Description: This technical progress report describes work performed from September 1, 2003, through February 29, 2004, for the project, ''Conformance Improvement Using Gels.'' We examined the properties of several ''partially formed'' gels that were formulated with a combination of high and low molecular weight HPAM polymers. After placement in 4-mm-wide fractures, these gels required about 25 psi/ft for brine to breach the gel (the best performance to date in fractures this wide). After this breach, stabilized residual resistance factors decreased significantly with increased flow rate. Also, residual resistance factors were up to 9 times greater for water than for oil. Nevertheless, permeability reduction factors were substantial for both water and oil flow. Gel with 2.5% chopped fiberglass effectively plugged 4-mm-wide fractures if a 0.5-mm-wide constriction was present. The ability to screen-out at a constriction appears crucial for particulate incorporation to be useful in plugging fractures. In addition to fiberglass, we examined incorporation of polypropylene fibers into gels. Once dispersed in brine or gelant, the polypropylene fibers exhibited the least gravity segregation of any particulate that we have tested to date. In fractures with widths of at least 2 mm, 24-hr-old gels (0.5% high molecular weight HPAM) with 0.5% fiber did not exhibit progressive plugging during placement and showed extrusion pressure gradients similar to those of gels without the fiber. The presence of the fiber roughly doubled the gel's resistance to first breach by brine flow. The breaching pressure gradients were not as large as for gels made with high and low molecular weight polymers (mentioned above). However, their material requirements and costs (i.e., polymer and/or particulate concentrations) were substantially lower than for those gels. A partially formed gel made with 0.5% HPAM did not enter a 0.052-mm-wide fracture when applying a pressure gradient of 65 psi/ft. This result suggests a lower ...
Date: March 1, 2004
Creator: Seright, Randall S.
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