Water shutoff using polymer gels has been practiced with success for long time. However, in certain cases, there is a need to acidize a well while isolating part of it using a gel treatment especially in long horizontal wells. The application of combined treatment is challenging and has resulted in a mixed outcome. The acid reacts with carbonate around the gel destroying the benefits of the gel treatment. Likewise, the application of the gel post an acidizing treatment is ineffective. The objective of this paper is to investigate the effectiveness of combining water shut-off and acidizing in one treatment in carbonate formations.
Core-flood testing was conducted to investigate the effectiveness of water shut-off gels before and after acidizing the core plug. Two scenarios were examined; the first one included pumping a cross-linked organic polymer gel to a carbonate core plug then followed by emulsified acid. In the second scenario, the core plug was acidized then the gel treatment was pumped. The gelling system consisted of polymer and dual set of delayed organic crosslinkers. The acid was 20 wt% emulsified HCl. CT scanning images were obtained before and after each step. The testing was performed at 200°F and 500 psi pore pressure.
The core flood experiments showed that when acid was applied after the gel treatment wormholes were created and dissolved the rock around the gel. On other hand, when the gel was applied after the acid, the gel was not able to withstand the differential pressures and allowed the flow of water because of the inability of the gel to plug the wormholes. It was demonstrated that the gel and acid treatments must be isolated from each other by mechanical means or deeper penetration of the gel.