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FLOTHRU

This water-base filter cake wont come between you and your oil

F L U I D S T E C H N O L O G Y

TECHNOLOGY

FLOTHRU: Another SMART RDF Technology from M-I SWACO


At M-I SWACO* , we realize the importance of intelligent control in drilling and completion operations. Our technologies give you the means to take a smarter approach to production, which in the end, allows not only higher production, but greater control over your costs. SMART RDF* Technology gives you the best tools on the market to put you in control of downhole operations. FLOTHRU* is the latest addition to the M-I SWACO suite of SMART RDF Technologies fluid systems that address formation-damage and productivityimpairment concerns. These technologies, which include both reservoir drillin fluids and breaker systems, put more finesse into drilling and cleaning up reservoir drill-in fluids by giving the engineer more control over what occurs downhole. FLOTHRU offers a dramatic improvement over the more conventional approach of pumping aggressive, and potentially damaging chemicals. M-I SWACO will continue to develop intelligent solutions for coping with formation damage and productivity impairment and will add those systems to the SMART RDF suite.

The FLOTHRU system creates a filter cake with channels that open the way to higher production

A P P L I C A T I O N S

Open-hole gravel packs, expandable screens, stand-alone completions or any open-hole application where chemical breakers are normally applied, including oil- or condensate-production wells.

P R O B L E M S

Once the gravel pack is complete or the screen expanded, the filter cake is trapped between the formation and the completion assembly, making it difficult to access with a chemical breaker. In the case of stand-alone completions, premature breakthrough or other complications sometimes prevents the breaker from fully contacting the filter cake.

S O L U T I O N S

The FLOTHRU systems oil-permeable filter cake requires lower flow-initiation pressures, permitting oil to readily pass through.

E C O N O M I C S

During an open-hole completion where the filter cake is confined, as in openhole gravel packs or expandable-screen completions, the cake must remain intact to prevent losses and premature screenout. Once the completion operation has finished, however, the filter cake is usually removed with a chemical breaker to aid well productivity and avoid pieces of the cake plugging the screen during production. The catch is that it can be difficult to access the confined filter cake with a chemical breaker. The cake can fail prematurely during breaker application, causing the breaker to bypass, or fail to contact, portions of the cake. This results in inadequate filter-cake dissolution. One way to address this problem is to include a chemical breaker during the gravel-packing operation, but that approach can be problematic. If the chemical breaker is too aggressive and/or applied too early, premature filter-cake breakthrough can occur and prevent the well from being completely gravel-packed.

The FLOTHRU system offers a solution that eliminates the need for a chemical breaker.

How the FLOTHRU system works


The FLOTHRU system is a water-base Reservoir Drill-In Fluid (RDF) designed with enhanced flowback capabilities that eliminate the need for a chemical cleanup treatment, while providing higher return permeability and lower flow-initiation pressures. The primary application for a FLOTHRU system is in open-hole completions where the filter cake is trapped between the formation and the completion assembly. In openhole completions where the filter cake is not confined, the FLOTHRU system still provides a major benefit: lower flowinitiation pressures at comparable return-permeability values. In the FLOTHRU system, a proprietary hydrophobic-carbonate component combines with a hydrophobic starch to control fluid loss. These materials

The FLOTHRU system eliminates the time and costs associated with chemical breakers and permits higher early hydrocarbon production rates that often offset water production.

Features
Higher return permeability through Open-Hole Gravel Packs (OHGP) Lower flow-initiation pressures for OHGP and stand-alone completions Higher tolerance to drilledsolids contamination Channels for steady oil flow No chemical breakers needed

Benefits
Increases production rates, from heel to toe Removes cleanup risk/cost Cuts completion time and costs Allows oil to preferentially produce Eliminates remedial completion operations

E N V I R O N M E N T A L

The FLOTHRU systems water-base formulation minimizes environmental concerns, and its flexibility allows it to be engineered with components that meet most environmental criteria worldwide.

create organophilic (oil-preferential) channels through the FLOTHRU filter cake. Their filter-cake-building characteristics provide a low-permeability barrier to water and prevent high infiltration. These same organophilic channels avoid the cohesive nature of conventional water-base RDF filter cakes and provide increased transmissibility of hydrocarbons, eliminating the need for chemical breakers.

