Advancements in the Evaluation and Mitigation of Formation Damage in Petroleum Reservoirs

Formation damage refers to the impairment of petroleum-bearing formations by various adverse phenomena occurring in a manner to reduce the recovery of oil and gas from petroleum reservoirs. Evaluation and mitigation of formation damage in petroleum reservoirs are among the issues of primary interest for the operators in order to accomplish the economically effective production strategies during the productive life of petroleum reservoirs and to maximize the ultimate oil and gas recovery. However, circumventing the formation damage problems is a highly challenging undertaking because the formation damage phenomena involve many inherently complex interaction processes between the operation conditions and configuration of wells, the reservoir and externally-introduced fluids and particulate matter, and the constituents and conditions of the petroleum-bearing formations. This special issue presents ten papers providing information on the recent advancements made in the experimental, theoretical, and field understanding of the practical formation damage issues and the optimal measures and strategies considered for controlling and minimizing the reservoir formation damage.

J. M. Schembre and A. R. Kovscek carry out laboratory core tests, apply the theory of colloidal stability, and demonstrate that high temperature, alkaline, and pH, and low salinity conditions induce fines mobilization and permeability reduction in Berea sandstones.

A. Hayatdavoudi explains that the water hammer phenomenon created during the various injection and production operations may cause the sand liquefaction and production. The pressure wave-induced acceleration of the sand particles is shown to be highly sensitive to the water level variation and/or water encroachment in unconsolidated sand formations.

K. J. Leontaritis presents a model for the near-well formation damage caused as a result of pore throat plugging by asphaltene particles during oil production. This model incorporates the thermodynamic-colloidal model of asphaltene in oil and an asphaltene phase behavior model for prediction of the asphaltene particle size distribution and its affect under the prevailing fluid conditions.

E. J. Mackay and M. M. Jordan describe the scaling potential and formation damage due to precipitation of inorganic scales during conventional waterflooding in deepwater regions associated with the offshore production environments. The various risk management strategies for effective scale control are reviewed by means of reservoir simulation.

H. A. Nasr-El-Din discusses the measures required to minimize and control the various formation damage problems caused by the common chemical treatment techniques originally designed to remove the particular formation damage problems.

C. Li, T. Xie, M. Pournik, D. Zhu, and A. D. Hill apply a fine-scale model for the sandstone core acid flooding process by numerically solving the acid and mineral balance equations for a three-dimensional flow field. The reservoir heterogeneities are shown to cause the acid to penetrate much farther from the injection face into the formation than for a homogeneous case.

G. Penny, J. T. Pursley, and D. Holcomb demonstrate by laboratory core tests and field examples that a new microemulsion additive helps for effective cleanup of injected fluids in tight gas formations. The applications involving the remediation and fracture treating of coals, shales, and sandstone reservoirs result in lower formation damage and higher production rates.

D. B. Bennion and F. B. Thomas review the formation damage mechanisms associated with very low in-situ permeability gas reservoir formations, emphasizing on the relative permeability and capillary pressure effects leading to phase trapping. The challenges encountered during the drilling and completion practices in order to minimize the impact of formation damage on the well productivity are described.

H. Jahediesfanjani and F. Civan investigate the damage tolerance of the conventional well-completion and stimulation techniques in reducing the formation damage effects and increasing the productivity of the coalbed methane reservoirs. The efficiency and performance of the openhole cavity completions, hydraulic fracturing, frack and packs, and horizontal wells are compared with a nondamaged vertical well in terms of the normalized productivity index.

Y. Ding and G. Renard present an integrated approach for evaluation of the performance of oil and gas wells after drilling induced formation damage by means of a near-wellbore modeling using the input data obtained by laboratory tests.