Increasing water cut in oil-producing zones is a common issue faced by operators, particularly for mature fields. Currently, where most of the decisions are governed by economics, incurring additional expenses with activities such as handling produced water becomes extremely undesirable. Depending upon the nature of the zone, one effective solution to this issue is chemical isolation. This paper undertakes this issue, discussing a case study of a successful zonal isolation operation using an organically crosslinked polymer sealant in a fractured zone with a gravel pack and screen completion for a reservoir with a subhydrostatic nature.
This zone was an initial oil producer in FM-01 sand of the Mangala onshore oil field and had been stimulated in 2011 with a fracture-pack completion. The zone was completed with screens and a gravel pack with 16/30-mesh sand and 5.5-in. screens across the producing interval. During a period of time, the zone (FM-01) began to produce a significant amount of water, resulting in excessive water cut. To mitigate the issue, it was decided to completely isolate the zone using an organically crosslinked polymer system as a porosity fill sealant. When prepared in the appropriate concentration, subject to reservoir temperature, this low-viscosity formulation (40 to 80 cp) turns into a permanent rigid gel with time. The particular challenges of this operation were the presence of high permeability streaks because of stimulation by hydraulic fracturing, extra pore space because the perforated interval lay within the gravel-packed screens, and the subhydrostatic nature of the reservoir. Extensive laboratory testing was performed to optimize the formulation at the desired temperature, measuring the time necessary for the viscosity to begin increasing and the minimum total time necessary to form a rigid gel.
The case study discussed in this paper features the successful application of the treatment using the spot-and-squeeze method with coiled tubing (CT) for the isolation of the zone. After allowing the setting time, pressure tests were performed, indicating positive isolation of the zone. After the pressure test, a jet pump was installed, and a drawdown was created to flow the zone. It was observed that production post operation was almost 95% less than production before operation at the same pressure drawdown, indicating approximately 100% zone isolation.