Use of Hydrochloric Acid to Remove Filter-Cake Damage from Preformed Particle Gel during Conformance-Control Treatments


Millimeter-sized (10-mm to mm) preformed particle gel (PPG) has been used to control water flow through superhigh-permeability zones and fracture zones in mature oil fields. When the PPG is extruded into target zones, the gel can form a cake on the surface of low-permeability, unswept formations. This cake reduces the effectiveness of conformance control and the amount of oil that can be recovered from unswept oil formations. Thus, this study evaluated the effectiveness of using hydrochloric acid (HCl) to remove gel cakes induced during conformance-control treatments. The interactions between HCl and PPG were evaluated to understand the swelling, deswelling, and gel strength after adding acid. A Hassler core holder was then used to determine the core permeability after gel and acid treatments. Gels swollen in brine concentrations of 0.05, 1, and 10% were injected into a sandstone core having a variety of permeabilities. Brine was then injected in cycles through the gel into the core. The core permeability was measured after the gel-particle injection and after the core surface of the gel cake was soaked in the acid solution for 12 hours. The results indicate that particles swollen in brine concentrations of 0.05% caused more damage than those swollen in higher concentrations of brine. The damage increased as the core permeability increased for all the swollen gels. HCl removed the gel cake effectively; varying the HCl concentration did not cause a significant difference in the gel-cake removal efficiency. The gel was found to swell much less in HCl solutions than in brine. After the gel was deswollen in acid, the gel strengths were found to be higher than when the gel was swollen in brine. This work concludes that HCl can be used effectively to mitigate the damage induced by PPGs.


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Bandpass Filters; Core Samples; Flow Of Water; Gels; Oil Fields; Acid Treatments; Brine Concentration; Conformance Control; Core Permeability; Low Permeability; Mature Oil Fields; Removal Efficiencies; Sandstone Cores; Hydrochloric Acid

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Article - Journal

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© 2016 Society of Petroleum Engineers(SPE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Aug 2016