Typical sand-control treatments applied in this field are high-rate water packs (HRWPs) or fracture for placement of proppant (FPP). In many cases, the use of a pad is necessary to maximize the amount of proppant placed into the formation and help reduce (bypass) overall skin using onsite data analysis. The gravel pack carrier fluid is a viscosified system with shear-thinning rheological properties and efficiently suspends sand in static conditions. Additionally, this fluid allows substantial flexibility in sand control design for varying degrees of sand support for gravel packing, fluid-loss control, friction-pressure reduction, and a low-damage fluid system (validated with extensive laboratory testing using reservoir cores with carrier fluid to validate returned permeability values).

The objective of the relative permeability modifier (RPM) in sand-control chemical treatments is to prolong hydrocarbon production over time with effective control of water production in one step as a prepad fluid, eliminating the cost and complexity of the water-shutoff treatment stage later as part of well life.

Applying the RPM process has not only reduced water production in these areas, but it has also resulted in more gas cumulative production. It is also important to monitor production for several months after the treatment to determine the success or failure of the application.

Globally, this is the first successful application of RPM delivery in the same aqueous gravel-packing carrier fluid system using a pad fluid consisting of high-grade xanthan polymer as a gelling agent. Implementation of this process provides the operator an additional tool to increase the possibility of hydrocarbon production from a reservoir that has not been considered viable. Use of RPM technique in sand-control completions provides the option to treat wells and control water production resulting from nearby GWC after sand-control treatments.

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