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Title:
POLYMERIC SYSTEMS FOR PARTICLE DISPERSION
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2019/126255
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The present disclosure provides polymeric systems that are able to undergo fast hydration and are useful for maintaining particle dispersions for extended periods of time. The polymeric systems are also useful for maintaining particle dispersions for extended periods of time at elevated temperatures and/or in high brine conditions.

Inventors:
JUNG, Changmin (302 Country Club Drive, Landsale, PA, 19446, US)
SHEN, Lingjuan (2006 Lynbrooke Drive, Yardley, PA, 19067, US)
SMITH, Christopher (2443 Farm to Market Rd. 1488, Apt. 3205Conroe, TX, 77384, US)
LE, Hoang, Van (17122 Valley Palms, Spring, TX, 77379, US)
ZHOU, Jina (649 Highpointe Circle, Langhorne, PA, 19047, US)
Application Number:
US2018/066370
Publication Date:
June 27, 2019
Filing Date:
December 19, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
RHODIA OPERATIONS (25 rue de Clichy, Paris, Paris, 75009, FR)
JUNG, Changmin (302 Country Club Drive, Landsale, PA, 19446, US)
SHEN, Lingjuan (2006 Lynbrooke Drive, Yardley, PA, 19067, US)
SMITH, Christopher (2443 Farm to Market Rd. 1488, Apt. 3205Conroe, TX, 77384, US)
LE, Hoang, Van (17122 Valley Palms, Spring, TX, 77379, US)
ZHOU, Jina (649 Highpointe Circle, Langhorne, PA, 19047, US)
LIN, Genyao (18 Gilmore Grove Place, The Woodlands, Texas, 77382, US)
International Classes:
C09K8/88; C09K8/584; C09K8/588; C09K8/80
Domestic Patent References:
WO2015038117A12015-03-19
WO2007110591A12007-10-04
Foreign References:
US20160298023A12016-10-13
US20130137611A12013-05-30
US20030236173A12003-12-25
US20080026957A12008-01-31
US20130180716A12013-07-18
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
KLOSEK, Sarah et al. (Solvay USA Inc, 504 Camegie CenterPrincenton, NJ, 08540, US)
Download PDF:
Claims:
We Claim:

1. A treatment fluid concentrate comprising: a. a water-soluble polymer comprising:

i. at least one hydrophobic monomer selected from the group

consisting of n-hexyl (meth)acrylate, n-octyl (meth)acrylate, octyl (meth)acrylamide, lauryl (meth)acrylate, lauryl (meth)acrylamide, myristyl (meth)acrylate, myristyl (meth)acrylamide, pentadecyl (meth)acrylate, pentadecyl (meth)acrylamide, cetyl (meth)acrylate, cetyl (meth)acrylamide, oleyl (meth)acrylate, oleyl

(meth)acrylamide, erucyl (meth)acrylate, erucyl (meth)acrylamide, and combinations thereof, and

ii. at least one hydrophilic monomer selected from the group

consisting of acrylate, acrylate salts, acrylamide, 2-acrylamido-2- methylpropane sulfonic acid, 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid salts and combinations thereof;

b. at least one of a surfactant, a mutual solvent, or a combination thereof, wherein the total quantity of surfactant and/or mutual solvent in the concentrate ranges from 10 wt% to 57 wt% based upon the total weight of the concentrate;

c. a hydrophobic solvent having a hydrophile-lipophile balance (HLB) value from 0 to 6; and

d. from about 0.2 wt% to about 3 wt% of a suspension agent,

wherein the concentrate is a non-settling slurry.

2. The concentrate of claim 1, wherein the polymer comprises hydrophilic monomers in a total amount from about 50 wt% to about 99.9 wt% of the polymer.

3. The concentrate of claim 1, wherein the polymer comprises hydrophobic monomers in a total amount from about 0.01 wt% to about 50 wt% of the polymer.

4. The concentrate of claim 1, wherein a terminal end position of the polymer comprises a thiocarbonylthio functional group.

5. The concentrate of claim 1, wherein the polymer comprises a molecular weight of from about 10,000 to about 20,000,000.

6. The concentrate of claim 1 further comprising water in an amount of about 0.01 wt% to about 5 wt% based upon the total weight of the concentrate.

7. The concentrate of claim 1 comprising a surfactant selected from the group consisting of alkyl benzene sulfonates, alkyl betaines, alkylamidopropyl betaines, and combinations thereof.

8. The concentrate of claim 1, wherein the total quantity of surfactant and/or mutual solvent in the concentrate ranges from 30 wt% to 57 wt% based upon the total weight of the concentrate.

9. The concentrate of claim 1 comprising a mutual solvent selected from the group consisting of compounds of Formula I:

wherein Ri, R2 and R3 are each individually a Ci-C8 linear or branched alkyl group;

compounds of Formula II:

wherein Ri, R2, R3 and R4 are each individually a Ci-C8 linear or branched alkyl group; ethoxlylated and/or propoxylated linear or branched alcohols; and combinations thereof.

10. The concentrate of claim 1, wherein the hydrophobic solvent is selected from the group consisting of toluene, xylene, ethylbenzenes, aromatic naphthas, produced hydrocarbons, diesel, kerosene, paraffin oil, mineral oil, and combinations thereof.

11. The concentrate of claim 1, wherein the suspension agent is selected from the group consisting of organophilic bentonite, hectorite, smectite, montmorillonite, attapulgite, kaolinite, and any combination thereof.

12. A method for fracturing a subterranean formation, comprising the step of injecting an aqueous fracturing fluid into at least a portion of the subterranean formation at pressures sufficient to fracture the formation, wherein the fracturing fluid comprises the concentrate of claim 1.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the fracturing fluid further comprises water.

14. A method for fracturing a subterranean formation comprising the steps of pumping an initial proppant-lean aqueous fluid system comprising a friction reducing polymer into at least a portion of a subterranean formation at a rate to incur friction pressure losses followed by pumping a prop pant-laden aqueous fluid system comprising a friction reducing polymer and concentrate of claim 1 into at least a portion of a subterranean formation, wherein the proppant-lean aqueous fluid system comprises a friction reducing polymer that is the same or different from the friction reducing polymer in the proppant-laden aqueous fluid system.

15. A method for gravel packing comprising transporting a fluid through at least one pump and a subterranean gravel pack, wherein the fluid carries the gravel pack for placement in a wellbore and comprises the concentrate of claim 1.

16. A method for drilling out a wellbore comprising milling a barrier in a wellbore, circulating a fluid comprising the concentrate of claim 1 through the wellbore, and removing debris from the wellbore in the circulating fluid.

17. A system comprising a spacer fluid comprising the concentrate of claim 1 and a pump fluid fluidly coupled to a tubular in fluid communication with a wellbore, wherein the tubular is configured to convey the spacer fluid to the wellbore.

18. A method comprising providing a cementing fluid comprising an aqueous liquid, a hydraulic cement, and a cement suspending agent comprising the concentrate of claim 1; placing the cementing fluid in a wellbore penetrating a subterranean formation; and allowing the cementing fluid to set therein.

19. A method for treating a subterranean well having a borehole comprising the steps of: (i) placing a treatment fluid comprising the concentrate of claim 1 in the borehole such that the treatment fluid contacts a liner, a downhole filter, perforations, natural or induced fractures or subterranean formation or combinations thereof; and (ii) allowing the treatment fluid to flow into the liner, downhole filter, perforation, natural or induced fracture or subterranean formation, wherein further fluid movement between wellbore and subterranean formation is prevented or reduced after flow of the treatment fluid.

20. A treatment fluid concentrate comprising:

a. a water-soluble polymer comprising:

i. at least one hydrophobic monomer selected from the group

consisting of n-hexyl (meth)acrylate, n-octyl (meth)acrylate, octyl (meth)acrylamide, lauryl (meth)acrylate, lauryl (meth)acrylamide, myristyl (meth)acrylate, myristyl (meth)acrylamide, pentadecyl (meth)acrylate, pentadecyl (meth)acrylamide, cetyl (meth)acrylate, cetyl (meth)acrylamide, oleyl (meth)acrylate, oleyl

(meth)acrylamide, erucyl (meth)acrylate, erucyl (meth)acrylamide, and combinations thereof, and

ii. at least one hydrophilic monomer selected from the group

consisting of acrylate, acrylate salts, acrylamide, 2-acrylamido-2- methylpropane sulfonic acid, 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid salts and combinations thereof;

b. at least one of a surfactant, a mutual solvent, or a combination thereof, wherein the total quantity of surfactant and/or mutual solvent in the concentrate ranges from 10 wt% to 57 wt% based upon the total weight of the concentrate;

c. a hydrophobic solvent having a hydrophile-lipophile balance (HLB) value from 0 to 6; and

d. from about 0.2 wt% to about 10 wt% based upon the total weight of the concentrate of a suspension agent,

wherein the concentrate is a non-settling slurry.

Description:
POLYMERIC SYSTEMS FOR PARTICLE DISPERSION

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] The present application claims the benefit of priority under 35 U.S.C. §

119(e) of U.S. Provisional Application Serial No. 62/608,020, filed on December 20, 2017, the entire disclosure of which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND

[0002] There exist many fields where the maintenance in suspension of particles is determining (particles of pigments in compositions of paint or varnish type, for example). More specifically, in the field of oil extraction, numerous stages are carried out by injecting fluids under pressure within subterranean formations, where it is often of use to keep particles in suspension in order to prevent them from sedimenting out in spite of the extreme temperature and pressure conditions generally employed in the subterranean formation.

[0003] For the purpose of inhibiting the phenomenon of separation by settling, it is possible to include additives which make it possible to keep the particles in suspension. A certain number of these additives have been described, which include in particular crosslinked or non-crosslinked polymers, polysaccharides and their derivatives, such as xanthan gum, cellulose ethers or alternatively guars, and its derivatives crosslinked with borate or zirconate. Nevertheless, it emerges that these suspending agents decompose when the temperature exceeds l50°C. This limitation thus renders these additives unusable for applications at a higher temperature (typically greater than l50°C, often between 150 and 200°C, indeed even ranging up to more than 200°C). In addition, in the case of the use of these polymeric agents in the vicinity of oil-bearing rocks, namely in particular in fluids such as drill-in fluid, completion fluid, fracturing fluid, acidizing fluid or spacer fluids, they exhibit the disadvantage of decomposing in the form of insoluble residues which cannot be properly removed.

[0004] Another drawback is that hydration of polymers for oilfield applications is generally a slow process. The process normally involves at least a few minutes of agitating the polymer, either a hydrocarbon slurry or dry polymer, with water in a flow path that contains different compartments. Although the process and hydration time has been shortened through multiple efforts in the past decades, it is still not as quick as desired, i.e. reaching above 80% final fluid viscosity in less than 1 or 1.5 minutes. The long hydration time requires the operation to have a specific hydration unit, such as a Precision Continuous Mixer (PCM), on top of a blending unit, such as a Programmable Optimum Density (POD) blender. The equipment and energy costs of this process are high. Although numerous continuous mix systems are now in the oilfield, none is completely satisfactory, and considerable need remains for systems with improved hydration properties.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0005] FIG. 1 is a plot of viscosity as a function of time and temperature for slurry formulation 1-1.

[0006] FIG. 2 is a plot of viscosity as a function of time and temperature for slurry formulation 2-1.

SUMMARY

[0007] The present disclosure provides polymeric systems that are able to undergo fast hydration and are useful for maintaining particle dispersions for extended periods of time. The polymeric systems are also useful for maintaining particle dispersions for extended periods of time at elevated temperatures and/or in high brine conditions.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0008] The inventors have discovered polymeric systems for particle dispersions which, surprisingly, exhibit improved hydration properties while providing enhanced particle dispersion capabilities. In an embodiment, an aqueous composition that includes water and a polymer of the present disclosure exhibits a particle suspension time of at least 1 hour. In another embodiment, the particle suspension time lasts at least 2 hours. In yet another embodiment, the particle suspension time lasts at least 4 hours. In another embodiment, the particle suspension time lasts over a period of 24 hours. In an embodiment, the aqueous composition suspends particles at a temperature of about 68°F to about 350°F (or any temperature within this range).

