Chapter 18. Water Shutoff
This chapter is closely related to the subject of gelling agents; see Chapter 8
for more information. Both gelling and plugging agents have similar aims—to minimize the permeability of a formation.
The idea of water shutoff treatments began in 1922 when the injection of silicate solutions into oil producing wells was patented, with the aim of gelation in situ to form a blocking phase.
The term gel can refer to a crosslinked polymer or to a polymer solution that is sufficiently viscous to appear as a gel. Although from the viewpoint of a polymer chemist, the hardening of cement is a polymerization resulting in an inorganic crosslinked polymer, we will not include cementing here, nor will we discuss fracturing fluids, even ...