Predicting Carbonate Scale in Oil Producers from High Temperature Reservoirs
- Kari Ramstad (Norsk Hydro Production A/S) | Trine Tydal (Norsk Hydro Production A/S) | Kjell Magne Askvik (Norsk Hydro) | Per Fotland (Norsk Hydro ASA)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- SPE Journal
- Publication Date
- December 2005
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 363 - 373
- 2005. Society of Petroleum Engineers
- 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 4.3 Flow Assurance, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 5.2 Reservoir Fluid Dynamics, 4.3.1 Hydrates, 5.9.1 Gas Hydrates, 4.3.4 Scale, 3.1.2 Electric Submersible Pumps, 1.8 Formation Damage, 2.2.2 Perforating, 3.1.6 Gas Lift
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Calcium carbonate (CaCO3) scale is a common problem in the oil industry,leading to reduced well performance and obstruction of the safety valves.Recent field experiences indicate that scaling may be a problem at lowersaturation ratio (SR) than earlier anticipated. In a high-pressure,high-temperature scale cell, crystal growth in synthetic formation water hasbeen studied. Induction times and growth rates have been determined by use of amicroscope cell. The results have been interpreted by use of nucleation theory.The findings indicate that wells may be safely operated at SR below 2.5 at85°C. At higher temperature, crystal growth is less dependent on SR and thetemperature dominates the system. Care should therefore be taken when operatingwells at temperatures greater than 100°C.
Precipitation and deposition of CaCO3 is a common problem in the oilindustry. The scaling problems occur during pressure decrease of the producedformation water. The consequence may be reduced performance of the well and insome cases influence on the operation of downhole safety valves(DHSVs).The carbonates precipitate from the produced water as release ofCO2 gas gives increased pH and supersaturation of CaCO3 . The kinetics of thereaction is a function of temperature (i.e., slow kinetics at lowtemperature).
The rule of thumb for prediction of CaCO3 scaling problems has until latelybeen based upon the work by Oddo and Tomson. Their conclusion from fieldexperiences in the Hitchcock field in Texas, and Farida offshore Indonesia, wasthat produced water from vertical wells may be supersaturated up to saturationratio SR=2.51 before any scaling problems occur. The bottomhole temperature wasmoderate (88 to 104 °C). In some relatively recent field developments, thedesign of the completion and the need for chemical placement in new wells(e.g., scale inhibitor injection lines) have been partly based on thesefindings.
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