The demand for hydrocarbons is expected to grow worldwide. As a result, deeper reservoirs are being explored. Emulsified acid systems are preferred for the stimulation of high-temperature carbonate reservoirs with bottomhole temperatures (BHTs) of 275°F and above. The retarded nature of an emulsified acid system decreases both the acid reaction rate and the rate of corrosion. However, the lack of emulsion stability of these systems is a major problem associated with high-temperature applications (at 300°F and above).
Corrosion inhibitors and intensifiers can interfere with the stability of an emulsified acid system, which consequently leads to higher corrosion losses. At the same time, there is a need for better inhibition systems to counteract the effects of corrosion at higher temperatures. In this paper, a combination of three intensifiers was used, based on the differences in their mechanisms for inhibitor intensification action. The study includes the effect of varying the concentration of each component, hydrochloric (HCl) acid strength (20 to 28%), and temperature (275 to 325°F) on the stability and corrosion rate using P-110/N-80 coupons. The unique combination of the corrosion inhibitor and three intensifiers with proper optimization created a system capable of passing a corrosion test at 300°F using 28% HCl acid. The temperature limit of the system can be extended up to 325°F using an additional intensifier with 25% acid strength.
The present system can be used for acid stimulation of carbonate reservoirs with BHTs up to 325°F. This study revealed a better understanding of the effect of the intensifiers in an emulsified acid system and the synergism amongst them. This enabled the use of an emulsified acid stimulation on carbonate reservoirs having BHTs up to 325°F while reducing the corrosion rate to a level that meets the current market demand for acidizing operations. This work shows that emulsified acid systems can be used with HCl acid strengths ranging from 20 to 28% at high temperatures. The resultant better wormholing at high temperatures should also lead to enhanced oil production.