Acid Fracturing has been one of the most effective stimulation technique applied in the carbonate formations to enhance oil and gas production. The traditional approach to stimulate the carbonate reservoir has been to pump crosslinked gel and acid blends such as plain 28% HCL, emulsified acid (EA) and in-situ gelled acid at fracture rates in order to maximize stimulated reservoir volume with desired conductivity.

With the common challenges encountered in fracturing carbonate formations, including high leak-off and fast acid reaction rates, the conventional practice of acid fracturing involves complex pumping schemes of pad, acid and viscous diverter fluid cycles to achieve fracture length and conductivity targets. A new generation of Acid-Based Crosslinked (ABC) fluid system has been deployed to stimulate high temperature carbonate formations in three separate field trials aiming to provide rock-breaking viscosity, acid retardation and effective leak-off control.

The ABC fluid system has been progressively introduced, initially starting as diverter / leak off control cycles of pad and acid stages. Later it was used as main acid-based fluid system for enhancing live acid penetration, diverting and reducing leakoff as well as keeping the rock open during hydraulic fracturing operation. Unlike in-situ crosslinked acid based system that uses acid reaction by products to start crosslinking process, the ABC fluid system uses a unique crosslinker/breaker combination independent of acid reaction. The system is prepared with 20% hydrochloric acid and an acrylamide polymer along with zirconium metal for delayed crosslinking in unspent acid. The ABC fluid system is aimed to reduced three fluid requirements to one by eliminating the need for an intricate pumping schedule that otherwise would include: a non-acid fracturing pad stage to breakdown the formation and generate the targeted fracture geometry; a retarded emulsified acid system to achieve deep penetrating, differently etched fractures, and a self-diverting agent to minimize fluid leak-off.

This paper describes all efforts behind the introduction of this novel Acid-Based Crossliked fluid system in different field trials. Details of the fluid design optimization are included to illustrate how a single system can replace the need for multiple fluids. The ABC fluid was formulated to meet challenging bottom-hole formation conditions that resulted in encouraging post treatment well performance.

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