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An openhole producer in the Ellenburger formation in Reagan County, Texas, had reached uneconomic levels, producing 9 BOPD/2,200 BWPD. The Ellenburger formation is a naturally fractured carbonate formation, a type that often produces excessive water because of underlying aquifers with strong water drives. It typically has many secondary porosity features such as fractures and vugs. Because the viscosity of oil is higher than that of water, water tends to bypass the oil and flow out through these fractures and vugs, leaving behind large reserves of oil.

In this case, the well was an openhole producer, which placed significant limitations on mechanical solutions that could be applied effectively. As wells get older, they become harder to pump because of higher water cuts and high fluid levels. Application of Baker Hughes, a GE company (BHGE) gel systems can reduce lifting costs by eliminating the need for electrical submersible pumping (ESP) systems. After treatment, wells can often be pumped using more conventional and less expensive rod pumps.

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Challenges & Results


  • Low oil production and excessive water production at uneconomic levels (9 BOPD/2,200 BWPD)
  • Older, openhole producing well
  • Naturally fractured formation with underlying aquifers


  • Increased oil production from 9 to 31 BOPD
  • Payout for treatment within weeks
  • Reduced water production from 2,200 to 235 BWPD
  • Reduced operating cost