The deep and hard limestones found off-shore Brazil are being extensively evaluated, and some of them would require stimulation to enable commercial development. The main objective of this paper is to discuss the feasibility of acid fracturing stimulation in hard carbonates. Laboratory test are performed to verify whether an acid-induced fracture can withstand the high effective normal stresses expected during the exploitation stage of pre-salt development, keeping an acceptable conductivity. There is no agreement in the technical community regarding the survival of an acid fracture at closure stress greater than 5,000 psi. However, the experience that leads to this controversy is mainly based on: (1) wells on land and, (2) few published tests on rocks with mechanical properties compatible with those depths. An experimental program has been designed to evaluate these chances of acid fracture survival. A few initial essays with samples of these carbonate rocks have shown significantly higher rock strength than those commonly found in the literature. Initially, the Nierode & Kruk correlation (1973) is used to predict fracture conductivity behavior. Both mechanical strength and dissolved rock equivalent conductivity are measured from outcrops, and from soft and hard offshore carbonates samples. This work reports the results with outcrops and reservoir samples, in order to assess whether the adopted experimental methodology is consistent and reproducible. Some topics about acid fracture conductivity prediction are also addressed. Further research should be performed with pre-salt rock samples using the same procedures.

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