Hydrochloric Acid in the Oil and Gas Industry

Hydrochloric acid plays a key role in recovering oil and natural gas from geologic formations. Oil and gas reserves are found in deep sea beds, tight sand formations, shales, and coalbed methane formations. Hydrochloric acid aids in the removal of obstacles that form in the wells during the drilling process.

The oil and gas industry relies on this strong and highly corrosive mineral acid to dissolve contaminants in the well to clear the way for the oil and gas to flow into the well. When mixed with water, the hydrochloric acid solution is successful at acidizing carbonate or limestone formations and removes contaminants such as scale, rust, and carbonite deposits.

Pumping a water/hydrochloric solution into a well is known as stimulation or well acidizing. In new wells it clears the way for the flow to begin. It is also used in existing wells to restore the natural permeability of the rock formation to encourage an increase in flow. Hydrochloric acid can also be combined with mud acid such as hydrofluoric acid to dissolve sand, quartz, and clay from the well.

In fracking, where oil and gas reservoirs are found within the rock formations, well acidizing performs an important function in a well’s ability to retrieve the trapped natural gas. Oil wells, such as those in the North Sea oil production industry, also use an acid solution in the drilling and recovery process. Hydrochloric acid is an effective chemical to clear cement debris that is left after the drilling process is complete and to open up the formations to allow more gas to be recovered.

Creating a large pore structure in the rock formations by injecting a hydrochloric acid solution increases its effective permeability and, therefore, increases the flow of oil and gas.

Continental Chemical is a leader in products designed for the rigorous conditions of the oil and gas industry. Contact us today or call 877.959.5530 for additional information.

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