Removal of oil-based filter cake is a complex task especially in horizontal and multilateral wells. The presence of oil makes the removal process more challenging because the oil surrounds the weighting materials and prevents acid-filter cake interaction. Therefore, different additives are required to change the wettability of the filter cake to enhance the removal efficiency. This paper introduces a new biodegradable acid system (NBAS) that can efficiently remove oil-based filter cake in horizontal and multilateral wells where calcium carbonate is used as weighting agent.

The new biodegradable acid system (NBAS) consists of 50 vol.% biodegradable acid and 5 vol.% mutual solvent. HPHT filtration experiments were performed to evaluate the filter cake removal efficiency and the retained permeability. The filtration and removal experiments were conducted on real core samples (Indiana limestone and Berea sandstone) at a temperature of 212°F and 300 psi differential pressure. Afterwards, the NBAS was evaluated by measuring physical properties and conducting corrosion, compatibility and thermal stability studies.

The obtained results showed that the NBAS was compatible and thermally stable for more than 48 hrs at 212°F and 300 psi. The NBAS has a density of 1.05 g/cm3, viscosity of 1.47 cP, and surface tension of 32 dynes/cm at room temperature. The corrosion rate of the developed system was 0.03 lb/ft2 which is acceptable according to oil and gas industry practices. Removal experiments showed that filter cake was completely removed from the core samples. For Berea sandstone, 100% of the permeability was regained while the retained permeability for Indiana limestone was 122.5% confirming the complete removal of external and internal filter cake as well as core samples stimulation.

The new acid system can be considered as an efficiant solution for oil-based filter cake removal that is biodegradable and cost effective where the reservoir permeability can be regained in one stage only.

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