The potential for formation damage caused by the use of high density brines has only recently begun to be studied. Unfavorable fluid/rock interaction has been shown to produce mobile fines and swelling clays with the added potential for the precipitation of brine insoluble salts. Some operators have started lowering the pH of CaCl2 and/or CaBr2 brines by requiring a minimum of 8% ZnBr2. The hope was to prevent the precipitation of acid soluble salts. This approach has significant practical and economic limitations. This study evaluates alternatives to use of ZnBr2 as a primary component of standard CaCl2 and/or CaBr2 brines. Laboratory core flow tests were conducted to evaluate surfactant systems potential for preventing this formation damage.

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