[0009] In an embodiment, the polymeric system is a treatment fluid concentrate that includes a water-soluble polymer comprising at least one hydrophobic monomer selected from n-hexyl (meth)acrylate, n-octyl (meth)acrylate, octyl (meth)acrylamide, lauryl (meth)acrylate, lauryl (meth)acryl amide, myristyl (meth)acrylate, myristyl (meth)acrylamide, pentadecyl (meth)acrylate, pentadecyl (meth)acryl amide, cetyl (meth)acrylate, cetyl (meth)acrylamide, oleyl (meth)acrylate, oleyl (meth)acrylamide, erucyl (meth)acrylate, erucyl (meth)acrylamide, and combinations thereof, and

[0010] at least one hydrophilic monomer selected from acrylate, acrylate salts, acrylamide, 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid, 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid salts and combinations thereof;

[0011] at least one of a surfactant, a mutual solvent, or a combination thereof, wherein the total quantity of surfactant and/or mutual solvent in the concentrate ranges from 30 wt% to 57 wt%; or 30 wt% to 50 wt%; or 10 wt% to 50 wt%; 10 wt% to 57 wt% based upon the total weight of the concentrate;

[0012] a hydrophobic solvent having a hydrophile-lipophile balance (HLB) value from 0 to 6; and from about 0.2 wt% to about 3 wt% or from about 0.2 wt% to about 10 wt% based upon the total weight of the concentrate of a suspension agent, wherein the concentrate is a non-settling slurry.

[0013] In an embodiment, the surfactant is selected from alkyl benzene sulfonates, alkyl betaines, alkylamidopropyl betaines, and combinations thereof.

[0014] In an embodiment, the mutual solvent is selected from the group of compounds of Formula I:

[0015] wherein Ri, R 2 and R 3 are each individually a Ci-C 8 linear or branched alkyl group; compounds of Formula II:

[0016] wherein Ri, R 2 , R 3 and R 4 are each individually a Ci-C 8 linear or branched alkyl group; ethoxlylated and/or propoxylated linear or branched alcohols; and combinations thereof.

[0017] In an embodiment, the hydrophobic solvent having an HLB value from 0 to 6 is selected from toluene, xylene, ethylbenzenes, aromatic naphthas, produced hydrocarbons, diesel, kerosene, paraffin oil, mineral oil, and combinations thereof

[0018] In an embodiment, the suspension agent is selected from organophilic bentonite, hectorite, smectite, montmorillonite, attapulgite, kaolinite, and any combination thereof.

[0019] As used herein, the phrase“non-settling slurry” refers to homogeneous aqueous suspensions which do not settle for 24 hours.

[0020] In an embodiment, the concentrate further includes water in an amount of about 0.01 wt% to about 5 wt% based upon the total weight of the concentrate.

[0021] In an embodiment, the polymeric systems are utilized in connection with subterranean formations. In the present description, the notion of "subterranean formation" is understood in its broadest sense and includes both a rock containing hydrocarbons, in particular oil, and the various rock layers traversed in order to access this oil-bearing rock and to ensure the extraction of the hydrocarbons. Within the meaning of the present description, the notion of "rock" is used to denote any type of constituent material of a solid subterranean formation, whether or not the material constituting it is strictly speaking a rock. Thus, in particular, the expression "oil-bearing rock" is employed here as synonym for "oil-bearing reservoir" and denotes any subterranean formation containing hydrocarbons, in particular oil, whatever the nature of the material containing these hydrocarbons (rock or sand, for example).

[0022] Mention may in particular be made, among the treatment fluids injected under pressure into subterranean formations, of the various fluids for completion and workover of the wells, in particular drilling fluids, whether they are used to access the oil-bearing rock or else to drill the reservoir itself ("drill-in"), or else fracturing fluids, or alternatively completion fluids, control or workover fluids or annular fluids or packer fluids or spacer fluids or acidizing fluids, or also fluids for cementing. [0023] In an embodiment, the polymer includes at least one hydrophobic monomer selected from n-hexyl (meth)acrylate, n-octyl (meth)acrylate, octyl (meth)acrylamide, lauryl (meth)acrylate, lauryl (meth)acrylamide, myristyl (meth)acrylate, myristyl (meth)acrylamide, pentadecyl (meth)acrylate, pentadecyl (meth)acrylamide, cetyl (meth)acrylate, cetyl (meth)acrylamide, oleyl (meth)acrylate, oleyl (meth)acrylamide, erucyl (meth)acrylate, erucyl (meth)acrylamide, and combinations thereof; and at least one hydrophilic monomer selected from acrylate, acrylate salts, acrylamide, 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid, 2-acrylamido-2- methylpropane sulfonic acid salts, and combinations thereof. In an embodiment, the hydrophilic monomers include acrylamide and 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid.

[0024] In an embodiment, the polymer includes hydrophilic monomers in a total amount from about 50 wt% to about 99.9 wt% of the polymer. In another embodiment, the polymer includes hydrophilic monomers in a total amount from about 80 wt% to about 99.9 wt% of the polymer. In another embodiment, the polymer includes hydrophobic monomers in a total amount from about 0.01 wt% to about 50 wt% of the polymer. In another embodiment, the polymer includes hydrophobic monomers in a total amount from about 0.01 wt% to about 20 wt% of the polymer.

[0025] In an embodiment, a terminal end position of the polymer includes a thiocarbonylthio functional group.

[0026] In an embodiment, the polymer is in a non-settling slurry, wherein the particle size of the polymer powder in the slurry ranges from about 5 pm to about 400p

[0027] In another embodiment the polymer powder includes polymer particles having a particle size of from about 5pm to about 400pm and molecular weight from about 10,000 g/mol to about 20,000,000 g/mol, wherein the polymer includes acrylamide and 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropane sulfonic acid monomers and at least one hydrophobic monomer selected from n-hexyl (meth)acrylate, n-octyl (meth)acrylate, octyl (meth)acrylamide, lauryl (meth)acrylate, lauryl (meth)acrylamide, myristyl (meth)acrylate, myristyl (meth)acrylamide, pentadecyl (meth)acrylate, pentadecyl (meth)acrylamide, cetyl (meth)acrylate, cetyl (meth)acrylamide, oleyl (meth)acrylate, oleyl (meth)acrylamide, erucyl (meth)acrylate, erucyl (meth)acrylamide, and combinations thereof. In an embodiment, the hydrophobic monomer is selected from lauryl (meth)acrylate, lauryl (meth)acrylamide, and combinations thereof.

[0028] In an embodiment, polymers of the present disclosure are prepared via micellar polymerization. The polymeric system includes sequential copolymers (P), which include at least one chain (C) of the type obtained by micellar polymerization, for keeping solid particles (p) in suspension in a fluid (F) where said chain (C) is soluble.

[0029] More specifically, according to particular aspect, a subject-matter of the present disclosure is the use of the abovementioned sequential copolymers as suspending agent in the fluid (F) injected under pressure into a subterranean formation where said fluid (F) includes at least a portion of the solid particles (p) and/or is brought into contact with at least a portion of the solid particles (p) within the subterranean formation subsequent to its injection.

[0030] Within the meaning of the present description, the term "chain soluble in the fluid (F)" is understood to mean a chain (C) which typically has a solubility at 20°C of greater than or equal to 0.5% (5,000 ppm), preferably of greater than or equal to 1%, in the fluid (F).

[0031] Micellar polymerization consists schematically in carrying out a polymerization of hydrophilic monomers in a hydrophilic medium comprising micelles including hydrophobic monomers. Examples of micellar polymerization have in particular been described in U.S. Patent No. 4,432,881 or else in Polymer , Vol. 36, No.16, pp. 3197-3211 (1996), to which documents reference may be made for further details.

[0032] The chain (C) of the polymers (P) of use according to the invention is a chain which is soluble overall in the fluid (F) and which is predominantly formed of a series of hydrophilic units interrupted at different points by a plurality of hydrophobic sequences (B) of substantially identical size. The polymer of the present disclosure can be composed of the chain (C) or else can be a block copolymer where the chain (C) constitutes one of the blocks.

[0033] The hydrophobic sequences (B) are preferably polymer sequences which are insoluble in the fluid (F), typically having a solubility at 20°C of less than or equal to 0.1% (1,000 ppm) in the fluid (F). [0034] The copolymers (P) comprising the abovementioned chain (C) are suitable for keeping the solid particles (p) in suspension. They can be particles present within the subterranean formation and/or particles injected within the subterranean formation, typically jointly with the copolymers (such as, for example, proppant particles).

[0035] Use may typically be made, according to the invention, of a micellar polymerization, where the following are copolymerized (typically via the radical route) within an aqueous dispersing medium (typically water or a water/alcohol mixture): hydrophilic monomers in the dissolved or dispersed state in said medium; and hydrophobic monomers within surfactant micelles formed in said medium by introducing this surfactant therein at a concentration above its critical micelle concentration (cmc).

[0036] Preferably, the content of hydrophobic monomers corresponding to the ratio of the weight of the hydrophobic monomers with respect to the total weight of the hydrophobic and hydrophilic monomers is greater than or equal to 0.01%, preferably greater than 0.1%, indeed even greater than 0.2%, and less than or equal to 5%. Generally, the percentage of the hydrophobic units in the chain (C) is of the same order, typically greater than or equal to 0.05%, preferably greater than 0.1%, indeed even greater than 0.2%, and less than or equal to 5%.

[0037] In micellar polymerization, the hydrophobic monomers present in the micelles are said to be in "micellar solution". The micellar solution to which reference is made is a micro-heterogeneous system which is generally isotropic, optically transparent and thermodynamically stable.

[0038] It should be noted that a micellar solution of the type employed in micellar polymerization should be distinguished from a microemulsion. In particular, in contrast to a microemulsion, a micellar solution is formed at any concentration exceeding the critical micelle concentration of the surfactant employed, with the sole condition that the hydrophobic monomer be soluble at least to a certain extent within the internal space of the micelles. A micellar solution furthermore differs from an emulsion in the absence of homogeneous internal phase: the micelles contain a very small number of molecules (typically less than 1000, generally less than 500 and typically from 1 to 100, with most often 1 to 50, monomers, and at most a few hundred surfactant molecules, when a surfactant is present) and the micellar solution generally has physical properties similar to those of the monomer-free surfactant micelles. Moreover, generally, a micellar solution is transparent with respect to visible light, given the small size of the micelles, which does not result in refraction phenomena, unlike the drops of an emulsion, which refract light and give it its characteristic cloudy or white appearance.

[0039] The micellar polymerization technique results in characteristic sequential polymers which each comprise several hydrophobic blocks of substantially the same size and where this size can be controlled. Specifically, given the confinement of the hydrophobic monomers within the micelles, each of the hydrophobic blocks comprises substantially one and the same defined number n H of hydrophobic monomers, it being possible for this number n H to be calculated as follows (Macromolecular Chem. Physics, 202, 8, 1384-1397, 2001):

n H = N agg . [M h ] / ( [surfactant] - cmc)

where:

N agg is the aggregation number of the surfactant, which reflects the surfactant number present in each micelle;

[M H ] is the molar concentration of hydrophobic monomer in the medium;

[surfactant] is the molar concentration of surfactant in the medium; and

cmc is the critical micelle (molar) concentration.

[0040] The micellar polymerization technique thus makes possible advantageous control of the hydrophobic units introduced into the polymers formed, namely: overall control of the molar fraction of hydrophobic units in the polymer (by adjusting the ratio of the concentrations of the two monomers); and more specific control of the number of hydrophobic units present in each of the hydrophobic blocks (by modifying the parameters influencing the n H defined above).

