Flowback from the well was routed to production at prestimulation drawdown
gen-foam stages between sequenced acid rental surface tanks and production holding levels could cause further fines migration.
preflush, HF, and afterflush stages were tanks. Samples of flowback were taken from Drawdown was held at 200 psi for the first
reviewed. For a similar well in another field, the production stream for analysis before any 3 months following the stimulation, with
nitrogen foam had been used for diversion chemical treatment. Returns were neutral- the production rate from 10,000 to 12,000
with CT to aid in placement of an HCl treat- ized downstream of the sampling point then BOPD. Between November 2001 and June
ment designed to remove carbonate filter staged into the production system. 2002, drawdown was slowly increased to
cake. Because of the dry tree on this well, Approximately 60% of the treatment fluids 300 to 350 psi, while the rate remained from
CT was a practical option for treatment were recovered, and 2,500 bbl were returned 9,000 to 10,000 BOPD. JPT
placement. The desire to minimize expo- when the well was flowed back for 1 day.
sure of the tubulars in the wellbore to acid
plus the ability to place the open end of the Production Logging For a limited time, the full-length paper
CT at discrete points in the openhole com- A comprehensive production-logging (PL) is available free to SPE members at
pletion made this option attractive. With program was conducted both before and after The paper has not
this option, placement of the required the stimulation treatment. The PL and pres- been peer reviewed.
sequential stages of the sandstone acid treat- sure-buildup data were fit quite well with a

JULY 2004 57