Surfactants systems have been used in oil well drilling and completion fluids for several decades and have been used for numerous applications, including emulsification of brine for invert emulsion fluids, emulsion prevention in completion fluids, wellbore clean-up in spacer trains, flowback enhancement in drill-in fluids, etc.

In recent years, the use of specialized designer surfactant blends to remove formation damage and dramatically improve production in cased hole and open hole completed wells has prompted field personnel to expand the range of target applications of this technology.

The aforementioned specialized surfactant blends have several unique functional characteristics that make them ideal for multiple uses in the field. Generally, these systems solubilize oil, remove oil from surfaces, remove emulsions, water-wet and disperse solids, reduce interfacial tension and mobilize in-situ fluids.

With a full understanding of the mechanistic ways that these surfactant blends function under downhole conditions and when confronted with various operational issues in the field, this technology was successfully used to free stuck pipe, to free blocked completion screens of heavy oil sediments and to prepare a well for water injection.

This paper presents some of the technology associated with specialized designer surfactant blends and the case studies where the technology was applied in the field to enable project successes.

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