Production of unwanted water from oil and gas wells has consistently burdened the industry. Many chemical systems have been developed to selectively reduce the flow of water into the wellbore, but not appreciably affect the production of hydrocarbons. Although these systems work well in the laboratory, many field applications have proven less than successful. The limited success of these types of systems may not be due to product failure but to poor candidate selection. The functioning mechanism of the chemical systems limits their application to wells where the production of water moves through the formation matrix, not from a channel or fracture.

A methodology has been developed utilizing production data and Darcy's flow equations to evaluate well candidates for these and other matrix applications. This evaluation technique will assist the engineer in deciding the potential mechanism of excessive water influx. Once the source or conduit for water production is determined, the appropriate type of water control application can be designed and applied. Examples of candidate evaluations and field application results are presented.

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