Polymer Flooding in Unconsolidated-Sand Formations: Fracturing and Geomechanical Considerations
- Mohamad F. Khodaverdian (Shell) | Tibi Sorop (Shell) | Sophie J. Postif (Shell) | Paul J. Van den Hoek (Shell)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- May 2010
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 211 - 222
- 2010. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.3.4 Integration of geomechanics in models, 2.5.1 Fracture design and containment, 5.5 Reservoir Simulation, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 5.6.9 Production Forecasting, 1.8 Formation Damage, 5.2.1 Phase Behavior and PVT Measurements, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 2.4.6 Frac and Pack, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 3 Production and Well Operations, 5.3.1 Flow in Porous Media, 1.2.1 Wellbore integrity, 2.2.2 Perforating, 1.2.2 Geomechanics, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 4.3.4 Scale, 5.4.1 Waterflooding
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A study was carried out to determine the geomechanical effects of polymer flooding in an unconsolidated-sand reservoir. The work involved laboratory-scale polymer injections in unconsolidated-sand blocks to identify the injectivity mechanisms, numerical analyses for fracture prediction, and geomechanical modeling of the formation to examine the potential of shear failure and containment loss during flooding.
Laboratory tests under polyaxial conditions indicate that near-wellbore fracturing and permeability increase in unconsolidated sands occur at net injection pressures limited to 2.0 MPa. These findings were applied to fracture modeling. Geomechanical modeling suggests large-scale shear failure in the sand and in the bounding shale during polymer flooding. These are expected to affect both the fracture containment and the vertical-hole integrity. Finally, fracture predictions underscore the importance of the geomechanical considerations on determining the fracture dimensions and containment. Sensitivity analyses also point to the significance of binding several key parameters for fracture prediction. These include sand shale stress contrast, fluid quality and total-suspended-solids (TSS) content, fluid rheology and effective viscosity in the formation, and the filter-cake properties in the presence of polymer.
This paper provides a geomechanical perspective on the generally complex problem of polymer flooding in unconsolidated formations containing viscous oil. The work also offers some insights into the critical issues that must be examined in such situations to avoid catastrophic failures. It highlights the existing technological gaps in the current predictive capabilities.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||12|
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