[0041] The chain (C) overall soluble in the fluid (F), which is obtained by micellar polymerization, comprises:

a hydrophilic component, composed of the hydrophilic monomers, which corresponds to a hydrophilic polymer chain which would have a solubility typically of greater than or equal to 1% (10,000 ppm) at 20°C if it were introduced alone into the fluid (F), a hydrophobic component, composed of the hydrophobic sequences, each having a solubility typically of less than or equal to 0.1% (1 000 ppm) at 20°C in the fluid (F).

[0042] In many cases, the chain (C) can be described as a hydrophilic chain having the abovementioned solubility (at least 1%) to which pendant hydrophobic groups are grafted. In particular in this case, the chain (C) has overall a solubility at 20°C in the fluid (F) which preferably remains greater than or equal to 0.1%, indeed even 0.5%.

[0043] According to a specific embodiment, the chain (C) is of the type obtained by a process comprising a stage (e) of micellar radical polymerization in which the following are brought into contact, within an aqueous medium (M):

hydrophilic monomers, dissolved or dispersed in said aqueous medium (M) (typically water or a water/alcohol mixture);

hydrophobic monomers in the form of a micellar solution, namely a solution containing, in the dispersed state within the medium (M), micelles comprising these hydrophobic monomers (it being possible in particular for this dispersed state to be obtained using at least one surfactant); and

at least one radical polymerization initiator, this initiator typically being water- soluble or water-dispersible.

[0044] According to a preferred embodiment, the chain (C) is of the type obtained by a process comprising a stage (E) of micellar radical polymerization in which the following are brought into contact, within an aqueous medium (M):

hydrophilic monomers, dissolved or dispersed in said aqueous medium (M) (typically water or a water/alcohol mixture);

hydrophobic monomers in the form of a micellar solution, namely a solution containing, in the dispersed state within the medium (M), micelles comprising these hydrophobic monomers (it being possible in particular for this dispersed state to be obtained using at least one surfactant);

at least one radical polymerization initiator, this initiator typically being water- soluble or water-dispersible; and

at least one radical polymerization control agent.

[0045] Stage (E) is similar to the abovementioned stage (e) but employs an additional control agent. This stage, known under the name of "controlled-nature micellar radical polymerization", has in particular been described in WO 2013/060741. All the alternative forms described in this document can be used here.

[0046] Within the meaning of the present description, the term "radical polymerization control agent" is understood to mean a compound which is capable of extending the lifetime of the growing polymer chains in a polymerization reaction and of conferring, on the polymerization, a living or controlled nature. This control agent is typically a reversible transfer agent as employed in controlled radical polymerizations denoted under the terminology RAFT or MADIX, which typically employ a reversible addition-fragmentation transfer process, such as those described, for example, in WO 96/30421, WO 98/01478, WO 99/35178, WO 98/58974, WO 00/75207, WO 01/42312, WO 99/35177, WO 99/31144, FR 2 794 464 or WO 02/26836.

[0047] In an embodiment, the radical polymerization control agent employed in stage (E) is a compound which comprises a thiocarbonylthio -S(C=S)- group. Thus, for example, it can be a compound which comprises a xanthate group (carrying -SC=S-0- functional groups), for example a xanthate. Other types of control agent can be envisaged (for example of the type of those employed in CRP or in ATRP).

[0048] According to a specific embodiment, the control agent employed in stage

(E) can be a polymer chain resulting from a controlled radical polymerization and carrying a group which is capable of controlling a radical polymerization (polymer chain of "living" type, which is a type well known per se). Thus, for example, the control agent can be a polymer chain (preferably hydrophilic or water-dispersible) functionalized at the chain end with a xanthate group or more generally comprising an -SC=S- group, for example obtained according to the MADIX technology.

[0049] Alternatively, the control agent employed in stage (E) is a non-polymeric compound carrying a group which ensures the control of the radical polymerization, in particular a thiocarbonylthio -S(C=S)- group.

[0050] According to a specific alternative form, the radical polymerization control agent employed in stage (E) is a polymer, advantageously an oligomer, having a water-soluble or water-dispersible nature and carrying a thiocarbonylthio -S(C=S)- group, for example a xanthate -SC=S-0- group. This polymer, which is capable of acting both as control agent for the polymerization and as monomer in stage (E), is also denoted by "prepolymer" in the continuation of the description. Typically, this prepolymer is obtained by radical polymerization of hydrophilic monomers in the presence of a control agent carrying a thiocarbonylthio -S(C=S)- group, for example a xanthate. Thus, for example, according to an advantageous embodiment which is illustrated at the end of the present description, the control agent employed in stage (E) can advantageously be a prepolymer carrying a thiocarbonylthio -S(C=S)- group, for example a xanthate -SC=S- O- group, obtained on conclusion of a stage (E°) of controlled radical polymerization prior to stage (E). In this stage (E°), hydrophilic monomers, advantageously identical to those employed in stage (E); a radical polymerization initiator and a control agent carrying a thiocarbonylthio -S(C=S)- group, for example a xanthate, can typically be brought into contact.

[0051] The use of the abovementioned stage (E°) prior to stage (E) makes it possible, schematically, to hydrophilize a large number of control agents carrying thiocarbonylthio functional groups (for example xanthates, which are rather hydrophobic by nature), by converting them from prepolymers which are soluble or dispersible in the medium (M) of stage (E). Preferably, a prepolymer synthesized in stage (E°) has a short polymer chain, for example comprising a series of less than 50 monomer units, indeed even less than 25 monomer units, for example between 2 and 15 monomer units.

[0052] When stage (E) is employed, the polymers according to the invention comprise chains (C) which have a "controlled" structure, namely that all the chains (C) present on the polymers have substantially the same size and the same structure. The chains (C) comprise in particular the blocks (B) substantially in the same number and proportion.

[0053] The specific polymers (P) employed in the context of the present invention, due to the presence of the hydrophobic sequences in a hydrophilic polymer chain, turn out to provide a control effect on the fluid which is particularly effective: without wishing to be committed to a theory, it appears that the hydrophobic units within a hydrophilic chain and/or different hydrophilic chains have a tendency to associate with one another.

[0054] In an embodiment, the injected fluid (F) includes the polymers (P) but does not include solid particles (p), and it encounters said particles (p) within the subterranean formation subsequent to its injection. The association between particles and polymers then takes place in situ. Such a fluid can, for example, be injected during a drilling operation, and the rock cuttings formed during the drilling then perform the role of the particles (p) in situ.

[0055] According to an alternative variant, the injected fluid (F) comprises, before the injection, at least a portion and generally all of the particles (p) associated with the polymer (P), it being understood that it can optionally encounter other particles (p) within the subterranean formation.

[0056] Two forms can in particular be envisaged in this context:

[0057] Form 1 : the polymers (P) and the particles (p) are mixed during the formulation of the fluid (F), on the site of operation or upstream, typically by adding the particles (p), in the dry state or optionally in the dispersed state, to a composition comprising the polymers (P) in solution.

[0058] Form 2: the fluid (F) is manufactured, advantageously on the site of operation, from a composition (premix) prepared upstream (hereinafter denoted by the term "blend") comprising the polymers (P) and at least a portion of the particles (p), generally within a dispersing liquid. In order to form the fluid (F), this blend is mixed with the other constituents of the fluid (F).

[0059] In some embodiments, the polymers (P) associated with the particles (p) can be employed as dispersing and stabilizing agent for the dispersion of the particles (p), at the same time providing an effect of agent for control of fluid loss.

[0060] The notion of "control of fluid loss" refers here to the inhibition of the effect of "fluid loss" observed when a fluid is injected under pressure within a subterranean formation: the liquid present in the fluid has a tendency to penetrate into the constituent rock of the subterranean formation, which can damage the well, indeed even harm its integrity. When these fluids employed under pressure contain insoluble compounds (which is very often the case, in particular for oil cement grouts or else drilling or fracturing fluids), the effect of fluid loss at the same time brings about risks of loss of control of the fluids injected an increase in the concentration of insoluble compounds of the fluid, which can result in an increase in viscosity, which affects the mobility of the fluid. [0061] In particular when the fluid (F) is a fracturing, cementing or drilling fluid, the presence of the copolymers (P) makes it possible to obtain control of fluid loss by limiting, indeed even completely inhibiting, the escape of the fluid (F), typically water or an aqueous composition, into the subterranean formation where the extraction is carried out.

[0062] Various specific advantages and embodiments of the invention will now be described in more detail.

[0063] THE FLUID (F). The term "fluid" is understood to mean, within the meaning of the description, any homogeneous or non-homogeneous medium comprising a liquid or viscous vector which optionally transports a liquid or gelled dispersed phase and/or solid particles, said medium being overall pumpable by means of the devices for injection under pressure used in the application under consideration.

[0064] The term“liquid or viscous vector” of the fluid (F) is understood to mean the fluid itself, or else the solvent, in the case where the fluid comprises dissolved compounds, and/or the continuous phase, in the case where the fluid comprises dispersed elements (droplets of liquid or gelled dispersed phase, solid particles, and the like).

[0065] According to a highly suitable embodiment, the fluid (F) is an aqueous fluid. The term "aqueous" is understood here to mean that the fluid comprises water as liquid or viscous vector, either as sole constituent of the liquid or viscous vector or in combination with other water-soluble solvents.

[0066] In the case of the presence of solvents other than water in the liquid or viscous vector of the fluid (F), the water advantageously remains the predominant solvent within the liquid or viscous vector, advantageously present in a proportion of at least 50% by weight, indeed even of at least 75% by weight, with respect to the total weight of the solvents in the liquid or viscous vector.

[0067] In an embodiment, the fluid (F) is selected from fresh water, sea water, brines, salt water, produced water, recycled water, industrial waste water, waste water associated with oil production, and combinations thereof.

[0068] THE PARTICLES (p). The notion of "particle" within the meaning under which it is employed in the present description is not confined to that of individual particles. It more generally denotes solid entities which can be dispersed within a fluid, in the form of objects (individual particles, aggregates, and the like) for which all the dimensions are less than 5 mm, preferably less than 2 mm, for example less than 1 mm.

[0069] The particles (p) according to the invention can be chosen from: calcium carbonate or cement, silica or sand, ceramic, clay, barite, hematite, carbon black and/or their mixtures.

[0070] According to a specific embodiment of the invention, the particles (p) are sands or cement particles.

[0071] THE POLYMERS (P).

