For nearly every producing field worldwide, acid stimulation is a type of intervention that is critical to longevity in production (or injection) for those wells. However, compared to other completions/intervention operations (e.g., cementing and hydraulic fracturing), several deficiencies have been identified in the historical training curriculum for acid stimulation. Legacy acid stimulation training is largely focused on the basic aspects of matrix stimulation, excluding many practical and contemporary topics. The current work details the development of an innovative, operations-focused training program for acid stimulation intended to augment historical training.
To commission the development of new stimulation training curriculum, stakeholders from operations, management, and the technical function (subject matter experts) brainstormed the most critical needs for practical training that would add value to operations beyond current internal/external training material. From this, customized training material was built that includes new focus areas including a) Mature well stimulation: workflows were developed to prioritize likely types of damage that cause productivity/injectivity decline based on existing well data. These workflows led to further training regarding damage-focused stimulation design (rather than pure matrix/mineralogy-based design), to optimize stimulation/fluid selection to target specific damage in mature producers. b) Complex well stimulation: this includes customized training material related to stimulation of existing sand control completions, infant wells (unproduced), and laminated carbonate/sandstone pay zones. c) Operational considerations: this new training material addressed operational best practices including topics on specialized placement methods; on-site QA; and interpretation of pressure data (during stimulation). d) Practical experience: the last aspect of the new training material includes students designing acid stimulation treatments for real candidate wells.
The new operations-focused training material was piloted with several operations teams in 1-week intensive sessions, following the first week of (existing) basic acid stimulation training. This training (deployed both in-person and remotely) was well received by both the operations management and the students, who noted the enhanced relevance of the new curriculum to the production enhancement plans for the wells for which they are responsible. Additionally, the interactive team-activities to design stimulation programs for challenging wells (challenging mineralogy and existing sand control completions, multiple damage mechanisms, and wellbore mechanical obstructions) helped to improve acidizing designs for actual candidate wells through feedback from other students and class mentors.
This work highlights the development and implementation of new training curriculum for acid stimulation design and execution, developed to improve the practical skills of production engineers and operations teams that design acid stimulation operations. Deployment of this new curriculum will help to improve the probability of success in acidizing some of the most challenging well conditions.