What is Well Stimulation and the Typical Methods?

Well Stimulation is a technique oil companies use to maximize the volume of oil and gas that can be retrieved from a drilled well.

What Are the Most Common Methods of Well Stimulation?

The most common methods of well stimulation are

  • acid injection
  • hydraulic fracturing, and
  • explosives.

All forms of well stimulation help to open channels in the formation, so that oil and gas can flow to the wellbore more easily.

Acid Injection Well Stimulation

Acid injection is the oldest form of well stimulation from more than 100 years ago.

Acid stimulation is where an acid is pumped down hole under pressure.

The acid dissolves minerals and calcareous deposits that would otherwise impede hydrocarbon flow.

The porosity within the formation is enlarged, allowing for increased fluid passage.

The most common type of acid used is hydrochloric acid (HCl).

Careful consideration must be taken to not damage the steel casing and well equipment when using acid. After the acid job is complete, it is removed from the well by a process called backflush.

Hydraulic Fracturing Well Stimulation

Hydraulic fracturing well stimulation requires a fluid to be pumped down hole at extremely high pressures.

The fluid pressure forces the producing formation to fracture, crack, and break.

These fractures allow hydrocarbons to easily pass to the wellbore.

When a well is “fracked”, and the hydraulic fluid pressure is reduced, the cracks tend to close and return to their original state.

To maximize oil production a proppant or sand is pumped down hole while the well is being fracked.

The proppant makes its way into these tiny fractures within the formation.

As the pressure is reduced, the fractures are held open by the proppant, which is now within the fractures.

The hydrocarbons now have a much easier path to the wellbore.

Some research shows that production can increase 30 times when hydraulic fracturing has been used.

Retired wells can be fracked to revitalize and increase production, giving them a second life before they are decommissioned.

What is Hydraulic Fracturing Well Stimulation

What is Hydraulic Fracturing Well Stimulation

Explosive Well Stimulation

Explosive well stimulation requires the use of chemical explosives.

This is commonly known as well shooting.

Explosives detonated downhole create an energized pressure wave which travels through the fluid in the well.

The fluid moves into and breaks up the formation.

Explosive is the simplest form but has been proven the be the least accurate and effective of all methods.

It can also cause localized damage to the well if not executed properly.

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