The focus of this paper is to discuss the importance of controlling multiple phase interfacial tension between all solids, liquids and gas phases associated with the drilling, completion and maintenance of wells. Particular emphasis will be placed on mature reservoirs, low pressure reservoirs, under saturated reservoirs, low perm reservoirs and their relative hydrocarbon production potential sensitivities associated with the interactions between the fluids and chemicals introduced during the various phases of the life of the well. Supporting laboratory studies and field case histories will be included.

Optimizing reservoir potential in mature, low pressure, under saturated and low perm reservoir environments requires a pro-active engineering design for the well construction and maintenance processes. The intermediate bridge technology between the reservoir and the mechanical equipment throughout the wells existence are the fluids employed to drill, cement, complete, workover and stimulate the well. These fluids and components therein are the primary bridge technologies for enhancing mechanical performance during the well construction process. More importantly these fluids are the primary foreign contact medium with the reservoir and therefore are secondary only to the reservoir quality in defining production potential.

Fluid and chemical selections are therefore dependent upon the rock and insitu fluid characteristics of not only the reservoir but all exposed formations during the drilling process. In all cases, fluid selection should focus on limiting the transference of free fluid from the bulk fluid phase to the reservoir, controlling highly mobile fluid invasion and optimizing surface forces between the rock, fluids and gases associated with the imbibition and invasion processes. Controlling the negative aspects of these interactions with micro-solution technologies minimizes filtercake lift off pressures, optimizes flow back of imbibed and invaded fluids during the drilling and completion processes and minimizes phase trapping. Employing micro-solution technologies in the workover processes improves remediating fluid efficiencies, idealizes the reservoirs permeability to hydrocarbons and the reservoirs production potential.

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