Modeling Particle Gel Propagation in Porous Media


Gel treatments are a proven cost-effective method to reduce excess water production and improve sweep efficiency in waterflood reservoirs. A newer trend in gel treatments uses particle gel (PG) to overcome some distinct drawbacks inherent in in-situ gelation systems. In this paper, we present a conceptual numerical model, based on laboratory tests and analyses, to simulate PG propagation through porous rock. In particular, we use a continuum modeling approach to simulate PG movement and its impact on isothermal oil and water flow and displacement processes. In this conceptual model, the PG is treated as one additional "component" to the water phase. This simplified treatment is based on the following physical considerations: (1) PG is mobilized only within the aqueous phase by advection in reservoirs; (2) PG, once retained in the porous media, will occupy pore space in pore bodies or pore throats and therefore reduce the permeability to bypassing water or oil; and (3) PG mobilization may not occur through pores or pore throats until some thresholds in pressure and/or pressure gradients are achieved and these threshold conditions are described by analogy to non-Newtonian fluid or non-Darcy flow in porous media, i.e., by a modified Darcy's law. The model is able to predict and evaluate the effects of PG as a conformance control agent to improve oil production and control excess water production.

Meeting Name

SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition (2008: Sep. 21-24, Denver, CO)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Aqueous phase; Conceptual models; Conformance controls; Continuum Modeling; Cost-effective methods; Darcy's laws; Displacement process; Gel treatments; In-situ; Laboratory tests; Non newtonians; Non-Darcy flows; Numerical models; Oil productions; Pore spaces; Pore throats; Porous medias; Porous rocks; Sweep efficiencies; Threshold conditions; Water floods; Water flows; Water phase' Water productions

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2008 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Sep 2008