Laboratory testing is a key part of designing any treatment for not only production optimization operations, but cementing, drilling, well intervention, and EOR flooding programs as well. The objectives of laboratory experiments are to identify potential damage and aid selection of the optimum treatment fluid and design. To achieve these objectives, the formation rock (cores), produced fluids, proposed treatment fluids, damaged material, and also completion components must be analysed. Laboratory tests for designing optimization treatments may include all or a combination of the following:
- Solubility tests – of formation material, scales, organic deposits, bacterial slime to determine dissolving efficiency and soak times;
- Crude testing – to determine potential precipitates that may cause issues in certain production environments. Analysis of crude is carried out for prescribing preventative solutions for deposition.
- Fluid compatibility – test compatibility of treatment fluid with crude (including formation waters), completion components, surface components, to eliminate induced damage that may occur as a result of the treatment;
- Coupon testing – to test corrosion inhibitors and inhibitor aids will sufficiently protect the wellbore, flowlines and equipment, and not cause integrity issues;
- Core flow tests – used to determine the effects of treatment fluids on formation samples at simulated well treating conditions, data of which may be used in well modelling, to model the incremental increase in production.
Standard laboratory testing is carried out according to American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), American Petroleum Institute (API) or International Organisation for Standards (ISO) procedures. Laboratory consulting, though, will be beneficial in setting objectives and criteria for testing, interpretation of results, and recommendations, so that the best possible fluid system may be selected for treatment.