Minimizing Water Production from Unconventional Gas Wells Using a Novel Environmentally Benign Polymer Gel System
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Excess water production is a major economic and environmental problem for the oil and gas industry. The cost of processing excess water runs into billions of dollars. Polymer gel technology has been successfully used in controlling water influx without damaging hydrocarbon production in conventional naturally fractured or hydraulically fractured reservoirs. However, there has been no systematic investigation on effectiveness and placement conditions of polymer gels for shutting off water flow from fractures with narrow apertures in shale and tight gas reservoirs. The existing polymer gels, like those based on Chromium(III) Acetate, as a crosslinker will exert very high extrusion pressure to effectively penetrate the narrow aperture fractures present in shale and tight gas reservoirs. This gives rise to a need for a new polymer gel system that can be used for selectively shutting off water flow from narrow aperture fractures in shale and tight gas reservoirs. The new gel system will have a longer gelation time than the existing polymer gels; this ensures minimum crosslinking of the gel by the time it reaches bottom hole. The gelant solution will be pumped at low pressure so that, it penetrates only pre-existing fractures in the formation with ease. This study for the first time focuses on developing an environmentally benign polymer gel system based on high molecular weight HPAM, as a base polymer and a commercial grade PEI as an organic crosslinker. Gel samples of different concentration ratios of the polymer and crosslinker were prepared and classified under Sydansk code of gel strength to find optimum concentration ratios that gave good gels. The gel system was characterized using Brookfield DV-III Ultra Rheometer and Fann-35 Viscometer.
Gakhar, Kush (2011). Minimizing Water Production from Unconventional Gas Wells Using a Novel Environmentally Benign Polymer Gel System. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from