Crude Oil Emulsions: A State-Of-The-Art Review
- Sunil Lalchand Kokal (Saudi Aramco)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Production & Facilities
- Publication Date
- February 2005
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 5 - 13
- 2005. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 5.4.6 Thermal Methods, 2.5.2 Fracturing Materials (Fluids, Proppant), 5.4.7 Chemical Flooding Methods (e.g., Polymer, Solvent, Nitrogen, Immiscible CO2, Surfactant, Vapex), 5.4.10 Microbial Methods, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 1.8 Formation Damage, 4.3.3 Aspaltenes, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 5.7.5 Economic Evaluations, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 4.1.3 Dehydration, 4.3.4 Scale, 6.6.2 Environmental and Social Impact Assessments, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 3.2.4 Acidising, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment
- 25 in the last 30 days
- 4,160 since 2007
- Show more detail
- View rights & permissions
|SPE Member Price:||USD 10.00|
|SPE Non-Member Price:||USD 30.00|
The formation of emulsions during oil production is a costly problem, both in terms of chemicals used and production lost. This paper discusses production and operational problems related to crude-oil emulsions and presents a review that will be useful for practicing engineers.
The first part of this paper presents why emulsions form during oil production, the types of emulsions encountered, and new methods for characterizing them. Crude-oil emulsions are stabilized by rigid interfacial films that form a "skin" on water droplets and prevent the droplets from coalescing. The stability of these interfacial films, and hence, the stability of the emulsions, depends on a number of factors, including the heavy material in the crude oil (e.g., asphaltenes, resins, and waxes), solids (e.g., clays, scales, and corrosion products), temperature, droplet size and droplet-size distribution, pH, and oil and brine composition. The effects of these factors on emulsion stability are reviewed within this paper.
The second part of this paper presents methods to tackle crude-oil emulsions. The focus is on the destabilization of emulsions and the demulsification process. Emulsions are destabilized by increasing temperature and residence time, removal of solids, and controlling emulsifiers. The mechanisms involved in demulsification (e.g., flocculation, aggregation, sedimentation, creaming, and coalescence) are discussed in terms of the stability of the interfacial films. The methods involved in demulsification—including thermal, mechanical, electrical, and chemical—are also presented. Experience and economics determine which methods are used, and to what degree, for emulsion treatment.
Finally, a section on field applications also is included that should be useful for the practicing engineer who deals with emulsions either regularly or on a limited basis. Herein the field-emulsion treatment program is discussed, and more importantly, methods to prevent emulsion problems are highlighted. Recommendations are made for reducing and optimizing demulsifier dosage and controlling emulsion problems.
|File Size||1 MB||Number of Pages||9|
1.Emulsions: Fundamentals and Applications in the Petroleum Industry, L.L. Schramm (ed.), Advanced Chemical Service Monograph Series, American Chemistry Soc., Washington DC (1992) 231.
2.Encyclopedic Handbook of Emulsion Technology,J. Sjoblom (ed.), Marcel Dekker, New York City (2001).
3.Encyclopedia of Emulsion Technology, P. Becher (ed.), Marcel Dekker, New York City (1983-88) 1-3.
4.Sjoblom, J.: "Surface/Colloid Chemistry of Emulsions."
5.Kilpatrick, P.: "Petroleum Emulsions, Asphaltenes and Foams."
6.Masliyah, J.: "Heavy Oil and Bitumen Emulsions."
7.Wasan, D.T.: "Interfacial Rheology, Emulsions."
8.Yarranton, H.: "Asphaltenes and Emulsion Stability."
9.Andersen, S.: "Asphaltene-Resin Interactions, Waxes."
10. Schubert, H. and Armbroster, H.: "Principles of Formation and Stability of Emulsions," Intl. Chemical Engineering (1992) 32, No. 1, 14-28.
11.Tambe, D.E. and Sharma, M.M.: "Factors Controlling the Stability of Colloid-Stabilized Emulsions," J. of Colloids and Interface Science (1993) No. 157, 244-253.
