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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.
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.
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.
Since the most common use of matrix acidizing is the removal of formation damage, it is important to understand the nature of the damage that exists so that an appropriate treatment can be designed. Well testing and well test analysis generate a skin factor and well completion efficiency. This is insufficient alone for formation damage diagnosis. Well performance analysis has provided a beneficial tool to identify the location and thickness of damage at flow points in the near wellbore area. Models of flow into perforations and gravel-packed tunnels provide a way to relate the location and severity of damage to the completion procedure that preceded it.
Introduction This chapter is organized to help perform acidizing on a well candidate in a logical step-by-step process and then select and execute an appropriate chemical treatment for the oil/gas well. The guidelines are practical in intent and avoid the more complicated acid reaction chemistries, although such investigations and the use of geochemical models are recommended for more complicated formations or reservoir conditions. Effective acidizing is guided by practical limits in volumes and types of acid and procedures so as to achieve an optimum removal of the formation damage around the wellbore. Most of this chapter is an outgrowth of field case studies and of concepts derived from experimental testing and research. Justification for the practices and recommendations proposed herein are contained in the referenced documents. The reader is referred to the author's previous papers on matrix acidizing for references published before 1990. Concepts and techniques presented have ...
Corrosion of metal in the presence of water is a common problem across many industries. The fact that most oil and gas production includes co-produced water makes corrosion a pervasive issue across the industry. Age and presence of corrosive materials such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) exacerbate the problem. Corrosion control in oil and gas production is reviewed in depth in Treseder and Tuttle, Brondel, et al., and NACE, from which some of the following material is abstracted. Iron is inherently (thermodynamically) sufficiently active to react spontaneously with water (corrosion), generating soluble iron ions and hydrogen gas. The utility of iron alloys depends on minimizing the corrosion rate. Corrosion of steel is an "electrochemical process," involving the transfer of electrons from iron atoms in the metal to hydrogen ions or oxygen in water. This separation of the overall corrosion process into two reactions is not an electrochemical nuance; these processes generally do take place at separate locations on the same piece of metal. This separation requires the presence of a medium to complete the electrical circuit between anode (site of iron dissolution) and cathode (site for corrodant reduction). Electrons travel in the metal phase, but the ions involved in the corrosion process cannot. Ions require the presence of water; hence, corrosion requires the presence of water.
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.
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.