Liquid Screen: A Novel Method To Produce an In-Situ Gravel Pack
- Vivian O. Ikem (Imperial College London) | Angelika Menner (Imperial College London) | Alexander Bismarck (Imperial College London) | Lewis R. Norman (Halliburton)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- June 2014
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 437 - 442
- 2013. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 2.4.5 Gravel pack design & evaluation
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- 382 since 2007
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Gravel packs are conventionally used as a permeable solid layer in theannulus between a production screen and the walls of the wellbore in weaklyconsolidated subterranean formations. Gravel packing is a well-known techniquefor sand control, whereby unconsolidated fines produced from the soft formationare filtered away from the production fluids. However, gravel packs can beproblematic. The bridging of sand particles within the gravel pack can createvoids that can result in mechanical failures or significantly reduce theeffectiveness of gravel packs to restrain fines from flowing along with thehydrocarbons produced.
As an alternative, we present a pioneering method to prepare void-free andmechanically sound permeable barriers in subterranean formations as analternative to gravel packing. The method of preparation involves the curing ofPickering water-in-oil mediuminternal-phase emulsions (MIPEs) orhigh-internal-phase emulsions (HIPEs) containing monomers in the annular spacebetween a rock formation and pipe. The emulsions were prepared simply by addinglow amounts of nonionic surfactant and dispersant to premade Pickeringemulsions that were stabilized by oleic-acid (OA)-modified silica particles.The resulting macroporous solid materials, known as"poly(merised)Pickering-M/HIPEs," have a gas permeability of up to 2.6 darcysand are highly interconnected and permeable to hydrocarbons. This paper showsthat it is possible to tailor the gas permeability and mechanical performanceof the permeable barrier by altering the emulsion internal-phase volume, thevolume of surfactant added to the premade Pickering emulsion, and thecomposition and constituents of the continuous monomer phase; styrene,divinylbenzene (DVB), and poly(ethylene glycol) dimethacrylate were used in themonomer phase.
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