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Title: Improved Mobility Control for Carbon Dioxide (CO{sub 2}) Enhanced Oil Recovery Using Silica-Polymer-Initiator (SPI) Gels

SPI gels are multi-component silicate based gels for improving (areal and vertical) conformance in oilfield enhanced recovery operations, including water-floods and carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) floods, as well as other applications. SPI mixtures are like-water when pumped, but form light up to very thick, paste-like gels in contact with CO{sub 2}. When formed they are 3 to 10 times stronger than any gelled polyacrylamide gel now available, however, they are not as strong as cement or epoxy, allowing them to be washed / jetted out of the wellbore without drilling. This DOE funded project allowed 8 SPI field treatments to be performed in 6 wells (5 injection wells and 1 production well) in 2 different fields with different operators, in 2 different basins (Gulf Coast and Permian) and in 2 different rock types (sandstone and dolomite). Field A was in a central Mississippi sandstone that injected CO{sub 2} as an immiscible process. Field B was in the west Texas San Andres dolomite formation with a mature water-alternating-gas miscible CO{sub 2} flood. Field A treatments are now over 1 year old while Field B treatments have only 4 months data available under variable WAG conditions. Both fields had other operational eventsmore » and well work occurring before/ during / after the treatments making definitive evaluation difficult. Laboratory static beaker and dynamic sand pack tests were performed with Ottawa sand and both fields’ core material, brines and crude oils to improve SPI chemistry, optimize SPI formulations, ensure SPI mix compatibility with field rocks and fluids, optimize SPI treatment field treatment volumes and methods, and ensure that strong gels set in the reservoir. Field quality control procedures were designed and utilized. Pre-treatment well (surface) injectivities ranged from 0.39 to 7.9 MMCF/psi. The SPI treatment volumes ranged from 20.7 cubic meters (m{sup 3}, 5460 gallons/ 130 bbls) to 691 m{sup 3} (182,658 gallons/ 4349 bbls). Various size and types of chemical/ water buffers before and after the SPI mix ensured that pre-gelled SPI mix got out into the formation before setting into a gel. SPI gels were found to be 3 to 10 times stronger than any commercially available cross-linked polyacrylamide gels based on Penetrometer and Bulk Gel Shear Testing. Because of SPI’s unique chemistry with CO{sub 2}, both laboratory and later field tests demonstrated that multiple, smaller volume SPI treatments maybe more effective than one single large SPI treatment. CO{sub 2} injectivities in injection well in both fields were reduced by 33 to 70% indicating that injected CO{sub 2} is now going into new zones. This reduction has lasted 1+ year in Field A. Oil production increased and CO{sub 2} production decreased in 5 Field A production wells, offsets to Well #1 injector, for a total of about 2,250 m{sup 3} (600,000 gallons/ 14,250 bbls) of incremental oil production- a $140 / SPI bbl return. Treated marginal production well, Field A Well #2, immediately began showing increased oil production totaling 238 m{sup 3} (63,000 gallons/ 1500 BBLs) over 1 year and an immediate 81% reduced gas-oil ratio.« less
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Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Impact Technologies Llc
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Country of Publication:
United States