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Acid Stimulation
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Acid stimulation and fracturing
Why acidise?
Acid systems
Treatment types
Formation damage during acidisation
Best practices
Formation damage frequently
not removed by acid.
Understand the damage mechanism first
then design the treatment.
Dont just pump acid to see what happens!
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Types of acid treatment
Different categories of acid
treatment:
Acid (typically HCI) in carbonate
reservoirs above fracture pressure
(acid fracturing)
Acid below fracture pressure in a
carbonate or carbonate-cemented
sandstone to create channels
(wormholes)
Mud acid (HF) in low-carbonate
sandstones, to remove mud
damage or soluble fines
Acid soluble damage in the near
wellbore region (e.g. calcium
carbonate weighting agent in mud
or calcium carbonate scale)
To clean-up blocked natural
fractures
Wormhole casts
Etched fractures
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Limits of acid fracturing
Only works with hard acid-
soluble rocks
Need to control leak-off e.g. VES
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Damage and reaction to hydrochloric acid
Acid-soluble damage:
Calcium carbonate scale
Some perforating debris
Iron oxide (slow reaction)
Some scale mixtures with calcium
carbonate.
Cement particles
Set cement when acid is jetted at
the cement face
Some polymer damage
Some carbonate-based water based
muds
Damage that is not acid soluble:
Organic deposits e.g. wax
Sulfate and most iron sulfide scales
Oil external emulsions
Set cement
Clays, silts and feldspars
80% of perforating debris
Most silicate-based drilling muds
Oil-based muds
Water blocks
Relative permeability problems
Condensate banking
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Acids
Hydrochloric acid
Most widely used acid (cheap, powerful)
15-28% concentration common
Dissolves carbonates, rust, etc. 2HCI +
CaCO
3
= CaCI
2
+ H
2
O + CO
2
Mud acid (hydrochloric + hydrofluoric acid)
12% HCI + 3% HF common
Dissolves clay particle damage in
sandstones
HF + clay = Si, Al in solution
Mud acid must only be used after a pre-
flush of HCI
HF must not contact sodium, potassium or
calcium (precipitates formed)
HCI or diesel used as a post-flush
Organic Acids
Acetic and formic acid
Lower corrosion rates
Slower reaction rates allow for deeper
penetration into formation
HF+CaCO
3
= CaF
2
+ H
2
O + CO
2
Insoluble
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Acid additives
Pre-flush / cooldown pad
Corrosion inhibitors (specific to the metallurgy)
Surfactants (mutual solvent)
Clay inhibitors
Iron control agents
Gelling or fluid loss agents
Diversion agents e.g. foam, wax beads
Nitrogen
Retardants
Overflush
Do they react with oil, lost
fluids (e.g. muds), other
additives or the reservoir?
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Acid treating additives.
Function Types/Material Design Considerations.
Corrosion Inhibitor Organic Surfactants (Amine) Temperature
Acid Concentration.
Tubular Steel
Shear Rate.
Iron Control Agents Chelating Agents (sequestering agent)
Reducing Agents
Ratio of Ferric to Ferrous ions.
Iron Minerals in formation.
Sour Gas
Surfactants Mixed anionic and non-ionic surfactants 1. 3%
Corrosion Inhibitor
Fines to be suspended
API RP 42 tests.
Demulsifiers Surfactants Mutual solvents Fresh Crude
Formation fines
Anti-sludge agents Surfactants Fresh Crude.
Friction Reducers Organic polymers Pump Rate Tubing size friction.
Diverting agents Ball sealers
Particles
Polymers
VES
Zone length
Injectivity variation
Reservoir condition
Injection rate per perforation.
Acid Retarder Additives
Formulation
Acid selection
Temperature
Contact time
Dynamics
Clay control agent Quaternary Amine Polymers Clay content SEM photo
Mutual Solvents EGMBE Clay content clean up time.
Gassification N
2
CO
2
Reservoir Pressure - Permeability
Wellhead injection pressure rating.
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Formation damage during acidisation
Corrosion
Iron precipitation
Fluid incompatibilities
Liquid block in gas wells
Fines mobilisation
Caused by
spent acid (esp.
in low pressure
wells).
HCI may cause silica
fines to be released
from clays. HF may
precipitate silica fines.
Beware of acid and oil forming an
emulsion or sludge - possibly
encouraged by iron in the acid.
Beware of acid mixing with
remains of oil-based mud. Beware
surfactants.
Acid
Use corrosion inhibitors - but
beware that excess inhibitor could
itself cause damage
Pickle the tubing before pumping
any acid to minimise damaging
ferric irons in the spent acid
Think before you charge ahead with an acid job!
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Acid damage to pipe.
Alloy pipe - reaction with acids controlled (slowed) to 250oF or
121oC. More severe reaction as acid concentration and
temperature increase.
Chrome pipe VERY susceptible to acid attack. Best
approach is to use lower concentration acid, correct inhibitor
plus inhibitor intensifier, shorter time and mix inhibitors
immediately before pumping. Even better avoid acid.
Duplex pipe test specific alloys some are easily damaged
by acid.
Plastic pipe and liners refer to manufacturer.
Cement lined pipe usually not recommended for acid
contact.
Copper, brass, aluminium, chrome plating etc do not use
acid.
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Chrome pipe after acidizing with the proper inhibitor and a inhibitor
intensifier. Source Khalefa Esaklul
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Chrome pipe after acidizing no inhibitor
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Treatment types
Three things need to be considered:
Getting the acid to the reservoir?
What sort of acid job are we
going to perform?
What type of diversion required?
