Scale is a major problem for the oil and gas industry and is often controlled by the use of downhole scale inhibitor squeeze treatments. The placement of scale inhibitor in acid fractured limestone reservoirs presents a particular challenge and effective placement of scale inhibitor cannot be guaranteed when performing conventional low rate (<10bpm) bullhead squeeze treatments. In order to ensure the fluid package is placed over the whole of fractured interval it is necessary to perform high rate scale squeezes (40-60bpm) in conjunction with mechanical divertors. However, these treatments are expensive and limit the amount to treatments that can be performed per day in a scale squeeze campaign.

This paper describes the development of a range of viscosified polymeric scale inhibitors for squeeze application in acid fractured wells. A particular feature of these products is their viscous self diverting nature which means they can be used at low pump rates at rates of <10bpm. This method also precludes the use of mechanical divertors and enables cross flow problems to be overcome and effective chemical placement over the whole of fractured interval. In addition, this offers the benefit of improved scale control and squeeze lifetimes coupled to considerable economic savings by being able to perform more treatments per day using conventional pumping equipment.

A detailed investigation into the rheological properties of selected products has been performed to design the optimal delivery system. Experimental data on the compatibility of a variety of viscosifying agents and chemical breakers different types of polymeric scale inhibitors will be presented. This will include viscosity profiles, shear thinning behavior and breaking times for these systems. Inhibitor performance and core flood studies to evaluate formation damage potential and retention and release characteristics will be also be presented. In addition, the paper will add the results of a computer modelling study to validate the experimental data and aid the placement strategy for optimum field application.

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