A coiled-tubing (CT)-acid-tunneling-stimulation technique has been successfully applied in the preceding 15 years on limestone and dolomite reservoirs around the world (the Middle East, southeast Asia, North America, South America, and Europe). Several case histories were presented in the past showing that this technique might bring significant benefits over other carbonate-stimulation methods in openhole wells. In this paper, the parameters affecting the predicted and achieved tunnel lengths are discussed for the first time. The acid-tunneling technique consists of pumping hydrochloric acid (HCl) through conventional CT and a bottomhole assembly (BHA) with jetting nozzles to create (without drilling) stable drainage holes (tunnels) into the reservoir pay zone. The BHA also includes a special kickoff tool, with two pressure-activated bending joints, that controls the tunnel-creation direction. The acid that is not consumed during the main tunneling process leaks into the reservoir rock, creating wormholes that improve the connectivity between the reservoir and the wellbore and positively influence well production. This acid-tunneling technique can potentially create numerous tunnels with different depths. The optimization of the tunnel-creation-depth selection is made by production-software simulation using such critical information as the well parameters (trajectory and size), available logs (image, resistivity, caliper, drilling), and past reservoir information.
The results from many field case histories involving the CT acid-tunneling technique from around the world were presented previously. However, many questions remain unanswered regarding the actual downhole tunnel-initiation/creation process. In this study, a detailed discussion of acid-tunneling modeling is included to answer some of those questions. The parameters affecting the predicted tunnel lengths and the parameters that could be monitored or adjusted to create the tunnels smoothly are discussed. This paper describes the CT acid-tunneling technology and discusses some of the most important questions regarding downhole CT acid-tunneling creation. The acid-tunneling-technique performance and benefits confirmed during field operations are presented.