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Formation Damage

By Amit Verma
Assistant Professor – senior scale

 Formation damage definition

 Skin factor and flow efficiency
 Formation damage mechanisms
 Methods to evaluate formation damage
 Damage in well operations
 Well clean up options

 Formation damage refers to a reduction

in “reservoir deliverability” as defined by
the PI of the well.

 It relates to either a reduction in rock

conductivity or fluid mobility.
Skin Factor and Flow Efficiency

Skin is a measure of damage

around a wellbore
Skin Factor and Flow Efficiency
Flow rate with skin
Flow Efficiency = Flow rate without skin
For Steady State
P kh
Flow rate with skin = 141.2µB(ln re/rw +s)

P kh
Flow rate without skin = 141.2µB(ln re/rw )
Skin Factor and Flow Efficiency

ln re/rw
Flow Efficiency = ln re/rw +s

Assuming rw = .229 ´
Assuming re = 700 ´

Flow Efficiency = 8 +s
Skin Factor and Flow Efficiency
Skin Flow
Skin Factor Range Efficiency
-6 400%

+20 in a badly -2 133.3%

damaged well 0 100%

2 80%
- 6 in a well with a 6 57.1%
large fracture in a 12 40%

low permeability 20 28.6%

reservoir 30 21.1%
Skin Factor and Flow Efficiency

perforating creates
immediate flow
which assists removal
of crushed rock ,
charge debris and
explosive gases from
the formation.
Formation Damage Mechanism
Absolute Permeability Reduction

 Particle plugging
 Clay swelling
 Clay/fines migration
 Precipitation
 Compaction
Particle Plugging

Fine Migration
Fine Migration
 The movement of fine clay, quartz particles or similar materials within the reservoir
formation due to drag forces during production. Fines migration may result from an
unconsolidated or inherently unstable formation, or from use of an incompatible
treatment fluid that liberates fine particles.
 Unlike sand migration that is best stabilized, the material mobilized in fines
migration should be produced to avoid near-wellbore damage. Fines migration
causes particles suspended in the produced fluid to bridge the pore throats near the
wellbore, reducing well productivity.
 Fines can include different materials such as clays (phyllosilicates smaller than 4
microns) and silts (silicates or aluminosilicates with sizes ranging from 4 to 64
microns). Kaolinite and illite are the most common migrating clays.
 Damage created by fines usually is located within a radius of 3 to 5 ft [1 to 2 m] of
the wellbore, but can also occur in gravel-pack completions. In sandstone
formations, hydrofluoric acid [HF] mixtures are used to dissolve fines. In carbonate
formations, the goal is not to dissolve but rather to disperse fines in the wormholes,
so hydrochloric [HCl] acid is used as the treatment fluid.
Wellbore Filter Cakes
Fluid Viscosity
Methods to Evaluate Formation
Damage in Well Operation
Approach to Mitigating Damage
Formation Damage

Real Pseudo
Damage Damage

Rock- Fluid Compatibility Redesign of drilling and

Fluid- Fluid Compatibility completion practices.
Fluid Placement Technique
Workover Techniques
Key Issues

 Prevention is not possible

 Mitigation of damage is possible

 Removal of damage may be possible but

increases operational costs and defers
Drilling Related Issues

 Contractual pressures
 Overbalance relates to uncertainty in
pore pressures
 Mud engineering is critical
 Hole cleaning – exacerbated by hole angle
Horizontal Wells and the Impact of

 Greater Exposure
time while drilling

 Less flux and lower

Well Cleanup Options
Damage Prevention Versus Damage
 Damage can never be fully prevented not
fully removed
 Minimise depth of damage
 Try to ensure damage material is soluble
 Emulsion should easily break
 “Prevention” is better than cure