Novel Non-Aromatic Non-Ionic Surfactants to Target Deep Carbonate Stimulation

Sokhanvarian, Khatere (Sasol Performance Chemicals) | Stanciu, Cornell (Sasol Performance Chemicals) | Fernandez, Jorge M. (Sasol Performance Chemicals) | Ibrahim, Ahmed (Texas A&M University) | Nasr-El-Din, Hisham A. (Texas A&M University)



Matrix acidizing is used for permeability and productivity enhancement purposes in oil and gas wells. Hydrochloric acid has been always a first choice due to so many advantages that it can offer. However, HCl in high pressure/high-temperature (HP/HT) wells is a concern because of its high reactivity resulting in face dissolution, high corrosion rates, and high corrosion inhibition costs. There are several alternatives to HCl, among them emulsified acid is a favorable choice due to inherent corrosion inhibition, deeper penetration into the reservoir, less asphaltene/sludge problems, and better acid distribution due to its higher viscosity. Furthermore, the success of the latter system is dependent upon the stability of the emulsion especially at high temperatures. The emulsified acid must be stable until it is properly placed and it also should be compatible with other additives in an acidizing package. This study presents the development of a stable emulsified acid at 300°F through investigating some novel aliphatic non-ionic surfactants.

This paper introduces new non-aromatic non-ionic surfactant to form an emulsified acid for HP/HT wells where the conventional acidizing systems face some shortcomings. The type and quality of the emulsified acid was assessed through conductivity measurements and drop test. Thermal stability of the system was monitored as a function of time through the use of pressure tubes and a preheated oil bath at 300°F. Lumisizer and Turbiscan were used to determine the stability and average particle size of the emulsion, respectively. The viscosity of the emulsified acid was measured at different temperatures up to 200°F as a function of shear rates (0.1-1000 s-1). The microscopy study was used to examine the shape and distribution of acid droplets in diesel. Coreflood studies at low and high flow rates were conducted to determine the performance of the newly developed stable emulsified acid in creating wormholes. Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) and Computed Tomography (CT) scan were used to determine dissolved cations and wormhole propagation, respectively.

Superior stimulation results with low pore volume of acid to breakthrough were achieved at 300°F with the newly developed emulsified acid system. The wormhole propagation was narrow and dominant compared to branch wormholes resulted from some of the treatments using conventional emulsified acid systems. The results showed that a non-ionic surfactant with a right chemistry such as suitable hydrophobe chain length and structure can form a stable emulsified acid.

This study will assist in creating a stable emulsified acid system through introducing the new and effective aliphatic non-ionic surfactants, which lead to deeper penetration of acid with low pore volume to breakthrough. This new emulsified acid system efficiently stimulates HP/HT carbonate reservoirs.