[0072] Hydrophilic monomers. The chain (C) can typically comprise monomers chosen from:

[0073] carboxylic acids which are ethylenically unsaturated, sulfonic acids and phosphonic acids, and/or its derivatives, such as acrylic acid (AA), methacrylic acid, ethacrylic acid, a-chloroacrylic acid, crotonic acid, maleic acid, maleic anhydride, itaconic acid, citraconic acid, mesaconic acid, glutaconic acid, aconitic acid, fumaric acid, monoethylenically unsaturated dicarboxylic acid monoesters comprising from 1 to 3 and preferably from 1 to 2 carbon atoms, for example monomethyl maleate, vinylsulfonic acid, (meth)allylsulfonic acid, sulfoethyl acrylate, sulfoethyl methacrylate, sulfopropyl acrylate, sulfopropyl methacrylate, l-allyloxy-2-hydroylpropyl sulfonate, 2-hydroxy-3- acryloyloxypropylsulfonic acid, 2-hydroxy-3-methacryloyloxypropylsulfonic acid, styrenesulfonic acids, 2-acrylamido-2-methylpropanesulfonic acid, vinylphosphonic acid, a-methylvinylphosphonic acid and allylphosphonic acid;

[0074] esters of a,b-ethylenically unsaturated mono- and dicarboxylic acids with

C2-C3 alkanediols, for example 2-hydroxyethyl acrylate, 2-hydroxyethyl methacrylate, 2- hydroxy ethyl ethacrylate, 2-hydroxypropyl acrylate, 2-hydroxypropyl methacrylate, 3- hydroxypropyl acrylate, 3-hydroxypropyl methacrylate and polyalkylene glycol (meth)acrylates;

[0075] a,b-ethylenically unsaturated monocarboxylic acid amides and their N- alkyl and N,N-dialkyl derivatives, such as acrylamide, methacrylamide, N- methyl(meth)acrylamide, N-ethyl(meth)acrylamide, N-isopropyl(meth)acrylamide, N,N- dimethyl(meth)acrylamide, N,N-diethyl(meth)acrylamide, morpholinyl(meth)acrylamide, and methylolacrylamide (acrylamide and N,N-dimethyl(meth)acrylamide prove to be in particular advantageous);

[0076] N-vinyllactams and its derivatives, for example N-vinylpyrrolidone or N- vinylpiperidone;

[0077] open-chain N-vinylamide compounds, for example N-vinylformamide, N- vinyl-N-methylformamide, N-vinylacetamide, N-vinyl-N-methyl acetamide, N-vinyl-N- ethylacetamide, N-vinylpropionamide, N-vinyl-N-methylpropionamide and N- vinylbutyramide;

[0078] esters of a,b-ethylenically unsaturated mono- and dicarboxylic acids with aminoalcohols, for example N,N-dimethylaminomethyl (meth)acrylate, N,N- dimethylaminoethyl (meth)acrylate, N,N-diethylaminoethyl acrylate and N,N- dimethylaminopropyl (meth)acrylate;

[0079] amides of a,b-ethylenically unsaturated mono- and dicarboxylic acids with diamines comprising at least one primary or secondary amino group, such as N-[2- (dimethylamino)ethyl]acrylamide, N-[2-(dimethylamino)ethyl]methacrylamide, N-[3- (dimethylamino)propyl]acrylamide, N-[3-(dimethylamino)propyl]methacrylamide, N-[4- (dimethylamino)butyl]acrylamide and N-[4-(dimethylamino)butyl]methacrylamide;

[0080] N-diallylamines, N,N-diallyl-N-alkylamines, their acid addition salts and their quaternization products, the alkyl employed here preferably being C1-C3 alkyl;

[0081] N,N-diallyl-N-methylamine and N,N-diallyl-N,N-dimethylammonium compounds, for example the chlorides and bromides;

[0082] nitrogenous heterocycles substituted with vinyl and allyl, for example N- vinylimidazole, N-vinyl-2-methylimidazole, heteroaromatic compounds substituted with vinyl and allyl, for example 2- and 4-vinylpyridine, 2- and 4-allylpyridine, and their salts;

[0083] sulfobetaines; and

[0084] the salts of the abovementioned monomers;

[0085] the mixtures and combinations of two or more of the monomers and/or their salts mentioned above.

[0086] According to a specific embodiment, these monomers can in particular comprise acrylic acid (AA). [0087] According to another embodiment, the hydrophilic monomers of the chain

(C) comprise (and typically consist of) (meth)acrylamide monomers, or more generally (meth)acrylamido monomers, including:

[0088] acrylamido monomers, namely acrylamide (Am), dimethylacrylamide

(DMA), its sulfonate derivative, in particular acrylamidomethylpropanesulfonic acids (AMPS);

[0089] the quaternary ammonium APTAC and sulfopropy 1 dimethyl ammoni opropy 1 aery 1 ami de ;

[0090] methacrylamido monomers, such as sulfopropyldimethylammoniopropylmethacrylamide (SPP) or sulfohydroxypropyldimethylammoniopropylmethacrylamide.

[0091] According to a specific embodiment, the hydrophilic monomers of the chain (C) are acrylamides. An acrylamide is preferably an acrylamide which is not stabilized with copper.

[0092] According to a specific embodiment, the hydrophilic monomers of the chain (C) are chosen from acrylamides, dimethylacrylamides (DMA), acrylamidomethylpropanesulfonic acids (AMPS), acrylic acids (AA), their salts and their mixtures.

[0093] According to a specific embodiment, the hydrophilic monomers of the chain (C) can typically have a polymerizable functional group of acrylamido type and a side chain composed of ethylene oxide or propylene oxide strings, or else based on N- isopropyl acrylamide or N-vinylcaprolactam.

[0094] Hydrophobic monomers. Mention may in particular be made, as nonlimiting examples of hydrophobic monomer constituting the insoluble blocks which can be used according to the invention, of:

[0095] vinylaromatic monomers, such as styrene, a-m ethyl styrene, para- chloromethylstyrene, vinyltoluene, 2-methylstyrene, 4-methylstyrene, 2-(n-butyl)styrene, 4-(n-decyl)styrene or tert-butyl styrene;

[0096] halogenated vinyl compounds, such as vinyl or vinylidene halides, for example vinyl or vinylidene chlorides or fluorides, corresponding to the formula R b R c C=CX 1 X 2 , where: X 1 = F or Cl

X 2 = H, F or Cl

each one of ¾ and R c represents, independently:

- H, Cl, F; or

- an alkyl group, preferably chlorinated and/or fluorinated, more advantageously perchlorinated or perfluorinated;

[0097] esters of a,b-ethylenically unsaturated mono- or dicarboxylic acid with C 2 -

C 3 o alkanols, for example methyl ethacrylate, ethyl (meth)acrylate, ethyl ethacrylate, n- propyl (meth)acrylate, isopropyl (meth)acrylate, n-butyl (meth)acrylate, sec-butyl (meth)acrylate, tert-butyl (meth)acrylate, tert-butyl ethacrylate, n-hexyl (meth)acrylate, n- heptyl (meth)acrylate, n-octyl (meth)acrylate, l,l,3,3-tetramethylbutyl (meth)acrylate, ethylhexyl (meth)acrylate, n-nonyl (meth)acrylate, n-decyl (meth)acrylate, n-undecyl (meth)acrylate, tridecyl (meth)acrylate, myristyl (meth)acrylate, pentadecyl

(meth)acrylate, palmityl (meth)acrylate, heptadecyl (meth)acrylate, nonadecyl

(meth)acrylate, arachidyl (meth)acrylate, behenyl (meth)acrylate, lignoceryl (meth)acrylate, cerotinyl (meth)acrylate, melissinyl (meth)acrylate, palmitoleoyl (meth)acrylate, oleyl (meth)acrylate, linoleyl (meth)acrylate, linolenyl (meth)acrylate, stearyl (meth)acrylate, lauryl (meth)acrylate, cetyl (meth)acrylate, erucyl (meth)acrylate, and their mixtures;

[0098] esters of vinyl or allyl alcohol with C1-C30 monocarboxylic acids, for example vinyl formate, vinyl acetate, vinyl propionate, vinyl butyrate, vinyl laurate, vinyl stearate, vinyl propionate, vinyl versatate and their mixtures;

[0099] ethylenically unsaturated nitriles, such as acrylonitrile, methacrylonitrile and their mixtures;

[00100] esters of a,b-ethylenically unsaturated mono- and dicarboxylic acids with C3-C30 alkanediols, for example 3-hydroxybutyl acrylate, 3-hydroxybutyl methacrylate, 4-hydroxybutyl acrylate, 4-hydroxybutyl methacrylate, 6-hydroxyhexyl acrylate, 6- hydroxyhexyl methacrylate, 3-hydroxy-2-ethylhexyl acrylate and 3 -hydroxy -2-ethylhexyl methacrylate, and the like;

[00101] primary amides of a,b-ethylenically unsaturated mono- and dicarboxylic acids and N-alkyl and N,N-dialkyl derivatives, such as N-propyl(meth)acrylamide, N-(n- butyl)(meth)acrylamide, N-(tert-butyl)(meth)acrylamide, N-butylphenylacrylamide, N- methyl-N-hexylacrylamide, N,N-dihexylacrylamide, hexyl(meth)acrylamide, N-(n- octyl)(meth)acrylamide, N-(l, l,3,3-tetramethylbutyl)(meth)acrylamide, N- ethylhexyl(meth)acrylamide, N-(n-nonyl)(meth)acrylamide, N-(n- decyl)(meth)acrylamide, N-(n-undecyl)(meth)acrylamide, N-tridecyl(meth)acryl amide, N-myristyl(meth)acrylamide, N-pentadecyl(meth)acrylamide, N- palmityl(meth)acrylamide, N-heptadecyl(meth)acryl amide, N- nonadecyl(meth)acrylamide, N-arachidyl(meth)acrylamide, N-behenyl(meth)acrylamide, N-lignoceryl(meth)acrylamide, N-cerotinyl(meth)acrylamide, N- melissinyl(meth)acrylamide, N-palmitoleoyl(meth)acrylamide, N-oleyl(meth)acrylamide, N-linoleyl(meth)acrylamide, N-linolenyl(meth)acrylamide, N-stearyl(meth)acrylamide and N-lauryl(meth)acrylamide;

[00102] N-vinyllactams and its derivatives, such as N-vinyl-5-ethyl-2-pyrrolidone, N-vinyl-6-methyl-2-piperidone, N-vinyl-6-ethyl-2-piperidone, N-vinyl-7-methyl-2- caprolactam and N-vinyl-7-ethyl-2-caprolactam, and the like;

[00103] esters of a,b-ethylenically unsaturated mono- and dicarboxylic acids with aminoalcohols, for example N,N-dimethylaminocyclohexyl (meth)acrylate;

[00104] amides of a,b-ethylenically unsaturated mono- and dicarboxylic acids with diamines comprising at least one primary or secondary amino group, for example N-[4- (dimethylamino)butyl]acrylamide, N-[4-(dimethylamino)butyl]methacrylamide, N-[2- (dimethylamino)ethyl]acrylamide, N-[4-(dimethylamino)cyclohexyl]acrylamide, N-[4- (dimethylamino)cyclohexyl]methacrylamide, and the like; and

[00105] monoolefms (C 2 -C 8 ) and nonaromatic hydrocarbons comprising at least two conjugated double bonds, for example ethylene, propylene, isobutylene, isoprene, butadiene, and the like.

[00106] According to a preferred embodiment, the hydrophobic monomers employed according to the invention can be chosen from:

[00107] C1-C30 alkyl and preferably C4-C22 alkyl a,b-unsaturated esters, in particular alkyl acrylates and methacrylates, such as methyl, ethyl, butyl, 2-ethylhexyl, isooctyl, lauryl, isodecyl, stearyl, octyl, myristyl, pentadecyl, cetyl, oleyl or erucyl acrylates and methacrylates (lauryl methacrylate in particular proves to be especially advantageous);

[00108] C1-C30 alkyl and preferably C4-C22 alkyl a,b-unsaturated amides, in particular alkylacrylamides and alkylmethacrylamides, such as methyl-, ethyl-, butyl-, 2- ethylhexyl-, isooctyl-, lauryl-, isodecyl-, stearyl-, octyl-, myristyl-, pentadecyl-, cetyl-, oleyl- or erucyl acrylamide or -methacrylamide (laurylmethacrylamide in particular proves to be especially advantageous);

[00109] vinyl or allyl alcohol esters of saturated carboxylic acids, such as vinyl or allyl acetate, propionate, versatate or stearate;

[00110] a,b-unsaturated nitriles comprising from 3 to 12 carbon atoms, such as acrylonitrile or methacrylonitrile; a-olefms and conjugated dienes; vinylaromatic monomers, such as styrene, a-methyl styrene, para-chloromethylstyrene, vinyltoluene, 2- methyl styrene, 4-methylstyrene, 2-(n-butyl)styrene, 4-(n-decyl)styrene or tert- butylstyrene; the mixtures and combinations of two or more of the abovementioned monomers.

[00111] According to an advantageous embodiment, in particular when the fluid (F) is a fracturing fluid, use may be made of hydrophobic monomers which bond feebly to the chain (C). This makes it possible, if necessary, to remove the polymers introduced within the subterranean formation (in view of their amphiphilic nature, the polymers of the invention generally have a self-associative nature and tend to form gels which are difficult to remove; under the effect in particular of the temperature and/or the pH, it is possible to cleave the hydrophobic monomers if they are not bonded excessively strongly to the polymer, which makes possible removal from the fluid). Hydrophobic monomers suited to this embodiment are in particular the abovementioned esters.

