Transport of Preformed Particle Gels through Fractures

Note: This is the summary of my dissertation proposal. All rights reserved.

Excessive water production is a prevalent problem that has significant economic impact on the profitability of hydrocarbon production (Vasquez et al., 2006). Excessive water production is one of the most challenges that lead to early well abandonment and unrecoverable hydrocarbon for mature wells (Bai, et al., 2007). It is necessary to reduce the excessive water production, in addition, which could bring a lot of economic and environmental benefits. Several techniques have been proposed and applied in fields to prevent or to remediate a high water cut occurred during producing hydrocarbon (Castelijins et al., 2006). Gel treatment has been proved to be a cost-effective to block the water in the high permeability zones or channels through laboratory and field studies (Norman et al., 2006; Wassmuth et al., 2004; Liu et al., 2005).

Traditionally in-situ gelation systems have been applied in conformance control; however there are some limitations on traditional in-situ gelation systems. Recently, preformed particle gel (PPG) is becoming a new trend in gel treatments because it overcomes some drawback inherent in in-situ gelation system. PPG has been applied in different kinds of reservoirs (Xu et al. 2007; Wang et al. 2004; Peng et al. ; Lou et al. 2005; Wang et al. 2006).  Dr. Bai and his colleague initiated the PPG project in 1997 when he worked in China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC). Currently, more than 200 papers have been published in Chinese Journals and SPE conferences, and all of the papers focused on the development of preformed particle gels, their field application, and their transport in unfractured porous media. However, the sizes of PPG applied in oilfields are usually from hundreds of micrometers to a few millimeters, and they can not flow in common consolidated porous media without fractures or super-K channels.  Integrated research on the transport of PPG in fractures has not been done, yet.

The purpose of this proposal is to systematically investigate the transport of preformed particle gels (PPG) in fractures and fracture-like channels, which can be applied to reduce excessive water production in mature and declining oil and gas fields. The tasks of this project includes: (1) the properties change before and after  transport of PPG in porous media, fractures-like channels, and open fractures, such as gel particle concentration, gel strength, rheology, size distribution, and the ability of water shutoff, and (2) modeling of the transport of PPG in open fractures and fracture-like channels.

Benefits will include: (1) the methods to evaluate PPG properties will be established; (2) the conformance control mechanisms of PPG treatments will be recognized; (3) improved field application design methods will be provided; (4) application conditions of PPG treatments will be identified.


One Response to Transport of Preformed Particle Gels through Fractures

  1. Pingback: Superabsorbent Polymer « Zinan Li's Blog

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