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SPE 84897

Field Application of a New In-Depth Waterflood Conformance Improvement Tool

James Pritchett, SPE, PT Caltex Pacific Indonesia; Harry Frampton, SPE, BP Exploration and Production Technology
Group; Joe Brinkman, SPE, ChevronTexaco; Steve Cheung, SPE, ChevronTexaco; Jim Morgan, * SPE, BP Exploration
and Production Technology Group; K. T. Chang, SPE, Ondeo Nalco Energy Services; Dennis Williams, SPE, Ondeo
Nalco Energy Services; James Goodgame, ** SPE, ChevronTexaco

Copyright 2003, Society of Petroleum Engineers Inc.

will be discussed along with the field data acquired during and
This paper was prepared for presentation at the SPE International Improved Oil Recovery after the trial.
Conference in Asia Pacific held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 20–21 October 2003.
As part of the continued development of this material, a
This paper was selected for presentation by an SPE Program Committee following review of
information contained in an abstract submitted by the author(s). Contents of the paper, as
second trial commenced in late November 2002 on a North
presented, have not been reviewed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers and are subject to Sea (UK) production platform. The treatment was
correction by the author(s). The material, as presented, does not necessarily reflect any
position of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, its officers, or members. Papers presented at successfully placed in mid December, 2002.
SPE meetings are subject to publication review by Editorial Committees of the Society of
Petroleum Engineers. Electronic reproduction, distribution, or storage of any part of this paper
for commercial purposes without the written consent of the Society of Petroleum Engineers is Introduction
prohibited. Permission to reproduce in print is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300
words; illustrations may not be copied. The abstract must contain conspicuous This paper presents a case history in which a novel profile
acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper was presented. Write Librarian, SPE, P.O.
Box 833836, Richardson, TX 75083-3836 U.S.A., fax 01-972-952-9435.
modification treatment was pumped in the Minas waterflood.
Of all the problems that can beset oil wells, unwanted water
production is one of the most troublesome, yet water flooding
Abstract to improve the recovery of oil is the most common secondary
An Industry Consortium (BP, ChevronTexaco and Ondeo recovery process used in the modern oil industry. Water
Nalco Energy Services) conducted a multi-company research production causes many problems such as corrosion, scaling,
project known as Bright Water. The goal of this project was cost of oil water treatment and cost of disposal.
to develop a time-delayed, highly expandable material that In water injection projects excess water production is
would improve the sweep efficiency of a water flood. often linked to poor sweep efficiency, which renders
In November 2001, the first of these water flood profile significant amounts of oil irrecoverable during the economic
modification treatments was pumped in the Minas field. The life of a field. Poor sweep efficiency can be the result of
Minas Field, located on the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, zones with unfavorable permeability in heterogeneous
has an OOIP of 8.7 billion barrels, is at nearly 50% recovery, reservoirs or unfavorable mobility ratio within homogeneous
and has water-cuts greater than 97%. Reservoir thief zones rock. Specifically water can break through from the water
have been identified throughout the main reservoir layers. injection to the oil production wells in the most permeable
The main objective for pumping a profile modification zones while significant oil is left in the reservoir (Fig. 1) or it
material is usually to divert injected water out of thief zones can pass through low mobility oil by a process of
and into zones with higher oil saturation, though areal sweep viscous fingering.1
improvement can also be expected.
The profile modification treatment of 42,000 barrels Figure 1: Thief zone in an oil reservoir
water containing 4500 ppm of active material was pumped
into Minas injector 7E-12 (“A1” sand). The objective of the
field trial was to verify that significant volumes of this low
cost material could be pumped deep into the reservoir at low
viscosity, and then expand after a pre-designed time interval.
Injection tracer studies were conducted pre- and post-
treatment to aid in determining changes to the injection sweep
efficiency. A bottom hole pressure fall off test was also used
to measure post – job permeability.
The trial demonstrated that large volumes of the The problem can be even more severe when bottom
material can be pumped into the formation without raising the water zones with high water saturation and therefore
injection pressure or blocking the injection well bore, can variations in relative permeability exist. 2,3
propagate in the rock pore system, and then will expand at a Polymer flooding was proposed as a means of
pre-designed time. Changes in oil production after the trial correcting the sweep in a reservoir in the early 1960’s.4 This
* Now with Jimtech Limited.
** Now retired.
2 SPE 84897

