Balanced drilling through naturally fractured reservoir and controlling loss for preventing reservoir damage and rehabilitation of normal production is a serious challenge in the Kohat-Potwar basin of Pakistan. The potential of hydrocarbons in these reservoir rocks has been masked by the overbalance drilling practices in this region. Due to overbalance drilling in fractured reservoirs and the use of heavy mud with barite blocks the fractures and that results in little or no flow during DST. The negative results of DSTs usually force the decision makers either to abandon the well or to re-test and establish the connectivity between the formation and the well bore.
The well under study was drilled in fractured carbonate reservoir rock to a depth of more than 5000 meters in Kohat–Potwar basin to target Datta and Lockhart formations. During drilling, due to complexities, well could not reach the Datta formation. No wire line and image logs could be obtained in Lockhart formation due to slim hole. The last 5-7/8 inch hole of this well had to be drilled by using Oil Based Mud (OBM) to control well bore instability, the same mud was used in the reservoir sections. During drilling, losses were observed in the reservoir section. On the basis of drilling information, the well was directly completed in the Lockhart formation. After completion, well was allowed to flow but no hydrocarbon surfaced. As Lockhart formation is proven producer, and it became a challenge to evaluate the reservoir for its production potential and to find out the causes of no flow from the formation.
After negative results of well test, all the data of G & G and mud logging was reviewed and detailed analysis of fractures network over the field were carried out to understand the well behavior. The data revealed that mud losses during drilling are indicative of fracture's presence in the tested zone(s) and fractures may have been plugged resulting in no flow during test. It was realized that reservoir has potential but connectivity between formation and the well bore need to be enhanced. Even after no flow during initial testing of the well for long period, bold decision of cleaning of the well was under taken andseries of Nitrogen kick off jobs were undertaken to facilitate the well to flow. The nitrogen kick off werecontinued for four months, longest cleaning job ever undertaken in Pakistan and close monitoring of well was put inplace. After four months, WHFP started improving and flow of the hydrocarbons was observed and finally 730 bbl/d of oil and 1.6MMscfdgas were recorded. After the flow of the well, stimulation, with special recipe after lab experiments for OBM, wascarriedout with very encouraging results. After producing about one year, the well is still cleaning under natural flow.
In this paper, we would try to share our experiences about the use of OBM in fractured carbonate reservoirs, fracture characterization, reservoir damage and its remedial jobs. In addition to this, well performance, well cleaning and stimulation methodology, evaluation of non-flow behavior of well during initial testing and the lessons learned to transform failure to success will be explained.