How to avoid damage and production declines when coming back online
With extensive budget cuts, an oil surplus and lack of storage, shut-ins are inevitable—but they come with some BIG risks. Without proper preparation, reservoir damage can occur resulting in significant production losses when bringing wells back online:
Change in wettability to oil-wet.
Some producing reservoirs will transition to oil-wet under shut-in conditions, which can negatively affect production volumes when the well comes back online.
Increased deposition of organic materials.
In low pressure wells, the change in wettability to oil-wet can increase deposition of organic materials, such as paraffin and asphaltenes, when the well comes back online. Some producers have spotted solvents (pentane, hexane, diesel, etc.) before shut-in as a protective measure, which can increase asphaltene deposition.
Lower permeability and plugged pore throats.
These organic deposits can reduce effective permeability and, in some cases, completely plug the pore throats.
Formation of oil/water emulsions.
Some wells will experience formation of near wellbore oil/water emulsions, which can also reduce relative permeability. This effect is due to a change in water conditions in the near wellbore area where oil/water incompatibility can occur. Water and oil blockages in the formation is well-known problem and is often seen in low pressure wells.
Each of these issues pose a serious threat to future oil production, well functionality and revenues. The good news? These issues can be avoided with one simple, low-cost step:
1) Pre-treating wells with an AssurEOR biosurfactant pill.
Biosurfactants have a multitude of remediation and production benefits, and their unique properties allow these effects to be maintained over extended timeframes—such as during a shut-in period. AssurEOR biosurfactant treatments:
- Have strong adsorption to the reservoir
- Offer excellent water-wetting capabilities
- Act as non-emulsifiers and/or demulsifiers
- Can water–wet the reservoir
These characteristics allow the treatments to release over time and protect against organic deposition, delay/minimize changes in wettability and lower interfacial and surface tension—resulting in improved production when wells are brought back online. Operators currently treating with the biosurfactants have seen averages of 40% sustained increases in production.
AssurEOR can also be used to restore production for wells that come back on-line after shut-in with reduced production. For this application, we recommend a near wellbore clean up with AssurEOR FLOW applied at 2-3 gallons per foot of perforations followed by a low-pressure formation squeeze with AssureEOR STIM.
The best part? AssurEOR biosurfactants are safe and easy to use. The non-GMO, renewable and biodegradable treatments exceed ESG compliance, and can be used in combination with other shut-in protection, such as corrosion inhibitors and biocides. They offer a low use rate—averaging 2-3 gallons of product per foot of perforations for vertical, conventional wells—and treatment volumes can be customized based on reservoir.
Don’t risk formation damage and production loss with shut-ins. An AssurEOR biosurfactant pill can help safely prepare wells and help to ensure performance when returning online.
Contact us to schedule your pill treatment TODAY.