With the discovery of new fields becoming less common and the continued development of brownfields, water control is becoming increasingly essential to enhancing oil recovery. Water control operations are especially challenging in under-pressured reservoirs with openhole completions, such as in the Boscan field in West Venezuela. Gravel-packed slotted liners and standalone premium screens are common completion methods in this field.

Dual injection, combined with permanent water shutoff (WSO) gels or relative permeability modifiers to control water production in these completions has traditionally produced inconsistent results. This method can fail to change the well production profile and possibly damage oil-producing layers.

This paper will discuss the development, implementation, and results of an innovative solution for water shutoff that was engineered for the complex completion methods mentioned. The solution involves three key stages; the temporary isolation of the producing layers, the permanent shutoff of the water zones, and the effective cleanup of the isolated producing layers.

The results of ten water control treatments are presented here. The average water cut was reduced to 30% from 88% and oil production was increased by an average of 300 BOPD per well through the application of this water shut-off solution.

In one particular well, two previous water control treatments using a conventional water shutoff technique, including a relative permeability modifier (RPM), had left the well producing 100% water. The new solution reduced the water cut to 25%, resulting in a gain in oil production of 300 BOPD. This innovative solution was established as a standard practice for water shutoff in the Boscan field.

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