works well in reservoirs with excess injectivity and low ability of the gel to propagate very deep into the reservoir
salinity where the polymer can be injected at significant rates still exist.
with relatively high viscosity, typically 10 cP at about 7 sec-1. A system was still required which can reduce the
Problems exist that render it a less attractive option in most permeability of thief zones deep within the oil reservoir to
reservoirs. Polymer solutions are typically shear thinning, and achieve more efficient displacement of the oil to the producing
the point of injection is normally the highest shear rate wells. An essential feature was seen as having only one
environment. The shear rate falls rapidly as the solution enters injected component, so that no separation could occur. Also,
the reservoir. The viscosity of the injected polymer solution density close to that of an average injection brine was seen as
increases as the shear rate falls and a viscous bank is formed desirable, to minimize segregation. This paper reports some of
around the injection well. This reduces the injection rate the results from a joint oil industry research consortium
achievable. The majority of water floods operate with project aimed at providing such a system. Figure 2 below
minimum excess injection capacity, and reduction of illustrates conceptually how incremental oil could result from
injectivity can mean that new injection wells need to be drilled such a system.
to allow polymer flooding. This is often an undesirable
prospect. A further limit is imposed on the injection rate by Figure 2: Thief zone plugged with Bright Water treatment
the shear instability of some polymers. If the shear rate during
injection is too high, it can break the molecules apart and
significantly decrease the cost effectiveness of the process.
Near wellbore treatments have been used in attempts to
correct waterflood sweep profile. However, in general, the
depth of penetration, is typically no more than 15 feet (5
meters), and is too small to exert a controlling influence on
reservoir flow unless extensive barriers to fluid movement
exist orthogonal to the well. Even if vertical conformance is
corrected, areal conformance problems can still be significant. Field simulations within BP Exploration and
Alternating slug treatments using synthetic polymers Technology led to an initial estimate that over the life of a
cross-linked with aluminium ions supplied as Aluminium field improved volumetric conformance could increase
Citrate were proposed by Pye as a means of treating injection recovery up 10 percent in favorable cases. It can also
profile control problems.5 These were widely used in the contribute to a significant reduction in operating costs related
field, and with some variations have achieved a degree of to reduced water production.
success.6 The viscous polymer slugs tended to divert the
crosslinker into different zones, so it may be hard to get them Statement of Theory and Definition
to mix and the degree of mixing caused in the reservoir is not Concept of the reagent. In 1996 an industry and academic
controllable. Additionally, there are problems in propagating seminar, sponsored by BP, produced numerous potential
aluminium ions (as a citrate complex) deep into a reservoir options for achieving physical or chemical changes using
rock. Loss of aluminium to the rock matrix by adsorption or “triggers”, i.e. properties of the reservoir that differ between
precipitation often occurs which means that large quantities of thief zones and the bulk of the rock. The concept eventually
aluminium can be required to establish in – depth treatment.7,8 developed was that of a particle which could inject and
Deep Diverting Gels (DDG) have been proposed as a propagate with the water flood through the pores of the rock
means of achieving placement of a cross-linked polymer slug matrix, then after a temperature change in the thief zone(s) or
deep within the reservoir.9 An AcrylamideAcrylate polymer after a certain time, would increase in volume (Popping) to
was mixed with Aluminium Citrate under controlled block pore throats, diverting chase water into poorly swept
conditions. Association between the polymer and aluminium zones. To maintain injectivity, it was important that the
ions took place, but a gel was not formed for a considerable injected viscosity of the system should be as near as possible
time. A field trial of the process showed that the injection to that of water. Once popped, interactions with pore throats
profile was modified as expected but the improvement was were intended to be the means of delivering water
premature and did not last for long. Loss of the aluminium to resistance factor.
the porous medium was believed to be the major limiting It was envisaged that a large volume of such a reagent
factor. The permeability modification appeared to be might have to be injected to achieve a major influence on
primarily in the region of the injection well. reservoir sweep, which dictated that it should be low cost.
Colloidal Dispersion Gel (CDG) is related to DDG in Rock thermal properties together with the water
being composed of a mixture of polymer and aluminium injection and reservoir temperatures determine the conditions
crosslinker. Association between the polymer and the metal under which the particles must propagate and trigger. The
ion again lies at the heart of the process where intramolecular diameters and rheological properties of the particles before
crosslinking is believed to create cross-linked polymer popping must be compatible with the pore throat size
molecules or small aggregates in the formation. Willhite et al distribution of the target rock. A typical pore throat size
showed the injectivity of the mixture to be limited at low shear distribution for Minas sandstone, obtained by mercury
rate.10 Smith et al showed that the mixtures could be injected porosimetry, is shown below in Figure 3.
at higher shear rates.11 Given the rapid fall in shear rate with
distance away from an injection well, questions about the
SPE 84897 3

