Design Considerations of Waterflood Conformance Control With Temperature-Triggered, Low-Viscosity Submicron Polymer
- Omer Izgec (Chevron Energy Technology Company) | G. Michael Shook (Chevron Energy Technology Company)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Reservoir Evaluation & Engineering
- Publication Date
- October 2012
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 533 - 540
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.7.2 Recovery Factors, 1.10 Drilling Equipment, 2.2.2 Perforating, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 5.6.5 Tracers, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating
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In waterfloods, the existence of highly conductive thief zones causes poor volumetric sweep efficiency, resulting in early breakthrough and excessive production of water. A conventional strategy of redirecting injection by closing off perforations yields short-term benefits because diversion occurs near the wellbore. As an alternative, temperature-triggered submicron polymers with low viscosity (popping agents), which give an opportunity for conformance control deep in the reservoir, have been introduced in recent years. This technology aids conformance control by plugging the high-permeability zones and diverting the fluid to the unswept portion of the reservoir. Understanding the critical parameters that lead to a successful treatment and accurate determination of the slug size are two important criteria for a technically and economically successful treatment. In this study, we first investigate the effect of different parameters on the success of a conformance control treatment. A comprehensive design-of-experiments (DOE) study resolves the effects (and combined effects) of kv/kh, treatment fluid concentration, thief-zone to matrix-permeability ratio, mobility ratio, and location of the placement in the reservoir. Next, a methodology is developed for accurate determination of the conformance slug size. The method is built on the temporal moment and residence time distribution analysis (RTDA) of interwell tracers. Dynamic flow- and storage-capacity curves are used to identify the optimum slug size. 3D thermal computer simulations show that thief-zone to matrix-permeability ratio and placement location of the polymer are the most important parameters that affect the success of a treatment. The most desirable setting is placement of the polymer deep in the reservoir, closer to the producer within high kv/kh reservoirs. Furthermore, the computer simulations confirm the power of the new technique for optimal slug-size determination. This new technique can avoid underestimation of the volume that must be treated, which is critical for the success of a treatment.
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