Early return on investment, high productivity indexes, late water/gas breakthrough and tight reservoir oil recovery are among the benefits of horizontal well over vertical well. Many operators have perfected and standardized the drilling and completion procedures of horizontal wells, however, the results of the different drain hole cleanup approaches have been inconsistent (especially where oil or pseudo-oil base mud were used during drain hole drilling).

Conventionally, the removal of the damage caused by drilling mud filter cakes and filtrate is achieved with the aid of acid cleanup, Nitrogen lifting or brine wash. While the results of enzymes or acid cleanup in water based mud filter cakes removals are encouraging, the results in oil or pseudo-oil base filter cakes have been considerably inconsistent.

This paper details the Pop-Off approach to the removal of drilling fluid damage and filter cake in horizontal wells with high heterogeneous permeability profiles. The paper described how the application of filter cake flow initiation pressure combined with treated drill-in fluid base fluid and reservoir's fluid solvent and dispersion power have delivered superior and consistent value on investment. The results from the application of this method showed remarkably low drawdowns and high productivity indexes. Field data resulting from this method demonstrates a history of 100% technical and economical success with more than 150% improvement in recovery and projected productivity index. In addition, there has been consistent improvement in sustenance of well productivity with wells treated with Pop-Off method over wells treated with previously applied conventional methods of filter cake removal.

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