The drilling mud program contains many tests such as filtration rate and filter cake properties to select the proper drilling fluid additives that yield the standard ranges of the viscosity, filtration rate, etc. However, the physical and chemical changes in the mud composition during the mud circulating will cause changes to the filter cake properties. The changes in the filter cake properties should be considered in the mud design program to prevent the problems associated with the change in the drilling fluid properties. For long horizontal wellbores penetrating plastic formations, the two sources of solids in filter cake are drilling chemical additives and formation cuttings (sand particles in the case of sandstone reservoir). This study focuses on the effect of introducing sand particles from the drilled—formations on the filter cake properties. Real drilling fluid samples from the field were collected at different location during drilling a 3600 ft of the horizontal section of a sandstone formation. Calcium Carbonate (CaCO3) was used as weighting material in this filed. The drilling fluid samples were collected at two different points: the flow line coming from the well after shale shaker and the flow line going to the well to verify the effect of separation stages on filter cake properties. The primary drilling fluid properties of the collected samples were measured such as density and rheological parameters. High pressure high temperature (HPHT) filter press was used to perform the filtration and filter cake experiments at 300 psi differential pressure and room temperature (25 °C). The mineralogy of the external filter cake formed by fluid loss cell is determined using SEM (scanning electron microscopy) and XRD (X-ray diffraction). Finally, solubility test was conducted to evaluate the effect of sand particles on filter cake removal (containing Calcium Carbonate as weighting material) using chelating agent: glutamic diacetic acid (GLDA) at pH 4. The results showed that for long horizontal sections, the effect of introducing sand particles to the composition of the filter cake can cause significant change to the properties of filter cake such as mineralogy, thickness, porosity, and permeability. For instant the thickness of filter cake increased about 40% of its original thickness when drilling sandstone formation in horizontal well due to fine sand particle settling. The filter cake porosity and permeability increment in the first 2000 ft part of the horizontal section was observed clearly due to the irregular shape of the drilling particles. However for the points after the first 2000 ft of horizontal lateral, the porosity and permeability almost remained constant. Increasing the sand content up to 20% degrade the dissolution rate of calcium carbonate in the GLDA (pH = 3.8) to 80% instead of 100%.

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