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RESEARCH PAPERS

Microemulsion Additives Enable Optimized Formation Damage Repair and Prevention

[+] Author and Article Information
Glenn Penny

 CESI Chemical/Flotek

John T. Pursley

 CESI Chemical/Flotek

David Holcomb

 Pentagon Marketing

J. Energy Resour. Technol 127(3), 233-239 (Apr 24, 2005) (7 pages) doi:10.1115/1.1937419 History: Received June 23, 2004; Revised April 24, 2005

A new microemulsion additive has been developed that is effective in remediating damaged wells and is highly effective in fluid recovery and relative permeability enhancement when applied in drilling and stimulation treatments at dilute concentrations. The microemulsion is a unique blend of biodegradable solvent, surfactant, co-solvent and water. The nanometer-sized structures are modeled after Veronoi structures which when dispersed in the base treating fluid of water or oil permit a greater ease of entry into a damaged area of the reservoir or fracture system. The structures maximize surface energy interaction by expanding to twelve times their individual surface areas to allow maximum contact efficiency at low concentrations (0.1–0.5%). Higher loadings on the order of 2% can be applied in the removal of water blocks and polymer damage. Lab data are shown for the microemulsion in speeding the cleanup of injected fluids in tight gas cores. Further tests show that the microemulsion additive results in lower pressures to displace frac fluids from propped fractures resulting in lower damage and higher production rates. This reduced pressure is also evident in pumping operations where friction is lowered by 10–15% when the microemulsion is added to fracturing fluids. Field examples are shown for remediation and fracture treating of coals, shales and sandstone reservoirs, where productivity is increased by 20–50% depending on the treatment parameters. Drilling examples are shown in horizontal drilling where wells cleanup without the aid of workover rigs where offsets typically require weeks of workover.

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Copyright © 2005 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figures

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Figure 1

Schematic of ternary phase diagrams for Winsor microemulsions. In the left-hand shaded area, the microemulsion is in equilibrium with excess water, and in the right-hand shaded area, the microemulsion is in equilibrium with excess oil. The Winsor III microemulsion is in “middle phase” with an excess of both water and oil (2). Used with permission.

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Figure 2

A Voronoi representation of a bicontinous microemulsion (3). Used with permission.

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Figure 3

Gas permeability measured with N2 gas on 1 in Sandstone cores saturated with 2% KCl and injected with ME.

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Figure 4

Regained proppant pack perm with and without 2gal∕1000gal ME. 35lbCMHPG+Zr in 2lb∕sqft20∕40LtWt Ceramic between Ohio Sandstone at 250F.

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Figure 5

Friction reduction with the addition of 1gpt ME in a 40lb CMHPG linear gel in water.

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Figure 6

Remediation of damage in a coalbed methane well in the four corners area of northwestern New Mexico. Well was treated with 30gal of ME in 30bbl of brine. MCFPM=(thousandsofcubicftpermonth) and BWM=(barrelsofwaterpermonth).

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Figure 7

Remediaiton of damage in a coalbed methane well in the four corners area of northwestern New Mexico. Well was treated with 30gal of ME in 30bbl of brine. MCFPM=(thousandsofcubicftpermonth) and BWM=(barrelsofwaterpermonth).

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Figure 8

Remediation of a “D” Sand well in the DJ Basin of northeastern Colorado. Well was treated with 30gal of ME in 30bbl of brine. MCFPM=(thousandsofcubicftpermonth) and BWM=(barrelsofwaterpermonth).

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Figure 9

Production response following a hydraulic fracturing treatment of the Barnett Shale in North Texas with slick water and 2gpt ME. Load recoveries are higher and production is 30% higher than offsets. Csg PSI=casing pressure (psi), Tbg PSI=tubing pressure (psi), MCFPD=thousands of cubic ft per day of gas and BWPD=barrels of water per day.

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