Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Ultra-deepwater and Unconventional Resources Program)
Preformed Particle Gels for Conformance Control
Missouri University of Science and Technology (Formerly University of Missouri – Rolla)
ChemEOR Company, Corvina, CA 91723
BJ Services, Tomball, TX 77375
Excess water production is a major issue that leads to early well abandonment and unrecoverable hydrocarbon for mature wells. Gel treatments at injection wells to plug off preferentially the water thief zones are a proven cost-effective method to improve sweep efficiency in reservoirs and reduce excess water production during hydrocarbon production. A newer trend in gel, treatments uses preformed particle gels (PPG) to overcome some distinct drawbacks inherent in in-situ gelation systems. This proposal will study gel particle transport through fractures and fracture-like channels. The ultimate purpose of the project is to establish methods to optimize particle get treatments to increase oil recovery plus reduce water production, by improving waterflood sweep efficiency. This has direct economic benefits by increasing income and saving routine operating costs, plus a reduction in the water production rate serves to decrease the associated environmental risks and impact of any spills.
The proposed project has four main tasks. The objective of the first task is to indentify where particle gels can be effective and how to best use them. This task will be done via analysis of previous data using our developed theories and modern soft computing technologies. The second task will quantify particle gel propagation for different PPG products during extrusion through open fractures and fracture-like channels; results will thereby guide the best particle gels for different widths fracture and channels. This task will be fulfilled through experiments using screens and cores with fractures and channels. New theoretical models will be developed based on the experimental data and will be used to update the models of the first task for better design of particle gel treatments and prediction of well performance. The third task will be laboratory flow tests to evaluate novel processes (e.g. modified PPG chemistry, including surfactant, and using gravity effects to improve particle placement) that have significant potential to enhance gel particle treatment efficiency. The fourth task is to develop well size-distributed commercial preformed gel particles.
The project will be led by the research group at the University of Missouri, Rolla. The fourth task is the procurement and synthesis of commercial and newly developed PPG chemistries, which will be provided by ChemEOR, a chemical product provider in the USA. Another key activity is the interactive consultation from BJ Services who would take the results from this study and provide the actual field deployment of PPG technology to small producer end users. BJ Services will provide expert guidance so that the field data analysis and laboratory program tasks will generate information that will be key towards faster deployment of PPG technology to domestic small producers.
Principal Investigators: Baojun Bai