PDVSA operates the RG-231 and AM-102 wells, located in eastern Venezuela. The wells are characterized by stratified reservoirs and complex geology due to the presence of low permeability and porosity. The RG-231 well is in a gas reservoir with extremely low permeability (less than 0.02 md). During a well-testing operation, additional perforations were added to increase gas production. The AM-102 well was in an oil reservoir.

To effectively meet the operator’s needs for a method that would help to optimize well productivity and costs without compromising the results of the operation, a change from traditional perforating operations was required. A propellant-assisted perforating method to optimize well productivity while maintaining stringent health, safety and environmental standards was proposed. The propellant-assisted perforating method uses standard perforating components and procedures; thus, it was capable of providing the necessary safety features. The propellant is essentially an oxidizer that creates carbon dioxide gas at extremely high peak pressures in the millisecond time regime to overcome in-situ stresses and create perforation breakdown and mild fracturing near the wellbore.

This paper will focus on the method developed to satisfy the operational challenges specific to the PDVSA wells. The discussion will cover the results obtained by using propellant technology in a low-permeability, low-porosity reservoir as well as how the technique was capable of addressing the operator’s requirements in data acquisition as well as the difficult reservoir conditions. Instrumental in the success of the methodology was the combined use of super-deep penetration technology and propellant assisted perforation.

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