Return Permeability and Flow-Initiation Pressure All 40/60 Gravel Packs with No Chemical Cleanup
100% Return permeability 90 80 70 60 50 40 10 15 20 Flow-initiation 25 pressure (psi)

Return Permeability and Flow-Initiation Pressure Clean Fluids, No Chemical Cleanup


100% Return permeability 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 10 15 25 Flow-initiation 30 pressure (psi)

20

The SMART way to protect the reservoir


The FLOTHRU system is one of the SMART RDF Technologies from M-I SWACO and utilizes a combination of conventional and advanced RDF design concepts to minimize formation damage: Custom particle-size distribution to bridge formation pores Appropriate salts for density or inhibition Effective and appropriate shale inhibitors Minimal solids Low-Shear-Rate Viscosity (LSRV) for hole cleaning and suspension Hydrophobic components that enhance productivity An organophilic filter cake that promotes low flow-initiation pressures Building a more productive filter cake. Like other SMART RDF systems, the FLOTHRU system contains the smallest possible amount of bridging solids that

30 20 10 0 Clean fluids 0 Contaminated fluids FLOTHRU formulations A B FLOTHRU psi 5

20 10 0 Stand-alone tests FLOTHRU formulations A B Conventional RDF Gravel-packed completions

Conventional RDF

FLOTHRU

psi

will still protect the reservoir, maximize the efficiency of solids-control equipment and minimize the impairment of gravel-pack completions. The system relies on a combination of conventional bridging agents and THRUCARB hydrophobic carbonate. The conventional bridging agents provide protection for a wide range of formation pore sizes. The THRUCARB product is a very fine, treated calcium carbonate that maximizes the number of organophilic channels while avoiding fine gravel-pack and completionscreen plugging. THRUCARB is supplemented with conventional calcium carbonate selected with M-I SWACO OPTIBRIDGE*

software to determine the optimum particle-size distribution of the bridging agent helping to create an external filter cake and avoiding deep invasion of potentially damaging solids. Formation-damage testing, performed on FLOTHRU samples, has consistently shown higher return permeabilities and lower flow-initiation pressures in gravel-pack completions than conventional RDFs. The organophilic components aid the oil in flowing through the filter cake. For stand-alone completions, comparable return values have been seen with substantially lower flow-initiation pressures using FLOTHRU. Maintaining the downhole environment. Monovalent salts,

Description
Water-base monovalent salts Organophilic cake components Carbonate very fine Starch Biopolymer viscosifier Properly sized bridging agents

Inside wellbore Hydrocarbons Hydrocarbons flowing through the filter cake FLOTHRU filter cake THRUCARB Associations of THRUTROL starch THRUTROL starch Formation sand where filtrate has displaced back the hydrocarbons Hydrocarbons

The FLOTHRU filter cake resists water invasion to the formation while allowing hydrocarbons to flow at low flow-initiation pressures.

such as NaCl, KCl, NaBr and sodium or potassium formate, provide a wide density range, 8.33 to 12.5 lb/gal (1 to 1.5 SG), to minimize overbalance on the formation. In addition, formulations can utilize calcium chloride brine to a density of 10.8 lb/gal (1.3 SG).

The low-solids system with superior drilling characteristics


The rheological properties of a FLOTHRU system are created with a variety of biopolymers, including FLO-VIS* PLUS and FLO-VIS NT. The rheological profile of a FLOTHRU system exhibits an elevated low-shear-rate rheology while maintaining minimal high-shear-rate rheology in particular, minimal plastic viscosity. This type of rheological profile has consistently demonstrated low pump pressures, rate-of-penetration enhancement and excellent hole-cleaning capabilities. To engineer a highly inhibitive system, the chemistry of the FLOTHRU system can be adjusted with salts or hydration suppressants such as KLA-STOP* or KLA-GARD*. These materials utilize cation exchange to suppress clay hydration. They are also compatible and work together with the systems polymers, a viscosifier and a fluid-loss-control agent to

impede the absorption of water by shales and/or formation clays. Due to the low solids and the polymeric nature, FLOTHRU systems generally have a very low coefficient of friction typically 0.2 to 0.25. This assists in rotary and oriented drilling operations. Lubricants have been found to further decrease the coefficient of friction in FLOTHRU systems to about 0.15.

