On-Site Testing of Oilfield Waters
- K. Robinson (Oil Plus Ltd.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- International Meeting on Petroleum Engineering, 17-20 March, Beijing, China
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- Conference Paper
- 1986. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.3.4 Scale, 3.4.5 Bacterial Contamination and Control, 1.6.9 Coring, Fishing, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 2.7.1 Completion Fluids, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 5.1 Reservoir Characterisation, 3 Production and Well Operations, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 2 Well Completion, 1.8 Formation Damage, 5.5.2 Core Analysis, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal
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The correct on-site testing of oilfield waters is important for minimising waterflood operating costs and maximising oil recovery. Recent advances in test methods involving core studies, corrosion inhibition and biocides are discussed, in addition to observations on the limitations of certain conventional on-site analytical techniques.
The design, operation and monitoring of seawater injection systems have been discussed often in papers published in recent years. Much less has been published on aquifer and produced water injection systems despite their almost equally widespread application. This paper discusses some key factors in testing these three source water types to assess their suitability for injection and to optimise chemical treatment. These are important criteria since inadequate injection water quality and/or incorrect chemical treatment can have enormous 'hidden' effects on oilfield economics by causing increased well workovers, unnecessary equipment replacement or even loss of otherwise recoverable oil reserves.
WATER QUALITY REQUIREMENTS
The determination of the water quality necessary for long-term successful water injection has been the subject of much debate for many years. Barkman and Davidson presented one approach to this, basing their criteria on the rate of blocking of Millipore(TM) membrane filters. Others have based their criteria on suspended solids values. However, these criteria consider only a part of the picture. A more complete assessment of the requirements must be made by considering how reservoir blocking occurs, this may be due to:-
i) Suspended solids inherently present in the source water, e.g. silt, plankton, etc.
ii) Suspended solids introduced into the injection water by:-
- corrosion of equipment, pipelines and wells
- bacterial growth
- chemical instability of the water (i.e. scale formation) following mixing of incompatible waters, thermal changes or pressure changes affecting solubilities
- addition of contaminated or unstable chemicals; for example oxygen scavengers such as ammonium bisulphite can be unstable over long storage periods in hot climates and precipitate free sulphur
- addition of two or more treatment chemicals which react to form a precipitate; this may occur with concentrated solutions of oxygen scavengers and biocides, for example.
- contamination, for example by insoluble lubricating oils from plunger type injection pumps.
iii) Chemical reactions between injection fluids and reservoir rock, resulting in clay swelling, fines movement or other rockfluid reactions. This may occur not only with the injection water itself but also with any chemical additives, e.g. biocide, corrosion inhibitor, scale inhibitor, etc., or at an even earlier stage with well drilling and completion fluids.
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