Figure 3: Pore throat size distribution for CPI Minas Core sand pack method used was very similar to that reported by
Morgan et al.12
The Bright Water® kernels are supplied as a 30% active
dispersion of polymer in light mineral oil. Test solutions were
made by high shear dispersion of the oleic concentrate into
water with an added surfactant, using a high shear mixer.
Before use, the kernels “solutions” were conditioned in an
ultrasonic bath. The ultrasonic bath was used to simulate the
individual particles dispersed in water by field equipment.

Bottle tests. 5000 ppm active kernel dispersions in water

were treated with a thermal stabilising additive. As the kernel
particles “pop” and increase in size, the viscosity increases
because the particles start to interact more with each other.
This solution concentration chosen was sufficient to give a
substantial bulk viscosity after the kernels had “popped”. The
solution was used to fill a series of bottles, then the void space
of each was flushed with Nitrogen, and they were sealed with
lids. The test samples were stored in ovens or water baths to
represent the process of ageing in a reservoir.
Samples were periodically taken and the viscosity
characteristics determined using a thermostatically controlled
Brookfield LVT Viscometer with a UL adapter. The results
Filtration and particle propagation studies suggested were used as an indication of the relative “popping” times of
that in order to ensure ease of injection and propagation, the different materials, and also the viscosity increase was taken
initial particles, termed “kernels”, must have a mean particle as an indication of the degree of swelling.
diameter less than about one tenth of the mean of the pore
throat size distribution and physical properties, such as Injectivity tests. Injectivity tests were completed using sand
density, likely to ensure that they were carried effectively with packs of between 1 and 5 feet in length with relatively high
the water flow. To guarantee a substantial effect after rates of fluid injection to simulate the shear rates found on
“popping”, the “popcorn” particles were predicted to need a injection in the field. Core injection tests using Berea and
mean diameter on the order of, or greater than one quarter of field cores were used to confirm the results obtained.
the mean pore throat diameter. However, both these
conditions should be particle-concentration dependent. At a Propagation tests. Propagation tests used slim tube sand
lower concentration of injected kernels, kernel sizes closer to packs of up to 66 feet in length, and were done at much slower
the pore throat size would become injectable. Figure 4 depicts frontal advance rates (1-3ft/day). Some of these tests were
a cartoon of particle expansion under the influence of time linear and some used tubes of increasing radius to simulate the
and temperature. fall off of shear rate in radial flow away from the injection
well. Propagation of the kernel particles was confirmed
Figure 4: Particle expansion
through lack of pressure build up in any sections of the tubes,
and through comparison of the inlet and outlet solution
properties. The viscosity of the outlet solutions matched the
inlet solution well. The turbidity was less well matched and it
was inferred that this was because of changes in the state of
emulsification of the carrier oil during passage through
the packs.

