As technology advances in horizontal well drilling, long horizontals completion are now preferred for producers aiming to explore more oil-bearing zones, especially in heavy or tight oil reservoirs. However, for strong waterdrive horizontal wells, abrupt increase of water-oil ratio and abounding unwanted water production severely affect the profitability of the field due to the constant decrease of oil production and premature well shutting.

The targeted reservoir of this work is a typical heavy oil reservoir with strong waterdrive. By December 2014, the average water cut for the two productive layers has increased 40-70%, for some wells especially, the water cut has exceeded 95% causing frequent well shutin. Therefore, to ensure the productivity of the horizontal wells, water shutoff has become a challenging and urgent task.

According to the aquifer identification and water influx diagnosis, 27 horizontal wells distributed in aforementioned two productive layers were first categorized into two groups in order of treatment difficulties, after which foam-assisted gel and gel treatments were designed and conducted.

For the three of the treated wells, the average water cut was significantly reduced from 80.3% to 48.0%. Although the gross liquid production rates were slightly reduced after treatment from 31.7 to 27.7 t/d, the oil production rate was considerably increased by 28.1 t/d. By January 2016, 4 500 t of the incremental oil was produced indicating the success of the water shutoff jobs. However, it should be noticed that the water cut of the N2 foam-assisted gel treated well started to rapidly rise after two months. This is probably caused by inappropriate foam/gel volume ratio. The water control strategies and field results in this heavy reservoir will provide the necessary clues for the design and application of water shutoff treatments for horizontal wells driven by strong water.

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