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FeS-Scale Cleanout With High-Pressure Coiled Tubing and Tailored Fluid

Fig. 1—Tubing before (upper left) and after cleanout with the fluidic-oscillation tool.

The gas-producing carbonate zones of the Ghawar field in eastern Saudi Arabia have been affected by extensive iron sulfide (FeS) scale deposition, reducing overall gas production and increasing risks during well interventions. Previous remediation attempts used workover rigs, which can be costly because of the time necessary for workovers and lost production. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) levels (2 to 5%) in the reservoir also contribute to higher costs and risks with the use of workover rigs. H2S in the reservoir poses a safety concern with the returns at surface and a concern with potential corrosion of the coiled tubing (CT) and completion. Therefore, the safest and most economical method was deemed to be mechanical descaling with CT.

Introduction

Two wells were descaled mechanically by use of CT. Each well involved four major challenges: low reservoir pressure, higher reservoir temperature, horizontal openhole completion, and high-specific-gravity (3.7 to 4.3) scale. The low reservoir pressure required pay-zone isolation to enable circulating out the heavy scale and to minimize fluid losses to the formation. With a bottomhole temperature as high as 310°F, the operational envelope of temporary chemical packers in combination with lost-circulation materials (LCMs) to isolate the openhole section had to be expanded. Following mechanical descaling with CT, the final challenge was cleaning out the LCM in the horizontal open hole and bringing the well back to maximum gas production by use of pinpoint stimulation techniques.

This article, written by Dennis Denney, contains highlights of paper SPE 169759, “Extreme Challenges in FeS-Scale-Cleanout Operation Overcome Using Temporary Isolation, High-Pressure Coiled Tubing, and Tailored Fluid Systems,” by Mustafa Buali, Noel Ginest, SPE, Jairo Leal, and Oscar Sambo, Saudi Aramco, and Alejandro Chacon and Jose Vielma, Halliburton—Boots & Coots, prepared for the 2014 SPE International Oilfield Scale Conference and Exhibition, Aberdeen, 14–15 May. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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FeS-Scale Cleanout With High-Pressure Coiled Tubing and Tailored Fluid

01 September 2014

Volume: 66 | Issue: 9

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