[00112] It should be noted that, when other monomers are used, removal from the fluids is still possible by a technique known per se, where "breakers", such as oxidizing agents, are added. The preceding embodiment makes it possible to dispense with the use of such "breakers", which is reflected in particular in terms of decrease in cost. In an embodiment, the breaker is selected from peroxides, persulfates, peracids, bromates, chlorates, chlorites, and combinations thereof. [00113] According to a specific embodiment, the polymer can exhibit a molecular weight of from about 10,000 g/mol to about 20,000,000 g/mol. In another embodiment, the molecular weight of the polymer ranges from about 100,000 g/mol to about 10,000,000 g/mol. In another embodiment, the molecular weight of the polymer ranges from about 500,000 g/mol to about 5,000,000 g/mol.

[00114] THE RADICAL POLYMERIZATION AGENT. The control agent employed in stage (E) or, if appropriate, in stage (E°) of the process of the invention is advantageously a compound carrying a thiocarbonylthio -S(C=S)- group. According to a specific embodiment, the control agent can carry several thiocarbonylthio groups. It can optionally be a polymer chain carrying such a group.

[00115] Thus, this control agent can, for example, correspond to the formula (A) below:

[00116]

in which Z represents: a hydrogen atom, a chlorine atom, an optionally substituted alkyl or optionally substituted aryl radical, an optionally substituted heterocycle, an optionally substituted alkylthio radical, an optionally substituted arylthio radical, an optionally substituted alkoxy radical, an optionally substituted aryloxy radical, an optionally substituted amino radical, an optionally substituted hydrazine radical, an optionally substituted alkoxycarbonyl radical, an optionally substituted aryloxycarbonyl radical, an optionally substituted acyloxy or carboxyl radical, an optionally substituted aroyloxy radical, an optionally substituted carbamoyl radical, a cyano radical, a dialkyl- or diarylphosphonato radical, a dialkyl-phosphinato or diaryl-phosphinato radical, or a polymer chain, and Ri represents an optionally substituted alkyl, acyl, aryl, aralkyl, alkenyl or alkynyl group, a saturated or unsaturated, aromatic, optionally substituted carbocycle or heterocycle, or a polymer chain, which is preferably hydrophilic or water- dispersible when the agent is employed in stage (E). [00117] The Ri or Z groups, when they are substituted, can be substituted by optionally substituted phenyl groups, optionally substituted aromatic groups, saturated or unsaturated carbocycles, saturated or unsaturated heterocycles, or groups selected from the following: alkoxycarbonyl or aryloxycarbonyl (-COOR), carboxyl (-COOH), acyloxy (-O2CR), carbamoyl (-CONR 2 ), cyano (-CN), alkylcarbonyl, alkylarylcarbonyl, arylcarbonyl, arylalkylcarbonyl, phthalimido, maleimido, succinimido, amidino, guanidimo, hydroxyl (-OH), amino (-NR 2 ), halogen, perfluoroalkyl C n F 2n+i , allyl, epoxy, alkoxy (-OR), S-alkyl, S-aryl, groups exhibiting a hydrophilic or ionic nature, such as alkali metal salts of carboxylic acids, alkali metal salts of sulfonic acids, polyalkylene oxide (PEO, PPO) chains, cationic substituents (quaternary ammonium salts), R representing an alkyl or aryl group, or a polymer chain.

[00118] For the control agents of formula (A) employed in stage (E), it is generally preferred for the Ri group to be of hydrophilic nature. Advantageously, it is a water- soluble or water-dispersible polymer chain.

[00119] The Ri group can alternatively be amphiphilic, namely exhibit both a hydrophilic and a lipophilic nature. It is preferable for Ri not to be hydrophobic.

[00120] As regards the control agents of formula (A) employed in stage (E°), Ri can typically be a substituted or unsubstituted, preferably substituted, alkyl group. A control agent of formula (A) employed in stage (E°) can nevertheless comprise other types of Ri groups, in particular a ring or a polymer chain.

[00121] The optionally substituted alkyl, acyl, aryl, aralkyl or alkynyl groups generally exhibit from 1 to 20 carbon atoms, preferably from 1 to 12 and more preferably from 1 to 9 carbon atoms. They can be linear or branched. They can also be substituted by oxygen atoms, in particular in the form of esters, sulfur atoms or nitrogen atoms.

[00122] Mention may in particular be made, among the alkyl radicals, of the methyl, ethyl, propyl, butyl, pentyl, isopropyl, tert-butyl, pentyl, hexyl, octyl, decyl or dodecyl radical.

[00123] The alkyne groups are radicals generally of 2 to 10 carbon atoms; they exhibit at least one acetylenic unsaturation, such as the acetylenyl radical.

[00124] The acyl group is a radical generally exhibiting from 1 to 20 carbon atoms with a carbonyl group. [00125] Mention may in particular be made, among the aryl radicals, of the phenyl radical, which is optionally substituted, in particular by a nitro or hydroxyl functional group.

[00126] Mention may in particular be made, among the aralkyl radicals, of the benzyl or phenethyl radical, which is optionally substituted, in particular by a nitro or hydroxyl functional group.

[00127] When Ri or Z is a polymer chain, this polymer chain can result from a radical or ionic polymerization or from a polycondensation.

[00128] Advantageously, use is made, as control agent for stage (E) and also for stage (E°), if appropriate, of compounds carrying a xanthate -S(C=S)0-, trithiocarbonate, dithiocarbamate or dithiocarbazate functional group, for example carrying an O-ethyl xanthate functional group of formula -S(C=S)OCH 2 CH 3.

[00129] When stage (E°) is carried out, it is in particular advantageous to employ, as control agents in this stage, a compound chosen from xanthates, trithiocarbonates, dithiocarbamates and dithiocarbazates. Xanthates prove to be very particularly advantageous, in particular those carrying an O-ethyl xanthate -S(C=S)OCH 2 CH3 functional group, such as O-ethyl S-(l-(m ethoxy carbonyl)ethyl) xanthate (CH 3 CH(C0 2 CH 3 ))S(C=S)0Et. Another possible control agent in stage (E°) is dibenzyl trithiocarbonate of formula PhCH 2 S(C=S)SCH 2 Ph (where Ph=phenyl).

[00130] The living prepolymers obtained in step (E°) by using the abovementioned control agents prove to be particularly advantageous for carrying out stage (E).

[00131] Initiation and Implementation of the Radical Polymerizations of Stages (E) and (E°). When it is employed in stage (E), the radical polymerization initiator is preferably water-soluble or water-dispersible. Apart from this preferential condition, any radical polymerization initiator (source of free radicals) known per se and suited to the conditions chosen for these stages can be employed in stage (E) and stage (E°) of the process of the invention.

[00132] Thus, the radical polymerization initiator employed according to the invention can, for example, be chosen from the initiators conventionally used in radical polymerization. It can, for example, be one of the following initiators: [00133] hydrogen peroxides, such as: tert-butyl hydroperoxide, cumene hydroperoxide, t-butyl peroxyacetate, t-butyl peroxybenzoate, t-butyl peroxyoctoate, t- butyl peroxyneodecanoate, t-butyl peroxyisobutyrate, lauroyl peroxide, t-amyl peroxypivalate, t-butyl peroxypivalate, dicumyl peroxide, benzoyl peroxide, potassium persulfate or ammonium persulfate,

[00134] azo compounds, such as: 2,2'-azobis(isobutyronitrile), 2,2'-azobis(2- butanenitrile), 4,4'-azobis(4-pentanoic acid), l,r-azobis(cyclohexanecarbonitrile), 2-(t- butylazo)-2-cyanopropane, 2,2'-azobis[2-methyl-N-(l,l)-bis(hydroxymethyl)-2- hydroxyethyl]propionamide, 2,2'-azobis(2-methyl-N-hydroxyethyl]propionamide, 2,2'- azobis(N,N'-dimethyleneisobutyramidine) dichloride, 2,2'-azobis(2-amidinopropane) dichloride, 2,2'-azobis(N,N'-dimethyleneisobutyramide), 2,2'-azobis(2-methyl-N-[l, 1- bis(hydroxymethyl)-2-hydroxyethyl]propionamide), 2,2'-azobis(2-methyl-N-[l,l- bis(hydroxymethyl)ethyl]propionamide), 2,2'-azobis[2-methyl-N-(2- hydroxyethyl)propionamide] or 2,2'-azobis(isobutyramide) dihydrate,

[00135] redox systems comprising combinations, such as:

[00136] mixtures of hydrogen peroxide, alkyl peroxide, peresters, percarbonates and the like and any iron salt, titanous salt, zinc formaldehyde sulfoxylate or sodium formaldehyde sulfoxylate, and reducing sugars,

[00137] alkali metal or ammonium persulfates, perborates or perchlorates in combination with an alkali metal bisulfite, such as sodium metabi sulfite, and reducing sugars, and

[00138] alkali metal persulfates in combination with an arylphosphinic acid, such as benzenephosphonic acid and the like, and reducing sugars.

[00139] Typically, the amount of initiator to be used is preferably determined so that the amount of radicals generated is at most 50 mol% and preferably at most 20 mol%, with respect to the amount of control or transfer agent.

[00140] Very particularly in stage (E), it generally proves to be advantageous to use a radical initiator of redox type, which exhibits, inter alia, the advantage of not requiring heating of the reaction medium (no thermal initiation), and the inventors of which have in addition now discovered that it proves to be suitable for the micellar polymerization of stage (E). [00141] Thus, the radical polymerization initiator employed in stage (E) can typically be a redox initiator, typically not requiring heating for its thermal initiation. It is typically a mixture of at least one oxidizing agent with at least one reducing agent.

[00142] The oxidizing agent present in this redox system is preferably a water- soluble agent. This oxidizing agent can, for example, be chosen from peroxides, such as: hydrogen peroxide, tert-butyl hydroperoxide, cumene hydroperoxide, t-butyl peroxyacetate, t-butyl peroxybenzoate, t-butyl peroxyoctoate, t-butyl peroxyneodecanoate, t-butyl peroxyisobutyrate, lauroyl peroxide, t-amyl peroxypivalate, t-butyl peroxypivalate, dicumyl peroxide, benzoyl peroxide, sodium persulfate, potassium persulfate, ammonium persulfate or also potassium bromate.

[00143] The reducing agent present in the redox system is also preferably a water- soluble agent. This reducing agent can typically be chosen from sodium formaldehyde sulfoxylate (in particular in its dihydrate form, known under the name Rongalit, or in the form of an anhydride), ascorbic acid, erythorbic acid, sulfites, bisulfites or metasulfites (in particular alkali metal sulfites, bisulfites or metasulfites), nitrilotrispropionamides, and tertiary amines and ethanolamines (which are preferably water-soluble).

[00144] Possible redox systems comprise combinations, such as:

[00145] mixtures of water-soluble persulfates with water-soluble tertiary amines,

[00146] mixtures of water-soluble bromates (for example, alkali metal bromates) with water-soluble sulfites (for example, alkali metal sulfites),

[00147] mixtures of hydrogen peroxide, alkyl peroxide, peresters, percarbonates and the like and any iron salt, titanous salt, zinc formaldehyde sulfoxylate or sodium formaldehyde sulfoxylate, and reducing sugars,

[00148] alkali metal or ammonium persulfates, perborates or perchlorates in combination with an alkali metal bisulfite, such as sodium metabi sulfite, and reducing sugars, and

[00149] alkali metal persulfates in combination with an arylphosphinic acid, such as benzenephosphonic acid and the like, and reducing sugars.

[00150] An advantageous redox system comprises (and preferably consists of) the combination of ammonium persulfate and sodium formaldehyde sulfoxylate. [00151] Generally, and in particular in the case of the use of a redox system of the ammonium persulfate/sodium formaldehyde sulfoxylate type, it proves to be preferable for the reaction medium of stage (E) to be devoid of copper. In the case of the presence of copper, it is generally desirable to add a copper-complexing agent, such as EDTA, in an amount capable of masking its presence.

