Research objectives and content
Filter cakes formed from drilling fluids invading the hydrocarbon reservoir are inherently damaging. The cakes contain swollen polymer gel and particulates (weighting agents and drill solids). EC Joule 3 Programme JOF3CT950020 'Environmentally-acceptable Polymer-based Wellbore Fluids for Optimising Reservoir Productivity', joining Schlumberger Cambridge Research, Institut Frangais du Pitrole and Statoil as partners, is defining key experimental parameters to improve filter cake clean up. The proposed research will complement the EC/Joule project by developing a physical model for filter cake removal. The model will explain observed behaviour and define areas for further experimental study. Analytical models for filter cake deformation and adhesion to the rock substrate will be identified and developed. Complementing these, meso-scale numeric modelling will be applied.
Training content (objective, benefit and expected impact)
I will extend expertise in applied physics to an oilfield application. New knowledge will be gained in polymer gel properties, flow through porous media, and meso-scale modelling. Experience will be gained in industrial research and the petroleum industry.
Links with industry / industrial relevance (22)
A physical model of filter cake removal would have direct impact on petroleum production and would lead to products/services to reduce the cost of retrieving oil. Such a model will also enhance the precision for estimation of hydrocarbon production from a well and change preferred practice to optimise well production.