Abstract

This paper reviews the effectiveness of three rigless techniques to reduce water production from oil wells that either produce excessive amount of water or become unproductible due to high water cut. Two techniques, setting a through-tubing bridge plug and plugging the water producing section with a cement plug have become standard procedures while the third technique, which involves pumping a polymer gel system in the reservoir, is still under testing and evaluation to determine its suitability in Saudi Arabian reservoirs. During the last two years, 42 water shut-off jobs were performed of which 35 jobs (83%) were successful in reducing water and increasing the oil production. Post-job water cut trends show that these jobs extend the productive life of the well by 1–2 years and have excellent payout prospects in terms of increased revenues from higher oil production and reducing water production, thereby reducing the associated water processing costs. From reservoir management point of view, these jobs help in maximizing recovery from areas of the reservoir that have been invaded by the advancing flood front.

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