[00152] Whatever the nature of the initiator employed, the radical polymerization of stage (E°) can be carried out in any appropriate physical form, for example in solution in water or in a solvent, for example an alcohol or THF, in emulsion in water ("latex" process) or in bulk, if appropriate while controlling the temperature and/or the pH in order to render entities liquid and/or soluble or insoluble.

[00153] After carrying out stage (E), given the specific use of a control agent, polymers functionalized with transfer groups (living polymers) are obtained. This living character makes it possible, if desired, to employ these polymers in a subsequent polymerization reaction, according to a technique well known per se. Alternatively, if required, it is possible to deactivate or to destroy the transfer groups, for example by hydrolysis, ozonolysis or reaction with amines, according to means known per se. Thus, according to a specific embodiment, the process of the invention can comprise, after stage (E), a stage (El) of hydrolysis, of ozonolysis or of reaction with amines which is capable of deactivating and/or destroying all or a portion of the transfer groups present on the polymer prepared in stage (E).

[00154] Surfactants. ETse may be made, in order to prepare the micellar solution of the hydrophobic monomers which are employed in stage (E), of any suitable surfactant in a nonlimiting manner; use may be made, for example, of the surfactants chosen from the following list:

[00155] Anionic surfactants can be chosen from:

[00156] alkyl ester sulfonates, for example of formula R-CH(S0 3 M)-CH 2 C00R', or alkyl ester sulfates, for example of formula R-CH(0S0 3 M)-CH 2 C00R, where R represents a C 8 -C 2 o and preferably C l0 -C l6 alkyl radical, R represents a Ci-C 6 and preferably C 1 -C 3 alkyl radical and M represents an alkali metal cation, for example the sodium cation, or the ammonium cation. Mention may very particularly be made of methyl ester sulfonates, the R radical of which is a C l4 -C l6 radical; [00157] alkylbenzenesulfonates, more particularly C 9 -C 20 alkylbenzenesulfonates, primary or secondary alkylsulfonates, in particular C 8 -C 22 alkyl sulfonates, or alkylglycerolsulfonates;

[00158] alkyl sulfates, for example of formula ROSO3M, where R represents a C 10 -C 24 and preferably C 12 -C 20 alkyl or hydroxyalkyl radical and M represents a cation with the same definition as above;

[00159] alkyl ether sulfates, for example of formula RO(OA) n S0 3 M, where R represents a C10-C24 and preferably C12-C20 alkyl or hydroxyalkyl radical, OA represents an ethoxylated and/or propoxylated group, M represents a cation with the same definition as above and n generally varies from 1 to 4, such as, for example, lauryl ether sulfate with n = 2;

[00160] alkylamide sulfates, for example of formula RCONHROSO3M, where R represents a C2-C22 and preferably C6-C20 alkyl radical, R represents a C2-C3 alkyl radical and M represents a cation with the same definition as above, and also their polyalkoxylated (ethoxylated and/or propoxylated) derivatives (alkylamide ether sulfates);

[00161] salts of saturated or unsaturated fatty acids, for example such as C C24 and preferably C14-C20 acids, and of an alkaline earth metal cation, N-acyl-N- alkyltaurates, alkylisethionates, alkyl succinamates and alkyl sulfosuccinates, alkylglutamates, monoesters or diesters of sulfosuccinates, N-acylsarcosinates or polyethoxy carboxylates;

[00162] monoester and diester phosphates, for example having the following formula: (RO) x -P(=0)(OM) x , where R represents an optionally polyalkoxylated alkyl, alkylaryl, arylalkyl or aryl radical, x and x' are equal to 1 or 2, provided that the sum of x and x' is equal to 3, and M represents an alkaline earth metal cation;

[00163] Nonionic surfactants can be chosen from:

[00164] alkoxylated fatty alcohols, for example laureth-2, laureth-4, laureth-7 or oleth-20, alkoxylated triglycerides, alkoxylated fatty acids, alkoxylated sorbitan esters, alkoxylated fatty amines, alkoxylated di(l-phenylethyl)phenols, alkoxylated tri(l- phenylethyl)phenols, alkoxylated alkylphenols, the products resulting from the condensation of ethylene oxide with a hydrophobic compound resulting from the condensation of propylene oxide with propylene glycol, such as the Pluronic products sold by BASF, the products resulting from the condensation of ethylene oxide the compound resulting from the condensation of propylene oxide with ethylenediamine, such as the Tetronic products sold by BASF, alkylpolyglycosides, such as those described in U.S. Patent No. 4,565,647, or alkylglucosides, or fatty acid amides, for example C 8 - C 2 o fatty acid amides, in particular fatty acid monoalkanolamides, for example cocamide ME A or cocamide MIPA;

[00165] Amphoteric surfactants (true amphoteric entities comprising an ionic group and a potentially ionic group of opposite charge, or zwitterionic entities simultaneously comprising two opposite charges) can be:

[00166] betaines generally, in particular carboxybetaines, for example lauryl betaine (Mirataine BB from Rhodia) or octyl betaine or coco betaine (Mirataine BB-FLA from Rhodia); amidoalkyl betaines, such as cocamidopropyl betaine (CAPB) (Mirataine BDJ from Rhodia or Mirataine BET C-30 from Rhodia);

[00167] sulfobetaines or sultaines, such as cocamidopropyl hydroxysultaine (Mirataine CBS from Rhodia);

[00168] alkylamphoacetates and alkylamphodiacetates, such as, for example, comprising a cocoyl or lauryl chain (Miranol C2M Cone. NP, C32, L32 in particular, from Rhodia);

[00169] alkylamphopropionates or alkylamphodipropionates (Miranol C2M SF);

[00170] alkyl amphohydroxypropyl sultaines (Miranol CS);

[00171] alkylamine oxides, for example lauramine oxide (INCI);

[00172] Cationic surfactants can be optionally polyethoxylated primary, secondary or tertiary fatty amine salts, quaternary ammonium salts, such as tetraalkylammonium, alkylamidoalkylammonium, trialkylbenzylammonium, trialkylhydroxyalkylammonium or alkylpyridinium chlorides or bromides, imidazoline derivatives or amine oxides having a cationic nature. An example of a cationic surfactant is cetrimonium chloride or bromide (INCI);

[00173] the surfactants employed according to the present invention can be block copolymers comprising at least one hydrophilic block and at least one hydrophobic block different from the hydrophilic block, which are advantageously obtained according to a polymerization process where:

[00174] (ao) at least one hydrophilic (respectively hydrophobic) monomer, at least one source of free radicals and at least one radical polymerization control agent of the - S(C=S)- type are brought together within an aqueous phase;

[00175] (ai) the polymer obtained on conclusion of stage (ao) is brought into contact with at least one hydrophobic (respectively hydrophilic) monomer different from the monomer employed in stage (ao) and at least one source of free radicals; via which a diblock copolymer is obtained.

[00176] Polymers of the triblock type, or comprising more blocks, can optionally be obtained by carrying out, after stage (ai), a stage (a 2 ) in which the polymer obtained on conclusion of stage (ai) is brought into contact with at least one monomer different from the monomer employed in stage (ai) and at least one source of free radicals; and more generally by carrying out (n+l) stages of the type of the abovementioned stages (ai) and (a 2 ) and n is an integer typically ranging from 1 to 3, where, in each stage (a n ), with n>l, the polymer obtained on conclusion of stage (a n-i ) is brought into contact with at least one monomer different from the monomer employed in stage (a n -i) and at least one source of free radicals. Use may be made, for example, according to the invention, of the copolymers of the type which are described in WO03068827, WO03068848 and W02005/021612.

[00177] In an embodiment, one or more polymers of the present disclosure are present in an aqueous composition. In another embodiment, one or more polymers of the present disclosure are present in an aqueous composition in an amount ranging from about 0.001 wt % to about 10 wt % based upon the total weight of the aqueous composition.

[00178] The present disclosure also provides methods for utilizing the present polymers and related compositions.

[00179] In an embodiment, a method for fracturing a subterranean formation includes the step of injecting an aqueous fracturing fluid into at least a portion of the subterranean formation at pressures sufficient to fracture the formation, wherein the fracturing fluid includes a concentrate of the present disclosure. [00180] In an embodiment, prior to injecting the aqueous fracturing fluid, the polymer is in a powder form with a particle size of from about 5pm to about 400pm. In an embodiment, the polymer is present in an amount ranging from about 0.001 wt% to about 10 wt% based upon the total weight of the fracturing fluid.

[00181] In an embodiment, the fracturing fluid suspends particles at a temperature from about 68°F to about 350°F. In another embodiment, the fracturing fluid suspends particles at a temperature from about 250°F to about 350°F. In another embodiment, the fracturing fluid suspends particles at a temperature from about 300°F to about 350°F.

[00182] In an embodiment, the fracturing fluid further includes a proppant. In an embodiment, the proppant is used in an amount ranging from about 20 wt% to about 60 wt% based upon the total weight of the fracturing fluid.

[00183] In an embodiment, the fracturing fluid further includes a clay stabilizer. In an embodiment, the clay stabilizer is selected from choline chloride, potassium chloride, ammonium chloride, sodium chloride, calcium chloride, and combinations thereof. In an embodiment, the clay stabilizer is present in an amount ranging from about 0.01 wt% to about 30 wt% based upon the total weight of the fracturing fluid.

[00184] In another embodiment, the fracturing fluid further includes a friction reducing polymer. In an embodiment, the friction reducing polymer is selected from synthetic polymers, natural polymers, semi -synthetic polymers, and mixtures thereof. Natural and semi -synthetic polymer may be selected from xanthan gum, guar gum, modified guar gum such as cationic guar gum or hydroxypropyl guar gum, scleroglucan, schizophillan, cellulosic derivatives such as carboxymethyl cellulose, and mixtures thereof. In an embodiment, the polymer is a synthetic anionic or cationic or non-ionic or amphoteric polymer and based on non-ionic monomers and/or cationic monomers and/or anionic monomers.

[00185] In an embodiment, the method for fracturing a subterranean formation includes an initial proppant-lean pad stage to initiate and propagate a fracture in a subterranean formation, followed by a series of proppant-laden stages, wherein the initial pad stage includes an aqueous fluid system comprising a polymer selected from synthetic polymers, natural polymers, semi-synthetic polymers, and mixtures thereof, and the proppant-laden stages include a composition of the present disclosure. Natural and semi- synthetic polymer may be selected from xanthan gum, guar gum, modified guar gum such as cationic guar gum or hydroxypropyl guar gum, scleroglucan, schizophillan, cellulosic derivatives such as carboxymethyl cellulose, and mixtures thereof. In an embodiment, the polymer is a synthetic anionic or cationic or non-ionic or amphoteric polymer and based on non-ionic monomers and/or cationic monomers and/or anionic monomers.

[00186] In an embodiment, a method for fracturing a subterranean formation adjacent to a well includes the steps of pumping an initial proppant-lean aqueous fluid system comprising a friction reducing polymer into at least a portion of the subterranean formation at a rate to incur friction pressure losses followed by pumping a proppant-laden aqueous fluid system comprising a friction reducing polymer and concentrate of the present disclosure into at least a portion of the subterranean formation, wherein the proppant-lean aqueous fluid system comprises a friction reducing polymer that is the same or different from the friction reducing polymer in the proppant-laden aqueous fluid system.

[00187] In an embodiment, the method for fracturing a subterranean formation further includes the step of injecting a breaker into at least a portion of the subterranean formation. In an embodiment, the breaker includes an enzyme breaker. In an embodiment, the enzyme breaker is selected from oxidoreductase, oxidase, ligase, asparaginase, and mixtures thereof.

[00188] In an embodiment, the fracturing fluid is selected from fresh water, sea water, brines, salt water, produced water, recycled water, industrial waste water, waste water associated with oil production, and combinations thereof.

