Technical Paper: An Alternative Solution to Sandstone Acidizing Using a Nonacid Based Fluid System with Fines-Migration Control

Society: SPE
Paper Number: 109911
Presentation Date: 2007
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The Caballos formation is thick laminated sandstone with less than 10% of total clays and permeability ranging from 20 mD to as high as one Darcy. However, the production from this formation is often limited due to the low critical flow rate in the matrix (less than 1 mL/min) and associated fines migration as shown in several tests.

Historically matrix acidizing and hydraulic fracturing treatments in this formation have only been partially successful due to destabilization of the clays and inadequate fines stabilization, along with the incompatibility of the crude oil with many conventional acid systems.

In order to overcome the limitations associated with the use of conventional acid systems an extensive laboratory study was conducted using a non-acid based stimulation fluid. The base fluid selected was a newly developed chelating agent that is very tolerant to high concentrations of both carbonate and aluminosilicates, and iron and zeolite bearing minerals. By including acid salts in the fluid it proved possible to develop a fluid system with the equivalent dissolving power of a conventional 6:1.5 (HCl: HF) mud acid, even at temperatures as low as 180°F. Testing also showed that the fluid was capable of controlling fines migration and that a scale inhibitor could be included in the formulation, while the fluid system exhibited excellent compatibility with the formation fluids throughout the field.

The newly developed non-acid fluid system provides some unique advantages for matrix acidizing applications and in particular for stimulating the Caballos formation 1) Minimizes the risk of secondary and tertiary precipitation due to the nature of the chelating agent 2) A single treating fluid instead of the multiple fluids/stages used in a conventional treatment 3) Greatly reduced sludging and emulsion tendencies compared to conventional acid systems (without the addition of surfactants or demulsifiers) and much lower corrosion rates 4) The ability to stabilize fines present in the matrix 5) Allows for a scale inhibitor to be included in the treating fluid 6) Reduces the logistics and HSE risks during the execution of the treatment.

This paper reviews the laboratory testing including an extensive core flow testing performed to develop a new nonacid treating fluid for both matrix acidizing and dual stimulation applications in the Caballos formation and its implementation in the field, illustrated with case studies and production data.