As easy to use as it is effective


The FLOTHRU system is designed with a minimal number of products, all of which provide a great degree of flexibility.

Rheology. A premium-grade biopolymer is the primary viscosifier for all FLOTHRU systems. It provides minimal plastic viscosity and exceptionally high LSRV. Depending on the makeup brine, salt concentration and desired LSRV, biopolymer viscosifier concentrations of 0.75 to 1.5 lb/bbl are used. Biopolymer can be added while drilling to maintain the LSRV. During drilling, the systems elevated LSRV alleviates drilling, hole-cleaning and wellbore-stability concerns. Inhibition. Controlling shale hydration with FLOTHRU systems is a major key to successful projects. Many times while drilling reservoir zones, clays may be encountered within the productive

Product Functions and Descriptions


Product FLO-VIS* PLUS, FLO-VIS NT THRUTROL* Greencide 25 Caustic Soda, KOH, MgO SAFE-CARB* 2, 10, 20,40 NaCl, KCl, Formates, etc. THRUCARB* KLA-GARD,* KLA-STOP,* KLA-CURE* Function Rheological properties, especially LSRV Fluid-loss control Bactericide Alkalinity Bridging agent, fluid-loss control Density, inhibition Bridging, fluid-loss control Shale inhibitors Description Biopolymer Organophilic starch Glutaraldehyde pH control Properly sized calcium carbonate Salts Organophilic calcium carbonate Cationic, amphoteric materials

Typical Formulations
Product FLO-VIS* PLUS Freshwater KCl NaCl THRUTROL THRUCARB Greencide 25 SAFE-CARB* (blend) MgO Properties PV, cP YP, lb/100 ft2 10 s Gel, lb/100 ft2 10 m Gel, lb/100 ft2 LSRV, KcP API Fluid Loss HPHT, mL/30 min pH Concentration 1 1.5 lb/bbl 0.9 bbl 10.8 lb/bbl 32.3 lb/bbl 10 lb/bbl 6 lb/bbl 0.25 lb/bbl 24 lb/bbl 0.5 lb/bbl Value 15 20 25 35 10 12 13 18 >30 <5.0 <10.0 8.5 9.5

sand or as interbedded shales, as a result of directional changes, faulting or other geological phenomena. Maintaining a clean FLOTHRU system reduces the potential of damaging the formation or completion and increases the flowback potential. Cleaner FLOTHRU systems also drill faster and encounter fewer drilling and fluid-maintenance problems. General. The systems non-damaging characteristics are the result of optimized bridging, minimized filtration and organophilic nature.

toxicity of FLOTHRU systems depends on the formulation and local environmental criteria, the basic components FLO-VIS PLUS or FLO-VIS NT, THRUCARB, THRUTROL and calcium carbonate are considered environmentally acceptable worldwide.

Predictions surpassed: More oil faster than offsets


In the field, FLOTHRU has delivered production results higher than predicted. In one offshore application, the system drilled 1,004 ft (306 m) of 618-in. horizontal hole trouble-free and was gravel-packed using a high rate water-packing technique with no problems. Despite a higher-thandesired drilled-solids content, the well came online with net production

25% higher than expected due to filter cakes low flow-initiation pressure. The oil production stayed at this higher rate for a longer period of time than existing offset wells. In another well, the system was used to drill 920 ft (280.4 m) of payzone and, again after gravel packing, net oil production was higher than the operator anticipated, with oil production up to 100% greater than expectations. FLOTHRU is now routinely used in that field for open-hole gravelpack-completed oil producers. On horizontal wells, the production of the 10 to 14 API gravity oil exceeds expectations. In a Gulf of Mexico application, a calcium-chloride-base FLOTHRU system was used to drill 555 ft (169 m) of a 6-in. horizontal section without any problems. The open hole was gravelpacked with 20/40 gravel. During the gravel-packing operations, there were minimal losses indicating an effective and efficient filter cake was formed while drilling. The well was put on production without any post completion cleanup. Initial production of 20 to 25 API gravity oil suggests up to 65% greater than expectations.

