The well clean-up process involves the removal of impermeable filter cake from the formation face. This process is essential to allow the formation fluids to flow from the reservoir to the wellbore. Different types of drilling fluids such as oil- and water-based drilling fluids are used to drill oil and gas wells. These drilling fluids are weighted with different weighting materials such as bentonite, calcium carbonate, and barite. The filter cake that forms on the formation face consists mainly of the drilling fluid weighting materials (around 90%), and the rest is other additives such as polymers or oil in the case of oil-base drilling fluids. The process of filter cake removal is very complicated because it involves more than one stage due to the compatibility issues of the fluids used to remove the filter cake. Different formulations were used to remove different types of filter cake, but the problem with these methods is the removal efficiency or the compatibility. In this paper, a new method was developed to remove different types of filter cakes and to clean-up oil and gas wells after drilling operations. Thermochemical fluids that consist of two inert salts when mixed together will generate very high pressure and high temperature in addition to hot water and hot nitrogen. These fluids are sodium nitrate and ammonium chloride. The filter cake was formed using barite and calcite water- and oil-based drilling fluids at high pressure and high temperature. The removal process started by injecting 500 ml of the two salts and left for different time periods from 6 to 24 h. The results of this study showed that the newly developed method of thermochemical removed the filter cake after 6 h with a removal efficiency of 89 wt% for the barite filter cake in the water-based drilling fluid. The mechanisms of removal using the combined solution of thermochemical fluid and ethylenediamine tetra-acetic acid (EDTA) chelating agent were explained by the generation of a strong pressure pulse that disturbed the filter cake and the generation of the high temperature that enhanced the barite dissolution and polymer degradation. This solution for filter cake removal works for reservoir temperatures greater than 100 °C.
Well Clean-Up Using a Combined Thermochemical/Chelating Agent Fluids
Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the Journal of Energy Resources Technology. Manuscript received April 9, 2019; final manuscript received April 15, 2019; published online May 8, 2019. Assoc. Editor: Esmail M. A. Mokheimer.
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Mahmoud, M. (May 8, 2019). "Well Clean-Up Using a Combined Thermochemical/Chelating Agent Fluids." ASME. J. Energy Resour. Technol. October 2019; 141(10): 102905. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4043612
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