Popping tests. Long slim tube sand packs were constructed in

sections with a pressure transducer between each section.
They were then flooded with carbon dioxide to remove air and
conditioned with synthetic Minas brine, then Crude oil, then
flooded to residual water saturation with brine.
In 1997, the MoBPTeCh (Mobil, BP, Texaco, Chevron) These tests confirmed that activation could be delayed
research consortium adopted the project, and developed a until the kernels had travelled well down the sand-pack. They
reagent termed Bright Water® in association with Nalco were used to check the influence of factors such as
Exxon (later Ondeo Nalco) Energy Services. temperature, kernel concentration, pH and salinity on the time
of popping and magnitude of water block seen. Different
Laboratory studies. Prototype materials were screened using sands were used to simulate different permeabilities. Some
bottle tests and slim tube sand packs designed to model the core floods were also run to confirm injectivity. However, as
propagation of the particles through the reservoir rock. The these cores were generally short, “popping” tests in core had
4 SPE 84897

to use a shut-in period after injection to allow sufficient time wells have local injection-induced fractures. Therefore, these
for activation. stratified targets remain an option for Bright Water®,
particularly where areal and vertical sweep issues both exist.
Description and Application of Processes However, the preferred reservoir target type for the
The field trial was to demonstrate that the polymer solution initial Bright Water® version tested here had some
could be injected at normal pre-trial well rates and pressures, communication between swept and unswept zones. With this
would activate as planned deep within the formation, and structure, when the thief zone was blocked deep in the
would divert water to the bypassed oil zone and improve reservoir, pressure would build up between the injector and
waterflood sweep efficiency. the block, and water would exit the thief zone, being diverted
into lower pressure unswept zones.
Screening fields for sweep efficiency improvements. Many The material initially produced had a fixed particle size,
factors, some positive and some negative, need to be which meant that the thief zone permeability had to be within
considered when ranking candidates for in-depth sweep a required range. Also, the activation time was temperature
improvement. Most can be covered by these questions: dependent. The temperature encountered in the reservoir had
1. Is there sufficient target in terms of improved oil to be at least 80C for activation to occur in an acceptable time.
rate/reserves (or reduced water production)? The injection water temperature had to be no more than 70C,
2. Is there a place where water diversion can be activated to to avoid activation near the wellbore. Cold injected water will
mobilize and recover these reserves? cool the rock it encounters, an excessive volume of cold-water
3. Can the process be placed there without encountering or injection prior to the treatment could mean that the particles
causing technical problems? injected would not see reservoir temperature rock until far
4. Can the predicted waterflood improvement be observed from the well. Activation might not then occur in an
and quantified, and is it economic? acceptable time or distance. All these considerations came
5. Is there an easier, cheaper or lower risk option to achieve into the initial target screening for this project. Since then,
