Great care must be exercised in the formulation and use of completion and workover fluids; otherwise extreme damage can be done by "non-damaging" fluids. Excessive loss of brines, polymers, or bridging solids to a producing strata can result in irreversible formation damage. Rapid formation of an effective filter cake on the formation face with the resultant low filtration rate and minimum solids penetration can significantly reduce the potential for formation damage.

Laboratory data indicates that low filtration rates achieved with the formation of a thin, competent filter film composed of properly sized bridging particles and hydrocolloid polymers will most effectively prevent formation damage. The deposited filter film acts as a downhole filter, screening out unwanted solids from the small volume of filtrate actually entering the formation.

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