Wormholing during matrix acidizing of carbonate reservoirs is known to be predominantly mass transfer limited. Mass transfer coefficient, controlled by

  1. the fluid injection rate and

  2. the acid diffusion coefficient, dictates the speed and profile of the wormholes.

Injection rate is easily obtained from the job execution, whereas the diffusion coefficient is intrinsically a hidden parameter of the fluid and reaction conditions. Acid diffusion coefficient data used in modeling the wormholing processes are commonly obtained at 1000 psi system pressure, which is too low to represent realistic reservoir conditions. In order to properly quantify the acid penetration inside the formation, the diffusion coefficient of acid acquired from high-pressure reservoir conditions should be used.

In this study, we investigate the effects of diffusion coefficients of HCl acid as it reacts with calcite. We use a rotating disk apparatus to obtaine the CO2-impacted kinetics at downhole conditions. The test results show that the diffusion coefficient of the HCl acid is much lower at high pressure than low pressure at the same concentration due to the impact of CO2 produced by the HCl-carbonate reaction. At higher pressure, more CO2 tends to stay in an aqueous phase, which slows down the reaction of HCl and the carbonate formation. For example, at 150 °F, the diffusion coefficient of 15% HCl at 3,000 psi reduced 50% of its original value when at 1,000 psi of 15% HCl.

This new set of kinetics data is then implemented in a 3D wormholing model to predict wormhole morphology and penetration velocity. The model uses a CT-scan rendered porosity field to capture the finer details of the rock fabric. Simulation results of fluid flow coupled with reaction provide new insights on how acidizing design models should be improved to more accurately quantify wormhole penetration, which then leads to more accurate production forecasts.

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