Synergistic Effect of Thermally Stable Polymers for HPHT Brine-Based Drill-in Fluids

Zhou, Hui (Halliburton) | Galindo, Kay A. (Halliburton) | Zha, Weibin (Halliburton)



This paper discusses two high-temperature-resistant polymers (Polymers A and B) that have been developed as thermally stable, dual-functional viscosifiers and fluid-loss additives. Polymer A was designed for monovalent brines, while Polymer B works for divalent brines. These polymers enable the formulation of brine-based drill-in fluids that are stable at high to ultra-high temperatures, which is a significant improvement when compared to conventional biopolymer-based drill-in fluids. When combined, the two polymers work synergistically to further reduce fluid loss in monovalent brines.

The two thermally stable polymers were readily incorporated into various drill-in fluid formulations containing either monovalent or divalent brines over a broad range of densities. These drill-in fluids exhibited exceptional thermal stability and showed no stratification after static aging at 400°F for three days or at 375°F for seven days. A minimal change in fluid behavior was observed when comparing the rheological properties of the un-aged and aged samples. The samples provided excellent fluid-loss control, even after aging. A synergistic effect was observed between Polymers A and B when used in monovalent brines to further reduce the HPHT fluid loss with no negative impact on fluid rheology. Core flow tests showed that both fluids were non-damaging after acid-breaker treatment. It is anticipated that these polymers will extend the envelope to which water-based drill-in fluids can be successfully used to drill high- and ultra-high-temperature reservoirs. Recent successful field trial of the divalent brine-based fluid as a testing fluid further proved the robustness of these fluids for these reservoirs.