the same ends? these restrictions have been eased considerably by
The approach used was to eliminate targets with further development.
obvious negative factors, and then to rank remaining targets The following points should be considered when
based on a weighted multi-question risk assessment, based evaluating a potential candidate for Bright Water®. Preferred
primarily on the above questions. target properties:
Numerical simulation, and laboratory tests, can also be 1. Available movable oil reserves
used to optimize the treatment placement, and the best 2. Early water breakthrough to high water-cut
treatment size/strength for each candidate. This approach 3. Problem with high permeability contrast, (thief zone at
helps quantify the likely production gains as well as treatment least 5 times unswept zone)
costs. It can also compare in-depth diversion with alternative 4. Porosity of highest perm zone > 17%
well treatment options, and with alternative waterflood 5. Permeability in thief zone >100 mD
management options. In practice, the acquisition of the 6. Minimal reservoir fracturing
required local reservoir description and performance data, plus 7. Temperature from 50 C (122 F) to 150 C (302 F)
the simulation of many targets can cost more than the 8. Expected injector-producer transit time >30 days
treatment itself. Therefore, we usually defer this work until 9. Injection water salinity under 70,000ppm
candidates have been pre-selected based on a simple
ranking process. Pattern selection within the Minas Field. Many variables
Usually, reservoir engineers are well aware of the must be considered when selecting a good candidate for
efficiency of their waterfloods. When the localized recovery profile modification, including evidence of a thief zone,
factor in a given reservoir sector is predicted to be high (60% bypassed oil reserves target, and well pair connection.
of OOIP or better), and the amount of water required to After initial screening, the most attractive patterns were
achieve this is 1.5 sector pore volumes or less, then there will further evaluated using pressure pulse tests to verify injector
be no significant target for remedial treatments. /producer connections. The selection of Pattern 7E-12,
Generally, the worse the waterflood performs, the more targeting the A1 Sand, resulted from the pulse testing. The
likely it is that an economic remedial treatment can be applied, test showed offset producers 6E-97, 7E-13, and 7E-23 were
but there are exceptions. Examples include, poor sweep due hydraulically connected to injector 7E-12 while other wells
to excessive reservoir compartmentalization or lack of within the pattern were not connected.
reservoir continuity, and highly fractured reservoirs. The Finally, tracer was injected and monitored to determine
treatment presented in this paper is intended for diversion in the direction of flow, and verify the magnitude of the thief
matrix, not fractures. zone. Tracer tests confirmed fluid communication between
For reservoirs with vertical pay zones separated by these well pairs (Fig. 5), and showed the magnitude of those
impermeable shales, it should be simpler and less costly to connections (days to tracer breakthrough).
mechanically shut off individual watered-out layer(s) either at
the producer or injector. However, in some cases, the first
zones to water out still contain valuable reserves, and shut-off
at the producer is considered unacceptable. Also shutting off
an isolated zone at the injector is often difficult because the
SPE 84897 5

