Plugged filtercake, lost circulation material, and return permeability testing services.

Filtercake Core Permeability testing helps clients optimize rock formation crude oil flow and production, investigating lost circulation material and return permeability issues caused from plugged filtercakes.

Intertek determines potential permeability reduction in rock formations caused from plugged filtercakes, or "lost circulation materials" (LCM). Intertek Total Quality Assurance scientists measure filtercake reverse flow permeability in the laboratory, forming the filtercake on a core in the lab, then using reverse flow (production direction) to measure any reduction in permeability in the flowback (or producing) mode. To reduce drilling fluid loss, drill mud formulators add lost circulation material (LCM). LCM material is designed to plug the pores in the rock at the surface of the wellbore, acting in much the same way as a dryer filter gets plugged.

Lost circulation material is often from flat or fibrous material that will plug, but not enter, the rock pores. When a formation produces oil, the “filter cake” is then ideally removed for the crude oil production stage. No lost circulation material is perfect. Some of the lost circulation material can make its way into the rock pores. Then when the formation is produced, LCM that entered the pores can plug them in the producing direction, reducing the flow and permeability of the rock for production, causing formation damage. Client filtercake core permeability samples are shipped to Intertek Westport on a global basis.

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