Chemical Water & Gas Shutoff Technology - An Overview
- A.H. Kabir (Petronas Carigali Sdn. Bhd.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Asia Pacific Improved Oil Recovery Conference, 6-9 October, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 2001. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.3.1 Hydrates, 2.7.1 Completion Fluids, 1.6 Drilling Operations, 5.4.10 Microbial Methods, 5.4.5 Conformance Improvement, 2.2.2 Perforating, 4.3.4 Scale, 3 Production and Well Operations, 5.4.6 Thermal Methods, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 1.8 Formation Damage, 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.4 Enhanced Recovery, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 1.5 Drill Bits, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 1.10 Drilling Equipment
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Numerous chemical options are available for addressing excessive water and gas production problems. The chemistry of most of these options is complicated. A petroleum engineer with an average chemistry background has difficulties understanding these to a level that enables him/her to choose and apply a proper option to the problem at hand. In this paper, we provide a brief overview of all chemical water/gas shutoff (WGSO) options available to date. Monomer systems, polymer gels, relative permeability modifying polymers, inorganic gels, plastics etc. are commonly used chemical options. Less common options include viscous flooding, selective plugging with induced mineral precipitation and other miscellaneous grouting materials. Pros and cons of all these options are also discussed.
The need for shutting off unwanted fluid production is common to the entire spectrum of well life cycle. Drillers want to plug-off any lost circulation zone, production engineers want to shutoff any unwanted fluid producing zones in order to move to the next zone, and the asset owners want to plug & abandon any depleted wells at the end of the economic life of wells. However, a production engineer's need to control water and gas production ranges from a simple plugging operation to a more sophisticated selective reduction of permeability of an unwanted phase. A successful choice and implementation of any such technique is as demanding as the objective of the job. Therefore a need for a thorough understanding of the options available, their working mechanism, pros and cons are of paramount importance. This work is an attempt to familiarise petroleum engineers with chemical water/gas shutoff (WGSO) technology.
WGSO - Solution Options
A plethora of water and gas shutoff options are available, and they are growing as the technology evolves. The challenge for a petroleum engineer contemplating water/gas shut-off is, to know why, where and how unwanted water/gas is being produced, what are the solution options, their mechanism of action, pros, cons, capabilities and limitations well enough to be able to choose a right solution for a problem in hand. Current and emerging technologies for addressing water/gas shutoff can be of the following types:
- mechanical seals/isolation using hardware or cement
- coning control via draw-down reduction
- co-production & downhole separation
- + simultaneous water & oil production for coning mitigation
- + downhole separation & disposal
Why Chemical Options
Sealing Matrix and Small Fissures.
Mechanical means like tubing patch, casing patch, bridge plug, straddle packer, scab liner, cement squeeze can provide a seal in the well hardware and in large near-wellbore openings. However, there are cases where it is desirable to achieve matrix or small fissure penetration of the sealing material. Examples include: (a) small cement channels/fissures (b) natural fractures (c) vertical coning through matrix. Cement squeezes can't solve these problems.
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