The Edwards Limestone in South Texas often requires stimulation to be commercially productive. The relatively low permeability, high Young's Modulus, presence of natural fractures, minimal stress barriers to control height growth, and formation temperatures up to 375°F provide a challenging environment for a successful stimulation. Conventional stimulation approaches using acid fracturing and proppant fracturing techniques often have resulted in less than optimal effective etched or propped fracture half lengths, respectively.

Horizontal openhole completions have increased the potential reservoir contact to the wellbore, but are not effective without stimulation. Achieving the diversion along the horizontal wellbore that is required to effectively treat the entire interval proved difficult using conventional diversion techniques with particulate and chemical diversion. Furthermore, the difficulty in achieving sufficient fracture width limits the proppant concentration that can be pumped into the formation. Acid fracturing was a desirable stimulation technique, but because of the high reservoir temperature and associated high acid spending rate, it was difficult to achieve a long effective etched half length with acid fracturing.

A unique approach was developed by combining a novel diversion technique with a new stimulation treatment. The diversion technique enables mechanical isolation of the openhole completion during the stimulation treatments. The mechanical diversion system also facilitates efficient pumping of multiple stimulation treatments, resulting in increased reservoir contact to the wellbore. The new stimulation treatment uses a unique lightweight (1.25 SG) proppant-like material that is pumped into the well as an inert substance. The product hydrolyzes only after the solid particles are in the reservoir for an amount of time at temperature. This enables the fracture etching process to occur during shut-in and flowback of the well thus solving the problem of creating long effective etched fracture half lengths with acid. The combination of these two techniques has enabled a much larger stimulated reservoir contact to the wellbore in the Edwards Limestone in South Texas, which leads to improved production.

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