This paper investigates particle flocculation as a mechanism to remove residual contaminants in well bores during completion operations. Laboratory tests and field trials were conducted demonstrating the ability of flocculating polymer sweeps to improve well bore cleaning efficiency. This process reduces the volume of fluid accumulated in the well bore that is discharged to the environment and minimizes the risk of formation damage by residuals left in the well bore. In addition, a comprehensive environmental impact study was performed on the flocculating polymers which included 72 hrs-EC50, 48 hrs-LC50, 10 day- LC50 tests on a variety of marine organisms, and bioaccumulation and biodegradability tests. In all cases, the flocculating polymers were shown to be environmentally safe at the recommended concentrations.

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