Exploration and Production Technologies

Minimizing Formation Damage to Maximize Well Productivity


Goal: To determine the cause of poor stimulation response in gas wells.

Objective: The objective of this project was to undertake a complete study of stimulation fluid/rock interaction required for proper stimulation response. This will also aid in understanding the root cause of poor stimulation response.

Performer: Stim-Lab – Project management and all research products

Accomplishments: In September of 1997 Stim-Lab, Inc. was awarded a grant to study “minimum formation damage completion and production” techniques to maximize gas production following hydraulic fracturing. The production performance of wells stimulated using different types of water-based fracturing fluids was inadequate.

The study was conducted in the Morrow gas reservoirs of northwest Oklahoma and evaluated the commonly recommended fracturing and stimulation treatments for the formations in this area. Analysis of historical data and laboratory testing was used to predict the impact of various treatments upon productivity, thus allowing the selection of fluids, “proppants” and designs that optimized production in future completion and stimulation programs.

The conclusions of the study, however, have shown that the stimulation treatment details have only a secondary effect on the ultimate recovery from the well. The effectiveness of the stimulation treatment is seen in the first 3 years of the well's productive life. A longer period (20-30 years) of low pressure, low rate gas production is required to maximize recovery. Because these wells also produce condensate, production practices and management of wellbore fluids are the dominant features controlling long term production rate.

Current Status and Remaining Tasks: This project is complete.

Project Start: September 17, 1997
Project End: December 31, 1998

DOE Contribution: $100,000
Performer Contribution: $ 0

Contact Information:
NETL – Gary Covatch (gary.covatch@netl.doe.gov or 304-285-4589)
Stim-Lab – Glenn Penny (580-252-4309)

Additional Information:
Final Report Abstract and Executive Summary [PDF-13KB]