[00189] In another embodiment, a fracturing fluid is provided, which includes a polymer in a mass concentration of from about 0.1 ppt to about 200 ppt, based upon total volume of the composition, a plurality of proppant particles in a mass concentration of from about 0.1 lb/gal to about 12 lb/gal, based upon total volume of the composition, and a breaker present in a mass concentration of from 0 ppt to about 20 ppt based upon total volume of the composition.

[00190] Also provided is a method of acidizing a formation penetrated by a wellbore that includes the steps of injecting into the wellbore at a pressure below formation fracturing pressure a treatment fluid that includes a concentrate according to the present disclosure and an aqueous acid and allowing the treatment fluid to acidize the formation and/or self-divert into the formation. As used herein, the term,“self-divert” refers to a composition that viscosifies as it stimulates the formation and, in so doing, diverts any remaining acid into zones of lower permeability in the formation.

[00191] In an embodiment, a method of acidizing a subterranean formation penetrated by a wellbore includes the steps of: (a) injecting into the wellbore at a pressure below subterranean formation fracturing pressure a treatment fluid having a first viscosity and including an aqueous acid and a concentrate of the present disclosure; (b) forming at least one void in the subterranean formation with the treatment fluid; and (c) allowing the treatment fluid to attain a second viscosity that is greater than the first viscosity.

[00192] In an embodiment, the method further includes forming at least one void in the subterranean formation with the treatment fluid after the fluid has attained the second viscosity.

[00193] In another embodiment, the method further includes reducing the viscosity of the treatment fluid to a viscosity that is less than the second viscosity.

[00194] Optionally, the treatment fluid further includes one or more additives. In an embodiment, the fluid includes one or more additives selected from corrosion inhibitors, iron control agents, clay stabilizers, calcium sulfate inhibitors, scale inhibitors, mutual solvents, non-emulsifiers, anti-slug agents, biocides, paraffin inhibitors, tracers and combinations thereof. In an embodiment, the corrosion inhibitor is selected from alcohols (e.g. acetylenics); cationics (e.g. quaternary ammonium salts, imidazolines, and alkyl pyridines); and nonionics (e.g. alcohol ethoxylates). In an embodiment, the additive is a dry additive. In another embodiment, one or more dry additives are blended with a composition of the present disclosure.

[00195] Suitable aqueous acids include those compatible with the polymers of the present disclosure for use in an acidizing process. In an embodiment, the aqueous acid is selected from hydrochloric acid, hydrofluoric acid, formic acid, acetic acid, sulfamic acid, and combinations thereof. In an embodiment, the treatment fluid includes acid in an amount up to 30 wt% by total weight of the fluid. [00196] In an embodiment, compositions of the present disclosure are combined with a brine to viscosify the fluid. In an embodiment, the brine is a solids-free high density (e.g. a density in the range of about 8.5 to about 21 pounds per gallon (about 1020 up to about 2500 kg/m 3 )) (“heavy”) brine composition suitable for applications in drilling, completion and the stimulation of subterranean oil and gas wells. Fluids used in drilling, completion and stimulation of the subterranean oil and gas wells include, but are not necessarily limited to, completion fluids, perforating fluids, water-based drilling fluids, inverted emulsion drilling fluid, gravel pack, drill-in fluids, packer fluids, workover fluids, displacement, fracking fluids and remediation fluids.

[00197] Compositions of the present disclosure can also be used to limit or prevent pump damage during surface transport of proppant. In surface transport, proppant (e.g. sand) can settle causing damage in the pump. Maintaining sand influx is necessary to produce oil at economic rates. If a mechanical failure or a wellbore or pump blockage by sand occurs, a workover is required. Tubular goods are withdrawn, and before reinstallation, the well is thoroughly cleaned of sand using a mechanical bailer, a pump- to-surface truck, a jet pump, foam treatment, or other techniques. Oil production is reinitiated after pump reinstallation.

[00198] In an embodiment, a method for suspending and transporting proppant on the surface (e.g. above ground) includes a step of mixing an aqueous fluid and proppant and transporting the combination through at least one pump, wherein the fluid includes a concentrate of the present disclosure.

[00199] Compositions of the present disclosure can also be used in drilling fluids or muds. A drilling fluid or mud is a specially designed fluid that is circulated through a drill bit within a wellbore as the wellbore is being drilled. The drilling fluid is circulated back to the surface of the wellbore with drill cuttings for removal therefrom. The drilling fluid maintains a specific, balanced hydrostatic pressure within the wellbore, permitting all or most of the drilling fluid to be circulated back to the surface. Additionally, among other things, the drilling fluid facilitates cooling and lubricating the drill bit, aiding in support of the drill pipe and drill bit, and providing a hydrostatic head to maintain the integrity of the wellbore walls and prevent well blowouts. In an embodiment, a method of drilling a wellbore is provided that includes the step of pumping a composition of the present disclosure into a wellbore.

[00200] Compositions of the present disclosure can also be used in gravel packing methods. Some oil and gas wells are completed in unconsolidated formations that contain loose fines and sand. When fluids are produced from these wells, the loose fines and sand can migrate with the produced fluids and can damage equipment, such electric submersible pumps (ESP) and other systems. For this reason, completions for these wells can require sand screens for sand control. For hydrocarbon wells, esp. horizontal wells, the completion has screen sections with a perforated inner tube and an overlying screen portion. The purpose of the screen is to block the flow of particulate matter into the interior of the production tubing.

[00201] A gravel pack operation is one way to reduce the inflow of particulate matter before it reaches the sand screen. In the gravel pack operation, gravel (e.g., sand) is packed in the borehole annulus around the sand screen. The gravel is a specially sized particulate material, such as graded sand or proppant. When packed around the sand screen in the borehole annulus, the packed gravel acts as a filter to keep any fines and sand of the formation from migrating with produced fluids to the sand screen. The packed gravel also provides the producing formation with a stabilizing force that can prevent the borehole annulus from collapsing. In general, gravel packing is used to stabilize the formation and maintain well productivity. Gravel packing is applied in conjunction with hydraulic fracturing, but at much lower pressures.

[00202] In an embodiment, a gravel packing method includes a step of transporting a fluid through at least one pump and a subterranean gravel pack, wherein the fluid carries the gravel pack for placement in a wellbore and includes a concentrate of the present disclosure.

[00203] Compositions of the present disclosure can also be used in circulating fluids in drill-out operations and/or to remove debris from a wellbore. The wellbore to which the circulating fluid is introduced penetrates a subterranean reservoir. In drill-out, a barrier in the wellbore is first milled leaving behind debris, such as rubber and metal. Debris in the wellbore might alternatively include sand, residual fluids, nylon, carbon composites, etc. The area is cleaned by circulating water or brine and a composition of the present disclosure into the zone.

[00204] Drill-out is typically performed by a coiled tubing unit (having a positive displacement motor and a mill/bit run) or a jointed pipe. With horizontal wells, coiled tubing is more typically used. During drill-out, circulating fluid is introduced into the wellbore at the end of the tubing or pipe and returns up into the annulus. In an embodiment, a drill-out method includes the steps of milling a barrier in a wellbore, circulating a fluid comprising a composition of the present disclosure through the wellbore, and removing debris from the wellbore in the circulating fluid. In another embodiment, a wellbore is swept of debris by circulating a fluid comprising a composition of the present disclosure through the wellbore, and removing debris from the wellbore in the circulating fluid.

[00205] Compositions of the present disclosure can be used in various stages of wellbore cementing operations. Preparation of the wellbore for cementing operations may be important in achieving optimal zonal isolation. Conventionally, wellbores may be cleaned and prepared for the cement composition with a fluid train that precedes the cement composition and can include spacer fluids, flushes, water-based muds, and the like. Spacer fluids may be used in wellbore preparation for drilling fluid displacement before introduction of the cement composition. The spacer fluids may enhance solids removal while also separating the drilling fluid from a physically incompatible fluid, such as a cement composition. Spacer fluids may also be placed between different drilling fluids during drilling change outs or between a drilling fluid and completion brine. In an embodiment, a spacer fluid including a composition of the present disclosure is provided. In another embodiment, a system is provided, which includes a composition of the present disclosure for use in a spacer fluid; a base fluid for use in the spacer fluid; and a pump fluid fluidly coupled to a tubular in fluid communication with a wellbore, wherein the tubular is configured to convey the spacer fluid to the wellbore. In yet another embodiment, a system is provided, which includes a spacer fluid including a composition of the present disclosure and a pump fluid fluidly coupled to a tubular in fluid communication with a wellbore, wherein the tubular is configured to convey the spacer fluid to the wellbore. [00206] In another embodiment, compositions of the present disclosure are used in flush fluids. In an embodiment a method is provided that includes the step of introducing a flush fluid into a well bore penetrating at least a portion of a subterranean formation, wherein the flush fluid includes a composition of the present disclosure. Flushes are used to thin and disperse drilling-fluid particles and are used to separate drilling fluids and cementing slurries. Flushes can be used with either water-based or oil-based drilling fluids. In an embodiment, flushes prepare both the pipe and formation for the cementing operation.

[00207] Compositions of the present disclosure can also be used as cement (e.g. hydraulic cement) suspending agents. After the drilling of a wellbore is terminated, a string of pipe, e.g., casing, is run in the wellbore. Primary cementing is then usually performed whereby a cementing fluid, usually including water, cement, and particulate additives, is pumped down through the string of pipe and into the annulus between the string of pipe and the walls of the wellbore to allow the cementing fluid to set into an impermeable cement column and thereby seal the annulus. Subsequent secondary cementing operations, i.e., any cementing operation after the primary cementing operation, may also be performed. One example of a secondary cementing operation is squeeze cementing whereby a cementing fluid is forced under pressure to areas of lost integrity in the annulus to seal off those areas.

[00208] A common problem in petroleum well cementing is the loss of filtrate from the cement slurry into porous low pressure zones in the earth formation surrounding the well annulus. This fluid loss is undesirable since it can result in dehydration of the cement slurry, and it causes thick filter cakes of cement solids which can plug the well bore; moreover the fluid lost can damage sensitive formations. The present disclosure provides a method that includes the steps of: slurrying a cement composition with water, admixing a composition of the present disclosure therewith to make a cement slurry exhibiting reduced fluid loss, and cementing a casing string in a wellbore by placing the cement slurry between the casing string and an exposed borehole wall.

[00209] Settling of solids in a cement slurry is also a possibility under a variety conditions. For example, when cement is placed in a wellbore drilled at a high angle from the vertical, settling can occur. Settling is also possible when high water content slurries are used. Undesirable consequences of the solids settling include free water and a density gradient in the set cement. To inhibit settling, cement suspending agents can be added to the cementing fluid. In one embodiment, the present disclosure provides a method that includes the steps of: providing a cementing fluid that includes an aqueous liquid, a hydraulic cement, and a cement suspending agent that includes a composition of the present disclosure; placing the cementing fluid in a wellbore penetrating a subterranean formation; and allowing the cementing fluid to set therein.

[00210] During well construction, well production and well abandonment it may be necessary to perform operations which require minimizing or terminating fluid flow between wellbore and formation. In the majority of cases, such operations are performed to restore, prolong or enhance the production of hydrocarbons. To maintain well control, workover operations require that the well be filled with fluid with hydrostatic pressure in excess of the reservoir pressure. It is commonly referred as well "kill" operation. Well kills may be achieved by a variety of means, including the introduction of drilling or completion fluids that exert sufficient hydrostatic pressure in the wellbore to prevent formation fluid production. The fluid is often maintained in the wellbore for the entire duration of the workover operation.

[00211] Compositions of the present disclosure are suitable for use in well kill operations. In an embodiment, a method for treating a subterranean well having a borehole is provided, which includes the steps of: (i) placing a treatment fluid that includes a composition of the present disclosure in the borehole such that the treatment fluid contacts a liner, a downhole filter, perforations, natural or induced fractures or subterranean formation or combinations thereof; and (ii) allowing the treatment fluid to flow into the liner, downhole filter, perforation, natural or induced fracture or subterranean formation, wherein further fluid movement between wellbore and subterranean formation is prevented or reduced after flow of the treatment fluid. In an embodiment, the treatment fluid further includes a heavy brine and/or particles.

