A Recrosslinkable Preformed Particle Gel for Conformance Control in Heterogeneous Reservoirs Containing Linear-Flow Features


Preformed particle gels (PPGs) have been successfully applied to control conformance for mature oil fields because of their advantages over conventional in-situ gels. However, field applications have demonstrated that current particle gels cannot efficiently plug open fractures, fracture-like channels, or conduits that exist in many mature oil fields. The objective of this study is to systematically evaluate a new recrosslinkable-PPG (RPPG) product that can be used to efficiently control the conformance for abnormal features. The RPPG can swell to 38 times its initial volume, and the equilibrium swelling ratio is independent of the brine salinity. Temperature and the particle size showed a gradient effect on the swelling rate of the gel. Additionally, the particle gels can recrosslink to form a rubber-like bulky material in the large-opening features after placement that significantly enhances the plugging efficiency. We systematically evaluated the effect of temperature and RPPG swelling ratio on the recrosslinking time, the gel strength after crosslinking, and the gel thermostability. Coreflooding tests were run to test whether RPPG can significantly improve the fracture-plugging efficiency compared with a traditional PPG that cannot recrosslink after pumping. The RPPG can be customized for mature reservoirs with a temperature from 23 to 80◦C with a controllable size from tens of nanometers to a few millimeters. The recrosslinking time can be controlled from 2 to 80 hours, depending on the swelling ratio and temperature. The gel elastic modulus after recrosslinking can achieve from 300 to 10 800 Pa, depending on the swelling ratio and the temperature. Coreflooding tests showed that the breakthrough pressure of the recrosslinked RPPG can reach up to 300 psi/ft for a fracture with a 0.2-cm aperture, which is more than five times higher than that of the conventional PPG.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Second Department



Funding for this study was provided by ConocoPhillips, Occidental Petroleum, and Daqing Xinwantong Technology Developing Company, Limited.

Keywords and Phrases

Efficiency; Gels; Oil fields; Particle size, Breakthrough pressures; Conformance control; Controllable size; Effect of temperature; Equilibrium swelling; Field application; Heterogeneous reservoirs; Mature oil fields, Fracture

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Article - Journal

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© 2019 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2019