Unit R is a tight carbonate reservoir onshore Abu Dhabi currently undergoing redevelopment with the aim to substantially improve the ultimate recovery factor. Better pressure support is required to increase the production. To this end, two water injectors were drilled in tight areas where wells suffer from low injectivity index and high well head injection pressure (WHIP). Reaching the expected injection rates therefore required very aggressive matrix-acid stimulation techniques.

Acid wash is a common stimulation practice for medium-high permeability wells in ADNOC when the purpose is merely to remove drilling damage without creating large negative skins. For low permeability reservoirs such as Unit R, more aggressive stimulation techniques are needed to deliver the expected production and injection target rates. We tested two such methods; Well A1 was treated using Abrasive Jetting (JA), which is conveyed by coiled tubing whereas in Well A2, we deployed a Smart Liner (SL) where acid can be bullheaded at high rate from surface.

In Well A1, the Abrasive Jet CTU in Open Hole doubled the injectivity index. However, the Injection Logging Test (ILT) revealed an uneven injection profile along the horizontal section (more injection in the better properties zone).

In well A2, Smart Liner bull-head acid stimulation was able to triple the injectivity index. The ILT shown an even injection profile across the horizontal section, actually slightly more in areas with poor rock properties due to a large number of holes in those intervals.

The cost of the Abrasive Jet is 40% less than the Smart Liner stimulation but the latter has more medium/long term advantages:

  • Even injection along horizontal section (improving sweep efficiency)

  • Ensure 100% accessibility to the well (avoiding formation collapse issue)

  • Stimulation from surface, no need CTU (saving cost), useful for potential future re-stimulations.

After only 10 months of injection the reservoir pressure has increased 50-100 psi in surrounding nearby oil producers, resulting in 20% more oil while honoring all operational guidelines.

It is quite exceptional to be able to assess with real data the effectiveness of two different stimulation techniques. The two pilot wells have same horizontal length, almost same rock properties, and are drilled parallel to each other.

Both Smart Liner and abrasive jetting substantially improve water injectivity but the more uniform flow profile observed in the Smart Liner is a distinct advantage when selecting an appropriate completion-stimulation design for future water injectors.

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