A laboratory study has been conducted on the use of chemical plugs, instead of conventional mechanical packers, to isolate water and gas-producing zones in horizontal wells. Results of experiments using horizontal wellbore models, consisting of PVC pipes internally lined with sand, indicate that slumping of the chemical plug could be avoided if the plug were spotted in a viscous brine pill. Of the three chemicals tested, a monomer, a polyacrylamide, and a plastic, only the plastic plug had a sufficiently high holding pressure. Research is being continued using a full-scale horizontal wellbore model.

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