Tight gas reservoirs normally have production problems due to very low matrix permeability and significant damage during well drilling, completion, stimulation and production. Therefore, they might not flow gas at optimum rates without advanced production improvement techniques.

The main damage mechanisms and the factors that have significant influence on total skin factor in tight gas reservoirs include mechanical damage to formation rock, water blocking, relative permeability reduction around wellbore as a result of filtrate invasion and liquid leak-off into the formation during fracturing operations. Drilling and fracturing fluids invasion mostly occurs through permeable zones or natural fractures and might also lead to serious permeability reduction in the rock matrix that surrounds the wellbore, natural fractures, or hydraulic fracture wings.

This study represents evaluation of water blocking damage in tight gas formations, and the influence on core flow efficiency and well productivity. Core scale reservoir simulations were carried out based on a typical Western Australia tight gas reservoir in order to numerically model liquid invasion during overbalanced, balanced and underbalanced drilling, and the effect on gas production in clean-up period. The simulation results describe how water blocking reduces near wellbore permeability and affects well productivity and gas recovery from tight gas reservoirs.

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