We present the first quantitative study and complete model of the wormholing phenomenon, leading to a means of predicting and optimizing carbonate acidizing treatments. Laboratory experiments on a gypsum model system and computer simulations show that for a given geometry, wormholes can be quantified by a unique parameter, their equivalent hydraulic length. The behavior of this quantifying parameter vs. all the system parameters is studied and allows the quantitative prediction of the efficiency of an acidizing treatment. This study highlights the fractal nature of the phenomenon, which is accounted for in the equations, and the strong effect of the sample geometry. Three types of etching can be obtained: compact, wormhole type, or homogeneous. The optimum conditions for achieving die best skin decrease correspond to the creation of wormholes and can then be defined in terms of fluid reactivity and injection rate.

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