Quick clean up and dramatic improvements in reservoir producibility have been achieved in gas wells located offshore Egypt. These wells were drilled and completed using an engineered drill-in fluid system. The fluid formulation was carefully designed and extensively tested in three different laboratories prior to the field applications to help ensure reproducibility of the data and to verify the non damaging characteristics of the fluid. These tests were conducted under simulated downhole conditions to help ensure fluid compatibility with the reservoir rock minerals and natural fluids.

To help minimize fluid invasion while drilling in the payzone section, the optimal concentration and particle size distribution (PSD) of the suspended bridging material were selected and maintained during the field applications. The PSD of pure ground marble was selected based on the reservoir rock morphology and average pore size to establish effective bridging near the wellbore and help ensure quick lift-off of the filter cake.

A high-density calcium chloride / calcium bromide brine blend (14-14.5 lb/gal ≃ 1.68 sp.gr.-1.74 sp.gr.) was used as the base fluid to achieve and maintain the required fluid density without additions of insoluble weight material. Optimal concentrations of non-damaging temperature-stable polymers were used to provide suspension and filtration control. The gas reservoir section was drilled and completed in several wells with the new system. Productivity index and flow rates exceeded the operator’s expectations without any stimulation treatments. Substantial savings were realized in terms of rig time and well completion costs.

This paper presents the laboratory and field-generated data and discusses the key issues in designing and monitoring the new drill-in fluid during the field applications.

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