Polyoxyethylene quaternary ammonium gemini surfactants as a completion fluid additive to mitigate formation damage

Zeeshan Tariq, Muhammad Shahzad Kamal, Mohamed Mahmoud, Syed Muhammad Shakil Hussain, Abdulazeez Abdulraheem, Xianmin Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


During well completion operations, the wells are killed with specific fluids to control the well. These fluids can invade and damage the formation because of fluid/rock interactions. Fluids such as fresh water, brines, and weighted fluids (e.g., barite weighted, calcite weighted, and bentonite weighted) are used to control the formations during completion operations. These fluids can invade and interact with clays and damage the formation. In addition, these fluids may alter the near-wellbore wettability and make them more oil-wet, thereby affecting the production from these formations. In this work, polyoxyethylene quaternary ammonium gemini surfactants with different types of spacers are proposed as clay swelling additives in completion fluids to mitigate the formation damage in unconventional reservoirs. Adding the new surfactants will maintain the in-situ permeability and avoid the formation damage. The novel gemini surfactants are tested on unconventional tight sandstone formation enriched with high clay content to mitigate the formation damage during well completion. The process involved a complete stabilization of clays using gemini surfactants added in deionized water (DW). Coreflooding experiments were carried out on Scioto sandstone rock samples with an average porosity of 15.6% and average absolute permeability of 0.25 md. Several coreflooding experiments were carried out with different fluids, such as potassium chloride (KCl), sodium chloride (NaCl), and different classes of gemini surfactants. Coreflooding experiments were designed in a way that the cores were preflushed with the subjected fluid and then post-flooded with DW. Results showed that the cores saturated with KCl and NaCl solutions lost permeability significantly when flooded with water while gemini surfactant solutions maintained the same permeability even after being treated with DW. Conditioning with the KCl solution resulted in a 38% reduction of permeability and that with NaCl solution resulted in an 80% reduction of permeability when treated with DW. No significant change of permeability was found for the case of gemini surfactants. This indicates that the synthesized surfactants can be used for well completion operation without any side effects.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-706
Number of pages11
JournalSPE Drilling and Completion
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Mechanical Engineering


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