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Oilfield Glossary
Oilfield Glossary
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fluoboric acid

1. n. [Enhanced Oil Recovery]
An acid mixture that generates more hydrofluoric [HF] acid as the HF is consumed. In the field, fluoboric acid [HBF4] is easily prepared by mixing boric acid [H3BO3], ammonium bifluoride [NH3F.HF] and hydrochloric acid. Fluoboric acid was developed to counteract the shortcomings associated with mud-acid treatments. It is a retarded fluid that can penetrate deep into the reservoir before spending, especially at high temperatures, and does not contain high HF at any given time. Thus, it is less reactive than mud acid, but its total dissolving power is comparable: HBF4 + H3O --> HBF3OH + HF. The limited amount of HF at any given time decreases the probability of forming precipitates of fluosilicates, fluoaluminates or silica. Fluoboric acid provides permanent stabilization of clays and fines through reactions related to borate and fluoborate ions. For example, borosilicates coat and bind undissolved clays and fines, preventing further mobility of these particles that might plug the formation and impair production. Mud acid does not provide this coating feature. Fluoboric acid also eliminates water sensitivity and is especially recommended in formations containing potassium minerals. Fluoboric acid can be used as a preflush, an overflush or as a main stage in a sandstone matrix acidizing. As a main fluid, a fluoboric acid treatment requires a preflush (weak HCl acid or brine) and should not be overflushed to obtain the maximum stabilization effect in the critical matrix area. Fluoboric acid treatments are the only acid formulations that require long shut-in times because of their long reaction times.