Implementation of video production logging in conjunction with the use of high molecular weight polymer gels, has led to successful water isolation operations in the Fayetteville shale. The dry natural gas field, located in northern Arkansas, is a horizontal play with the wells cased, cemented, and completed with multi-stage slickwater fracture stimulations using perforation and plug technology (Harpel, 2012).
Accurate detection of extraneous water entry points along the wellbore is vital for precise water isolation treatment, while still protecting the hydrocarbon producing intervals. Conventional production logging tools have been utilized in the past but proved to be expensive, due to the wellbore configuration, and imprecise because of the horizontal trajectory and debris encountered in the wellbore, with the debris generally rendering the spinner tool inoperable. Video logging tools, deployed in combination with high frequency temperature and pressure gauges, have considerably improved identification of water entries along the wellbore. In addition, the use of a smaller logging assembly has also drastically reduced workover costs by permitting logging through the existing 2-3/8" OD production tubing whereas conventional production logging required the removal of the production tubing due to size limitations. By maintaining this wellbore configuration the flowing conditions remain undisturbed and increase the accuracy of the production log.
Based on video production log results the proper water isolation operation is subsequently selected. While cement squeezes and mechanical isolation tools have been applied successfully in horizontal wells to isolate inflow from water producing perforations, they are limited in their applications due to the wellbore configuration and operational costs. Recently, treatment of water producing perforations with chrome (III) carboxylate acrylamide polymer (CC/AP) gel technology has allowed selective treatment in additional sections of the wellbore. These gel treatments have yielded strong results by isolating water production and increasing gas production by reducing the flowing bottomhole pressure. Evaluation and selection of the appropriate polymer gel is discussed along with design considerations and implementation.