An Investigation of CO₂-Responsive Preformed Particle Gel for Conformance Control of CO₂ Flooding in Reservoirs with Fractures or Fracture-Like Channels


Gel treatment is an important technique to solve early CO2 breakthrough and excess-CO2-production problems, caused by the low viscosity and low density of CO2, as well as the heterogeneity of reservoirs with fractures or fracture-like channels. However, there is no reported work on gel that increases its volume after reacting with CO2 (termed CO2-responsive gel) for the conformance control of CO2 flooding. In this paper, the intrinsic properties of a CO2-responsive preformed particle gel (CR-PPG) were evaluated in a water/ supercritical-CO2 (scCO2) environment in high-pressure vessels. Continuous scCO2 injection and CR-PPG treatment were conducted in fractured sandstone cores, to probe their plugging performance to scCO2 flow in a high-permeability-contrast system. The volumetric swelling ratio (VSR) of the CR-PPG increased by approximately two times in the presence of scCO2, compared with a sample under similar conditions in the absence of scCO2. The CR-PPG swelling ratio decreased with increasing NaCl concentration. Under the same conditions, the temperature did not have an apparent effect on the swelling ratio after 31 days of swelling. In coreflooding experiments, the placed CR-PPG resisted a considerable pressure up to 617.0 psi before breakthrough. After a shut-in process, CO2-breakthrough pressure was detected at 437.2 psi. It is observed that the shut-in process improved the plugging performance of CR-PPG to CO2 as revealed by the increase in the residual resistance factor. Controlling the shut-in time was found to be effective in augmenting the increase in the residual resistance factor, by increasing the VSR of placed CR-PPG. Resistance of CR-PPG to some real field challenges, including a high pressure gradient and long-term exposure to CO2, was also reported for field-applicability concerns.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering


The authors want to thank the US Department of Energy for the funding from DOE project # DE–FE0024558 for CO2 storage.

Keywords and Phrases

Waterflooding; Shut-In Process; CO2; Upstream Oil and Gas; Conformance Control; Experiment; Injection Rate; Fractured Core; Enhanced Recovery; Fluid Dynamics

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Article - Journal

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

Publication Date

01 Jan 2019