In all well completions (oil and gas fields), effective cement job is necessary for zonal isolation. Failure of cement annulus because of large stresses has been reported in various studies, requiring huge costs in remedial intervention. Swellable packers have emerged as a new manufacturing equipment/technique able to replace conventional cement completion. These packers are custom-manufactured by vulcanizing specially developed swelling elastomer elements onto petroleum pipes. Especially designed and manufactured to suit a particular set of downhole conditions, swell packers are being used in a variety of petroleum applications such as zonal isolation and water shutoff in fractured reservoirs, slimming down of oil wells through replacement of conventional cementing, sand screening, reservoir compartmentalization, etc. Performance analysis and seal design improvement is not possible without reliable information about material response of swelling elastomers. This article summarizes the results of a series of tests performed to determine the swelling behavior of a water-swelling and an oil-swelling elastomer, with and without acid induction. Experimental setup was designed in consultation with petroleum and rubber engineers. Volume, thickness, and hardness of elastomer samples were measured before swelling and periodically after swelling over a one-month period. Test conditions were chosen to replicate actual oilfield conditions.
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