12. Kokal, S.L.: "Crude-Oil Emulsions," Petroleum Engineering Handbook, SPE, Richardson, Texas (2005).
13. Jones, T.J., Neustadter, E.L., and Wittingham, K.P.: "Water-in-Crude-oil Emulsion Stability and Emulsion Destabilization by Chemical Demulsifiers," J. Cdn. Pet. Tech. (April-June 1978) 100-108.
14. Strassner, J.E.: "Effect of pH on Interfacial Films and Stability of Crude Oil/water Emulsions ," JPT (March 1968) 303-312.
15. Kimbler, O.K., Reed, R.L., and Silberberg, I.H.: "Physical Characteristics of Natural Films Formed at the Crude Oil/water Interfaces," JPT(June 1966)153-165.
16. Bobra, M.: "A Study of the Formation of Water-in-Oil Emulsions," Proc., 1990 Arctic and Marine Oil Spill Program Technology Seminar, Edmonton, Canada (1990).
17. Eley, D.D., Hey, M.J., and Symonds, J.D.: "Emulsions of Water in Asphaltene Containing Oils," Colloids and Surfaces (1988) 32, 87-103.
18. Kilpatrick, P.K. and Spiecker, P.M.: "Asphaltene Emulsions," Encyclopedic Handbook of Emulsion Technology, J. Sjoblom (ed.), Marcel Dekker, New York City (2001) 707.
19. Yarranton, H.W., Hussein, H., Masliyah, J.H.: "Water-in-Hydrocarbon Emulsions Stabilized by Asphaltenes at Low Concentrations," J. of Colloid Interface Science (2000) 228, 52-63.
20. Kokal, S.L. and Sayegh, S.G.: "Asphaltenes: The Cholesterol of Petroleum," paper SPE 29787 presented at the 1995 Middle East Oil Show, Bahrain, 11-14 March.
21. Levine, S. and Sanford, E.: "Stabilization of Emulsion Droplets by Fine Powders," Canadian J. Chemical Engineering, (1985) 62, 258-268.
22. Kokal, S.L. and Al-Juraid, J.I.: "Reducing Emulsion Problems By Controlling Asphaltene Solubility and Precipitation," paper SPE 48995 prepared for presentation at the 1998 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, New Orleans, 27-30 September.
23. Coppel, C.P.: "Factors Causing Emulsion Upsets in Surface Facilities Following Acid Stimulation," JPT (1975) 1060-1066.
24. Ali, S.A., Durham, D.K., and Elphingstone, E.A.: "Test Identifies Acidizing Fluid/Crude Compatibility Problems," Oil & Gas J., (March 1994) 47-51.
25. Moore, E.W., Crowe, L.W., and Hendrickson, A.R.: "Formation, Effects and Prevention of Asphaltene Sludges During Stimulation Treatments," JPT (1965) 1023-1028.
26. Kokal, S.L. and Wingrove, M.D.: "Emulsion Separation Index: From Laboratory to Field Case Studies," paper SPE 63165 presented at the 2000 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Dallas, 1-4 October.
27. Salager, J.L.: "The Fundamental Basis for the Action of a Chemical Dehydrant: Influence of Physical and Chemical Formulation on the Stability of an Emulsion," Intl. Chemical Engineering (1990) 30, No. 1, 103-116.
28. Bhardwaj, A. and Hartland, S.: "Dynamics of Emulsification and Demulsification of Water-in-Crude Oil Emulsions," Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research (1994) 33, 1271-1279.
29. Breen, P.: "Adsorption Kinetics of Demulsifiers to an Expanded Oil/water Interface," Surfactant Adsorption and Surface Solubilization, R. Sharma (ed.), American Chemical Society, Washington DC (1995) 268.
30. Kokal, S.L. and Juraid, J.I.: "Quantification of Various Factors Affecting Emulsion Stability: Water cut , Temperature, Shear, Asphaltene Content, Demulsifier Dosage, and Mixing Different Crudes," paper SPE 56641 presented at the 1999 SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition, Houston, 3-6 October.