Bullheading vs. circulating
Bullheading should be the last
resort
Ensure tubing/surface lines are
clean
Do everything to avoid solids
being pumped into the formation
Acid treatments
Methods of getting acid
to the formation
Circulating via
coiled tubing
or
or
Circulating via dedicated
workstring
Bullheading -
down production
tubing
Coiled tubing may
restrict rates
Dedicated work string
must be scrupulously
clean
Beware of potential
damage from rust,
scale, wax, dope or
dirt being forced into
the formation.
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Leakoff conrol
Leakoff is required to get acid to flow into the zone.
Without leakoff, there is no reaction.
However - by reacting with the flow path, acid increases
the rate of leakoff, increasing rate and/or decreasing
injection pressure, thus making injection into other zones
much less likely.
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Leakoff conrol
Without any modification of the
flow path, where will most of the
acid go?
Where would we like it to go?
How do we make it happen.
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Diversion.
By preferentially reducing the permeability of the high perm zones,
there is a chance to force acid into the lower perm zones. When the
block is effective, the injection pressure will rise and/or the injection
rate will drop. If a pressure rise at a set rate is not seen, the diverter
probably did not work.
Most diverting agents restrict rather than block flow through.
The blockage must be temporary it will need to be removed
post treatment.
Straddle packers on CT
Particle materials.
Ph sensitive gels
Foam
Ball sealers
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Straddle Packers
Ball
valve
Circulating
valve
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Diversion
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Acid flowback
The purpose of backflow after an acid job is to
remove liquids, gases, solids and emulsions
from the well.
The goal is to leave the well with minimum
obstructions to production and the lowest
potential for future problems.
If the returns are not dirty then it is reasonable to
conclude that the well is cleaning up poorly.
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Acid flowback
Gas CO2 is a byproduct, N2 is often used as an
energy source.
H2S can be present if Fe2S is acidized.
Emulsions (and sludges) a frequent by-product
of interaction between oils and spent acids.
Usually gas cut and silt and surfactant stabilized
Foams spent acids and some oils foam
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Acid flowback
Spent fluid density.
10% HCl 9 lb/gal
15% HCl 10 lb/gal
28% HCl 11 lb/gal
Remember that the main liquid flow back from an
acid job is calcium chloride brine with a higher
density and more (?) emulsification problems.
Denser fluids are more difficult to lift and may
precipitate scales and minerals that are not typically
seen in production operations. Recover spent acid
fluids as quickly as possible to minimize problems.
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Acid flowback
Solids
The backflowed acid should contain solids. If it
does not, the solids are staying in the well.
The solids liberated from acid reaction of
formation are often the right size to stabilize
emulsions.
Each 1000 gal of 15% HCl:
dissolves 1840 lb (900 kilos) of calcium carbonate
could possible free up to 280 to 550 lb (130 to 250
kilos) of fines (non acid soluble particles) from
formations that are 70 to 80% soluble.
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Acid flowback.
Ensure that all traces of acid have been eliminated from
the system before bringing the well back onto
production.
If spent acid must be passed through top-sides piping
and equipment. Additional precautions needed:
neutralize, overdose w/ inhibitor, add extra inhibitor.
Minimize residence times of spent acid in top-sides
equipment. Particular attention needs to be paid to
avoiding trapping spent acid in dead areas.
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Pre and post-stimulation well tests to evaluate skin
Collect return spent acid - evaluate for sludge and iron
content (take frequent samples through flowback)
Keep careful records throughout - volumes,
pressures, samples
Monitor well for any decline
Use of radioactive tracers
Acid Stimulation/
Chemical Treatments - Best Practices
PRE-JOB PLANNING
Study rock mineralogy
What will acid achieve and how will you confirm this?
Test for increased permeability
Stimulate enhanced production in reservoir simulator
How deep does acid need to go?
Temperature - is it critical to acid re-action
Is diversion needed?
What clean-up flow is required- perhaps the acid will only
be partially spent?
SAFETY AWARENESS
PREVENTION OF ACID DAMAGE
Check acid recipe compatibility with:
formation (return permeability tests)
oil
formation water
tubing (different tubing metallurgy will require different
inhibitors. Remember many corrosion inhibitors can be
very damaging to the formation)
drilling mud.
Do tests with simulated spent acid
Use fresh oil where possible - oil ages with time.
Tests should be at downhole temperature and should
confirm that there are no precipitates, emulsions or
sludges.
Maintain QA/QC throughout
Check specifications of all chemicals delivered
Batch mix treatment
Check that everything is as per design
Check that all pipework and equipment is clean
hardware previously used for a cement job is
unsuitable)
PREVENTION OF ACID DAMAGE
EVALUATION OF ACID JOB
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Calculating treatment volume
Calculate the pore volume for the following conditions.
Porosity 18%
Treatment radius 36 inches
Hole diameter 8.5 inches
Height to be treated 15 f
p
2
w
r
2
a
Volume Pore h
r
V
=
o
7.48t
=
Vp = Volume in US Gallons
ra (treatment radius) and rw (wellbore radius) in feet
h in feet
Porosity as a fraction (divide by 100 if quoted as a percentage)
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Injection Rate - Maximum
To calculate the maximum injection rate.
| |
] [ln
10 917 . 4
6
max
S
r
r
Sf p p h k
i
w
e
acid
frac n av
+


=

u
Rate is in barrels per minute
Maximum BHP Treating = Frac gradient * Depth
Surface Treating Pressure = Max BHP Safety Factor- Hydrostatic + Pressure
loss in pipe + pressure loss across perfs
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