SPE 90385: A Novel Technique to Acidize Horizontal Wells with Extended Reach


Drilling horizontal wells with extended reach is intended.to maximize reservoir drainage and minimize water production due to water coning. However, an inherent problem with these wells is poor acid distribution during matrix acidizing, especially in reservoirs with high permeability streaks. This paper discusses an innovative approach to treat horizontal wells with extended reach. This new technique comprises mechanical diversion in the wellbore, and chemical diversion in carbonate formations.

Coiled tubing has been used for years to better distribute the acid in vertical and horizontal wells. However, application of coiled tubing in long horizontal wells is a function of wellbore diameter and length. Coiled tubing cannot reach the total depth of the well if there is large washout, or if the length of the openhole is greater than what the CT can reach. The maximum length that CT can reach depends on the length of the reel, diameter of the coil and wellbore geometry. To extend this length, we have used a hydraulic tractor to pull the coiled tubing to the total depth of the well. This will ensure better acid distribution over the wellbore. To enhance acid diversion in the formation, a visco-elastic surfactant-based acid system was employed.

Wells selected are horizontals that were drilled in a carbonate reservoir in the oil fields (both land and offshore) that are present in the eastern part of Saudi Arabia. The total length of the target zone for the Well “A” and Well “B” is 13,543 and 20,304 ft, respectively. Typical coiled tubing (1 ¾-inch) cannot reach the total depth in these well (CT lockup length is 10,300 ft for well “A” and 13,320 ft for well “B”).

A special hydraulic tractor was used to pull the coiled tubing to the total depth of these two wells. A visco-elastic surfactant based acid system was utilized to remove formation damage induced by the drilling fluid (water-based mud) and enhance the permeability of the formation in the critical wellbore area. Corrosion inhibitor and other acid additives were carefully selected to maintain the integrity of the well tubulars, coiled tubing and the tractor (metallic parts, O-rings and seals of the tractor). Before attempting the stimulation of the extended reach well, a water jetting method was adopted to remove near well bore damage resulting from the drilling mud cake and mud invasion. Production logging tests were conducted after drilling the well, after the water jetting treatment, and after the matrix stimulation. The productivity index of the well decreased after the water jetting treatment. However, the acid matrix treatment delivered through the CTtractor nearly doubled the productivity index of the treated well.

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