Proper test and evaluation methodology for reservoir drill-in fluids is an important step in the construction design of a producing wellbore. Drill-in fluids are specifically designed to meet drilling and completion objectives, simplify reservoir cleanup and maximize production rates in open hole completions. New protocols developed by drilling fluid and completion laboratories have proven to be effective tools for evaluating fluid designs that optimize production.

Drill-in fluid selection begins with an initial screening process taking into account qualifying issues such as environmental acceptability, reservoir temperature, physical limitations, and chemical compatibility between the fluid and the reservoir. The final fluid formulation should minimize formation damage, fluid leak-off rates, breakout pressures, and wellbore cleanup of drill-in and completion operations, thus maximizing the productivity of the well.

Formation damage risks can be minimized if laboratory testing procedures parallel specific reservoir conditions. Case studies confirm that a methodology based on laboratory data that incorporates drilling fluid, completion, and workover operation protocols is effective in lowering completion costs and increasing production.

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