A New Effective Stimulation Treatment for Long Horizontal Wells Drilled in Carbonate Reservoirs
- Hisham A. Nasr-El-Din (Saudi Aramco) | Nabil S. Alhabib (Saudi Aramco) | Adib A. Al-Mumen (Saudi Aramco) | Mohamed Jemmali (Schlumberger) | Mathew Samuel (Schlumberger)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- August 2006
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 330 - 338
- 2006. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 3.3.1 Production Logging, 3.2.4 Acidising, 5.1.1 Exploration, Development, Structural Geology, 1.8 Formation Damage, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 3.1.2 Electric Submersible Pumps, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 2.2.2 Perforating, 5.8.7 Carbonate Reservoir, 1.6.5 Drilling Time Analysis, 1.11 Drilling Fluids and Materials, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 3 Production and Well Operations, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant)
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Effective matrix acidizing of horizontal and multilateral wells can be a highly challenging task. Unlike vertical wells, horizontal wells can extend several thousand feet into the formation. Reservoir heterogeneity and the length of the horizontal leg can make acid placement and diversion very difficult. In addition, the low drawdown encountered in horizontal wells results in longer times to lift the spent acid from the well, especially in tight formations.
To achieve better acid diversion in horizontal wells drilled in carbonate reservoirs, a viscoelastic-surfactant-based system was used. The components of this new system are HCl and a viscoelastic surfactant. The acid dissolves calcite and dolomite minerals and produces calcium and magnesium chlorides. The increase in pH forces the surfactant molecules to form rod-shaped micelles. The produced chloride salts further stabilize these structures, especially at high temperatures. The rod-shaped micelles will significantly increase the viscosity of the acid, diverting the acid into tight, unstimulated, or severely damaged zones.
More than 100 wells with openhole (OH) completions were successfully stimulated in two offshore oil fields in Saudi Arabia by use of the new acid system. With a water zone 30 ft away from these OH sections in one of the fields, growth of any dominant wormhole into these sections could increase water production. The wells that used the new treating fluid produced an average of 1,600 BOPD more than conventionally treated wells, with no indication of water production. Field results [pre- and post-oil and -water production rates and flowing wellhead pressure (FWHP)] demonstrate the effectiveness of the new acid system to matrix acidize long horizontal wells with OH completions. The simplicity of the system makes it the fluid of choice, especially in offshore and sour environments. The absence of metallic crosslinkers in this system eliminates problems associated with sulfide precipitation in sour wells.
The "AS?? and "B?? fields are located in the northern area of Saudi Arabia. Field AS is completely offshore, whereas only a portion of Field B is offshore. Field AS is on active bottom waterdrive, whereas Field B is on peripheral water injection. The decrease in the reservoir pressure noted in Field AS in conjunction with the increase in water production resulted in recompleting all the existing 61 wells with electric submersible pumps (ESPs). In addition, 29 new horizontal OH wells were drilled over the last 2 years and completed with ESPs. It should be mentioned that all these wells were drilled with a water-based mud, using calcium carbonate particles as a weighing material.
Horizontal wells in Field AS were stimulated before the installation of the ESP completions because access to the OH section is only possible if the ESP is retrieved from the well. Oil production from this field is mainly from Reservoir AS/R-AD. The field produces Arabian medium oil (» 29°API). Table 1 gives key reservoir parameters. The length of the horizontal OH section (6? in.) varies from 1,200 to 5,700 ft.
Oil production from Field B is primarily from five main carbonate reservoirs: R-AC, R-AD, R-HN, R-HD, and R-UF (Table 1). The field produces Arabian extra light oil (» 38°API). The crude oil has significant H2S content (4.4 to 9.0 mol%). The reservoir pressure and temperature are in the range of 3,000 to 4,000 psig and 220 to 240°F, respectively. More than 95% of the oil producers in Field B are offshore.
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