Figure 5: Tracer results in Minas 7E-12 pattern A pressure transient analysis was conducted in 7E-12 to
investigate k(mD) before the Bright Water® treatment.
Permeability was estimated in the range of 400 to 600 mD.
These were within the range of the 420 mD, the
log-derived permeability.
A spinner survey was conducted on 7E-12 to verify
fluid distribution at A1 sand after the A1 was isolated. The
log showed 96% of the injected water entered the lower
interval of the A1 sand, and the rest leaked below the packer.
The upper A1 showed no injection.

Conceptual-treatment design. The initial aim was to inject

about 10% of the pore volume of thief zone pore volume in
the sector between the injector and nearest 2 producers. The
In general, the A1 sand of Minas field comprises initial design volume was 120,000 bbl with a concentration of
amalgamated sand with fining upward deposition. The upper the Bright Water® kernels at 1500 ppm.
deposition usually has lower permeability, and the deeper Lab design work was based on 85C, but it was later
section has high permeability. Mapped resistivity in the upper discovered from the pre-treatment tracer results that
5 feet of the A1 Sand indicated high resistivity in the 7E-12 significantly more of the cool injection water had headed
pattern, or an opportunity for bypassed oil, Figure 6. towards the nearest producer than originally thought. This,
However, there was also data to support the lack of bypassed combined with a somewhat cooler than average injection
oil in the A1. Initial oil saturations may have been low in the temperature in 7E-12, meant that the reservoir temperature
fining upward sequence of the A1 and relatively little oil may could range to a low of 74C out to a very significant distance.
have migrated into it. Therefore, even though the zone may be This difference in design versus injection water temperature
bypassed, the oil targets may have been relatively small. gave rise to concerns about getting a gel set, or popping of the
polymer out in the reservoir. Also, the pre-treatment tracer
Figure 6: Map of resistivity in the upper 5 feet A1 Sand work revealed unexpectedly fast breakthrough times. It was
thought prudent to modify the conceptual treatment design to
allow for these possibilities and to ensure a gel set.
The concentration of the Bright Water® kernels was
raised to 4500 ppm to ensure that the treatment would have a
measurable effect on a very high permeability streak if it were
present. Catalyst, sodium hydroxide, was added to the design
to reduce the popping time from the 40 days designed to about
15 days. A shut in period, after the injection and initial
displacement of the kernels with injection water, was also
added to ensure that the slug of Bright Water® still stayed in
Map is based on
the central portion of the streak should a fracture be present.
average data from The treatment was reduced from 120k to 40k barrels at
RTCH in 5 feet of
UA1 the 4500 ppm concentration. While the total treatment cost
stayed the same, the per-barrel injected polymer cost was
The pattern selected had a steady and well-documented increased from $3/bbl to $9/bbl. Generally however, the
previous operational history, so the baseline performance was dilute version is technically preferable and is now under
known. Also the injector-producer well spacing was close field trial.
enough that tracers could be used to establish the pre-
treatment and post-treatment water transit times. The pattern Treatment execution. Polymer injection began November
chosen was partly isolated from the effects of other injectors, 11, 2001 and ended November 20, 2001. A total of 42,000
so that changes in non-pilot wells were less likely to affect bbl. water with 4,500 ppm polymer and 1,500 ppm surfactant
the outcome. was injected in the 9 day period. In addition, 50% caustic soda
was added to keep the injection water pH at 9.5 for the first
Presentation of Data and Results half of the chemical injection and a pH of 10 during the
Pre-treatment well work. For better clarifying oil targets, second half of the chemical injection. The injection wellhead
Cased Hole Formation Resistivity (CHFR) logs were run in pressure was “on-vacuum” through out pumping, except for
7E-23 and 6E-97. The CHFR logs and other production logs the last 14 hours. The pressure came off vacuum and
indicated that most of the fluid and oil was coming from the registered 10 psig. The polymer was injected from 5 iso-
A1 Sand. Therefore, for better project control (reservoir containers and surfactant from 2 iso-containers. The 50%
management), bridge plugs were set in 7E-12, 7E-23, 7E-13, caustic soda was supplied in stainless steel and plastic totes.
and 6E-97 so that all injection and production was from the Figure 7 shows the site layout for chemicals and pumps.
A1 Sand.
6 SPE 84897

Pressure fall-off test. A log-log plot of the pressure

Figure 7: Site layout of the chemical pumps ®
fall-off test performed on 7E-12 after the Bright Water
treatment is contained in Figure 8. The primary conclusion
from the pressure data is that a definitive change in injectivity
did occur. It was also estimated from the pressure data that the
effective permeability to water was decreased to a distance of
about 125 feet from the well. The Bright Water treatment
was flushed with 68,800 bbls of injection water prior to the
short shut-in for activation. The distance of 125 feet estimated
from the fall-off test is about ½ of that calculated from the
volumetric estimates of the distance the polymer was flushed
away from the wellbore
Figure 8: Log-log plot of 7E-12 fall-off test data.