Engineered to protect the environment


A FLOTHRU system can be engineered to meet most environmental regulations worldwide. While the precise

Increase your production today


To find out more about how the FLOTHRU system is helping operators worldwide increase production of oil instead of water, contact your local M-I SWACO representative.

OPTIBRIDGE software generates a target line that defines the ideal blend of locally produced bridging materials that would best fit the targeted formation characteristics. Available anywhere in the world, the OPTIBRIDGE service is an ideal tool for formulating a non-damaging reservoir drill-in fluid. It also can be used to design fracture-sealing and lost-circulation treatments, and to formulate kill and perforation-sealing pills for workover and completion operations.

FLOTHRU: Another SMART RDF Technology from M-I SWACO


At M-I SWACO, we realize the importance of intelligent control in drilling and completion operations. Our technologies give you the means to take a smarter approach to production, which in the end, allows not only higher production, but greater control over your costs. Smart RDF Technology gives you the best tools on the market to put you in control of downhole operations. FLOTHRU is the latest addition to the M-I SWACO suite of SMART RDF Technologies fluid systems that address formation-damage and productivity-impairment concerns. These technologies, which include both reservoir drill-in fluids and breaker systems, put more finesse into drilling and cleaning up reservoir drill-in fluids by giving the engineer more control over what occurs downhole. FLOTHRU offers a dramatic improvement over the more conventional approach of pumping aggressive, and potentially damaging, chemicals. The first step toward a more considered approach to reservoir protection and production enhancement came with the introduction of the FAZEPRO* system. The industrys only reversible, invert-emulsion reservoir drill-in fluid, the FAZEPRO system has demonstrated its ability to contend with a variety of conditions across the globe. When applied to injector wells, the system allows direct injection just after cleanup, with injection rates more than twice those achievable with conventional oilbase muds. In production well application, FAZEPRO wells routinely produce 1.5 to 4 times more than offset wells. FAZEBREAK is a delayed-breaker system designed to disperse FAZEPRO filter cakes on oil-production wells. The proprietary chelant chemistry provides a slow reversal of the filter cake, providing more operational time before the filter cake is compromised. FAZEBREAK can be added during the gravel-pack operation without losing filter-cake integrity. BREAKDOWN employs patented enzyme/chelant chemistry to provide a slow uniform break to FLOPRO* NT filter cakes. This gentle chemical treatment provides a slow uniform destruction of the water-base filter cake. The system attacks specific chemistries in the filter cake, but does not negatively react with formation solids, formation fluids or wellbore tubulars. BREAKFREE is an enzyme-base system used to disperse FLOPRO NT filter cakes. The subtle BREAKFREE system removes the starch component of the filter cake, allowing the bridging agents to disperse into individual particles. This allows them to produce through the completion or settle out of the way, avoiding completion impairment. M-I SWACO will continue to develop intelligent solutions for coping with formation damage and productivity impairment issues and will add those systems to the SMART RDF suite.

SMART RDF Technology also includes breaker systems that are used in applications requiring a chemical treatment to prevent completion impairment. Breakers such as FAZEBREAK* , BREAKDOWN* and BREAKFREE* are designed as integral components in the drilling and open-hole completion of wells. The chemistry of these systems was selected to provide a gentle yet thorough destruction of the filter cakes. They can be placed during completion operations and avoid the need for intervention equipment like coiled tubing.

P.O. Box 42842 Houston, Texas 77242-2842 Tel: 2815611300 Fax: 2815611441 www.miswaco.com E-mail: questions@miswaco.com Technology Centers: HOUSTON, TEXAS Tel: 2815611300 Fax: 2815611441 ABERDEEN, SCOTLAND Tel: 441224334634 Fax: 441224334650 STAVANGER, NORWAY Tel: 4751577300 Fax: 4751570605
This information is supplied solely for informational purposes and M-I SWACO makes no guarantees or warranties, either expressed or implied, with respect to the accuracy and use of this data. All product warranties and guarantees shall be governed by the Standard Terms of Sale. Nothing in this document is legal advice or is a substitute for competent legal advice.

2005 M-I L.L.C. All rights reserved. *Mark of M-I L.L.C. FBR.0615.0601.R1 (E) 2.5M Litho in U.S.A.