Laboratory Investigation of Organic-Scale Prevention in a Russian Oil Field
- Ivan A. Struchkov (Saint Petersburg Mining University) | Mikhail K. Rogachev (Saint Petersburg Mining University) | Evgenij S. Kalinin (LLC SamaraNIPIneft) | Pavel V. Pavlov (LLC SamaraNIPIneft) | Pavel V. Roschin (Saint Petersburg Mining University)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Operations
- Publication Date
- February 2018
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 113 - 120
- 2018.Society of Petroleum Engineers
- live oil sample, production conditions, organic deposits, wax appearance temperature, wax
- 0 in the last 30 days
- 237 since 2007
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The objective of this research is a definition of wax-precipitation conditions in waxy oil (a kind of oil that intends to produce high-molecular-weight paraffins during production) at various thermobaric conditions taking place in oil wells, and also proposing a method for the determination of the potential wax-formation depth in a well. In most cases in Russia, many reservoirs are producing oil with high asphaltenes, resins, and wax content that causes the formation of organic deposits in downhole equipment. It reduces the workover period of wells and decreases their productivity. The oil-production system represents the sensitive hydrodynamic system, so any changes in well operational parameters, thermobaric conditions, and oil composition lead to wax and asphaltenes precipitation in oil. Natural surfactants (asphaltenes) stabilize water-in-oil emulsions and change rheological properties of the borehole flow. It demands additional energy consumption for raising reservoir fluid to the surface and for transporting it to gathering and oil-treatment systems.
All laboratory experiments are conducted by use of conventional (standard) techniques. The grain-size-analysis microscopy was performed under high-pressure conditions. Also, a light-scattering method and viscometric analysis were performed, and functional wax-appearance temperature (WAT) vs. the pressure of live and degassed oil are carried out during experimental studies.
The results of our experiments showed that, when the pressure drops below the bubblepoint pressure and the gas starts coming out from the oil, the WAT increases. A significant increase in the viscosity of a live-oil sample with a decrease in temperature and pressure in the range of downhole conditions that can become the reason of decline in the performance of an electrical submersible pump (ESP) is noted. The most technological methods directed on drop in the presented risks—among which are offered (1) the change of well-operation conditions allowing the regulation of the waxing of tubings and (2) the application of inhibitors that demonstrated high efficiency during the laboratory investigations—are mentioned. Mathematical analysis showed that the increase in well flow rate promotes a considerable decrease in potential wax-formation depth in an oil well. The proposed assessment technique of wax-precipitation depth that has been performed in this work can be useful for selecting the well-operation system. Among the studied inhibitors, the experiments showed that Inhibitor A has the highest efficiency in the slowing of the wax-formation process in the borehole conditions.
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