Water shutoff and conformance improvement: an introduction
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionPetroleum Science. 2021, 18, 450-478. 10.1007/s12182-021-00546-1
This paper provides an introduction to the topic of water shutoff and conformance improvement. After indicating the volumes of water produced during oilfield operations, a strategy is provided for attacking excess water production problems. Problem types are categorized, typical methods of problem diagnosis are mentioned, and the range of solutions is introduced for each problem type. In the third section of the paper, the concept of disproportionate permeability reduction is introduced—where polymers and gels may reduce permeability to water more than to oil or gas. When and where this property is of value is discussed. The fourth section describes the properties of formed gels as they extrude through fractures and how those properties can be of value when treating conformance problems caused by fractures. Section 5 covers the efficiency with which gels block fractures after gel placement—especially, the impact of fluids injected subsequent to the gel treatment.