Acid Treatment as a Way to Reduce Shale Rock Mechanical Strength and to Create a Material Prone to the Formation of Permanent Well Barrier

Kamila Gawel, Maksym Lozovyi, Mohammad Hossain Bhuiyan, Ruben Bjørge, Erling Fjær
2021 Energies  
Utilization of natural shale formations for the creation of annular barriers in oil and gas wells is currently discussed as a mean of simplifying cumbersome plugging and abandonment procedures. Shales that are likely to form annular barriers are shales with high content of swelling clays and relatively low content of cementation material (e.g., quartz, carbonates). Shales with large content of quartz and low content of swelling clays will be rather brittle and not easily deformable. In this
more » ... rmable. In this paper we ask the question whether and to what extent it is possible to modify the mechanical properties of relatively brittle shales by chemically removing some cementation material. To answer this question, we have leached out carbonates from Pierre I shale matrix using hydrochloric acid and we have compared mechanical properties of shale before and after leaching. We have also followed leaching dynamics using X-ray tomography. The results show that removal of around 4–5 wt% of cementation material results in 43% reduction in Pierre I shale shear strength compared to the non-etched shale exposed to sodium chloride solution for the same time. The etching rate was shown to be strongly affected by the volume of fluid staying in direct contact with the shale sample.
doi:10.3390/en14092342 doaj:6e1d5f4bf74c46c9b8baadc73afa8e07 fatcat:cf33jkbgyjfzvjm4bwgq5gxbge