Acid retardation through emulsification is commonly used in reservoir stimulation operations, however, emulsified acid are viscous fluids, thus require additional equipment at field for preparation and pumping requirements. Mixture of HCl with organic acids and/or chemical retarders have been used developed to retard acid reaction with carbonate, however, lower dissolving power. Development of low viscosity and high dissolving retarded acid recipes (e.g., equivalent to 15-26 wt.% HCl) addresses the drawbacks of emulsified acids and HCl acid mixtures with weaker organic acids. The objective of this study is to compare wormhole profile generated as a result of injecting acids in Indian limestone cores using 28 wt.% emulsified acid and single-phase retarded acids at comparable dissolving power at 200 and 300°F. Coreflood analysis testing was conducted using Indiana limestone core plugs to assess the pore volume profile of retarded acid at temperatures of 200 and 300° F. This test is supported by Computed Tomography to evaluate the propagation behavior as a result of the fluid/rock reaction.
Wider wormholes were observed with 28 wt.% emulsified acid at 200°F when compared to test results conducted at 300°F. The optimum injection rate was 1 cm3/min at 200 and 300°F based on wormhole profile and examined flow rates. Generally, face-dissolution and wider wormholes were observed with emulsified acids, especially at 200°F. Narrower wormholes were formed as a result of injecting retarded acids into Indiana limestone cores compared to 28 wt.% emulsified acid. Breakthrough was not achieved with retarded acid recipe at 300°F and flow rates of 1 and 3 cm3/min, suggesting higher flow rates (e.g., > 3 cm3/min) are required for the retarded acid to be more effective at 300°F.