Experiments were carried out on the sodium hypochlorite bleach sensitivity of a deep subsurface andesitic reservoir in order to predict possible deleterious mineral transformations during a downhole clean-up job. Experiments involved examination of core samples from the reservoir using an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope (ESEM) with an attached Energy Dispersive Spectrometer (EDS) before and after the samples were immersed in bleach. Bleach immersion of whole-rock samples resulted in rapid (less than 1 min) precipitation of abundant 3.0-10.0-μm-wide calcite rhombs within clay-associated micropores and on clay and feldspar grain surfaces. Abundant microporefilling calcite rhombs also formed in pure separates of constituent chlorite/corrensite, whereas no calcite formed in a pure separate of constituent zeolite. These experiments indicate that corrensite is the likely calcium source in this experimental fluid-rock system. Formation of calcite occurs via a cation exchange reaction in which calcium in the smectitic interlayers of corrensite exchanges for sodium in the bleach. Serious formation damage due to calcite precipitation would have occurred in the andesite reservoir had it been exposed to bleach. This finding gives credence to earlier suggestions that cation exchange reactions have the potential to cause calcite precipitation in some sandstone reservoirs when exposed to drilling, completion or stimulation fluids. © 1993
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