Development and First Field Application of a Gel/Cement Water-Shutoff System
- Jip van Eijden (Shell Intl. E&P Co.) | Fred Arkesteijn (Shell Intl. E&P Co.) | Ihab Akil (Al Furat Petroleum Co.) | Jacques P.M. van Vliet (Qatargas) | Diederik W. van Batenburg (Halliburton BV) | Paul McGinn (Halliburton Services)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- May 2006
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 230 - 236
- 2006. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 1.6 Drilling Operations, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 3.2.6 Produced Water Management, 3.3.1 Production Logging, 4.3.4 Scale, 4.6 Natural Gas, 1.14.3 Cement Formulation (Chemistry, Properties), 1.14 Casing and Cementing, 3 Production and Well Operations, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 2.2.3 Fluid Loss Control, 3.1 Artificial Lift Systems, 1.8 Formation Damage, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 6.6 Sustainability/Social Responsibility, 4.3.1 Hydrates, 2.2.2 Perforating, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing
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Water production in northeast Syria has increased significantly in recent years. As a result, costs per barrel of oil have increased and the field's production is currently constrained by the facilities capacity.
Production logging tool (PLT) surveys, combined with a reservoir study, showed that good-quality sands were not properly swept by the water, probably because of poor connectivity in the reservoir. It was anticipated that these unswept sands could contribute to production if the watered-out sands were shut off.
A newly developed gel/cement has been used to shut off the watered-out sands in a cost-effective manner. The gel/cement system combines the properties of two shutoff techniques:
• Cement for mechanically strong perforation shutoff.
• Gel for excellent matrix shutoff.
The gel, used as "mix water?? of the cement, will be squeezed into the matrix, creating a shallow matrix shutoff. The cement will remain in the perforation tunnel as a rigid seal. This system showed superior shutoff performance in the laboratory compared to normal cement squeeze techniques. Selective perforation of the hydrocarbon zones will re-establish the oil production. The shutoff zones can be reopened later in the well's life when artificial lift has been installed.
The system was tested in the field in two wells. In the first field trial, 84 m of perforations (gross) was squeezed off with the gel/cement in a single attempt. After reperforation of the top and the middle zone, the well produced at a strongly reduced water cut (i.e., 25 to 33% compared with 60 to 62% before the treatment) and an increased oil production (i.e., 3,000 BOPD compared with 1,000 BOPD before the treatment). The oil production declined to 2,000 BOPD over a year; the water cut gradually increased over that period to 56%. In the second well, full shutoff was achieved but oil production could not be resumed for reasons that are not fully understood.
Waterdrive, either natural or through water injection, is probably the most important recovery mechanism for oil production from oil-bearing rocks. In a layered reservoir, this will cause water breakthrough in the high-permeability layers, leaving oil behind in the unswept layers. Generally, oil production decreases with the maturity of an asset while the water production increases. For 1999, the worldwide daily water production associated with oil production has been reported as 33 million m3 or, roughly, 3 bbl of water for every barrel of oil (Bailey et al. 2000). The U.S. petroleum industry generates 2.4 billion m3 of water annually (Sustainable Development 2004). This amounts to an average 7 to 8 bbl of water per 1 bbl of oil. Water production within the one group has roughly increased from 350,000 m3/d in 1990 to more than 1,000,000 m3/d today (Khatib and Verbeek 2002).
The costs associated with handling produced water are typically proportional to the amount of water produced. Consequently, costs per barrel of oil produced continue to increase with increasing water production. Ultimately, individual wells or complete fields are abandoned when cash flows turn negative because of excessive water production.
The heterogeneous geologic nature of most oil reservoirs, however, provides opportunities to prevent or reduce excessive water production. In layered reservoirs with good vertical isolation between the layers, water production can be managed either by controlling the injection profile in the injectors (if water is injected) and/or by selectively producing different layers in the producers. It is essential that the well integrity and cement bond are good to prevent communication behind pipe and casing.
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