Foam diversion has industry recognition as a proven approach to diversion in remedial sandstone acidizing in deep-water environments. With long intervals and large displacement volumes it is critical that a stable diverter reach the perforations with sufficient viscosity to sustain diversion effectiveness. Industry publications and laboratory testing indicate that non-stabilized foam systems tend to breakdown over time. A novel sandstone acidizing diverter (SSAD) system was recently developed and applied successfully in the field.

The new SSAD system is comprised of a surfactant based gelling agent prepared in an ammonium chloride base fluid. The formulation of the SSAD system can be altered as needed to obtain desired rheology and break profile. In order to demonstrate the viscosity potential of this system, formulations without breaker were prepared in the laboratory for each specific well application at bottom-hole temperature. For instance, a formulation designed for 240 °F bottom-hole temperature, provided a stable viscosity slug of 300 cp at 100s-1 for six hour duration. The system maintained viscosity above 100 cp at 40s-1 after six hours with internal breaker.

In 2015, two wells in deep water Gulf of Mexico with 200°F bottom-hole temperatures and an average perforated interval of 114 ft were treated with an organic mud acid treatment with no diverter. These zones were then re-stimulated in late 2016 with the same organic mud acid system and the new SSAD system. The initial production of the two wells treated in 2015 versus the re-stimulation treatment in 2016 showed a twofold production increase. Diversion pressure response was observed to be as high as 285 psi.

The SSAD system can be applied in wells with low and elevated bottomhole temperatures up to 300°F. The SSAD system is non-damaging to the formation and will break in presence of hydrocarbons, or an internal breaker can be added for enhanced clean-up. Other features include extended fluid stability and no additional mixing equipment or personnel requirements compared to foam.

The case study of the two wells in deep water Gulf of Mexico demonstrates the effectiveness of the new SSAD treatment compared to the conventional treatments without diversion being previously pumped in the Gulf of Mexico. Not only do SSAD treatments provide enhanced diversion compared to foam, on average, the cost of an SSAD system is 25% less than a treatment using foam diversion.

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