Research Papers: Oil/Gas Reservoirs

Gelation Performance and Feasibility Study of an Environmental Friendly Improved Inorganic Aluminum Gel for Conformance Control Under Harsh Reservoir Conditions

[+] Author and Article Information
Hong He

Hubei Cooperative Innovation Center of
Unconventional Oil and Gas,
Yangtze University,
Wuhan, Hubei 430100, China;
College of Petroleum Engineering,
Yangtze University,
Wuhan, Hubei 430100, China
e-mail: hehong1103@gmail.com

Yefei Wang

College of Petroleum Engineering,
China University of Petroleum (East China),
Qingdao, Shandong 266580, China
e-mail: wangyf@upc.edu.cn

Ziyuan Qi

College of Petroleum Engineering,
China University of Petroleum (East China),
Qingdao, Shandong 266580, China
e-mail: 357620287@qq.com

Xiaojie Sun

Yangtze University,
Wuhan, Hubei 430100, China
e-mail: 1092538163@qq.com

1Corresponding author.

Contributed by the Petroleum Division of ASME for publication in the JOURNAL OF ENERGY RESOURCES TECHNOLOGY. Manuscript received April 26, 2014; final manuscript received December 1, 2016; published online January 9, 2017. Assoc. Editor: Egidio Marotta.

J. Energy Resour. Technol 139(1), 012911 (Jan 09, 2017) (7 pages) Paper No: JERT-14-1133; doi: 10.1115/1.4035512 History: Received April 26, 2014; Revised December 01, 2016

Despite its successful application in controlling excessive water production in many mature oilfields, polymer gel is facing some application limitations under harsh reservoir conditions. To settle these problems, an environmental friendly improved inorganic aluminum gel that composed of polyaluminum chloride (PAC) as main agent, urea as activator, and sodium sulfate as syneresis inhibitor was developed. The effects of mass ratios of PAC and urea, component concentrations and temperature on gelation performance were studied. The gel compatibility with various formation brines, long-term thermal stability, and permeability reduction ability were evaluated to account for the feasibility of gel application. Results showed that as the mass ratio of PAC and urea increased, the gelation time increased and the degree of syneresis decreased. The gelation time and the degree of syneresis decreased with the increase of sodium sulfate concentration, which indicated that sodium sulfate could play a role in accelerating gelation and inhibiting gel syneresis. The gelation time decreased with increasing temperature. The gel could tolerate sodium chloride concentration up to 150 g·L−1 and calcium chloride concentration up to 25 g·L−1. After aging for 120 days at 130 °C, no syneresis was observed in gel samples, which indicated that the gel had good, long-term thermal stability. The gel had good permeability reduction ability and was effective in plugging high permeability zone. Thus, these results indicated that the improved inorganic gel could be a potential candidate for conformance control under harsh reservoir conditions.

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Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 2

The gel quality description: (a) cloudy, (b) weak gel, and (c) good gel

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Fig. 1

The gel shape before and after gelation

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Fig. 4

Arrhenius-type plot of gelation time and temperature (10.0 wt.% PAC + 2.22 wt.% urea + 0.4% sodium sulfate)

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Fig. 3

Effect of temperature on gelation time

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Fig. 5

The injected pressure versus injected pore volumes after gel treatment (10.0 wt.% PAC + 2.22 wt.% urea + 0.4% sodium sulfate)




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