|Theme||Visible||Selectable||Appearance||Zoom Range (now: 0)|
Treatment evaluation leads to problem identification and to continuously improved treatments. The prime source of information on which to build an evaluation are the acid treatment report and the pressure and rate data during injection and falloff. Proper execution, quality control, and record keeping are prerequisites to the task of accurate evaluation. Evaluation of unsatisfactory treatments is essential to recommending changes in chemicals and/or treating techniques and procedures that will provide the best treatment for acidizing wells in the future. The most important measure of the treatment is the productivity of the well after treatment.
In formations with over 1% carbonate, an HCl or acetic acid preflush dissolves the carbonate to prevent waste of HF acid and formation of the insoluble precipitate calcium fluoride. Calcium and sodium chloride workover brine also must be flushed away from the wellbore with HCl acid or ammonium chloride brine. Preflushes also displace and isolate incompatible formation fluids (either brine or crude oil). Higher concentrations of ammonium chloride ( 3%) are recommended where swellable smectite and mixed layer clays are present. For successful HF acidizing, more than 120 gal/ft of HF/HCl acid is usually required.
You've decided that your well is a good candidate for acidizing, assessed the formation, designed the treatment, prepared the well and equipment, so now you're ready to conduct the treatment. This page describes both the process and things you should be doing during and immediately after the treatment. The main acid job should be circulated in place with HCl acid placed across the formation before the packer is set or before the bypass valve is closed. All perforations should be covered by acid before injection starts. Injection should start at a predetermined injection rate and the pressure observed to determine the condition of the wellbore.
Environmental hazards can be reduced or prevented by the proper choice of chemical additives at optimum concentrations. Pressure tests are performed with water or brine to ensure the absence of leaks in pressure piping, tubing, and packer. Leaks on the surface can endanger service personnel, and subsurface leaks can cause subsequent corrosion of tubing and casing in the annulus. Anyone around acid tanks or pressure connections should wear safety goggles for eye protection. Those handling chemicals and valves should wear protective gauntlet-type, acid-resistant gloves.
The success of an acidizing operation can be compromised if the wellbore, tanks, or other equipment contain solids or other contaminants that could flow into the well or formation. Proper preparation is a key factor in a successful acid treatment. Treating fluids must leave surface tanks, travel through surface pipe and well tubing, enter a wellbore, and pass through the perforations into the formation so that the solvent can react with the damaging solids. Each of these components through which the fluid travels must be properly cleaned before pumping acid into the formation. Surface tanks must be cleaned before being filled with acid.
Horizontal wells are special cases, which have been covered by Frick and Economides. Moderate damage can reduce horizontal well productivity to that below the productivity of an undamaged vertical well. The authors provide a stimulation technique employing coiled tubing. They also provide a design strategy for calculating volumes of acid required and the rate of coiled-tubing withdrawal during acid placement. A method of optimization for completion and stimulation of horizontal wells is also presented.
If the problem is formation damage, then matrix acidizing may be an appropriate treatment to restore production. This page discusses ways to evaluate whether a well is a good candidate for acidizing. This plugging can be either mechanical or chemical. Mechanical plugging is caused by either introduction of suspended solids in a completion or workover fluid, or dispersion of in-situ fines by incompatible fluids and/or high interstitial velocities. Chemical plugging is caused by mixing incompatible fluids that precipitate solids.
Once you determine that a well is a good candidate for matrix acidizing and have selected appropriate acids, you are ready to design the treatment. Essentially, the design process is a systematic approach to estimating and calculating injection pressure and rate, volumes, and concentrations. If acid can easily reach nearby plugging solids, small volumes of 25 to 50 gal/ft of HF-type acid can dissolve this damage; however, with more severe damage, more time and volume are needed to reach the plugging solids. Effective acid diversion reduces acid volumes needed. Permeability and mineralogy determine the compatible concentration of HCl or acetic acid in the preflush stage and HF and HCl acid in the HF-/HCl-acid stage.
A leading cause of unsuccessful acid treatment is failure to contact all the damage with the acid. Fluids pumped into a formation preferentially take the path of least resistance. This makes the placement and coverage of the acid an important component of the treatment design. In a typical treatment, most acid enters the formation through the least damaged perforation tunnels, as the schematic in Figure 1 shows. When this happens, it can be readily concluded that acidizing does not work well and is expensive.
Designing an acid-fracturing treatment is similar to designing a fracturing treatment with a propping agent. Williams, et al. presents a thorough explanation of the fundamentals concerning acid fracturing. The main difference between acid fracturing and proppant fracturing is the way fracture conductivity is created. In proppant fracturing, a propping agent is used to prop open the fracture after the treatment is completed. In acid fracturing, acid is used to "etch" channels in the rock that comprise the walls of the fracture.