Experimental characterization of colloidal silica gel for water conformance control in oil reservoirs

Zahra Ghaffari, Hosein Rezvani, Ali Khalilnezhad, Farid B. Cortes, Masoud Riazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


High water production in oil fields is an area of concern due to economic issues and borehole/wellhead damages. Colloidal gels can be a good alternative to polymers to address this as they can tolerate harsh oil reservoir conditions. A series of bottle tests with different silica and NaCl concentrations were first conducted. The gelation time, cation valence, rheology, and viscosity were investigated to characterize the gels. The applicability of solid gels in porous media was finally inspected in a dual-patterned glass micromodel. Bottle test results showed that increasing NaCl concentration at a constant silica concentration can convert solid gels into two-phase gels and then viscous suspensions. Na+ replacement with Mg2+ resulted a distinctive behaviour probably due to higher coagulating ability of Mg2+. Rheology and viscosity results agreed with gelation times: gel with shortest gelation time had the highest viscosity and storage/loss modulus but was not the most elastic one. Water injection into glass micromodel half-saturated with crude oil and solid gel proved that the gel is strong against pressure gradients applied by injected phase which is promising for water conformance controls. The diverted injected phase recorded an oil recovery of 53% which was not feasible without blocking the water zone.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9628
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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