[00212] While specific embodiments are discussed, the specification is illustrative only and not restrictive. Many variations of this disclosure will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon review of this specification. [00213] Unless defined otherwise, all technical and scientific terms used herein have the same meaning as is commonly understood by one of skill in the art to which this specification pertains.

[00214] As used in the specification and claims, the singular form "a", "an" and "the" includes plural references unless the context clearly dictates otherwise.

[00215] As used herein, and unless otherwise indicated, the term "about" or "approximately" means an acceptable error for a particular value as determined by one of ordinary skill in the art, which depends in part on how the value is measured or determined. In certain embodiments, the term "about" or "approximately" means within 1, 2, 3, or 4 standard deviations. In certain embodiments, the term "about" or "approximately" means within 50%, 20%, 15%, 10%, 9%, 8%, 7%, 6%, 5%, 4%, 3%, 2%, 1%, 0.5%, or 0.05% of a given value or range.

[00216] Also, it should be understood that any numerical range recited herein is intended to include all sub-ranges subsumed therein. For example, a range of " 1 to 10" is intended to include all sub-ranges between and including the recited minimum value of 1 and the recited maximum value of 10; that is, having a minimum value equal to or greater than 1 and a maximum value of equal to or less than 10. Because the disclosed numerical ranges are continuous, they include every value between the minimum and maximum values. Unless expressly indicated otherwise, the various numerical ranges specified in this application are approximations.

[00217] The present disclosure will further be described by reference to the following examples. The following examples are merely illustrative and are not intended to be limiting.

[00218] Example 1 - Slurry containing di ethylene glycol hexyl ether.

[00219] Slurry making procedure: The slurry was made on a Waring blender. ODC oil and diethylene glycol hexyl ether were added to a beaker, and then Bentone® 155 was added and mixed at l500rpm to disperse. Water as a clay activator was added and mixed for 5 minutes. Water-soluble polymer powder was then added. The mixing speed was adjusted to maintain a vortex until all polymer powder was mixed in. The final speed was about 2000rpm. Slurry was allowed to mix for another 20 minutes before testing.

[00220] Table 1. Slurry formulation 1-1.

[00221] Hydration procedure: 1K total dissolved solids (TDS) Eagle Ford water was used. l .45g slurry was added into 200ml 1K TDS water in 500 ml Waring blender for 3 minutes at 2500rpm. To reduce foam level, the fluid was centrifuged for 1 minute at 4000rpm. Viscosity was measured immediately afterwards using an OFITE Model 900 viscometer available from OFI Testing Equipment, Inc. (Houston, Texas).

[00222] Table 2. Composition of Eagle Ford Water.

[00223] Slurry stability test: Temperature of the slurry was adjusted to ensure a slurry temperature of 75°F (+/-3°F). A slurry sample from the blender was stirred for 5 minutes prior to conducting tests. Slurry was poured into a graduated cylinder to 100 mL mark. Cylinder was covered, placed in incubator at 75°F (+/-3°F), and left undisturbed for 24 hours. At 24 hours, free oil was measured and recorded. Less than 2% free oil was observed after slurry was stabilized in room temperature for 24 hours.

[00224] Viscosity: The viscosity was 35.8 cP at 300rpm, 44.8 cP at 200rpm, and 67.7 cP at lOOrpm. Viscosity was also tested on a GRACE Instrument M5600 HPHT rheometer. The viscosity kept above 50cP up to 250 °F at lOOs 1 . (FIG. 1).

[00225] Sand suspension: The resulting fluid from hydration was also used in a sand suspension study. 2 lb/gallon sand was mixed well with the fluid then placed in an 85°C oven for 20 hours. No obvious sand settlement was observed.

[00226] Example la - Comparative Example (no di ethylene glycol hexyl ether).

[00227] In comparison, when diethylene glycol hexyl ether in the slurry was totally replaced by ODC oil, a stable slurry was obtained with less than 2% free oil in 24 hours, but low viscosity measurements indicated poor hydration: 3.1 cP at 300rpm, 3.1 cP at 200rpm, and 3.8 cP at lOOrpm. Viscosity was also tested on a GRACE Instrument M5600 HPHT rheometer. The viscosity kept below lOcP at lOOs 1 from 75°F to 300°F. Sand could not be suspended.

[00228] Tabie 3. Slurry formulation 1 -2.

[00229] Example 2 - Slurry containing Rhodiasolv® IRIS (diester solvent).

[00230] Slurry making procedure: The slurry was made on an overhead mixer.

ODC oil was added to a beaker, and then Bentone® 155 was added and mixed at 750rpm to disperse. Rhodiasolv® IRIS was added next and mixed for 5 minutes. Water-soluble polymer powder was then added. The mixing speed was adjusted to maintain a vortex until all polymer powder was mixed in. The final speed was about l400rpm. Slurry was allowed to mix for another 15 minutes before testing.

[00231] Hydration procedure: Fresh water was used for hydration. l.45g slurry was added into 200ml fresh water in 500 ml Waring Blender for 3 minutes at 2500rpm. To reduce foam level, the fluid was centrifuged for 1 minute at 4000rpm. Viscosity was measured immediately afterwards using an OFITE Model 900 viscometer.

[00232] Slurry stability test: Temperature of the slurry was adjusted to ensure a slurry temperature of 75°F (+/-3°F). A slurry sample from the blender was stirred for 5 minutes prior to conducting tests. Slurry was poured into a graduated cylinder to 100 mL mark. Cylinder was covered, placed in incubator at 75°F (+/-3°F), and left undisturbed for 24 hours. At 24 hours, free oil was measured and recorded. Less than 2% free oil was observed after slurry was stabilized in room temperature for 24 hours.

[00233] Table 4. Slurry formulation 2-1.

[00234] Viscosity: The viscosity was 56.2 cP at 300rpm, 74.7 cP at 200rpm, and 112.7 cP at lOOrprn. Viscosity was also tested on a GRACE Instrument M5600 HPHT rheometer. The viscosity kept above 50cP up to 250 °F at 100s l . (FIG. 2).

[00235] Example 2a - Comparative Example (no Rhodiasolv® IRIS).

[00236] In comparison, when Rhodiasolv® IRIS in the slurry was totally replaced by ODC oil, a stable slurry was obtained with about 10% free oil in 24 hours, but low viscosity measurements indicated poor hydration: 3.0 cP at 300rpm, 3.2 cP at 200rpm, and 3.5 cP at lOOrprn. Viscosity was also tested on a GRACE Instrument M5600 HPHT rheometer. The viscosity kept below lOcP at lOOs 1 from 75°F to 300°F. Sand could not be suspended.

[00237] T able 5 Slurry formulation 2-2. [00238] Example 3 - Solvent Study (Comparative).

[00239] The slurry was made on a Waring blender. ODC drilling fluid oil and Hexyl Carbitol™ Solvent were added into the blender cup. Bentone® 155 was added next. The mixture was blended at l500rpm to disperse. Water as clay activator was added and mixed for 5 minutes. Solvay associative water-soluble polymer powder was then added. The mixing speed was adjusted to maintain a vortex until all the powder was mixed in. The final speed was about 2000rpm. Slurry was allowed to mix for another 20 minutes before testing.

[00240] Table 6. Comparative Slurry Formulations.

[00241] The ratio of drilling fluid oil and Hexyl Carbitol™ solvents were changed to match the targeted solvent active level inside the slurry. The amount of all other additives remained the same.

[00242] Hydration procedure: 1K TDS Eagle Ford water was used. 200ml 1K TDS water was poured into a 500 ml blender cup. The water was mixed at 2500rpm using a Waring blender. l.45g slurry was added into the blender cup and mixed for 30 seconds. l50ml of fluid was poured into a beaker, and then viscosity was measured using an OFITE Model 900 viscometer available from OFI Testing Equipment, Inc. (Houston, Texas) for 10 minutes.

[00243] Table 7. Apparent Viscosity (cp) Studies (Comparative).

[00244] Apparent viscosity was measured for 10 minutes to see the hydration speed and also final viscosity. Even though the active levels of solvent were increased from 0% to 20%, there was no significant improvement at the final viscosity. Viscosity number did not change during this time frame, and it means that hydration did not process any further than its initial stage.

[00245] Table 8. Viscosity Studies (cp) (Comparative).

[00246] Viscosity at l00-300rpm was measured for 0 to 20% active solvent slurry. Within this range, there were no significant differences.

[00247] Example 4 - Solvent Study.

[00248] The slurry was made on a Waring blender. ODC drilling fluid oil and Hexyl Carbitol™ Solvent were added into the blender cup. Bentone® 155 was added next. The mixture was blended at l500rpm to disperse. Water as clay activator was added and mixed for 5 minutes. Solvay associative water-soluble polymer powder was then added. The mixing speed was adjusted to maintain a vortex until all the powder was mixed in. The final speed was about 2000rpm. Slurry was allowed to mix for another 20 minutes before testing.

[00249] Table 9. Slurry Formulations.

[00250] The ratio of drilling fluid oil and Hexyl Carbitol™ solvents were changed to match the targeted solvent active level inside the slurry. The amount of all other additives remained the same. [00251] Hydration procedure: 1K TDS Eagle Ford water was used. 200ml 1K TDS water was poured into a 500 ml blender cup. The water was mixed at 2500rpm using a Waring blender. l.45g slurry was added into the blender cup and mixed for 30 seconds. l50ml of fluid was poured into a beaker, and then viscosity was measured using an OFITE Model 900 viscometer for 10 minutes.

[00252] Table 10. Apparent Viscosity (cp) Studies.

[00253] Apparent viscosity was measured for 10 minutes to see the hydration speed and also final viscosity. Solvent levels from 30 to 57% brought 3 to 5 times higher viscosity number than the cases from 0 to 20% active level. There was no significant difference in viscosity at 1 minute and 10 minutes, which means that the hydration process is already complete at 1 minute.

[00254] Table 11. Viscosity Studies (cp).

[00255] Viscosity at l00-300rpm was measured for 30 to 57% active solvent slurry. 30% active formulation did not exhibit a significant viscosity difference from the 20% formulation. However, 40-57% formulations exhibited significant viscosity improvement. Between 40 to 50% active level exhibited maximum viscosity range.

[00256] The disclosed subject matter has been described with reference to specific details of particular embodiments thereof. It is not intended that such details be regarded as limitations upon the scope of the disclosed subject matter except insofar as and to the extent that they are included in the accompanying claims. [00257] Therefore, the exemplary embodiments described herein are well adapted to attain the ends and advantages mentioned as well as those that are inherent therein. The particular embodiments disclosed above are illustrative only, as the exemplary embodiments described herein may be modified and practiced in different but equivalent manners apparent to those skilled in the art having the benefit of the teachings herein. Furthermore, no limitations are intended to the details of construction or design herein shown, other than as described in the claims below. It is therefore evident that the particular illustrative embodiments disclosed above may be altered, combined, or modified and all such variations are considered within the scope and spirit of the exemplary embodiments described herein. The exemplary embodiments described herein illustratively disclosed herein suitably may be practiced in the absence of any element that is not specifically disclosed herein and/or any optional element disclosed herein. While compositions and methods are described in terms of“comprising,”“containing,” or“including” various components or steps, the compositions and methods can also “consist essentially of’ or“consist of’ the various components, substances and steps. As used herein the term "consisting essentially of' shall be construed to mean including the listed components, substances or steps and such additional components, substances or steps which do not materially affect the basic and novel properties of the composition or method. In some embodiments, a composition in accordance with embodiments of the present disclosure that "consists essentially of the recited components or substances does not include any additional components or substances that alter the basic and novel properties of the composition. If there is any conflict in the usages of a word or term in this specification and one or more patent or other documents that may be incorporated herein by reference, the definitions that are consistent with this specification should be adopted.