A technique is presented for the determination of the size of a horizontal permeability barrier (plug) that can be displaced from the wellbore to suppress cone-fluid production in individual oil wells with coning problems. Details are given concerning the computation of the plug size for any well with known wellbore and completion constants. Also discussed are materials which can be used to create the plugs. Based on literature data and rock stress considerations, plugging by fluid injection is found to be much more practical and general in application than methods based upon hydraulic fracturing technology. Two types of plugging fluids are recommended for injection into the formation as a function of pressure and flow rate conditions. The injected plug-fluid penetrates the reservoir rock surrounding the wellbore to the radial distance given by a predetermined radius of the plug. Predictive calculations show that production of cone-fluid-free oil can be enhanced by as much as 100 percent after a successful plugging job is done using the method presented.

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