This paper presents the planning and execution process for a key matrix stimulation pilot project performed in the heavy-oil Chichimene field in the central Colombian province of Meta. An understanding of multiple aspects of formation damage, candidate well selection, laboratory testing, treatment fluid selection, onsite quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC), diversion considerations, and placement techniques was fundamental to achieving a successful treatment design. Results are presented in terms of a percentage increase in production rates, percentage decrease in decline rates, and skin value reduction.

Because of current oil and gas industry economics, it is crucial to evaluate the return on investment for any well intervention campaign and apply an assurance process to help quantify the desired improvement in production results. This approach is primarily based on a workflow that includes several key steps: understanding the nature of and characterizing formation damage, reviewing necessary laboratory testing, validating candidate well selection, determining economically viable placement and diversion techniques, and performing QA/QC on site and post-treatment.

Production results from the first five pilot wells are presented along with a review of the production decline and continuous improvement actions. Understanding the induced damage that can be caused by drilling operations, heavy-oil properties, and the potential for emulsion and wettability alteration, in addition to the need to ensure total fluid-fluid compatibility combined with low interfacial tensions (IFTs), can be crucial to achieving results above initial estimates. Aligned with current critical well intervention economics, a rigless operation with coiled tubing (CT) through the Y-tool of an electrical submersible pump (ESP) was selected instead of a traditional intervention with a workover (WO) rig. Because of long treatment intervals and large permeability variations, stages of foamed brine were included in the treatment schedule as a diversion method. A tuned frequency and amplitude tool was used to enhance the placement and effectiveness of the treatment as part of a CT bottomhole assembly (BHA). QA/QC sampling was valuable for treatment monitoring and enhancement.

This paper presents a valuable basis for future candidate well selection and stimulation treatment design. The workflow and its application are a good reference for analogue fields in Colombia and other areas.

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