Abstract

Preventing and curing fluid losses in limestone formations is one of the most challenging loss situations to prevent and control. Loss zones are unpredictable, due to large vugular zones and extended and connected fracture structures. Often these limestone intervals are depleted reservoirs. Typically, calcium carbonate pills containing various size distributions are part of the lost circulation armory in reservoir sections. However, results are highly variable and not suitable for large-scale losses. This is distinguished for those situations with the most-severe lost circulation, where chemical sealants may be more applicable than treatments by plugging particles.

The paper discusses about use of a cross-linking polymer fluid treatment that enables operators to cure lost circulation zones in many different applications, providing distinct operational and economic advantages over conventional reactive and temperature activated methods.

The paper discusses the customization of the polymer fluid to have specific thickening or setting time so this loss circulation fluid can be pumped through the existing bottomhole assembly (bit nozzle size greater than 14/32nd) without losing rig time associated with tripping and mixing conventional loss circulation material treatments (LCM). The paper discusses the execution procedures and cautions to be followed to improve cross-link LCM plug placement as well as chances to arrest losses.

Due to biodegradable nature of organic cross-linking polymer plugs, it was used in sensitive reservoirs with minimal effect on the formation. The cross-linked plug or pill, with time and temperature, will break back to a fluid state and may be produced back and circulated from the wellbore.

The discussions in this paper will further reveal the workings and applicability of cross-link polymer fluid to lower costs for drilling fluids, cementing and casing design.

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