When it comes to oil and gas production and extending the life of a well, acidizing is a crucial process in any stimulation operation. Acid matrix stimulation creates new flow paths known as wormholes to improve formation permeability allowing enhanced production, while avoiding damage to the reservoir formation.
In this Q&A style blog post, our MENA General Manager, Omar Raafat, shares his insights of Aubin’s suite of compatible additives and acidizing products, and how our local manufacturing is positioned to support customers across the MENA region.
Why is acidizing a prevalent topic within the region?
“Driven by the desire to maximize production from existing wells, the demand for acidizing continues to rise. Due to the nature of the work, acidizing requires a high level of expertise and specialty products in order to avoid formation damage while maintaining well and equipment integrity.
“One interesting finding that we've noticed over the past few months is that certain markets are discovering that their current product mix is not fit for purpose, and as a result, they have unintentionally been threatening the integrity of their equipment. To prevent this problem and any future damage to equipment , we have seen a significant increase in customers who are keen to work with Aubin to develop specialised solutions created to meet their specific needs.
“The other aspect which has driven further demand in our region has been the availability of resources. Customers are seeking to reduce their environmental impact but still access more cost effective solutions available on shorter lead times, to combat the current logistical issues being faced across the globe.
“Because we work with partners across the Middle East to manufacture our products in country, we are able to streamline the process, helping our customers achieve their local manufacturing targets – which provide them with a boost when it comes to tender evaluations with their customer – the operators.”
What are some of the key products in Aubin’s acidizing portfolio?
“Aubin has designed suites of compatible additives that are suitable for several types of acidizing, whether it be VES systems, gelled acid systems, or an HCl system.
“Corrosion inhibitors are the core product within the stimulation process. The technology has been designed to give you the ultimate protection whilst enabling effective acid stimulation.
“When it comes to acidizing, you could potentially under-treat or over-treat the job, neither of which will give you the desired results. To minimise this risk, our team of experts use our in-house facility to test different products and create a solution that will support your desired output. In addition to testing, we provide acid recipe recommendations suitable for your requirements based on our expertise .”
Can you share an example of a problem that has been resolved with Aubin’s acidizing product range?
“Two of our most recent projects are particularly interesting, where we have worked with our partners to create a solution that resolves our customers challenges.
“The first challenge was presented by a customer who required an acid recipe that could achieve the required corrosion rate under challenging conditions, simulating downhole temperatures of 280°F for a 12 hour exposure duration in a 28% HCl system.
“Our team of chemistry experts conducted a range of tests in our in-house facility, and developed a solution that met the criteria, resulting in two new tailor made solutions - SAI 237 and SAI 238.
“Most importantly, we worked to ensure that these additives would be locally manufactured and on short lead times, to better cater to our customer demands and the uncertainty surrounding the nature of these stimulation jobs.
“The second project was in response to a customer who was regularly importing in excess of excess of 20,000 gallons of corrosion inhibitor on a monthly basis from the US to support their operations. The global disruptions to the supply chain had made it difficult for our customer to sustain this model, and they approached the team at Aubin. Working with our in-country partners, we were able to qualify our corrosion inhibitor, SIA-310, and to establish a supply chain that allowed for a lead time of 2 weeks on all future deliveries, in comparison to the 4 months that they faced when purchasing from America.”
What are some of the common questions potential customers have about Aubin’s acidizing products?
“From a technical perspective, customers want to know whether we've tested our products against particular types of steel likely to be present in their wells.
As part of our selection process we identify raw materials and products which are compatible with the customers steel. Where possible our proposal will include either performance data determined in the presence of the specified steel.
More often than not we are approached with a request only for the corrosion inhibitors. This opens the door for us to engage in more detailed discussions where we demonstrate that in addition to the corrosion inhibitor, we can also provide the full range of additives needed in their recipe ensuring total compatibility and maximum performance. . This usually provides a great deal of comfort and once trust is built, it becomes easier to develop the relationship into a partnership rather than a transactional one.
“Because our products have been developed in house, our customers have the confidence that, in the unlikely occasion that they face any challenges, our team of technical experts are on hand to conduct further research and provide solutions if needed.
“We’ve conducted a great deal of testing over the years and have a significant amount of data for each of the different products that we offer - including the recommended concentration, optimal operating temperatures and pressures.
“From a commercial perspective, customers are always interested in cost and availability. Because we are able to blend our products locally, we are able to turn around requests quickly and offer a short lead time - which our customers always love.
“This level of service, partnered with our reputation for providing quality and compatible products, acts as a comfort and minimises the perceived risk when making a purchase.”