The paper provides an update on recent advances for, and summarizes global experiences with, dendritic acidizing methods, aka acid tunneling. The scope of the paper includes both Coiled-Tubing (CT) deployed and non-CT methods, and discusses process limitations, candidate selection criteria, job design factors, operational learnings, risks, and surveillance requirements and opportunities. The paper contains a comprehensive review of published information for three different tunneling methods and relevant information for several other tunneling methods. The literature information is supplemented by, depth, temperature, and pressure records for the three processes which are discussed in detail. Execution factors such as logistics required, length of time required, and volumes of acid and other fluids used are also compared for three methods.
Previous papers have focused on only one of the methods, whereas the authors will discuss acid job optimization, process risks, and surveillance requirements for multiple acid tunneling methods in substantially greater depth than have past authors. The three methods detailed in the paper are all viable but may have different niches. Differences in the job counts for the different methods are easily explained by differences in process vintages, execution speeds, and depth limitations. Previous optimization efforts were focused on tunnel creation but not acid job effectiveness in terms of the wormholes generated adjacent to the tunnels; however, some progress is now being made in that regard. There are differences in the processes regarding pushing or pulling the jetting nozzles into the tunnels, and differences in resulting tunnel trajectories. Pre-job caliper data are more critical for one of the processes than for the others, and there are significant differences in ability to measure or control tunnel direction. The tunneling tools have different sizes, but when tool size alternatives are available, the larger tool sizes offer no clear advantages to the operator. Useful risk mitigation measures are also discussed in the paper. The paper includes a comprehensive bibliography to facilitate further examinations of the technology alternatives by other petroleum industry professionals.