Preformed Particle Gel for Conformance Control: Transport Mechanism through Porous Media


Preformed particle gel (PPG) has been successfully synthesized and applied to control excess water production in most of the mature, waterflooded oil fields in China. This paper reports on laboratory experiments carried out to investigate PPG transport mechanisms through porous media. Visual observations in etched-glass micromodels demonstrate that PPG propagation through porous media exhibits six patterns of behavior: direct pass, adsorption, deform and pass, snap-off and pass, shrink and pass, and trap. At the macroscopic scale, PPG propagation through porous media can be described by three patterns: pass, broken and pass, and plug. The dominant pattern is determined by the pressure change with time along a tested core (as measured at specific points), the particle-size ratio of injected and produced particles from the core outlet, and the residual resistance factor of each segment along the core. Measurements from micromodel and routine coreflooding experiments show that a swollen PPG particle can pass through a pore throat with a diameter that is smaller than the particle diameter owing to the elasticity and deformability of the swollen PPG particle. The largest diameter ratio of a PPG particle and a pore throat that the PPG particle can pass through depends on the swollen PPG strength. PPG particles can pass through porous media only if the driving pressure gradient is higher than the threshold pressure gradient. The threshold pressure depends on the strength of the swollen PPG and the ratio of the particle diameter and the average pore diameter.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Coreflooding; Micromodel; Preformed particle gel; Core analysis; Elasticity; Formability; Gels; Particle size; Porous materials; Pressure gradient; Transport properties; Oil field development

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Document Type

Article - Journal

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© 2007 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2007