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Relative Permeability Modifier – RPM

Water Control Problems? Chemical Treatments?

What is a RPM?

Polymers, in the form of either solutions or gels, are intended to control water production - especially when oil bearing and water zones cannot be isolated. These products, identified as Relative Permeability Modifiers, (RPM’s) are introduced to the reservoir, typically by bullhead injection, with the intention of reducing the relative permeability to water, while avoiding as much as possible any reduction in the relative permeability to oil (or gas). The phenomenon that the placement seeks to induce is Disproportionate Permeability Reduction (DPR) and will, where successfully applied, significantly reduce production costs.

COREX’s RPM Service

The concept of the impartial screening of liquid preparations deployed during the delineation and development of a reservoir has been a key component of the core-base services offered by COREX to the industry. Innovation in programme design and the ability to respond to the specific requirements of a client has driven the expansion of our service portfolio.

COREX’s RPM Service

The most recent development in the range of our investigative procedures has been in the area of Water Shutoff Chemical Systems, with specific reference to Relative Permeability Modifiers (RPM’s). These products are gaining in popularity as the number of maturing reservoirs increase and the need to manage water production becomes ever more pressing. As has been observed repeatedly, it requires at least the same amount of energy to produce a barrel of water as it does to recover a barrel of oil.

Why COREX treat RPM treatment as case specific

The claims made for the various RPM products in the technical and sales literature suggest that their applicability is essentially universal; being largely independent of such key parameters as wettability, pore throat size, clay content, saturation profile and temperature. If this were the case RPM’s would be employed on a routine basis, rather than infrequently, accompanied with a healthy level of scepticism. In reality each RPM treatment should be case specific, affording the client the opportunity to test the various products on offer. It also provides the suppliers with the opportunity to optimise the formulation of their particular Relative Permeability Modifier.

COREX’s Screening Process

This screening process is achieved through the deployment of representative and fully characterised core material, prepared to preserve factors such as wettability and clay fraction integrity. Testing on this material, undertaken at reservoir conditions of temperature and pressure, yields, on a “before and after” treatment basis, permeability and saturation data sets. From these values Resistance Factors for the two fluid phases are produced to quantify the effectiveness of the impedance of water flow without significantly reducing oil or gas production.

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