Acid Diversion in Carbonate Reservoirs Using Polymer-Based In-Situ Gelled Acids
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Diversion in carbonates is more difficult than in sandstones because of the ability of acid to significantly increase the permeability in carbonates as it reacts in the pore spaces and flow channels of matrix. In-situ gelled acids that are based on polymers have been used in the field for several years and were the subject of many lab studies. An extensive literature survey reveals that there are conflicting opinions about using these acids. On one hand, these acids were used in the field with mixed results. Recent lab work indicated that these acids can cause damage under certain conditions. There is no agreement on when this system can be successfully applied in the field. Therefore, this study was conducted to better understand this acid system and determine factors that impact its performance. Lab test of polymer-based in-situ gelled acids reveal that polymer and other additives separate out of the acid when these acids are prepared in high salinity water. In coreflood tests, in-situ gelled acid formed a gel inside 20” long core samples, and the acid changed its direction several times. Unexpectantly, the core's permeability was reduced at low shear rate. Wormhole length increased as the shear rate was increased; while the diameter of the wormhole increased as the acid cumulative injected volume was increased. CT scan indicated the presence of gel residue inside and around the wormhole. Gel residue increased at low shear rates. Material balance on the cross-linker indicated that a significant amount of the crosslinker was retained in the core. Based on the results obtained from this study the in-situ gelled acids should be used only at low HCl concentrations (5 wt percent HCl). Acid should be prepared in low salinity water and the acid injection rate should be determined based on the expected shear rate in the formation. A core flood experiment is recommended to confirm optimum injected rate. Well flow back is needed to minimize the residual gel inside the formation. The data obtained in this study can be used as a guideline for injection rate selection.
Gomaa, Ahmed Mohamed Mohamed (2011). Acid Diversion in Carbonate Reservoirs Using Polymer-Based In-Situ Gelled Acids. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from