Water Management in Mature Oil Fields Using Preformed Particle Gels


Excess water production is a major problem that leads to early well abandonment and unrecoverable hydrocarbon in mature oil fields. Gel treatments at the injection wells to preferentially plug the thief zones are cost-effective methods to improve sweep efficiency in reservoirs and reduce excess water production during hydrocarbon recovery. A recent gel process uses the preformed particle gels (PPGs) to overcome distinct drawbacks inherent in in-situ gelation systems, i.e. lack of control on gelation time, uncertain gelling due to shear degradation, chromatographic fractionation or change of gel compositions, and dilution by formation water. This paper describes the results of PPG injection in both fracture and sandpack models where the experimental results were used to develop and validate mechanistic models to design and optimize the flowing gel injection for conformance control processes. Crucial properties gel such as in-situ rheology and swelling ratio in addition to oil recoveries were investigated. The water and oil permeability reduction factors were measured and modeled as a function of gel strength, rock permeability, and flow rate. The PPG transport models were successfully implemented in a reservoir simulator and validated against the laboratory experiments.

Meeting Name

SPE Western Regional / Pacific Section AAPG Joint Technical Conference: Energy and the Environment Working Together for the Future (2013: Apr. 19-25, Monterey, CA)


Geosciences and Geological and Petroleum Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Chromatographic Fractionation; Conformance Control; Cost-Effective Methods; Hydrocarbon Recovery; Laboratory Experiments; Mechanistic Models; Permeability Reduction; Reservoir Simulator; Gelation; Gels; Hydrocarbons; Oil Fields; Petroleum Reservoir Evaluation; Water Injection; Water Management; Process Control

International Standard Book Number (ISBN)


Document Type

Article - Conference proceedings

Document Version


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© 2013 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Apr 2013