Simulation of Squeeze Treatment/Tracer Programme Designs

Vazquez, Oscar (Heriot-Watt University) | Giannakouras, Ilias (Heriot-Watt University) | Mackay, Eric (Heriot-Watt University)



One of the biggest challenges in designing squeeze treatments is ensuring appropriate chemical placement along the completion interval. Generally, the chemical slug is bull-headed; therefore, in long horizontal wells and/or crossflow wells, exposing the chemical to all the completion intervals might be difficult. In this paper we introduce a method to evaluate placement efficiency. If placement is inadequate, some sections of the well will be unprotected, resulting in an undesirable situation: the well may appear to be protected because the inhibitor return concentrations measured at surface are above the threshold, but there is a loss of production due to scale deposition in areas of the well not contacted by chemical. In these circumstances inhibitor placement can be accurately determined by production logging, but this can be prohibitively expensive. An alternative is to use tracers to evaluate the layer flow rate distribution, and therefore quantify chemical placement. The objective of this paper is to determine if a tracer package could be deployed as part of a squeeze treatment in challenging wells, in particular in the overflush stage. If there are zones in the wellbore at different pressures, then producing the tracer back in steps at different rates will result in the tracer return concentration profile having characteristic features that can be interpreted to estimate chemical placement.

Two three layer cases with crossflow are considered. In both cases, a tracer package was included in the overflush, and the resulting return profiles showed clearly the desired features. The main advantage of this approach is that there is no significant increase in the operational expense. The only additional expense will be the cost of the specific tracer and the subsequent analysis. It is envisaged that the cost is less than 5% of the total squeeze treatment cost. The results of this novel multi-rate post squeeze production stage following injection of tracer demonstrate the feasibility of including such a tracer package in a squeeze treatment. Data collected may then be used to optimise the design of subsequent treatments, to ensure that appropriate placement is achieved by rate control or by diversion, if necessary.