Flow of a polyacrylamide/chromium acetate system in a long conduit

Stan McCool, Xianping Li, G. Paul Willhite

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Typical gelled-polymer treatments to treat fractured rock consist of injecting in-line-mixed gelant into the reservoir for times usually much longer than the bulk gel time of the gelant. Flow experiments were conducted to determine the effect of shear on the flow properties of the gelant for durations greater than the bulk gel time. In-line-mixed gelant was injected through a 1,031-ft-long tube to simulate a fracture treatment. Flow resistance increased down the tubing to steady values indicating gelation of the flowing system. Similar flow experiments were conducted by injecting preformed gel through the tubing. Flow resistances decreased down the tubing to steady values, indicating breakdown of the gel structure. Steady flow resistances of the downstream sections were higher during the injection of in-line-mixed gelant compared to injection of preformed gel, and both were much lower than literature values determined where preformed gel was injected through short fractured rocks and short lengths of tubing. Gel samples underwent syneresis after they were formed during shear flow in the tubing and in a rheometer. Interpretations of flow-resistance data from the injection of in-line-mixed gelants and preformed gels in long tubing are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-66
Number of pages13
JournalSPE Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2009
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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