Long, Yifu (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Yu, Bowen (Missouri University of Science and Technology) | Zhu, Changqian (Research Institute of Petroleum Exploration and Development, PetroChina)
Conformance improvement for ultra-high-temperature (130 °C) reservoirs is challenging due to the poor thermostability of conventional preformed particle gel (CPPG). To overcome the defect of thermal degradation, a novel hydrostable PPG (HT-PPG) was developed using the high-temperature tolerant crosslinker. In this work, a comparative study between the HT-PPG and CPPG has been presented in respects of their swelling behaviors, rheology properties and thermal stabilities. Particle swelling behaviors and viscoelasticities were firstly assessed in ambient. Using the swollen particles, a long-term aging at 130 °C underwent during which the physical status was monitored through high pressure vials (HPV). Furthermore, characterizations involved Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) and Fourier Transform-Infrared Spectroscopy (FT-IR) were performed for both virgin and aged specimen. Thereby, an observation of gel microstructures and elucidation upon bonds or functional groups were provided. In addition to aging tests, we deployed the Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC) to investigate the inflection temperature as another indicator of particle thermostability. Attributed to the hydrostable crosslinker, the HT-PPG withstood 130 °C for at least 90 d. It was found that the HT-PPG effectively maintained its particulate shape, whereas, the CPPG completely degraded after 3-d aging. The HT-PPG maintained 28.8% of its initial storage modulus (G′). On the contrary, the normalized elasticity (G′/G0‘) of CPPG was only 0.43%. The SEM morphologies illustrated HT-PPG kept its rigid microstructure even after 90-d aging, while indicated destruction within CPPG network. According to FT-IR characterization, the decomposition of pristine crosslinker, N,N′-Methylenebisacrylamide in CPPG may account for its instability. DSC measurements furtherly demonstrated the favorability of HT-PPG in which HT-PPG exhibited a higher inflection temperature of 133.1 °C, however, CPPG only had an inflection temperature of 127.7 °C. This work turned out the novel HT-PPG could withstand ultra-high-temperature (130 °C) for more than 90 d, maintaining its particulate shape and viscoelasticity. This a durable plugging agent was notably superior to the CPPG, offering a candidate material for the conformance improvement in ultra-high-temperature reservoirs.