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Research and Technology

Clay Gels

Clay GelAlberta's petroleum industry produces six barrels of water for every barrel of oil recovered. Handling and disposing of the water costs about $1 billion a year, making water shut-off one of the industry's biggest challenges.

ARC has developed a new technology using swelling clays to improve the economics of water shut-off. ARC's system mixes clay into a solution to form a slurry, which is then injected into a reservoir. The slurry spontaneously turns into a clay gel that plugs the water conduits. 

Clay gel is environmentally friendly and cheaper than commercial chemical gels. The clay gel system has been tested in field trials with some success. ARC is now working closely with operators to apply the technology to various reservoirs. In addition, ARC is parlaying its years of lab and field experience into an expanded role advising industry members in water shut-off and conformance control.

Alberta Research Council. Alberta Research Council 1999 Annual Report. Edmonton: Alberta Research Council, 1999 with permission from the Alberta Research Council.




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