Permeability Modification Using a Reactive Alkaline-Soluble Biopolymer

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Polymer injection has been used in reservoirs to alleviate contrasting permeability zones. Current technology relies on the use of cross-linking agents to initiate gelation. The use of biological polymers are advantageous in that they can block high permeability areas, are environmentally friendly, and have potential to form reversible gels without the use of hazardous cross-linkers. Recent efforts at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) have produced a reactive alkaline-soluble biopolymer from Agrobacterium sp. ATCC no. 31749 that gels upon decreasing the pH of the polymeric solution. The focus of this study was to determine the impact an alkaline-soluble ... continued below

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Fox, Snadra L.; Xie, X.; Schaller, K. D.; Robertson, E. P. & Bala, G. A. October 1, 2003.

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Description

Polymer injection has been used in reservoirs to alleviate contrasting permeability zones. Current technology relies on the use of cross-linking agents to initiate gelation. The use of biological polymers are advantageous in that they can block high permeability areas, are environmentally friendly, and have potential to form reversible gels without the use of hazardous cross-linkers. Recent efforts at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) have produced a reactive alkaline-soluble biopolymer from Agrobacterium sp. ATCC no. 31749 that gels upon decreasing the pH of the polymeric solution. The focus of this study was to determine the impact an alkaline-soluble biopolymer can have on sandstone permeability. Permeability modification was investigated by injecting solubilized biopolymer into Berea sandstone cores and defining the contribution of pH, salt, temperature, and Schuricht crude oil on biopolymer gelation. The biopolymer was soluble in KOH at a pH greater than 11.4 and gelled when the pH dropped below 10.8. The Berea sandstone core buffered the biopolymer solution, decreasing the pH sufficiently to form a gel, which subsequently decreased the permeability. The effluent pH of the control cores injected with 0.01 {und M} KOH (pH 12.0) and 0.10{und M} KOH (pH 13.0) decreased to 10.6 and 12.7, respectively. The permeability of the sandstone core injected with biopolymer was decreased to greater than 95% of the original permeability at 25 C in the presence of 2% NaCl, and Schuricht crude oil; however, the permeability increased when the temperature of the core was increased to 60 C. Residual resistance factors as high as 792 were seen in Berea cores treated with biopolymer. The buffering capacity of sandstone has been demonstrated to reduce the pH of a biopolymer solution sufficiently to cause the polymer to form a stable in-situ gel. This finding could potentially lead to alternate technology for permeability modification, thus extending the life of a reservoir and preventing premature abandonment.

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  • Report No.: INEEL/EXT-03-01243
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • DOI: 10.2172/910609 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 910609
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc888889

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  • October 1, 2003

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Oct. 18, 2016, 7:15 p.m.

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Fox, Snadra L.; Xie, X.; Schaller, K. D.; Robertson, E. P. & Bala, G. A. Permeability Modification Using a Reactive Alkaline-Soluble Biopolymer, report, October 1, 2003; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc888889/: accessed September 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.