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Acidizing is a method by which petroleum bearing limestone or sandstone formation are put into contact with an acid to enlarge the pore spaces and passages through which reservoir fluids can flow. The process begins by injecting acid (usually hydrochloric acid) into the well. The acid dissolves portions of the rock in the formation, opening up existing spaces to allow for the flow of petroleum. Acidizing is most often used for two functions: increasing permeability throughout the formation and cleaning up formation damage near the wellbore caused by drilling or completion fluids.

Acid Fracing

In fracture acidizing - also known as acid fracing, fluid is injected into the rock at a rate higher than the reservoir matrix will accept. This rapid injection produces a build-up in wellbore pressure leading to cracking (fracturing) of the rock. Acid is then injected into the newly formed fractures to react with the formation and create a flow channel that extends deep into the formation. The acid is held under pressure for a short period of time to allow it to react with the formation matrix. The spent acid is then flowed or swabbed out of the well, after which the well is put back into production. This allows more reservoir fluid to drain into the wellbore along the new fractures.

Damage Removal

Formation damage near the wellbore can occur during drilling completion, work over, production or injection. When the formation near the wellbore is damaged, it restricts the flow of oil or natural gas to the wellbore. If the damage can be removed, very significant increases in production rate can be achieved. Acidizing can restore or even improve flow rates by creating new flow channels. Horizontal wells in particular often require acidizing to clean up damage due to drilling mud before they can be brought into production.


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