After polymer injection, the polymer slug was over-

flushed with 68,800 bbl of field water the following two (2)
weeks and the injector was then shut-in (SI). In addition, at
the end of the two-week over-flush period, offset producers
were SI for up to 3 weeks to allow the polymer slug to “cook”
and assure it would gel. The SI schedule was also developed
to prevent polymer breakthrough, and to minimize oil
production losses during SI (i.e. higher water cut wells SI
longer). The SI schedule can be seen in Appendix Tab. A-1.
After SI, the injector, 7E-12, was returned to injection at 5,000
bbl per day and was seen to be still at a “vacuum”
injection pressure.
Water injection. The pre-treatment injection rate was
Monitoring program. Post injection monitoring started Nov 13,000 BWPD (fully open choke). The post-treatment
12th, 2001. The monitoring program consisted of recording injection rate is 5,000 – 6,000 BWPD (fully open choke), or
daily injection, daily surface temperature, offset production roughly a 60% reduction in injectivity. A small portion of the
well tests every 5 days, water sampling in offset producers for injection rate reduction can be attributed to a slightly lower
evidence of polymer production, and post-polymer injection wellhead injection pressure after the polymer treatment than
tracer and falloff tests. This monitoring was continued to before the treatment (180 psi vs 230 psi). However, when
April 2002, and no polymer was detected. The detection limit daily pressure fluctuations occur, up to 250 psi, the injection
was about 25 ppm. rate is still well below 7,000 BWPD.
Tracer tests. The content of 2-FBA and 4-FBA Oil production. While the injection response to the
(fluorinated benzoic acid) in water samples from pattern treatment was successfully confirmed, the oil production
production wells was measured following tracer slug response is less certain. The general consensus of the Minas
injections both before and after the polymer treatment. Tracer operations team is that little incremental oil production
2-FBA was used before the Bright Water® treatment, and 4- resulted from the Bright Water® treatment. The production
FBA was used to monitor any change in subsurface fluid flow plot below in Figure 9 depicts the allocated production from
after the treatment. Comparison data in Table 1 shows the the 7E-12 inverted seven spot pattern. The hashed area on the
post treatment tracer reached well 7E-23 and 7-E13 faster than plot indicates the potential incremental oil resulting from the
the pre treatment tracer surveys. This could be explained by treatment. Unfortunately, this represents a relatively small
the fact that the pumps in both wells were upsized after the pre volume and the decline of the pattern tends to follow the pre-
treatment tracer was measured. Well 6E-97 did not have a treatment trend in less than 12 months after the treatment.
pump change during the tracer study period and the post job
tracer took 72 days longer to reach the well.

Table 1: Pre and Post Treatment Tracer Test

Tracer Comparison data
Wells 7E-23 6E-97 7E-13 6E-85 6E-87 6E-24 6E-98
Breakthrough (day) 30 43 70 NA NA NA NA
Peak (concentration) 70 40 18 NA NA NA NA

Breakthrough (day) 18 115 43 108 108 115 122
Peak (concentration) 26 12 13 14 4 5 4

Days pre and post -12 72 -27 NA NA NA NA
SPE 84897 7

Figure 9: Production plot of 7E-12 pattern 1. The polymer was pumped at low viscosity, about twice
Incremental Oil ?
that of water at the same temperature.
(only pattern wells included) 180
2. The polymer was successfully displaced a significant
16.00 160 distance from the wellbore.
14.00 140 3. The material appeared to gel as designed, 125 feet
distance from the injector, and caused A1 Sand injectivity
M Bbls Water / CD

