Waterflood is most commonly used secondary recovery mechanism in conventional sanstone reservoirs worldwide. Waterflooding assists in pressure maintenance and increases the field estimated ultimate recovery (EUR). Conformance in water injector wells plays an important role during waterflooding of a reservoir. Better conformance results in improved vertical sweep efficiency leading to higher recovery.
Continuous injection of fluids into the reservoir at higher rates may create channels for preferential flow. Zones of higher permeability, leading to higher injectivity in selective zones, can also exist because of various lithological conditions and rock structures comprising of naturally occurring fractures or fissures. For injection wells, the entry of fluids into a set of perforations is governed by the quality of the perforations and the permeability of the formation at that depth. Preferential flow of injected fluids into selective pay intervals results in diminished overall sweep efficiency. (J. Vasquez, et.al., 2008).
This paper discusses the use of thermally activated gels from polyacrylamides and metal chelates applied for selective reservoir matrix permeability reduction in an injector well. A low concentration, low viscosity delayed crosslinker gel system employing partially hydrolyzed polyacrylamide (PHPA) exhibiting 12-14% degree of hydrolysis level with chromium acetate as crosslinker offering delayed gelation time was used to selectively isolate one of the payzones.
A non-profile retrievable (NPR) plug was installed to isolate the target interval from the rest of the pay zones to enable selective treatment of the interval using coiled tubing (CT). The fluid was customized to minimize CT friction while ensuring that the rheological properties of the fluid in the reservoir would achieve the desired diversion and allow delayed gel crosslinking mechanism assuring avoiding of gel crosslinking in CT while pumping in progress. Denser brine relative to the delayed gel density was spotted above the NPR plug to avoid gel settling on the plug for easy retrieval of the plug post-treatment. Injectivity was measured and subsequently, the treatment was placed as per design while constantly monitoring the pressures so as to qualitatively determine the effectiveness of the treatment placement.
The treatment resulted in significant alteration in injectivity of the targeted zone. Post-treatment production logs confirmed an improvement in the injection conformance. Later, the zone was isolated and the bottommost zones were selectively stimulated enhancing the injection and thus improving sweep efficiency. Since the crosslinked gel system is not prone to any disintegration when in contact with acidic interventions, the treatment ensures a superior longevity of the conformance control when compared to other conventional diversion or zonal shut-off treatments.
The success of the treatment substantiates that the CT deployed low viscosity, low concentration delayed crosslinked gel system application can be successfully extended to selective water shut-off applications in producer wells. The injector profile modification treatment executed offered a comprehensive solution to conformance issues enhancing volumetric sweep efficiency, pressure maintenance across depleted sands and avoiding further water cycling in producer wells.