Historically, leak-off analyses of stimulation fluids have been performed using in-house laboratory procedures. The lack of industry standard procedures to perform leak-off and wall building coefficient analyses of stimulation fluids has introduced inconsistency in both results and reporting for many years. A technical standard adopted in 2006 by both API and ISO for static conditions has provided the oil and gas industry with the first standardized procedure to measure and report leak-off1 . However, the more complex testing under dynamic conditions was not addressed. As a result, a group of industry experts have compiled their years of experiences in developing a new technical standard to measure the leak-off characteristics of stimulation and gravel-pack fluids under dynamic flow conditions.
Stimulation and gravel-pack fluids are defined, for the purpose of this technical standard, as fluids used to enhance production from oil and gas wells by fracturing and fluids used to place filtration media to control formation sand production from oil and gas wells. Leak-off is the amount of fluid lost to porous media during these operations. The leak-off procedure was developed through the collaboration of several industry companies by evaluating numerous in-house laboratory techniques and conducting round robin testing to ensure that any modifications to these procedures were reliable and repeatable. The new standard provides a step-by-step procedure that includes fluid preparation, experimental equipment design, testing procedure and data analyses for fluids exhibiting viscosity controlled leak-off or wall building characteristics. Example calculations are reviewed within this paper.