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Advances in Dendritic Acidizing Reveal Light at the End of the Tunnel

Fig. 1—Section of an open horizontal well with acid tunnels and dendritic wormhole structure.

Dendritic acidizing (DA) has a long history in the oil industry, going back at least to the 1980s. Significant technical advances include single-trip multitunnels using only acid-pumping equipment and a coiled-tubing (CT) unit, simultaneous tunnel creation, and improved parameter modeling and optimization. This paper provides an update on recent advances for DA methods, also known as acid tunneling, presenting a comprehensive review of published information for three different tunneling methods.

Introduction

A well with multibranching major tunnels and a superimposed structure of wormholes emanating from the main tunnels has been called a dendritic well. This paper refers to methods that include the use of acids to construct such a well as DA. DA methods can be thought of as a hybrid between multilateral wells with many short branches with low skin factors and matrix acid jobs with very long primary wormholes and many branching wormholes from the primary wormholes. A conceptual example of a horizontal well section with formation tunneling and DA with branching wormholes adjacent to the primary tunnels is shown in Fig. 1 above.

Many different methods are used to form small-diameter lateral branches from a parent wellbore. The methods are differentiated by characteristics such as requirements for workover rigs, CT rigs, and deflector shoes for tunnel initiation; acid use in the process; and primary tunnel creation method.  

This article, written by Special Publications Editor Adam Wilson, contains highlights of paper SPE 189945, “Dendritic Acidizing Update: The Light at the End of the Tunnel,” by C. Dean Wehunt, SPE, Stefan K.K. Lattimer, SPE, and Darren R. McDuff, SPE, Chevron, prepared for the 2018 SPE/ICoTA Coiled Tubing and Well Intervention Conference and Exhibition, The Woodlands, Texas, USA, 27–28 March. The paper has not been peer reviewed.
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Advances in Dendritic Acidizing Reveal Light at the End of the Tunnel

01 June 2018

Volume: 70 | Issue: 6

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