A new technique for open hole circulation gravel packs was implemented on three wells in the Tejon Field, Kern County, California that improved pack placement procedures and resulted in reduced completed well costs. The following contributed to overall well performance: (1) fluid selection to match reservoir characteristics, (2) polymer selection to stabilize the wellbore and place the pack effectively, (3) compatibility and displacement of underreaming and gravel pack fluids, (4) shearing and filtering techniques to minimize microgel effects and (5) breaker selection to eliminate polymer effects in a timely manner. Two smectite rich production zones having a combined length in excess of 500 feet were packed as a single stage circulation pack using an inhibitive carrier fluid viscosified with a clarified xanthan gum biopolymer. The clarified xanthan gum fluid also proved to be superior in maintaining a stable wellbore in which to run the slotted liner. The gravel pack fluid was continuously filtered through diatomaceous earth and 10 micron absolute cartridge filters throughout the circulation pack procedure. Photomicrographs and gravimetric analysis of the fluid illustrate the effectiveness of the shearing and filtering procedure before and during pack placement.

Improved initial production rates were realized by implementing this cost effective procedure.

You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.