ST Bbls Oil / CD
12.00 120

10.00 100
to reduce by more than 60% from 13,000 BPD to
Bright Water
5,000 BPD.
4. No polymer was produced in the offset wells and tracer
6.00 60
survey indicated flow directions were altered.
Avg. FIFO = .35
5. The popping time can be manipulated by pH control,
after BW Job
2.00 20
though we can now also manipulate it just by
Ma Ap Ma Ju Ju Au Se Oc No De Ja Fe Ma Ap Ma Ju Ju Au Se Oc No De Ja
molecular design.
03 6. Pumping was trouble free in the Minas field trial, and in
FIFO M CDwater
M CDwinj CDoil
the simplified North Sea field trial.
7. The volume of incremental oil production attributable to
Although this is monthly data it is interesting to note the project is uncertain. As discussed, a number of factors
that the response time is faster than expected. The transient likely contributed to this outcome, factors which may or
time from the tracer test, Table 1 referenced above, did may not be related to the effectiveness of this new thief-
indicate cycle time from 3 to 6 weeks for two of the offset blocking agent. Additional field trials are needed to
producers. The initial oil production response could have quantify the commercial viability of this concept.
resulted from oil being dislodged by the surfactant in the
leading edge of the polymer slug and being quickly swept Acknowledgements
ahead through the thief zone to the producers. The second We would like to acknowledge CPI engineering and support
bump in production, in the January-February 2001 time frame, functions, including Adly Guchi, Construction Coordinator
may be related to some diversion of the waterflood into the who saved the day for us logistically. Others included:
lower permeability zones. Fuaadi Ibrahim, Reservoir Engineering; Darmawan Boedi,
From the period leading up to the 7E-12 Bright Water® Facilities Engineering; Ginting Kasmir and Hadi Prijono,
treatment through the last attempts to gather data, a number of Facilities Electrical; Petrus Krisologus, Safety, Health &
operational factors come into play which make it difficult to Environmental; Pulangan, Operations Wells and Fac.; Andi
quantify exactly what volume of incremental oil production Bachtiar, Project Champion; Dike Fitriansyah Putra, Produce
resulted from the Bright Water® treatment. These factors Sub-Surface. Kudus Kurniawan was our Ondeo Nalco Energy
include pump changes just prior to the treatment as well as Services(Indonesia) representative.
injection water rate changes in and around the test pattern. We thank ChevronTexaco’s Les Munson for reservoir
The fluid-in fluid-out ratio for the pattern after the simulation, and candidate well selection, and Medhat Kamal
treatment was considerably less than one. A low voidage for the design and interpretation of the Pressure Fall-off test.
replacement ratio, coupled with not all of the wells in the
pattern being aligned with injection into the A1 sand, could Nomenclature
have contributed to the apparent low volume of OOIP, original oil in place
incremental oil. sec-1, reciprocal seconds, shear rate
It should be noted that given proper in-situ profile
modification candidates, with water cycling to offset References
producers in a thief zone(s), when the thief zone is plugged
and water injection into it is reduced, oil rates should improve 1. A. L. Benham, SPE 513, 1st November 1962. “A model
because of the re-distribution of areal support to the study of viscous fingering”.
offset producers. 2. E. Shirif, K. Elkadiffi & J. J. Hromek. SPE Reservoir
Evaluation and Engineering, February 2003. “Waterflood
Further development. A second field trial using the Bright performance under bottomwater conditions:
Experimental approach.”
Water® polymer was conducted in December 2002 on a North
3. A. L. Barnes, Journal of Petroleum Technology October
Sea (UK) production platform. A total of 88,360 bbls of 1962, 1147, Trans. AIME volume 225. “The use of a
injection seawater containing 1500 ppm of polymer and 750 viscous slug to improve waterflood efficiency in a reservoir
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off leaving Oil/Gas Production Unharmed”


Table A-1: Minas 7E-12 Pattern Shut-in Schedule

Perform regular well tests (oil, water, and gas rates) on all surrounding
producers at least once every two weeks for six months following end
of field trial.

Producer Shut-in Schedule:

Dec 4 (2 weeks after end of polymer injection) SI 7E-23 for 3 wks.
Dec 11 (3 weeks after end of polymer injection) SI 6E-97 for 2 wks.
Dec 18 (4 weeks after end of polymer injection) SI 7E-13 for 1 wk.
Dec 25 (5 weeks after end of polymer injection) return all 3 wells to

Injection Shut-in Schedule:

Nov 21 At end of polymer injection, continue injection at 5,000 bpd
for 2 wks.
Dec 4 Shut-in injector (7E-12) for 3 wks.
Dec 25 Return to injection. - Do not exceed 250 psig surface
injection pressure – Begin injection at 5000 bpd
Dec 26-29 Increase in increments of 2000 bpd each day until
an injection pressure of 250 psig or full pre-treatment rate (~13,000
bpd) is achieved.